A short story by
Bijou de Mort
Being of sound mind and
Eternal peace, I have
Written this story
And do implore you
Read of free accord or
Exodus sans an empty entertainment.
There we sat to bid adieu to the present- each impending second victorious in defeating and destroying all that was new. Ah! Said present faded away and conquered my ambitions in the already hopeless life I had.
—Forgive these stains of earth and stone. I do implore you rest no shorter. Rest no shorter, rest no longer as the past becomes all that you are. Ferment, rot, and decay not! Move, rather, and tarry about new lands ne’er raped by the forever in thine eye.—
When the morrow had come, she bore a meal oh so filling. I contemplated many thoughts that jumbled, acquainted, and departed quite smoothly: What had become of the yesterday? Has the hog, which I am so demonically devouring been slain in vain? What of today? Did I award my radiant Claire-Bijou with that necklace which she so gracefully supports in that valley which I hath claimed so many years ago? What of tomorrow? Has that disgraceful spit of a son, Exodus, awaken from his wandering dreams?
Upon his entrance, I made no utter; I continued on unbroken by the shattered silence. Claire spoke of some greeting, wished his morning well. She gawked at me, demanding emotion, but my will was too strong.
Exodus had forsaken me. All I wanted was compassion, love, understanding. He was my son and I was his father. I demanded things be right by the law and the law was truth and life in my household. But, still, he loved that man more than I; the law was broken as was I. Mistake me not for a fool of bigotry: I loved my son; I just had no fancy for his taste.
“I’m going to stay the night at Jean’s, okay?” He awaited an answer that I wasn’t ready to give. “I’ll be home by seven tomorrow; his family is leaving in the morning for Lyon, but can I stay the night with him tonight?”
If it weren’t for Claire, Exodus would perpetually be homebound. “If Jean’s parents say it’s alright—“
“Well, I see no problem with that… Do you, sweetie?” I knew this was directed at me. I nodded my head bidding permission.
Exodus leisurely walked to the door. “I love you, Mom; love you, Dad.”
“We love you too, son.” I hated that about Claire: always speaking in my place. I was dreadfully angry at this unanimous response and left a syrup-stained china to my Claire.
—I plead you excuse my deadliness. From where I pen, all things are tiresome and melancholy—especially reminiscing.—
Ascension. I particularly had a fancy for said rising. I forced myself up the main stairwell as she cried under my footing. Here I opened wide the door, greeted by a chaotic storm of linens and a frantic rush for raiment. Ah! Claire distinctly I remember: glowing red, covering what was mine by law. The man, fear of God pulsating in his eye, was taller than I, had brown hair, and, from what I saw, was not nigh as blessed as I in that which drives a man to foreign women.
“This isn’t what it looks like! I swear!” Claire had never sworn a thing in her life.
—From there I scarcely remember, but a record once told me that Claire and that man ironically died on the same night… mortality: funny thing, eh?—
It had been five mornings that I basked in my solitude. My hunger grew, though, destroying the peace and making me mourn. I missed my Claire, her body, soul, and grain. I had to be satisfied. I had to be full again.
I heard the gravel give way, and, in an instant, I was peering through the window facing the driveway. Joan, my sister of thirty-two years, had arrived from Bordeaux with her daughter of seven years, Marie.
“Bonjour, brother! Is Claire about? She said that the two of you would be happy to watch my Marie while I’m away.”
At this, I did upstart, remembering that hatred of that universal dominion my fallen wife perceived that she bestowed. “She’s not here!” I bellowed.
“…Well could you take Marie for now? –I must be on my way.” Joan sounded confused and hurried.
I pondered a moment and finally agreed to take in my niece as Joan scurried off to her ‘mobile, abandoning her precious offspring with a monster.
“There’s something I must show you, Marie.” I began my heavy walk down the main corridor, Marie, smiling a childish, angelic smile, lagging behind. Ascend, did I, once again, feeling somewhat lesser than before, always fearing the reiteration of my interruption of sin.
Marie eyed a sweet morsel as we entered the land of the dead- la chambre à coucher. Before she could beseech, I entreated that she partake. Mouth full of a disgustingly sweet darkness, “Where’s…Aunt Claire?” she inquired, with such lack of etiquette and a blatant challenge of the law.
I seized a large mass of her silky, long, brown hair and stared menacingly into her virgin eyes. “That woman here shall ne’er pass again! Do you understand me?” I pulled her closer, “And you shall ne’er break the mighty law again! Do you under—“
“Let go of me! Please!”
At this I realized the use of Marie. I did release her but not before I fashioned the door locked and secure.
The darkness took hold on the land. Marie and I had been in the room for three hours, the former moping and crying the lot of the experience.
I revealed myself to her. At my disclosure, she gawked in question and terror, forty years of difference evident. She tried to run but I caught her and made her submit to my authority- my law. I discarded her blouse fir it was only a mask. In monogamy we did share; I, mistaking her screams as hymns of pleasure, defied her youth. But the law is never content, ah! in more than one way must we strive to slake the drive of the words that keeps us living. And so I channeled her small, gracious head to that which was mine. At the seventh forced oral penetration I did rest. Ah! Tiring it is to uphold the law. At our recommencing, I became too expectant, misguided Marie as her retina gave me an unforeseen satisfaction. At this, surmised I, she passed.
—Sir, I plead you not judge nor mock nor jest. From here, my story doth get but more peculiar.—
I lugged the carrion to the scullery where I was sure I noticed my fallen Claire’s olfactory perfume. For a moment I was drowning in despair, but stricken hungry again, was I. I cast the cadaver of the innocent, but devious, Marie onto that ominous slab that had so fiendishly been calling my name. With precision and grace did I slide my lancet, searching for the perfection that the law must be given. I penetrated her dermis. At this, the corpse did twitch and startled I. My work was meticulous and without mistake. I threw the meat, which was worthy into the giant, blanc cauldron with a liter of spring water and three cubes of bullion. With what remained, (hair, one eye, and some bones) I ignited to heat the large stew.
As her daughter was boiling, Joan knocked at the front door. It had only been six hours since her departure and a new morning was being born by the God that lives.
“Disole. I know it’s late- I hope I didn’t wake you- but—“
“How dare you, woman? –Disgrace the morn with such diction as ‘late,’ will you?” I halted her hair and drew her near. “Resist not, whore! You hath given me much a torment o’er the past thir’y-two years. Now, nigh is the time which you hath dreaded with many a disturbed dream.” Her countenance was lost in the fear that was so devilishly scratching, so fiendishly itching, itching, itching at her spine.
Ah! She did beguile me, “Brother, I know not of what you speak. Surely, surely you are thinking of the passed Limoge, the evil of your sisters. I never spoke or acted ill against you, nor will I ever.”
“Precisely.” With no haste I pulled her inside and led her, with a follicle leash, to the scullery where my dinner was so lusciously preparing itself, a wonderful aroma tickling my nostrils.
I grinned a smug and sinful smile as I cast Joan to the cemented floor of the scullery. Devant a piercing shriek of horror, I disclosed her torso and all below. At her discomfort, I tongued a kin but foreign land. It was not my property nor place. Had I broken the unforgiving law? I surceased all action to ponder. At her freeing, Joan cast a handful of ember towards my visage that burned and wrought its presence as Claire’s life had done to my soul. Ah! This was punishment enough, surmised I and continued on with exploration. Ah! The feeling! Ah! The taste! I shall ne’er forget! Inside her, I could plainly taste Marie for she had passed that way but once before nigh seven years ago. Vicious and vigorous, I did not cease, save when there was none of her left. I had devoured Joan wholly.
I was quite full-my hunger was satisfied. My stew was nearly done. I added some miscellaneous and varied spices, smothered the fire, and, when the cauldron had cooled to touch, I emptied my stew into a Tupperware and stored it in the refrigeration box.
While I poured so wearily, suddenly there came a rustling at the window. At once I perceived that it was the enforcers, who, though they had not known her, were curious as to the whereabouts of Claire, my fallen angel.
I peered out the open glass, the sun beginning to show, but my deeds surely dimming its radiance forever and ever, amen. “Whomever lingers in my jardin, I swear by the fires of Hell and the grace of our Lord, if you do not disclose your identity of your own accord, I will hunt thee quite fiercely. Come forth now, beast!”
I heard a rustling again, somewhat louder than before, and out of the shadows came a familiar but alien voice, “Father, fear not. It is I: Exodus, your son. I know that I’ve been gone for five days longer than I vowed; I surmised that… that you wouldn’t miss me if I went along with Jean to Lyon. I know how you are about the law, but… I love him quite dearly.”
“O, son! Come to my voice and be with me. I have missed you so!” I lied. To be quite frank, I hadn’t noticed his absence. “O, son! Accompany me post-haste.”
He came as a sheep summoned by his Shepard. “Meet me at the side door and we shall reconcile.” I opened the way for an empty greeting. “Did you mean that- what you said? Did you really long for me? I thought you… I thought you hated me.”
“O, son! Be not so foolish! You knew better than that! And how could you think that I hated you? I—“
“She’s gone, departed, Exodus.”
“Well where is she?”
“Not sure, but she did leave a note for you- told me not to read it. She said that it was for her Exodus.” I turned and walked into the room off of the scullery, where there stood a table with a huge top about it, Exodus breathing down my neck, suspicious. I disturbed some papers and remarked, “Ah! Here it is!” I placed the parchment on the table with a pat of approval.
Exodus crept toward the document, picked it up with both hands, and read aloud, “Du laît? Du pain? This is but a grocery—“
He turned, greeted by my pounce. After a brief struggle, I had him pinned to the table and fashioned with some dinner napkins. “What? I—I—what are you doing, Father?”
“You know what you hath said, boy! You will not break the law! Do you understand me?” I disregarded his worn, dirty trousers and under shorts as he cried in shame.
—For those who hath called me a saint, I do beseech that you overlook my cruelty. A normal madman would gag the mouths of his victims, but not I—their screams are what fueled my settling contentment.—
When the deed was done, Exodus would, verily, ne’er break the law again. For then, when he would fancy his Jean, he was no longer Exodus, my son… he was Exodus, my daughter. I had discarded all that broke the law on him where it came to he and Jean. My son- daughter- had been brought to justice, but he did, later, take his own life and then did I hate him.
—How dare he defy me? How dare he be so oblivious to the law? How dare he forsake, twice, I, the mighty Saint Death?—