Books & Beyond

The Last Finesse by Brian Bloom @BrianB_Aust

Posted on: February 9, 2014

From Chapter 16

‘The American girl’s unconscious!’ Glen called from the water’s edge to Luke and Patrick. He’d gone there to distance himself from the crowd of onlookers who’d suddenly coalesced like a swarm of flies on a fresh cow pat. He was juggling a conversation with someone on the rescue boat and an imperative to Luke and Patrick. ‘Can one of you blokes call for an ambulance?!’

Luke was the one to respond. ‘No worries, mate – I’ll do that!’

Patrick called to Glen. ‘Where can I get hold of US 333’s details?! We’re almost certainly going to be asked for them!’

‘Good thinking!’ Glen shouted back. ‘Go to the organisers’ tent – they should have a copy of her application form!’

Patrick ran off.

Luke called 000. Almost in synchrony as he pushed the “End call”’ button, he heard a roaring sound as the rescue boat arrived at full speed. He saw its driver slam the motor into reverse, a brilliantly timed manoeuvre whereby the boat seemed to rise on the approaching wave of its own wake, before gently settling two metres from the shore line, just as the driver raised the motor on its transom to prevent the propeller from digging into the sand.

‘Got to go back ASAP!’ the driver shouted to Glen. ‘We’ve left three people with their boards out on the water! Can someone help carry Katie on to the beach?! Be careful: she’s unconscious; we’re not sure whether anything’s broken; Allison managed to bring her to the surface; Katie was trapped under the board!’

Luke leapt forward and reached the boat at the same time as Glen.

‘I need to watch out for her neck,’ Glen said to Luke. ‘Can you grab the stretcher at her feet? Wait for my signal before you lift!’

The American girl was already lying on a portable stretcher. There’d been no time to brace her neck before the boat had commenced its return dash. One of the crew members had been holding her head steady. He now stood aside while Glen reached across to place his hands on the stretcher’s handles.

Luke did as he was instructed. ‘Got it!’ he confirmed. ‘On your signal!’

Glen’s command was urgent and clear. ‘Lift slowly and gently!’

In unison, the two men lifted the stretcher and made their way on to the sand, where they set it down.

Patrick returned, an odd look in his eyes. ‘Apparently there’s an ambulance depot about two K’s away, just on the other side of the Singing Bridge.’

Luke nodded absently. He was looking down at the young woman’s face, her features clearly visible now they were no longer hidden by the canary-yellow cap. It can’t be! he told himself. Instinctively, he fell to his knees on the sand near her shoulder, and just stared at her. The sheila from Beotkott’s deck – I’d swear to it!

‘Hey, Luke!’ Patrick’s voice penetrated the gauze of shock engulfing Luke’s thoughts. ‘Do you want to know who she is?!’

‘Yeah,’ Luke responded, ‘but I’m almost sure I already know.’

‘Impossible,’ Patrick retorted: ‘I’ve just found out myself, and neither of us has met her – I know that for a fact.’

Something in Patrick’s voice caused Luke to look up at him. ‘What are you talking about?’

‘Her application form says her name’s Katarina Marchetti – she’s Katie Marchetti! He pointed to her for to emphasise the fact.

Luke was stupefied. ‘What?!’

‘Guido sister – and you couldn’t know her, ’cause Guido told us she was at a “finishing school” in Switzerland, when he was still at uni with us. And neither of us has seen or heard from him in years.’

The Last Finesse

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Conspiracy Thriller

Rating – MA (15+)

More details about the author

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