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Day 7: The Rewind

Day 7: The Rewind

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© Chiara Mirelli

The following text is available on Roger Avary’s blog.

He spent the morning using the clues he had extrapolated from the documentation that had been supplied to the Jury like a crude map and was rather confused when it led him to a large blazon; blue with a standing lion on it.  Was this where the Prize was hidden?  It couldn’t be.  Clearly he was missing several clues.  He took some pictures with his smart phone and made his way back to the hotel, took a seat at the restaurant patio.  Salvatore, who ran the lunch patio, brought him the usual doppio and gave him a lesson in Italian pronunciation.  Then, when he saw the photo of the coat of arms, he pointed at it and said “Azure a lion rampant argent” and walked away, looking disconcerted.  This puzzled the Canadian.  He knew what “Azure a lion rampant argent” meant, but what exactly did it mean?

Their eyes couldn’t have connected because she was wearing large, black Bono glasses that seemed to eclipse her face, but the Canadian was sure that she was looking at him.  She held a cigarette in her delicate fingers, occasionally flicking it with her thumb to dispense of the slowly growing ash, and when she finally took a drag her red lipstick left an imprint on the filter like a fossil.  She reminded him of a movie star, with her Germanic features and mane of blond hair cascading down to her shoulders.  He wasn’t going to approach her, but after a few minutes she stood up and walked over to him.

“I have something for you,” she told him, “from the Programmer.”  She handed him an envelope, and when he opened it he saw that it contained a series of tumbler codes for Swiss-made Poseidon vaults.  “He says you’re close enough to need these.”

“What are you telling me?” he asked, pretending to be naive, “We have to steal the Prize to give the Award?”

“It’s the way things are done;” she told him, “it’s the way things have always been done.”

She then offered herself to him, and suggested that there was still time before he met with the Jury that day to “relax” and “unwind” in the relative privacy of his room.  He declined, not because he didn’t want to — he absolutely did — but because he was certain that this was some form of complicated trap, or perhaps a test.

That afternoon the Jury examined a heist committed in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles.  They also examined a daring heist committed in China.

On his way back to his room the Canadian followed down the hallway two elderly Germans vacationing in the town who had nothing to do with the Competition nor the Thieve’s Guild.  As it happened, they were in the room opposite him, and when they opened their door he saw that their little Dachshund puppy had shit all over the carpet.  The smell of puppy excrement wafted out of the room and several exclamations in German were spoken, the woman scolding the dog.

As the Canadian let himself into his room he looked at the puppy sitting sadly, it’s eyes full of shame, and he felt bad for it.

He was in his room when it struck him:  “Azure a lion rampant argent.”  The lion was facing to the left on the crest — and rearing.  The Canadian knew immediately that he needed to reverse the encoded map directions.  He rushed to the balcony and looked across the city to the azure waters of Lake Maggiore — he was certain that the prize was going to be on the island.

Roger Avary

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