The Marquis hates his cell

by on March 19, 2011 :: 0 comments

The Marquis hates rotting away in this cell but has decided to make the best of it. Servants provide rich food, oysters and asparagus tips, and once a week I present myself for him to do as he wishes. For a token sum, I submit to a dozen mice gnawing at my feet or patches of bloodsuckers at my hips. He’s creative in his punishments which last until there is blood, or I am in tears, begging to be relieved. I am lucky to have a low tolerance for pain as it means he reaches completion quickly and doesn’t have to wait and wait and wait as he does with my friend the duchess. Today a new face appears; not that of an aristocrat’s. Her hair has been pinned back and she’s plain with thin lips. As I slip on my robe, I ask “So what are your thoughts on all that rioting? Did you have to push and shove to make your way in?” She averts her eyes and smiles sweetly at some invisible person: “Well, they have the right, and besides they let me through.” The Marquis jumps off the bed and yells, “They have no right!” and I add, “They have no right.” “Where are you from, Ma’am?” she asks me, and I say, “Paris. I was born here, like this.” She looks at me curiously, as I stand now ready, by the bars. We’re opposites. I am tall with round eyes and dark skin. From my vision’s periphery I see the Marquis return to reclining on his bed, his chest heaving slightly as he sucks in his bottom lip. “And those diamonds on your feet?” she asks me. “They’re mine. My mother wore hers the same way.” I cloak my shoulders and tell the Marquis, I’ll see him next week. His visitor continues to look meekly down and says mournfully, “I’m sorry about the crowds. Just say you’re with the Marquis. As you can see they appreciate the revolutionary.” I head downstairs, my diamond-encircled ankles light the way as I think. I pause by the guards’ entrance then nod, “Open the gate.” Now, late afternoon, the mob’s well into its frenzy. “I’m with the Marquis,” I shout as they tear me to bits. I feel one fellow’s hand way down my throat. We struggle for a minute, before my eyes roll back. On my last look I see them by his window, with a dreamy lovers’ glance, he strokes his fair visitor’s bosom, as they gaze down at me. Through my final haze, it’s a look I’ve seen before, the Marquis closes his eyes same time as me.

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