(one of our interns at the towers that are A Word with You Press. That is not a cigarette holder; it’s a smoke editor)
Here is a most unusual entry into our contest Once Upon a Time. Madam Parisianne Modert’s entry could be a stand-alone story, or a vignette ( “a small, graceful literary sketch” if dictionary.com holds any sway). If this is indeed a prologue, it will be interesting to see if, based on the manner in which this story concludes, it can be resuscitated to began a larger tale. There is not a paragraph that floats by that is not rife with distinct imagery. Imagery is to the writer what red and gray are to the artist: the chance for either passion or intellect to express themselves. See if you agree.
“Myself, I long for love and light; but must it come so cruel? and o, so bright?” (Leonard Cohen, upon watching Joan of Arc burn at the stake)
Smoke Veil Bridge
by Madam Parisianne Modert
Drawing in a pink puff of smoke from her e-cigarette nestled in a 20s, black stemmed holder, Rouxette let her false eye-lashed, dark charcoal painted eyelids close remembering the sounds of the black swan circling St. James Lake at foot’s edge the evening before. The color of the swan’s ruffling feathers and aloof curved neck reminded her of Vixa’s black dress, red lipstick, black lined, intense eyes and shadowy, obsession-absorbed beauty and vane attitudes.
Vixa’s no show, hand written note on New Year’s Eve had resulted in Rouxette’s San Diego red eye to London’s New Year Day’s sunset. An elderly woman feeding the birds got wrapped in Rouxette’s mink wrap complete with cheek kiss. “You must not die on swan lake. Vixa is the black swan and I am the white one not you.”chimed the insane Rouxette.”
With a ballet leap and sigh, the sad America adjusted her Breakfast at Tiffany’s sunglasses blinking images distorted by her disturbed mind. The swans’ turning away abandonment reminded Rouxette of Vixa calling off their affair. “See, do you see how love lies?” Rouxette screamed as the woman ran away wearing the wrap.
Bare shouldered, Rouxette whistled down a ride to the nearest rail station. Drifting off on trains and jets had never been Rouxette’s style without a sleeping mask. Connections from swaying English rail to Chunnel crossing to the Paris bound bullet train flew by as fantasies about Vixa’s kiss, embrace, naked body twisting like a bristled furred cat with an uplifted questioning back smothered Rouxette’s mind like crib death. All were reminders that the path to hell is paved in shattered memories of harpy perfumed heartless strings.
The Paris sky displayed a ghostly cloudiness spitting snowflakes at the city of lights. “Parc De Bercy, s’il vous plaît,” Rouxette informed the taxi driver who gave a suspicious eye up and down to his Holly-Go-lightly passenger with hair piled up behind a tarnished tiara. The question of aren’t you freezing mademoiselle received no response, so he drove on.
The veil is my last request and my only needed sleep . Nobody will really miss me once my will is settled. Why has my life always been a beautiful mistake played out, one page ripped out at a time? People care only when you pay their checks, counsel their fears and praise their hypocritically false virtues.
Paying the driver with a roll of bills, she posed like a marble goddess until his tail lights faded. Rouxette lit her cigarette, drawing in, then exhaling the tubular trapped, cherry laced smoke. The path from falling snow was as familiar as brushing the snow off your parents’ grave marker. Rouxette threw her open-toed heels into the icy waters before sitting on the icy wood ledge of the short, curved bridge pressing through her Givenchy, little black dress, her stockings buried under unspoiled snowfall. The crackling, bare bark trees blend well with the two story house where Vixa first kissed me last spring. Did you ever love me, Vixa? raged the doe-eyed actress feeling sleep deprivation, betrayal and despair. Here is my true ending to our false journey, Vixa…at last peace from your confused cruelty…I lost my weight for you, gave you my heart. Look at my figure…the plastic surgery…all for you…o, the lies of ‘I love you Rouxette.’ C’est la vie you Katie Perry, kissing alien pretending to be mortal. Vixa, you are mirrors and memoirs spinning a sociopathic conceit. Pere La Chaise will cremate me into ashes you can’t control, Vixa. Better to be Chopin’s grave sonata of soot than your embarrassing, homophobic interlude.
Rouxette rolled her eyes in disgust exhaling her hateful jealousy. Men always win with you, Vixa. Why your husband’s limpy, once-and-done cock Vixa when I gave you my complete nights rich with kisses? Why did I ever fall in love with that alpha, designing woman of clueless deceit? She told you a thousand times she loved you profaning her damn, straightness. All lies, all bullshit poured in a wine glass. A signed marriage license to consummate his pleasure fucking desires only isn’t love. I made love to you Vixa, but you prefer getting fucked over by that neglectful cheater? You’re stupid Rouxette! Your pathetic Vixa! You promised heaven Vixa and have jaded me to hell! Why does Satan believe in me more than you do Vixa?
Pin the cemetery instructions on Rouxette even thought the French can throw this worthless shell of shit in the Seine for all I care. I have no more wing feathers of love to fly with in this lifetime…where is it damn it?…here is the pussy vile of death in a tampon.. you’re the cause Vixa…she murdered me Jesus…just one puff…God damnit…a tight fit…patience Rouxette…I loved you Vixa…I would have given you everything and anything…why couldn’t you have loved me… Why did I fall in love with you of all people Vixa? Why won’t you leave my mind alone Vixa? Get out…leave me alone…but, you never will, will you?…I’ll hate you throughout my eternity of red hot coals Vixa…too late now…burn Rouxette…burn in hell…love is a prison of endless pain!…no more Vixa…let go Rouxette…goodbye Vixa…step through the veil Rouxette…end the pain she fucked you over with!…void her memory forever…please, death be swift…
Raising the cigarette tip to her plum painted lips, Rouxette inhaled, holding in the blue, poison smoke. Now I am so mad I thought I heard Vixa. The moonlight breaking through the clouds spotlighted Rouxette’s passed out, backward splash towards the next world with watery veil. Rouxette would have instantly believed if her faith in love had been greater that it was Vixa’s voice screaming from the path yelling, “No! I didn’t write that note. Believe me. I love you Rouxette.” Vixa dove from the smoke veil bridge following her love down into Rouxette’s watery grave.