On the Edge of Time


Book Five
Part Five (I)
"The Hope and the Pain"

The Time & Place: It is the evening of April 4, 1968. Claude Frollo and Tony Terrell stake out the corner of Broadway and 17th Streets on Indy's near Northside. But where's their wanted man? Read on... 

"So let me get this straight. Marcel met Isabelle back in 1475, that was right after he killed this Quayleson cat. Only now he knows that Isabelle LaCroix is actually Danisha's ancestor. Hmm..."
Tony Terrell studied the engraved portrait of the comely Senegalese woman, then listened to Claude Frollo recount how Marcel's initial infatuation wrecked havoc all over Nantes. "But you see, Antoine," explained the Minister of Justice, "Isabelle and Marcel never met per se; he only admired her from a distance."

Tony glanced about, keeping a bright lookout for Marcel Rougelot. He and Judge Frollo made several trips around the perimeter of the crowd, hoping to spot the elusive fugitive. "Nearly nine, sir," stated Tony as he consulted his watch. "If our man is anywhere in this crowd then he's probably situated himself where Kennedy will be."
Frollo nodded and said, "Then that is where we shall be."

Soon after, the two men meandered their way through the waiting crowd towards the spot where Robert Kennedy was to deliver his address. "It was a simple speech," said Tony. "Most of these folks hadn't heard the news yet. My mother remembered when Pop came home and told her all about Kennedy's speech. 'It was so inspiring, Maude', was what he told her." He sighed then continued, "Any other time these people would've been home safe and sound, out of the cold and damp..."

Claude interrupted Tony with a tug to the sleeve. His Honor spoke, "I hate to interrupt but cast a glance to the left...Not so obvious, mind you..."
When Tony spotted a VERY familiar face in the crowd he wanted to jump for joy, but he also had so many questions. "Uh, Your Honor? While I'm relieved to see one of our reinforcements, I'm still uneasy...."
Frollo shook his head; he reasoned, "Antoine, do not worry so...While I myself am somewhat apprehensive...Ah!"
"Beg pardon, sir?"
"Marcel Rougelot does not know of...But how? The man was literally..."

The medieval judge stopped himself then presented an idea to his companion. "May I suggest we...umm...'hang back'...away from the crowd so to speak. I have sneaking suspicion that Marcel Rougelot will soon find himself in a sticky situation."

Tony still did not like it; he said, "But sir, what about Nisha? Isn't she in any danger? You know what Iggy said about her being drugged and all." Again Frollo reassured Tony, "My dear Antoine, you were not listening very carefully. Once Marcel discovered that Danisha is in fact descended from Isabelle LaCroix, he couldn't kill her...Didn't it dawn on you that, back in 1859, he could have murdered her on the spot? Instead he sold her..."
Anthony Terrell rejoined, "Oh, so he sold her off just to slow us down. I think he must've figured it out long ago; I mean, he must have a picture of Isabelle, so seeing Danisha that first time must've been some jolt...Hey, he never met Eula Mae. I wonder what would've happened if he did..."
Once again, Claude Frollo reminded Tony that Marcel was caught between two conflicting loyalties: His devotion to Isabelle and those voices that told him to carry on the game. "As far as he is concerned, Antoine, Rougelot's orders to kill Danisha are the rules of the game...When he's rational, he cannot follow through, however..."

Claude Frollo glanced about the crowd; most people here were Black, with a modest sprinkling of whites. He was glad that he didn't stand out that much. It was also a comfort that Julian's reinforcements had arrived, and not a moment too soon. Not very far away, a lone man stood across the street, away from the teeming throng. Within the next hour or so, this man's fortunes would change. And Claude Frollo was still 'so close yet so far'.


Who is this man? Read on...
Marcel Rougelot bundled his thin jacket about himself; he worried about so many things. For tonight, he wanted to add another facet to his game; he also wanted to hurry back to be with her. I really shouldn't have left her there all alone...What if the drugs wear off? She's bound to escape. No! I must see this M. Kennedy...So many people came to this spot just to see him...I hear he's seeking the President's chair...
No, I really must go back to little Danisha...I had no idea she and Isabelle favored each other...I overheard that man in Victor Jouet's tavern talk about Danisha and Bernard...said they were related...What was that man's name? Jehan knows him...

Marcel huddled against the cool dampness then turned his thoughts to his own time, to Nantes, where a woman named Isabelle still lived. If Marcel played his cards right, then he may very well find a way to return to his own time, to 15th Century France, perhaps take little Danisha with him. Then we shall be one...just the three of us...

Deep in thought, Marcel prepared to cross the street, but he had no idea that his every move was being monitored.


What was this strange connection with Isabelle? Then again, was Isabelle in any way ever involved with Marcel Rougelot? And what events caused Marcel to commit his first murder?

According to Professor Parsons' research, Marcel had returned to Nantes during the summer of 1475, shortly after he murdered Danforth Quayleson. Muriel Rougelot, Marcel's mother, died soon after -- It was said she took her own life upon learning that her son had ended his employer's life. What was truly astounding was the fact that from ages eight to fifteen, Marcel had endured unspeakable abuses at Danforth's hands.

Part of Professor Parsons' report read:
"The older boy seemed to take delight in tormenting Marcel to the point that the poor child retreated further into himself. There were reports that Danforth would summon Marcel to his chambers for 'private' tutoring; these sessions would last for hours on end. After one such session, Martin Forester happened to spot his nephew rush to the nearby pond. Imagine the man's shock when he saw the boy bleeding...Yes, Marcel suffered abuse of the worst sort."

"Marcel endured it all...Please don't take this as an effort to gain sympathy for Marcel, because the boy was already psychologically damaged before Danforth ever laid a hand on him. No, Marcel's mental state gradually deteriorated over the years; by adolescence, his fragile mind had perceived all of life as a game, a game that he had to control. It was then that he began to write extensively of those 'dark forces within me that compel me to eliminate those who do not play along to my rules'."

"It was during a country festival that Danforth's treatment of Marcel had been unusually harsh. He and Marcel reportedly went into a nearby wood where Danforth repeatedly whipped and violated the boy. As usual, Marcel stood there and took whatever Danforth Quayleson dished out. But the last straw came when, later that night, Danforth appeared in Marcel's quarters at Quayleson Manor. Two prostitutes accompanied him; both of which appeared no older than sixteen. Danforth had Marcel strapped to the bed then the girls did whatever Danforth commanded them to do while he sat back and watched. Marcel's last journal entry after killing Big Sal alluded to this earlier episode; he felt ashamed and humiliated. He also felt that Danforth had called the shots for far too long; those inner voices kept telling Marcel to eliminate Danforth as soon as possible."

"It was the following afternoon, the final day of that festival. Marcel had asked Danforth to accompany him to 'our special place'. He claimed he wanted to add another facet to the game, so Danforth, thinking that Marcel was being his usual passive self, obliged the boy. This young man had no idea thes were to be his last moments alive. In fact, the last to see Danforth Quayleson alive was Martin Forester, but he said nothing until after the discovery of Danforth's body -- that was a full week following that fateful Saturday afternoon."

"The condition of Danforth's body was unlike anything the local officials had ever seen. As typical with nearly all of Marcel's victims, there were missing body parts. In this case, Danforth's face and head were crushed beyond recognition; his body was so mutilated that the parish priest was sure the young man had been attacked by demons. Danforth's genitalia had been neatly excised; his hands had been severed, but they were no where to be found. There was something carved into Danforth's abdomen, something in French."

"Les match c'est miner à maîtriser" (The game is mine to master)

"The words said it all: Marcel was, for once, in control of the game, and therefore, his life, and murder was his only of dealing with difficult situations. In a way, Marcel kills for both the pleasure and supposedly power it gives him. He is in control, and even time he kills, he erases that little something that he feels makes his life too complicated. It's those inner voices -- his conscious (although it is hardly what we would call a 'normal' conscious."

"Now as far as Marcel's family was concerned, it became very clear to Muriel that the local officials would come down on her and Martin. Consider the mindset at the time: A fifteen year old boy kills and mutilates his employer in the most brutal, sickening fashion. Naturally everyone will think Marcel is possessed, perhaps enchanted or cursed. If Marcel had lived in the 20th Century, he would be treated like any other serial killer."

The first part of Dr. Parsons' report ends with Marcel fleeing England almost immediately, but not after he visits his mother for one last time. He presents her with Danforth's severed left hand -- why he did this has remained a mystery. The following morning Martin, upon entering the barn, found his sister's limp body suspended from the rafters. Marcel's words, plus his special 'gift' were too much for her.


"And that, dear Antoine, was the last time Martin ever saw his nephew. Oh, Marcel managed to write a few letters but he gradually ceased all correspondence."
Tony Terrell and Claude Frollo, bided their time as His Grace continued to recount the brief, mad history of one Marcel Rougelot. After nine o'clock, and Senator Kennedy was due to arrive within the next half hour. Two thousand five hundred souls braved the cold windy night just to listen the man who promised hope and caring in a world of pain and suffering. What they had hoped to hear was a speech about just that: The hope and the pain.
But the prepared address would be cast aside for an urgent announcement which would send shock waves through the crowd -- especially Marcel Rougelot. Tony Terrell pulled up his jacket collar and tried not to shiver. The crowd was rather talkative, even impatient.

"Claude, the man's plane is late -- that's why it's taking so long...Man, it's cold out here."
Swiftly changing the subject, Tony asked the medieval judge, "Sir, you never told me all about the Colette connection; I understood she knew Isabelle LaCroix." Claude Frollo nodded sadly. "Yes, Antoine, and while their acquaintance was so very brief, it was enough to make a profound impact on Marcel."


Further back in the crowd...
When will this distinguished Senator Kennedy arrive? The people are getting restless -- I'm getting cold and I need to return to Danisha...

Marcel Rougelot lost himself in the crowd as he allowed his mind to drift back to his recent adventures. And he had Jehan Frollo to thank for this...and those people who hired him to destroy Danisha and Colette. His eyes took in every detail of this place, this neighborhood center that served the residents nearby. He was so surprised that much of the inner city was populated by Black people.
I haven't seen this many Black people in one place since...well, since Nantes. But those people spoke snatches of their native languages as well as French...These people only speak a form of English I don't quite understand. It's different from what was spoken in Chicago...

His mind raced back to the beginning to his beloved Isabelle, at least he thought he loved her. She was, in fact, one of the few persons in Nantes who ever showed him a kindness. Then came Colette, and that trip to Paris...

...Then my real nightmare began...

Isabelle and Colette...heartbreak and hope...Surprise, surprise!

Click TIME 5:5(II)

Copyright©1999 by FrolloFreak®

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