Sorry about the missed week. Things are little busy at the moment. This story, Cutting Lines, was inspired by a pin I saw about World War 2. It made me think about all the times we believe someone else will do something, and no one ever does.
|The Eiffel Tower, 2015|
“C’est très facile,” Jean-Marie insisted as he poured another glass of wine for everyone. “Make the little monster use his own legs.”
Antoinette, Jean-Marie’s younger sister, leaned against the door of the wine cellar. The war had ceased three days before for her beloved France when the government signed their souls to the devil. Now, news had arrived that Hitler himself was to come to Paris.
“If we do something like this, it would be a problem,” Victor, named after the end of the previous war, ground his cigarette into the stone floor. “But, it might be worth the trouble.”
“Worth the trouble; I’d say it be jolly good,” Francis, the only Englishman in their group spoke in English. He used English when exceptionally excited. “Put the little man in his place, and all that.”
“C’est vrai!” Jean-Marie confirmed. “I have a friend who can help.”
“A friend who can help us do what?” Antoinette inquired, finally breaking her silence. The four men had known about the topic, but as they danced around the subject, no one had bothered to inform Antoinette.
"Cut the cables to the elevator at the Eiffel Tower."
The other four in the room blew out their breath or smoke. Francis responded first. "I still think it’s jolly brilliant. Wish I'd thought of it."
"You're not French," Victor observed. "You would have not of thought of something so ...."
"Mundane?" Antoinette suggested.
"Poetic," Jean-Marie snorted. "It is very poetic, and appropriate for le petit homme to have to walk up the stairs. He will cause so many of us tears, he must shed some."
"He will, most likely, throw a fit and resist going up," Antoinette responded, pushing away from the wall. "And just how do you plan to accomplish this feat of yours, oh brother of mine?"
"A friend who knows the place, who knows just what to do."
"Someone else might have the same idea, for it is, as you say, poetic." The snap scratch of a match punctuated Victor's words. He puffed on his cigarette. "We may have a rather large crowd which would lead certain authorities to our location."
"Right-o, chaps. He's right," Francis agreed, leaning back. "What will we do about that?"
Jean-Marie shook his head and stood. His hands moved quickly around as he began pacing. "No, no, no. If we all believe this then none of us will do something. We must believe that we act alone, in a group or else nothing will be done. We cannot simply allow that to happen - it is how this madman has managed to be where he is now."
The wine cellar fell silent. Only dripping from a leaky faucet, as though the wine cried, could be heard.
"What are you saying, exactly, Jean-Marie?" The final person to speak was also French, but his hair was blonde, his eyes blue. His name, Florian, was French and German depending upon how he pronounced it. Even his surname, Herbert, was also mixed, like the man himself.
"If someone had thought they were the only one who could make a difference, and did something, we would not be in this situation, but everyone thought someone else would do it." Jean-Marie stopped.
"I for one am tired of believing someone else will change things." He stopped in front of the door beside his sister. "Are you going to remain, or are you finally going to put action to those words of yours?"
Antoinette placed a hand on her brother's arm. "I can speak a lot better with written words, Jean-Marie, but there are times to think first."
"And there are more times to act before one thinks." Jean-Marie removed his sister's hand. "Time to think has long passed. It's now time to act."
"Those are soldiers out there," Antoinette argued. "They shoot first."
"Then I will die young."
"You are a fool, Jean-Marie."
"Now, now, Antoinette," Victor placated. "You know how Jean-Marie gets."
"I do," Antoinette answered. "That is what concerns me."
Jean-Marie sighed. "You all may remain if you wish, but I am going to venture forth and see what I can do. If I die defending my country, in my own way, then so be it."
Jean-Marie's footsteps echoed up the stairs, leaving the others to decide their own fates.