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Down A Long Road
Lutte Pour L’anneau, France, 1949
It was a dark, cool summer night as a young, petite, dainty girl with cocoa-dark skin, sparkling emerald colored eyes set into a face with high cheekbones and long, strait black hair done back into a braided bun, walked down the dusty country road, the skirt of her faded blue dress blowing in the wind. She was clearly afraid, looking back and forth, clutching the object she held in her hand tightly, and spinning it in her hands. It seemed strange, she pondered
to herself, that so much fuss was being made over a silly little ring, even one like this one. “It’s not much further,” She thought to herself, “I just need to get to the rendezvous point, then I can hand this thing off, and this whole thing will be over.” But in the silence of the still night air she saw something that make scared her, something that made her run, run as fast as she could. She ran for her life, knowing if the man behind her caught her he would kill her, and take the ring. So she ran. But then she tripped over a rock and fell to the ground. As she turned around, a muscle hand grabbed her throat and squeezed it, raising her up in the air as he did so. She struggled, horrible gasping noises coming from her throat, but to no avail. The ring she had been charged with protecting, shaped like a swan, with a diamond eye, fell to the ground, as she took her last breath.
Lutte Pour L’anneau, France, 2012
Neal Caffrey walked down the dusty country road, trying to clear his head, not sure where he was going, just wanting to go somewhere. He had to get out of that inn room. The air was so hot and humid it was suffocating, he hadn’t a night’s rest in over 73 hours, and Mozzie was being a dick. They had gotten into a fight that morning over-everything. What had started over a torn sheet spilled over to a full out shouting match over the botched escaped, over everything going wrong since then, over Neal’s guilt, and the nightmares.
“You gotta get over this!” Mozzie had shouted so loud Neal was afraid someone would hear, “It’s been two weeks; you should have dealt with it by now! But still every night, I hear you calling out the name of one of them or all of them in your sleep!”
“You think I want to have these dreams, Moz?!” Neal yelled back, not caring who heard, “You think I like to beg them for forgiveness, for mercy, for my LIFE every night?! If I could turn this off I would!”
You see, whenever he called out the name of someone from New York, it was usually fallowed by, “Please don’t kill me.” Ever since they had ran, Neal had this dream every night, where he had been caught. He didn’t know how, the dream never got into that, it would always start with him in a courtroom before a judge, about to be sentenced, all the people who use to be his friends shooting daggers at him from the gallery. Then the judge saids, “For the charge of fleeing from a prison sentence and arrest, the traitor will be delivered into the arms of those he betrayed. “ At that point those he betrayed, -i.e. Jones, Dianna, Elizabeth, Sara and Peter-decided the sentence Neal deserved was the death penalty. It was always a different way. One time it would be a firing squad with Peter giving the order to fire, the next stoning with Jones throwing the first stone. Or lethal injection delivered by Dianna, or electric chair with Elizabeth throwing the switch. One time it he was even burned at the stake with Sara lighting the fire.
Neal needed out that room. “You know what; I can’t talk you when you’re like this. I’m just gonna leave,” he put on his suit jacket as he continued to talk, “And come back when you’re being more reasonable.” Then he walked out, slamming the door behind him.
This is what led to Neal being on that road, on that day. As he continued to walk he noticed something strange coming up the road. At first it just appeared to be six little dots on the side of the road, then as he got the closer the dots formed into five people and a black van, then as he got ever closer he could make out details of the people. There was man who appeared to be in his early thirties, wearing a 1940s military coat, walking ahead of the rest of the group. Fallowing after him was a woman with long black hair, and large brown eyes. Standing beside the van were the other three people. There was dark skinned woman with her raven hair tied up on her head, for whatever reason talking the pulse of rather scared looking dark skinned man wearing black pants, a buttoned up white shirt, and a jacket. Then there was the young girl standing beside them, who couldn’t have been more than nineteen years old. She was wearing a black leather miniskirt and matching corset that fit her as if they were custom made just her body, which was thin but wiry, black leather fingerless gloves, fish net stockings and spiked black heels. She had on a plastic black cross necklace. She was wearing dark makeup, dark purple eye shadow, black nail polish, and dark violet lipstick. She had long black hair, but her roots were growing in blonde. In a group of people who were clearly professionals in whatever they were doing, this Goth girl stood out even with the man in the old-fashioned military coat.
“Bring it over here.” The man in coat called out in an American accent.
The Goth girl picked up a thin sliver-colored metal poll with some kind of red reflector on it, and walked over to where the man in the coat and the other dark-haired woman was standing. They all stood there for a minute staring at each other and then finally, the man said, “Stick it in the ground.”
The girl stood the stick firmly in the ground. They all stood there as if they were waiting for something to happen. “You feel anything, Rex?” The man in the coat asked, to someone.
“No,” The man whose pulse was being taken answered, “Sorry, Jack, nothing.” He too had an American accent.
“Are we sure this is the right the spot?” The other black haired woman asked in a Welsh accent.
“Gwen, do you know what this town’s name means?” The man who was apparently named Jack asked.
“No,” The woman who was apparently named Gwen said, “I figured it was French for middle of nowhere or something…”
“Lutte pour l’anneau translates into struggle for the ring,” Jack explained.
Neal had no idea what was going on but he knew for the strange group was so absorbed in whatever they were doing that they hadn’t noticed him, so he could back away slowly and get the heck out of there, which is exactly what he had started to do when the reflector on the stick started to gently glow. That made him stop dead in his tracks due to shock and a hit of curiosity. “Looks like your theory was right.” The woman who had been taking the man who was apparently named Rex’s pulse said in an English accent, as she and Rex walked up to Jack, Gwen, and the Goth girl.
“It’s not exactly here,” Jack said, “But it’s bright enough that it’s got to be nearby.” Then Jack started to walk away, and said, “Let’s try again up here.”
The group got into the van and drove away, kicking up a heavy cloud of dust behind them. Neal couch furiously and tried to shield his eyes from the flying dirt. It in that haze of bust that he saw something even more disturbing that stopped him right then and there. In the haze of dust there was an image that appeared part hologram, part ghost, of a frail young woman being lifted up into the air by an unseen force making horrible choking and gasping, she barely gasped the words, “Help me,” and then the light left her sparkling emerald colored eyes, and they closed and her body went limp. Then the image disappeared.
Neal blinked, not believing what he had just witnessed. Then he ran down the road, as fast and filled with as much terror as that girl was, so many years ago.
The road seemed much longer now.