The Diamond: Part Four.

by | Mar 18, 2024 | Uncategorized | 1 comment

Two weeks earlier, DeBeers Building, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Leone VanKirk was the first to see the giant enter DeBeers’ reception. Her finger hovered over the panic button. However, the security guard had him covered. Leone nodded at the guard. She’d seen through the dishevelled appearance of the big man and focussed on the sheer pain in his eyes. The officer stood down.

Yes, he was black. Yes, he was big – very big, but somehow the young woman knew he meant no harm. He made straight for her position, carrying a parcel, wrapped in yellow cloth. Leone was about to greet him in the corporate manner of all visitors to DeBeers, when she was beaten to it. The man spoke first.

“Goodbye, my love,” he whispered to the small bundle. His face was grey with dust, emphasising the tears which streaked his cheeks. As he deposited the item in front of her, she noticed how his clothes hung from his huge but emaciated body. Somehow, he seemed neither human or alive.

Before she could respond, he turned on his heels and left the building. The following moments were a blur. Every action became intuitive. First, as she stared at the tiny yellow bundle in front of her, a commotion erupted outside. The guard, no longer occupied with the visitor, rushed to investigate. Leone dared not leave her position in pursuit, desperate to discover what had caused the fuss. Presently, one of the jewellers, who had been on his lunch break, appeared ashed faced.

“Marco, what happened?” Leone asked the shocked man.

“Someone has jumped in front of a bus. A big Kafir, by all accounts. He’s dead for sure. What a mess he’s made of the street,” the man responded, dabbing his pale forehead with a handkerchief. He made for the lift and propped himself against the wall as he waited for it.

Leone turned her attention to the grubby yellow ball on her desk. She instinctively shoved it into her handbag.  Events seemed to be escalating outside, although her view was obscured. Eventually, the guard reappeared, shaking his head. He marched over to Leone’s position, with purpose.

“Miss VanKirk. The man who just left. Did you see him?” He addressed Leone, scanning the desk with his big brown eyes.

“Yes, of course I did. He asked me directions to the bus stop,” she answered without hesitation.

“So he didn’t leave anything?” The man continued to scrutinise the surface in front of Leone.

“If he had, don’t you think you would have noticed?” She clipped, locking eyes with the guard as he looked up. He immediately turned from her glare. “What’s more, I would have told you.” The daughter of one of the directors continued.

“Yes Miss van Kirk. I’m sorry to have troubled you.” His face did not reflect his sentiment, but she knew it was more than his job’s worth to take it further. She was safe, the package was safe.

Leone’s mind wandered to the small yellow ball in her bag. Eventually, curiosity got the better of her. She picked up the bag and turned to her colleague. The young woman had been giving her nails one hundred percent attention. There could have been an earthquake and she would have been oblivious.

“Anna, take over. I’m going to power my nose,” Leone said to the younger woman. The expression she received was that of great disappointment.

“What? Now?” She moaned, holding up her emery board like an extension of her hand.

“Yes, now! Do you want this job?” she snapped, heading for the toilet. Both the girl and the guard glared at Leone in shock then exchanged looks. That was the final straw. She stopped in her tracks and turned around. “You two lazy oafs! Consider yourself on a warning.” Leone then disappeared into the restroom. Her heart was thumping and she was shaking.

She entered a cubicle, sat on the seat and took out the package. Removing the yellow rag, she revealed the piece of rock, and drew her finger over the tiny smooth window to its interior. She instantly knew, with the decades of her father’s experience between her ears, that she was holding something worth the national debt of a medium sized country.

Leone VanKirk had some serious thinking to do.

1 Comment

  1. Kenneth Childs



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Receive an email notification for new posts