Wipeout





“So I needed you to sign off—oh! Sorry about that; didn’t mean to knock anything over—here, let me help—“

“You’ve done enough, Greg. Just leave the report and I’ll get it to you later—no, don’t—“

“Oh wow—“

“Just—put it down.”

“Okay, but jeez, these are ancient. First of the short boards! Oh GOD—is that . . . YOU?”

“Give me the photo, Greg.”

“No way! Same chin, but . . . you had, like HAIR!”

“Thanks, I’d forgotten that. Just give me the photo and pretend you never saw it, okay? I really don’t need this aggravation right now.”

“Oh ho! Fine, I’ll give it back if you tell me the details, Connnnnrad. Who’s the babe with the trophy, and what do you have around your neck?”

*sigh* “You’re not going to let this go, are you?”

“Considering I have the photo, no.”

“Fine. That’s Kimberly McNally, and I had a . . . a zodiac charm.”

“Sign?”

“Sanders, do we really have to get into this?”

“Sign?”

“Scorpio. As if it matters.”

“Ah! And the board?”

“The board didn’t have a sign.”

“Oh ha-ha, very funny Conrad. Laugh it up. Tell me about the board, because you must have loved it by the way you’ve got your arm around it.”

“For the love of—Fine. She was a fiberglass Rocket from the LaJolla surf shop circa nineteen seventy two. One of the first with dual fins. Drilled it myself to add the leash later that year—you can see it at the bottom of the picture.”

“Oh yeah. Sheesh, how much did it weigh?”

“Twenty-two pounds, but it was like that for all of us-—you get to a point that you don’t even think of it as heavy, and even though the newer boards have gotten light they’ve lost some of the stability, especially for swells over ten feet.”

“You surfed. I can’t get over it, man—Conrad Ecklie surfed. Does not compute.”

“Yeah, well we all grow up—that is, most of us do.”

“Oh ouch! So what did they call you? The Eck? Con Man?”

“Greg—“

“Come on, you can’t tell me your posse called you Conrad. That is like, SO not a surfing name.”

“Surfing doesn’t require a surfing name.”

“Dude, you won a trophy. You. Had. A. Name.”

“Tiger. Happy now?”

“Tiger? Tiger Ecklie?”

“Tiger, as in the shark. There was one on the board, and I had . . . a reputation for a concentrated style.”

“Shark attack. I get it—tiger on the waves. Very cool.”

“Thank you. Picture?”

“Sure. I’m glad we could share this little moment.”

“Whatever.”

“Kimberly McNally, Kimberly McNally . . . .why does that name sound so familiar?”

“Because she’s . . . in our morgue.”

“Ohshit.”

“Greg—“

“Ohshit, I am SO sorry. God. I—“

“—Greg, stop. I don’t need this right now. What I need is for you and Grissom to go find who killed her, all right? Just—I really need you to do your job.”

“—Yeah.”

“Yeah.”

“Yeah. And, I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. It’s been a long time since I thought about . . . about a damned fine time in my life. And if anybody can find who killed Kimmy, well—I have a lot of faith. Now go do it, okay?”

“Okay. Thanks for . . . you know. Sharing. If you ever want to talk waves---“

“Thanks. Go do your job.”

“Yeah.”


END

                                           
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