When they finished the steep hike down Rue Ravignan they rounded the corner of Rue des Abbesses and walked toward the first café just behind the bus stop. It is actually a bakery as well as a café and is always very busy. What they failed to notice as they sauntered down the hill was the shadowy figure that stood near a large tree in the little park above them and watched their movements closely. They chatted on unknowingly in Russian until they got to the door of the boulangerie and went in. The figure then left the shadows of the park and walked cautiously down the hill.
Inside the little shop were the wonderful smells of freshly baked bread, pastry and quiches. A crowd of people stood by the display cases and waited for one of the several shop women to take their orders. Russell noticed that they had the quiche with three cheeses and that rich quiche with potatoes before motioning the three of them to go outside and sit facing the little square with its metro entrance and small merry-go-round. They sat at two tables pulled together and began to chat again. When the waitress finally came, Russell ordered tea with milk to go with the quiches for his two guests and a hot chocolate and a croissant for himself. No one paid any particular attention to the figure that darted from the door of the big, brown church to the metal handrails of the metro entrance before sitting in the next café down from them at the boulangerie.
The three friends enjoyed their breakfast and sat laughing and talking in the pale morning sun. People walked or sometimes hurried to the metro station’s stairs to travel under Paris in the relative comfort of the subway system. The merry-go-round sat shining brightly, chiming out cheery music but not moving as it was still a bit early for parents to bring their children out for a bit of fun. All in all, Paris was awake and moving but not quite yet ready to begin another busy day.
There was still much to do to get ready for the party tonight. There would be lots of deliveries and the young people from the drama department at the university would arrive in a couple of hours to learn the scene they were to put on in the brief theatrical presentation when the party started. The minimalistic setting for the light drama must be gotten together. All of these things had been on Russell’s mind since he woke up this morning. He may have been an over-educated brick layer but artistic thoughts danced in his head and a clear plan of the brief play was busily evolving into a rather impressionistic styled visual piece for his guests to enjoy tonight. He sat rubbing his nose thoughtfully as Iliyas, sitting opposite him, noticed that the pad of the ring finger on his right hand had suddenly become numb, which was rather annoying and strange, of course.
Russell Ragsdale needs an apartment in Montmartre and kindly asks neither for donations nor gifts but just that you will buy his Book of Aliases at some e-book retailer of your choice. Thanks. Now keep your eyes open for further installments of this story which should be appearing here soon.