Monday, April 21, 2014

WEP - Louvre Antiquities Letter: The April Fool

Who's that in the Mirror? I don't recognize this face, everything is different except my eyes. New nose, cheekbones, lips, and chin. I no longer exist as I was.







 Part 2 - The April Fool

See bottom of post for Part 1, Take Me Away



The Louvre Museum courtyard, Paris, by DG Hudson


I looked at the charcoal grey envelope in my hand held close, as if I might lose it. This was my freedom letter. The last thread of my old life. . . before they kidnapped my sister. The envelope had been exactly where I was told to find it, in a cleverly concealed narrow crevice in the back of the Sekhmet statue. Perhaps the Egyptians had passed missives that way too.

An employee at the Louvre, a friend of my sister's lawyer, placed it there thinking that it was a letter between lovers. The message looks harmless unless you know the code. I'm going to London to validate it, I need the cash. I've got to move fast. Once those two bodies are found, there will be no guarantees. I'll find a surgeon and a new face in Paris. French doctors ask few questions.


Egyptian Antiquities, Louvre Museum, by DG Hudson


As I sit waiting in the private train compartment at the Gare St. Lazare, my thoughts are interrupted by the rumble of the engines, the ringing of the bells and blowing of the whistles, interwoven with the slightly oily smell and the hissing of the air brakes. I  close my eyes to shut out the noise and drift into a short nap, finding myself back in that dimly lit hallway of an older apartment building. . .

. . .I'm walking down the corridor. . .I hear small noises like talking, I'm almost there, get ready, release the safety, secure grip, push door, throw in a smoke device. It lands between them on the bed. This man killed my sister. They turn as one, I aim and fire, intent only on accuracy. Snick! Smoke is filling the room. No witnesses. Aim. Snick! Keep moving fast. . .  Focus. Remove silencer, empty chambers, get out of the building. Into the car and on the road.

I woke with a start, as the train lurched forward. My breathing was shallow, my hands trembling. 

Back in Paris

Yesterday, I went to the old cafe in the Marais. The surgeon said no one would recognize me. On the Right bank, near Pont Louis Philippe, sits the bistro of the same name. I ate here on a regular basis in the past; they held a table for me most days. The cafe owner always stopped by my table, to talk to the lonely American mademoiselle, he said. I sat at a different table the first time after the surgery and they treated me as if a new customer. On the second visit to the Cafe Louis Phillippe, I sat at my old table, but none of the waiters working now had been here five years ago.

Who's the April Fool now?

(To be continued)

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Take Me Away- Part 1 of the Louvre Antiquities Letter
January 2014 WEP

As I gaze at the Seine River from the Pont D'Iena, I don't regret what I have done. My past life is gone forever. My family, my work, all gone. I wish the river would take me away too, but I have a few things to do first.

In this, my new beginning, I burned the letters which would incriminate others. They were worth a fortune. But there is one more, an important one. The Paris letter is hidden in the lower levels of the Louvre, in one of the statues in Antiquity.

I know which one. . .
(end of Part 1)

***

Please let me know you were here in the comments and thanks for dropping by! Remember to visit the other participants on the WEP list at the Denise Covey Blog.

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Write. . .Edit. . .Publish - the Monthly Bloghop







Write…Edit…Publish! or WEP welcomes you to submit any of the following – flash fiction, poetry, non-fiction or playscripts to a word count of 1,000 words – artwork and photographs accompanied by your written inspiration in creating your works.

Would you like to challenge yourself?

Next Challenge: Failure or is it? May 2014
Owner/Originator: Denise Covey; details at her website


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29 comments:

  1. Wow you really know Paris inside and out. How many times have you been?

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    1. This is a fiction story for WEP, JoJo, but I'm very observant, and since I planned on writing some stories based in Paris, I took copious notes when there. I kept a travel journal. It is a lot different when you are on your own and not in a travel group. Thanks for reading the story segment..

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  2. Boy your protagonist is all over the place! I'm a little confused, but hoping I'll get the pieces put together soon!

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    1. I'll try to clarify that (good feedback, Lisa). The woman has the letter in hand after retrieving it from the Louvre, and is on her way to London to get the cash in exchange for the letter. Then she will come back to Paris for the operation. Afterwards, she is testing her new face at her old hangouts to see if she is truly 'a new woman', at least on the outside.

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  3. What better setting than Paris? Sometimes I think the "idea" of Paris is better than being there--the memory thing.

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    1. No, I'd have to disagree. Being there is great, it's the 'getting there' that I wasn't fond of. A long flight from Canada's west coast.

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  4. Thanks for the time line DG! I did get that something was happening with her face, but couldn't figure out if it had already happened or was going to happen...Thanks again!

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    1. I'm glad you came back. Feedback from everyone is appreciated. This is new material.

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  5. The best way to learn Paris is to lope around alone, which is what I love to do. My Paris journals have certainly come in handy for my Paris stories. Your knowledge of Paris is evident here. Lovely weave of incidents, but I understand Lisa, it's not always straightforward to follow. I'd take it away and work on the fluidity as it certainly rates a much longer story D.G. Can't wait for the next segment!

    Thanks for posting for WEP in this busy month. Your stories are always much anticipated.

    Denise

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    1. My sequencing needs to be adjusted. Got it. Thanks.

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  6. Yes, when I re~read, I think you could flesh out some details a lot more. You'd have that luxury if you turned this into a much longer story.

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    1. That's probably what I'll do, Denise, make it longer. Thanks for the advice.

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  7. Yes, the protagonist does cover a lot of ground at a dizzy pace, but the face lift makes for an interesting story.

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    1. Reconstruction of the face as well, different jawline and nose. Thanks Sheherazade.

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  8. Oh yes, a good continuance. I like the movement from place to place, and the loss of status in a familiar place. Kinda matches my own theme for the Fool.

    ......dhole

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    1. Thanks, I'll be over to check your entry in the morning. I just posted my S post for the A to Z. (its John Singer Sargent).

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  9. I'm a little confused about the Part 2 then Part 1 going on, but there is some good stuff here if you wanted to write a more in depth piece. You definitely know the Paris setting, so I think it's a good place for your writing. You have plenty of good pictures when you need to help memory resurface or perhaps a new nugget of inspiration. Of course, writing research is always a good excuse to go back!

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    1. Well, you're not the only one to say that, Julie. Now that I have you all confused. . . I see that I'd better rethink the sequencing perhaps. This is not its final form, as I'll incorporate some of the feedback. That is why I'm trying out these WEP challenges. I want to know if I can spin a yarn. . .

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  10. There's a lot of interesting stuff going on here, a little hard to assimilate in a single reading though . Many details to relish - the letter in code, the idea of a "change of face" and trying it out in a regular haunt, very effective. Also the train station atmosphere very well captured, and other place elements. Great potential for a lengthier story.

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    1. Thanks for the comments, Nilanjana,, I'm glad you noticed the details. I'll work on it.

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  11. Very powerful stuff. I love the part about the Sekhmet statue and wondering if ancient Egyptians passed notes the same way!

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    1. Thanks, Lexa, I thought about you when I wrote that. Intrigue always happen, no matter which civilization is discussed.

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  12. Kept me reading through the entire post. that is rare, unless the writing is exceptional, which yours is.

    thank you for popping up at my site!

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    1. Thanks, Susan. Do drop by again. You cheer me up!

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  13. Didn't see the plastic surgery coming in this story!

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    1. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not, JoJo, but if not read in the correct order (Part 1 first) it does confuse. And this is a suspense tale, everything will be revealed as we go. But I am listening to all the feedback.

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  14. I agree with the other comments as some confusion when first reading although it felt quite sinister. I also didn't realise it was a female until the end.

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    1. It is supposed to feel sinister, Sally, as this woman has been double-crossed, and now she's doing a bit of her own. I will have to work on the confusion of sequencing.

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  15. Wow. Very good writing. So glad I stopped by.
    Best,
    From your newest A to Z follower,
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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