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Chapter One, Or, "How I Rescued Claude Frollo from An Embarrassing Situation"

I was not very pleased when my pager went off. I was presently downtown attending a retirement dinner for a colleague, dressed to the nines, seeing old friends and co-workers, and having the time of my life. Nonetheless, something in the back of my mind told me to answer this page. Maybe it was my parents - Momma could be sick, or, I shuddered, the house could be on fire. As I reached inside my purse, I discovered it was not my "regular" pager but that beautiful sterling silver device, studded with amethysts, which lit up the interior of my evening bag so brightly I had to hastily close the bag and excuse myself from the table. This was no ordinary page; this was a true emergency. No need to find a phone, I knew exactly what to do.

"What happened?", I muttered to myself, as I hurried through the crowded hotel lobby with car keys in hand, "He wouldn't page me unless he's really in trouble. He knew I had plans tonight."
Soon I was driving through downtown busy for Friday night. Geesh, twenty years ago you could stand on the Circle, fire a cannon up Meridian Street and hit no one. Got to keep my mind together. I've got to get to him, help him. Then my concern turned to annoyance. "Oh I know what he's been doing," I said out loud, recalling the cryptic message flashed across the pager screen, `bring clothes'. "And it got him in trouble. Good enough for him! I told him what would happen if he did this alone. Anyone could come along and...well...he DOES have a lot of people mad at him and..."
My voice trailed off as I approached a huge, abandoned parking lot. My little Camry will need alot of room to make this trip. I slowly guided the car into position. "I hope this works. It did it the last time." My foot firmly pressing down on the accelerator, the Camry opened up full-speed. "Almost there," I said, "here goes nothing." As the speedometer registered 100 mph, I reached under the dash, pressed the little violet button, and in an instant I was engulfed by a bright, white light.


The streets narrowed and I couldn't see much because it was so dark. What happened to the streetlights? Then reality struck me. It worked! I had to keep the lights low and drive as slowly as possible; I didn't want to wake folks up or draw too much attention. Besides, the streets are so narrow, never meant for an automobile. These good medieval folks would surely freak out if they saw this thing coming. I stifled a laugh and headed for the Palace of Justice.
Maybe he's home already, or maybe he decided to swim longer, but now it's too cool to swim. I tip-toed to a door partially hidden by ivy vines. He told me how to get into the Palace whenever he's not here. No one knows this "secret" entrance but me. I cautiously entered, removed my shoes -- can't have high heels clacking on stone floors. I passed a sleeping guard, and crept up the stairs to his room. I quietly knocked.
No response. I then opened the door ever so gingerly, peeped inside, and softly called, "Claude?"
Still no answer. With little flashlight in hand, I entered the room, went to the wardrobe and quickly gathered some clothes. If what I thought had really gone down, then he's going to need these. I silently descended the stairs, and made it outside without being detected.
Putting the clothes in the backseat, I thought, he's going to thank me well and truly, but this is the last time I'm going save his neck. Yet, as I slowly made my way down narrow corridors, my sarcasm turned to concern. If I didn't care for him so, I wouldn't be doing this. He could be hurt or sick, or...
My mind was shocked back into reality when I spotted a tall figure dashing down a side street. I guided the car to a dark alley, put the Camry in park, and waited...

On to Part Two...

Copyright©September 1997 by FrolloFreak

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