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Collaborative Story Dock One

Paris street annomyus(Dock One Collaborative Story Continued from previous posts.)

“I know you have the key, where is it?” her father motioned toward the contents of her purse spread on the bed.
Marian observed the photo among her personal items.
“Give me the key now.” He smashed a chair against the wall.
“Why should I?” She controlled the quiver in her voice. “Tell me what you’re after.”
“We have a common goal. Save your mother.”
“My mother? She disappeared when I was ten.”
“I don’t have time to explain. Give me the key.”
“Where is she? Don’t lie to me.”
“She’s being held hostage somewhere in this Godforsaken city. The key must remain out of their hands.” Marian plucked the key from her cleavage. Her mother must be the prisoner in the faded photo.
He grabbed the key then stuffed it in his pocket. “Your mother’s abductors are evil. You must escape them.” His voice deepened, “Gen, get her on a plane to San Francisco.”
“Yes, yes,” Gen said, with a catch in her voice, almost a sob.
“Get going.” He shooed them toward the door.
Marian grasped her father’s wrist. “No.” Her lips trembled.
He turned his face away from her. “I can’t lose both—”
She interrupted him, “They intend to kill you.”
“You know nothing.” He thrust his chin to Gen, “Take her away.”
“The dock money wasn’t touched,” Marian said, her voice firm. “This isn’t about ransom. What have you done that someone would want revenge?”
Her father’s facial expression flashed a look of agreement, but it changed to anger. “That’s not your concern.” He positioned himself at the door, with his hand on the knob for her departure. “You must stay safe.”
“Father, you’re the one who forced me into a dreary career. Let me do something worthwhile now. It’s my mother’s life at stake and probably because of you.”
“I’m coming too. She’s my sister, and it’s my freedom on the line,” said Gen.
“You’re retired from the agency.”
“I still have a few good years left in me, and I have my service weapon here.”
“The three of us have to save the mother I never knew. We must work together,” said Marian.
Her father rubbed his forehead and grimaced. “I’ll make the arrangements for the meet.”

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Collaborative Story Dock One

lighted Eiffel Tower(Collaborative Story continued from previous posts.)

Marian approached the Eiffel tower as her stomach roiled with fear. She moved forward, alert like a nuclear weapon specialist ready to push the button for the next war. She was thankful the lights on the tower illuminated the ground under it. A large crowd of tourists with their cameras stood in line for the elevator to the upper levels. Smells of food cooking in the restaurant above made her hungry. A hot meal would have relieved the damp of the cool night.
A man and woman stood alone a few feet away. Her father and Gen, from opposite directions, looked towards the couple. Marian and Gen received the planned nod from her father directed at the couple. The woman had to be Marian’s mother.
Marian pretended to be one of the sightseers milling around and edged closer to the man and woman, slipping behind them. The man held something in his hand. A gun? She maneuvered closer, and suspected the object was a remote control device. She had read about them in the mysteries. A bomb’s nearby.
The man flashed the object so her father could see it. He in turn revealed the key. Seconds beat along with Marian’s heart as the two men squared off. Suddenly, the man slumped to the ground, a red smear blossoming on the side of his head. The remote flew out of his hand. Marian scrambled to grab it without the fear that it could be a dead man switch. She straightened, met her mother’s abject terror-filled eyes. She directed Marian’s stare to the bulges under her coat. Marian froze.
Her vision blurred and all movement appeared in slow motion. Police descended on the scene. A man dressed in protective gear ambled toward them. Marian couldn’t stop her body from shaking while the expert disarmed and unstrapped the vest of C4 packets from her mother’s body. Marian’s mind raced to figure out what happened. Gen must have shot the criminal and Marian’s own instinct made her recover the remote before it hit the ground. Had it landed the wrong way, there would have been nothing left of any of them.

Marian’s mother crumpled to the ground once she was free from the bomb vest. Marian hurried to kneel beside her and held her tight as they sobbed. Several times her mother said, “Forgive me. I never wanted to leave you.”

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Collaborative Story Dock One

cholorform(Collaborative Story Dock One continued from previous posts.)
The throb in Marian’s right temple pulled her from her sleep, the outline of a man in a chair brought her back to the reality of the dead man on the pier and the ride through Paris with Gen. The instinct to bolt took hold of her, but fear held her in place on the bed.
“Marian, be calm,” said a recognizable male voice. She winced when he flicked on the nightstand’s small lamp, illuminating a face she knew all too well. Dazed, the disdainful odor of chloroform lingered in her nostrils, and settled on the roof of her mouth.
Gen offered a bottle. “Here, drink some Evian.”
Feeling queasy, Marian accepted, “This is kidnapping. Why?”
“We’ll explain later. Drink. It’ll settle your stomach.” Gen glared at the man.
Marian did as she was told. The man’s face zoomed into focus. She stared in his eyes, the eyes of the man she least expected here in Paris. She sipped to borrow time, to regroup. She mistrusted him more than ever. Her thoughts strayed to the dock, the dead man, the money, her unforgettable past. How imperfect, yet perfect in timing. “It was orchestrated, wasn’t it?” she asked.
“Yes, Child. Now, where is the key?” Her father’s voice, the controlling tone she knew too well, the one that annoyed her.
Marian hated the man who was her father. For the greater part of her life, she had tried to love him. It hadn’t worked. She endured his lies, his secrets, his unwillingness to open up to her. Now here he was bringing a new danger to her. No, not a danger, but more, who could know how many new dangers? The sound of his voice crushed her joy at being in Paris to search for a new beginning, a new career away from his lies.
How did he know she would be on that pier? How did he know that she would go to the old man’s side? She had a thousand questions he probably would never answer.

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