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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1361647-An-Afternoon-in-Paris
Rated: 18+ · Short Story · History · #1361647
The Queen of France and the guillotine.
WC: 294

The Queen daydreamed of Selle de Chevreuil. Visions of hot meat, fresh from a stone hearth; smothered in savory brown gravy distracted her from her dilemma. Thoughts of sugared fruit preserves teased her senses, and tempted her taste buds.

The hungry Queen huddled in a corner. Leaning against a cold ebon stone wall in her cavernous dark domain; she wept.

She felt a lump in her belly; a knot of undigested rancid bread perhaps, sustenance offered by the dungeon's keepers. The knot churned and pulsated, seeking an escape, but like its host … liberation was not to be.

Hidden away in the Conciergerie, the prisoner denied the charges; made by her accusers. She had told the Tribunal over and over, “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche,” were not her words and she would never admit to treason.

The Madame from the Royal House begged for her life as she was escorted to the waiting scaffolding. The indulgent socialite’s pleading went unheeded.

“Vive la France!”

“Vive la France!”


A chanting mob … a horde of wretched serfdom grappled as one pathetic entity, demanding its presence be known. Voyeurs, vendors and pickpockets pushed and jostled their way toward the wooden, blood stained structure, seeking a better view and one last leering look at the alabaster Queen.

The condemned Queen’s dainty whitewashed fingers trembled as she caressed the nape of her smooth, unblemished neck. She resisted the temptation to look skyward at the gleaming metal blade, choosing instead … to vacuously stare downward at nothing … nothing at all.

A quarter of an hour past noon; the brutish executioner forced the woman’s slender neck between the stanchions, pinning her body against roughly hewed logs.

Marie Antoinette screamed her last words, “Qu’est-ce qui se passe?”

“SWISH”

The blade fell.




Translation:
“Selle de Chevreuil” – Saddle of Venison
“Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” – Let them eat cake
“Qu’est-ce qui se passe” – What is happening
"Conciergerie" - A former royal palace and prison in Paris

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