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"Christmas in Marseille"


Michel paid the salesman as he presented the bill and Josette picked up the watch. They then made their way across the department, sinking gently into the plush dark blue carpet, to the display counter where hundreds of diamond rings sparkled under the hidden lighting of the counter.

“Mon Dieu, aren’t they wonderful?” said Josette quietly.

“Oui” replied Michel and thought ‘they’re all a wonderful price too’.

“I like that one, very much” she whispered as an immaculate female sales assistant glided up as if on roller bearings.

“May I help, Mademoiselle?” she purred in a deep voice through her perfect lips.

“We’re just looking” said Michel hurriedly.

“Is there anything that catches Mademoiselle’s eye?” purred the immaculate one, totally ignoring the mere male before her. She had seen his type before, poor, nervous and afraid of that commitment that meant life together until death do part.

“Oui, I like that one” she replied, pointing to a modest little ring with three diamonds mounted in a cross over band of gold.

The assistant had the display counter open in a trice and the ring was placed on a blue velvet cushion for Josette to examine it more carefully. She picked it up and said “it’s really beautiful.”

“Oui, it is” said the immaculate one giving a hard stare at Michel whilst calculating her commission so far this week.

“May I try it on?” asked Josette and the assistant just smiled

and bobbed her head as Josette slipped the pretty piece onto her third finger. It fitted perfectly and she held her hand out to admire

“What do you think, ma petite?” she asked.


“It’s perfect, Mademoiselle” purred the immaculate one before Michel could reply.

“It’s very nice” said Michel.

“Can I have it then?”

Michel trembled inside as the immaculate one gave him her ‘don’t you dare say ‘non’ look.

“Well” he hesitated and the assistant’s stare intensified, “isn’t there any others you would like to look at first?” he asked mentally struggling with the situation.

“Non, ma petite. I really want this one” she replied still waving her hand gently in the air whilst admiring the sparkle of the diamonds.

“Well then” he began as the assistant smiled coyly, knowing that he was sunk without trace, “we’d better have it.”





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