Frank Telford might have followed many paths in life if he had chosen to put his mind to them. His slightly dishevelled appearance belied his keen intelligence. The locals speculated as to where he got his money. The current consensus was that he was some kind of dotcom executive who had taken early retirement from the rat race and relocated to the Island to count his money in peace. Frank had heard the rumours, had even started a few of his own and he derived no small amount of amusement at how wide of the mark most of them were. He wore his long hair pulled back into a ponytail that hung down his back. His face seemed to suggest a hint of Native American in its sharp cheekbones and nose – his tanned skin added to the illusion but was really just the legacy of spending quite a bit of time in warmer climates over the course of the year.

Frank was currently busy checking on his plants. He had converted the attic space a few years back, installing the hydroponics kit he had bought online. Judging by the pungent aroma filling the loft his latest crop was coming along nicely. He pushed the Ramsey Ladder home again and closed up the loft. He was just thinking about checking his email and maybe picking out a couple of CDs to listen to while he got the house tidied up for Linda coming back from work when the doorbell rang. He wondered who could be calling at this time. After all, the island wasn’t the kind of place where you were likely to have casual visitors. He glanced up at the attic again before going to answer the door.

‘Awright lads, come in.’

‘Hiya Frank,’ Ryan said. ‘How’s it going?’

‘Not bad, not bad. What brings you two here?’

‘Just spreading our good cheer Frank,’ Ryan told him.

Frank looked at them both with a puzzled expression on his face.

‘Its results day,’ Jamie chimed in.

‘Oh shit, I totally forgot about that,’ said Frank slapping his forehead. ‘How’d you both get on?’

Jamie gestured at Ryan: ‘this jammy bastard got two A’s and three B’s.’

Ryan looked at his feet for a second and shuffled a little awkwardly. ‘You didn’t do too badly either J.’

‘What’d you get?’

‘Not quite up to the standards of boy wonder here but a respectable two B’s and three C’s – I might be able to bump one of them up to a B on appeal though.’

‘Hey that’s pretty good going for the pair of you. Your folks must be over the moon.’

The boys grinned. Both sets of parents were suitably ecstatic and were doubtless busy right now phoning around their relatives to spread the good news.

Frank looked at his watch. There were still a good couple of hours until Linda got back. ‘Fancy having a wee celebration while you’re here?’ He pulled some rolling papers out of his shirt pocket.

‘Well if you’re going to twist our arms…’ Ryan said still smiling. Frank always had good shit.


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