passenger 57

Annette’s eyes were rolling around quickly, underneath her eyelids, like she was in the REM state of sleep. However, then she began to open them, now her eyelids doing the flickering and the eyeballs no longer moving around as much. When she began to wake a little more, she made an attempt to move her right arm to then use her right hand to clear the sand from her eye. She couldn’t move it, and then she tried to move her other arm, and as the rest of her body began to drag itself out of the grogginess that had enveloped it, she found not only her arms to be bound to the chair that she was sitting in, but also her legs, ankles, and her neck as well. Her neck was clamped to the chair that she sat in—it was a metal clamp, with a lock that hung from the side. She shook her whole body as best as she could but she was welded in there tight—in fact, she felt that she had never been filled with such a complete lack of freedom in all of her life. This reality brought a plethora of feelings to the forefront in her mind, but before she was really able to examine them, to sort out what she was feeling, someone spoke.

“You really went about this the wrong way, you know.” It was a female voice that held a distinct accent, not of the local French but instead Eastern European, or maybe Russian. As the woman continued, Annette came to remember who she had just been trying to see, the last moment that she remembered being awake—and not tied up. Her name, as far as Annette knew, was Nicholetta, and she was Russian—as far as Annette knew. “I mean, you came blazing in here, walking right up to the front door, like you were some kind of cowboy…hmmm…or even better, some kind of cowgirl like um…”
And as the woman was pausing to remember something, a male voice came from behind Annette—she didn’t recognize it either, but it did carry a French accent, more like the one that she had been hearing the past few days that she had been in town. “I believe that you are thinking of Madamoiselle de l’etoile…la belle etoile.” “Ah yes, silly me.” The female voice said, “Miss Myra Maybelle Shirley, friend of the James brothers. Yes, that is who you remind me of. When you acted the way that you did, you reminded me of that tumultuous gunslinger herself, but capable of what she was, you are certainly not—I mean, both of the guns that you had strapped to you when you were standing out front waiting to be buzzed in—honey, you didn’t even have them loaded! What did you think we were gonna let you do? You must of thought we would have waited for you, given you time to get ready to kill us…or something like that.” And with that the woman laughed a little bit and the man behind Annette laughed with her. He exclaimed, “Stupid Americans,” and the both of them laughed harder.
The woman that had been speaking must have been standing off to Annette’s side, because she couldn’t see her when she spoke—her voice did not come from behind her like the man’s. The room, so very dark, gave no inclination as to whether her assumption was correct, however, and it wasn’t until the woman came walking from the right of her, so close to Annette (she could tell as her voice became naturally louder) that she could smell her perfume. Then a light came on over Annette’s head. It was extremely bright, maybe more so because it had been so dark. It shocked Annette’s eyes and made her close them again, but when she opened them, she could make out a woman in front of her. She was wearing a black hood and a black suit that did not fit whatever form she had—and then there was that perfume, and Annette was too affected by the moment to try and figure out what it could be. She could see most of what had happened to her since she had been standing out in front of the building. She had been searched, that much was obvious, otherwise, she wouldn’t have heard about the unloaded guns. What struck her as a sign that things for her were not going to be good was that they had taken the liberty of removing her clothes and putting her in something of a grey jumpsuit. She had little idea of what was going to happen, but she knew that they planned on removing those things that she could be identified with.
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