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After a second read through of the letter, I came to the conclusion that this was a legitimate request from a real person. With all the creepy things going on in the world, my radar was fairly well honed to recognize when someone was up to no good. Before I even opened the contents I knew I would take on the project. It was that last line of the letter that really got me- “I sincerely hope you are up to the challenge.” Cruel, really, playing with my ego like that. I am always up for a challenge and sometimes like to believe I am Wonder Woman (I know deep down that I am not, but we are close friends and I don’t think she’d be offended if I were to impersonate her). Since I had already made this decision to accept the challenge, I debated opening the contents of the package. Do I really want to know? He will likely serve me a task regardless, hopefully something like Mission Impossible or Charlie’s Angels.

With the Mission Impossible theme song playing in my head, I decided to unwrap the packages slowly, so as to not drop and break any potential items. The first item unwrapped was an old timey ink well pen. It was absolutely gorgeous, with a marbled deep blue handle and an engraving I couldn’t quite make out. I wondered if Mr. Bedford would let me keep the pen regardless of the outcome of his project… The next thing was, of course, a bottle of ink- blue ink to be exact. I sensed a blue theme going on. Lasts a large scroll of parchment paper fell out of the tissue paper I was unwrapping. Thankfully it was tied neatly with a deep cerulean ribbon to keep it from unraveling like a loose roll of toilet paper. That seemed to be it. My best guess is that he needed me to ghost write for him or do some research for his next biography or book. Or he really wanted a pen pal and was hoping this lovely stationary set would really get me in the mood to write hand written letters.

By this time it was after 11 o’clock and I should probably head to bed, but I wanted to get this settled before heading off to bed. I still had no idea what the project was or what was being required of me beyond some sort of writing. I picked up my cell phone and dialed the number.*BEEP BEEP* Silence. *BEEP BEPP* Silence. Those rings are the absolute worst.

“Bonjour! Qu’est-ce que vous aimez? Avez-vous une personne ou un objet?”

Thrown off guard by the unexpected French I had to pause a moment to make sure I had called the right phone number. I matched the number from my phone to what was in the letter. Maybe it’s part of this deep underground cover for the project? Or…it’s just a french guy on the phone.

“Est-ce que vous parlez anglais? Je parle un petit peu de français seulement,” I replied in my broken French that I was trying to remember from my second year in college.

“Oui. ‘Ow may I ‘elp you mademoiselle?”

“Yes, I am looking for a Mr. Winston? He only gave me this number and told me to call when I had made a decision, no further instructions given.”

“Ah! Je comprend. So have you chosen yes or no?”

“I’m sorry? Yes or no about what? If this is about Mr. Be-”

“Arrete! If you are calling for Monsieur Wintston, you must know what you are calling, and knowing that you have decided yes or no.”

“Okay okay. Yes. I decided yes.”

“Perfect! Winston will be calling you in the not too distant future to set up a meeting point—it will be very last minute and you will have to drop everything to go.”

“I understand, I guess, but I am feeling a bit lost. I am still unsure of where this meeting will take place and when? Or the meaning of the package?”

“Thank you for calling L’hotel Chambrea. You will be hearing from someone else for further details. Au revoir et bonne nuit!”

*Click*

What? I…what? I am even more confused after that phone call. And this project is getting more and more secretive and protected. I needed to get ready for bed and call it a night, hoping for the phone call in the morning.

Page 17 of 365

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