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Red Rainbow

G Johanson


Title Page


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Interlude I

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Interlude II

Chapter 13

Interlude III

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Copyright © 2021 G Johanson

All rights reserved

The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

No part of this book may be reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without express written permission of the publisher.

Chapter 1


The Allies have landed! The Allies have landed! Deveral Meyer found he did not get as excited as most of his fellow Parisians did at this news. It was fantastic news, of that there was no doubt, a very positive development. It offered serious hope that their country would experience freedom sooner rather than later. Whether weeks or months left under the yoke, it seemed that the longest stretch was behind them with the end in sight.

The end had been in sight for Deveral for some time now. He could not pinpoint the day when his troubles began. He put his ailments down to his age – at 82, he belonged in a sarcophagus. He realised as the discomfort increased to agony that this was more than that. He was dying. Unless there was a sudden surge towards Paris (and the liberation was going slower than they’d expected upon those initial reports), he was not going to live to see the celebrations. That was hard to take. What was even harder to take was the feeling at the pit of his stomach, not completely masked by the mess down there that was killing him, that he had done nothing. Americans, Canadians, Brits, Free French and many other nations, men with their whole lives ahead of them were dying en masse for his country and a collective cause while he had done next to nothing to help.

Age was no excuse. His good friend Georges was doing plenty in his provincial adopted town. Youth was a better excuse than old age. Some were enfeebled in their dotage, but that didn’t have to stop them from finding some way to aid the Resistance. It didn’t have to be a gung-ho frontal attack on the invaders. But it could be too...

Deveral had funnelled a small amount of money from his theatre to a Resistance group in the early days, the donations ceasing when the group were obliterated. He finally did something substantial to help on June 12. That was the first in a series of calls he made across the Atlantic before he got to speak to her. She promised nothing, prompting Deveral to consider changing his plans. Two days ago, June 28, he got a telegram. No name, just three words.

Je suis là.

I am here. It was open to interpretation. Did she mean Europe, France, Paris? She’d never even said she would come when asked, not even when he begged her. His begging just made the silences longer. Although Deveral had never met her, he knew enough about her to conclude that her silence wasn’t due to being lost for words or concern for his feelings. He was asking her to leave her comfortable Connecticut home to risk life and limb on a hare-brained scheme that would see her hounded until Paris rose again. She was entitled to turn the screw, to try and make him uncomfortable. She was not a figure to look to for kindness. That was why he contacted her, because kindness had no part in his plan. That was not what was needed right now.

What she had, what he needed, was power. Deveral had no powers – he had never had any powers, associating with those that did without picking up any of their abilities. His speciality was knowledge, and he had used it wisely through the years to make a living out of unusual and artistic interests. It had been a good life up until these last few months, a life of performance that got him noticed. His death would follow that trend.

The cat wandered through the theatre with Deveral in the early morning as he went to pick up the paper. If only the mangy tabby was a tiger – it was loyal to him and could do some damage and provide much-needed warmth in bed, though the tabby’s presence still helped a little, the heat it generated surprising for its slight frame. Tossing and turning all night usually heated up his bed in any case, the nature of his ailment not conducive to sleeping. Deveral only turned the heating on for shows. Some of the cast and crew grumbled about this to no avail, rehearsals and meetings remaining cold affairs. Theatres were cold places, that was par for the course. They didn’t have to live here – Deveral did, forced to sell his house just to rent the theatre for a few more months. He would not be able to afford it come September and would be homeless as well as jobless. Luckily, he’d have a new home in the ground by then.

Deveral could have saved some centimes by scrapping his paper subscription back in 1940. A controlled press that couldn’t report the news... it was pointless, really. He knew he wasn’t going to read any favourable articles about the Allied Forces’ progress. Yet he still studied the paper looking for clues, coded messages, anything.

Saturday remained their most profitable day. They ran two shows, an early Matinee at 1 and another at 4:30. Both were usually well attended. They still ran evening shows during the week starting at 5:30 to try and enable their patrons to make it home before the curfew. They tried 6:30 in the early days and had virtually no crowd so moved it forward. They got close to 100

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