This is the twenty-fifth part of a fiction serial, in 760 words.
Lesley suggested an early night, and after taking ages to get comfortable on the thin mattress, they were eventually asleep just after ten-thirty. Less than an hour later, they were awake again, disturbed by the noise of the people in the next caravan returning from the social club. There was shouting and swearing at first, followed by lots of laughter, and then some loud music being played, presumably on a radio. Lesley was in an unusually grumpy mood, and when the neighbours failed to quieten down, she turned to Jimmy.
“You have to go and say something, Jimmy. We can’t have that nuisance, it will ruin our holiday”. Jimmy got up and put on the shirt and trousers he had taken off earlier, then slipped into his unlaced shoes without bothering with socks. As he opened the door of the caravan and walked down the two steps, he could see three young men urinating against the side of their caravan, cigarettes dangling from their mouths. Not getting too close, he called out to them in a strong voice. “Can you keep the noise down please? We are trying to sleep next door!” One of them stepped back, not bothering to sort himself out and zip his fly.
“Calm down mate. Why don’t you come in for a drink? Got plenty of beers in there”. Before Jimmy could reply, a side window opened, and a rough-looking girl leered at him. “Got some nice girls in here too, darling. Come in and have some fun”. Jimmy replied politely but firmly. “No thank you. Please just keep the noise down, and turn the music down too. It’s getting late, and I really don’t want to have to go and get the site manager”. The tallest one of the men walked over, Jimmy could smell the beer on his breath. “Manager is it? We invite you in for a drink, all friendly like, and you threaten us with the manager. Why don’t you just piss off back into your caravan, unless you want real trouble”.
Jimmy smiled at him, staring straight into his eyes. The man stopped talking and turned back to his friends. “Come on, let’s go inside, this killjoy is ruining my evening”.
The noise continued for at least another hour, and Lesley nagged at Jimmy, not like her at all. “You should have got the manager. Perhaps we can ring the police and complain? This bed is bad enough to sleep in without having to put up with those hooligans”. Jimmy didn’t bother to remind her that coming to this awful place had been her idea. He waited until her ranting had calmed down before he replied that she should leave it to him, and he wasn’t going to involve the management.
At least it had stopped raining the next day. Lesley suggested they drive into town and explore the promenade and shops. “We can do the beach on a warmer day, Jimmy. I’m going to need my cardigan this morning”. Jimmy stood outside while Lesley was getting her things.
There was no noise from the troublesome neighbours, but every now and again, one of them would flick the still-lit butt of a cigarette through the open window. There was already a decent sized pile of them on the ground outside. The grubby Volkwagen van they had parked next to their caravan had a flat tyre at the front. He guessed they were intending to stick around the park, as nobody was bothering to change it for the spare.
Before Lesley appeared, Jimmy crouched low down and walked to the back of the neighbouring caravan. Working quickly and quietly, and using all of his considerable strength, he unscrewed the valves from both canisters of propane gas that were stored underneath to supply fuel for the cooker. When Lesley appeared with her car keys, handbag, and cardigan, he was standing by the passenger door of the Mini.
They found a nice fish and chip place to have a sit-down lunch. Lesley had bought some small souvenirs for the house, and she was looking at them as they waited for the food to arrive. Jimmy said that after lunch, they should walk out onto the Grand Pier, perhaps have an ice cream. Lesley was in a better mood than last night. “Sorry about this holiday, Jimmy. I thought it looked like a nice place, but I know it’s horrible. I will choose somewhere better next year, promise.
From inside the restaurant, they couldn’t see the smoke rising almost three miles to the south.