At one point, the guns paused from their rapid release of bullets. Within that moment of silence we heard footsteps above us in the bakery.
“We should have gone out the back door when we had the chance.” Quinn muttered aloud.
“Trust me Quinn.” I said. “This is the right place to hide.”
“I have no weapon down here. If they find the trap door we are sitting ducks.”
“God will keep us safe.” I said.
“God?” Quinn’s sarcasm sent a tingle of concern running up my spine.
Obviously Stacie felt a similar reaction, as her head popped up from my lap. “Yeah, what do you have against God?”
“Nothing. Forget I said it. I would just rather put my trust in the police.”
“Police!” As soon as his words reached my ears another picture popped into my head. It was a French police car with two Officers in it. They were in a car accident with ... no, it can’t be. They were in an accident with a hiked up red truck.
“What about the police?” Quinn asked.
“They are on their way.” I said.
“You called them?” Stacie asked before Quinn could.
“No, they are coming for ... donuts, I think.”
Quinn chuckled. “That would be Gregor and Jeneau. They usually come in once or twice a week. They come for the chocolate croissants, though, not the donuts.” Quinn winked at me adding his wonderfully calming smile.
“Are you sure they will get here in time?” Stacie asked.
“I see them getting into a collision with the red truck at the corner where we stood earlier, Stac.”
Within a matter of minutes we heard the footsteps leave and the red truck rev away. Following that was the unmistakeable sound of squealing tires.
“That should keep Dean and the guys busy for a little while. Ladies?” Quinn motioned for us to follow him up the ladder and out into the bakery kitchen.
When we stepped out of the cupboard, we were overwhelmed with the sight of broken glass and shattered dishes everywhere we looked. It was obvious the men had come all the way into the kitchen and had pulled things off of shelves and dumped out flour and sugar containers everywhere. The air was thick with a white haze. It was like a bag of flour blew up.
It didn’t take long for one of the Officers to enter the beat up Bakery. Stacie and I stood by the back door while Quinn talked to him. Quinn addressed him as Juneau.
Stacie was amazingly quiet watching Quinn and the Officer go through the bakery discussing the property damage and any possible missing items. Her shoulders were slumped low and she had a dark, fearful expression on her face.
I had always seen my little sister as stronger than me. She was more adventurous and seemed able to tackle anything thrown her way. For years I had wished I could handle Mitch’s death the way I thought she would have, if she was me. I never imagined anything would stop her. Not that I didn’t think she wouldn’t mourn the loss of her husband. No, it was more as if I imagined her able to get on with her life sooner. She wouldn’t be hiding out in her little house three years after.
Now as I watch her cowering by the back door I am shocked. I don’t knock her for it. It is the opposite actually. I respect her more because of it. She seems more realistic to me now and I won’t hold her on that high pedestal anymore.
Quinn approached us and spoke to Stacie first. Just as soon as he began to question how she was holding up, a picture came across my mind’s eye. It looked like a small metal safe in a wall somewhere. Inside the safe was a blue 5x9 envelope. I couldn’t read the name on the front before Quinn nudged me.
“And you, Ma Cherie are you alright?”
“Good, then let’s get out of this mess and I shall take you both to lunch.”
“Finally, someone is talking my language.” Stacie said as she flickered to life. “What are we going to eat?”
Quinn winked at me secretly. “I know this great place that chops all their meat up so tiny it is unrecognizable. You just never know what you might be eating. You’ll love it.”
It took a moment for Stacie to join our laughter. But soon we were all feeling better as we loaded into Quinn’s black and shiny Passat parked behind the Bakery.
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