C'est dangereux

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

Chapter 5 (v.1) - First Part / Chapter 5

Submitted: May 25, 2019

Reads: 27

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Submitted: May 25, 2019

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FIRST PART / CHAPTER 5


Of course, Nicole didn’t immediately run away from Francesco. She planned this for about a week or two. In the beginning, it happened the day after Ricardo beat her after she said that he was storing wine barrels and she suggested getting a dog. Neither evidence of what she saw nor even of the fact that she was there at all, Francesco believed.

The first time Gratte decided to wash her and his shoes were initially in order to run away on the same day. As soon as Fran returned, he told the guard that he had not given any special assignments to Nicole. Nevertheless, he appreciates this one and he is very surprised by her irony. Francesco said that now she would wash his shoes every evening after work and polish into a shine. At the same time, additional responsibilities for Nicko was not providing free access to the kitchen.

Nicko asked Fran, could she wash her shoes in the morning after a run. He calmly agreed because she could dispose of her shoes as she liked. She must be worked purely as the driven snow. It gave Nicko a chance that she could escape. Every time she washed her and his shoes, Gratte thought about her escape, looked at detail after detail. How she would leave? What a role she would play? Who could give her a lift and where she would hide?

One day she went for a ‘run’ along a certain route: behind the backside of the yard, she must see where it leads. That day she found five garbage cans and an additional nook of the four fences where the containers sit. She understood that day that no one could see her there; neither other cars nor even the police. Of course, her shoes should be clean. She does not want to leave a mud trail.

Nicole even had some violent thoughts towards the guard. Once she was standing behind him. For some reason, he froze: he stood for about ten minutes in this position. Nicole froze with him and looked at him in the backside of the neck. She wanted to choke or suffocate him as shown in some television series or to dump him on the floor, immobilize and order not to make any sudden movements. But why she had to blame the guard and why she wants to hurt him? Francesco Ricardo is to blame. This guy hired him.

If Gratte will kill the guard, what will happen? Fran would sue her instantly, and he would beat her ten times before the investigation, breaking more than one bottle on her head. He would say that it was a fight between the guard and Nicole. After all, beating is nothing more than a piece of tattered skin and veins. There are no bullets. You cannot prove here that someone didn’t shoot with this weapon.

Anyone could break someone’s skin and veins, people could even fall by themselves, and there would be no legally accurate proof besides his testimony. At night, she tried to strangle her neck to understand the strength of her arms. Nicko cannot manage to force herself to cough up as if it was from cigarettes, not to mention the loss of consciousness. The guard would grab her hands from himself, and that would be all. Niko’s grasp is not strong and unsuitable for suffocating someone.

As for the breaking bottles on the face: no, this is not just a metaphor, this is a real case. Nicole tried to tell Fran about a mother with a police character and a grandmother with apocalyptic sentences that little entertained her. Fran disliked the story so much that he broke a glass on her face. Her forehead was covered with blood; the bridge of her nose was bloody, her nose was swollen and purple, small shards of glass fell somewhere under her eyes, from the side of her forehead dripped brooks like melted icicles. Then Ricardo attempted to heal her wounds, as he decided didn’t call an ambulance.

He didn’t have a realistic explanation of why the glass was broken on Nicole’s face. Was there a conflict between them? Nicole can refute this one. Does she have suicidal behaviour? Why would it if she never had such behaviour? Was Nicole had a lot of stress? No. Fran gently pulled out and removed all the shards from her throat. Nicko herself spit out some shards because her mouth was not shut at that time; she was talking.

She felt the glass cut her eyes if she was too tight, so she could see almost nothing and her eyes were likely to be closed. Removing the shards, Francesco washed her face several times with water, possibly from a kettle, to stop the probable bleeding provoked by the cutting shards. Not just her forehead or face, all her clothes were wet and sticky from top to bottom. It was as if someone had bathed her in clothes. And most importantly, it was all mixed with blood, so the clothes were bloody in some places.

Fran understood that the blood must be removed when it fresh. It has a tendency to bake and harden on the skin, and in this case, it would be very difficult to remove blood from the skin. He washed Niko’s face several times and then wiped it off. After that, Nicole went to the bathroom, throwing sticky and wet clothes with blood particles into the washing machine. When she went into the bathroom and looked at herself, she didn’t see any bleeding but decided to bathe and change clothes into something else.

After she left the bathroom, Francesco insisted on putting a huge layer of green medical spirit on her face, which, moreover, was forbidden to be washed off, so Nicole looked like a green corpse for the next three days. She doubted that all the shards had been removed because this led to inevitable changes.

About a month passed, and she still woke up. She still feels that small glass tickles somewhere in the nose bridge and on the right side of her left eye. If Nicole slept five hours, not seven for some reason, it would become more noticeable. It’s logical that the skin is less smooth with a lack of sleep, and this is not simple.

Nicko found it difficult to assess the behaviour of Francesco as a monster. She remembers Carla in a toxicological hospital, who barely knew French, and learnt more French offensive words than literary expressions, but she was not angry. An environment formed her. Maybe this is the case with Fran?

Sometimes Carla commanded Nicko: “Get up, stupid bitch, why you’re lying down?” Once Carla beat her. Blunt blows without bleeding, at thirteen you can’t fight strongly. After Nicole didn’t answer her, Carla decided that Nicole was kind and should be protected.

But Nicole didn’t believe at all that this immigrant of Indian or Arab origin was really the one that she seemed at first impression. In the hospital ward, she saw other school children: both plaintively whining, who wanted to go home, and real punks, disqualified by the whole world.

One of the schoolgirls called Hélène; she is only a year older than Nicole, and she is French. She constantly said that she would kill her if Nicole would say even a word. She was wearing a black dress with a pretty face, almost a girl from a poster, but covered in a rash. Carla every time loudly screamed at Hélène and even hit Hélène’s head: “Get away from Nicko, she is so much better than you.”

Sometimes it’s enough to look back, see and understand that there are real monsters (of course, sometimes they are seemed to be the ‘good’ side). That’s not always just both evil and kind children, who may not yet know what they are doing. It’s one thing if Fran is thirteen-year-old-guy. One could argue that it influenced this behaviour more—improper upbringing related to the environment or any psychological disorders. But Francesco was an adult. He is a complete adult man.

Nicole remembers how she told her mother that she, her mom was wrong. In response, mom announced that it was time to bathe. She made Nicole undressed and took her to the bathroom without any reason. Margeaux didn’t use brute force, didn’t turn her neck, didn’t even pour water into her eyes. But she really did want to punish her. Nicole was in a bath filled with water even without any specific reason suggesting such situations.

* * *

Gratte went inside and waited for her turn after an unknown woman in a blue car brought her to one of the branches of Banque de Morales. The girl-operator in a black suit and a tie said that she was not authorized to perform such operations. She advised her to go into a closed section with glass and a microphone. They operate with big money of more than ten thousand euros there.

But Nicole didn’t want to take such money. She had not much money on her account. They didn’t like one condition; she has her passport, she remembers the PIN-code of the card, but she had not the card itself. Technically, it’s possible to cash money of the card, but the junior bank staff has no authority to do this.

Nicole proceeded to the section behind the glass. The glass itself was blurred, and it’s barely visible who sits there. A man in a black business suit was barely older than her, and Gratte was only twenty-three-years-old. He spoke French in a low-volume tenor without any accent through the microphone.

She explained to him that she wanted to cash money from the card. However, she doesn’t have a card except for a passport. In the car with an unknown woman, Nicole quickly came up with a version for the banker that she was staying with some nephew in Dieppe. As soon as she started the journey, she forgot to put the card in her handbag.

A man in a black suit said:

“Your story is rather unusual for girls coming to our city because people don’t forget and leave credit cards at home. But, fortunately, this is not a problem in our bank. I have to call the head office in Paris and make a request. They will confirm the ownership of the card, and then they can cash money from it through the main computer, and you will receive cash.”

“But I’m not interested in big money of more than ten thousand euros. I need only three hundred euros.”

“Unfortunately, your operation has a special priority because you have forgotten your credit card. We must make sure that the card with a PIN code, which you had called, is your card.”

Nicole Gratte stood for about half an hour, but maybe about forty minutes. Firstly, the man made a request, he still notified in the calm and quiet tenor. The request was assigned a turn number, consisting of letters and numbers because the main computer has operations more important than cashing three hundred euros. Suddenly, in about five minutes, the answer came that the request was completed and the card owner was identified. He made the second request, which took a lot of time. The request that needs only to take off three hundred euros was again assigned numbers and letters.

Man’s face has not changed at all. It seems he believed that very unusual stories happen. Sometimes it can hardly be explained. She was afraid that the man could call the police immediately after completing the transaction. He could write an e-mail to them. They would do “additional check” of the dubious transaction. Sometimes bankers are supposed to be happy after very unusual operations. So you never know what they really think. This is necessary to arrest economic burglars and make them get sent to prison.

But even if in half an hour the man contacts the police, and they start checking this incident, they will still understand that Nicole just forgot it at home but not tried to steal money from someone’s else card. If so, then this is not a criminal offence, and the law does not require verification of motivation: how events or motivation made Nicole forgot the card? It’s unlikely that he would call because she didn’t take numerous money.

Finally, the answer comes, the money is cashed off. The banker gives Nicole three hundred euros. They will be enough to buy a ticket at the station from Dieppe to Paris and leave the hated husband. After Nicole came out of the section with a blurred glass, the next tallest man of about forty years went to the same man.

The branch of the bank was small; the section with blurred glass for special operations was the only one. Nicole does not know how long this man waited for his turn, but he probably thought that she opened and closed about a dozen accounts in different cities. Maybe, they are from her various relatives by letter of attorney. For what kind of banking operation could take such a time.


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