Annette: Close Call

 My eyes fluttered open, sunlight spilling into the silent room, drifting through the glass window panes tinged with dust and grime. I ran my hand over my face, attempting to brush the sleep from my eyes, and brought myself to a sitting position, gazing about the room. I had slept longer than I had intended-my sleepless nights had finally caught up to me.

 I paused; where was everyone? Coming to my feet, I dashed to the window and looked out, the regular bustle of Versailles below, though I could see no sign of any of my companions. Where did they all disappear off to now?

 Carefully I combed through my dark hair, tying it up as quickly as I could in a neat fashion. I dressed into my day clothes, straightening my skirt and sleeves as I placed my slippers on my feet. Quietly, I slipped from our room and hurried downstairs where some people were dining on their breakfast and sipping tea.

 I did not linger there long, departing from the inn and joining the sparse throng in the streets. From the expression of the people, you could certainly tell war was raging. Faces were drawn and blank, eyes filled with shadows. People did not pause to chat, a determined rush in their step as they went along their way. I joined them, briskly going along my own way, a way of which I was somewhat uncertain. Finding information would be a fine thing, yet to find my companions to hear of their news would be good as well.   

I turned onto a street which had fewer persons on it, wandering my way through Versailles to observe the general appearance of the place. My heart stopped as a hand grasped tightly around my arm, lips placed at my ear as another hand crept over my mouth. "It would best you be quiet, Madamoiselle," a voice foreign to me  breathed into my ear, thick with acholhol as it ruffled my hair and brushed against my cheek. In one swirft motion I was pulled into an empty alleyway, dark and obscure with lack of sunlight. My heart was beating wildly in my chest, my hands trembling with fear as I attempting to stay calm and think of a way to escape. In the soft murk of the alleyway, I could only make out the most basic of features on this man's face.

"What is happening with le groupe de femmes?" the stranger hissed, bringing his face closer to mine. "Ever single one of you is street trash; your efforts are worthless. You all will be burned at the stake for playing your roles in it against the king. We shall weed you all out-for that is what you are, causing havoc all through France."

My knees were shaking, but my voice remained steady and calm, a hint of annoyance in my tone as I replied in my best French accent, "What do you mean, Monsieur! Release me from your grasp-I have nothing to do with such brutes of people!"

The cold sharpness of a dagger was pressed against my neck, sending a chill down my spine as a single droplet of blood oozed from my neck. I held my breath, my eyes wide with terror as he whispered in my face, somewhat amused, "We'll see about that, Madamoiselle." I closed my eyes as he began to dig in my dress pockets, searching me over for anything. "How fine, were you to buy new ribbons with this money?" scoffed the stranger, finding a small sachel of money which Guillame had given us all. Chuckling, he tucked it in his own pocket and continued his investigation of me.

Blood stopped in my veins as he went to undo my gown. Instinctively I shouted out, kicking as hard as I could in the fork of his legs and darting from his grasp as he fell to the ground in pain. I didn't look back as he swore at me in French, stumbling to his feet, my slippers coming off as I raced out of the alley and as far away as I could from that man.  Finally I stopped, sitting against a wall as I attempted to catch my breath, heaving out of me in great gusts. I was still quivering, in shock from what had happened as I finally stood, and, barefoot, restructured myself and calmed my emotions, making my way down to the marketplace where I could get lost in the bustle of people and take a wide, prolonged route to the inn incase of any followers.

The End

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