Valjean and the Hydra – Excerpt 1

Montmartre was dark and dismal in the early hours of the morning. The Restaurants and Cabarets were closed. It had been raining persistently all night and the gutters were running with water, underfoot the roads were slippery and treacherous.

Detective Inspector Valjean was pursuing a suspect, he was alone and on foot. The suspect had managed to keep a few yards in front by dodging down the many dark alleys and short cuts. He was obviously very familiar with the area.

Valjean heard a clatter close by, he was just about to investigate when a cat ran by him hotly pursued by a dog. Valjean cursed under his breath, then smiled, he was getting jumpy. He heard another noise, ran around the corner with his gun raised, then was thrown backwards as a bullet struck him in the shoulder.

Valjean sat for a moment on the floor, regardless of the damp seeping through his clothing, ‘ So this is the way you want to play it my friend, then to the death it is!’

Valjean, putting all his weight on his good shoulder, raised himself to a kneeling position and cautiously peered around the corner. Another shot rang out and he felt it carve a furrow in the side of his head. ‘That was a little too close for comfort’ muttered Valjean. He again leaned around the corner and fired one shot, watching for the muzzle flash from his assailants returned fire. Once he had located his adversary, Valjean triggered of four shots in quick succession in his adversary’s general direction.

Valjean waited but his shots were not returned, he gave it a moment or two longer by way of caution then ran towards the direction of his shots. When he reached his adversary, he was lying in the road wounded. Valjean stood over him, lifted his weapon and shot him straight between the eyes. Then Valjean collapsed and lay on the damp street beside him.

(C) Damian Grange 2021