Mélanie Mercier née Markowitz (9)
Jean Michel Jakobowicz, UN
Mélanie Mercier née Markowitz, deputy chief economist of the
Forecasting Department of the Organization has been the victim
of strange messages threatening her children Isabelle, 8, and Benjamin,
10. She decides to protect them by sending them to her parents in Paris.
In the meantime, her colleague David Garrido, who tries to help has been
murdered. Behind the scenes, a mysterious group of financiers are getting
ready to manipulate the markets. (You can find the first eight episodes of
Mélanie on UN Special Home page at: http://www.unspecial.org).
13:40, Thursday, Cornavin Station. Mélanie Mercier née Markowitz is awaiting the arrival of her father and children on platform 6, just after the Customs. The first passengers come running off the train. Mélanie stands on tiptoe in an attempt to see her children arrive. No one comes! They must be late. It is true that her father does not walk very quickly.
Time passes and Mélanie becomes increasingly impatient. Finally the last passenger passes through the automatic gates an elderly lady pushing a huge trolley.
Is there anyone else to come? asked Mélanie. No, said the old lady, I am the last one. Another lady, just as old and an exact look- alike of the first came to meet her dragged along by a huge dog. They kissed each other.
Mélanie looked around her and then took out her mobile phone.
She slowly dialled a number. Then she took a deep breath as if she were
about to plunge into very cold water.
Hello! Mum! Yes, its me Mélanie. Do you know what time dad took the train with the kids?
No, nothing. I must have just missed them at the station, thats all.
No, dont worry. Why do you think that something could
have happened to them? No, I tell you that I must have missed them,
Yes, Ill call you as soon as I find them.
Mélanie put her mobile away and went towards the exit. She looked around the taxi rank and the bus stop. For a moment she hesitated and then took the bus home. For peace of mind, she called home. But the telephone rang in the emptiness.
Twenty minutes later she arrived home. She opened the door to her apartment and called: Dad, Isabelle, Benjamin! Are you there?
No reply. She went into the kitchen and poured herself a large glass of water. Then she went into her room and lay down on the bed. She closed her eyes for a moment and then picked up the phone. She dialled a number and waited.
Hello! Is that you Jérôme? Its Mélanie
here. Sorry to disturb you at work. But
The children have
arrived, Jérôme cut in.
No, thats why Im calling you. They should have arrived with the 13:40 train and I dont know I must have missed them, but I didnt see them. Are you sure that they were on the train? My mother said that they definitely left for the 10 oclock train from Paris.
They could have missed it!
I suppose that if they had missed it they would have called. I am so worried. Do you think that we should call the police?
If every time someone was late we called the police, theyd never hear the end of it. Dont worry, added Jérôme, Ill sort it out. How many times do I have to tell you, Mélanie cut in, that I can manage by myself and that Perhaps, but they are also MY children that have disappeared.
Who is talking about disappeared? said Mélanie annoyed. It was only a few minutes ago that you were speaking of them being late, but now they have disappeared!
I will never understand you. A few days ago you were freaking out because you were receiving threatening messages and now Madam is playing it cool when the worse threats are happening. You I Im not playing it cool; Im trying to think. In fact, I think that youre right I am going to call the police. And without waiting Mélanie put the phone down. She sighed deeply and then called her mother again.
Her mothers howls could be heard all over France. This is what came out of her muddled speech: that she had always known that nothing good could happen to a women on her own, that she should have never got divorced etc Mélanie hung up without waiting for her to finish. Next she called the police inspector who had questioned her after David Garridos death. The conversation lasted a few minutes and the inspector promised to drop by before the end of the afternoon. The last call she made was to her secretary. She explained to her in great detail what had just happened and then she hung up.
Mélanie hung around her apartment for a while, going from her childrens bedroom to her own passing through the sitting room. She jumped out of her skin at every sound. At one point the phone rang, but it turned out to be the neighbours phone below. She ended up lying down on Isabelles bed where she fell asleep.
20:15, Bourg-en-Bresse, Hôtel de la gare, room 213
Mr. Markowitz Sr. was sitting on a sofa with Isabelle and Benjamin. All three of them were eating large pieces of pizza in front of the television.
Why are we here Grandpa? asked Benjamin. Ive told you already, we are spying, replied Mr. Markowitz. And whom are we spying on? asked the boy. I dont know, said the grandfather. But one thing is for sure we are not moving from here until the danger has gone away. What danger are you talking about? asked Isabelle.