The darkness emphasises the silence. The silence emphasises the darkness.
A cloud of black dust fills the air. The building lays strewn in pieces.
A hand emerges from the rubble. A hand with no little finger.
Cathy Gilmore pulls herself up through the wreckage. She can’t see anything. Darkness is the new light.
“They will be trapped,” Valerie Pickering puffed. “Everyone will be trapped and they won’t all survive.”
“Who won’t survive?” Doctor Joel Prasad asked.
Valerie suddenly grabbed hold of Joel’s arm. “You need to save them!” she cried. “But you need to be quick! They need your help!”
Joel Prasad opens his eyes slowly. His head is groggy. At first he doesn’t know where he is.
He lifts himself up from underneath the table. He looks around at the destruction in front of him. “Is anyone there?” he calls out, but there is no response. Joel makes his way through what was once the dining area of The Grand Hotel. It is unrecognisable.
As he nears the bar area, he has to pull himself up over a wooden ceiling beam. He sees an arm outstretched from underneath the beam. Hurriedly, he tries to push the heavy beam, but it does not move. He grabs the arm and reaches in to feel for a pulse. Nothing.
Joel pushes as much debris as he can away to reveal the owner of the arm. Lifeless eyes stare back up at him. Joel knows he is too late.
The pain continues to shoot up Melody Walker’s arm. She holds her wrist tenderly in her other hand. As she sits in the gutter not far from the destruction she had herself instigated, she sheds tears. “My Joel,” she sobs. “You were supposed to join me.”
She sniffs a couple of times, shakes her head and recollects her thoughts. A sudden smile erupts over her face. She thinks of the pain she has inflicted on all those inside the building. She thinks of the pain she has inflicted onto Cathy Gilmore, the silly bitch who couldn’t just let her husband go. She thinks of the pain she has inflicted on Mark Gilmore. He was a man who hadn’t kept his word with her.
She sniffs again. She continues to smile as she thinks of the pain she has inflicted on Joel Prasad. “If you loved me,” she snarls to herself, “you would have joined me when I told you to, you bastard!”
She pulls herself up from the ground, her broken wrist in a firm grip, and starts to walk away from the crime scene. “You can all go rot in hell!” she screams back at the building.
Mark Gilmore had been crushed to death by the falling beam. Joel Prasad did not know him well, but was still saddened by the sight of the deceased man in front of him. He knew there wasn’t anything he could do for the man. He felt hopeless.
An enormous roar suddenly erupts and Joel quickly pushes himself under the beam. Above him, the ceiling collapses. He shields himself from any harm.
Amongst the roar, he can hear screams coming from the rear of the building. Through the dust and debris surrounding him, Joel looks to the back of the building. He can make out a hand reaching up out from the ruins.
Joel pulls himself to his feet. The voice in his head sets his rescue mission in motion.
“You need to save them!” he can hear Valerie crying. “But you need to be quick! They need your help!”
Kelly Driver lies amongst the rubble. She tries to open her eyes. She tries to move. But she finds herself succumbing to unconsciousness.
“Hi Driver.” Kelly suddenly sees a 16-year-old Henrietta Smart standing in front of her.
“Henry,” Kelly replies, realising that she is sitting in the large peppercorn tree that she had done when she herself was 16 years old.
“What are you doing up there?” Henry asks.
Kelly quickly covers the etching with her school bag. “Nothing,” she replies. “I’m just relaxing.”
Kelly knows that if Henry sees her etching, KD 4 HS surrounded by a love heart, then it would probably destroy her friendship. She didn’t yet know if Henry liked her the same way that she liked Henry.
“Can I come join you up there?” Henry asks, pulling herself up the tree.
“Um, sure…” Kelly says nervously, moving her school bag quickly and sitting so that her back was now up against the etching. She hoped that her body would cover it and Henry wouldn’t catch on to her infatuation.
“I know we’ve only known each other for a little while, but I feel a great connection with you,” Henry says to Kelly. “You’re my best friend, Driver.”
Kelly’s heart races. She can feel her neck pulsating. She fears that Henry might be able to hear the blood pumping rapidly through her veins.
“Am I your best friend, Driver?” Henry asks.
“Of course,” Kelly says, almost too quickly. She feels so nervous.
“Would you do anything for me?” Henry asks.
“What do you mean?” Kelly asks quizzically.
“Best friends help each other out,” Henry says, smiling at Kelly. “And we’re best friends.”
“What do you need?” Kelly is more nervous than ever.
“Oh, nothing now,” Henry laughs. “But just in case I do, I just wanted to make sure that you would help out.”
“Anytime.” Kelly smiles back at Henry.
“Over here,” Sergeant Michael Anders assists Doctor Joel Prasad to free another survivor from the wreckage.
Constance Helling, covered head to toe in dust, reaches her hand up and is pulled by the two men to safety. They guide her cautiously to where they had placed the other survivors.
Joanne Evans and Cathy Gilmore sit huddled together with Cathy’s mother, Geraldine Jenkins. Beside them sits a shaken Kelly Driver.
“I think I’ve found Father Bolton,” Kyle Cook suddenly screams from the wreckage. Sergeant Anders and Doctor Prasad make their way over to the trapped priest.
By the time the three men pull the injured man from the wreckage, he looks as if he is almost at death’s door. They lay him on the ground next to the group and Kelly begins praying instantly. “Father, please don’t leave me,” she whispers, tears falling.
There is movement and Father Bolton coughs. He looks up gingerly and sees Kelly crying above him. She hugs him in glee and continues crying. This time the tears are for joy.
“My dear Kelly,” Father Bolton croaks, “the Lord is calling me.”
“Father, you’ll be okay,” Kelly says.
“The Lord is showing me the way, Kelly,” Father Bolton adds, coughing coarsely.
Kelly Driver pulls the priest in close and squeezes him. “Thank you for being my dad,” she whispers to him.
“Kelly, she’s here,” Father Bolton says.
“Who’s here?” Kelly is confused.
“Where?” Kelly is suddenly feeling nervous. Her heart is beating faster.
Father Bolton coughs harshly again and closes his eyes. He is suddenly silent and still and Kelly lets out a wail. She is comforted by Cathy and Joanne.
“He’s pointing at something,” Cathy suddenly says.
Kelly looks down at Father Bolton’s arm and notices that his hand is pointed away from his body. His index finger is poised as if he was trying to tell her something.
The realisation finally hits Kelly. “He’s not pointing at something,” she says. “He’s pointing at someone.”
Kelly Driver follows Father Bolton’s pointed finger.
“He’s pointing at Henrietta Smart,” she adds.
Kelly Driver follows Father Bolton’s pointed finger. The answer is in front of her.
Geraldine Jenkins looks nervously back at her.
Next Episode – Thursday October 13