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The Prologue, Or How It All Began...

It had been a grueling day, and Claude Frollo had put in long hours at the Palace of Justice. First there was that band of highwaymen who had terrorized Parisians traveling in and out of town. He had laid a careful trap for these hoodlums, successfully capturing and, ultimately, punished them for their crimes. Then there was that new, dimwitted lieutenant. He had infuriated Claude with some minor insubordination, so much that Claude made sure he was justly "disciplined". So what if this half-brained soldier complained, "I'll never be able to secure another position again! You made sure of that! I'll get even with you, Claude Frollo!"
The Minister of Justice sneered at this inane threat. "And just WHAT will you do? It is obvious you can't even negotiate a walk across the street, let alone perform your duties! Yes, I guarantee you'll never find work in Paris again - now begone, you idiot!"
Claude Frollo smiled. It had been a productive day, but oh-so tiring. He needed a release. Claude paced about his study, restless from boredom, yet drained from overwork. A thought suddenly came to him. That's it!, he thought. After all, it was a warm day, and a quick swim would be just the thing to relieve the stress. Claude Frollo's thoughts turned to Danisha, his 14th FSM.
She suggested I take up some pleasant past-time, he thought, my lovely wild-honeyed lady. Always so caring, so sweet, so...
His mind raced back to that magical summer of luscious days and even sweeter nights spent with her. She had maddened him at first with her off-the-wall humor and saucy tongue. Yet, somehow, she had managed to melt his heart and stirred a desire in him so strong that he could not...
"Stop this!", he muttered to himself. "Thinking about her only stresses you more."
But it good stress! A wicked smile lit up his face as he made his way outside. Mounting his horse, Snowball, he informed his sergeant that he was going for a short swim. "If an emergency should arise, you'll know where to find me."
Claude did not notice the just-fired lieutenant lurking in the shadows of the Palace. As Claude rode off, the ex-soldier motioned to some boys playing nearby.
"Hey kids!", he called to them, "Want to earn a little money?"
"Sure", said the oldest boy. "What do you want done?"
The soldier grinned. "Let's play a game called "Getting Even with the Boss".
The boys nudged each other and grinned back.
"Where to?", asked the youngest.
"Just follow me." And soon the entire group followed the tall man riding a fine black horse.

* * * * *

Claude Frollo reached a lovely, secluded spot just outside of town. The water looked so inviting and refreshing. Besides, there was no one around to spy on him or bother him with petty concerns. Here he could be by himself, enjoy a swim, and collect his thoughts.
Claude tied Snowball to a tree, neatly folded his clothes and piled them on the riverbank, and took the plunge. Oh, this is heavenly, he thought, as he allowed the cool water to envelope and rejuvenate his body and mind. It was nearly sunset, he realized, must not stay too long... but this IS wonderful.
Claude became so wrapped in his enjoyment that he did not notice a group of boys watching him through the bushes. He did not see those same boys quietly lift his clothes and untie his horse. Nor did he see the ex-soldier guiding Snowball down the road.
Ah, nearly dusk, must get out now. I'm feeling sooo much better. Claude got out of the water and reached for his clothes. He suddenly panicked.
Where are my clothes! Where's my Snowball! He looked up just in time to see that damned soldier and some boys hastily running down the road with his clothes and horse.
"Come back here you thieving vermin!" Claude roared at the top of his lungs. "You'll dearly pay for this insult!"
In their haste, the merry group dropped Claude's cape and something else. A sterling silver, amethyst-studded device. Claude picked up his cape and the small, silvery pager.
Wait until I get my hands on them! I'll tear them apart! Make them suffer the worst possible punishment I can... Claude Frollo was livid, as he wrapped the cape around himself, and, clutching the little pager, walked back to town.

* * * * *

Judge Claude Frollo slipped back into town unnoticed. Thank goodness no-one's spotted me, he shuddered, his body now shivering from dampness and the cool evening air. Have to make it back to the Palace of Justice and then I'll take care of those thieving ruffians...
Just then, he heard a swell of female voices heading up the street. FSMs! How did they find me? That blasted soldier! Now he will clearly pay for embarassing me!
But the horde of young females had already spotted his tall, slender form. "There he is!", shouted Aranxta, "Ooh, he is DIVINE!"
Their leader, a woman who called herself Belladonna, urged the ladies, "Get him, girls! Don't let him get away!"
Claude dashed up a side street, trying frantically to get away. He felt a tug at his cape. It was one of the older FSMs.
"Just trying to get a peek at that MANLY body!"
"Ladies, please!", Claude pleaded, "This is not a good time. I have important business to attend to...." Eventually he struggled out of the cape and disappeared down a dark alley, whilst the FSMs continued fighting over him.

* * * * *

Out of breath, cold, and angry, Claude hid in a recess of an abandoned building. He still clutched the tiny pager.
"Why didn't I think of this before? Yes! She will help me. My beautiful brown-sugared....Darling Nisha..."
Claude took the pager and began pushing the buttons. He cast his eyes heavenward.
"Oh PLEASE let this work", he prayed as he began coding a cryptic message.

On to Part One...

Copyright©September 1997 by FrolloFreak®

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