Chapter 28: Third Part / Chapter 8

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 41

THIRD PART / CHAPTER 8


Although Gratte wasn’t very sorry for the coma of someone else’s daughter, she still felt guilty (a religion without fanaticism, but it meant a lot to herself). She saw Alain in dreams. Nicole was sitting at a computer, browsing a site. He opened the door and entered.

“Alain? Why are you still alive? I saw you being shot to the death from a car in the city.”

“It was not me, but my twin brother.”

“Is he also Pierre’s second adopted son?”

“No, he shouldn’t have guessed anything. Pierre took only one son; he didn’t want to raise a second. But we were twins.”

“But wait, the fake Alen was in the same white headphones disguised as musical, with a holster of the same pistol as Morales’s. He knew what the twin brother couldn’t know.”

“I told him everything apart from one detail. The twin brother didn’t understand what state you were in. He didn’t respond to your reactions; it was as if just another person was walking nearby.”

“Do you know that I was lying somewhere in toxicology?”

But Nicole woke up and understood that all this was a dream, perhaps her pipe dreams about certain people. These dreams accompanied her at different times. When Gratte came to Michel, he didn’t attempt to kick her out. Her appearance wasn’t that bad and was unimportant; it simply didn’t express anything. She lay on a free sofa, pulling down only her shoes and denim overalls, without even having to undress something else.

Nicole remained in black jeans and fell asleep in them. It wasn’t difficult on the new couch, because Gratte was last woken up at four in the morning. She woke up after this strange dream about the fact that Alain had a twin brother.

Gratte opened her eyes. After a while, Michel noticed her. The time was about the evening.

“Nicole, did you wake up? Are you okay?”

“Yes.”

The woman understood that she was sweating a lot. The forehead, armpits, legs, knees, hips, and calves are full of moisture. Nicole knew for sure that it wasn’t because of the clothes: sometimes she fell asleep in her pants, besides Nicole didn’t sleep completely naked. Perhaps the flat was too hot.

Michel thought that she could have a temperature, and suggested to check it. He pulled out a thermometer measuring the temperature in Celsius from somewhere, Nicole put it under her armpit. Five minutes later, it turned out that her temperature was normal.

Nicole got up and went to the toilet, and then returned. Michel asked:

“Can I call the doctors?”

“No, no doctors are needed. They will offer to take me to a hospital, but I don’t have any personal documents. I wanted to talk to you, but I’m tired and falling asleep.”

“They will look at you at least.”

“No need to look at me.”

She didn’t know whether the doctors used some kind of lists like bankers. According to the idea, they take the Hippocratic oath and swear to help all people, but you can expect anything in France.

Finally, Nicole understood why she was sweating: Michel covered her with a blanket for some reason, as if there was no heating in the flat.

“Can I take off my jeans and sleep well?”

Doing this, he reminded of her grandmother Bernarda, who, it seems, always believed that her granddaughter freezes, even if she is sleeping in clothes. Nicole carefully took them off. Her legs were without pantyhose but in black socks.

It takes too long to put on the pantyhose; she used socks for quick walks. But their drawback was that they almost always dug into the skin of calves and left marks as she was in a screed. The most favourite moment is to return from a long walk (of course, the socks didn’t sit quite tight, this was felt over time) and free themselves from their ‘ties.’ She folded her clothes on a chair nearby, and then closed her eyes.

* * *

Michel drove her in a car at night with the lights on inside the car. It stopped at a lake. He pulled out a large blue dress, tight-fitting around the waist from the trunk. Dressing in it, she kissed Michel for a long time, hugged him. She managed to run along the night shore of the lake and even examined water drops lit by the bright moon.

The dress encircled the waist, as for the lower part, it consisted of three skirts: upper, middle and lower, it was obviously too magnificent. Michel said that the dress would be his special gift, although his presentation motives weren’t clear to Nicole. When she was tired of the lake, Gratte got into the car, Michel drove her to the house where her mother lives, Margeaux.

Their house was six-story, not very new, and like the vast majority of French architecture. The elevator was the same old as the house: one door had to be opened by hand, as only one was automatic. Nicole pressed a button. The cabin was below and she opened the door manually.

An unknown man rushed at her with a packet, and she instantly lost consciousness. After she was abducted, Nicole was stripped and was in her underwear. She was also wearing underwear in which she came to Michel’s flat in life.

When Nicole woke up in a basement, she saw Gardinier in front of her. She couldn’t speak. A shiny grey ribbon tied her mouth; she was tied to a chair with her feet, and there were handcuffs on her hands. Gardinier tore off the tape abruptly, but she didn’t feel pain.

“Gardinier? I thought you were still the director of the Economic Risk Assessment Department. Do you know that you abducted me illegally?”

“Pierre Morales needs you, so everything is according to the law. I was promoted to deputy director of the Internal Investigations Division.”

“And what case are you investigating?”

“Your involvement in the murder of Alain Renard.”

Nicole had heard about the existence of such a department in the bank, although she had no idea what they were doing there. She woke up and understood that it was just a bad dream. From now on, any mention of Alain Renard in a dream could wake her.

Of course, the Department of Internal Investigations in the bank existed, but Gratte didn’t think that they also abducted people. Rather, they are developing tactics on how to cancel fraudulent and clearly dubious financial operations. Sometimes the Department of Internal Investigations was called the ‘Security Service.’

Michel Schneiga entered her room. Nicole got dressed. The sofa was double but folded in one part. Sitting, she rolled her waist from one corner to the couch to the other, extended one arm, showed him fingers with a pink manicure. Natural colour is already growing at the bottom of the nail:

“I want to renew the finger manicure,” Nicole said. “I know one salon here.”

“Okay, we can go. And then where are we going?”

“Then to the intensive care unit to Alicia Schneiga, and then to the cemetery of Alain Renard. What’s up with the business?”

“The business is fine, I’ll tell the deputies. There are no situations that require my solutions.”

Nicole was ready, the only exception: she took off her beige bra. She didn’t like to drive in a car, being fastened with a seat belt. She threw on a black jacket denim overalls and went out to the black car.

Michel stopped his black hatchback near the beauty salon. Nicole, sitting in front, got out and ended up inside the building. When she was asked to choose a colour for a new manicure, she wondered whether to make her pink or blue. In the end, she decided not to give in to the dream and leave hot pink.

Gratte returned to the car and began to fasten her belt, Michel complimented her: “I think they have become brighter than before.” Nicole appreciated that although she knew that wasn’t true. The car went to intensive care, as Nicole herself wanted. They came in and walked to the glass.

She stood calm for several minutes. She didn’t move or speak.

“Michel, I understand, of course, that this is not entirely my business,” Nicole tried to make excuses. She only knew that an accident had occurred, but had never before raised this topic. “I want to know how Alicia Schneiga fell into a coma.”

“This is completely your business already because you were the first to ask me to come to the intensive care unit.”

“There is some rumour that she rammed a fuel truck,” Nicole didn’t know at all whether this was true, as she heard in her dream. A ‘very reliable’ source of information.

“Hmm, rumours. I would have looked into the eyes of these rumour makers,” Michel didn’t need to know that the maker was herself. “Alicia was driving along some country road, somewhere on the coast. Investigators suggest that she fell asleep at the wheel. The car flew out of the road, turned over seven times, Alicia fell into a coma and hasn’t yet recovered.”

Holly crap. But Nicole doesn’t even know how many hotels Alicia changed before she had an accident. It’s unlikely that happening in Paris, there are almost no bridges there.

“In which city was her car?”

“Somewhere in Lyon.”

“Yes, there are many of them. The bridge city of France. Some locals call Lyon ‘French Great Britain.’ It’s full of forks and bridges, almost like in London.”

“Have you been there?”

“Yes.”

“I think we should definitely go there somehow. I know London, but I have not been to ’French London’ yet.”

“Only elevators in buildings will seem a little old-fashioned to you. One of the doors must be opened with your own hands.”

Nicole tried to return to the main point.

“Tell me, who do you blame for the death of your daughter?”

“Myself. At first, her mother and his wife, brought to the final bleeding and not giving her due attention. My daughter grew up without her and she was quickly formed by the ‘street.’ I had to work a lot. And recently, I was seduced by some damned emotions. She ran away from my house to her own hotel because of me. She wanted independence, to break out of the oppression of the unrespectable father.”

Hmm. Nicole understood that she was beyond suspicion. Even if she tells the truth, her provocation, an action commissioned by Pierre, Michel will never believe her.

This is just an unhappy family, completely, without her intervention. Another reason for her nightmares was that she developed the scenario for her daughter’s ‘poisoning,’ not Pierre. Morales didn‘t want to interfere with his daughter at all, and Gratte was also to blame for the provocation of this accident.


Submitted: January 21, 2020

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