“I wrote this chapter at Aux Tours Notre
Dame, the restaurant across from Notre Dame cathedral”
October 19, 1987, Paris, France
As Leonard Albarran opened the car door, he
looked up and locked eyes with the fat, breathless
man seated on the marble slab. He automatically assessed
that the man was just another tired tourist, no
threat. He pulled his flabby, five-foot-eight-inch body
out of the stale and humid atmosphere of the taxicab.
He mumbled a “bon journée” more to himself than to
the taxi driver while turning his head toward Notre
Dame Cathedral. The sun broke through the light and
dark cloud cover over Paris, illuminating his sweaty
face, which had the color and texture of old paper
and was perched atop a short, fat-layered neck with
a protruding Adam’s apple. Pale watery blue, shifty
eyes shone like the eyes of a creature that had spent
its life in perpetual shadow. His trained gaze carefully
scanned everything from right to left; insecurity
was instinctive, and the enemy was everywhere.
Keeping the hatred out of his face had become natural.
He smiled despite the awful cogs grinding in his
head—it was as simple as breathing. Taking a deep
breath, he began walking toward Aux Tours Notre
Dame, the restaurant across from the cathedral on
the corner of Rue d’Arcole and Rue du Cloitre. His incongruously
large feet were perfect for balancing his
short, fat legs and round, unshaped knees. Despite his
natural fears, he always felt safe in the end, knowing
that Falcum, his dark, fateful angel, was protecting
him at all times………..