Mariette Cirerol

 

On the photo you see the way leading to the camping.

 In that time peasants used to travel  on horse-drawn carriages.

 

At dusk, we used to gather on the beach, around a fire,

on the time I was writing The Angels of the Guard

 

 

The Angels of the Guard

 

Chapter 3 - b

 

Adam makes a round, visiting all the refuges where Sandra could have gone : the ones of her family, friends and acquaintances ; but without finding the slightest trace of her. She must have remained above – he tries to assure himself  ; but, why ? ... There is no sense to do it. – And, becoming more and more worried, he returns to the surface.

 

Dusk will come soon. The birds are looking for a place to spend the night among the trees. Slowly, the blue of the sky melts with the reddish colour of a beautiful sunset. The fresh air is becoming colder. The meadow is losing its green colour, becoming darker and darker. The light of the day vanishes to let the nature rest. I sense so much sweetness in the air even though my soul is  blue... ...

 

Meanwhile, Adam observes carefully all spots, searching for a sign, some indication telling him where to head for. He walks and walks in soaring anxiety. Sandra’s house is empty : no people, no furniture, nothing at all but solitude. Where could she be?   he keeps asking to himself. – Then he goes to his own house finding it also completely abandoned ; he searches everywhere without success. Desperate, he screams with pain by calling her name, but his voice voyage alone in the lone air without getting any response. There is nobody to hear him.

 

Night has fallen completely now. No light at all unless the tiny one made by the moon. Adam returns to the chimney to ask the guardians if they have seen Sandra. He makes a picture of her, explains what is her look, trying to remember all what makes her recognizable. Nothing helps... There are other chimneys not too far away. And in spite of knowing that it is 99 % impossible to find any indication about her there, not wanting to loss that poor  unique  possibility,  he  visits  all  of them questioning their guardians. Finally he is very, very tired, exhausted !! It seems to him that if he continues searching  like that only a little more, he would fall and die.

 

So, slowly, having lost all hops, he takes the way back to the chimney he belongs. Consoling himself with the remote possibility that in the meantime Sandra had reached the refuge of her family.

 

During his difficult way to return, because of being so tired, of having spent two nights without sleeping at all ; another day is raising, spreading its pale wonderful reddish colour all around. But Adam is too tired  and too sad to really appreciate it. His whole body hurts. The remaining way to achieve to get to the chimney seems terribly long for him ; terribly far away ; seems  impossible to fulfil. ...

 

Suddenly, he hears a tiny lament.

 

- Sandra !!he calls regaining some hope –It’s you ?

 

– Yes, I am Sandra. Please, help me ! – He hears her saying with a tiny very low voice.

 

– Where are you, Sandra ? – I am Adam. I will help you, don’t be afraid. ... But I don’t see you and I need to know where you are.

 

– I ... I am ... I am down here ... I fell ... I fell in a hole. ... Please, help me ... Look down ... at your feet ... into the earth. ... But please, take care. Don’t fall. ... It’s dangerous, very deep and dark ... very difficult to spot. ... Easy to fall in it. ... Take care ... please ... I need you. ... Adam .... Adam !!! ...

 

– I shall find you. Confide in me. Don’t be afraid.

 

He says that while inspecting carefully, accurately, all spots around him, but seeing nothing. He only hears Sandra’s laments... Big tears are falling along his cheeks obstructing the sight of his eyes ... One of his feet loses support making him fall down in the profound hole, where all is blackness, all  coldness.

 

Shutting his eyes, unable to think anymore, to understand anything, feeling nothing but tiredness, he loses conscience.

 

He wakes up after who knows how many hours and looks around surprised: Sandra lays down near him, asleep. It comforts him happy to see her, but the place where both are results disturbing and strange, very strange and most disagreeable : horrible, obscure and full of little frightful noises.

 

Rubbing his eyes, trying to clear his mind , he says to himself : “I must be dreaming ... sure I must be. This cannot be real”.  – Then Sandra wakes and speaks and he must reckon that he is not dreaming : Sandra is really near him, the place is really ugly :

 

– How ... do  ... you ... feel?  Are ...  you ... injured? ... Does ... it hurt ... a  lot? ... ... Please, ... tell  me. ... I  am so anxious !!! – Sandra is asking him.

 

Still without assuming wholly what occurs to both of them, Adam is only able to caress and smile to her. He wants to speak, but no word gets out of his mouth. His lips are moving   producing no sound.

 

– Are you ... suffering  ... a lot ? – Sandra is asking repeatedly to him.

 

She is worried about him but it is difficult for her to speak. She is badly injured.

 

Recovering a little, getting somehow used to the present state, Adam tries to comfort her :

  Don’t worry about me, darling. I feel myself in heaven, just because I am near you.

 

– Can you move ? ... Nothing ... broken ?

 

– I don’t think so. I must be fine ,  despite each part of my body hurting dreadfully, but this is normal after such a vertiginous fall.

 

He says that staring at the tiny light coming down from the top of the deep hole ; bothering about the manner of getting out of it. Also it looks impossible, he MUST find the way. It is a question of life or death. They cannot stand waiting for help. Nobody would find them. Man has to fall in it to localize the hole; otherwise it may never be seen. The walls are straight and bald, without any cleft to put the feet when climbing.

 

– This must be an abandoned chimney. We are in a very bad position, but we MUST find the way to get out – Adam says. Then he add :

And you, how are you ?

 

– Bad. It ... cost  me ... a lot ... to move ... my body ... close to yours. ... And ... and ... I ... am ... nearly ... unable to  speak. ... My legs hurt a lot. ... But ... together ... we ... we ... ... I’m glad ... you’re ... here .

 

To much speaking for poor Sandra. She cannot talk along anymore. Adam suffered for that, a lot, foremost he is not feeling  well either. But ... ...

 

– My poor darling. I don’t know how, but I promise you we will get out of this. I shall take you to a doctor and soon you will be healthy again. In the meantime, try to rest. Don’t speak. I shall take care of you. We have to be patient and calm. My brain will be working to solve our problem. For that I need to think a lot. Please, try to sleep. After sleeping, you shall feel much better... ... We are young. We have still a long future in front of us. We will be happy. I assure you... We shall have a long story to tell our children.

 

– Adam’s words make Sandra smile. Leaving her hand in his she shut the eyes, wishing to fall asleep and dream about a future of joy together, with children around them, and peace and happiness...

 

After some hours, both have regained a little energy. But night had  come and  all  is darker around them. 

 

Taking  their  bodies closer, warming each other, they fall asleep again. Tomorrow will be another day.

 

Dawn again: a little light filters through the top of the hole. Nothing to eat but this is not the worse. The situation is critical. Adam makes his neurons work. “How is it possible they didn’t surround such a dangerous place with a barrier? A lot of people must have passed this way to reach their assigned chimney. How odd only us had fallen! May be it is like Sandra thinks, that the guardians took the barrier out assuming all people were already down in their refuges? Still it is not normal. Why taking it out? Did they need it for something, but for what? ... Does somebody knew Sandra was still up? ... But why?? ... Why did she not descend with her parents? How strange is all this to me !!! ...

 

– It looks like it was meant, that somebody wanted us to disappear.

 

Don’t be silly – Sandra says –. Who could hate us so much?! ...      I have no enemy and people adore you.

 

– I need some explanation from you : Why did you not descend with your parents?

 

– For nothing. I know it was stupid for me not to follow them. I had a bad reflex and when I became aware of it, it was too late.

 

– The motive must be of great importance to let you take such a foolish decision.

 

– We cannot remedy my wrong doing now. Please just forgive me and forget it ! ... Please, I implore you. I am ashamed and I beg your pardon, but we both must forget it.

 

– How can we forget it? ... Impossible to forget things like this!!  Don’t you see what happened to us because of that? ... We have to reason it. We cannot let grow a wall between the both of us! It must be explained now... I was made a fool looking for you day and night, until I feel drained. I was just about to die on spot when I ... ... You know the following! don’t you? ... How dare you ask me to forget !!! ...  Impossible, impossible, impossible, don’t you understand ???

 

– I behaved like a fool, I know... And I am ashamed, truly ashamed... But you must know that it lasted just a moment, I recovered the reason at time to take my way down to the refuges. If it hadn’t been for this horrible hole, nothing would had happen.

 

– What you did or restrained to do does not disturb me, but I need to know about it. It is important, very important for both of us. I will do my best to understand, I promise. You must confide in me. Otherwise we cannot spend a life together. There would be no reason for it. Being a stranger to each other is like to be alone, worse than being alone.

 

The fact is that I am very much ashamed about it. I want to forget. I absolutely need to forget. Please, don’t oblige me !!!

 

– You’re wrong. It would do well to you sharing it with me.

 

  It is a long story. Better I tell it to you in another moment. I do not feel well now, and I am very tired. We both need some relax first. After, I promise I’ll let you know all about it.

 

– I regret, but I need to know it now. These things are to be shared at once. We cannot bear secrets between us even for a few minutes. If I am here, if I fell in this horrible hole, is because I love you so much that I couldn’t stand in the uncertainty, I couldn’t live without knowing what had occurred to you. This proves my reliability; this proves that you can confide in me. Now, come on. What was it so terrible to make you undertake that so foolish decision? ...  ... Come one !!! ...

 

– Don’t you remember you told me to oblige people is always wrong, that nobody is morally allowed to do it... And, what are you doing now ???  Are you aware of what you are doing, obliging, forcing me to reveal  what I I don’t want ???

 

– First of all, you, for me, are not the people. You are the girl I want to share my life with... But if you really want to keep your secret, do it. How on earth may I force you !!! I am leaving. Well I shall do it when I find the way to get out of here. And don’t worry, I shall advise the guardians to rescue you.

 

– I beg your pardon, Adam, I never meant to offend you. I shall tell you the whole story. I begin now if you want. After, you shall think what you like. The worst is already done.

 

And she begins this way :

“ You know I have been working until the last moment. You know that ? ... I used to take my lunch in a restaurant near the school. ... ... “

 

– It is long to tell. It would be more appropriate for now to think about the manner to get out of here. Don’t you think so ? ...

 

– I never stop thinking about it and making my neurons working. Don’t worry ! ... ... But, please, go on ! ...

 

And Sandra continues telling, but slowly, searching excuses to not pursue, to attire the attention of her lover on other things. She feels upset to have to reveal what she wants and need to forget. It had just been a thought who passed through her mind during some minutes, but odd enough it had been sufficient to put her and Adam in such a terrible position, without any issue in view.

 

What I learn about it is that we must be prepared for all events, the most incredible may occur ... ...

                                        

To be followed on next issue of AIR

 

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NOTE  OF THE  AUTHOR

We have to bear in mind that at the time I wrote the book there were no cell phones. The technology we have now did not exist.

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