Paradise in Paris

"What am I doing here? What was Dad thinking? Sending me to Paris," said Shizuka Ito nervously. Standing five feet, four inches, she had long black hair that reached just below her shoulders. She stood in the middle of the great city with a map in her hand. She was cold and hungry. All she needed was to find the hotel she was staying at, but she was lost. Shizuka never really had a good sense of direction, especially when it came to foreign countries.

Her father, a compulsive gambler, had won a one-week trip to Paris, France. He decided that his daughter deserved it more than he did. After all, Shizuka has been working hard to get into law school while taking up a part-time job. The least he could do was give her a time off.

Cars bustling by, Shizuka was clueless as where to go. She thought she should practice her French a little. "Ex-excusez moi," she said doing little movements with her hand. She kept repeating the words aloud. When she saw a middle-aged man in a black business suit sitting on the bench with a newspaper in hand, she strolled up to him and said in rough French, "Bonjour." She looked at him from above the newspaper.

The man looked up at Shizuka. "Bonjour, comment peux j'aidez vous?" he asked. Shizuka placed her duffle bag down by the foot of the bench and whipped our he handy-dandy Japanese-to-French dictionary.

"Oh. Par. Lez. Vous. Ang. Lais?" Shizuka stuttered breaking between every syllable now and then.

"Oui, I do. How can I help you?" he asked.

Pointing at the map, she said with a Japanese accent, "I need go here?" Shizuka was not particularly good at English. She was always forming her sentences wrong, so it would always come out in the wrong way.

"How do you want to get there?" he asked. The reply was a confused look. "How. Do. You. Want. To. Get. There?" he repeated the question, but this time it was a little slower and annunciating each and every word clearly. She gave him another strange look. The middle-aged man was beginning to get irritated. "By taxi?" he asked pointing towards a taxi. "By walking?" he said doing a walking charade. "By subway or by bus?"

Now Shizuka got what he was asking her. She told him slowly, "I am walk."

"What?" the man inquired looking at her as if she had a second head growing out of her neck.

"I am walk," she repeated with a great big smile plastered onto her face. The man was frightened off by Shizuka's inability to speak English. She was alone again, still not knowing how to get to her hotel. Sulking about her directional disability, she sat down on the bench. Out of nowhere and oblivious to Shizuka, a hobo dressed in rags and a filthy green overcoat snatched her bag. She was just about to reach for her bag, but all she grabbed was the nothingness left. Out of her peripherals, she noticed a green mass running like mad with something by its side that looked a lot like her bag. Unbeknownst to her, that green mass was a hobo.

As she chased into the dark alleyway, she found herself panting heavily and he chest heaving. Suddenly she collapsed onto the cold, wet ground in defeat. Then it hit her like a brick to the head. She didn't have her passport. It was still in the bag, which was probably still in the hands of the thief.

Shizuka was in such absolute panic; she could almost have a seizure. She quickly calmed down when she heard large footsteps from behind her. She turned around to find four big looking mafia men, who looked like they were in need of something to punch. They started to speak in rapid French, which Shizuka could not pick any of it at all. But all Shizuka could think about was her safety.

The men advanced towards her, fisting their hands. Before it could get any further, a voice shouted in French for them to stop. Everyone turned to look at the owner of the voice. Shizuka couldn't believe it. Behind the mafia men was the pampered son of a big trading company in Japan. It was Rui Hanazawa, Shizuka's friend from To-oh Academy for the elite.

Rui sternly told them to go away. When they refused to budge, he pulled out a gun from inside he coat pocket. He had them at gunpoint. He exclaimed with a dramatic flip of his hair, "Get out!" They were out of there faster than you could say oompa loompa. He walked to Shizuka and squatted down next to her.

"Where'd you get that? I never thought you, a person of high respect, would carry a gun with you," Shizuka said, slightly shocked from the previous events. He held the gun pointed at her nose. All that came out was water when he pulled the trigger.

Rui took Shizuka to a café to get a drink. As they were talking, Rui thought of something to do while they waited for the French police to find her bag. They finished up their lattes and took a stroll through the city of Paris. Then they came across an old church.

"Come on, Rui," said Shizuka dragging Rui along behind her. Inside was just like any old fashioned cathedral. Lined with pews, an altar. There were candles lit just about everywhere.

"There's no one here. We should get to the hotel. They've probably found your bag," Rui said, his voice shaking.

"I want to stay a little longer," Shizuka said just taking off looking around the altar. Rui made a move to leave.

"I'm going to leave now," he said. He was just about to set foot out of the door, but it abruptly shut in his face. He was getting a little nervous. Then he heard a strong gust of wind come through. Each one of the candles went out one-by-one.

"What's going on?" the frightened Shizuka asked. Just now it had gotten dark. It felt like time was going faster. It sunny seconds ago, but now it was like midnight. What came next was a dark vortex that appeared out of the ceiling. While they were busy gazing at the dark vacuum-like vortex, an outstretched hand seized Shizuka's shoulder. She gave a yelp and jumped. At the exact moment, the candles flickered back. Rui looked at the hand and trailed it to the owner of that hand. At the end of it was a middle-aged, semi-bald man. He was dressed in old Renaissance clothing.

"Th-that's William Shakespeare," Rui stuttered. Surprised to see the William Shakespeare in the flesh, Rui jabbed at him like a specimen at an autopsy.

"Do I know you?" Shakespeare asked. He was pulling on the sleeve of Rui's jacket.

"No, but we know you," Rui said brushing off William's hand. "What we need to know is how to get you back." Rui rubbed his chin like he was thinking hard for a solution.

"We can't just drag Mr. Shakespeare, here, around the city of Paris. Just look at what he's wearing," said Shizuka.

"What, may I ask, is wrong with my wardrobe?" asked Shakespeare looking at his old English wardrobe.

"We're going shopping," said Shizuka taking a hold of the playwright's hand. They went on a mad shopping spree. Rui did all the paying; he is, after all, the pampered son of a big Japanese trading company.

Dressed in a practically all leather ensemble, Shakespeare and company took of to find a way to get this famous writer back to his era.

"He looks like Shaft," said Rui.

"He looks good," Shizuka retorted. They argued on and on about the choice of clothes.

As they were still quarreling, lurking behind the alleyway was an old, wrinkly, but devious Dr. Holstein, who had witnessed the phenomenon at the church.

"We have to capture this unusual specimen," snickered Dr. Holstein. He shooed them off saying, "Go! Go capture him!"

Back at the squabble, the trio had gone to a five-star expensive-looking French restaurant. Rui had ordered the three entrees for them to share. One looked like mashed brains on a platter. The second dish was definitely escargot. And the last was pounded up goose liver. Yummy.

Shakespeare was the first to chow down; after all, he was a curious being. Shizuka was a little hesitant to start. "I'm not hungry," she said crossing her arms over her chest. After a minute or two, her tummy began to rumble.

Rui pried open a snail to get its insides. He grabbed her chin and forced her mouth open. "Just eat it." He stuffed the snail into her mouth. There was nothing she could do, but swallow.

They were finished in no time, but William ate most of the meal, and Shizuka barely ate any of it.

Little did they know; Dr. Holstein, who had been trailing their tails this whole time from the church incident to now, had put laxatives into Rui and Shizuka's drink.

Once they got out, Shizuka felt a stabbing pain in the side of her stomach. "I have t go use the toilet," she said grabbing her side. She rushed to the toilets inside the restaurant they were just in.

The reactions of the laxatives were slow in Rui's case. But it didn't take long for his turn to take off to the bathroom. He turned to William, "You. Stay here. I'll be right back." He made a beeline for the restroom.

Shakespeare noticed a large crowd in front of a small store. "What is the large sum of people doing?" His curiosity got the best of him, so he made his way to the little store full of people.

Dr. Holstein and his minions were lurking just around the corner. Spying on them. Waiting for the chance to snatch their target. "Go! Go get him!" he told two of his cronies smacking them in the head with a rolled up newspaper.

Once Rui came out of the restaurant, he found Shizuka sitting on a bench with her head in her hands. "What happened?" he asked her putting a comforting hand on her shoulder.

"Shakespeare's gone," she said looking up at him.

"You mean he's gone back to his time? Yes, now we don't have to worry about him anymore." Rui seemed happy about this.

"No, that's bad. We have to find him or else it'll change history. No more Romeo and Juliet or Hamlet or Macbeth." Rui grabbed Shizuka's hand and rushed to find the missing man in leather. They ran around the city until they saw two men behind and ordinary looking alley. Shizuka was about to walk ahead, when Rui held out an arm to stop her.

"Shush," he whispered. The two of them eavesdropped on their conversation.

"That guy Dr. Holstein told us to kidnap looked a lot like Shakespeare. I wonder what he wants to do with him?" said goon number one.

Rui turned to Shizuka, "So this Dr. Holstein guy has Will."

"We just have to find a way to get into that research place they're in," said Shizuka.

"I have a plan," said Rui making his way for the two goons. They followed them quietly into the laboratory. Rui and Shizuka waited until the two were gone before the search for William Shakespeare could begin.

They were about to split up when Shizuka noticed a bulletin board containing the schedule for research and diagnoses. In all the blanks was the same inspection and in the same place. They walked down the hall to room ten. Inside they saw Shakespeare with a patient's vest on a metal counter. There was a short old man with probes in his hand.

"We have to get in there," said Rui. Coincidentally the door opened and Dr. Holstein came out with a stressed look on his face. Rui and Shizuka quickly hid behind the narrow hallway. Sweat was pouring off their foreheads.

They made their way into the operating room. They quickly carried him out of the room and into a wheelchair to quickly escape. Rui passed a room full of chemicals that would cause a massive explosion if they were mixed together. He told Shizuka to take William out. Placing a beaker on the counter, he put thirty milliliters of hydrochloric acid in and placed ten strips of magnesium into the beaker. He lit a match and threw it into the room. Then came a small boom, but everything was set ablaze in no time. At least that was the one thing Rui paid attention to in science.

Now that the evil Dr. Holstein was no more, there was a bigger problem to overcome. To get Shakespeare back to the Elizabethan Era.

They stopped by a gift shop to wake up William. "Hey, wake up!" screamed Rui. When he didn't budge, Rui smacked him hard in the face. Hopefully that would get him. Shakespeare shook his head clear of the anesthesia that Dr. Holstein injected into him. "You have to get dressed." Rui handed him his clothes.

Once Shakespeare got out of the dressing room, they got to think again. Then it came to Rui like a snowstorm in Alaska. "I remember now. I read in one of the text books that William Shakespeare's funerary is in Warwickshire, United Kingdom. All we have to do is take the Chunnel to get to England and take the train from there to Warwickshire."

"Wouldn't it be easier to get on one of your jets?" asked Shizuka.

"They're in the hangar, and it's all the way in Bordeaux. It'll take too much time to get to our destination."

"Fine," said Shizuka. They made their way to the Chunnel station to get their tickets. Once they got on, it took about three hours to get from Paris to London. When they got off they made for the next train to Warwickshire. The whole way there, Rui and Shizuka fell asleep. Shakespeare was looking at the scenery.

They finally arrived at Warwickshire, famous for William Shakespeare's grave. Rui and Shizuka asked the townsfolk where they could find Shakespeare's funerary. An elderly lady told them the exact directions. Apparently the lady was wrong because they passed the same spot twice. Rui decided to change paths and who knew that the funerary was just the next corner.

They walked into the building bringing Shakespeare with his old clothes that he originally came in. "Now all we have to do is wait," said Rui. They waited until midnight shifting positions from time-to-time. The same black vortex appeared again, but instead of blowing, it was sucking in. Rui and Shizuka fastened onto a pole.

"Farewell, my friends!" hollered Will. Slowly he was taken in by the swallowing vortex. Once he went all the way in and the whirlpool closed its mouth.

"That was quite and adventure," said Rui with his hands in his pockets. "I'm never going to follow you again. What if something like this comes up the next time? Who will be next? Julius Caesar?"

"Be careful, or it might just happen. Why don't we get some ice cream?" Shizuka said. The two ate their desserts under the full moon reminiscing their Shakespearian journey.