The Yarn So Far...

English surfer Doggie and his Welsh mate Pipe were on the road trip of their lives. In Biarritz, the pair scored a dream mansion crib with the gorgeous Gabrielle, her hulking sister Amelie, and a silent chauffeur, Duffoir.

They had no idea that Doggie’s prize surfboards were fibreglass smugglers or that Amelie was really a murderer named Sergei Saginballsov, number nine on Interpol’s Most Wanted list with a bullet. When his contraband got wasted at Biarritz and then Mundaka, a vengeful Sergei ordered Pipe, Doggie and Gabrielle to surf-off to the death! Pipe narrowly beat Gabrielle for the cursed crown, only for Duffoir to gun down Sergei before he could shoot Pipe in a barrel like a fish in a... barrel.

The three ‘competing’ surfers then paddled out to sea on the craziest plan yet: rescue Gabrielle’s family from Hell Island!

* * *

“Must keep... paddling."

Doggie ran the facts through his mildly hallucinating mind. They danced like the loser in a real-life game of Hangman. We’re paddling to Hell Island. A black castle-fort on a slab of granite guarded by murderers with guns, possibly even crazier than the last murderer with a gun we only just escaped from. And did I mention the island is being pounded by 15 feet thick slabs of ocean??

Still, beats being shot at.

“Remember," wheezed Pipe, breaking Doggie’s reverie. “After this, we rescue my Kombi."

“You are both so brave," Gabrielle answered. “I don’t know how I can ever repay you." She smiled, and Doggie thought of a repayment scheme far too explicit to describe here. “But you both may live and eat free of charge for as long as you desire at my family mansion - even until you are 100!"

Doggie choked on his reply. “Swallowed... some salt."

* * *

The three surfers sat up on their boards and squinted ahead.

Waves rocked Hell Island’s foundations, synchronised cannons, leaving tonnes of whitewater to heave back across the jagged boulders: a deadly, impenetrable curtain.

“Looks like the odd right hander," joked Doggie. “Not."

“Here’s a plan," said Pipe. “We ride a big one as far up the cliff as we can. Jump off, then scramble for higher ground before the next set pounds through and smears us."

“Like smooth peanut butter on a stale baguette?"

“Exactly."

Before Doggie could guffaw a hypothermic reply, Pipe turned and paddled. A whitecap engulfed him. Pipe emerged standing, charged down the giant face and raced down the line. The wave frothed, about to shut down. Pipe jammed hard and blasted toward shore. The wave exploded. Pipe vanished. The whitewater rumbled and drew back. Pipe emerged, board under his arm, holding onto the cliff.

Doggie was simultaneously amazed, impressed and scared out of his underwear.

“My turn," said Gabrielle.

Her wave mirrored Pipe’s effort. She slipped and scrambled, just clearing the whitewater suckback.

“Bloody hell."

Doggie paddled hard. He knew his board was too short and weirdly shaped to even make the drop. So he didn’t waste time jumping to his feet. Rather, he just paddled and kept paddling, even as he free-fell down the face of the beast - still lying down. Just before splashdown, Doggie extended his arms. And board. He slammed awkwardly, but kept riding - toward the sloping shore! “Yes! I’ve done it!!" he bellowed. “Not so stylish, maybe, but damned effecti- Aiiik!"

The wave exploded. Doggie spun into the first of seven somersaults.

Pipe winced, covered his eyes and held onto a boulder.

Whitewater rained, boiled and raked back. Pipe rubbed his eyes. There was Doggie, perched higher up the cliff than he or Gabrielle! And hardly bleeding at all!!

“Hurry up," Doggie grumbled, pulling in his legrope.

The three inched up, until the granite boulders turned into the rough-hewn stone of the outer castle wall. Despite the layer of slime, this wall was easier to climb, as salt spray had rotted out the mortar, leaving handy hand and foot holds. Surfboards, still attached to legs, clattered along behind.

Doggie held his finger to his lips. Through the window above, a cannon jutted. The wet but warm figure of Gabrielle eased up beside him. Pipe wedged up. All three peered in.

A match struck. A cigarette glowed.

Before Doggie could whisper, “Guard. Oh, well. Nice try," he blinked. The guard reeled, and slumped unconscious. A small rock clattered to the stone hallway.

“Nice throw," croaked Doggie to Gabrielle, but she had already climbed in.

Doggie and Pipe followed. They reeled in their sticks. Gabrielle wrapped on the unconscious guard’s coat. She pocketed his revolver and pointed to some rope.

“Bondage?" Doggie joked. “Now?? Hey, why not???"

Pipe took the hint and tied and gagged the guard. “Now where?"

“Down." Gabrielle pointed. “Prisoners are always kept in dungeons."

The trio edged along the rock wall, and down the stairwell, trailing oceanic snail trails.

In the corridor below, two more guards sat at a table, playing cards.

Gabrielle cocked her revolver. The guards looked up, froze, traded meaningful glances, double checked Gabrielle’s unblinking eyes, and raised their hands.

“You have some handy social skills," nodded Doggie, as Gabrielle clocked each guard on the back of the head. One slumped to the table, and one to the floor. Keys rattled.

“Tie them as well," she ordered.

Pipe and Doggie traded meaningful glances.

Gabrielle pocketed the keys.

* * *

She hissed through the grates. “Allo?"

“Gabby?" A female voice answered. A light blinked on. “Is that you?"

Gabrielle rammed keys into the lock, until one clicked.

The cell door creaked wide. Out poured... three women, clearly sisters. All drop-dead gorgeous.

Gabrielle dropped the keys. “Brigitte! Bernadette! Amelie!" The girls all hugged.

A horny sight, thought Doggie.

“I thought Amelie was... bigger," muttered Pipe.

“Moron," chuckled Doggie. “You’re thinking about Amelie the transvestite murderer. I saw you leering at her. Him. It. Rest in peace. You really do have hypothermia!" Doggie squinted in at the sisters’ cell. “Hey, this prison is bloody luxurious!"

“Odd," said Pipe.

“And who are these handsome young men?" One sister batted her eyelids.

“Brigitte..." Gabrielle beamed. “This is Pipe and Doggie. Your rescuers!"

Much hugging and kissing followed.

“Now, we escape!" beamed the real Amelie. “Did you bring a boat? A helicopter?"

“Er..." said Doggie. “Surfboards?"

“Hurry." A new voice hissed behind them. “This way!"

“Now what?" Doggie’s jaw dropped with a thud. “It’s that chauffeur guy. Duffoir. And he’s wearing a wetsuit! And holding a gun!!"

“And talking!!!" exclaimed Pipe.

Duffoir smiled grimly. “I am Agent Duffoir, of Interpol, actually. And I am here to rescue you all: in my mini submarine. Quickly: we must leave before the mysterious criminal leader becomes aware we are on his island."

“Oh, Duffoir!" Gabrielle surged up to her ex-chauffeur and hugged him tightly. Despite himself, Duffoir smiled. Weirdly, his smile disintegrated. The hug ended. Duffoir stepped back, and raised his hands in the air.

Gabrielle aimed her stolen revolver at his heart. “Oh Duffy, you should’ve remained undercover. You see, the mysterious criminal leader is already aware you are on HER island."

A gust of salt spray blasted down the hall.

“HER island?" Pipe squinted and scratched his chin. “Then that means..."

Doggie blinked at Pipe. “My brain hurts."

“Yes," Gabrielle’s eyes hooded. “I, Gabrielle, am the mysterious criminal leader and ruler of Hell Island."

Pipe popped his ears. “Then... we’re safe?"

Gabrielle waved her gun. “Unfortunately... no. As you know my identity, I must now kill you. Well, except for my sisters."

“You owe us an explanation, at least." Pipe folded his arms. “I risked my Kombi for you."

Duffoir snatched a guard’s gun and dived. The sisters all drew their own weapons and fired back, diving in all directions. By the time Duffoir hit the stone floor, he had more ventilation than a porcupine’s steamer.

Gabrielle shrugged and stood. “Pity... He was a good chauffeur. I’ve always liked men who understand the power of body language."

Doggie turned to the wall and showed his knowledge of body language by vomiting up half a stomach of ocean water and adrenaline plus three baguettes in a stomach juice sauce. He wiped his mouth, and smiled feebly. “Excuse me, but... none of this makes sense. If this is your island, why would you paddle here with us, and risk death? Why would you have your own sisters locked up? Why... Ooh, my brain really hurts."

Gabrielle smiled. “A good leader must be aware of everything in her organisation. I wanted to check out my smuggling operations up close and personal. Going undercover myself also was a great excuse to sneak off for a surfing road trip."

“Now THAT I can relate to." Doggie nodded. So sexy, so deadly, thought poor Doggie.

Gabrielle shrugged. “So I pretended to be a helpless French girl. Having my sisters imprisoned gave my act a touch more drama. Alas, that psycho Sergei almost killed me. But it was all worthwhile. I have uncovered the Interpol agent in our midst and revealed gaping cracks in island security. Amelie - arrange for the three tied guards to be executed. As an example to the rest."

“I never really noticed this ruthless streak before." Doggie backed along the passage. “So it was all just an act? You were never really interested in me??" Doggie’s eyes widened, like his doggy-eyed namesake.

Gabrielle smiled with only mild cruelty. “I can’t think of a more clueless boyfriend than you, Doggie. But... you could’ve interested me in a one or three night stand." Amelie shrugged. “Now, alas, you must die."

“Wait." Doggie lunged for the window and held his surfboard out over the roaring sea. “If you shoot me, I’ll drop this stick, which contains the third smuggled... something.. Something surely valuable!"

Gabrielle frowned.

“I’ve a better idea." Pipe turned to Gabrielle. “Gab, you’ve seen Doggie and me in action. Surely we’ve proven we’re resourceful, natural-born scammers?"

“Hey, we are surfers," Doggie nodded.

Pipe continued. “So maybe we could join your evil organisation!"

“Whoa," said Doggie.

“Shush," said Pipe.

Gabrielle and her sisters swapped glances. “My ‘evil organisation’ does need some new guards. Very well. But if you ever betray me, your deaths will be in slow motion, with many frozen frames."

“Fair enough."

Doggie gulped. “Pipe, I’m not so sure I want to become a full-bore criminal. Do we get dental care and superannuation in this plan?"

“Think about it, D-man." Pipe shook his shoulder. “This organisation has hot chicks, sick real estate, access to all sorts of things... And we get to keep our lives."

“Well, when you put it like that... Gabrielle, meet your new evil underlings!" Doggie pulled his surfboard back through the castle window and handed it to Bernadette, beaming all the way. “By the way, what was being smuggled in that stick anyway?"

Gabrielle smiled, like the Gabrielle Doggie thought he loved. “That board contains the most valuable of information... The secret location of the world’s greatest undiscovered surf spot!"

“Really?" Doggie drooled.

“Surely that’s a better answer than the plans to a nuke that will be used on England?"

“Eh?"

“Let’s party!" whooped Bernadette. “After two weeks in that cell, I’m hornier than a herd of Pamplona bulls!"

Music blared from somewhere.

“They’ll never believe this back in Devon." Doggie busted out the lawnmower dance.

They all lived happily ever after - except for Duffoir, and a few other minor characters who either were killed or lived lives that in fact became even sadder than before.

Next episode: Nuthin’! That’s all, folks!

Words: DC Green