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Mystery of the False Bills! Chapters 1 + 2...

by ladydark


translated these... from french, so it sounds a bit off but ya...wee...

Chapter 1

Manon is very happy: tomorrow is the first day after Christmas vacation. She is happy to return to her friends, and talk about her gifts. Manon is 15 years old, she lives in Paris, on Chemin Vert Street, next to the Fortress in the 11th district. She is in her 3rd year at Francois Mitterrand Highschool and in general, she likes school well enough, except, this year there is the geography class.

This day, her grandfather is at her house. He comes often to see her, for he loves his granddaughter. He lives in the 15th, on Emile Zola Avenue, and now that he is retired, he has a lot of free time.

Manon decides to go shopping at the stationery store.

Manon: Papie, I am going shopping. You come with me?

Papie: No, I want to finish my crossword puzzle. What are you going to buy?

Manon: Oh, some things for school tomorrow.

Papie: Wait here a minute.

Her grandfather looks in his pocket, and pulls out two 50 francs bills.

Papie: Well, take this.

Manon: Oh, thank you Papie! I love you!

And Manon gives a big kiss to her grandfather.

Manon: All on time… and just thank you!

While doing down the street towards the store on Richard Lenoir Boulevard, Manon thinks of what she needs to buy. She has 180 francs: the two bills from her grandfather, and 80 from herself. Maybe a new assignment notebook… her notebook is covered with drawings. Manon loves to draw many pictures, especially during her classes, when she finds them boring, and this year, there is her geography course!

In front of the stationary store she runs into her friend Marielle and they kiss.

Marielle: Hey, you going shopping for tomorrow?

Manon: Yes, my Papie has just given me two bills of 50 francs, in all I have 180 francs.

Marielle: Me, I have to buy a new pen and an eraser.

Manon and Marielle enter the store. There are not many people. All the Christmas cards are on sale.

Marielle: Excuse me, it’s the moment to buy cards for Christmas. Look at the price!

Manon: No thank you, I like to spend my money better for now! Well, I will take these two notebooks, for my English class and my Math class.

Marielle: I am going to find pens, you coming?

Manon: two minutes, I have come, and I want to look at the text notebooks.

While Marielle chooses her pen, Manon finds a superb text notebook, on the cover, a photo of her favourite group, the Three Z. It costs 85 francs, it’s a little expensive obviously, but she really wants it. She thinks it’s a beautiful notebook… she will keep it clean, even through the geography class!

Marielle, look, here is the pen that I like. It’s elegant, don’t you think?

Manon: Yes, it is not poorly. How much is it?

Marielle: 8- francs, its exactly what I have, too bad for the eraser. You coming?

Manon: Non, I have other things to get.

Marielle: I leave you then, my brother wants me to go to the movies with him.

Manon: Okay, so, till tomorrow!

Marielle: Yes, till tomorrow, 0830, unfortunately!

After Marielle leaves, Manon continues to look, and chooses a fluorescent yellow highlighter, and a box of coloured paperclips. She decides nonetheless to add them to her purchases.

Manon: Good, lets see: 85F + two times 25F for the notebooks, that’s 135 francs, + 40 + 30, that’s 205 francs. Zut, that’s too much! Bon, if I remove the paper clips, that’s 175 francs, it’s perfect. It leaves me with 5 francs.

Manon approaches the cash register where she puts all the objects. The cashier rings them up.

Cashier: Here Miss, its 175 francs.

Manon hands her two 50-franc bills and 75-franc pieces.

Manon: Well, the account is good

The cashier counts the change, takes the two bills and puts them in her cash drawer, when, she hesitates. She watches Manon with a air of curiosity and takes under the neighbouring shelf, a box sort of black of which the top seems luminous, and put a bill in the box, watching attentively, put in the other bill, and with an air of contempt, announced:

Cashier: But, Miss, these two bills are false!

Chapter 2

Manon is red, all red with shame.

Manon: But, Madame, that’s impossible!

Cashier: Look yourself, you will see.

She puts back the two bills in the box and Manon approaches. To the light that comes from the top of the box, one can observe the ticket.

Cashier: You see, the metallic band isn’t silvery, and there, under the ultraviolet lamp, there isn’t a sheep.

Manon: What sheep?

Cashier: The sheep of the Small Prince, well, look at this ticket, there, some watermarks.

Manon has accepted the truth: on a true ticket, one sees distinctly a small sheep, and a silver band.

Manon: That’s incredible. Euh… excuse me Madame.

Again she turns all red with shame, forgetting what she has chosen and quickly collects her change, and takes the bills when the cashier says to her:

Cashier: Attention! You will not take these to another store!

Manon: No, of course, I have to return them to my…

She stops in time. She does not want to seem that her grandfather is a forger. Alone on the streets she talks to herself.

Manon: Incredible, frankly: two bills! This is too much, too much! What will I say to Papie? What will I do?

She decides to say nothing of it. She will go directly to her room in order not to run into her grandfather. Unfortunately when she opens the door, Papie is there, with the newspaper in his hand.

Papie: Well, lets see what you got.

Manon: Euh, nothing… I got nothing.

Papie: How nothing? Why?

Manon does know what to say; she is all red. She looks down at the ground.

Papie: see here, there is something wrong, what happened?

Manon: Well, these bills…

Papie: Bills? What bills?

Manon: The two 50 franc bills…

Papie: Well, my bills, whats wrong with them?

Manon: they… they are false….

Papie: False! But, what do you say? That’s impossible!

Manon relates the entire story to her grandfather, the magic box, the metallic band, and the invisible sheep…

Papie: Show me the bills. I have another, we will compare.

He takes out the third bill from his wallet and they examine it attentively.

Manon: You see, this is a silver-plated band. On the two others they are chestnut.

Papie: Oh, chestnut, I don’t know… it doesn’t really have a colour, but its true it isn’t silver plated. And the sheep?

Manon: Ah, that, it is necessary to have the magic box to see that!

Papie: That is not a magic box, see, this is a detector of false bills.

Manon: I know, I’m not completely stupid! But… where do these bills come from?

Papie: Let me think… let’s see…

Manon: The subway?

Papie: No, I have my metro season pass.

Manon: A big store? To the BHV for a haircut?

Papie: No, that’s the Blue Card. Wait, I know. The bakery!

Manon: The bakery closes to our place?

Papie: No, the one near my house, I went this morning for a King’s Tart.

For January 6th, in France, there is a Day of the Kings, and one eats tarts. A special tart with a hidden charm in the inside, and the person that finds it, its either the queen or the king. And in France, one likes to eat much, and one celebrates Kings day during the whole month of January.

Papie: Yes that must be it. I remember: the tart costs 115 francs, and I gave a ticket of 200 francs, and change of 15 francs.

Manon: Then they return to you a ticket of 100 francs!

Papie: Not exactly, they gave me two bills of 50.

Manon: Then, there isn’t any doubt…

Papie: Yes, its certain. But oh no!

Manon: What, whats wrong?

Papie: I have just thought about a horrible thing: this bakery… it’s the bakery that is on the corner of Commerce Street and Theatre Street….

Manon: So?

Papie: I… I believe to understand..

Manon: Understand what?

Papie: this bakery… err well, the son of the bakers… is in prison!


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Tue Jan 03, 2006 5:25 am
timjim77 says...



Sorry. Missed the top line.




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Tue Jan 03, 2006 4:15 am
ladydark says...



I am english having french as my second language... and this is a story my evil french teacher has assigned us, she's given us chapters to do work in and I have translated them, so the work will be easier... and I know people don't talk like that, but that's how I translated it out and I must keep as close to the orignal as possible... thank you kindly...




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Points: 890
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Tue Jan 03, 2006 3:59 am
timjim77 wrote a review...



1: This belongs in the script section. If you do not intend it to be a script, then the dialogue should not be a name, aa colon, and then the dialogue. If it is a script, then anything other than dialogue should be enclosed by brackets, and probably italicized. The non-dialogue parts should include a little backstory, some stage directions, and any other relevant information. Leave as much up to the director/actor as possible.

2: Dialogue should be as close to reality as possible, more than any other part of your story/play.

"Manon: Yes, my Papie has just given me two bills of 50 francs, in all I have 180 francs.
Marielle: Me, I have to buy a new pen and an eraser."

"Marielle: I am going to find pens, you coming?
Manon: two minutes, I have come, and I want to look at the text notebooks."

People do not talk like that. Make sure your sentence structures are fluid. But more importantly, keep in mind your character. How would that character respond there?

3: Good placement of the chapter break.

4: The ending is nice.

If you are actually French and have English as a second language, this is very well done. Kudos to you.





The bigger the issue, the smaller you write. Remember that. You don’t write about the horrors of war. No. You write about a kid’s burnt socks lying on the road. You pick the smallest manageable part of the big thing, and you work off the resonance.
— Richard Price