Running faster they could still smell the sulfur. By the time the hooded evil be solid as coal, they assume they will be inside walls of Carlton Hotel hulking ahead which seemed to be safe with its brightly lit grand atrium crowded with happy people dancing in pairs. Nevertheless, he got his flail whenever happened as the evil always attacked by surprise. He clutched his flail firmly, afraid he might loss it. He mused the flail saved them and would saved them in future. This destroyed the hooded evil when it accidentally touched him. It suddenly occurred to him that the flail kept him safe all along as it drove away the hooded evil. Nearing the Carlton Hotel, Rigor and Daniela slowed down.
“I’m thinking of wearing the flail as necklace or an accessory. I’m afraid it might slip if i keep it inserted in my loose pants or pocket, i’m losing weight.” said Rigor whipping flail in the air.
“Good idea, that’s right keep on practicing. There might be an effective stroke that would cast the hooded evil.completely.” said Daniela admiring Rigor doing his stunt. Rigor playfully brandished it to her that she blocked and act defeated covering herself and mimic a whirring sound of an ash. They share a laugh at their triumph. Rigor showed off his flail skill. He twirled it like a baton and tossed it up; caught by his index finger and held it steady on balance. It fell off and was able to catch it and whipped forcibly producing a slashing sound. They stopped to the palm tree near the grand entrance for cover. From here, Daniela could see people celebrating as they were tossing glasses of wine.
“Do i look okay?” she asked brushing her hair as well as the nighties. Rigor laughed and she clearly was not. Daniela looked straight to the entrance; thinking. Then her serious gaze shifted to private verandas on every window from down up to the terrace. Rigor was tracing her gaze so obvious that he knew what’s on her mind. She’s planning their entrance.
“No, no, no Daniela. This is not a house that you usually climbed. This is way up high. Of course, you do look good always. it’s just that…….”
“What?, I’m all messed up?” said Daniela truthfully.
“Wait” said Rigor dabbing his fingers gently on Daniela’s cosmetic soaked face and smeared it on his face. He repeatedly did so until it blackened and contorted his face comically. Daniela’s filthy face brightened up as she usually does every time Igor did something absurd cajoling her.
“Feel better huh, I’m not.” Said Rigor pointing his pouted lips for a kiss. Daniela crossed her arms on her chest on disagreement but her naughty smile suggested she wanted a kiss too. Rigor planted a torrid kiss and she kissed back so hard she bit his lips and bleed. Rigor didn’t flinch in spite of the pain and his lips rather raced for her and she slowly let go off trembling and moaning.
“I can’t wait upstairs.” Said Rigor letting out a sigh of exhaustion that leave him devoid of physical strength. She always let him devoured her and she let herself submerged deep in pleasure and then when it occurred they’ve gone far she deprived him of indulging. Rigor wondered what bothered her. He followed Daniela walking in bare feet and clad in black silk nighties which exposed her silky smooth legs, shoulders and back.
Upon entering beyond the threshold, every head turned eyeing them suspiciously. They passed along a group who deliberately commented aloud.
“Don’t you think the act so explicit? They shouldn’t have done that beyond private beds.” Said the blonde woman who obviously solicit for an opinion as she looked around.
“Well, we have done that on grass. Sands are warmer at night. “ her stout husband replied.
“Nothing is wrong with the grass, or sand or mud if you will.” Said another woman who looked at Daniela’s sand shimmering feet. “It’s the whip, the black and blue on skin and blood on lips that disturbed me, it’ s exploitation.” She ended with a gulp of her wine.
“ I won’t tolerate such a sadistic coward act.” Raged another woman who shot an angry glance at her husband who may have similar S & M fantasies. “That ghastly look on her face told a nightmare.”
”What will you do?” Her husband asked whom she ignored and her eyes maliciously met that of receptionist’s who was on the phone rather suspicious of Rigor and Daniela.
Rigor and Daniela got the lift all for them; he pushed the button close and as it close a long hand waved to the center intercepting the sensors which opened the door automatically. A long legged woman walked inside smiling. She held her purse so gorgeous as if posing before the camera. She winked to the right corner of the lift where a camera was installed. She smiled to Daniela.
“ So urban decay is the latest craze huh. Black and blue, dark eye shadows. Filthy but savvy. Marilyn Manson will be delighted though Alexander McQueen set the trend.” She said and both of them remained silent and shook their head in disagreement.
“O, you two must have a rough day then. I’m sorry but you exude quality, you got an outlandish beauty we call an X factor. You are what we’ve been looking for. You can be a model! Here I am babbling, I’m sorry. I’m Sonia. I manage a modeling agency in Italy” She said getting a business card from her purse and handed it to Daniela. “Come to think of the fame, fortune and glory. Some waited for it forever and it’s coming to you now.” She said to the unconvinced Daniela of her scout charade. Rigor and Daniela look at each other and then to Sonia.
”See, you’re wrong Ma’am. Those people back there thought of us a slave shit. We’ll keep this anyway, we both have to think it over. We’re in the middle of something.” Said Daniela
”Don’t mind what they thought, we think better. I mean, they would regard filthy people scandalous. We, on the contrary thought of this filthy fellow living life to the fullest. See, they’re living each day as if it was the last that they don’t have time for such a nuisance. I saw it on you. Now, you two can come with me now. I’m sorry for adding pressure on your already haggard day but I don’t have much time either. I have a boat to catch.” She said as the lift chimed to stop.
“O, this is us, we’re staying at the end of the shaft. Segnora, thank you so much. Promise, i’ll call as soon as I made up my mind. Said Daniela to Sonia who can’t hide her disappointment.
“I’ll be down the Valet Parking, I’ll wait for you if ever you change your mind. The boat will leave in thirty minutes.” Said Sonia as door closed.
Inside their hotel room, Rigor plunged exhausted on the soft bed. Daniela gathered her things onto the couch. She booted her laptop computer and tapped some keys. On Google’s window BCBG MAX AZRIA’s web site popped up. Daniela browsed through entertaining web pages. She learned about its history and philosophy. The array of simple yet elegant fashion collections brought out the girl in her. Various designer’s life story inspired her. Moreover, it’s the designer’s scent collections fascinated her.
”Rigor, check this out. They’ve got four scents namely Nature, Metro, Star and Sexy. All in an obelisk shaped bottle. As you can see under the scent’s name are ingredients which I knew some of them are exotic. Some can be grown once a year and reaping is as oblivious for they grow in high altitude, maybe Himalayas. The pyramid is a graph dividing ingredients into three stating the top, middle and base notes. It shows the scents’s life span. Ingredients on top are the ones you smell after spraying which lasts half an hour or so. Those in the middle are the ones you smell afterwards and the base is what you get till it subsides.” Said Vita who continued tapping keys and she knew Igor was looking at her. “What?” She asked with her eyes still glued on screen.
”Nothing, you’re learning so much it amazed me. All the while, I thought you’re just picking and grinding flowers back home. I felt nothing is mystery to you at all.” Said Rigor.
”Of course not, the perfume the Dame laid for us to decipher her message remains a mystery up to this moment.” Said Daniela clicking keys and another window popped which piqued her interest. “And eventually we’ll uncover it, see the scents packaging or box has what we’ve found to be dotted code, no longer a mystery for this is Braille, a reading system for the blind.” Said Daniela smiling to Igor and got the coded papers from her clutch bag. Rigor laughed as she spread the paper respectively in bed. He is thinking the sales should extend to the handicapped. Surely, blinds can smell. “I’m expecting they’ll soon train their salesperson of communicating in sign language.” He joked while Daniela focused reducing the Braille on a smaller scale on another piece of paper. Rigor starved, so he phone for a room service dinner.
He sat on couch and reached for television’s remote control and clicked it open. BBC aired breaking news. Rigor recognized the reporter from the red carpet in Palais de Festivals. Of course, how can he forget a guy who caught everyone’s attention as he aggressively jumped beyond the stanchion aiming to interview stars. He was barred forcibly out by the Marshals for he had no Plume d’ Or pass. Rigor noticed several reporters on the background wearing sympathetic eyes before the camera. He turned volume up that distracted Daniela.
”The show goes on despite one of Cannes Film Festival’s board member been killed. Beyond this stanchion to the red carpet’s center lies a horrible sight of the Dame.
The television flicked showing feeds from the CCTV mounted around the red carpet area. The Marshal in a Darth Vader costume seared the Dame’s forehead with his real light saber. The Dame shrieked in pain but couldn’t move and the black hooded figure-the alleged Marshal slashed her mercilessly and leave floating away pursuing an unseen entity striking it with his light saber and the TV flicked back to the reporter.
”The Marshal in question was last seen on the winding passages of Le Suquet. Restaurant owners called the police for his arrest mainly due to his threatening behavior; he violently toppled chairs and tables which injured patrons. Witness said he acted looking for something. The police immediately covered the vicinity. The Commander posted his men to a catacomb like passages where the perpetrator was believed to have gone hiding. They’d blocked all possible getaways putting him trapped on corner. The perpetrator reached what the locals called the boundaries; the ghetto of communities notorious elements. The reinforced steel wall of catacomb’s dead end made any attempt of escaping impossible. On its wall hung a torch which had witness numerous French police’s successful crime busts operation. A few hours ago however, forensic experts share with us same question, how? Police recounted they heard crackling firecrackers below the catacomb and minutes later sulfur fall out above restaurants forming mushroom of dark clouds choking and poisoned everyone. The smog strangely disappeared as if a humongous vacuum sucked it in. The forensic department however seeks everyone’s cooperation of bringing up two people into custody as they’d displayed utmost fear captured by the CCTV upon the exploding fireworks.” The TV flicked to a CCTV feed showing Daniela and Rigor hugging in fear of something only them can explain and they scurried away , five minutes later, the Dame came into view on the exact spot where Rigor and Daniela had been. The Dame was look and waiting for someone. Forensics look at it worthy of investigation.”
Rigor turned the TV off and stand composing himself then gathered his pouch, flail and put it hastily to a BCBG shopping bag where everything including perfume were stored.
“Okay, forget about dinner and let’s wish everyone be blind for one night. We’re leaving now.” Said Rigor harshly obliging Daniela to do fast packing as he did. Before he knew it Daniela was done packing coming out of the comfort room with a Carlton foldable hamper filled with her clutch bag, laptop and hotel’s toiletries wrap in a bathrobe for cushion. She paced back and forth placing calls on smart phone. She snapped it closed after a brief talk and smiled to Rigor.
”Ready.” Asked Rigor leading out the door with a shopping bag.
”Of course, yes.” Replied Daniela toting the hamper confidently. They sneaked easily to the terrace for it was deserted as everyone were in the grand atrium. Rigor graced the thick cable line which was harnessed at the cupola. He knew it held two gigantic golden palm leaves displayed from top to foot of the hotel. Igor did push ups to the harness checking it’s strength. Satisfied he checked the palm itself.
”Alright, we can trust palm leaves, it’s a thick galvanized iron and is supported by several cables. We just got lucky. You’ll take the other leaf.” Said Rigor who started descending easily as of a ladder. Daniela oriented herself of how she is to descend on a curved leaf which formed a U- shape when joined with another. She fastened hamper’s strap to her shoulder, jostling it like a backpack just what Igor did with his shopping bag. She followed freely moving in all four. Midway down, they could see a parked trailer van equipped with a small satellite dish on its sky roof. Rigor knew from Daniela’s phone conversation it was Sonia waiting. Daniela jumped off from her leaf’s end shortly after Rigor did accidentally tripped on wires which secured his leaf’s end and landed on rocky ground head first. He luckily snapped the shopping bag and wedged it between grounds protecting his face while the perfume smashed.
Sonia came rushing out of hiding from the palm tree upon hearing the smash. Daniela saw her coming fast from where they had been a while ago.
“Are you Alright?” Asked Daniela pulling Rigor up with his shopping bag dripping. She turned to Sonia who looked up high to the building.
”Sorry, out of towners.” Said Daniela
“Who got away with good things.” Said Sonia sniffing the opulent scent of the drippings. Her eyes twinkling in unison to her sparkling smile that Igor perceived as tolerance to their wrongdoing or just an admiration to their bravery.
“And running away from big trouble.” She added that caught Rigor and Daniela tongue tied. “I saw it on television.”
“It’s a big mistake.” Said Daniela in defense
“Forensic experts wanted you both for as always they found something next to a blur. I, on the other hand believed in mystery. Your running away told me, you don’t have an answer either. Just the right thing to do. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you guarded, now get in” Said Sonia opening the van of clutter. On the side adjacent to a messy kitchen we’re hung costumes.
Don’t make us regret this.” Said Daniela with an ambivalence so strong she didn’t step up the van.
“Look, i’m Involved from the time I gave you my card. They would qualify me a fugitive and jeopardizing a fellow fugitive is as great a punishment. Now, go inside and don’t make me recognize you both. Make the most of my clutter,” She said hurrying to the driver’s seat and revved to the harbor.
Daniela opened a box of prosthetics which will then served its great purpose. She used to wear superheroes costume during her childhood Halloween. Rigor clicked satellite TV open which was oddly perched on kitchen top. His hair raised in fear upon recognizing those rakes on the beach front where the reporter was standing outside the police line. Across was another police line enclosing what look like a flashlight where forensic expert was walking the grid. The TV flicked to a reporter. Speculations point to two identified as Rigor and Daniela of committing murder upon recovery of their belongings few steps away from the supposed weapon. Police identified the black dress, the shoes, and the clutch bag strap as Vita’s. Foot prints and shoe threads on sand matched people’s testimonial as they were last seen in Carlton with sands on feet. Police reported they’d gone abscond. A BCBG salesclerk was gone after after she’s wanted for questioning of the client’s whereabouts. Shoppers suggested they were tourists and the police launched its rigid manhunt operation. Bjorn, the Dame’s daughter and Abba, the Dame’s confidante were lamenting with obscure thoughts as mysterious as the Le Suquet incident. We at the NBC sympathized for the family’s bereavement.”
The TV flicked back to the beach again. Sonia’s van passed the other media in the Palais de Festivals. It was a bedlam of deglamorized red carpet event. Hovering above were helicopters with searchlight probing through Sonia’s sky roof van. Rigor and Daniela on instinct hid among costumes if ever police could see through the tint.
It’s getting worst, this is our last chance of getting away and we can make it.” Said Vita putting on mask.
”Whoa, now they won’t recognize us, sensible choice for a mask, butterfly huh,” Said Rigor.
“Now, stay still,your turn.” Said Daniela
“I sense good omen in a butterfly. You see we’re like them. Butterfly were once a chrysalis cocooning themselves for protection just like you all grown up. First, they crawled out a larva, and freed from a long slumber and finally in a totally strange transformation; they beautifully become a butterfly. Look what you have become, you are more beautiful than a butterfly.” Said Igor who flinched at the splatter of colors on his face.
“What are you talking? I’m a Batwoman .”
Disclaimer: This journal chronicle events from my past career describing activities on and off salesman’s duties. All events described herein actually happened irrespective of the order the blog was posted. Any resemblance to persons living or dead should be plainly apparent to them and those who know them and that the author is not responsible for any assumptions that may arise; to construe from the fact presented is discouraged as the author is still trying to make sense of it. You may do so at your own risk.
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