A ‘Big Kisses Productions Ltd’ Story.
Rendez Vous á Paris
As the sun rose over the city of Paris, casting long shadows over the Arc de Triumphe, the best detective in Northern France, Linda Noir, woke from her deep sleep.
It was an ordinary morning, nothing unusual. The city was buzzing with early morning traffic. Businessmen attempted to make their way to work and gardeners tended to their plants in their neat, little gardens.
Linda turned over in her drowsy state to look at the clock beside her on the table. 6. 30 Am. She stretched and looked through the window of her apartment. Her room overlooked the whole of Paris, it was an amazing sight at this hour; the sun shone through the complicated ironwork of the Eiffel Tower and the spray from the fountains glistened in the morning light.
Climbing from her bed and sliding on her dressing gown, Linda tiptoed across the room to the bathroom. As she brushed her teeth, she thought about her previous days work. She had stopped a rich, computer designer from boarding a boat on the River Seine, saving him from being poisoned by Pierre and his gang of ’heavies’.
Today was a blank canvas though and she had all day to herself. She planned to visit the Louvre, see the Mona Lisa, and then browse the art stalls on the banks of the Seine. She had seen the Mona Lisa before, but as she was on the trail of two thieves who were plotting to steal a valuable work of art at the time, she didn’t really have chance to stop and admire Da Vinci’s masterpiece.
After rinsing soap from her eyes and patting her face dry with a towel, she headed to the kitchen for croissants and coffee.
Whilst, spreading jam on her croissant and pouring herself a drink, she flicked on the television and listened as the newsreader discussed the rising prices of houses and the recent change of Prime Minister in England.
“We now cross live to London, where our roving reporter, Sandrine de Monte is standing by, Bonjour Sandrine!”
“Oui, I am standing outside dix rue de downing en Londres. I am waiting for the new Prime Minister to leave his house, it looks like he could be some time, join me later when we will have an exclusive interview with him and his wife, back to you in the studio, Jerôme.”
Linda opened the window and let the sounds of the traffic drown out the television. She lived in such a perfect city. The people were polite, the weather was fine and the food was divine. The only thing that worried her was the increasing number of tourists, piling into Disneyland by the ferry-load, disturbing the Parisian way of life.
She let the breeze blow her fringe across her face, and her troubles drift away before finally deciding to get dressed and go out.
Linda breathed in the smell of fresh baguettes and pastries as she passed the boulangerie in the high street.
“Bonjour Linda!” the cuisinier from Charlie’s Creperie on the corner said whilst laying the table outside.
“Bonjour Charlie!” Linda called back.
Linda was well known on the Boulevard Voltaire. She had solved many a case on this street. Plenty of the locals were in her debt after she had saved their businesses or in some cases, even their lives.
Linda continued onwards along the road, heading for Rue du Temple, where she was meeting her best friend and sidekick, Leonie. Leonie had been with her every step of the way when she had been solving crimes. She used her knowledge of forensics to locate fingerprints and match DNA. Using just her laptop and her brains, she could track a man from Paris to Timbuktu and back. Leonie was considered a vital member of the detective industry.
As she wandered through the streets, Linda observed everything around her. The people, the cars, the stray dogs. Absolutely nothing escaped her attention. Swiftly she located a man in a long dark coat, trilby and dark glasses. The man walked along the footpath at the other side of the road at a steady speed. He crossed the road and walked behind Linda in the same direction. His pace quickened as he neared and eventually he was walking beside Linda, his legs moving in time with hers. He looked like an ordinary businessman, dark, neat clothes and a brown, wool scarf. Linda turned abruptly to look at him and he looked straight back at her. They both stopped at the same time.
“Bonjour Monsieur, Is there anything I can help you with?” Linda asked, holding out her hand for him to shake.
He never said a word, just lowered his glasses to reveal dark brown eyes that looked her up and down.
He shook her hand and said
“I think we need to talk.”
Then he was gone. The last thing Linda saw of him was his coat disappearing behind a wall. Linda looked at her hand. There was a small, white, folded piece of paper in the palm of her glove. Opening the piece of paper, she looked around to see if the mysterious man was still there, before reading what it said.
18 Rue de Belleville
Ask for Leon
She smiled to herself and put the paper in her pocket. This wasn’t anything unusual to her, although she was never fully prepared for when it did happen.
Linda decided to find Leonie first, after all she was her best friend.
Rue de Belleville
“Leo, we’ve got another case, I bumped into a man this morning who gave me this.”
Linda handed the card to Leonie who was listening intently as she walked beside her. She examined the paper and its writing and then held it up to the sky so the sun could shine through it.
“This paper has been on a desk, there’s an ink blot in one corner and a tea stain on the back, was he a business man by any chance?” she handed the card back to Linda who put it in her pocket again.
“Yes, he was dressed quite smart, long, dark coat, hat, dark glasses, the normal kind of thing.”
‘Normal’ wasn’t a word that she used often, In their line of work they were used to dealing with matters of the surreal kind.
“Café Chat. That’s the most secret café in Paris! Only the best detective agencies know about that place!” Leonie suddenly exclaimed.
“I know, Vikki used to work there, they send evidence to the Italian police in Venice and run the café as a cover.” Linda explained.
Vikki was another of Linda’s close friends. She worked at Detective HQ underneath the Arc de Trimphe. Vikki researched potential criminals and sent the information to the detectives situated around Paris. She also designed gadgets; she was the person who designed Leonie’s laptop. Vikki was a genius, but she didn’t realise just how clever she was. She had been pulled out of school aged 10 years old and trained to use her intelligence in the detective network.
Linda and Leonie turned a corner and arrived on Rue de Belleville. It wasn’t a very clean street, in fact it was the furthest away from cleanliness that you could get. The café was squashed between two abandoned warehouses. The Café Chat was so tiny, it made itself impossible to distinguish from the grubby, run down buildings on either side of it.
Story based in Paris I wrote about a detective and her side kick.