What the hell am I doing here? Maggie wondered, as she and Raymond, flashlights in hands, stepped carefully over a minefield. And no it wasn’t a metaphorical one. That fucker…. Who the hell crossed a minefield at 2am? Apparently she and an arrogant French ex-military, or whatever else he claimed to be.
“Dude, what the fuck?”
“Relax poupée. Tout baigne.”
Peachy. French slang: who would have known French could be even harder?
“Really? We’re in the middle of a death trap. Peachy? Are you kidding?”
“Keep cool. Ca va comme sur des roulettes.”
Whatever that meant? All was well? Maybe. Who got that ridiculous idea she could work with that guy? The past two weeks had been a nightmare. How things had changed!
He showed up at work with a designer stubble, which made him look rugged and dangerous, a sense tempered by the tailored shirt and dark grey trousers. They fit snugly to him, proving he was… well-hung. You know that instant you know you’re facing an alpha male, and every woman wants to breed. That happened. Whatever conversation had been going on stopped and all female eyes converged on him. Maggie was no exception, although she noticed the broken clock he held. How peculiar!
The silence following his entrance didn’t seem to concern him. In fact, he might not have noticed it at all for he strode purposefully towards the boss’s office and nobody was at all inclined to try and stop him. She wouldn’t have: except to ask him to be the father of her kids. They spoke for a good hour during which little work got done. Maggie prided herself on staying at her desk, peeking once in a while, whereas some of her colleagues were obvious, standing in front of the office, pretending to be not looking. Suddenly the door opened and every single person went back to doing what they were supposed to do.
“Granger!” Shit! What had she done? She’d been the least conspicuous of them all.
She jumped of her chair and almost ran into the boss’s office. She wouldn’t have dared doing any differently considering she had done next to nothing in an hour.
“Granger, this is Raymond Martin, Colonel, French Foreign Legion.”
“He needs our help finding Blanche Meuniere.”
“The Ambassador’s daughter?”
“I know. I too can’t believe that fossil’s still working. But eh you can’t retire Ambassadors. The very same.”
He was funny; sharp-tongued. She could think of ways to… Maggie!
“The only evidence there was a struggle. And only because I know. Ms. Meuniere would never leave it that way. Elle adore ce truc. She’d have had it fixed.”
“Granger, Colonel Martin has consulting status on this. But I expect you to support him and give him your best.”
They’d started right away.
And now here she was, crossing a fucking minefield. The man didn’t want someone to work with. He wanted someone to order around. And Maggie, never at odds with authority, was getting to the end of her patience. She’d been good so far but not much longer.
“La ferme!” He ordered. How did he know? “We’re getting to a tricky point. You need to place your feet like I showed you. Otherwise…”
“We’ll be the forensics’ next macchabées, dead you know…”
Great! She was going to die with this asshole. As showed less than 30 minutes ago – or was it two hours? – Maggie brought her arms around the bully’s waist and snuck her feet right next to his. She stumbled and grabbed him.
“Fais gaffe à mon futal!” He grumbled uselessly. “I’ll take shorter steps.”
She walked in sync with him. It wasn’t easy. He had a good 5” on her and she wasn’t a small woman, ‘une grande tige’ he said. Breathing in and out, she followed him. One day, one day it would seem a grand adventure, if she survived it. Right now… not so. By the time he stopped and relaxed, she was dripping.
“That’s good, we’re in.”
“I’m sure Ms. Meuniere would rather stay prisoner than leave the way we came in.” She breathed.
He chuckled soundlessly.
“To be sure. We won’t have to though.”
She wanted to ask why. But didn’t. When she turned her flashlight caught a tree that had been cut. It was still green; so few tree rings, as if it was cut before it actually lived the life it was meant to. She shivered.
“Not the time to consider growing plants Granger. Let’s go.”
“Yes, sir.” She answered, her voice laced with sarcasm.
“Don’t be sassy. We’ve got no time. An hour at best.”
She followed him through what seemed a backyard. It felt like a bad movie. The house wasn’t going to be empty no matter how early or late they came. If Meuniere was there, someone would guard her.
“Are you sure…?”
“It’s not the time to doubt. Faut pas lambiner. Come on!”
She pulled out her gun, stepping behind him. When he turned around, she was ready. Of course it was a trap. What else?
“Not so stupid then. What gave it away?”
“Call it a gut-feeling. So you got me here on false pretends. Why?”
He smiled pulling something from his pocket, and threw it to her. A reflex… she bent to catch it.
“That’s amazing Granny. Wow! Can you imagine? You could’ve died. A minefield. That’s crazy.”
“It was luck really.”
A yellowed smile on her wrinkled face, Maggie watched her grandson play with the hourglass. She sometimes wondered why she’d kept it. It was one of these things you found with games, so really nothing special. But it was a reminder that time could have stopped that night. And didn’t. Samuel didn’t need to know she killed a man that night. She couldn’t forget…
She stood over him.
“I don’t ask question. I take the money.”
“Was she ever here?”
“You’d like to know.”
And he died. Just like that. Asshole.
In response to the Daily Post writing prompt False