Monday, February 17, 2014

the last woman - 4. the pistol

by ameline d'ambois

illustrated by danny delacroix and eddie el greco

editorial consultant: Prof. Dan Leo

true to his word, the young man calling himself "citizen manfred" left annette when the two carriages reached the village of r-----------.

he departed the carriage with the barest of nods, and no trace of even the mild warmth he had seemed to show in their brief conversation.

annette glanced out the window of the carriage. they seemed to be in an inn-yard. she heard voices, a few barks of loud male laughter.

she reached over and tried the handle of the door on her left - opposite the one citizen jacques exited from. as she suspected, it was somehow locked.

suddenly the skies, which had been cloudy all morning, opened up and rain beat loudly on the roof of the carriage.

more shouting, laughter, and running around in the inn-yard.

the door on annette's right opened and a blue-coated member of the revolutionary guard entered and took the seat vacated by jacques. this new man was older and stouter and surlier looking than the two guards who had been present at her arrest, but like them, had a large, ferocious looking pistol in his belt.

annette favored him with a wisp of a smile. "good morning."

"silence, foul creature!" was his response.

annette's smile vanished.

"it is enough that i must endure your pestilent presence for an hour or more, without having to listen to your filth, you stinking whore!"

"an hour. thank you. that is -"

"silence!" the guard put his hand on his gun.

annette had known the rough tongues of nuns, the sly insinuations of schoolmates, the silken barbs of her fellow habitues of the beau monde, had even chanced to overhear the bitter sarcasms of servants and peasants and roughnecks, but had never been spoken to in quite such a way before. had such language been (300) described to her, she might have been inclined to laugh.

but she was not inclined to laugh.

for complete episode, click here