The plump French baker rambled frightfully about “The White Woman” who dwelled near the village Peurye. He went on and on about how no one had ever made it passed the bridge. Called, “neuf de le cats”. Because only nine cats had made it across and that was more than one hundred years prior. No human had ever dared to cross the bridge; those who did surely met their fate.
“Don’t worry Monsieur. We will be fine. Could you just tell us how to get to the village Beauvais?” Marissa begged impatiently. Only two weeks in France, then they were to head back to the States. She did not want to waste excess time listening to some paranoid Frenchman go on about some hoax.
“Ahh, Beauvais.” The French baker rubbed his chin thoughtfully. As if, he had some distant memory. “Oui, it should take you no less than one half hour.” He began to tell which roads to take and which roads not to take. Marissa feverishly scrawled the information on a souvenir piece of paper. “And,” He added at the end. “Do not take any roads, which are not on the map. Tu comprehend?” He pointed his sausage-thick finger into their faces.
“Boy! That baker sure is…” Tom made a loco sign with his finger and whistled as he got into the little VW Beetle.
Marissa laughed back. “Yeah, I guess.” She slumped into the passenger seat of the vehicle. “But, did you hear anything he said? You know, about the mysterious woman at the bridge. They say she is a ghost of some woman who has a grudge with the settlers who had built the bridge. Back in the—“ She shut the door slowly.
“Don’t tell me you fell for that hypocrisy!” He laughed, “There are many rumors floating around these days. None of which are true. Ghosts and haunted places do not exist. I know. I have done the research. Most of these people, who have claimed to see these...things, are mentally disturbed. Most of whom who’ve had a rough past.” Tom instructed in his professor type voice.
“Yeah, you are talking about half the world. Most likely three-fourths of America has all of those exact problems, not to mention you.” Marissa chuckled.
She looked forward. The end of the road was clearly visible. “You’re lost. Maybe you should have turned onto the road we passed a moment ago?”
“Are you sure? Is that road on the map?” He questioned.
Marissa squinted as she studied the map. “No, I don’t see it.”
“Ugh…” Tom grunted. “We’re gonna have to turn back.”
“Or,” Marissa added. “This road may not be on this map…but,” she glanced down. “See? It says 1999. Five years ago, it is the date on here. This road could really exist. Besides, it is most likely a short cut. That French baker is probably just paranoid. You know, read too many ghost stories.”
The road seemed to go on for eternity. Trees lined both sides. The sound of gravel and dirt crunched beneath the little car’s tires.
Breaking the deathly silence, Tom said with a start. “Hey, I think I see something.” He acknowledged seeing a clearing ahead. “Maybe it’s the village.” He thought aloud, hopeful.
However, all too soon his hopeful voice turned shaky. “What did the French baker say again?”
Marissa looked up from the map. “I think he said…” She stopped. She saw it too. A glowing figure, almost human looking, stood in the center of the bridge. A flowing white dress cascaded down to the ground. The figure turned slightly, and then began to glide towards Tom and Marissa.
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