Chapter 3 – Skiathos Story
‘Which reminds me,’ Patrick said as the waiter left, ‘of a Greek holiday I had on Skiathos.’
Samantha knew he was trying to lighten her mood. She also knew she was in for one of his long, drawn out but usually entertaining stories and leant back in her chair.
‘I was on this little island swimming and sun-baking in the late summer. It was September and everywhere you went there were swarms of wasps across the island.’
‘Sounds like hell,’ Samantha said. ‘I can’t imagine what you and your girlfriend were doing on a wasp infested lump of rock.’
‘Who said I was with a girlfriend?’ Patrick feigned indignation. ‘And my God, you bankers are a breed apart. I say the word “hot”. You hear the word “hell”. I say the word “island”. You hear the word “rock”.’ He paused, momentarily lost for words. ‘Let me try again.’ He picked up a spoon and held it in front of his mouth like a microphone, cleared his throat, then continued in a melodramatically hushed voice. ‘The island was ablaze with bougainvillea, contrasting magnificently with the muted tones of the verdant olive trees.’ His hand swept panoramically through the air.
‘The sun shimmered off the roughly plastered white walls of the sleepy villas. And below them, the sea sparkled like a rippled mirror. On the hilltop, the domed roof of the little church was a blue so bright that it seemed the whole sky had been squeezed from it to form the background of God’s canvas. There was music in the air ... a sense of magic was interrupted only by … the buzz of wasps.’ Then, Humphrey Bogart style, he said, ‘Got the picture sweetheart?’
Samantha could not help but smile back at him with. How could she not help but like him so much. ‘Okay’ she said leaning towards him. ‘But wasps? What should I be thinking when I hear the word “wasp”? White Anglo Saxon Protestant?’
‘Aarrgh!’ Patrick struck his forehead with the flat of his hand. ‘I’m not going to answer that.’
‘What’s the matter darling? Wasp get you?’
‘Okay. You asked for it. The barefaced, unadulterated version …’
Patrick gave her a wicked look as he took a swig from the glass of wine the waiter had poured for him to taste.
Samantha looked at him in mock disgust. ‘You cretin. You’re supposed to discreetly swirl that around in your mouth and taste it like a sophisticated gentleman of the world. I can’t take you anywhere. Give you a billycan of tea, a loaf of damper bread and a lump of meat and you’d be as happy as Larry.’
He ignored her outburst and winked at the waiter. ‘It’s great,’ he said. ‘The lady doesn’t drink, so you can just fill my glass.’
‘Ignore him,’ Samantha said quickly before the waiter had time to respond. ‘He hasn’t been allowed out for a while. And yes, I will have some wine, thank you.’
Patrick fixed his green-eyed gaze on her as though he was about to pin a butterfly to a corkboard. ‘Get you Gertrude,’ he said. ‘This is my story, and I’m on a roll here. And like I said, the bare facts ma’am, nothing but the facts.’
‘Okay,’ she said. ‘I’m having fun. Keep going.’
He took her hand that had been lying innocently on the table near the stem of her wine glass and squeezed it playfully.
‘Here’s where it gets interesting,’ he said. ‘The island is so small that tourists hire these Vespa scooters for a few bucks a day to travel from one end of the island to the other. You know, the Italian scooters with the splashboard in front where you put your feet. It’s like driving around on a slow armchair with one wheel front and back.’
‘Uh Oh.’ Samantha laughed, her hand flying to her mouth. ‘I’m starting to see where this is headed. Tell me, what were you wearing after your swim?’
‘You got it in one, sister,’ Patrick said with a laugh. ‘The answer is that I was wearing a pair of wide legged shorts with nothing on underneath, and this bloody wasp flies straight up my pants leg.’
‘Wait! There’s more.
There is an energy force in the world—known to the Ancients—that has largely escaped the interest of the modern day world. Why? There are allusions to this energy in the Chinese I-Ching, in the Hebrew Torah, in the Christian Bible, in the Hindu Sanskrit Ramayana and in the Muslim Holy Qur'an. Its force is strongest within the Earth's magnetic triangles.
Near one of these--the Bermuda Triangle--circumstances bring together four very different people. Patrick Gallagher is a mining engineer searching for a viable alternative to fossil fuels; Tara Geoffrey, an airline pilot on holidays in the Caribbean; Yehuda Rosenberg, a physicist preoccupied with ancient history; and Mehmet Kuhl, a minerals broker, a Sufi Muslim with an unusual past. Can they unravel the secrets of the Ancients that may also hold the answer to the future of civilization?
About the Author:
In 1987, Brian and his young family migrated from South Africa to Australia where he was employed in Citicorp’s Venture Capital division. He was expecting that Natural Gas would become the world’s next energy paradigm but, surprisingly, it was slow in coming. He then became conscious of the raw power of self-serving vested interests to trump what – from an ethical perspective – should have been society’s greater interests.
Eventually, in 2005, with encouragement from his long suffering wife, Denise, he decided to do something about what he was witnessing: Beyond Neanderthal was the result; The Last Finesse is the prequel.
The Last Finesse is Brian’s second factional novel. Both were written for the simultaneous entertainment and invigoration of the thinking element of society. It is a prequel to Beyond Neanderthal, which takes a visionary view of humanity’s future, provided we can sublimate our Neanderthal drive to entrench pecking orders in society. The Last Finesse is more “now” oriented. Together, these two books reflect a holistic, right brain/left brain view of the challenges faced by humanity; and how we might meet them. All our problems – including the mountain of debt that casts its shadow over the world’s wallowing economy – are soluble.
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Genre – Thriller
Rating – MA (15+)
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