It begins with an island, situated fifteen miles from the south coast of Cornwall. Not much is known about it, and the government can’t decide what to call it; whether it be an island country, a city in England, or any name at all. But the residents know it as Quod Argentum Insula, or The Silver Island.
It had only a small population of 450 people, and refused to accept free movement of people from The European Union. It was, however, welcoming to the public, providing they could abide by strict and unique island laws. The weather was summery all year round, with the occasional rain and breezes, but never had life threatening storms and disasters.
The sleepy society made life easy for the islanders, as almost no traffic or crime occurred. But the necessary people were there, if anything ever did go wrong. Nobody on the island was married, and nobody had children. There was almost no pollution either. In general, life was peaceful and easy.
It was a dry Thursday morning in late August. The sun was blazing down as ever, and there was not a cloud in the sky. It was already about eighteen degrees outside, as it usually was every morning, with a forecast high of twenty-five. In a luxurious house near the north coast, lived the wealthiest resident in the land.
“My name is Sir William Silver, aged thirty. I am diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of Autism. I’m quite the intelligent young man, which despite common belief, is true for a lot of people with my condition. People diagnosed with Asperger’s, are often found to have more intelligence than people without a disability at all; and I feel I am just one of those many individuals.”
Sir William had short brown hair and blue eyes. He was currently dressed in his favourite blue waistcoat, tie, trousers, and handkerchief. He was also wearing a white long sleeved shirt, and brown suede shoes.
He came into his living room, which was furnished with white sheepskin carpet, and olive green painted walls. It had a 60inch widescreen television with 7.1 surround sound, two olive green sofas, and an electric fireplace.
On the wall opposite the fire, Sir William had numerous photo frames with pictures of him and his family. They weren’t just photos of him and his family as they were now, but also some of those from when they were little; particularly some of his own school photographs.
“At present, I live independently on Quod Argentum Insula. Because I live so far away from where I was born in Peterborough, visits from my family were quite rare; so I mainly received contact via email, phone, or post. For several mornings over the last few weeks, I couldn’t help but look at my childhood photographs. Although I had no spouse, like everyone else in the neighbourhood, I wanted to become a father figure, albeit preferably through adoption.”
“How I would love to have someone to live with.” He said to himself.
Sir William picked one photo off the wall, and took a closer look at it. It was the one that was taken for him at school, when he was just eight years old.
“The island life might have been quiet and easy for me, but sometimes, it wasn’t any fun. I would have to travel to mainland Britain by car ferry to seek much enjoyment. On the other hand, having a quiet life is like living a heavenly life. I only wish it was the same for each and every individual in the world.”
As the thoughts of him wanting to become a father were going through his head, he started hearing the phone ringing. He put the photo back on the wall, and went to answer the phone in his study next-door.
“Good morning, Silver residence.”
“Good morning Sir William.”
“Good morning Mr. Thomas, what can I do for you?”
“I’m calling to let you know that your business partners and I wish to bring the weekly board meeting forward to today. Mrs. Ingram said that she would be unable to make it tomorrow, because she has a dental appointment. Would it be too much trouble to come in today, Sir?”
“It’s fine, Michael. I do need to come in to get some bills and taxes done. So, Ten O’clock?”
“Yes, that’s fine Sir. Shall I inform the partners that you’re on the way?”
“Yes, please do.” Sir William checked his watch. The time read five past nine. “I’ll be about fifteen minutes.”
“Alright then. See you soon Sir.”
“See you soon.”
The call ended. Sir William grabbed his favourite fountain pens out of the office desk, as well as his business chequebook, laptop, mobile phone, and keys. Once he had everything, he headed out of the house.
Ten minutes passed after Sir William left his house. He was driving his Tesla Model S across to the east side of the island, where his workplace was. Silver was self-employed; the founder and chairman of his own import and export business, Silver Shipments.
As Sir William drove up to the main gate, he stopped by it, and wound his window down. The security guard at the gate, Geoffrey Bennett, was a real monster of a man. At over seven foot, he was not one to get on the wrong side of, and certainly not judging by his CV. He was an ex Grenadier Guard of sixteen years’ service, and was very easily provoked.
“Good morning Sir William.”
“Good morning Geoffrey. How are you this fine morning?”
“Very well Sir, thank you. Yourself?”
“Fit as a fiddle.”
“Let’s get you inside Sir.”
Geoffrey turned a key in the control panel, which was situated in his guard shelter. He then pressed a button to lower the hydraulic bollards, which prevented unwanted vehicles from entering the grounds. Once they were down, Sir William drove into the grounds, parking in his reserved space. The bollards rose within the second that Silver’s car passed over the threshold.
Sir William parked the car right next to the main warehouse, which he headed into. Several employees were working hard at the shelves, while others were working with the Peugeot vans, which bore the Silver Shipments trademarking. Some were being loaded up for exports, and some were being unloaded for imports. For large goods, forklift trucks were working to transport pallets and crates in and out of Renault HGV’s. The company bought and sold many different things, including jewellery and ingots, rare cars, and antiques.
As Sir William walked through the warehouse, many nearby employees greeted him politely.
“Good morning Sir William.”
“Good morning John.”
“Good morning Sir William.”
“Good morning Linda.”
“Good morning Sir William.”
“Good morning George.”
“Good morning Sir William.”
“Good morning Sandra.”
Sir William eventually approached his office, and entered. His aide was Mr. Warren Smith, who was diagnosed with Dwarfism. He was standing by Sir William’s desk.
“Good morning Sir William Silver.”
“Good morning Warren. Did you enjoy your holiday?”
“Yes thank you. How have you been in the last two weeks?”
“Just great Warren.” Sir William sat down at his desk.
“So why are you in today, Sir? You don’t normally come to the office on Thursdays.”
“The partners brought my weekly meeting forward to today. I’m due to meet them at ten. But as I’m in, and while I’m waiting for it to start, I might as well do my paperwork today.”
“Any requests from staff to see me?”
“Not yet Sir.”
“And the wage packets are due this week, are they not?”
“I’ve got them right here Sir.”
Warren opened his briefcase, and got out the pay packet assignments for Sir William.
“Here they are.”
“Thank you. Monitor proceedings in the warehouse please; I’ll call you back in when I need you.”
Warren headed out of the office, closing the door behind him.
For his employees to receive their fortnightly pay packets, Sir William had to approve the invoices by signing them. It was not just important for the correct pay to be given, but by law, that the right taxes were paid. He had to make sure that the figures for Income Tax, National Insurance, and The Workplace Pension, were all correct.
Sir William made sure to pay his employees above the legal minimum wage per hour. He usually set this guideline at a minimum of one pound per hour above the legal guideline. He employed forty-five staff on the island, which catered for ten percent of the population. But up and down mainland Britain, he had a total of 1,200.
Meanwhile in mainland Britain, the weather wasn’t pleasant. It was chucking it down with rain. In Cornwall’s Port Isaac, a supply ship was being prepared, with which to give and take goods to and from Quod Argentum Insula.
Forklift trucks were taking crates out of the HGV’s, and loading them onto the ship. Various crewmen were directing the trucks, so that everything was being put in neatly, and allowing space for as much of the supplies as possible.
A children’s orphanage home was situated not too far away from the coast, overlooking Port Isaac, and a large one for its position. In this day and age, so many children were in care because their parents didn’t care at all; and it was never the fault of the child who was made a victim of such an occurrence.
Of all the orphanage homes in the south west of England, this was the largest one around. On the top floor, one of many boys residing at the orphanage was lying stomach down on his bed, with his head looking out of the window. He was lucky to have a bird’s eye view of Port Isaac if he wanted it. The boy had medium smooth platinum blonde hair, and green eyes. He was currently dressed in a black polo shirt, blue denim jeans, and grey trainer socks.
His room was furnished similarly to that of a single hotel room, and had an en-suite bathroom. Apart from the bed, there was a desk, wardrobe, mirror, cupboards, computer, and television.
The boy, Riley, wasn’t smiling as he looked outside. Not just because of the bad weather, but also because of several predicaments he was faced with. He had been at the orphanage for a very long time.
As he looked at the ship being loaded up, Riley heard a knock at the bedroom door.
“Come in!” Riley called.
A young adult lady came into the room, dressed in her favourite lavender blouse and navy skirt. Riley politely rolled over, facing the lady as she approached.
“Hi Miss Hall.” Riley answered depressingly.
“Isolating yourself in your room again?”
“I just wish I was able to go out for a walk somewhere. I hate it when it’s raining like this.”
“We all do. Not nice, is it? Not nice to be stuck doing nothing.”
Riley took another breath, and turned his head to look back out of the window, but only his head. Because of his Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Miss Laura Hall was assigned to Riley as a personal care worker.
“I can’t believe my mother dumped me here as a child, saying that my Autism was unacceptable for her.”
“There are a lot of terrible people in this world, Riley. And I’m afraid that you were born to a mother who was simply heartless.”
“I just wish that I could find a better life for me. Surely, there are people out there who would love and care for me, and would go to the very ends of the earth for me.”
“You’ll find someone…Or someone will find you. I know you’re down about your football coaching session being cancelled, but there’s nothing that can be done about it.”
“I was really looking forward to taking the training session.” Riley looked at his football kit, set out on the chair by the computer desk. He was terribly unhappy not to have been able to wear it today. “It would have been easier if it was an indoor stadium with artificial turf. We wouldn’t have to worry about the rain if that was the case.”
“Life wouldn’t be fun if it was easy, Riley. Sometimes, we have to face disappointment like this; and all you can do is take it as it comes. I know it’s hard for you to accept change, but I’ve said it many times before now.”
“I know; I must put the past behind me, and move on.” Riley took another breath of depression, now closing his eyes. “If only it was as easy for me to do, as it is for you to say.”
“Oh Riley.” Laura felt so much for the boy, that she had to begin ruffling his hair. “I know you can’t help it, but you do go on some. Sometimes, even I can’t understand you.”
It was clear to Laura that Riley was beginning to become agitated, just because he was being told the truth. This was quite a common occurrence. It was hard enough for anybody to be told the truth; but for Riley, it was even harder.
“Why don’t we go for a few games of Ten-Pin Bowling together? You won’t have to get soaking wet in the rain, and at least you’ll be able to get out for a while.”
Riley pondered for a moment. The thought of getting out and about made him feel a little better. Only a little bit mind you, but it was something. But because of the tension from his depressing mood, Riley couldn’t give an answer straightaway.
“Could you excuse me?”
Riley turned on his stomach once more, and buried his face deeply into his pillow. He began taking some deep and heavy breaths into it, while Laura firmly rubbed his back with both hands. It was common for Riley to do this, as it really helped him to calm down and get his frustration out. He felt that it was better for him to do it this way, as it would save him from getting up and getting violent, solving nothing.
After about twenty seconds, Riley felt calm enough. As she stopped rubbing, he sat up and arched his knees.
“Yes, thank you.”
“Good stuff. I’ll have to get the dreaded paperwork before we can go anywhere.”
“Ugh, boy! Wretched corporate policies making everything revolve around paperwork, all so that the big boys can earn the big bucks for sitting around doing nothing.”
“And nothing I can do about my contract either, I’m afraid. If I don’t do the paperwork, I’ll cease to be your care worker.”
“Well, at least you don’t centre on the paperwork alone. That’s the real evil about care working.”
“True. But I’ve got my brother to tag along with us as well.”
“So how about you get yourself ready, and I’ll see you out front in ten minutes?”
“Oh, and before I forget…” Laura reached into her pocket, got out a fiver, and gave it to Riley. “Your weekly allowance.”
“Thank you.” Riley accepted the money.
Now, Laura headed out of the room. Riley got off the bed, and went over to his wardrobe. He had six pairs of Water Shoes; two red, one grey, and three blue. But for wet days, he had two pairs of Salomon Trainers. One pair was plain black, and the other was blue with lime green. He picked out the blue and green pair and put them on. He also got out his wallet, and put the money into it. Then, he put on his raincoat.