Chapter 9

Written by: Dana Cariola

The lead nurse, who was now taking  Maria’s vital signs, lifted her eyes away from her wrist watch, and kept them fixed on Brian and Tamara, on the other side of the room. She lowered her prying eyes back down and continued to monitor Maria’s heart rate.

When she finished making notes in Maria’s chart, she quickly pulled the linen curtain that hung from the ceiling around Maria’s bed. “Visiting hours are over. I’m going to have to ask you to leave,” she stated in a firm manner as she held the door open.

Brian took the lead, gesturing to Tamara to follow him to the elevators. The repetitive beeping, that heart-monitors make, sounded like an SOS distress call from a sinking ship. Tamara thought about the irony of that, as she followed Brian along the hospital corridor. The strong smell of disinfectant which seemed to coat walls and flooring left behind a stifling offensive odor.

When the elevator had finally reached their floor, Brian wrestled with the heavy steel door to keep it open, despite it battling with him, to close. Tamara stepped into the steel container and felt the cables on the aging cubic box, shift. Brian released the door. It slammed shut and began its descent, downward.

Tamara looked over. “Brian? Let’s take a step back from this. Now, hear me out on this, Ok?” she asked. “What if this smuggling operation out of France was a stratagem, for something other than British airmen trapped behind enemy lines?”

“Tamara! You can’t be serious?” he said.

“I realize that it is a stretch of the imagination. But what if it wasn’t British airman being smuggled out of France?” Tamara was now convinced she was asking the right questions. “What if it was a smuggling ring, only it wasn’t military personnel? - What if, it was families trapped behind enemy lines. Jewish families maybe?”

Brian threw Tamara a troubled look. He was trying to keep up with all of her speculation. “Is there a library nearby?” she asked.

“I don’t know?...Why?” Brian replied, confused by this unusual request. “Their records contain a list of all past commercial properties that paid taxes. Maybe, somewhere in those ledgers we will find, “Our Eiffel Tower.”“We’re looking for accounting records for The Eiffel Tower?"

"Is that right?” Brian asked

“Correct!..And, if I’m right, we’ll find what we are both looking for!” Tamara declared confidently. Brian was not so easily convinced.

“Please, Don’t take offense at me saying this. But, I really think we should be looking through those letters in case we’ve missed something,” he said. Tamara remained silent. The elevator’s bell sounded as it reached the ground level opening it’s doors for it’s two passengers.

“Did you hear what I said, Tamara?” he asked, as he stepped into the track of the steel doors, preventing them from closing, as Tamara passed through them.

“Yes, Brian. I heard you.” she answered back.

 

Comments

Clever chapter Dana. This opens up a few possibilities for the last writer to create one of several endings. This was very easy to read and I enjoyed the conversation that felt and read so naturally normal. Loved this.
Great chapter Dana. What a clever twist. I loved it too.