Arles, 2014.

Not a muscle in his face, nor a hair on his head moved as Peter sat comfortably. As the train tore through southern France, Peter was content to stare out with his deep blue eyes at the picturesque landscape, whipping by on his first trip to this part of the country. Like a sponge, the young travel writer, soaked up as much as he could of the view, before reaching his destination. But before he got there, he met a woman.

Peter immediately noticed that the both of them shared an eye colour. The girl had on a floral dress, and a sun hat, and all she had with her was her ticket in one hand, and her purse in the other. He deduced that she travelled light, and only had the one dress, or she was a local, and was soon to disembark within a few stations.

She was all smiles as she slid the compartment door to a close and sat down across from Peter, and all of his previous attentions went out the window, as he focused on the beauty before him. Her opulent skin was pale, yet rosy, her hair was black and windswept, and of course her eyes glowed like beryl.

Bonjour,” the girl began.

Peter repeated the greeting, “Bonjour.”

Comment t’appelles-tu?” she queried further, jutting out her hand to shake.

Je m’appelle Peter,” then he added to be polite, “et toi?

“Élodie. Tu parles Anglais?

“Was it that obvious?” Peter replied, reverting to his natural language.

Oui,” Élodie answered, though she repeated it in English, “Yes, you’re accent gave it away, but I knew when I saw you, you weren’t French.” Her accent was thick, but it was pleasant, unlike Peter’s accent, which was a butchery to Élodie’s language.

“I have a look do I?”

Élodie smirked, “Among other things.”

“I assume, you hail from the south of France?”

Mais bien sûr! Arles to be exact. It’s the next stop.”

“So, you’ll be getting off there?”


She looked through the window of the compartment door, as one of the conductors passed by. To make sure they were alone.

Very suddenly, Élodie’s expression became serious, and she began to interrogate him, “Now Monsieur Dawson, I have some specific questions for you. If you answer all of them correctly, you will remain alive. Sound good?” She then produced a gun from her purse, complete with a silencer, and Peter could do nothing but sit in a stunned silence.

“I take it you understand not to scream?” Élodie asked, to which Peter nodded in the affirmative.

“How long have you been in France?”

“Two weeks,” Peter replied simply, as he was enveloped by a cold sweat.

“Did you meet with a Monsieur Pierre Du Roi?”

“Yes. Oui.”

“What did the two of you discuss?”

“Just his life!” said Peter, his voice begin to rise, as the situation started to make him frantic.

“The volume, please, Monsieur Dawson. You don’t want to be shot in the face do you? It’s a rather handsome face after all.”

Peter then shook his head no, as he tried to calm himself down.

C’est bien. Now, in this interview, did either of you discuss the war?”


“Did he give you any specific dates, or tell you the names of any individuals he fought with, or operation code names, etc.?”

“None,” Peter answered quickly. Too quickly.

Élodie looked at Peter suspiciously, “Does Istanbul mean anything to you? What about 1942? Byzantine? Munitions?”


“Are you sure? Nothing about weapons? … On their way to Germany?”

“No, nothing,” Peter lied again.

Élodie smiled again, as she came to the end of her interrogation. “Okay! I think we had a productive meeting, which is fortunate for you, as you answered all of my questions, and all of them correctly.”

“So... because I knew nothing about the munitions in the warehouse… you’ll let me live?” Peter asked, relief swirling around him.

Élodie was about to put her gun away, until Peter mentioned the warehouse. “Pas mal, Monsieur, pas mal.


“I was about to let you go…” Élodie then shot Peter square in the face, a bullet through each eye. “… until you said warehouse.”

The writer’s dead body slumped forward, and dripped with blood. Before Élodie left Peter alone in the compartment she pulled out her phone and texted someone, probably her superiors, that the job was done, as the train slowed on the approach to Arles.

The End

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