It was the worst storms Rose Maret had ever encountered when her travels lead her to the city of Paris. Trees had fallen to the ground like little toys knocked off balance by their master, and she’d seen many struggling travelers too battered by the wind and water to go on. When she had finally arrived she had been forced to stand outside the gates for over an hour as the guards reviewed her name and appearance before letting her into the city.
Shivering fervently she hurried through the large gates toward the station where two guards were stationed clearly taking advantage of the fact that she was so wet her clothes were almost glued to her body revealing more of her body than she wished. “What are you looking at? ” she hissed, hurriedly pulling off her coat, squeezing most of the water out of it, and then throwing back over her shoulders covering her body. The guards looked annoyed but didn’t bother saying anything else as she walked past their station to the abandoned streets of Paris.
The cathedral of Notre Dame loomed over the city like a man made giant, its bells filled the silent night with their beautiful notes, almost welcoming Rose to Paris. She glanced around the cobblestone streets to see only a handful of citizens were still outside braving the storm along with a few soldiers. Almost tripping on some loose stones from the slippery road she hurried into the nearest inn which she found to be almost completely full with rooms for only a few more people. Most of the occupants were stranded gypsies now performing within the confines of the inn with one other gypsy keeping watch out one of the inn’s windows.
Rose watched them curiously, ‘why did they need to keep watch? were they looking for someone or was someone looking for them? ‘ She hadn’t been to Paris in ten years now and had no idea of how strict their officials were. Even if their officials had been strict ten years ago she wouldn’t have remembered it. She had been nine at the time and had only paid attention to the grand buildings and tall tales of the gypsies, but as her memory faded all she remembered was the cathedral of Notre Dame and the strange story of its bell ringer.
For some reason, that story had stuck out the most to her and she still remembered after hearing the story she had declared to the gypsy storyteller that she would climb up into the bell tower to see the lonely bell ringer for herself. Rose chuckled remembering how she almost had climbed up there if it hadn’t been for her parents finding her in the cathedral and forcefully removing her from the cathedral. She looked back at the gypsies once again full of nostalgia and noticed one of them looked very similar to the storyteller from ten years ago.
He wore a similar costume and looked almost identical. He was sitting on the edge of one of the tables telling a few scabby children a story. “and he gave the child a cruel name, a name that means halfformed,” the gypsy went on reciting the story she knew so well, “Quasimodo,” they both said in unison. The gypsy looked up at her, his eyebrows raised. Embarrassed Rose looked at the floor suddenly finding it very interesting. She could see a smile forming on the gypsy’s face as he continued. ‘Now here is a riddle to guess if you can sing the bells of Notre Dame… Rose glanced out one of the small windows to see Notre Dame towering over the other buildings, its grand splendor still astounded her. ‘Who is the monster and who is the man? ‘ She then saw a group of soldiers in the distance, they were all on foot with one man on a horse looming over them.
‘Sing the bells, bells, bells, bells… ‘ Rose turned to see the gypsy who was supposed to be on watch gazing at the gypsy dancing on a little stage with a goat, she looked gorgeous with unruly raven black hair and emerald green eyes. Bells, bells, bells, bells… ‘ She turned back to the window and saw clearly in the moonlight the unforgettable figure of Judge Claude Frollo outside the inn’s door. ‘Bells of Notre Dame’ Rose watched the gypsy finally glance out the window and his face was filled with horror. “I-IT’S FROLLO!! ” the gypsy shrieked. The whole inn went from loud and happy to a deadly quiet. The gypsy’s cry had been far too loud for the minister not to have heard and Rose’s eyes slowly turned back towards the window and met the stone cold eyes of the minister.
She felt her blood go ice cold just looking into his eyes, the very same fear had gripped her when they first met ten years ago in Notre Dame. The minister briskly walked up to the inn’s door and thrusted it open. The gypsies stood their fear filled eyes locked with the cold stare of the minister’s eyes. “Take them,” he said in an icy voice which hadn’t aged a day since Rose had first met him, filling her with a horrid sense of dread. She watched silently as the soldiers began to surround the helpless gypsies when a strange curiosity overtook her. Sir,” she said with more fear in her voice than she intended, “what crime have they committed? ” The minister turned to look at her, his cold stare locking her in making her want to run away and hide behind someone like a child, “What crime? ” he let out a little laugh, “I think you mean ‘which’ crime did they commit my dear,” he took note of her confused face and continued, “These gypsies are unholy sinners who not only sin but convince others to sin with them.
They can drive a weak being mad and make them as unholy as the devil himself. ” “How? ” Rose cautiously asked, “All I see is poor souls in need of food, money, and someone to show them what is right and wrong. ” The minister looked at her with a clear expression of annoyance, “I did try to show them, my dear-” he was cut off by a few of the gypsies calling out that he did no such thing before being silenced by kicks to the ribs from the soldiers, ” ‘but’ they simply won’t listen,” he finished his glare returning to the gypsies.
For a few minutes, there was nothing to fill the icy silence except the cries of the gypsies as they were violently searched. “Where did you get this money? ” demanded one of the soldiers to the gypsy dancer who was holding a tiny purse. “I earned it,” she retorted holding it closer to her chest. “Come now, we all know gypsies don’t learn’ money,” Frollo interjected faking a patient tone. “That’s a dirty lie! ” she retorted, stretching her arms upward trying to keep it out of the reach of the soldier’s hands.
The soldier smiled at her and his hands suddenly shot down to her breasts. She made a noise which sounded like a scream and a protest mixed into one. “Leave her alone! ” Rose yelled before her senses caught up with her, she swept out the guards legs from underneath him causing him to fall over resulting in him hitting his head and going out cold. Suddenly realizing her actions she turned to the other guards who had drawn their swords. Before she even realized it she had grabbed the fallen soldier’s sword and gotten into a fighting stance.
The soldiers started moving towards her and she began to back away to the other side of the inn. It was when she was backed into a corner that she remembered that she had absolutely no experience with sword fighting. Nervously she looked at the wall of soldiers and minister in front of her, then she saw there was no one watching the gypsies. “GO!! ” she yelled, and the gypsies bolted. The guards and the minister whipped around to see the gypsies already out of the inn and running head on into the storm. “GET THEM!!! ” roared the minister, and the soldiers took off