I feel the warm sun on my face as I pass outside of the bakery. The smell of sweet bread in the morning makes it feel like life is worth living even in the darkest times. I long to go in and have a bite but I am too busy. For the first time in my life, I can say that. I shake myself out of the thought of going in and continue on to the café where I am meeting my publisher. The countryside is sunny and few people are around this little town I call home. The blue sky seems to stretch for eternity and though I have been told it doesn’t. I like to imagine it does.
I continue on my bicycle out of the country and into the changing city. The warm breeze hits my face and it fills me with joy and hopes that I can one day publish my work. As I pedal the scenery begins to change. The countryside turns into a unique city like none the world has seen. I feel doubt creep into myself but tell myself to not let it grow. I always forget how big this old city is. I immediately miss my family's little farm just a few hours from here. I had not entered the city since I was a little girl no more than six. My father had ordered our family to stay in the countryside while the Great War had been going on. Even today years after and I practically an adult he did not want me in the city.
The café de la Rontende looms in the distance. I make my way through an unfamiliar city. I have been here before but never for long or too many times. The city is noisy, unlike my countryside home. My home you can only hear the wind and the distant call of animals. Here all you hear is the people hurrying along and chatting to each other. The sound of a few cars going along the old roads was rare at home. The building with the beautiful architecture loomed over me and made me feel small. I wished to know how old it was. This city seemed like a fairy tale from my home not too far away. I had heard about it my whole life. I longed for the smell of dirt and wheat. Luckily I stopped on a street corner and brought out a piece of wheat and sniff it trying to overcome my anxiety of this city. I get a few curious looks from the Parisians. It makes my anxiety grow and I keep sniffing the comforting smell until it goes away. My friend says I shouldn't worry or be intimidated and should go steal a kiss near the Eiffel tower today. I rather not go too deep in the city or meet a stranger like that. That life is for her at night when she sneaks out.
When I arrive at the café I prop up my bike beside the building. Hoping no one steals it when I’m not looking. I look in the reflection of a pool of water in the street. I fix my blue flowing dress that had gotten wrinkled on the way. I run fingers through my blonde hair trying to get the tangles out and trying not to look like an unorganized woman. I curse myself for forgetting my hat at home. My pale makeup covered skin looks back up at me and I can't see anything else that needs fixing. Feeling confident as I can about the appearance I walk in.
The waitress greets me as I walk-in. Having a wonderful smile that can’t help is only there because I may give her money. Though I much rather think it isn’t.
“Bonjour Mademoiselle. Je suis rencontre à homme appelé Monsieur Bisset. Est-il ici?”
“Oui là-bas” she points over to a table where a man seems to be deep in thought. She turns to the next patron and ignores my existence.
I walk over to him with my manuscript in hand clutching it as if it was my own child. At least I think this is how I would clutch my child. As he sees me walking over he gets up from his seat. His beige suit complementing his brown hair and a small mustache.
“Oui Monsieur Bisset?”
He pulls out my chair for me and I sit down. He takes his own seat not skipping a beat and asks for the manuscript. He skims through the first few pages and my heart skips multiple beats. His face is impossible to read. I wish at this moment to be able to read minds. I had worked so hard on this manuscript. He takes a sip from his coffee. Lost in thought all of a sudden he slams the manuscript on the table which makes me jump. He jumps up from his chair and smiles revealing a perfect smile.
He shakes my hand and I feel it might come off. I smile blankly at him feeling tears come to my eyes. The publisher loved it. I’m going to be an author.
“Publieras-tu mon livre?”
“Oui, J’adore cela”
My friend had told me he was eccentric but I thought he would only be a little. I must talk to her about how she describes people. He writes all the details on paper and gives it to me. We are to meet tomorrow at his office to talk more but unfortunately, he had another engagement. Strange when I thought he was supposed to be here for another hour.
I left the café very soon after. Quickly riding my bicycle home back to the countryside having had enough of the city for a day. I liked the city in small doses. It had always been too big for me. When I started to see my family's farmhouse and the now cool breeze hit my face as the sky turned to an orange color. Like a gem of fire from the depths of the earth. I felt completely at peace and even let go of the handlebars for a while.
I stick was launched into my bike wheel stopping the wheel and throwing me from my bike. I hit my head hard and could feel a lump forming at my forehead. When I looked up from the ground a figure came out of the bushes. I kicked and I screamed hoping for the door of my father's house to open and save me. The door never opened. I got up to run but froze and fell again in my panic. The figure like a servant of the devil rehearsed grabbed me by the ankle and dragged me into the bushes. I clawed at the earth the other way but it was useless. My nails broke and eventually I was swept completely under. My attacker could only be seen by the contrast of the leaves. He whacked me in the head I felt blood pool and I dont know if I was screaming or not. Another hit and I was out. Completly under their control.
I would have relished at the moment if only I had known I would probably not see the sun again. If only I had stayed overnight in the city with my friend. Maybe if I had my fate would not have been sealed. I may have lived to see little feet running around a house of my own. I would have loved to see my story published and been at peace. The place I woke was not familiar and looked to be another house. My blood ran cold as I heard voices from the other room. I rocked back in forth seeing blood on my dress and hands. I asked my self a terrible question.
Will someone find me?