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                                 Chapter 1

        Everything was silent around him as he looked to his ceiling. It
wasn’t a typical Monday morning as it should usually be. Instead he
had to meet with Zach today, and he knew it was going to be
strenuous. He was familiar with the saying that everything happens for
a reason, but he still couldn’t figure out the reason for all of this.
        Laying there numb his alarm clock sounded off. Turning it off
he slipped his sheets off of him and placed his slippers on his feet.
Walking across the room the floorboards underneath him creaked
eerily. Opening his bedroom door it revealed the eight-hundred square
foot living space that he had been in since the age of eighteen.
        After his father passed away he had been working hard to get
away from it all. His mother grew more irritable with every passing
day, and now he could no longer tolerate her. He had grown distant
from the world, because the only person that knew him best was now
gone. Ripped from his life when he was a mere eight year old. From
that day he vowed to be like his father and live a happy life and raise
two children. But now at the age of thirty-five that dream wasn’t
looking so bright.
        Heading towards the kitchen he walked on over towards his
coffee pot. Walking over to his small sink he turned the water on and
he got his coffee ready to go. Now he was walking towards his
computer desk where his old dinosaur was waiting for him to awaken
        Turning it on it roared to life. Waiting several minutes for it to
load he looked about his small space. Everything about his was dated
from the fifties at the least. The walls were covered in old wall paper
and the room smelt as if mold was growing, but no mold could be seen
by the naked eye.
       Finally, his computer was loaded and he took his mouse and
clicked on the icon in which he needed. As the window opened up he
began to rack his brains for what he needed. Soon the sound of the
strikes of the keyboard filled the room.
       Reading over what he had written he let out a sigh. This was
not nearly good enough, why the hell had he written this in the first
place. Aggravated now he hit the delete key and erased everything but
the title, “The Mime Detective”.
       Rolling backwards in his chair he decided it was best to take a
shower and clear his head before he went to go to the office. He hated
this, every single part of it. How come nothing was coming to him?
Why was he blocked? He didn’t know and he wished he had the
answer to all of it, but he didn’t. His inspiration had left him and now
he had nothing. He was nothing.
       Walking into his small walk-in-closet he pulled down the cord
and the light shone dimly on his closet space. Everything in here was
immaculate, spotless, as if this place was occupied by a robot instead
of a human being.
       Yawning he walked over towards the section of suits labeled
for Monday’s attire. Grabbing off a suit from the hanger he walked on
over towards the bathroom. Disposing of his latex gloves in the
process he turned on the hot shower water and placed his clothes
neatly on the back of the toilet.
       Undressing he began to get ready for the day.

       Fifteen minutes had passed and now he was looking himself in
the mirror. He wasn’t a bad looking guy in the slightest. His brown
hair was a curly mess and his hazel eyes were shaped like almonds. He
was tall but he had little muscle on him, however he wasn’t fat, he was
quite skinny.
       Grabbing latex gloves from the box on the sink countertop he
opened up the bathroom door and headed towards the kitchen where
he grabbed the coffee pot and began to pour himself the black coffee
in a travel mug. Now he was heading towards the foyer. Grabbing his
keys from the table in the foyer he unlocked his door.
       Walking out into the dark narrow hallway all was silent in the
building as he locked the door behind him. Heading down the hallway
he enjoyed the peace and quiet. It was serenity to him. He wouldn’t
change a thing about this place, it may have been dated but it was his
own little sanctuary from all of the madness.
       Heading towards the stairs he took them instead of the elevator.
There was just something about elevators he didn’t like, Maybe it was
because when he was fifteen he and his sister had gotten stuck in one
for over three hours. That was a memory he tried to erase but it still
lingered in the back of his mind.
       Finally he reached the first floor and he was heading out to his
car. It was parked perfectly in between the lines and he unlocked his
black Prius. Getting in he set his coffee down and shut the door.
       Putting the key in the ignition the Prius roared to life. That was
when he shifted into reverse and headed out onto the main road. The
entire time his fist were clenched to the stirring wheel and he gave
himself white knuckle.
       Turning on the radio as he stopped at a red light the announcer
came on. “Good morning everybody. Today is a magnificent day!
Today is Monday May, 23rd and it is nine o’clock. Now we are going
to do something a little different today. We are going to be playing war
of the roses. Now we have a caller and her name is Emilee. Good
morning Emilee.”
         “Good morning Phil.”
         “Now tell us Emilee why are you calling this morning?”
         “I am calling because my boyfriend is acting a little strange
lately. He had been coming home late and whenever I ask him where
he has been he has no good answer for me.”
         “Ouch. Sounds like you are worried he might be having a
mistress. Now tell us what is his name?”
         “Patrick Roberts.”
         “Now how long have you and Patrick been together?”
         “For three years now. We are actually engaged.”
         “Well congratulation. Now listen we are going to give Patrick a
call and when we do you have to stay completely silent. Can you do
         “Okay good.”
         Just then they were dialing his number. Then he answered on
the third ring. “Hello?”
         “Hello this is Justin Lisban calling from our new company
Flowers Galore. Yeah we went and had a drawing and your name
came up. You’ve won a dozen roses. Now who do you want to send
them to.”
         “I really won?”
         “Yes you really won.”
         “That is amazing. Uhm, would I be able to divide the roses
         “Now why would you want to do that?”
         “Because there are two special women in my life and I want to
give them both roses.”
         “And who are these special people?”
         “My wife-to-be Emilee and my mother Terri who was just
diagnosed with cancer.”
          Turning off the radio he didn’t want to hear anymore of people
and their perfect lives. It was just disturbing to him. He just couldn’t
understand why everyone else can live happily ever after while he was
in the dark.
          Sitting at a red light he was watching the people all around
him. There was one girl that stuck out to him though. She had
magnificent auburn hair with the most amazing green eyes. She looked
like she were Linda Crawford, but she wasn’t. She was ten times
          Just then a horn blared. Looking up the light was green.
Proceeding on he finally arrived at his high rise office. Parking his car
he got out and made his way into the tall building.
          Inside the tiles were all white and they looked as if they had
recently been mopped. Everything around him smelt like bleach and it
stung his nose. Just then he saw Zach turn the corner and he noted the
serious look upon his face. He was wearing all black and there was
something wrong. He knew it, but when he told his literary agent the
news something would be much more wrong than it already was,
          “Nick my man! How are you doing?”
          “Good I suppose.”
          “That is good. Now come on and follow me.”
          Following behind him he listened as he began to talk. “You
don’t need your gloves in here buddy. I just got this entire place
          Zach was a good man, but he wasn’t about ready to take off his
gloves. Entering his office he gestured for him to sit down. Doing so
Zach stood behind his desk and began to pace little by little.
          “Why am I here?”
          “You get right to it don’t you. You’re here today because I
wanted to see you. How are you doing? How is Lillian.”
          “I’m doing just fine, and Lillian. Well Lillian is gone.” He was
reminiscing on the memories of his Lillian. Her sweet laugh, her
beautiful smile, her everything. She was one of the most amazing
women he had ever met and she had to upped and left him like they
hadn’t shared a good eight months of their lives together.
       He was attempting to make visual contact with his agent but he
was failing to do so. Looking down to his gloved hands Nick began to
speak. “I know this hot Russian prostitute looking for US citizenship. I
can easily direct her your way. She is hot Nick. Really hot!”
       “Zach could you please take a seat. You’re making me dizzy
from all the pacing.”
       He nodded and sat down. Propping his feet up on the desk he
leaned back and began to relax. Placing his hands on top of his chest
he sighed. “Okay look. The real reason I wanted you here was because
the Tantam Bell people are riding my ass. They’ve given us an
advance, and they also want to know what is happening with the mime
story. It has been a year Nick.”
       “I’m actually having a few problems with it.”
       “Oh, well send me whatever chapters you have and I will help
you work through it.”
       “That’s the problem,” he said slowly. “There are no chapters.”
       “Can you repeat that. You sort of mumbled the last part.”
       “There are no chapters.”
       “And why the hell not?”
       “I don’t know. I’m brain dead I just can’t get any of this going.
At least not yet. I mean with the other two it just came to me, but for
this one, it just isn’t there you know.”
       “Look Nicky, I’m not going to pump sunshine down your skirt,
but you’ve got to understand this. This business we are in together
means we both have to work together on this. But the thing is if you
don’t do your share you are the one getting sued not me. And that will
make your Persona Non Grada. Comprendo?”
       “Yeah I understand it.”
       “All it is, is that you are blocked. We’ll get you out of L.A. and
away from all of these distractions. I’ve got a place up in Big Sur and
it is quiet. - But wait even better is Paris! Go there for some
       “I don’t travel,” he said flatly.
       “You look pale, do you ever leave your apartment? Take my
advice and get out and get some sun and get some exercise. Be a
typical American.”
       “Great advice Zach, are we about done?”
       “You really need to get with the program now Nick. In this
business if you slow down someone will step on the back of your neck
and they will get ahead of you. That is just the natural order of things.”
       Rolling his eyes he huffed a sigh and got up to leave.
       “Where the hell do you think you are going?”
       “To get some inspiration,” Nick said.

                                 Chapter 2
        Sitting at the bar at the Four Seasons Hotel he was not the only
one in here. There was a man that looked to have been in his forties.
He was a decent looking man with blond hair and kind brown eyes. He
was reading through a newspaper with his glasses on the bridge of his
        That was when the attractive bartender walked on over to
where he was. “I thought I’d be seeing you soon,” she said in her
honey voice. She was a pretty young blond with hazel eyes. She was
probably the most stunning thing about this rinky dink hotel that she
worked in.
        “So are you going to commit a crime and you are wearing
gloves to prevent leaving finger prints behind?”
        “You are hilarious. - And listen I am sorry I was rude to her
again. It is just something about her that makes me like that. And I am
also sorry she called you to vent Isabella. Please, would you grant me
absolution just this one last time?”
        “Nicky, Nicky, why can’t you be nice to our mother.”
        “I think it is because I didn’t get enough oxygen while we were
in her womb.
        “Well there is an original excuse right there. Would you like a
Samuel Smith?”
        “Sure why not.”
        Turning away she went to the refrigerator and got out a Samuel
Smith. Coming back around she kept staring over at the other guy.
“How often does he come in.”
        “Very, but I think he is married,” she said pouring him a drink.
“Anyways, what is new with you? Anything exciting happening in
your life?”
        “Well I got and e-mail from Lillian yesterday. She is sort of
living in a lesbian commune in Oregon. She told me if it wasn’t for me
she would never have realized she was gay.”
          “Ouch that sucks. So is there anyone in your sights now?”
          “Not really.”
          “Oh, well just hang in their bro you will surely find someone
amazing for you.”
          “Yeah. - Anyways lets change the subject. How is your
romantic life treating you?”
          “Well I keep getting involved with freak and perverts. It seems
that I attract them like a magnet. So I still haven’t found Mr. Right yet,
but I am working on it, Slowly but surely you know.”
          “Any guy would be lucky to have you as his own. I mean you
are gorgeous and you are smart.”
          “Why thanks, but that isn’t a confidence boost.”
          Draining his glass of Samuel Smith he looked back over to the
guy. He was peering over his newspaper at his sister. Somehow he felt
as if he should defend her and protect her from getting hurt by any
guy, but a part of him let it be.
          “Hey Izzy that guy keeps on looking at you,” he said under his
          “Yeah and? He is probably trying to get my attention because
he wants another drink.”
          “Or maybe he finds you attractive. I mean you are looking
          “Thanks - I uh - I’ve been swimming pretty much everyday.
What about you? You getting out to get enough exercise?”
          Shaking his head he sighed. “Nah, all I do is sit in front of a
computer all day and pray for something to come to me. You know
just cash me out right now. I need to go home and try and work on my
          “Are you sure?”
          “Yeah I am sure. I just want to go home now.”
          “Okay. I will cash you out.”
          Going towards the register she typed in something and rung
him up. Giving him the check he slapped down a Benjamin. “Keep the
change. I might not be getting money like this ever again.”
          “Please don’t say that! You have to be thinking positive.”
          “Whatever. See you around Isabella.”
          “Alright. If you need anything just give me a call!”
          Walking out he watched as the guy stared at his sister. He liked
her he was sure about that. And whether or not he was married it
didn’t matter. Cheating happened to just about every couple. There
was no stopping it. In modern day everything was twisted. For
instance the woman you love could suddenly leave you for another
woman. Everything was just messed up in modern day and that was
the reason he was constantly in his apartment.
          Finally outside he walked on over to the valet kiosk and
handed them his ticket. The man was older, probably the age his father
would’ve been had he been alive. He missed his father more than
anything and had a longing for him that he could not describe. It was
like without his father his entire world had shattered into a million
          There was his car pulling up with a young gentlemen behind
the wheel. “Man you have a beast of a car,” he said very excited. It
was probably a lot better than any typical twenty year olds car. Usually
they drove a P.O.S., but here in L.A. anything was possible.
          “Thank you,” Nick said as he got out of his car. Getting into
his car all of a sudden he jostled forward and hit his head on his
steering well. He was transfixed and disoriented. That was when he
heard a frantic woman cry out. “Is he okay? Oh my goodness. I tried to
stop, but I just couldn’t. - Sir, sir, are you alright?”
          Coming back from la la land he responded. “I am fine.”
          “I’m fully insured I will pay for the damages I -”
          “There is no need I am perfectly fine ma’am. Now please I just
want to go home.”
        Speeding off his tired screeched. He just wanted to get away
from it all. His head was starting to hurt. As he drove he was watching
the streets. That was when he saw a mime crossing the street in front
of him. Looking at one another the mime disappeared. Shaking his
head he must’ve been hallucinating.
        Arriving at his apartment about forty-five minutes later he was
still in a daze. Walking past Mrs. Clarke with her pug Cindy, he waved
at them tiredly. “Good afternoon Nicky,” she said kindly. “Are you
okay. You look to be a little out of it.”
        “I was just in an accident,” he said softly. “But I am fine I
assure you. My car got more banged up than myself. So there are no
worries really.”
        “Let me walk you to your apartment,” she offered. She was
short with mousy brown hair with streaks of gray in it. She had round
gray eyes and she had a sweet smile upon her face.
        “You really don’t have to. I am fine.”
        “Oh pish-posh I insist.”
        Instead of arguing he just went with what she wanted. She
walked towards the elevator, but he walked up towards the stairs.
“You are not taking those stairs to your apartment. You live on the
third floor. We are taking the elevator.”
        “I don’t much like the elevator.”
        “I insist. You must take the elevator. What happens if you
become disoriented on your way up? You will then be falling up or
down stairs causing more damage to yourself.”
        Letting out a stifled sigh he was losing his battle. Mrs. Clarke
was determined to get him to his apartment by an elevator. He hated
elevators. He felt claustrophobic in them, besides after his experience
in being stuck in one with his sister he vowed never to get in one
again. But he was actually facing one of his fears.
          Getting on he peered down the hallway for no particular reason
and thought he saw the same mime from earlier outside the door, but
he disappeared. Wow, he was out of it for sure.
          Arriving on the third floor she walked him to his door.
Thanking her they parted ways and they left. Heading inside he felt
himself misstep and nearly tripped. Walking towards his small
bedroom he fell into bed and began to fall into a very comfortable

                                 Chapter 3

          Sitting at a table they were on the Champ Elysee. Together
they were holding hands and they smiled fondly at one another. There
was a mime pantomiming on the street corner while another man was
selling a New York Herald Tribune. “Aren’t we just having a god
damned good time together?”
          “Yes we sure are.”
          Just then their waiter appeared and he served them cocktails.
Looking at him it was Zach Hemingway. “I am blocked,” he said
          “Go on an adventure and then you will have something to write
about my friend. Just do something you would never do before. You’ll
be surprised at how many doors that’ll open for you.”
          Handing him another Benjamin he then awoke from his dream.

          Sitting up in bed he was still groggy and his neck was sore. It
was as if he had slept funny. Yawning he stretched and got out of bed.
He was horrified when he saw that his sneakers were still on his feet.
His bed needed to get washed immediately, but he would save that for
when he got out of the bathroom.
       Walking into the bathroom he got out his razor and his shaving
cream and began to shave. Nearly finished he turned on the sink water
to rinse off his razor. Looking back into the mirror it was not his
reflection he was staring at, it was another person completely.
       It was this person who had thick sideburns and a navy and
white stripped jersey. He wore white make-up on his face. He was the
mime he had kept seeing. Rubbing his eyes he looked back at the
mirror and he was still there.
       Reaching towards the mirror the mirror goes completely blank.
That was when he jumped as he heard a voice, “No touching. There is
a fine line there. You don’t touch me therefore I do not touch you.”
       “Who the hell said that!”
       Turning wildly around he found out who the “me” was. It was
the mime standing by the bathtub. He had his arms across his chest and
he rose an eyebrow at him.
       Nick looks bewildered and he rubs his eyes and during the
entire time he is thinking, “this is just a dream. I am only dreaming.”
       “I have a head injury,” he said allowed. “I am seeing things
because of that accident I had had yesterday.”
       “It isn’t that,” said the mime. “So you better sit down and listen
to what I have to say.”
       “I am not going to take orders from something that isn’t there!
You are just apart of my imagination and that is all!”
       The mime rolled his eyes and did a deep sigh. Finally Nick sat
down on the toilet seat and began to rock back and forth with his hands
on his temples. “I left that hotel and got into that accident and now
there was a mime around the town, a mime in my dream, a mime in
my story, and now there is a mime in my mirror. I am losing my
          “What this is called, is a paranormal episode. Basically I am an
ethereal being.”
          “So you’re a ghost.”
          “Well I prefer the term phantom.”
          Nick walked past the “phantom”, and he turned off the lights.
“Okay, when I open my eyes all of this will just disappear. Now when
I turn on this light everything will return back to normal.”
          Flipping on the light switch the mime was still standing there.
“You look surprised to still see me. You should know I am not going
anywhere any time soon.”
          “Holy shit, what is happening to me!”
          “Calm down before you give yourself a heart attack.”
          “Don’t you dare tell me to calm down. People don’t just calm
down on command. I may never calm down because I have lost my
mind entirely and now I am seeing ghosts!”
          “I am a phantom. P-H-A-N-T-O-M. Let me just make that
          “Okay well whatever you are I shouldn’t be able to see you.
Normal people don’t just see “phantoms” all of a sudden.”
          “Er, you aren’t normal. Normal people don’t wear latex gloves
at all times.”
          “Do you not realize how many germs there are in the world?”
          “Trust me I understand, but I am dead so I don’t really care all
that much.”
          “Well I am living so I care. Jesus I am having a conversation
with myself. You know what I am just going to walk away.”
          Doing so he shut the bathroom door behind him. That was
when he saw the “phantom” in his bedroom. “You know you cannot
get rid of me no matter how hard you try.”
        Walking towards the living room he walked to his desk where
his home phone was. There was one message there but he ignored it
for the time being. Dialing the doctors office a sweet lady answered
the phone. “Good morning sir, how may I help you?”
        “I need to schedule an appointment for Dr. Schlossman
immediately. When can you get me in?”
        “Actually there has been a cancellation for one o’clock. You
can take that appointment if you would like.”
        One o’clock. That was too long but at least it was something.
“Yes I will take it.”
        What was he going to do until one o’clock? Hide away from
this “phantom”, or was he going to confront it and make it leave him
alone? Wait, was that even possible? He wasn’t sure, but this couldn’t
be happening. Not to him and not now. He had enough on his plate as
it was, and now this - this thing was there and he was ruining
        “That appointment will not do you any good. What you will do
is pay your twenty dollar co-pay, you will see the doctor and he will
give you over to a therapist after making fun of you. Nothing you do is
going to get me gone so just suck it up and stick by me. I will help you
out of your funk if you help me.”
        “What does a phantom need help with? Passing over to the
other side?”
        “You say that sarcastically now but you will see once you die.
It is an entire process that you have to go through when you die. It
isn’t all lilacs and roses it is something more than that. It is an
adventure really.”
        “All I know is that this shouldn’t be possible. There is alive
and there is dead.”
       “Actually there is dead and there is dead, and there is alive.”
       “There cannot be two! That just doesn’t make sense!”
       “Nicky since when does the world make sense? It never has
before and it never will. I hate to break it to you but there are just some
things in this world you will have to accept.”
       “I will not accept this. It isn’t logical. I am just going to go
back to sleep and when I wake up this will all have been a dream.
Goodnight the end.”
       Walking into his bedroom he plopped down and rested his head
on his pillow. “You know it won’t work,” said the mime.
       “It is worth a shot,” said Nick sourly.
       After about a half-an-hour he still wasn’t able to get to sleep.
So instead he walked back into the living room and saw the mime
sitting down on the couch. “Why are you here?”
       “Because I have to be,” he said simply.
       “Whatever. Just go away.”
       “I sort of can’t. This is apart of my adventure as well. And we
have to go through it together.”
       “Whoever told you that is off their wagon.”
       The mime was silent. Good. He needed the serenity in order to
type. For those hours he typed and he reread everything he had written.
Once again he deleted everything from the pages accept for the title. It
was still there taunting him. It was telling him he couldn’t write and it
bothered him so much.
       “You know I could help you out.”
       “I don’t need your help!”
       “Whatever you say man, whatever you say.”
       Rolling his eyes it was time for him to head on out.
       Arriving at the doctors office there was no sign of the mime
anywhere. Maybe he was slowly coming back to normal. Oh he sure
hoped that was the case in this, but he wasn’t sure. There was a
nagging feeling about him that made him think that he was still going
to be there.
          Opening the door he walked on in. They were all senior
citizens in here and it smelt of perfume. It made him gag slightly.
Walking towards the frosted glass there was a woman sitting behind
there. She was heavy with two double chins and several love handles
that poured over her scrub bottoms. She was listening to a Michael
Jackson song on her Ipod, he could hear it.
          “I’m here for my one o’clock appointment with Dr.
          “What’s your name dear.” Saliva spewed everywhere from her
mouth. It was disgusting and made Nick want to vomit.
          “Nick Redman,” he said.
          “Come again?”
          “Nick Redman.”
          “Okay Rick Bedman, the doctor will be out to see you shortly.”
          “No, no. My name is Nick Redman. N-I-C-K R-E-D-M-A-N.”
          “Okay dear. Now please go take a seat.”
          Turning on his heels he walked on over towards the only seat
available in the waiting area. It was a seat between a tall and husky
man and a thin little woman. The man began to cough uncontrollably.
It was a good thing he had brought himself hand sanitizer and extra
          After waiting an excruciating five minutes the nurse finally
called out his name. Rushing over towards her she was a pretty petite
blond woman who was in her thirties. She had big brown eyes and she
was a head shorter than he was. “Nick Redman please follow me.”
          Following behind her he was looking at all the rooms he had
passed. Still no sign of the mime, but that didn’t mean anything.
Entering the room he took a seat and the nurse took her own seat
behind the computer. “What do we owe the pleasure Mr. Redman.”
       “Please call me Nick.”
       “Okay Nick. Why are you here?”
       “It’s a personal problem.”
       “You can’t wake up Mr. Winkie?”
       “Excuse me?”
       “Your dude piston won’t fire?”
       “No it is nothing like that! It is something else.”
       “Okay, well do you mind filling me in?”
       “I’d rather talk to the doctor about it if you don’t mind.”
       Nodding she got up from her chair and began to walk out of the
room. He examined her, she was still pretty. She had curves and was
just amazing to look at. She was a work of art.
       “Yeah she is beautiful,” said the mime.
       “Go away!”
       “Nah. I haven’t really seen you all that much today so I
decided to follow you here. Why are you here?”
       “You’re the reason I’m here,” he snarled.
       Just then the door opened revealing the tall Dr. Schlossman.
“Who are you talking to?”
       “Myself,” he said silently.
       “Okay. Anyways what do we owe the pleasure of seeing you
here today?”
       “There is something wrong with me doctor. I am seeing
       “Well why don’t you start from the beginning.”
       “Yesterday I was in a car accident and I hit my head really
good and now I am seeing this mime. And I - I am sort of talking to
him. Can you help me please doctor?”
       “I can’t help you, but this is strange. Now do you think you
have a concussion?”
       He walked on over towards him and took out his penlight.
Shining it into his eyes he was watching him.
        “I am hoping it is a concussion. Now please tell me doctor
what do I have to do to get rid of this mime?”
        “Well in my personal opinion you do not have a concussion, I
think you should go get an exorcism.”
        “Ha very funny.”
        “Okay, well go see a therapist. I recommend Dr. Feltspar. She
will be able to help you out. I am sure of it. And calm down my dear
boy you will give yourself a heart attack.”
        “I cannot calm down! Something so weird has happened to
        “Well my dear boy you need help and you need it now. Make
an appointment with Dr. Feltspar she should be able to help you out.”
        “I sure hope so. Would she be able to get me in today?”
        “Most certainly. Let me call her and I will be right back.”
        The doctor left and he just sat there watching the mime. He
was looking uncomfortable. “What is your problem,” Nick said a little
too unkindly.
        “You won’t be able to get rid of me until you help me.”
        “Help you with what exactly. Cross over?”
        “Yeah basically.”
        “Look Mr. Mime, I am not going to help you. You aren’t real.
You are a figment of my imagination. Even by me just talking to you
feeds my imagination. I am just going to shut-up and quick talking to
        “Great, now you are giving me the silent treatment that helps a
        Nick just rolled his eyes when the doctor walked back in. “You
can go over there now.”
        “Great. Thank you so much doctor.”
        “Anytime. Hope all will be well with you.”
        “Yeah me too,” he said walking out off the room.

                                  Chapter 4

        Walking out of the doctor’s office he was aware of the mime
following close behind him. He wanted so badly to lash out at him and
make him suffer for what he was doing to me. It was unfair and
uncalled for. He wanted so badly for everything to go back to normal
and live his plain boring life.
        “Nick you can’t ignore me forever. You know if I don’t do
what I have to then you are going to be stuck with me forever.”
        Shaking his head he wanted to lose him somewhere, but he
didn’t know how to. He was everywhere he went and he absolutely
hated it. He wanted to be alone and be in peace. Not be followed
around for the rest of his life because he refused to feed his
        “Hello is anyone home?”
        He was now walking backwards in front of Nick. He tried to
avoid his glare at all costs but it wasn’t working so well.

        Finally, after about a half an hour of driving across town the
mime had not shut up. He was like a broken record. He didn’t know
how much more of it he could take without committing suicide.
        Arriving at Dr. Feltspar’s office she was waiting for him there.
“You must be Nick Redman. Hi I am Dr. Feltspar. I will be the one
helping you today.”
         “Thank you.”
         “Now go to the first door on the left and I will be right inside,
         Walking down the hallway he followed her directions.
Plopping down on the couch he hadn’t seen the mime in several
minutes. He wondered where he was. Damn now he missed that pest.
He couldn’t win!
         That was when the doctor walked in. Her brown hair was up in
a ponytail and she had a kind smile. “How may I help you today. Dr.
Schlossman said it was urgent.”
         “Yes. How many people do you know who talk to dead
         “Actually you are my first.”
         “See and that is bad. I see a dead mime and he talks to me all
the time.”
         “Well is your mime here with us right now?”
         Looking around he saw him sitting outside on the windowsill.
“He is outside on the windowsill.”
         The mime looked up and waved. That was when he
disappeared and then he was standing behind the doctor. “Well what is
his name?”
         “What is your name?”
         “Oh so now you will talk to me,” he said sourly.
         “Just tell me your name please.”
         “Henri, but I was thinking of changing it to Marcel.”
         “He says his name is Henri but he wants to change his name to
         “Oh. Is there anything else I should know? Like for instance
why are you wearing gloves?”
          “There are germs everywhere.”
          “Oh. So do you have any other fears other than germs?”
          “Yeah, flying, the elevator, disorder and untidiness, heights,
crowds, ventriloquist dummies, and Dutch people.”
          “Oh. . . How do you get through the day?”
          “What do you mean?”
          “With all of your fear how do you manage to get through the
          “I just do. I usually just stay at home.”
          “So you don’t really get out much.”
          “Yes I very seldom get out.”
          “Well my professional opinion is that you are mental. You are
imagining a friend so you aren’t so lonely anymore.”
          “That can’t be it. Yesterday I was in a car accident and I have
seen this mime ever since! - Will you knock it off Henri!”
          He was messing around behind the doctor’s desk.
          “What is he doing?”
          “Going through your things.”
          “I would know if something was going through my things. See
this is all your imagination.”
          “See! But please doc tell me what to do to get rid of this
          “Hey,” said Henri. “I am not a thing. I am a -”
          “Phantom I know will you just shut up!”
          “Is this all a prank?”
          “No, this is all happening. I swear to you.”
          “Are you with “Candid Camera,”” she inquired.
          She didn’t believe him that much was obvious. She began to
walk throughout the entire room and she began looking for a camera.
Henri was following her around as well pantomiming filming her.
       “Will you just knock it off!”
       Henri turned towards him and shook his head. Continuing on
with what he was doing he began to bug out. This was not happening,
why was this happening. He was so tense and he was so stressed. He
didn’t know how to take it anymore. It was as if his brain was fried.
       Getting up he stormed out of the room. Henri was following
close behind him. “That went well didn’t it?”
       “Oh yeah it went so well I am thinking of coming back for
follow up therapy.”
       “I told you it was a waste of you time.”
       “Well you were right. No one is taking me seriously. I have
finally cracked and all my screws are loose. Can you please just go
away and leave me in peace for a little while?”
       Disappearing from sight he decided to go home. Heading home
he fought the nighttime traffic and finally arrived back at his
       Crawling into bed he decided it was best for him to fall asleep.
Maybe in the morning everything would be back to normal. He could
only hope.

                                Chapter 5

       Stirring awake he suppressed a yawn and turned out of bed.
Rubbing his eyes he was heading towards the bathroom. Once there he
looked in the mirror and saw his own reflection. Henri was no where
to be seen. “I’m back,” he exclaimed, and now he was fully awake.
       Brushing his teeth he threw the tooth brush into the trash and
placed a new one that was still wrapped in his plastic. It was part of his
morning ritual.
       Heading into the kitchen now he was horrified when he saw
Henri sitting in the dining room chair, his legs were propped up and he
was reading the newspaper. “Good morning,” he said.
        Nick looked to have been shot. For one moment he had thought
he was back to normal, but now everything had come crashing down
on him. He hated his life, hated everything that was happening. Why
couldn’t this be simpler? Why couldn’t he just go back to being Nick
Redman the guy with the normal life. Instead he was Nick Redman the
guy with the mime attached to his hip.
        “What the hell? I thought you’d be gone by now.”
        “I told you I cannot go. I need your help in crossing over.”
        “What help am I to you?”
        “Good question, but sadly I have no answer for you. And I
thought we had a good time yesterday. I thought we were pals.”
        “We are not “pals,” we are anything but that. And call me
gloomy, but I really can’t have an uplifting day with someone who is, I
don’t know, dead.”
        “One day you will get used to it.”
        “Actually it wouldn’t for the simple fact that you are dead!”
        “You know you seem to have a real issue with death. You
know everyone eventually dies. It is apart of life. You’re born, you
live life, then you die. The end. But wait, no it isn’t like that at all. See
with death it is just the beginning of a new adventure.”
        “Okay. Well other than what you are telling me, why the hell
are you in my apartment. Please tell me how you found me. I am
        “Okay, well since you obviously don’t understand that there is
phases after death, and you don’t seem to think this is really happening
then why should I tell you anything. Besides I thought you weren’t
even talking to me anymore.”
        “Whatever Henri. Look why are you here?”
        “I have unfinished business to tend to and you will help me
take care of it. In return I will help you write the best selling novel of
the century.”
         “I don’t need help writing. I am perfectly fine at doing that on
my own thank you very much.”
         “No, you need help. Once you admit it to yourself you will be
able to get through so much more in life.”
         “Okay. Well for arguments sake, let’s just say I did help you.
Would you go away.”
         “Yes. Believe it or not I want to be gone more than you want
me to be. I have a plan in this afterlife of mine and my plan isn’t fixing
everything I screwed up. Once I make amends to that I will be able to
move on to better things.”
         “So where exactly do we need to go to help you Mr. Lost
         “We need to go to Paris for a while. I know the absolute, most
perfect studio there that we can rent for a couple of weeks. It is in the
heart of town so everything is easy access.”
         “Well I sort of don’t fly you know.”
         “Okay. . . . Well why not?”
         “Do you not know what planes do when they aren’t flying?”
         “Land and refuel,” he said simply.
         “No, they crash! They fall out of the sky and they crash!”
         “Uhm, okay. Then let’s take the boat to Calias and then take a
train from there.”
         “Er, no. Boats are another thing. They can get hijacked by
Somali pirates. Or even worse. Bacteria can break loose and all hell
will follow suit.”
         “You know how unrealistic you are being? Those sort of things
happen very seldom. The chances of that happening is one in a
         “And the chances of having a ghost attached to you is one in
six million.”
          “Stop your complaining you have to do one or the other.”
          “How about we do neither.”
          “Then you will be stuck with me for the rest of eternity. Again,
I want to be gone more than you want me gone. So please just help me
and then I will be out of your life forever.”
          Now he was deep in thought about it all. What did he want to
do the least. Bacteria and hijackings, or crashing. Weighing out his
variables he had finally come to a decision. “We will fly to Paris.”
          Walking to his room he knew he had to go and pack everything
up. “Are you serious right now?”
          “Don’t ask stupid questions or I might just change my mind.”
          “Okay, okay. Thank you so much.”
          “Whatever. I will do anything to get you out of my life at this
          “That kind of hurts.”
          “Well get used to it.”
          Entering his bedroom he walked into his closet. Grabbing his
luggage from the top shelf he began to look at everything he probably
needed for his trip. Grabbing out casual clothing he placed it neatly in
his bag. From his dresser drawer he pulled out his folded underwear
and socks. Placing everything neatly away he still was debating
everything in his head.
          If he faced his fear then he would be able to get rid of this
“phantom,” and he would be able to go back to his regular life.
However, if he didn’t face his fear then he would be stuck with him for
the rest of his life. He did not want that to happen. He wanted him
gone and he wanted to go back to his solitude.
          That was when he heard a knocking on his door. “Nicky,”
came Isabella’s concerned voice. Oh great what was happening now?”
          Answering his door it revealed his sister. She looked
distraught. “What is wrong with you?”
        “What do you mean?”
        “You get into a car accident and you don’t even think to tell
me. I heard everything from the valet guys that work for the hotel.
Why didn’t you think to mention it to me?”
        “For this very reason. You go all crazy all the time about
        “It is something! You could’ve been seriously hurt.”
        “But I wasn’t. That is why I didn’t tell you.”
        “Okay fine. So what is going on?”
        “Oh nothing. Just getting everything together for a small trip I
am taking. Zach thinks everything will be better for me in Paris. So
that is where I am going.”
        “But you don’t travel,” she said placing her hands on her curvy
        “I am trying something new. I am learning that you have to
embrace your fears in order to get anywhere in the world. So that is
what I am going to do. I am going to embrace my fear of flying, and
my hate for traveling. I am going to create a new Nick.”
        “Whatever you say. So do you want to go grab a bite to eat?”
        “Where did you have in mind.”
        “McDonalds if that is cool with you.”
        “That is fine with me.”
        Grabbing up his wallet he placed it in his back pocket.
Following his sister they walked down the stairs together. Following
her to her car in the parking lot it was a beater. A ‘90 Camry.
        Getting in on the passenger side door he sat down. There was a
lilac air freshener hanging up and it smelt wonderful. “So how have
you been?”
        “Decent, other than worrying about your well being. They told
me you just drove off. Why?”
        “I just wanted to come home. I was sick of everything else and
that was just a bump in the road.”
        “Oh I see.”
        Putting her key in the ignition she pulled out of her parking
space. Hauling ass down through the apartment parking lot she pulled
past the stop sign and went without even looking. He forgot how bad
his sister was at driving. She was scary that was for damn sure.
        Arriving at McDonalds five minutes later they both got out.
Nick’s heart was beating at a million miles an hour. Entering
McDonalds they stood in line and it moved slowly. “So are you sore?”
        “From what?”
        “Your accident!”
        “Oh. No. I mean I had headache, but that went away.”
        “So you need to tell me what Paris is like.”
        “Oh really. You planning on going there anytime soon?”
        “No, but I want to see the world one day. I want to be able to
say that I did this and I did that. I hate staying in the same place. It is
driving me crazy!”
        “I see. So would you like to travel the world with someone?”
        Shrugging her shoulders she was not sure. “I mean I want to
find Mr. Right you know.”
        “I know.”
        “So do you think that you will find your girl over in Paris?”
        “I am not sure I want something anymore.”
        “Aren’t you afraid of ending up alone?”
        “Not anymore. I mean if it is meant to be it is meant to be.
There is no changing anything. - So what are you looking for in a
        “Do I seriously have to answer that?” Nick watched as his
sister blushed.
        “You don’t have to answer that. I just wanted to know.”
         He watched as her gaze followed that of the children playing
around in the back. “Have you ever wondered what it would be like to
have your own family?”
         “When I was with Lillian yes. But now I don’t think about
having my own family. I just can’t picture myself with anyone else.”
         “I totally understand. Oh and mom says hi. She misses you.”
         “Oh I am sure she does.”
         “C’mon will you please knock it off! She is our mother and she
loves you very much. Has she ever been cruel or cold hearted towards
you? No, never! So why are you so horrible to her?”
         “I just can’t tolerate her sometimes. She gets on my nerves and
she is just a pest a lot of the time.”
         “But you love her.”
         “Of course I love her, but sometimes I feel as if I can do
without her you know.”
         “I understand.”
         Following his sister’s gaze he found who she was staring at. It
was a man somewhere in his late thirties. He was muscular, but wait a
minute, he was the same guy from the valet! “So do you like him?”
         “Like who?”
         “The guy from the valet?”
         “Oh you mean, - no. I mean sort of. He is great looking and all,
he has a warm smile and he is just magnificent. But he would never go
for the bar tender. Last I heard he was dating some pretty Asian girl.”
         “Well he looks a little lonely right now. You can go join him
and I will go home and eat there.”
         “No! I am so worried about you. You never get to interact with
other people.”
         “Maybe because most people find me a bit odd.”
         “Well if you got rid of the gloves they probably wouldn’t think
       “I am not losing my gloves for anybody.”
       “Stubborn. You are so much like our father.”
       “I know, but that is a good thing. A part of him lives in me.”
       “You know when you say it like that it really gives me the
       Smiling at his sister they had finally crept their way to the front
of the line. “Hello. Welcome to McDonalds, how may I help you
       “Hi,” said Isabella. “I would like to have a number six please.”
       “Would that be medium or large.”
       “However small you can make it. And could I also have a
chocolate sundae?”
       “Of course. And for you sir?”
       The server was a pretty young lady with long black hair and
hazel eyes. “I would like to have the number ten please.”
       “And will that be all for this evening?”
       “Yes,” they both answered at the same time.
       “Okay, your total will come out to thirteen twenty-eight.”
       Isabella was the one to pull out the cash and she paid her a
twenty. Getting her change back they walked over to take a seat. Nick
noted that his sister kept glancing at the valet guy.
       “Ask him out.”
       “Nah he will say no.”
       “What makes you say that?”
       “I don’t know. What happens if he isn’t my type? Then it will
make things weird between us.”
       “I get what you are saying, but life is meant to have risks in it.”
       “Says the most sheltered person on the planet.”
       “Hey don’t go there.”
       “Ha, ok.”
       “So will you do the singing the way you dreamed?”
         “I don’t think I am good enough anymore. From smoking my
voice has changed.”
         “I doubt that.”
         “I am being so serious.”
         That was when Henri appeared sitting next to them. “Your
sister is really pretty.”
         In Nick’s mind he told himself to ignore Henri, but he couldn’t.
He was dead and he was hitting on his sister. That was on so many
levels of wrong. “If you would please excuse me Nicky. I will be right
         Getting up she left them alone. “What the hell are you doing
here,” hissed.
         “I got bored at the apartment.”
         “Well you should go and do whatever things like you do.”
         “Things like me? Well for one I am not a thing, I’m a phantom,
and for two, well there is no two.”
         “Well can you just leave? I am trying to have a good time with
my sister.”
         “Okay, okay. And by the way she is smoking hot. I once dated
a blond girl. She was great, but then she cheated on me. That was
when I took my vow to silence.”
         “Oh and you are oh so silent now.”
         “I need to communicate. Not everybody knows what I mean
when I pantomime. If they did that would be really cool, but that is
besides the point.”
         “Whatever. I need some alone time for you just for tonight.”
         “Okay. See you back at your place then.” And just like that he
         Isabella came back, but as she was rounding the corner she
bumped into the valet guy. His drink went all over her white shirt.
Letting out a shriek she looked startled.
        “I am so sorry,” he said.
        “It’s okay Josh. It is alright.”
        “I am still sorry. Here let me help you out.”
        My sister looked over towards me. And he signaled for her to
go. “Okay,” she said to Josh.
        As Josh turned around she rushed over and grabbed her bag. “I
will call you later.”
        “Have fun.”
        “I will. Here take my car keys and I will pick up my car
tomorrow morning before you leave.”

        Arriving back at home he saw Henri sitting down at the dining
room table. “How was your night with your sister?”
        “It was good. A guy named Josh, whom she is really into, ran
into her with his soda and she went back to his place. She will be by in
the morning to pick up her car.”
        “Okay. I get to see her again that is just amazing.”
        “Shut-up. You are dead you shouldn’t be hitting on my sister.”
        “What can I say she is hot.”

                                 Chapter 6

        Morning came before he even knew it. Slipping from his bed
he had finished his packing the night before and now he was ready for
the day ahead of him. He was nervous. He had never flown before.
         “So you ready to go?”
         “As ready a I will ever be. - Do you ever sleep?”
         “No. You know that saying, “You will sleep when you are
dead?” Well that is so not true. We do not sleep at all.”
         “Does it bug you that I sleep?”
         “No. All I do s roam around and after all of that I just come
back and relax and wait for you to wake up.”
         “Okay. So how long are we going to be gone?”
         “I actually am not sure. Minimum a week and maximum two
         “Sounds good. So how do you plan on helping me with my
         “I cannot tell you until you finish helping me with what I need.
You must understand that.”
         “Trust me I get it. - So do you mind telling me what you did in
your life that you have to right?”
         “You’ll see once we are there.”
         “I don’t like surprises.”
         “Well you don’t seem to like much of anything to be truthful.”
         “For good enough reason.”
         “Good point. So when is your sister dropping by?”
         “I don’t know. She said sometime this morning.”
         “Okay well I cannot wait. You should tell her that I say hi.”
         “If I do that she is going to send me to the loony bin.”
         “You don’t know that for certain.”
         “Uhm yeah I do. And I am not willing to go to the loony bin at
         “Okay. I’m just saying that might be a hell of an experience
that you don’t want to miss. I mean I’ve been to one and let me tell
you it helped shape my life.”
         “What the hell? Why were you there?”
        “I was no longer in my state of my mind so my parents sent me
away. To tell you the truth I have a story I would like to share with
you. There was this guy there that got us all in a prank. We had a hole
in the fence and he said we should start chanting numbers. We started
chanting, zero, zero, zero, while he stood at the fence waiting for
someone to peer through.
        “That was when the first idiot walked past and peered through
the hole. He poked him in the eye and we started chanting, one, one,
one. We did that for several hour before it got boring.”
        “Sounds as if you had a bunch of fun. See I wouldn’t be able to
function. My luck is that someone would come after me with a
sharpened spoon.”
        “You are so pessimistic. You should know by now that
everything in this life has a reason.”
        “So what was your reason for dying?”
        “Do I really have to say this? - Yes I do. Everyone dies and it
was just my time.”
        “Oh I got it. So why did you become a mime?”
        “After the loony bin a big part of me changed so I decided on
what I wanted to do and I took the vow of silence. But since most
people don’t understand me when I am silent I have to talk
        “Well to me you never shut-up.”
        Just then there was a rapping on the door. Striding over to it he
unlocked it and answered it. There his sister was with Josh. “Hey. I
just wanted to get my car back.”
        “You were the guy who got into that accident.”
        “Yeah,” Nick said as if it were obvious.
        “I didn’t know you were related to a weird one,” he said to
        “Everyone is weird. If we were all normal that would be
boring. My brother is unique and I love him for that.”
        “Well to me your brother is a freak. I don’t want our children
to turn out to be just like him.”
        “Excuse me? I can’t believe you are that shallow. You know
what forget you. I can do better.”
        Walking into her brother’s apartment she slammed the door in
his face. That felt good. “So what are you up to this morning?”
        “I am leaving at nine to catch my flight and then I am going to
be in Paris for a while. - What did you do last night?”
        “It isn’t important. And thanks.”
        “For what?”
        “For being my brother. You make my life complete.”
        “Oh well thanks.”
        “So what are you going t do with me gone?”
        “Try to find the perfect guy to settle down with and then after
that I am going to become a singer.”
        “Sounds like you have a lot on your hands. Well I will see you
in two weeks.”
        “Okay,” she said. Embracing her brother they separated. “See
ya around.”
        Seeing his sister out, he turned to Henri. “Well that guy was a
doosh. She would do a lot better with a guy like me.”
        “And what type of guy are you exactly?”
        “Sweet, smart, polite, athletic. You know Mr. Right.”
        “And also Mr. Dead.”
        “You know if I was still living she and I would’ve been perfect
        “Yeah keep thinking that,” he said and began to get ready for
the day.
         Arriving at the airport it was overly crowded. “Great a big
crowd,” he mumbled.
         “Deal with it,” snapped Henri. “Besides it is too late to turn
back now.”
         Just then Nick’s cell phone rang. It was Zach. Answering it he
expected a polite hello, but now instead he got a rude one. “What is
wrong,” he replied.
         “They want that book done in three weeks. Would you be able
to finish it by then?”
         “Three weeks! I can see what I can do.”
         “Good. So what are you going to do?”
         “I am going to go to Paris for a little while. I’m going to find
my inspiration.”
         “Good. You better not disappoint me.”
         “I won’t Zach.”
         “Good,” was his final response and he hung up. He must be
under a lot of pressure because of his inability to write this story.
         “I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but it is so hard not to. Three
weeks? Are you serious? We can knock that book out in less than a
         “Is that even possible?”
         “With my experience of being a mime and your experience of
being a writer will mesh and we will have the perfect book done
within the week.”
         “I hope you are right about that.”
         “Have I ever steered you wrong?”
         “You’ve got me going on an airplane. That is something I
would never have done in a million years!”
         “You’re welcome. I am giving you a life experience. And stop
looking around you look as if you committed a crime.”
       “Oh whatever.”
       “Hey mister,” said a little kid. “Who are you talking to?”
       “No one.”
       “Yes you are. - Mommy this guy has voices in his head!”
       His mother walked on over to him and took him by the hand.
“What have I told you about talking to strangers,” she chided.
       “Great now people think I am a freak.”
       “Well lose the gloves and they might change their minds.”
       “Let me think about that for a little bit. No. There are too many
germs on the surfaces and I’m not about to go and lose the things that
protect me from them.”
       “Whatever. That is what sets you aside from the regular person.
Most normal people don’t wear gloves.”
       “Well like my sister told me, normal is boring.”
       Henri just rolled his eyes and walked through the passing by
people. While it was Nick who tried his hardest not to come into
contact with any of them. It was difficult, but somehow he had
managed to do so.
       After the process and the measures he had to take to get on the
plane he was finally boarding. Finding his seat he put his carry on at
his feet. Looking around Henri was no where to be found. That was
when a heavy set woman came barreling down the aisle. As she
walked her fat jiggled.
       In his mind he was praying that she would not sit down besides
him, but she did unfortunately. Sneezing three times in a row he tried
to get as close to the window as much as he could. He hated germs and
this woman was contagious.
       That was when the flight attendant appeared and began to talk
about the safety precautions. There was so much that could go wrong.
He was beginning to hyperventilate. He was going to die on this plane
he knew it.
          Just as she was finishing a question stirred in his brain.
Pressing the attendant call button it took her about a minute to come to
him. “Yes sir?”
          “I was just wondering about the oxygen masks. You said that
they would drop automatically?”
          “Yes, they will drop all by themselves. Any other questions?”
          “Yeah, is flying safe?”
          “Generally it is. There are seldom accidents.”
          “Well as of lately there have been many accidents.”
          “That is because those flying the aircraft were too tired. We
have three flyers and alternate. There is nothing to worry about. I
assure you dear.”
          Nick was looking the flight attendant up and down. She was a
very attractive lady. She had red hair, hazel eyes, and freckles on her
face. Most people he had met with these features couldn’t pull it off,
but she could. He wondered what their children would look like.
Gorgeous with both of their looks.
          Smiling she turned away and began to leave. That was when fat
Betsy spoke. “Flying is safer than driving on the 405. Trust me on that
darling.” That was when she broke out into a coughing fit.
          “Excuse me madam, but I really didn’t ask your opinion now
did I?”
          After her coughing ceased she looked at him bewildered.
“There is no need to be rude. Now please tell me was that necessary.”
          “No, but this is America. I can say whatever the hell I want to.”
          She turned away from him. That was when he caught Henri.
He was sitting down on the other side of the heavy woman. “The
people in Paris are sure going to love you Nicky. You’re such a
gentleman. And you know she is right. I used to fly around all of the
          Rolling his eyes he caught someone looking over at him. It was
a teenage girl with ringlets of blond hair. She had the most stunning
blue eyes he had ever seen. “Er, how may I help you,” he asked.
        “You’re the author Nick Redman right?”
        “You are correct.”
        “Oh my gosh,” she gushed. “I absolutely love your books! Is
there another one coming out?”
        “Actually yes. I have one coming out within the year.”
        “That is great. What is it about?”
        Laughing softly he shrugged. “I’m still figuring that out.”
        “Okay. I am looking forward to it!”
        “Great. Do you want me to sign anything?”
        “That would be fantastic! I have your first book with me. Can
you imagine someone reading your stuff over and over again? Well I
have! I can’t get enough of it. You are such a great writer! How long
have you been writing?”
        “Since I was younger, but they weren’t the best of writings. So
I decided to go with these sort of novels.”
        Getting up she handed him his first book. It was titled,
“Captured in the Wind.” His very first book he had written at least four
years ago. It was on the best selling list for three months. He had been
        Taking out his pen he noticed the girl staring at his gloves. “Do
you think it is weird that I wear these?”
        She just shook her head. “I think everyone has their own way
of doing things. And this is your way of making sure you are germ
free. I have a friend that is similar to you actually and he is the coolest
person I know.”
        Handing her the book he had a question mark upon his face.
She noted that and sat back down and began to spill her heart out. “We
go way back to the diaper era of our lives. We basically grew up
together and he is probably the greatest guy in the world! And well he
is different and he gets picked on a lot by people at school. I am afraid
of dating him then I will become the “freaks” girlfriend, and I don’t
think I can handle being picked on.”
        Aw, he thought. That was so sad. People in this world were just
so cruel and picked on just about everyone they possibly could. It was
horrible, but it was life. “Tell her to go for it,” said Henri.
        “You know what, don’t listen to what everyone else has to say.
You are your own person and you shouldn’t let what they say define
what you do. You have your own mind and you have to do what you
want to. Don’t worry about what other people think. They just make
fun to do so. They are horrid and there is no changing that. They are
too shallow to look past his difference. However, you on the other
hand are deeper and you understand him. I say go for it.”
        She nodded and she understood. “Alright. Well thank you so
much. So are you married?”
        He chuckled. “No woman has yet to accept me.”
        “Except one who dumped you for another woman,” said Henri.
        Shaking his head he wanted to slap Henri so badly. As if he
was a catch with the ladies. What with that white face paint and the
black for his eyebrows and his huge sideburns.
        “You will find the right girl. I know you will. You just have to
have faith in that.”
        “Thank you for believing that I can find someone.”
        “No problem,” she said and turned away. They began their
travel in the air. The entire time he had clenched fists. White knuckles
as fat Betsy called it. She kept droning on about her cats and how they
were so magnificent.
        Henri kept making side comments. “And Felix is just a doll.
And Mittens is funny as hell.”
        “These stories are funny as hell,” said Henri. “This cat that cat.
Cat freak. I was allergic to cats when I was alive. My face used to puff
up like this,” he said and puffed out his cheeks.
       Nick couldn’t hold his laughter anymore and began to laugh.
“What is so funny,” asked fat Betsy.
       “Nothing. I just thought of something a friend had told me.”
       She just nodded and continued on about her cats. She had
seventeen of them and they were all different. The stories she told
were dry and boring. Not everyone could be a story teller he assumed.
       Finally an idea came to him and he pulled out his journal.
Beginning to jot down the idea Henri looked over at him and nodded
in approval. “You are getting somewhere.”
       Nick just nodded and began to draft his story out. Maybe being
several thousand feet in the air was all that he needed.

       Time had come and gone and now they were in a taxi. It smelt
heavy of smoke. He had to shower after this that much was for sure.
He couldn’t go around smelling like smoke.
       Henri kept commenting about places as they passed. However
Nick was zoned out as he stared at the passing buildings. Everything
here was gorgeous. It was as if he was living in a painting. The old
architecture and all, it was just magnificent. He wished his home
country was more like this.
       Finally they had arrived at their destination. Getting out he paid
the taxi driver and he looked at the place in which they were going to
be staying. There was a gorgeous courtyard that was in between two
buildings and it was just breathtaking.
       “So does this meet your approval?”
       “Yes it sure does. It is gorgeous.”
       “You know you should really lose the gloves.”
       “Why should I?”
       “Because the landlord is going to think you are a wack-job
when he sees it. Trust me.”
        “I trust you, but the gloves are staying on. That will never
        “Whatever floats your boat man, I am just trying to help.”
        “And I appreciate that. But the gloves will always stay on.”
        “Okay whatever. So are you ready for this?”
        “How bad can it be?”
        “Well I think the worst part is over for you. The flying and
listening to that fat chick talk about her cats.”
        “You know that is rude to call someone fat.”
        “Okay. Well I am sure you gave her a nickname.”
        “I did, but that doesn’t mean anything.”
        “Sure. So what did you call her?”
        “Fat Betsy.”
        Henri began to laugh wildly. “Man you are funny you know.”
        “I try.”
        “So that plus sized woman gave me a headache.”
        “Yes. It is possible for the dead to get a headache. I think. If it
isn’t possible then something is wrong with me.”
        “There is something wrong with everyone.”
        “Good point.”
        Knocking on the giant door they waited patiently for the
landlord to answer the door. Opening it up it revealed a husky man. He
was balding in the front of his head and his brown hair was turning
gray. His green eyes looking into his eyes. “Oui!”
        “Hello. I’m Nick Redman.”
        “Oh. Nice to meet you. I’m Bernie your landlord,” he said
while extending his hand.
        Nick put his hand up and that was when Bernie pulled back.
“What is with the gloves?”
        “Oh I don’t like germs. I know it is a little bizarre, but it is how
I am.”
         “It is okay. I have dealt with a lot of strange people while
working here in Paris. Wearing gloves is a mild case of strange.”
         “Okay at least that is good.”
         “Yeah, so follow me.”
         “Good,” said Henri. “I am cooked.”
         Nick just shook his head as they proceeded. Walking up to the
second floor he looked around. It was a spacious hallway with red
carpet with yellow stitching worked into it. “This is your room.”
         Bernie pulled out a key and unlocked the door. It revealed
another spacious room. Walking in it was not very furnished but that
could always change. The red carpet didn’t extend into the apartment
itself. Instead it was hardwood floor boards and there was a cream
color on the walls. The space in itself was immaculate and perfect for
just coming and going as needed.
         “This is amazing,” he said swirling his head back and forth.
The kitchen was a little dated but it was bigger than his back at home.
It had a bronze backsplash and it had oak countertops. The living room
was big enough to have a giant dining room table, a desk, and furniture
that he needed for the space.
         “Yeah. So how are you going to pay?”
         “Up front and in cash.”
         Pulling out a wad of cash he handed it over to his landlord.
“This should cover the two weeks.”
         “Yes sir. Thank you.”
         Bernie handed him the golden key and turned to leave.
Watching him go he locked the door behind him and went to the
bedroom, but there was no bedroom. “Where is the bed?”
         Henri pointed to the wall. “It pulls out.”
         “Is that even safe?”
         “It is safer than a plane.”
       “Oh, well this place is pretty nice.”
       “Told you it would be.”
       “You were right. I didn’t doubt you.”
       “I know, but I am just saying.”
       That was when the door was being knocked on. Answering it,
it was Bernie again. “Did you forget something?”
       “I didn’t ask you what you were here for.”
       “Oh. I am in Paris for inspiration. I am a writer.”
       “Ah, another American artist is just down the hall from you.
Would you like me to introduce you to her?”
       “She is a little different but she is good people.”
       “There is nothing wrong with different.”
       “I never said there was something wrong with different,”
countered Bernie. “I am just saying she is different.”
       Arriving at her door he knocked. There was no response. “I
suppose she is out. Well you should stop by sometime and introduce
yourself to her. That would be mighty nice of you.”
       “I will do so. Thank you Bernie.”
       “Anytime kid.”
       Wow, it had been a long time since someone called him that.
Then again Bernie was older so he was probably a “kid” in his terms.
Still young, still single. Maybe that would change when he met this
new girl. Maybe she would be the one, but that was a long shot he had
to admit that to himself.
       Walking back to his apartment he pulled down the bed and
went to the linen closet. None of the items in here matched. Pulling
them all out he placed everything on the bed. “I don’t think you’ll find
a complete set,” said Henri.
       “There has to be,” said Nick sorting them into four piles. Henri
had been right there was no matching set. “Guess I will have to go
       “Cool. I know this great place.”
       “Well show me the way.”

                                Chapter 7

       Finally, after his long day he crawled cautiously into his bed. It
groaned from his weight on it. “Sleep tight,” said Henri. “We will start
everything tomorrow.”
       “Alright. Good night.”
       “Sleep tight.”
       Henri disappeared leaving Nick alone. He didn’t even want to
know where he was going or why. Falling to sleep it was several hours
later he had awakened to the sound of sirens. After that sound had
passed he closed his eyes and curled up once more. That was when
heavy metal music came blaring through the walls.
       Pulling his pillow over his head he screamed into it, “I should
never have come here!”
       Throwing his pillow across the room he yanked his sheets from
his body and walked over to the door. Unlocking it he walked down
the hallway and knocked as loudly as he could on the door.
       The door opens and it reveals a young woman. She had
dreadlocks sprouting from her head, and caramel colored skin. She
was wearing casual clothes for someone in the Midwest, and her
overalls had paint splattered all over them. It was as if she had painted
           “Oui,” she said.
           “Hi,” he said as nicely as he could. “My name is Nick. I’m
your new neighbor. Bernie told me to introduce myself to you.”
           Cocking her head to the side he groaned. “Will you turn your
fucking music down so I can sleep?”
           Henri was right besides him and he just shook his head. “Great
first impression.”
           Turning around she turned the music off. Finally silence.
“You’re from the states,” she asked.
           Nodding she spoke. “Me too. I’m from Washington State. Well
I traveled a lot. My dad was in the Navy, he is retired now. And the
thing is he isn’t my real dad. He adopted me and then he got married
when I was like five. He is a really nice guy, but his wife is a total
shrew. - Anyways would you like some coffee.”
           Nodding he couldn’t believe that this complete stranger had
basically summed up her life story in several sentences. Entering her
studio it was a nightmare for Nick. It was an utter and total mess. He
couldn’t bear to look at it.
           “How can someone live like this?”
           “Like what?”
           “Uhm excuse me. But this is how I live. If you don’t like it you
can leave.”
           Shaking his head he began to breathe through his mouth and
looked around. He wanted to straighten it up so badly. “Besides,” she
said. “I’m a painter and we are generally messy people.”
           Making the coffee she sat down at the bar and looked at him
quizzically. “So what brings you to Paris?”
          “I need inspiration for my next book.”
          “Oh you’re an author. That is pretty cool. I can’t write to save
my life. Guess that is why I became an artist. - And if you need help I
will be more than happy to show you around.”
          “Er, I don’t think you have to.”
          “Oh, well okay.”
          “So what are you into?”
          “Painting,” she said simply. “And music. I am cranked up right
now because I have a show in two days.”
          “Really? That sounds like a lot of fun.”
          “Yeah. Oh yikes I need to get back to work! The coffee is
almost done.”
          Watching her she went back to her canvas. It was a gorgeous
painting, but of what he was not sure at all. “I don’t like when people
stare at me while I work. It sort of freaks me out and I get all shaky,”
she admitted.
          Looking away the coffee was finally finished. “Just keep the
mug and go back to your place. I won’t turn my music on so you can
          “You can play your music,” he said feeling as if he were the
bad guy now. “Besides I don’t think I can go back to sleep anyways.”
          “Okay great. Well I guess I will be seeing you around Nick.”
          “You too,” he said and left.
          Walking back into the hallway Henri walked besides him. “I
sort of liked her.”
          “Yeah, well I think she should be sent off to rehab. I don’t get
how someone could live sloppy like that.”
          “It is a persons preference you know. I don’t see how you can
live so neat. It kind of scares the crap out of me. It is as if you are a
          “Yeah because that is possible. - Hey is anything open 24/7
          “There is a café that opens really early if you wanted to go
          “Cool that is where we are going.”
          Walking back into his apartment he grabbed his laptop from
the tiny desk and he got changed into lounging clothes. Finishing his
coffee it tasted awful. Finally he followed Henri out into the hallway
he turned and locked his door. “See that is how you know you are a
total American.”
          “In Paris you don’t need to lock your doors. You can trust your
          “Well that is the thing about me. I seldom trust people.”
          “Well you trust me.”
          “I have no other choice but to.”
          “True. So just follow me and I will guide you.”
          Nodding he followed him downstairs and outside. There was a
brisk wind and he shivered slightly. Walking besides one another this
city was very much asleep. It was gorgeous as well. Jaw dropping
beautiful from the lights. The moon above them was a crescent and the
stars seemed to shine brighter here than back at home.
          Finally they arrived at the café which was on the Champs
Elysee. Walking in the people on the early morning shift were oddly
livid. “Welcome,” said a sweet young man from behind the counter.
“How may I help you today?”
          “May I have a caramel macchiato?”
          “Sure, coming right up.”
          As the began to work Henri was behind the counter mimicking
everything that they did. “So why are you up so early this morning if
you don’t mind my asking.”
          “My neighbor blasted her music so I decided to just come on
out and get some more coffee.”
          “Well you picked one of the best sir. Here is your macchiato.”
          Taking it he went to a window seat and sat down. Taking his
laptop out from his bag he placed it on the table. Opening it up he
turned to the power on and began to work on his story.
          “That is a lot better then the other crap you were writing
          Nick just ignored him and let his mind go. Rereading the
several chapters he had written in the hour he was impressed with
himself. He didn’t delete anything this time. Looking to his clock
several hours had passed and it was now eight in the morning.
          “We have a lot more to do today,” said the Mime.
          “Okay what do we have to do?”
          “Well for you we need to tour around and go get groceries.
Then later on I will tell you what else we have to do.”
          Traveling around Paris it was gorgeous and busy. It was
amazing how many people were out here. They were on top of the
Eiffel tower and Nick was staring down at the people below. They
were tiny. Below him he was able to make out two pretty Asian girls.
Henri disappeared and then he saw him behind the girls. Laughing he
was such a dork. Maybe being here wasn’t such a bad thing after all.
          After touring around his feet began to hurt. “So where is the
          “It’s an outdoor market,” Henri said. “And it is just a few
blocks away.”
          “Oh thank goodness. My feet feel as if they are about to fall
off! So do you have get pains?”
          “Yeah, phantom pains. Get it? Because I am a phantom.”
          “Not funny.”
        Pushing past the crowd he was getting used to large crowds. It
was weird how a day and a half have changed him. Arriving at the
food market they began to get what they needed. “This place is better
than America! Shopping wise I mean.”
        “I know what you mean. - Oh, don’t look now but that girl is
eyeing you.”
        “Who?” Turning around he finally spotted who Henri was
talking about. She was petite with black locks and gray eyes. “She is
        “You should ask her out. I mean it seems as if she has a fancy
in you.”
        Walking on over to her with his hands filled with grocery bags
he smiled at her. “How are you doing, my name is Nick. Who are
        “Janelle,” she said in her honey sweet French accent. “Nice to
meet you Nick. You are from America?”
        “Yes I am. I’m here for several weeks.”
        “That is cool. So how would you like to go out?”
        “Tomorrow night.”
        “Sounds like a plan.”
        “Alright meet me here tomorrow night.”
        “I will.”
        Walking away his heart was pounding in his chest.

        Arriving back at the apartment all was silent. Walking into the
kitchen he placed his items down and walks over to where he left his
phone. There was a message there. It was from Zach.
        Listening to his voicemail Zach began to speak, “Hey bro
Tantum Bell is riding my ass. Instead of three weeks it is two. If you
aren’t finished before that they are going to take you to court. E-mail
me whatever chapters you have. I know we can get through this. Hope
you find your inspiration over there.”
        “Holy shit! In two weeks I will be living in my car rummaging
through the trash cans for food!”
        “Calm down,” said Henri. “You already have several chapters
down. Let’s start on the other ones. You will be able to get this done. I
promise you.”
        “So do you have any ideas?”
        “Yeah. . . . In 2001 there was a radical Muslim group that came
up to the streets and they robbed a bank in broad daylight. They stole
two sets of banknote plates. It was daring but they managed to do it.”
        “I don’t remember -”
        “I know you don’t because it was never released to the public.
The police were afraid that people would panic if they knew about the
terrorist group. - Anyways everyone devalued the Euro to pretty much
        “Okay so what happened to the group?”
        “Well they sent an EU team after them and they rounded them
all up. To this day they are still in prison for what they did, and they
are in there for life.”
        “Great story, but I need a mime detective.”
        “Listen and shut up. There was a set of plates that were never
uncovered and they just resurfaced on the Black Market. There is now
a new sector that is looking into the plates and if they acquire them
planes will be crashing every day. Not only that, but they will have the
technology to create an atomic bomb. With this they could also make
the market plunge bringing down so many countries if they print too
much money.”
        “That is great stuff for a book and possibly a movie!”
        “Yeah, yeah don’t get too excited because that is why we are
here. I am going to uncover it before they do. I need your help with it
Nick. That is why I’ve come back.”
        “Holy shit! You are serious? I thought this was just a story. Do
you not read the newspaper. People who mess with terrorists lose their
heads. And I like my head on my shoulders.”
        “Okay whatever. You just need to be careful, and then I have
another job for you after this.”
        “Oh great more work. Can we work on the book first?”
        “Sure. I’ll set the scene. I know what you have already and it is
good for a prologue. But the real story is this: An American detective
comes to Paris for vacation to visit an old friend. His friend is a
transfer student that is currently living in his parent’s house during
school. They were like brothers back in the states but they had lost
touch, but then they reconnected on Facebook.”
        “How do you know about Facebook?”
        “I did my research before coming back.”
        “How long were you gone?”
        “Twenty in all. I spent two of those years in prison and
eighteen years dead.”
        “Yeah. How do you think I know all this? I was there it was
my team that robbed that bank. No one was supposed to get hurt. All
we were going to do was use the plates to barter for political prisoners.
I created a diversion outside with another mime. I never had a weapon
on me.”
        “I want to go back to L.A. now! You are fucking crazy as shit.
There is no was in hell I am helping you. I’d rather live in my car than
aid a terrorist.”
        “Oh my fucking goodness Nick. I’m not a terrorist anymore.
I’m dead. D-E-A-D. Everything that happened happened I get it. I
was stupid but now I am trying to make amends to what I did. I have
to stop these militants before something bad happens. Do you not
understand how much of this is at stake?”
        “I can’t believe I was selected to help you! All I want to do is
stay in my apartment and be left alone. Is that too much to ask?”
        “Everything will be just fine.”
        “According to whom? You?”
        “Do you not know what they’re like, because it seems as if you
have forgotten. So unless you have some hidden superpowers I am not
aware of I am out of this equation.”
        “All I can do is pass through solid objects.”
        “Shit, then we are screwed. Look at what we have. A dead
mime and a man who can turn a straight girl into a lesbian. How the
hell are we going to save the world?”
        “Let me speak,” said Henri holding up his hand. “We have the
element of surprise on our side. They don’t know what is heading their
        “Yeah and if they did they would laugh their fucking asses
        Just then there was a banging on the door. “Paintings, I need
more paintings,” she cried.
        “Is that Lucy?”
        “No genius it is the pizza girl. Of course it is Lucy,” said Henri.
“Well go on and answer the door.”
        Answering it she was standing their distraught. “I need more
        “Excuse me?”
        “Paintings I need more paintings!”
        “Dude, look at her eyes they are like pinwheels!”
        “Do you want to come in or something?”
        “I need more paintings,” she exclaimed.
        “I think she had lost her mind,” said Henri. “I mean look at her,
her eyes are glazed over. I think she is a zombie!”
       That was when Nick smelt something burning. Tracking it
down Lucy’s door was wide open and was even messier than earlier,
which he didn’t think was possible. That was when he found what was
burning. The empty coffee pot.
       Saving the day he unplugged the coffee machine and turned to
see Lucy standing behind him. “I need more paintings!”
       “Stop saying that! Look is there anyone here that can clean this
place up for you? I seriously cannot live next door knowing this place
is hideous.”
       That was when he began to organize everything in the kitchen.
Turning on the sink he tackled the dishes while Lucy droned on about
not having enough paintings. Just then she fell to the floor and curled
up in a ball and began to blubber.
       “Hell of a routine, you should do something Nick.”
       “What is the French version of 9-1-1?”
       “Simple 9-1-1.”
       “Oh so it is a universal number.”
       “To whom are you speaking,” asked Lucy.
       “Hey there is no need to know who I am talking to Speed
       “Get a wet washcloth.”
       “Hell no. I am not touching anything else in here without a
radiation suit on.”
       “Then get her some water out of the refrigerator.”
       Touching the fridge he grabbed out Evian water and handed it
to her. She refused it and began to speak, “Please come with me
tonight. I cannot go alone.”
       “Go with her, she does need you. Or someone for that matter.”
       “Who do I look like to you, Mother Teresa? Hell no! I need to
write or I am going to be homeless in two weeks.”
       “There you have it you have two weeks to do it! What is
missing this one night going to do. Nothing. Just go with her. The
world is so fucked up because of inconsiderate bastards like you. Go
with her!”
         “Alright fine I will go with her. - What time do I need to be
ready by Lucy?”
         “Seven,” she sobbed.
         “Okay, try not to hot wire again.”
         Turning to go back to his apartment Henri looked at his with
disapproving eyes. “What do you want from me? I did something
         “You should’ve done it to start with. I shouldn’t have to be the
one to tell you to do things.”
         “Whatever Henri. Listen I just want to write from now till
seven. Can I at least do that in peace?”
         “You can try,” he said and disappeared.

                                 Chapter 8
        It was finally seven and he had finished five other chapters of
his book. Sending it to Zach he left his cell phone here. That was when
he heard a knock upon the door. “Are you ready Nick?”
        Answering the door he smiled at her kindly, but then he looked
at her. She was wearing a gorgeous red dress that made her eyes seem
to glow. She looked stunning, as if she was a picture from a magazine.
Minus the dreads though.
        Walking with her down the hallway they hauled a taxi and they
went to the art show. Henri was in the car with them, a giant grin upon
his face.
        Arriving there no one had talked on the whole ride there.
Getting ready to enter Henri spoke. “You know you don’t need gloves
in here. You will not catch anything.”
        Slipping on a pair of black gloves over his latex gloves he
smiled a fake smile at Henri. “You’re an incredible weirdo,” said
Henri as they walked inside.
        “Oh gee here comes the owners! Quick, there names are Amin
and Jamilia and they are from the Middle East. Please don’t embarrass
        “No promises honey,” said Henri with a giant smirk on his
face. If only Nick could punch him he would do so.
        Walking over towards them they were dressed formally.
Greeting one another they seemed as if they were a sweet couple.
Amin spoke to Lucy. “Would you like a glass of champagne before we
        “I have an uneasy feeling about these people,” said Henri. “I
think they are Muslim.”
        “Just make a note of it.”
        “Well could we please do a final walk through before everyone
else arrives?”
          “Of course.”
          That was when Amin and Lucy disappeared leaving Jamila
with Nick. He was dreading if she spoke to him, so of course she did.
“So how do you and Lucy know one another?”
          “We are neighbors,” he said quietly.
          “Oh, so do you like her paintings?”
          “I actually haven’t been able to take a peek at them.”
          “That’s a shame. My husband and I adore her work. This is her
third show done with us.”
          “Oh. So do you mind if I ask a personal question.”
          “Sure go ahead.”
          “Were you and your husband born in France?”
          “Why do you ask?”
          “Well I don’t mean to pry, but I am just curious you know.”
          “Oh no worries. Both our parents immigrated when we were
really young from Algeria.”
          Nodding he smiled and excused himself. “I wonder how long
they were trained,” he said.
          “Just because of where they are from doesn’t make them
          “Doesn’t mean that they aren’t.”
          Nick was looking at a beautiful painting when Lucy walked up.
“That is my “crazy” one. That was the one I was working on the night
I met you.”
          “You’re an alpha-babe aren’t you?”
          Smiling at him he returned it. There was a vibe going on
between the two of them and Nick was not sure how he felt about it. It
was nice but a little weird at the same time. Slipping her arm through
his she spoke. “I couldn’t have done this without your support. So
thank you - thank you so much. I want to take you to dinner after we
       “You don’t have to.”
       “Oh but I insist.”
       After they closed it had been a successful night. Walking down
to an outdoor café they sat down. Henri was walking behind them and
there was a smile upon his face. He wanted to know what had put him
into such a good mood.
       “So where are you from in the states?”
       “Oh that is cool. So I went on Google and found you on there. I
have started reading your books.”
       Talking about his work and her work they were lost in
conversation. Nick hadn’t even noticed that Henri was gone.

       Now they were standing at their front doors and they averted
their eyes. The earlier vibe was gone. Walking into his apartment he
took off his shirt and threw it on his bed. That was when there was a
soft knock on his door.
       “Nicky,” she called. “I’m locked out.”
       Shaking his head he opened the door. “Did you dump
everything out of your purse?”
       “I just went through it and they aren’t in there.”
       “Well let’s dump it and search once again.”
       Walking inside his apartment she dumped all of her contents on
the breakfast bar. There were no keys in the pile. “I don’t mean to be a
pest but could I please spend the night?”
       He went into the closet and pulled out an extra toothbrush.
“You can use the bathroom first. Try not to destroy it.”
       “I will try not to.”
       Several minutes later she returned as he pulled the bed down
from the wall. “Should I get in?”
       “Unless you want to give the loveseat a shot.”
       Looking over to the small loveseat she plopped down on the
bed. Heading into the bathroom Henri was in there. “Don’t do
anything you will regret. We have a lot to get done in these two weeks
and we don’t need any complications.”
       “All I am doing is giving her a place to sleep.”
       “Whatever you say.”
       Nick rolled his eyes and began his nighttime ritual. Finishing
he walked out of the bathroom. “Could you turn off the light. I am
feeling a little self conscious at the moment.”
       Doing as she asked he crawled into bed. Looking at the palm
tree he turned over on his side and was staring at her back. Tapping
her shoulder she met his gaze. “I sleep left handed.”
       “So you want this side of the bed?”
       Arching up they began to move. That was when the blanket
tangled and their legs were intertwined with one another. “I’m stuck,”
she said.
       “Hold on.”
       Putting his arms around her body he tried to wriggle free, but
that was when they both turned and he ended up on top. Breathing
heavily he looked her in the eyes. “Hi,” he said.
       “Hi. - Oh my gosh are you wearing gloves to bed? Oh my
goodness you think you will get Typhus! Get off me! I am going to
sleep on the loveseat.”
       Snatching up the pillow and the quilt she walks on over to the
loveseat. “You know you are going to wake up with scoliosis.”
       There was no response. “Your call.”

       In the morning Nick was typing on his laptop. Henri was
standing behind him watching what he wrote. “Add in there how they
seemed to blend into the French civilization. They’re invisible.”
          “Well where do they come from and how do they end up
          “My cell came from Cameroon in West Africa. We were native
French speakers. That couple from the gallery were from a French
speaking country as well.”
          Typing furiously as he asked his question. “So you trained in
          “Yeah, for two years then we settled in the suburbs in Paris.
We all got jobs and we contacted our handler.”
          “Sounds as if it were an intelligence operation.”
          “Terrorist are perceived as being unorganized and stupid. We
are neither. We have infinite patience.”
          Henri was staring outside. It was still dark outside and that was
when he saw something moving. “Hey, hey it is happening!”
          “What is happening?”
          “Take a look outside.”
          Peering out the window he saw a man digging a hole. “That is
Abdul-Azim. He was the mastermind behind my operation.”
          “Maybe we shouldn’t stand so close to the window.”
          He then took back his words as he pressed his face to the
window. He watched as he lowered something into the freshly dug
hole. That was when dropped down to the ground on all fours.
          “He cannot see you. You’re on the third floor across from the
          “Well have you ever heard it when someone says when you
can see them they can see you?”
          “No. So what are you dying to say?”
          “He is probably burying body parts or a nuke!”
          “What are you trying to say?”
          “This job is all wrong for me! Don’t you see I am just a regular
guy. Let’s just call the cops.”
       “We aren’t in the position to inform anyone about anything. No
crime has been committed. Besides if you go to them they will think
you were apart of all of it and you will get landed in jail and or
       “Go and float over there and dig up what he has buried.”
       “I can’t. I’m not allowed to touch anything while I am here.”
       “Great more rules. So why not?”
       “There is a cosmic balance. If I touch anything it will set off a
chain reaction and there is no telling what would happen.”
       “Okay, well great. I have a useless phantom and then me. This
sucks, this sucks big time.”
       “I guess that is exactly what we have. - Anyways he is a
complex villain and we need to follow him.”
       “Great here we go,” he said walking to the door.
       “Where are you going?”
       “To go and follow him!”
       “What about sleeping beauty over there?”
       “She knows how to get out of my apartment. For now I will let
her sleep.”

       Following his instincts they sat down on chairs. Putting a
newspaper up to his face he watched as Henri began to scan the crowd.
“There he is!”
       Peering over his paper he saw him. He had a dark complexion
and he nattily attired. In his left hand was a black briefcase.
       “I say we give him distance at first and then follow him.”
       Nick nodded and waited a moment. That was when he got up
and began to stalk him. Following him into an overly crowded metro
station he walked down the metal stairs. Arriving on the platform he
followed him into an overly crowded train.
          “Sit behind him. I will watch him from the front. What I want
you to do is watch his mannerism.”
          Nodding they went on the train ride. There was a woman
sitting besides him who was reading a book. He couldn’t help but
notice her. She had gorgeous blond hair and amazing brown eyes.
          “Psst, knock it off. I know she is pretty but this is for your
          That was when they arrived at the Champs Elysee stop. Getting
off he trailed behind the man. “Hey, take pictures from here on out.
We need to remember this.”
          Nodding he grabbed his camera out from his back pocket.
“You know in may second book, “Hard Boiled Shamus,” the detective
dressed up like a Sioux Indian and followed around his suspect.”
          “You know that isn’t such a bad idea and I know just the
                                  Chapter 9

       Coming out of a costume store he was carrying two heavy bags
in both his hands. Back at his studio Lucy was gone and he was alone.
Great! But wait he still had Henri to deal with. Ugh he couldn’t win!
       Inside his studio apartment he was dressed in camouflage.
Using his new binoculars he was watching out his window. “See
anything yet?”
       “No nothing. I mean other than a lady hanging up her sheets.”
       “Hold on a minute. No one hangs up their sheets at night. That
means she is covering up the crime! I think we should as Lucy to help
us out so we can get another vantage point.”
       “Were you not here last night? She is pissed off at me.”
       “Oh yeah, the gloves.”
       Putting down his binoculars he gave him a dirty look. “So did
you spy on us or were we loud?”
       “Well the bathroom door was ajar so I couldn’t help myself.
You two make a cute couple.”
       “We are polar opposites.”
       “Whatever. Just think if we got her to help us you guys could
watch him at different points.”
       “She isn’t going to help us?”
       “Why so negative?”
       “Because she is a woman. Do you not know how they are?
Especially with me. They think I am a freak!”
       “Take off the gloves and they may not think so.”
       “Do it for me please.”
       “Fine. How should I approach her.”
       “Like you are selling stuff.”
       Knocking on her door she answered it. She was in her overalls
again. “What can I do for you?”
       “I need help spying on my neighbor across the street.”
       “I wanted you to finesse her not be blunt.”
       “Okay. So not only are you weird, you’re also a degenerate.
Great my neighbor is a freak.”
       “He buried something early this morning.”
       “You are making this up.”
       “I am being so serious right now. He lowered something in
there and buried it!”
       “Maybe he was burying a pet.”
       “Or maybe money, he is in the currency business.”
       “How exactly did you arrive at that conclusion.”
       “I followed him to work today,” he admitted.
       “Okay, well show me the apartment.”
       Arriving in Nick’s apartment he pointed at the window. “See
those sheets? That lady just hung them up.”
       “It is nighttime though.”
       “I know it doesn’t make sense does it? There is something
going on back there and I want to know what. If you help me find out
what it is I will mention you in my next bestseller.”
       Henri spoke, “I think we got her.”
       “Just please help me follow him. We’ll establish two vantage
         “Okay there is one condition though.”
         “Lose the gloves.”
         “Not going to happen.”
         “Those are my terms. If you don’t do it you don’t have my
         “I will only lose the gloves if you clean up the apartment and
learn to stand on your own two feet.”
         “Fine,” she said spitting on her hand. Extending it to Nick he
took it reluctantly.
         Leaving they planned for tomorrow to meet up. “See was that
so hard?”
         “No. What is your point.”
         “That is my point,” he said as Nick took the gloves from his
         “Oh. Well yeah it was sort of hard.”
         “Okay. So let’s me truthful you like her.”
         “No I don’t.”
         “Yes you do.”
         “I like the other girl I met at the market place.”
         “She isn’t a good person. Lucy is though.”
         “How do you know?”
         “Let’s just say I have had my experience with women,” said
         “Alright I guess we will leave it at that.”
         “Just stand her up.”
         “No that is rude.”
         “She isn’t good news.”
         “I will take my chances.”

         As the hours passed he was getting ready for his date. “This is
a mistake.”
         “Shut up no one asked you.”
         “Okay. Whatever. You can make this mistake. I will be here
waiting to tell you I told you so.”
         Walking out to the food market he met Janelle there. She was
looking gorgeous as ever. “Hi,” she said sweetly. “I am almost ready.”
         Nodding he couldn’t wait! Coming out from behind the counter
she had a very muscular body, but it suited her well. Hesitantly he
reached out his hand to her and she took it.
         “So what are your plans for tonight,” asked Nick.
         “I wanted to take you back to my place and cook for you.”
         “Alright that sounds magnificent.”
         “It does. So follow me. I just live down the street.”
         Following behind her he was starting to get a bad feeling about
it all. Maybe Henri was right about her. Or maybe, just maybe he was
getting cold feet.
         Walking up the stairs to the second floor he was somewhat
hesitant to go inside her apartment. Walking inside everything was
neat, so neat it met his standards even. Maybe this girl right here was
his future wife. Wait, he was going to fast, he shouldn’t even be
thinking like this yet.
         “So what would you like to eat?”
         “Anything really.”
         “Es cargo alright?”
         “Never had it before so sure what the hell.”
         She smiled politely at him. “So what is it like in America?”
         “It is a lot different. The people aren’t as friendly and
everything you need is pretty much in walking distance.”
         “Oh. So when are you going back to America?”
         “In several weeks. I came here to get inspiration for my newest
         “That is just amazing. I could never write. I am terrible at it. I
have great ideas, but I don’t know how to put it all into words.”
         “I can always help you,” he said without thinking it through. It
was so damn easy talking to her.
         “That would be so amazing.”
         The rest of the night went on as if nothing could go wrong.
And then something did. Someone unlocked her door and walked in.
“Janelle how could you have another man here?”
         “Oh Peter! You said you wouldn’t be back home until next
         “My business was cut short so I came home early. Who is this
         “An American. I was showing him around.”
         “Well this is me showing myself out of your life.”
         “Peter please don’t.”
         “I’m done Janelle.”
         After he left Nick turned to her. “Who the hell was that.”
         “It was just Peter. He is a friend.”
         “Oh I am sure he is,” Nick said as he got up.
         “Wait where are you going?”
         “I’m going to my apartment. I don’t associate myself with
people like you.”
         Leaving he heard her begin to sob. She wanted someone to be
there for her and that was exactly not what he was doing. Henri was
right he had to admit that to himself even though he didn’t want to.
         Arriving back at home he crawled into bed. “How was your
         “I am not talking about it.”
         “Oh that bad huh. I don’t hate saying this one bit, but I told you
         “Whatever. I’m going to bed goodnight.”
        “Goodnight,” said Henri and he walked through the walls.

        Morning had come and now they were sitting on the Champs
Elysee. Nick was attired in a sailing outfit while Lucy coordinated him
in a blue blouse and a white skirt. She looked stunning in just about
everything she had put on.
        “This guy works this place by himself. When he closes for
lunch I want you to follow him Lucy.”
        She nodded as she took a spoonful of soup and placed it in her
mouth. Swallowing she waved her spoon around. “What about you?
What are you going to do?”
        “I am going to go to his window and take pictures and see if we
see anything unusual.
        “Alright that sounds like a good plan.”
        That was when he came out. “Ready to go?”
        “Yes sir.”
        “Alright tell me your location at all times.”
        “I can manage that.”
        “Okay good.”
        Leaving it felt as if he had forgotten to do something. Ignoring
it he walked on over to where his window was. Taking out his camera
he began to snap pictures.
        “You know she likes you,” said Henri.”
        “Who? Lucy?”
        “Yes Lucy. She was saying your name in her sleep last night.
        “Okay whatever we have work to do.”
        “Alright whatever you say. Anyways what are you looking
        “I don’t know. I will let you know as soon as I find it.”
        Just then his cell phone began to ring. Answering it, it was
Lucy. “Yankee one this is Yankee two. Over.”
       “Okay you don’t need to talk like that.”
       “Fine. Anyways the subject has bought a sandwich and is now
heading towards Parc Monceau.”
       “Alright I am on my way. Should I pick up some sandwiches.
You didn’t get to finish your lunch.”
       “Yes please. I am still hungry.”
       Walking on over to another small café he order two
sandwiches. Taking them he walked on over to Parc Monceau and
found Lucy. Smiling at him his heart skipped a beat. She was stunning
he couldn’t deny that, and Henri said that she liked him. Oh what was
going on? He had never been this confused before.
       Sitting down besides her they were sitting across the way from
the subject. “Chicken or ham darling?”
       “Chicken,” she said. Darn that was the one that she had
wanted! Oh well ham was still good.
       Looking one another in the eyes he was not expecting her to
take his hand into hers. “Oh Nick how much I love you. I am so happy
I found you here in Paris.:
       She embraces him and he whispers in her ear. “What are you
       “Making it look like we are a couple. Duh.”
       Eating their sandwiches they were sneaking glances at their
subject. He was only fifty yards away, and that was when another man
walked on over towards him. They had the same skin complexion.
Something wasn’t sitting well with him, something was going on.
       “I’m going to stretch my legs for a little bit honey.”
       “Okay. Hurry back.”
       Walking past the statue Henri was beside him. They walked
nonchalantly together and both of them were silent. Catching what
they were saying he doubled back to the bench.
       “What did you hear?”
       “Not really. It was foreign, but they had identical briefcases.”
       “Oh my goodness it is a switch,” Lucy and Henri said at the
same time.
       “I think we should get the heck out of here.”
       “Wait a minute,” said Lucy. “Don’t you want to see what
       “Think what the hard boiled Shamus would do,” said Henri.
       “I have an idea. Stand by the statue and I will take pictures. I
will just focus on them though.”
       “That is a perfect idea!”
       Lucy moved into position and began to pose for the camera.
Taking quick shots one after the other. He was able to see through his
camera lens that the other guy dropped part of his newspaper and
placed his briefcase on the ground. As he bent over he shoved his
briefcase behind him and grabbed up the newspaper.
       Nick motioned for Lucy to come back and so she did. “Oh my
goodness you are so sweaty!”
       “Yeah I think I am having a stroke,” he said in between
       Taking a thin napkin she dabs at his forehead. “Everything will
be okay. What did you see?”
       “They are trying to switch the cases.”
       “What exactly are these guys up to?”
       “I’m not sure but we should reconsider everything. Just
imagine what they would do if they caught us spying on them.”
       “What’s wrong with your eye?”
       “Oh it is nothing. I just have a seizure when I am in fear of
being killed in a foreign country.”
       “Do you have any other tics?”
       “None that I am aware of.”
       She looked concerned. “How long have you had this?”
          “Could we discuss this some other time Lucy. Something bad
is going to happen!”
          Then he saw as they switched their cases. Both of them got up
and went their separate ways. “Quick, I’ll get the new guy and you get
the other one.”
          “No, wait. I think I have had enough exhilaration for one day.”
          “You are being a ninny,” said Henri.
          “Look, we do not know what is going on here and I don’t want
to find out. I really don’t want to be shipped home in a box with a toe
          “I honestly don’t think they’d kill you in a public place,” said
          “Well you have nothing to lose so therefore you don’t care.”
          “Excuse me,” said Lucy. “But are you aware that you talk to
          “Listen all I want to do is go to California and lie down in the
fetal position for a while.”
          Lucy grabbed him by the shoulders and began to shake him.
“Are you serious? This is the most exciting thing that has ever
happened to me! I would seriously go into those bushes right now and
have sex.”
          Removing her hands from his shoulders it looked to him that
Henri had been right this entire time. “I’ll wait here for you.”
          “C’mon. Don’t tell me that didn’t turn you on! That was
          “Listen you are very attractive and all but I don’t crave for sex
when I am scared. Maybe if we were sitting in front of a nice warm
fire then yes.”
          “Sex Nick! Tell me do you like girls?”
          “Tell her about Lillian,” said the Mime.
          “Yes, yes I like girls, but generally after a while they don’t like
          She began to laugh. “I know why. It is because you are so
weird. I bet you I could cure your talking to yourself crap if you just
had me for one night. Just sleep over tonight and you will be a new
person by tomorrow.”
          Grabbing his hands she yanked him up to his feet. She pressed
her body against his, and it was weird how hers was shaped to his. It
was as if they were two pieces of the same puzzle. Licking her lower
lip she leaned in for a kiss.
          Kissing her back her hands went into his hair and slid down to
his back. Breaking their embrace she smiled at him. “C’mon, come
over to my place tonight.”
          “You should do it,” said Henri. “Clean out the pipes and all.”
          Walking back to their apartment they walked hand in hand.
“My, my, my,” said Bernie. “Looks like I matched the two of you up.”
          “You sure did Bern. Thanks for sending him my way,” she said
as they ascended the stairs. The entire time he was sure of her eyes on
him. It was a definite turn on and he felt himself start to get an
          Walking her to her door she planted another kiss on him.
Leaving her there he walked to his door and went straight to the
bathroom to get ready. Brushing his teeth Henri was there beside him.
“If you have any questions feel free to ask away.”
          “Don’t worry about me. I’m fine. I’ve done this plenty of
          “Okay, just know I am French and no question is a stupid
          “Got it. Now don’t spy on us.”
          “I won’t.”
                                 Chapter 9
        Arriving at her door it was slightly ajar. Opening it she was
there wearing an orange towel around her waist. He had never seen her
with practically nothing on, and that was when he felt himself get hard.
Walking on over towards her, he grabbed her and kissed her.
        She dropped the towel and she was directing him to her bed.
Falling on top of her, her hands were working fast to undone his button
down shirt. Soon their skin was touching and they were now wrapped
in the sheets.
        After hours of hard core sex they were breathing heavily. “Oh
my God that was terrific. That was so great to me, wasn’t that great for
        “Yes,” he said in between breaths.
        “Only a yes?”
        “Yes it was incredible for me too.”
        “Good,” she said and kissed his shoulder. Throwing a leg over
him she was sitting on top of him now. Her perfect breasts were so
close he could almost touch them, and so he sat up and pushed her
down on her back.
        They made love once more and she was laughing. “Okay,
okay,” she said rolling over to one side. “Tell me something you have
never told anyone else.”
        “I usually don’t do the warm and fuzzy stuff.”
        “Okay then I will go first Mr. No Fun; since I was a child I’ve
had this strange dream that I’m in this hospital and there is a really
bright light shining over me. Someone cuts open my chest and I open
my eyes and it is a clown! A clown, Nick! And then I flat line and I
wake up drenched in sweat.”
        “Wow, that is a weird dream.”
        “Yeah. So now it is your turn.”
        “I can’t think of anything.”
        “Sure you can’t. I will tell you another one. When I was ten my
adoptive mother beat me with a baseball bat and broke my leg. That’s
why I walk with a gimp.”
        “Was that an accident?”
        “No she was an abusive drunk. - Your turn.”
        Thinking for a while he blurted it out. “I’m a hack writer with
no other skills to support myself and I am eccentric, self absorbed jerk
that has been dumped by every woman I’ve ever been with. And my
publisher is going to sue me in two weeks.”
        “You did it!”
        “Yeah I guess I did.”
        “And you want to know something?”
        “I don’t think you are any of what you said. And if you need
any help I am here for you.”
        “Yes really.”
        “Thanks Lucy,” he said. Kissing her on the forehead she kissed
him on the neck.

        The next morning Nick was standing in his bathroom with his
shirt off and he was just wearing a towel. “So what happened last
night? Was she any good?”
        “I’m not disclosing any of that information to you. I am
however going to tell you that something surprising happened.”
        “Which was?”
        “I lowered my defenses. I don’t know, she is just so easy to
talk to.”
        “So is Lucy going to join us this afternoon?”
        “No it is just going to be us pal.”
        “Ha, don’t get too excited.”
        “Okay I won’t.”
        Walking down the hallway they pursued their suspect once
more. Following him to the same destination as the day before they
were expecting the same thing to happen.
        Waiting for something to happen a very attractive red head
walks on by. Sitting on his lap she began to kiss him and then it turned
out to be a full blown make out session. When she was done she got up
and left.
        “Are we missing something,” asked Nick.
        “I say we follow her and figure it out Scooby.”
        “Why am I Scooby. Can’t I be Shaggy?”
        “Whichever you prefer.”
        Following behind her they went inside the hotel down the street
after her. She entered a room marked for “employees only,” and they
stood there. Nick took a seat on the sofa and pulled out a magazine. “I
feel underdressed,” he complained. “Anyways we know so far that
there are four players. The first dug a hole and hid something, the
second covered it up, the third switched briefcases with the first, and
the fourth one did something so smooth neither of us caught it.”
        “These people are pros.”
        “Yeah, and the question is what are they up to?”
        “It has to be about that plates. We cannot lose sight of that.”
        “Alright I think it is best for us to just head back and get Lucy
to help us out.”
        “So tomorrow we will do it?”
        “Yes tomorrow we will do it.”
        “Great. I am beat.”
        “I thought phantoms didn’t get tired.”
        “We get tired we just can’t sleep. We feed off of energy from
living human beings. That refuels us.”
          The next day came sooner than they had anticipated. Lucy was
standing outside his door waiting for him. Nick was dressed in a priest
costume while Lucy was just in her overalls once more. Taking her
hand they walked on out.
          Finding their suspect they pursued him. It was the same routine
everyday. Same sandwich, same location. It was getting somewhat dull
and Nick wished he could switch it up somehow. “He’s got extra
luggage,” noted Lucy.
          “He’s probably going to pass it to someone. I’ll stay with him
just in case he hands it off.”
          “I will go secure a hotel room,” she said seductively and kissed
his forehead.
          “Not that I don’t like this, but we need to save this stuff for
later hot cakes.”
          As she walks away Henri is the one to speak. “She has very
active hormones.”
          “Tell me about it. I’m doing everything to try and
accommodate for that.”
          “You like her don’t you?”
          “Just a little bit.”
          Henri begins to grin.
          “Oh nothing. I just find it kind of cute. Anyone can find love in
          Their suspect was now on the move and he was heading
towards a bank. Following close behind him they both watched as a
lady quickly escorts him to the back room. Busying themselves with
check deposit slips on the island they waited for him to come out
          As soon as he emerged they were on his trail once more.
Taking out his cell phone he called Lucy and told her their location.
Meeting up at the observation bench the guy they were following was
sitting down their once more.
        “I’m a sinner father, please drive the devil out of me!”
        “Keep your voice down Lucy.”
        They watched as their suspect busied himself with his
sandwich. That was when the girl from the day before returns and the
two of them begin where they had left off yesterday.
        “You know public display of affection is really hot! Want to
make out right now?”
        “Not really. I have a job to do. What would happen if James
Bond girlfriend kept distracting him?”
        “It’s a figure of speech.”
        “Okay whatever. I’m going home and maybe along the way I
can pick up some male prostitutes.”
        “Whatever makes you happy.”
        Storming away he felt a little bit guilty, but at this moment in
time he didn’t much care. He was watching his suspects carefully.
That was when the red head lifted the satchel from off of his shoulder
and put it onto hers.
        “She is slick, let’s follow her.”
        “Wait, give her a head start before you jump the gun.”
        Waiting for several seconds Henri spoke. “I think your
girlfriend is upset at you.”
        “Just because I wouldn’t make out with her. That is sort of
stupid don’t you think?”
        “Kind of but she is sensitive.”
        “Well what about my needs?”
        “No one cares about your needs! - So before we go home you
should buy her a little something nice to show that you care.”
       Getting up they both walked after the red head. Getting nearer
to her she was getting ready to enter the Libyan Consult. Crossing the
street Nick and Henri waited at the curb patiently.
       “Take our your map and flip it upside down as if you are a
tourist. Someone may be watching.”
       Doing as he said he turned his map upside down and began to
look at it perplexed. “Why is such a fair skinned lady visiting the
Libyan Consult during her lunch hour?”
       “Because she is a courier. The only question is what the heck is
she delivering? I mean we have no idea what our boy slipped into the
satchel while we were at the bank.”
       Just then they heard heels coming towards them and a taxi
screeched to a halt for her. Getting in Nick noted she didn’t have the
satchel with her any longer.
       “Oh my goodness it is going to take forever to figure out what
these characters are up to!”
       “I think it is time to do a little gardening.”
       “What happens if he catches me. Then I will be tortured for
answers. And I have a little threshold for torture.”
       “He wouldn’t torture you. He’ll just kill you if he catches you.”
       “Oh and that makes it all better,” he said sarcastically.
       “Alright, on a lighter note let us go buy Lucy a gift.”
       Walking to the nearest jewelry store they entered it. “Bonjour
       “Bonjour. Is there anyone here that speaks English?”
       “I do sir,” she said in her thick French accent.
       Nodding he began to browse the cases. “Good. Now I am
looking for a gift to give to a woman of my love, but not of
       She looked to be awestricken. “Perhaps and ankle bracelet.
Follow me.”
       Following her he looks at the anklets that are there. She goes
behind the counter and pulls out a black velvet tray. “This is great.
This is exactly what I am trying to communicate.”
       The woman nodded and gestured to them. Looking them over
Nick picks one up and examines it. “This one please.”
       “Shall I gift wrap it for you?”
       Looking to Henri for guidance he nods. “Sure why not.”
       Walking out of the store they pass a lingerie store. “Maybe
underwear is a better way to go.”
       “Maybe, but what are you going to do with the anklet?”
       “I might as well get her both right?”
       Henri just nodded with his agreement. “Sure whatever.”

       Arriving at the apartment after his shopping he walked on up to
the third floor and walked into Lucy’s apartment. She had her ear buds
in and she was vacuuming. Walking up behind her he wrapped his
arms around her waist.”
       Turning off the vacuum cleaner she smiled at him. “What
brings you to my neck of the woods.”
       “I came here to apologize for acting so insensitive earlier. And
I brought you a gift.”
       She eyeballed the bag and took it into her possession. “You
didn’t have to. There is such a thing as make up sex. You ever hear
about that?”
       “I have.”
       “Anyways what did you learn while I was away?”
       “Nothing really. The red headed chick went to the Libyan
embassy and delivered the satchel.”
       “Yeah. Libya is probably the most stylish country of all that is
supporting terrorism.”
        “Yeah,” she said as she took out the contents of the bag. “You
will wait right here. I will be back.”
        Several minutes later she was modeling a demi-bra and a
thong. She walked over towards him and wrapped her arms around his
neck. Kissing him passionately she said, “I forgive you.”
        “Hold off a little bit kitten. You have a job to do.”
        “Which is what?”
        “You have to seduce the neighbor.”
        “Uh-uh no!”
        “Why not?”
        “What happens if he recognizes me?”
        “Listen what you are going to do is go out there at six ten and
you are going to have your art supplies. -”
        “Look Nick I have never seduced anyone before.”
        “Honestly you won’t have to do much. You have a porno star
body. When it is stuffed inside a little dress you are going to be the
most attractive thing in all of Paris.”
        “I don’t think this plan is going to work.”
        “Oh it will work, trust me on that. I am going to reveal to you a
secret that men generally don’t tell women. - When a guy walks into a
room and there is a girl like you with clothes that looked to be spray
painted on we automatically lose fifty IQ points.”
        “Well what do I say to him?”
        “Honestly ask if he can help you get your stuff inside. I can
assure you that he would most likely carry everything up for you. Then
what you are going to do is make some small talk, as if you are
meeting him for the first time. Introduce yourself and ask what
apartment he lives in -”
        “What did you bury in your garden in the middle of the night?”
        “Not that. We are going to avoid that question at all costs.”
        “Okay, anyways, we’ve met now what?”
        “The best scenario is that he invites you over for a drink or
something. If he doesn’t we have to think of another plan to go with.”
        “Okay, something I still don’t get. Why would he carry my
stuff upstairs if he lives on the ground floor?”
        “Don’t worry about it. He would carry yourself to Brussels if
you asked him to.”
        “Okay. Well I am going to freshen up and I will be right back
over to have my fun with you.”
        Kissing him on the lips he walked away. Opening his door he
saw the blinking of the voice machine. “Henri it is Zach I need your
        Henri arrived in the room and they both looked at the
answering machine together. “Ready?”
        Hitting the play button Zach began to speak. “Nick I got the
first few chapters and I’ve got to say is well down man. I knew you
could do it. I am going to send it by Tantum Bell for them to review it.
If the rest is like this then we will be playing the big time show. Talk
to you later.”
        “See,” said Henri. “All you need to do now is not to get killed
before the end of the book.”
                                Chapter 10

         The next evening everything was set into place. Nick is sitting
on a loveseat reading the daily paper while Henri is pacing around.
That was when their suspect arrived. Seeing Lucy struggling with her
things he went to her side, as if to rescue the princess from the burning
         After they begin to head upstairs they wait a little while to
follow. Arriving on the third floor they waited in the stairwell until
they heard the creak of Lucy’s door as she shut it.
         Walking on over to his room he opened it up and went to the
adjoining wall. Pressing his ear against it he strained to hear what was
being said. When he heard absolutely nothing that was when he had to
accept that these walls were just too thick.
         That was when he heard the cry of Lucy’s door once more.
Waiting several minutes after that he went over to her apartment.
Entering she was flushed. “It went exactly the way you said it would!”
         Handing him a business card he examined it. It read Robert
Bley, currency specialist. Henri was in his ear saying, “That should be
Abdul-Azim, vicious terrorist.”
         “I told you that you could do it!”
         “I know. And we are having cocktails tomorrow evening.”
         “I cannot believe this worked so well. I am going to put this is
in my book!”
       “By the way he couldn’t take his eyes off my dress.”
       “By the way, neither can I. I am more focused on getting it off
you than anything.”
       “Okay ew. I am leaving now,” said Henri and he disappeared.

       Waking in the early morning Nick looked over to Lucy. She
was gorgeous and her skin was so soft. She was delicate too, like a
flower. This was the girl he didn’t want to let get away.
       Walking over towards her bathroom everything was
immaculate. She cleaned up quite nicely. Just as he was looking into
the mirror he saw Henri there. “So having fun?”
       “Oh the game is just beginning.”
       “So how much do you like her?”
       Shrugging his shoulders he was not sure how much he liked
her. He knew once he went back to the states he was going to miss her
like hell, but he would have to suffer through it.
       “I know you like her a lot.”
       “I do,” he admitted.
       “See I know a good romance when I see it.”

       The hours had ticked past and they were now ready for their
plan to take action. Lucy came on over to his place. “I’ve got a few
things for you.”
       “Oh really. What?”
       “A purse.”
       “I wasn’t going to bring one of those with me.”
       “This isn’t any other bag, this has a built in camera in it.”
       “Cool,” she said.
       “Make sure she is really okay with you. This increases the risk
factor by a lot,” said Henri.
        “Are you okay with this?”
        “Of course I am. Don’t worry about me. I will be fine.”
        “Alright. You don’t mind wearing an earpiece?”
        “No not at all.”
        Pulling it out she looks at it. “It sure is tiny.”
        “Yeah. You should try it on.”
        Slipping it into her ear she smiled her crocked smile that he
loved. “Does my hair cover it?”
        “I don’t see it. Okay so here is the strategy. You are going to
want to get to the patio and as close as you can to where he buried
whatever it is he buried. I will be watching you through the binoculars
the entire time. It might also be nice for you to see if there is a security
camera down there.”
        “Why do I have to do that?”
        “I think we are going to dig up whatever he buried.”
        “That is exciting.”
        “Please be cautious. If I see anything that doesn’t seem right to
me I am going to bring you home. Understood?”
        “Yes captain.”
        Kissing several times more than they usually do they separated
and went there separate ways.
        Taking their positions Nick and Henri took in several deep
breaths and let out together. “This is nerve racking,” said Henri.
        “I know I sure hope that she is careful.”
        “She will be. Don’t you trust her?”
        “I trust her. I don’t trust them though.”
        That was when they saw a woman giving her a tour of the
garden. “Where is Abdul,” inquired Henri.
        “Inside,” said Nick as he peered through his binoculars.
       “Not yet. I want her to look for a camera first.”
       “Well what happens if they have a dog?”
       “I don’t know. Let me try to get in contact with Lucy.”
       Putting on his head set he begins to try and communicate with
her. “Lucy if you can hear me scratch your shoulder.”
       Within doing so he told her what more he needed of her. “Okay
when you answer yes to something it will be a scratch on the shoulder,
when it is now you rub your eye. Got it?”
       Scratching her shoulder he felt like such a bad ass at that
moment in time. “Do you see anything suspicious in the garden?”
       Scratching her shoulder he continued.
       “Do you see any security cameras?”
       Rubbing her eye he nodded to himself. “Are you using the
       Another scratch on the shoulder.
       “Alright try and hurry it up. And when you leave look for any
cameras on the side of the building and see if there are any dogs.”
       Scratching her shoulder he knew she understood.

       She was back at the apartment and she was telling him about
everything that she had experienced while over there. “I saw a patch
that looked different than the rest in the garden.”
       Henri began to speak. “She is too revved up you have to calm
her down.”
       “Alright. So wee need a full proof plan in order to execute this
the way that is needs to be. There was nothing resembling a camera
and no dogs?”
       “Both negative sir. - Man I feel so alive! Doesn’t this make you
feel so alive?”
       “Yes and I hope it never changes.”
       “Just think up a plan and we will discuss it.”
          The next day Nick is on his computer typing up a storm.
Closing out of his window he saved everything that he had written.
That was when he put up the pictures that Lucy had taken of the
          Examining them he was looking for anything different, but
when he didn’t find anything out of the ordinary he began to have his
doubts. “You know your shots came out great.”
          “I know they did,” she laughed. That was when another picture
popped up. “See how that spot looks different than the rest. I think that
is where they buried whatever.”
          “It looks big enough for a briefcase.”
          “So will you be going there when I take them to the gallery?”
          “Yeah it will only take a few minutes to dig it up. How high is
the wall?”
          “We’re going to crack this case,” said Lucy.
          “Yeah and those guys are going to go to jail!”
          “Alright I will find out when they are free.”
          “You do that.”

          The next morning they were in the Ritz hotel once more spying
on the red-headed woman. Her hair color was different, it was auburn.
She was standing behind the desk working hard on whatever it was.
          That was when she went into the employee room. Coming out
she was a red head once more with a newspaper tucked underneath her
arm. Following her outside through the crowd they watched as she
exchanged folded newspapers.

          That night had come and gone while Henri and Nick
contemplated about what they had traded other than newspapers. That
was when Lucy walked into his apartment. “Could you zip me up?”
       “Sure can.”
       Walking on over to her he zipped up her beautiful black dress.
Kissing her shoulder she turned to him. “My lips are right here.”
       Smiling at her he had never been this happy before. “So what
time are they meeting you?”
       “At nine. You will have plenty of time to do your mission.”
       “Yeah, so how are you doing?”
       “I am doing good, I have a stomachache but other than that
everything is perfectly fine.”
       “Alright well good luck on your mission.”
       As she was getting ready to leave he bid her a fair well and she
left. He waited several minutes later and watched as they both left
from his place. “You ready,” inquired Henri.
       Grabbing his bag he was ready for what was at hand. Walking
outside he was cautious with every single step he made. Scaling the
fence he jumped on the other side and dumped the contents out of his
       Taking out his shovel Henri was hovering over him. “Is all that
really needed?”
       “I didn’t know what to pack. I’ve never saved the world
       “Alright I will give you that.”
       “I know where it is, it’s over there.” Walking over to the spot
he began to dig.
       “The ground sure is soft.”
       “I want you to admit something to me,” said Henri.
       “Admit what?”
       “That you love her.”
       “Love Lucy?”
       “Yes, who else would I be talking about?”
       “I don’t know. And this isn’t the time for any confessions.
Damn how far down is this thing?”
       “Maybe it is the wrong spot.”
       “It isn’t the wrong spot. I am sure of that!”
       That was when his shovel struck something. His heart leapt
with joy and he was excited like a little child at Christmas. Kneeling
down he grabbed it out with his hands.
       “Open it,” said Henri.
       “I can’t, it’s locked.”
       Reaching for the lock picking kit that was besides him he went
to work. Reaching for his flashlight he finally popped it open. There
they were, the cash plates were there. Five of them to be exact.
       “Why would he bury them. There is such a thing as a safety
deposit box.”
       “Yeah, but the thing is you can get a court order to open one of
those. Whereas if they got a warrant for your backyard they wouldn’t
dig up the backyard.”
       “So what do I do now? Go to the authorities and turn them in?”
       “Oh hell no! You have to go to one of my old friends. He
knows what to do.”
       “Alright. I am trusting you with this,” Nick said as he began to
rebury the hole. Patting it down he made it look as if it were
undisturbed. Heading back towards the fence he scaled it. Landing on
his feet he was in a frog position. Running back to his apartment Henri
wasn’t far behind.
       Sitting down on his loveseat he was back in the apartment. He
had been able to make it through the lobby inconspicuously. Relaxing
now all he had to do was wait. Sipping at his freshly brewed coffee he
was listening as the sirens sounded off.
       Just then Lucy walked through the door looking stunning as
ever. Shutting the door silently behind her she began to speak in a
whisper. “So did you get it?”
        “Yup I sure did,” he said proudly.
        “So what exactly is it?”
        Hesitating slightly he wondered what she would say. “They are
cash plates. Otherwise known as Euro-note plates.”
        “No kidding?”
        “No kidding. Right now they’re under the sink. Use a towel
when you touch it.”
        “Prints right?”
        Going towards the sink she grabs it out carefully. Putting it on
his newly purchased coffee table to attempted to open it. “It’s locked,”
she noted.
        “Here let me at it.”
        Taking out his pick lock he worked at the lock once more. It
popped open. Flipping open the top all the way she reached in with a
towel. Picking it up she examined it thoroughly. She was gawking
with wide eyes at them.
        “Wow, this is so cool!”
        “It sure is.”
        “Do we go to the police about this?”
        “No. I committed a crime getting these. If we go to them it will
land us in prison for a very long time.”
        “Oh, well prison isn’t my style. - But what if we leave it on the
police doorstep?”
        “No. Abdul would deny it belong to him.”
        “Who is Abdu?”
        “That is Robert’s real name.”
        “I have a suggestion. Rebury the case and then tip the cops
       “Pick a number between zero and five hundred for me.”
       “Er, okay. Fifty.”
       “Wrong, the answer was zero. That is the percent chance of me
going back there.”

                               Chapter 11

       The next night had come to them quickly. With a new briefcase
he turned to Henri. “So how exactly do you know this guy?”
       “This person is a childhood friend from my village in
Cameroon. Right now he is a law professor.”
       “Does he speak English at least.”
       “Of course he does.”
       “Alright I am ready.”
       Leaving the apartment he walked downstairs. Bernie was out
and about and he watched him with suspicion crossing his face.
“Where are you going without your girlfriend?”
       “Just out. She is relaxing tonight. Well actually she is painting
another masterpiece.”
           “Sounds nice. Don’t be out too late. Something strange is going
on around here.”
           “What do you mean strange?”
           “I think one of the tenants are into something big.”
           A chill ran down his spine. Could he know? No, it just wasn’t
           Walking outside the cool night air stroked his skin. “What do
you think he means,” asked Henri.
           “I am not sure. But I don’t think he knows anything. I mean if
he does I don’t take him for a snitch.”
           “Yeah, so long as your trust that.”
           In silence now they walked down to the metro. Taking Henri’s
directions they finally arrived at Jean Simone’s home. Ringing the
doorbell they waited for several minutes. Just then the door cracked
           “What the hell do you want?”
           “I need to speak with you.”
           “Go away!”
           “Wait I am here with Henri.”
           “What is his last name?
           “What is your last name?”
           “Cherel,” he said to Simone.
           “I think you should go away before I call the police. Henri
Cherel is dead! He had been dead for a long while now.”
           Henri spoke. “Tell him that when we were seven years old we
drilled holes in the woman’s shower.”
           Telling him that he was stricken with something Nick was not
sure what. “A lot of people from my village knew about that.”
           “Tell him he also wanted to marry Alice Crochet’s older
          Relaying the message he was quiet. “Know one knew that but
          “Exactly. Henri is here with us right now as a ghost. He is here
to right the mistake he had made in 2001.”
          Allowing them in his place was quite large. “I am here with
those items from that day.”
          “How did you obtain them?”
          Launching into the whole story he stood there baffled. “So you
mean to tell me that you and Henri have been working together all
          “Yes sir.”
          “Okay. I know someone in the Treasury Department. I could
call him to examine them.”
          Nick turned to Henri and he asked him, “What do you think
should be done?”
          “I think we should do everything tonight and get this S.OB.
Locked up. I mean if Abdul figures out they are missing this operation
we are pulling will be finished.”
          “At least the plates would be safe though.”
          “I don’t care if they are safe! We need to arrest this menace,
and if we do not he will find another way to attack the non-Muslim
          “Excuse me sir, but are you communicating with Henri?”
          “That is so magnificent!”
          “Yeah, okay, so here is the deal. The plates must be examined
tonight, and we will be working with just this small window of
opportunity. We need to work fast and efficient. If the government acts
quickly they will be able to catch a major threat.”
          “Well when I tell him what I have he will be over here in a
        “Alright. I will be back tomorrow for them”
        Shaking on it Nick walked himself out of his comfortable
home. Walking back to the metro he was tired from everything that
had occurred that night.
        Arriving back at the apartment he walked into Lucy’s
apartment and crawled into her bed. She was nowhere to be seen, but
that was when she came in from the bathroom.
        “Is everything alright?”
        “Yes everything is alright.”
        “Good,” she said as she sat down besides him. Stroking his
back he was looking her in the eyes. “You know I love you,” said
        She smiled back at him. That was when Henri appeared. “Aw I
knew you loved her.”
        Lucy walked back into the bathroom as Nick sat up in bed. “I
never said those words.”
        “But in a sense you did.”
        “No I didn’t.”
        “Just admit it. You love this girl.”
        “No, because as soon as I admit it then something bad is going
to happen between us and I don’t want to lose her.”
        “Oddly enough that does make sense to me.”
        That was when she reappeared wearing her new
undergarments. Crawling into bed she was on top of him. Kissing her
back they began to make love once more.

        The next morning had come and Nick was looking himself in
the mirror. Today he was dressed as a Hassidic Jew, he could barely
recognize himself.
        “You ready?”
        “As ready as I will ever be.”
        As they ventured out they finally arrived at his place once
more. Knocking on the door Nick spoke. “Professor it is me, Nick.”
        Answering his door he wore a bewildered expression upon his
face. “You do not look the same from yesterday.”
        “I have to wear disguises to have a low profile.”
        “Okay I understand. Please, please come on in.”        Entering
once more he could smell coffee brewing. “May I offer you anything.”
        “Some coffee would be fantastic. - So what did you find out?”
        “Those plates are real and are from that break in Henri had
been involved in.”
        “That is what we expected. Was there anything else?”
        “Er, well they can only make an arrest if the item is in the
possession of the criminal. Otherwise they will not be able to convict
him in court.”
        “Why not just plant them on his property?”
         “That is conspiracy! My advice to you is put them back where
you found them and let the police work the case from there.”
        “Sir you must understand this. I was lucky enough not to have
gotten killed when I acquired these. I have no intentions whatsoever of
going back there.”
        That was when Henri broke his silence. “Listen, Nick, I need
you to do this for me. I will be with you the entire time. I will be stuck
like this for all eternity if I don’t get this guy.”
        “Henri why are you guilt tripping me? I mean this is a mission
for James Bond not Nick Redman.”
        “Look please for me?”
        “Alright, alright I will do it.”
        “Thank you.”
        “I don’t know if you are welcome yet.”
        “Tomorrow then we will do it,” said Simone.
        “Do what?”
        “Replant the evidence and make the arrest.”
        Swallowing he nodded. “Understood.”
        Heading back home now he was ready for what was to come.
Lucy was sitting on his loveseat waiting for him. “What is going to
        Explaining to her the entire situation, she sat their with wide
eyes. “That sounds dangerous. Are you sure they can’t get anyone else
to do this.”
        “No it has to be me.”
        “Okay. - Well just be careful.”
        “I will be.”
        “No I mean it Nick.”
        “Is something wrong?”
        “Nothing is wrong. It’s just something has happened to me.”
        “Are you a lesbian too?”
        “Excuse me?”
        “Nothing. Forget I said anything.”
        “Okay. But Nick we are pregnant.”
        “Oh my goodness, that changes everything!”
        “I know. I am so scared.”
        Walking over towards her he embraced her. “It is scary I know,
but we can do this. I am sure of it.”

                                Chapter 12

        The next morning everything was set and ready to go. “Just be
in and out of there as fast as you can.”
        Nick nodded and that was when they began. He felt as if it
were a conspiracy in terms, but he was perfectly alright with it.
Someone was going to pay for their actions and that was perfectly
okay with him. As they say karma is a bitch.
        Scaling the wall he jumped it. Landing in a precarious position
his ankle rolled out of place and he was on the ground in pain. “Nick
shut up,” said Henri. “Someone is going to hear you!”
        Dragging himself to the designated spot he gets up on his
knees. Grabbing out his shovel from behind him he lost his grip on it
and it clanked to the bricked patio.
        Swiveling his head around he looked to see if anyone was
coming. When no one was he began to dig quickly. Just then the lights
in the house went on and he knew someone was coming. His
adrenaline was speeding up and he was shaking.
        Setting the briefcase down into the hole he quickly pats down
the dirt and crawls over to the flower bed. Just as he reaches it he
heard the screen door open. That was when he heard screaming in
Arabic and then a gun shot was fired. The cover in the flowers wasn’t
good enough and he saw him.
        Another gun shot was fired and it barely missed him.
Struggling up the wall he just barely makes it. That was when the
tactical team began to swarm on in. The took Abdul-Azim and his wife
into custody. While Nick on the other hand was on the ground
clutching his ankle.
        “Nicky, Nicky are you alright,” he heard Lucy calling at him
        Kneeling down besides him she had worry in her eyes. “Excuse
me Mr. Redman, but you will have to accompany us to the station and
fill out some paper work as you could imagine.”
        “That’s great and all, but at the moment I sort of cannot walk.”
        “Here, let me help you,” said Simone.
        “Can I come with?”
        “No,” all three of them said at the same time.
        Looking hurt she understood and she kissed Nick good-bye.
       “So it looks as if Jean Simone is now your friend.”
       “I suppose so,” Nick said as they got into the squad car. “So
what is going to happen to you?”
       “What do you mean?”
       “I know you touched me. You helped me get over the wall. If it
weren’t for you I’d be dead right now. I owe you my life.”
       “You don’t owe me anything. If it weren’t for me you wouldn’t
have been back there anyways.”
       “Yeah, that is true, but what about you. Aren’t you going to be
stuck in between worlds now?”
       “I’m not sure. They may be lenient and allow me to move on.”
       Arriving at the police department the paperwork began. Three
hours had passed and he was finally released to go home. His ankle
was still throbbing, but now he was able to walk on it.
       In Lucy’s apartment she was reading over the book he had
written with the help of Henri. “Oh my goodness, this book is fucking
       “You make it seem to dramatic, but thank you it means a lot to
me. - And I want to tell you something.”
       “I love you too.”
       Looking at him she was so happy he could see it in her eyes.
That was when he kneeled down on his good leg and that was when
Henri spoke, “I cannot believe what I am seeing.”
       “Lucy will you be my wife?”
       “Nick! There is something you big mouth. That is my daughter
you have just asked to marry you.”
       His face was crestfallen. “Remember I told you that there was
one last thing we had to do? Well this was it. It all happened while I
was touring the states. We put her up for adoption and well I fell god
awful about it. Could you please tell her for me?”
       “Yes I will be your wife,” she exclaimed.
       “Lucy could you give me a moment real quick.”
       “Sure,” she said as she went to the bathroom.
       “How the hell do you expect me to tell her that? Tell her that
no I do not just talk to myself but instead I talk to Henri Cherel who is
a mime and oh by the way he is also your father. Do you not see how
happy she makes me? She means the world to me and I don’t want to
lose her.”
       “Our deal was for you to help me with two things in order to
have a best selling story. This is the second thing.”
       Letting out a giant sigh he spoke. “I just don’t know the right
words to tell her.”
       “Nick is everything alright?”
       “Yes everything is perfectly fine. You can come back now.”
       Entering the room she looked at him quizzically. “Lucy when I
talk to myself I am not really talking to myself. There is this man,
Henri Cherel, and he has been following me for the past several weeks.
He is a phantom and he is also annoying as hell at times, but he is also
your father.”
       “Do you not realize how crazy that sounds?”
       “I do, I talk to a ghost!”
       “Oh my goodness,” she said dismayed. “I cannot do this.”
       “Do what.”
       “Marry you. You’re crazy.”
       “If you didn’t think I was crazy would you marry me?”
       “I’m not sure. Yes I guess.”
       “Then let me prove to you that this is all real.”
       “Fine prove it.”
       Beginning his séance he had only ever read about them in
books. Performing it he watched as Henri began to appear, but he
wasn’t wearing white face make up anymore, but instead he could see
the family resemblance.
       That was when Lucy begins to freak out. Shrieking he stopped.
“Are you alright Lucy?”
       “That nightmare was coming back.”
       “You know in that nightmare it wasn’t actually a clown
performing that surgery it was a mime that looked like he was a
       “How could you possibly know that?”
       “Because your father was a mime and he is the one that you see
in your dreams. Please let me show him to you.”
       She nodded and he began once more. That was when he
appeared. “Could you give us a minute Nick,” asked Henri.
       Leaving the room he went to the bathroom. He couldn’t help
but attempt to listen to what was being said on the other side of the
door. He, however, couldn’t hear a damn thing.

                            One Year Later

       Receiving his award for his best seller he had never been more
proud of himself at all. Walking back down to where he was sitting he
saw his wife and his daughter wrapped securely in her arms. Sitting
besides her was Isabella and his mother.
       After his experience he had learned a lot. From being away and
meeting Henri he learned that family is one of the most important
things in this life and you needed to make sure that you had strong ties.
Or else you would be making up for everything in the after life.
       Smiling at his family he was probably the happiest man alive.
The End

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