by Evan James
A modern day Knights Templar exacts revenge for crimes against the order.
Place du Vert-Galant
Seine Isle, Paris France
March 18, 1314
Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar was burned at the stake on orders of King Phillip the IV of France, thus ending the nearly 200 year reign of the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon.
Seine Isle, Paris France
7:35 P.M. March 1, 2014
With the sun down, the white Opel Vivaro panel van would have gone entirely unnoticed if not for the contents of the trailer towed behind it. The two wheel trailer had a load of wood stacked into a pyramid, and what looked like two dummies tied to a post in its middle. The driver pulled a lever on Point Zero, the precise center of Paris, and the trailer uncoupled the drop leg at the front making a soft thump while the van continued on.
The van continued on and crossed Rue du Cloitre, moving onto Rue d’Arcole, finally stopping 20 meters down on the right directly across from the Assistance Publique Hospital of Paris. The van’s driver, dressed in a drab blue, workman’s jumpsuit, got out. He carried a BowTech compound bow. Surveying the area, he carefully loaded an arrow and lit it with a lighter retrieved from his left breast pocket. Mr. Jumpsuit aimed at the trailer, released, and watched the flaming arrow as it streaked towards the pile of wood.
On impact, the trailer burst into flames catching the unsuspecting passerby’s startled. A mid-forties man pointed at it, telling his wife and son it must be some type of demonstration or show. The 30 or so others in front of Notre Dame Cathedral, built as the Parisian church of the kings of Europe, that night were drawn to the fire like moths, all slowly gathering nearer.
Suddenly a woman with a camera in hand released a piercing scream.
The dummies were moving.
Two ran to the fire. Andrea, with short dark hair and in her late twenties yelled, “Ils sont en vie!” they’re alive. She frantically looked for something, anything to help get them out of the fire, but, nothing was close by. She took off her coat and starting beating the flames while yelling, “Au secours, au secours, au secours!”
A man quickly joined in helping and yelling for help, but the fire wasn’t going out. As Andrea tried to pound out the flames with her coat, she looked up at the man in the fire, his face red with fear, grey duct tape over his mouth and dressed in a black cassock with a white collar which was now in flames, struggling to be released from his binds. A second man on the trailer facing Notre Dame also burned. Andrea, helpless, could see he was tied to a large stake less than four feet from her.
Owen, a young businessman from Chicago passing through the square in front of the cathedral heard the cries and quickly ran towards the commotion. He ripped his backpack off and rifled through it looking for anything to cut the men down, finding nothing. Standing 40 feet from the flames, he wondered why someone would do this.
The crowd had grown to over 40 rushing to their aid, a woman slammed her fists against the huge, wooden doors of Notre Dame de Paris, our Lady of Paris as others looked for water, a hose, or something to extinguish the inferno out. The kings of France, including Philip IV, looked down on this spectacle as the calm night air filled with smoke and the unmistakable smell of gas and the nauseating stench of burning hair and flesh.
The fire grew hotter and hotter—the incinerator burning off as the hardwood became the main source of the incredible heat being released.
It seemed like hours to Owen as he had witnessed this atrocity, yet only four or five minutes had passed when the crowd finally heard the faint sound of sirens heading their way. Less than a minute later, five firemen jumped off the first fire truck that stopped only feet from the incident. With no panic in their faces, hoses in hand, and in dark grey fire suites, the firefighters went to work. The fire was out less than ninety seconds later while the firemen cut the priest and second man from the post while two stretchers rolled their way. The crowd had gladly parted for the professional relief.
Andrea and several others dropped to their knees to pray knowing that like the flames, the men’s lives, were likely extinguished.
THANKS FOR READING--STORY CONTINUES ON WITH CHAPTER 2