[Background music at the end. This story will be posted in full after the Challenge for those of us that like to read everything in one complete telling,]
KNUCKLE-DUSTER – Friday Midday
Kama’s knowledge of kickboxing keeps me alert to her moves in the gym. One hesitation and I’m flattened Nan bread. She gives no quarter. Nor do I.
Sweat washes off as she soaps my hair.
“How soon is the deep-water course – and the regatta?”
“Tomorrow is the training on Ynys Môn. Anglesey has great dive sites. Sunday, we try out our Aberdaron boat. Monday, we race. So, no pressure.”
“Just that spot where your palm is playing on my right cheek. But enjoyable.”
I kiss her. “Just returning your attentive touch. We better sneak out separately. Remember the warning.”
There are strange looks when I return to the office, even though Kama is back conferring with Wiley. He’s proved one of our understanding friends – even if he’s captivated with Vivian. Supportive friends are too few. If only others were like PC Megan Matthews and her husband Cefin who protect our secret.
A new email arrives. Kristina Yoxall, our tame journalist.
“Story understood and appearing as attached in this afternoon’s online edition. If you approve. I expect my usual kickback – advance details of another successful outcome.”
The story is brief and baited:
Returning Tremadog athletes, Sioned Wilkins and Rashmi Sharma, 23 and 28, have announced they are entering the Aberdaron Regatta. Their first race is on Monday. They paid special tribute to Guto Thomas of Porth Meudwy, who restored the boat they are racing. In advance of their practice day on Sunday, the former champion divers said, “Our return to the Llyn Peninsula, where we grew up, is a great honour.”
If the lure isn’t taken, I’m stumped. For now, my heart surges. Suggesting a few word changes, I email Kristina. Then ring Guto.
“Mister Thomas, this is Sparkle Anwyl. Did you get my message?”
“About a boat for our regatta? Yes. I have the perfect one. Bit fancy and she should turn heads like any fine lass. But she won’t win anything else.”
“Other than catching the right breeze, the aim is to catch our attackers.”
“Suppose you know what you’re doing. What about in a boat?”
We are more familiar with being in the water, but I refrain from saying that.
“All advice is welcome. Can you help us? We aim to collect the boat early Sunday –”
“– If you are here at 5 AM, we can help. Won’t breathe a word about you being Heddlu. You’re one of us. Goodwill. And good sailing.”
“Thanks. We’ll be there prompt – Sioned Wilkins and Rashmi Sharma. Former champion deep-sea divers.”
A chuckle confirms Guto is our man – our boat builder.
A pleasant tingle as I press my bracer. G for Guto and Goodwill. L for Llyn and Lure. A for Aberdaron. E for Edition.
LEGAL. Are we? Will CPS approve of our actions? Does it matter if the Swedish kingpins use every weapon against us? Not just gaffs, staves and knuckle-dusters, but knives and guns.
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And now for something completely different.
“Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.” William Congreve – The Mourning Bride