There were no two ways about it, her outfit was ruined. Zsófia knew it was ridiculous, she had much bigger problems at the moment, but still, she loved that outfit. It was the perfect mix of librarian demureness and slightly naughty. Difficult to pull off. She wore it because she knew it would make Monsieur L’Horloge smile.
The door on the other side of the bars unlocked and one of Bland People came in with a paper sack of food. She called them that because they had little to no fashion sense, clad in dull browns, faded tan and nondescript greys. They tended to blend into the background even when they were the only other person present.
“Stand back please.”
She did so. After several escape attempts, they learned their lesson. First, they put her in a cell with only vertical bars. She was able to squeeze through them quite easily. Second, they put her in one with both vertical and horizontal bars, she wasn’t able to slither through but the tin plate they brought her meals on made a wonderful improvised weapon and shield, after that her food was placed in a paper bag. She had not yet weaponized that but she had some ideas.
The cell door swung open, the food sack was tossed in. Her meal was some bread, cheese, a bit of cured sausage and an apple. Not fancy but decent food, she didn’t eat as well when she was a poor student.
Turning, the Bland Person was about to leave when she said, “Wait please!”
With measured movement, the Bland Person turned.
“What do you desire?”
“Freedom,” said Zsófia
“I cannot do that.”
“Never hurts to ask.”
“Is that all?”
“Will you stay with me while I eat?”
A moment of pondering followed.
The Bland Person, who Zsófia now noticed was a woman sat down on a stool as far away as she could and still be in the same room. Zsófia took a nibble of the sausage, not bad.
“What’s your name?” she asked.
“It is not important.”
“I disagree! Names are very important! My name means wisdom.”
The Bland Person did not reply.
“So you don’t have a name.”
“All things have names.”
“Then what is your name?”
“My name is not important.”
“Of the Ville De Marseille Importants?”
A blank stare followed the question.
“It was a joke.”
“I understand. You inferred that I indicated that my first name was ‘Not’ and that my surname was ‘Important.’”
“And that you knew of a family of that same name residing in Ville De Marseille.”
“Just a little-“
“Even though it is very likely no surname ‘Important’ and any parent of that linage naming their child ‘Not’ would be a cruelty.”
Zsófia took a bite of the cheese.
“This was your joke?”
“It was,” replied Zsófia.
As she ate, Zsófia wondered if this was some sort of torture. If so, it was of a marvelous subtlety. Not Important, as she now thought of this particular Bland Person sat silently but keep her eyes on her.
“How long will you keep me here?”
“Until we get what we want.”
“That’s a little vague, don’t you think?”
“It is. But is still true.”
“May I ask what it is exactly that you want?”
“No. But it is in the best interest that we get it.”
“In whose best interest?”