Blind Man's Bluff

Blind Man's Bluff

Status: In Progress

Genre: Mystery and Crime


Status: In Progress

Genre: Mystery and Crime


Pierre thinks back to Marseilles when, after a successful deal, he attempts to trick his companion only to later discover that he is the one who has been well and truly duped.


Pierre thinks back to Marseilles when, after a successful deal, he attempts to trick his companion only to later discover that he is the one who has been well and truly duped.


Submitted: March 31, 2017

A A A | A A A


Submitted: March 31, 2017



Blind Man’s Bluff


It was in Marseilles, at Le Souhait, a deserted suburb two kilometres west of the centre. Rows of terraced houses abandoned and forgotten, their occupants now rehoused in one of the new towns outside the city. Five hundred metres of barren wasteland separated these lifeless streets from the old port and commercial centre of Baienne; factory buildings surrounding the railway station like stoic ogres, phantoms of the city's industrial past now taken over by crows and rats.

It was a little after 6.00 am when Pierre and the girl left the old station building. Face set with a determined expression, he gripped her arm and they set off across the wasteland. Unlike most visitors to Marseilles, he never ventured into the city centre, but he knew the district of Baienne well enough to be wary. How he wished he was back in Paris; back in the 10th arrondissement, at la Fayette where everyone knew him as Pierre Le Tapé.

Only two cars stood in the station parking lot that morning, each stripped of their wheels and their windows smashed. As the sun edged its way over the old brick factory on the east side of the tracks, a long shadow fell across the wasteland. It had been raining during the night. A gentle mist lifted from the concrete slabs as the Mediterranean sunlight kissed the cracked surface: today would be hot.

The girl was called Afou; she'd told him her name during the crossing, but Pierre had since forgotten. He did know she was from the village of Soutah, a two hour bus ride from the town of Dar el Jazrat in Algeria. As he watched her board the ferry his main concern was how much younger they were getting: this one can't be more than twenty, probably sent over by her father. That morning she'd discarded her burqa and wore a simple cotton skirt over a pair of black leggings. She also left her head uncovered to show off her carefully braided hair and wore a strapless top. The morning sun caressed her neck and shoulders. By the accounts of those from her village, Afou was considered to be beautiful.

But Pierre was unmoved by the girl's beauty; to him she was just another job, once this was over, he would never see the girl again. Keeping a firm hold of her arm, he pulled her across the parking lot in the direction of Le Souhait. Why can't she move any faster? Did she have no idea of the risk they were taking? He gave an anxious glance over to the building at the far end of the lot: the one which kept appearing in his dream. He touched the scar at the corner of his right eye and scanned the wide empty space.

Back in Paris, he'd been unable to shake it off; a recurring nightmare which featured the very same car park where they were crossing now. In the dream, he'd been trying to escape but, whichever way he turned, all the exits were blocked by vans, their blue lights flashing in the pale morning light. Behind the wheel of one he recognised the face of Yves Descarte; the man he had cheated out of two thousand Euros during a game of poker three years ago. In another sat Jacques Dénonce; whose name he had been forced to give to the police after that robbery in Rue Charlot. Through the windscreen of the next was Michel ‘Pied-Noir’ to whom he owed over five thousand Euros. Each face held Pierre with cold dead eyes. The memory sent a shiver through Pierre. He pulled the girl across the empty car park.

A sound disturbed the stillness of the morning – a car, somewhere behind them. The couple spun around to see a black Citroen emerging from the far side of the station building. The car accelerated along the track which ran parallel to the railway line until it reached the half-demolished Meubles-Lacotte building. From here, it took a turning to the left and headed towards Les Sables.

Pierre tugged the girl's arm. “Allons!”

They ran; like lemmings they raced towards the houses in the distance. For at least ten minutes they ran without a stop. It was only when they reached the streets of Le Bout they paused; into a secluded doorway to catch their breath.

Pierre lit a cigarette. The girl was shaking. This was probably the first time she had ever left her home: the first time away from the close community of her village. She was not ready for this kind of work: too young and her family too greedy. In a moment of weakness Pierre put his arm around her shoulder. He allowed her arms to circle his waist, her heart to beat against his chest.

By chance, as if rewarded for his moment of compassion, he was presented with an opportunity – and Pierre was one who could never let an opportunity pass him by. While the girl clung to his waist, he slipped his hand into the back pocket of his jeans. With well practised skill he divided the large roll of notes between his fingers. The moment he was released from her grasp he took a step back and, like a conjurer presenting a magic trick, triumphantly held up half the takings in his fist.

“What do you think of that? Not bad for one day's work, eh!”

Pierre knelt on the stone step and divided the money into two equal piles. He glanced up into her wide trusting eyes and wondered if she understood a word he said. After deducting the cost of his ferry ticket he handed over her share and returned the rest to his pocket.

He stood up. “Well, what now Cheri? You wanna go, or stick around with me and do some shopping?”

This was not a suggestion Pierre had intended to make. The words were out and it was too late.

“I want stay with you, but soon I must go,” she said.

For a moment Pierre wondered if the girl had picked up on his insincerity. Had his deception been discovered? He looked down into her large brown eyes and, in an attempt to reassure her, brushed his fingertips against her cheek. But this only made matters worse.

Before he could stop her, the girl moved close and raised her face to his. What was he to do? If he resisted, she might cause him trouble. After all, it had happened that way more than once in the past. Maybe he would go along with her; a farewell kiss, get it over with and then she'll be gone. He bent down and tasted the softness of her lips; breathed in the musky scent of her body, the warmth of her breath. Her lips parted. It was too late. Her breasts pressed against his chest. Too late to stop now. Pierre forced his tongue between her teeth. He pulled her down to the step: she didn’t resist. He pulled her closer. She pressed against his thigh. His head was spinning, his cock was hard. Too late to turn back, he reached under her skirt, pulled off her leggings, her pants to her knees. His fingers touched the soft flesh between her legs.

But this girl was no innocent. There was no resistance. Already she had unfastened the front of his jeans and was pulling them over his bottom.

Unable to hold back any longer, Pierre pushed her down to the stone step. He tugged the panties from her legs and threw them into the road behind. He was lost. He was an animal: couldn't stop now even if he wanted to.

The girl gripped the back of her knees and spread her legs wide. Her fingers closed around his penis and guided it to her.

Pierre was lost to her charms. Driven by the odour of her scent he slammed into her. On and on he slammed, driving his whole body into her soft flesh.

And she was no different. Each thrust was met with equal force. The regular slap of their thighs, the rhythmic moans from the girl's throat and the steady thump of her head against the paint-flaked door were the only sounds in this deserted street in le Bout – that is, apart from a gentle tapping sound in the distance.

Their movements became more urgent. The tapping grew closer.

Pierre took a cautious glance over his shoulder. His whole body froze.

Less than three metres away, an old man was heading towards them. Eyes obscured behind dark glasses, waves of silver-grey hair escaping from his beret, the pensioner seemed not to notice the couple in his path. With head held high he tapped his white cane along the edge of the pavement.

It was too late. Pierre's outstretched legs were in his way; no time to react, the man's foot caught, he stumbled and fell.

In the next few moments all was confusion. The old man was on his knees, one hand caught up in the seat of Pierre's trousers, the other hopelessly groping around his feet for his cane. His face, unmoved, stared with unseeing eyes directly at the couple in the doorway. Pierre grabbed the cane and placed it silently on the ground next to the man's grasping fingers. All at once, as if nothing had happened, he righted himself, recovered his composure and continued on his way.

Pierre watched him turn the corner at the end of the street. Wrapped around his right ankle, like an identification band, were the girl's white panties.

The girl's eyes were still closed: she was unaware of the whole event. Pierre reached forward and their mouths locked together. The slapping of thighs, the girl's moans and the steady thump against the door resumed, this time rising to a crescendo as their passion reached its conclusion.

It was not until later, well after the girl had left, that Pierre discovered that his back pocket was empty. For the next half hour he searched every corner and turned out every pocket of his clothing. It was only then that he came to the conclusion that it had to be the girl – it was she who was the seductress in their game and Pierre had fallen for it. He raced down the street in the hope he would catch her at the next corner. He was too late: she was gone.

But there was something Pierre hadn't considered: the events preceding her departure.


For the past thirty minutes, the black Citroen, the car the couple had seen coming from the station, was parked two streets away. When Monsieur Henri le Doigt reached the car he slipped into the driver's seat and threw his white cane onto the back seat. Once the dark glasses were tucked away in the glove compartment, he removed the panties which were still caught around his ankle and placed them neatly on the passenger seat. Keeping a careful watch on the junction ahead, Monsieur Henri dug into the breast pocket of his jacket and pulled out the roll of banknotes. Without bothering to count them, he tucked the money between the pages of a back-dated copy of l'Artiste and buried the magazine amongst the old newspapers scattered on the floor in the back of the car. When the girl turned the corner he fired the engine and waited for her to slip into the seat beside him.


Copyright © James Sillwood 2014

© Copyright 2021 James Sillwood. All rights reserved.

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