One cold and dark afternoon, I stumbled
across a newspaper article from Paris, dated 18th March 1818. In
collaboration with her daughter, a mother poisoned her husband and both her
sons. Both women were condemned to death. What brought you here, mes copaines, I wondered. . . .
Et voilà. It ends where it began, my child, not
long now. If you stretch your head forward as far as you can, it will come off
more easily; that’s what they say. Oh, stop your blubbering. We’ve kneeled
before, haven’t we? At least it will hurt only on that end this time; the other
end will be in peace, finally. It seems right, separating the head from the
body. I wonder if my head will taste the iron of my blood as it works its way
up from the throat.
Did you know, I
was born on January 21st, 1793, the day of the execution of Louis
XVI? And here we are, my girl, you and I, both getting royally fucked by that
great equalizer, the guillotine.
Don’t cry now,
girl; hush hush. It’s over soon.
taken my scarf to expose the neck. It carried our
boy on my back for three months, didn’t it? Just as it carried you, my lovely
girl. I miss the weight of you, your breath on my neck, your little chubby
hands playing with my hair. The papers wrote that he was mine. They wouldn’t
believe he was yours—an unmarried twelve-year-old, producing such an angel with
her own brother? Well, we made him an angel now, didn’t we, my lovely? Thanks
to you and me, he will never turn into his father. A beast of his own
father's making, my husband; may he burn in hell. Do you remember how they
writhed and twisted? I wished it had lasted longer.
The crowds have
come in full number today. Seeing la
mère mauvaise and her murderous daughter, the barbarous poisoners of Paris.
I can smell them, roasting chestnuts. I am proud of us, my girl. When men fight
back, they are celebrated. When women do the same, they are killed. Remember
when we finally did it, and we sang the song all the way to the police station?
“Ah! Ça ira! Ça ira! Ça ira!
Tous les violeurs à la lanterne!”
I remember when
I was eleven, playing with my mother’s
bread dough. The smell of yeast and burnt sugar. The softness, the innocence,
the way the sunshine just flooded in through the window, as if there was no
darkness. That’s when I met him, your father. He joined in with me, despite his
age (he was already twenty-five), the smell of gin. At first, he shaped a
flower, then he giggled and formed the shape of a man’s bits. He told me to
touch it and asked me if I wanted a go at the real thing. That’s when my mum
walked in, and we were married two weeks later. She was a great one at turning
sin into virtue.
No, I don’t
want my eyes blindfolded. No, don’t tie my
hands. I will go freely with you, my liberator, mon ami, into the bliss
of hellfire, purified, and cleansed — of all.
Armstrong, now Scottish, has worked in journalism and psychology. She is
currently completing an MA in Creative Writing and has published short stories
and flash fiction. Her pithy style got her into trouble from age six, when,
after writing a particularly seditious piece about a vengeful cat with
explosives, she had to promise never to write again. She lied.
Darren Blanch, Aussie creator of visions which
tell you a tale long after first glimpses have teased your
peepers. With early influence from America's Norman Rockwell to show life as
life, Blanch has branched out mere art form to impact multi-dimensions of color
and connotation. People as people, emotions speaking their greater glory.
Visual illusions expanding the ways and means of any story.
Digital arts mastery provides
what Darren wishes a reader or viewer to take away in how
their own minds are moved. His evocative stylistics are an ongoing process
which sync intrinsically to the expression of the nearby written or implied
word he has been called upon to render.
the vivid energy of IVSMA (Darren Blanch) works
YELLOW MAMA, Sympatico Studio - www.facebook.com/SympaticoStudio, DeviantArt - www.deviantart.com/ivsma and launching in 2019, as Art Director for suspense author
/ intrigue promoter Kate Pilarcik's line of books and publishing promotion -
SeaHaven Intrigue Publishing-Promotion.