Needed to include the statement 'it was empty'
and the word spring.
Water of Life
‘What do you mean it was empty?’
‘Just that you dopey bugger. It was empty.’
‘So you're just going to leave it?’
‘Yup, useless to us now, isn’t it?’
Don stepped forward and opened the hard metallic case. The foam insert where the bottle had been was now void. It had been locked and loaded onto the flight as baggage. This had been Mike’s idea as they could not afford to lose it on the way through security.
‘There, the other side of the carousel. It’s the priest.’ Murmured Mike pointing with his chin to get Don to look in the right direction.
Sure enough, not four metres away on the other side of the baggage carousel stood the priest, long flowing cassock and white dog collar. The same priest who had been following them since they took the water from the well at St Mary of the Spring in Istanbul.
Don and the priest stood watching each other, one holding the bottle of water the other wanted. He sensed more than saw, Mike edge his way around the end of the carousel; neither the priest nor Don moving.
‘Now!’ Mike leapt towards the priest.
Don sprang into action, first stepping onto the moving carousel, up to the centre divider, tripping on his way down the other side, falling hard at the priest's feet.
The world slowed, Don could see Mike lunging to tackle the priest, the priest side stepping them both. Don watched as he sprinted to the end of the carousel. Diving through the hole in the wall where bags exited the baggage handling area; through the leather straps that hid the ugliness of the airport.
Why would the priest do this? Surely Don had not been the only person to take water from the spring? Why did he wait until the Sydney airport to take the water bottle from him?
Don rose and sprinted after the priest, diving through the same hole in the wall. Baggage handlers were sprawled everywhere, there was no sign of the priest, simply a puddle of water.
The same water he had so wanted to take to his sick wife. The same water she believed would save her, heal her of the cancer that had spread throughout of her body.
He had hoped his wife was right and the healing waters of the St Mary Spring would save her.
‘Where is he?’
Mike hugged his friend; he knew Don had put all of his faith into that one bottle of water. As he held his friend, a single sparkle caught his eye. Breaking the embrace, Mike walked over and picked up a large diamond from the puddle.
‘Well, we know what the priest was after.’
Don taking the diamond held it up to the light. ‘Mate that’s like 10 carats uncut, how did the bugger get that into the bottle?’
‘I’m sure it wasn’t the only one, and I am sure he wasn’t a priest.’