Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Taking Chances, WEP - In a Little Café

This month's entry for Write, Edit, Publish (WEP) continues the story of Madeleine, an American in Paris looking for a life of her own. Part 2 is the new addition.

A Street in Montmartre, Paris, by DG Hudson

A Stairway in Paris,  - Summary Part 1

Anything can happen in Paris. . .as Madeleine discovered when she met a man in an unlikely place in her new apartment building.

Dusk turned into dark by the time Madeleine finished unpacking and began to feel hunger pains. She remembered the name of the sidewalk café that Gaston mentioned, and went looking for it. After passing the Hotel de Ville, she found the restaurant, glowing with warmth in the night. Madeleine searched the faces among the waiters but she didn't see him. A little disappointed, she placed her order with another waiter. As she sipped her wine and water, she watched the changing parade of people walking by the tables. Then she heard Gaston's voice.

"Madeleine, you found the 'Bistro Marguerite'! I was asked to serve this table. Now, I see it is you, my new friend. The food here is très bon."

"It smells wonderful. I had to find a place to eat and I wanted to thank you for helping me pull my luggage up the stairs." She inhaled the aroma of the French Cod dish he brought to her table.

Gaston offered Madeleine a free dessert and coffee in an attempt to delay her. Then, he suggested that he walk back with her. 

"I could wait, I might get lost."

"Exactly. I'll bring the dessert."

The lights dimmed behind them as they left the restaurant, hand in hand. Walking slowly and stopping to admire this or that, they took an hour to cover a ten minute walk.

To read the full Part 1, click here.


In a Little Café

Part 2

The next time Madeleine saw Gaston, he was escorting a female friend down the narrow stairs to the lobby. She waited at the bottom to let them pass. He looked around his escort and nodded to Madeleine with a little smile. Her previous thoughts of him from the café seemed to evaporate. It had been a week or more since then without a word.

"Bonjour," he said.
His female friend appeared several years younger than Gaston.
She looked at Madeleine for a moment with the flitting curiosity of a cat, as they descended the narrow stairs.

"Bonjour." Madeleine saw his little smile, as if they shared a secret.

Well, that was strange. I'm not sure what to think of this guy.

Another week passed before she saw Gaston again. She was leaving her apartment, when someone called her name.

"Madeleine, wait a moment. "

"Bonjour, Gaston, I'm sorry but I'm on my way out."

"I see. How about if we plan to meet somewhere?"

"Oui, but name someplace I can find."

"Meet me at Le Voltaire. It's within sight of Notre Dame. It's cozy and has green awnings. It's a beautiful old restaurant."

"Did Voltaire actually eat there?"

"The plaque on the building says he lived in the building. How convenient to have the kitchen below one's home."

 During the meal, Gaston revealed that his father had sent a letter asking him to come home for a while, as his mother was ailing.

"Just when I am starting to get a life on my own, Papa wants me to come back. Is that not unfair? I know I must go. It is my mother and I am their only help. It just interrupts a lot of things."

"Is it for a long time?"

Le Voltaire Restaurant, Paris, by DG Hudson

"Je ne sais pas. I don't plan to stay there very long, non, but I must help my father get my mother in care. That girl you saw me with about a week ago? She's a cousin who was visiting in Paris and stopped by to tell me how sick my mother was."

"Is it very bad?"

"They don't expect a recovery. She had a stroke."

"I'm so sorry, Gaston. Will you come back to Paris?"

"Mais certainement! Would you write me and let me know how it goes for you?"
"Of course, I can practice my French and you can practice your English."

"It is done, then. We shall have dinner at Bistro Marguerite before I go, and I won't be working. If we had more time, I would have asked you to come back with me and meet my family. But with ma mere ill, it is not the right time."


They sat in silence for a few minutes lost in their own thoughts. Madeleine didn't ask why he wanted her to meet his family. She didn't want commitments, not now. A few years later, when she walked by the old apartment house, memories of what might have been surfaced. She wrote one letter to Gaston, but never heard from him again.

'There was once a chance I didn’t take.'  I wish him well. . .

Do you think you missed any chances along the way? Are there many you might want to revisit? Or do you let the past stay in the past?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and I'll respond.



A Monthly Challenge, Host: Denise Covey

Would you like to challenge yourself? Try Write...Edit...Publish! aka WEP
Join us for a monthly signup and some very interesting reading. It's flexible. I joined the once-a-month bloghop since it meets my needs. I've also met fellow bloggers with the same penchant for responding to Denise's challenges. WEP can help you practice short writing.

Write…Edit…Publish! welcomes you to submit any of the following – flash fiction, poetry, non-fiction or playscripts to a word count of 1,000 words – artwork and photographs accompanied by your written inspiration in creating your work/s.

Next Challenge: September - Changing Faces

Denise Covey - WEP in detail


Je ne sais pas = I don't know


Monday, August 4, 2014

PARIS OutTakes and Jessica's White Lady

OutTakes are photographs which highlight lesser known spots or viewpoints. The camera preserves the image.

Near Les Halles
The former market area

View of residences and the top of the Carousel at Les Halles, Paris. Reflections show in the glass-faced building in the center.

Les Halles area in Paris, by DG Hudson


A Bridge over The Seine

Close-up detail of a Pont (bridge) over the Seine River, Paris. The stairs in the middle background descend from street level and are in front of the wall.

The Seine River and bridge detail, Paris, by DG Hudson


Les Cars Rouges Hop-on Hop-off tour bus

Les Cars Rouges tour buses, Paris, by DG Hudson

The top level of Les Cars Rouges is a great vantage point to get photos you can't get from the ground. Passes are available for a variety of days and very reasonable. We didn't use the metro, on the advice of a fellow traveler from Paris.


AND NOW, for something completely different . . .News from Jessica Bell on her upcoming WHITE LADY release in October:

Do you like to read psychological thrillers? Well, Jessica Bell's giving away her latest release, WHITE LADY, for FREE, to every single person who signs up to the "Two Lies and a Truth" Blog Tour (taking place October 1 - 31). It's hassle-free. All you have to do is post what she sends you to your blog (or Facebook page) and Bob's your uncle. She will also be giving away a copy of the book to one lucky reader of your blog. More details and sign up form here:

Here is the book trailer (music written and produced by the author herself):

Here is a tweet:
@MsBessieBell's "Two Lies & a Truth" blog tour & get her new novel, WHITE LADY, 4 free! #thriller #chicknoir


Do you like outtakes? Interested in Jessica's latest fiction novel? What are you doing with your summer?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and I'll respond.  I'm slow blogging for August, due to time restraints.  Thanks to all the fellow bloggers who have shown support for my hubs. Every little bit helps. He has made several advances in the last week, but I have learned all nurses are definitely not created equal.