In Hot Water – Chapter Ten

Didn’t Keisha learn not to play with knives when she was little?

Leesh ran to get help, holding the map, while Caleb told Daniel to be very still and the others all watched Daniel just lying on the floor of the rock climbing venue.

Daniel had given a mystified look at Keisha when she told him the rope breaking wasn’t an accident. Keisha intended to tell him and Ryan everything later. She didn’t want anyone eavesdropping, and she didn’t want the weird fellow Caleb hearing.

“I told you not to keep going,” Keisha said with a laugh, trying to cheer up the fear-stricken boy in pain.

Daniel was silent.

Two minutes later, two ladies wearing the same uniform holding one end of a stretcher each set the stretcher on the ground.

“Hard fall, huh?” one of the women said sadly. The two wormed their fingers under Daniel and asked Caleb to make sure Daniel’s arm didn’t move. The women hauled Daniel onto the stretcher and picked up the stretcher.

“You’ll see him soon,” the second woman said reassuringly. They carried the boy away.

“Well,” Ryan said, still shocked by his best friend’s fall. “I guess we should go back to our suites.”

“Come to ours,” Tess susggested.

“Into a girl’s suite? I’m not sure if that’s appropriate…” Ryan wandered.

Keisha rolled her eyes.

Leesh jumped onto his back and shouted in his ear, “Yes. It is.” which wasn’t at all weird because Leesh was Ryan’s brother.

“I get it,” Ryan groaned with Leesh’s weight. He shook his shoulders and dropped Leesh off.

Keisha, who’d finally memorised the way to the suites, led the group to the girls’ suite. Ryan looked around in astonishment. When Leesh had said they didn’t get a cleaner, Ryan was bewildered as to how the girls kept the place clean.

“It’s called not being a pig,” Tess said and collapsed into a chair. She re-touched her nails while Ryan, Leesh and Keisha talked.

“Kesh,” Ryan said, “What did you mean when you said ‘this was no accident’ to Daniel?”

Keisha sighed and looked at Leesh. Leesh shrugged and started the story.

“Well, yesterday Keisha had a crazy thought and wanted to go see the kitchen with me. We met the chef, who’s a Russian guy called Augutus…”

The two took turns telling little bits of the story at a time. It had taken ten minutes to say the whole thing. Ryan’s expression was a mix of amazement, fear and amusement.

“Guys, we have to go back to the rock-climbing place and investigate. I have a feeling the crustacean incident and Daniel’s fall is connected,” Keisha said.

“Actually,” Leesh started. “I think you should go by yourself. You’re the one who spent the most time with Augustus and the principal told you he was allergic. I mean, I would like to go with you, but it’ll be better if you don’t have us to distract you from your investigative thinking.”

“Okay,” Keisha said, flopping her investigation bowler hat on her head, grabbing a notebook and pencil and heading out the door. Once again, she walked to the rock-climbing venue and saw Caleb climbing up to the top of Daniel’s broken rope without any ropes for himself.

Caleb sensed a new prescence in the room. He grinned when he saw the girl in her funny hat.

“I see you’ve come back to check things out, eh?” Caleb said from the top of the climbing wall. “Look what I found lodged in here.”

Caleb struggled to get the object out at first, but then he wrenched it out and almost fell backwards from the force of pulling. He climbed down and showed the object to Keisha.

It was a small but extremely sharp knife, great for hiding and cutting at the same time.

“This bugger here caused your friend’s fall,” Caleb said. “I used to have one like it, except it had a carving of my initials on it. It’s a limited edition German Nazi knife, one Hitler designed. He captured slaves and made ’em make these knives, day and night. There was no stopping. Apparently, he scattered them about the world and hoped whoever found them would use them to bring down the opposition,” Caleb said like a teacher conducting a history lesson.

“I found one on my travels to Australia. I went to the caves, exploring, and there she was, just lying on the ground like a dead baby. These are from World War II. My old man was alive at that time to see it, he used to tell me stories about it. Now he just sits in his rockin’ chair reading bloody magazines all day.”

“Can I keep the knife?” Keisha asked.

“Sure thing, young ‘un, but don’t go messing around with it. These here can cause a nasty cut,” Caleb warned.

“I won’t. And thanks,” Keisha said gratefully.

She walked over to the desk where the lady with the register still sat at.

“Excuse me, did anyone ask to see the register today?” Keisha asked the woman politely.

“No, honey. You and your friends have been the only ones in here today, as well as me and Caleb. And no one asked to see it last night because we were sleeping, of course.”

Keisha left without a word.

She felt her pencil in her hand and the knife and notebook in the other. The girl walked back slowly, processing all the information she’d gathered.

And she knew that the fall and the crustaceans had to be conencted.

Keisha opened the door of the suite slowly. Tess, Leesh and Ryan were playing Pictionary.

“Guys,” Keisha said quietly.

The three looked up suddenly, startled by Keisha’s quiet appearance.

“What have you decided about… well, the stuff that’s been going on?” Tess asked.

Keisha looked out at the view over the balcony, a grim look on her face.

“That fall was meant for me.”


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