The Sun Deck

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
Lee and Mark check into the Coral Del Mar hotel in Tenerife. They are told that the Sun Deck on the roof is fantastic. Mark is impressed but Lee starts to suspect that things aren't quite as they seem.

Submitted: June 06, 2016

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Submitted: June 06, 2016

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It was just past midnight when Lee and Mark checked into the Coral De Mar hotel. They dragged their cases packed with t-shirts, shorts and sun cream up to the reception desk. They gave their names and handed over their passports and printed booking confirmations. Two weeks all inclusive in Tenerife. What more could you ask for? A few of the lads had dropped out last minute but the two of them had decided to go anyway. Sod you lot, they said, while you’re in working we’ll be drinking cerveza and having a top time.

The receptionist smiled warmly and told them that they could collect their passports in a few days. They would be staying in room 007.

‘Does that make me James Bond?’ laughed Lee.

The woman smiled politely.

‘I am sure you will enjoy your stay with us. And don’t forget to try our sun deck on the sixth floor. The roof top terrace catches the sun all day long.’

After having a pint of the local beer, a distinctive tasting lager called Dorada, they headed to their room. An hour later having flung their clothes in the wardrobe and their Euros in the safe they climbed into the twin beds.

The next morning they flip-flopped down the stairs to the hotel restaurant. The large room was full of tables and chairs laid with cutlery. Along the far side of the room were counters filled with breakfast food. It reminded Lee of a school canteen. There were no other diners in the room.

‘I wonder where everyone else is.’ said Lee.

‘Don’t worry about it. Let’s fill our boots. Look they’ve even got black pudding.’

They made cups of tea and piled their plates high with sausages, fried egg, bacon, toast, black pudding and dollops of baked beans. They took a table near the food counter.

‘Happy holidays.’ grinned Mark. He shoved a chunk of black pudding into his mouth.

Lee laughed and joined him in munching the breakfast. A few mouthfuls later he jabbed his fork at the plate.

‘Does this food take a bit funny to you?’

‘Mate, don’t knock it. It’s free. We’re all inclusive.’

‘But it doesn’t taste right.’

‘Lee, we’re on a Spanish island miles from home. This lot don’t have sausages. They have cho-ree-tho. You’ll be slating the beans next because they’re not Heinz. Remember that old dear we saw last year?’

Lee thought back to their holiday to the Costa Del Sol. They had been having a chippy dinner while nursing hangovers. They place over looking the sea had been called Dave’s Café. It was the typical English abroad place. They served draught bitter and showed the British soaps. The old dear on the next table had wanted vinegar for her fish and chips. She had insisted that the vinegar was Sarsons. For the rest of the holiday the lads had repeated how she’d asked for the brand of vinegar.

‘Excuse me, love. Got any Sarsons?’ said Lee in a high pitched voice.

‘Exactly.’ said Mark. ‘Don’t be that old lady.’

He took a swig of tea. Trying to take his friend’s advice on board he continued eating.

An hour later, clad in their knee length shorts they headed up to the sun deck. The roof top sun deck was just that, it was similar to the deck of a cruise ship. Rows of sun loungers. Most of the sunbeds were taken up. So this was where everyone was. People of all ages were flaked out in the baking sunshine. Some of them had paperback books or magazines beside them. Others had earphones in and were listening to music while they sun bathed. Most of them had perfect bronzed suntans. Lee wiped the sweat from his forehead. Next to these professional sunbathers his milk bottle white legs looked ridiculous. Still, he thought, he might catch a bit of colour.

Mark pointed to the far side of the deck. There were a couple of free sunbeds. Sorted. They squeezed their way in between the loungers towards the vacant beds.

They plonked themselves down and made themselves comfortable. The sun beat down from the cloudless sky. Lee sighed. This was the life. Such a change from the mind numbing office work they would normally be doing right now.

The lads spent a lovely day basking in the hot sun. They listened to their MP3 players and read crappy American crime thrillers that, it seemed to Lee, seemed to follow the exact same formula of countless thrillers he had read.

That evening having showered and dressed in smarter shorts and short sleeve shirts they returned to the all inclusive restaurant. Just like at breakfast time the large canteen was empty.

‘Where is everyone? Is this not a bit weird?’ asked Lee.

‘Chill your beans.’ said Mark. ‘We must be the only guests staying here all inclusive.’

Lee nodded. They ordered pints of Dorada lager and took a table close to the food. They filled the large plates with paella, chorizo and patatas bravas.

‘It’s just like that Spanish restaurant at the Trafford Centre.’ said Mark.

‘I’m sure that’s exactly what they were going for.’ Lee laughed.

As they ate Lee couldn’t help pulling his face. The food was nice but tasted off or strange somehow. Mark noticed his grimace.

‘Don’t complain, mate. This is authentic Spanish grub.’

Lee smiled but still felt uneasy about everything. He waved the barmaid over to order more drinks. She had dark brown skin and long dark hair. She smiled as she approached.

‘Where is everyone? Why are we the only people dining here?’ he asked.

‘Una mas?’ she said.

‘Sorry?’

‘One more beer, senor?’

‘Erm, yes, please. And one for my friend.’

She rushed off to fetch the drinks.

The next morning Lee woke in agony. His stomach really hurt. He had shocking, stabbing pains and it felt like he needed to go to the bathroom. He felt like he was going to be sick. He glanced around. Mark had showered and was slapping a thick layer of sun cream on his chest.

‘You okay, Lee?’

‘My stomach is really off.’

‘I’ve been up most of the night myself. I feel fine now though. Are you coming sunbathing?’

‘Aye, but not just yet. I will see you up there in a bit.’

‘I will save you a sunbed.’ said Mark as he left.

After dozing for an hour Lee felt a little bit better. He still felt weak as he slopped on the sun cream. He took deep breaths as he rode the lift upto the sixth floor.

He popped his sunglasses on as he stepped onto the roof. The sundeck was the same as the day before. Most of the sun loungers were taken up with people lying motionless in the glare of the sun. As he crossed the terrace he bumped into a sunbed. Before he could apologise the woman’s hand dropped to the floor. She didn’t move. Her limb stayed where it had dropped.

‘Sorry, love. Are you alright?’

She still did not move. The woman, in her sixties with a golden tan simply lay there, eyes closed.

‘You awake?’ he asked.

Nothing.

Lee started to panic. He gave her lounger a hard kick. Even now she did not move. He grabbed her wrist. Beneath the flesh that was warm in the sun he felt no pulse. The limb did not feel alive. He was certain she was dead. He turned to the man on the sun lounger next to her.

‘Excuse me. Are you with this lady?’

The man didn’t move. Lee shouted out loud that he thought his wife was dead. The man remained perfectly still. In shock he gave the man a shove. The man tumbled from the sunbed. As he fell the man’s sunglasses came off. They clattered to the floor. The man lay where he had fallen on the tiles. His glassy lifeless eyes stared to the cloudless sky overhead.

Lee swore. Were they all dead?

‘Can anyone hear me?’ he yelled. ‘Is anyone alive up here?’

There was no movement on the sun deck at all. That convinced him. They were all dead. The people he had assumed were merely sunbathing were actually all corpses just lying there in the hot Tenerife sunshine.

He turned and ran back across the sun deck. He rushed down the flight of stairs. He had to leave. He had to get away. What was wrong with this place? He ran down the six flights of stairs.

He raced to the automatic glass doors. The doors did not open. He banged a fist on the doors. They remained closed. He saw people passing by on the street outside. He yelled. He shouted. Nobody even glanced in his direction.

‘I’m afraid they cannot hear you, senor.’

He turned to see the smiling receptionist.

‘Now, if you would please join your friend up on the sun deck. He is waiting for you with the other guests. The weather is going to be glorious.’

 


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