Coming Out Cotillion At 17

Not being a man of Catholic persuasions, I’m not big on confession, but I must confess this should have been posted yesterday for Halloween.

So a huge apology to our very own  Madame Parisianne Michelle Modert. My feeble British constitution (do we even have one of those, I hear you ask) kept me waylaid and, I kid you not, I thought it was the 30th. This cold bug I carry is sooooo British that even my mucus is limey.

At AWwYP, we celebrate the written word, and we thank Madame Parisianne for this evocative piece.

Coming Out Cotillion At 17 

Upon linen letter grace gold leafed invitation to a coming out with punch and dressed up dance

Mansion on the hill, Weeping Willows Estate, owned by master and mistress of wealth and place

I’m a poor girl, servant with parents deceased, back edge buried within this family’s plot

Dress provided of satin, lace and ribbon, all the beauty of this young girl’s neglected heart


Introduced alone from curved staircase, did I sense a snicker or was the punch laced with liquor

That passed my painted lips, perhaps a suspicious sip, before escorted to the guest below

In a circle the people gather, the orchestra blindfolded, how strange this scene does unfold,

Long dining table, petticoat pushed up, pantaloons pulled down, pain, chandelier goes black


Marching, carrying my body no longer moving, singing a dirge these scourges of humanity lost beings

Hallow creatures deserving no mercy towards a poor child raised only to become a lamb slaughtered

Shovels upturn this good Earth, shallow grave no deeper reaching than misplaced, depraved hearts

Lowering, downward jewelry around the nape of neck, tangled curled hair, my back paralyzed in place


Last glimpse of stars through willow branches, rose tiara replacing diamonds, hands crossed palms down

Is it flowers that rain, last life smell, blood poured in my mouth, coffin lid  closed with sermon beginning

Here lies a classless maiden our feast of loin, supple were her breasts, sinful was her whore’s twat

Piss on our sacrifice near slain parents’ one mocks with amen, the grassy sod, my death bed covers tucked


Gasping, pleading, frozen fear as the air grows stale, three quick puffs, my heart seizes in my chest

No not I what laughter fills the night nor parade of imported suit tails and flowing satin hems uphill

If there are ghosts they do not disturb my rest, eternity is not yet lifting up my soiled sperm soul

My mouth bitten in my panicked struggles, quiet now full of the gravedigger’s unconsecrated blood


My fingers rake satin curved stuffings, wood above splintering on my fisted demand for yielding

These hardened eyes in shallow darkness, determined rebellion, dirt raining a graveled cave in

Scratches with impaled splinters pierce, battering this bloody warred coffin lid of jagged planks

Vermin insects slither through my hair, down my face, chomping on my vomited, bitten tongue


My breath reaching for air pockets, grass roots dormant sleep woken in third night’s transition

Lungs aching strains of suffocation, planted crucifix weighted silver chain burning my chest

Partings of Earth, constricting petticoat laced with ribboned corset soiled in violent rape

At last I’m free, blood hungry, lusting to feed upon my murdering host and his accomplice wife


These gravestone shadows, catatonic ghosts frightened by my pale moon lite skin, hollow stares

Ears like bat radar searching the landowners‘ mansion ballroom once pinned in party violation

No pain remains of my womb ripped open, his pleasure bloody taken with voyeur kissing wife

Like a tomb I shall empty you gluttonous man, slice the wife’s face that smeared my lips on hers


Her perfume drowning, his hands harshly squeezing, striking me across my tightened thighs

Riddled laughter memory sickening, his splitting thrust cutting through my virginal forest path

My gown now dripping in revenge, open windows to the frosty fog of lustfully new beginnings

I am the Belle of the Ball Vampyress writing all your names in blood on my tattered dance card


Sweet, young lady nevermore, victim for the privileged wanton sin against my maiden hymen

Living dead anger corseting through my fangs, insane power released from my unmarked grave

Hunting my decadent prey supporters I arrive, revenge for entertaining my deadly deflowering

Curtsey supercilious lady, bow presumptuous gent, you’re blood punch for my Cotillion at 17

28 thoughts on “Coming Out Cotillion At 17

  1. Salvatore Buttaci says:

    Oh, yes, this is a horror story and for those who harbor a wisp of faith in vampires, this is even scarier than for those who don’t. As for me, I am not a believer but just in case I wear turtleneck sweaters when a vampire is announced to be on the prowl.

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      Thank you for your kind words. The setting for this poem/story was the countryside north of New Orleans about 1840. Here is a landowner’s party with the entertainment being 17 years in the planning much like the cycle of a locus. This child has been stolen upon the murder of her parents to be used and given the false promise of entering into the graceful high society of the privileged long before the War Between the States will begin and end such lifestyles. The use of the blindfolded orchestra is the indicator that the rape and murder were premeditated.

      • Salvatore Buttaci says:

        I am so impressed by the caliber of writers like you and the others whom I enjoy reading here. My hat is off to Thorn!

  2. Glclark says:

    This scared the bejeebers outta me. Parisianne, you’ve outdone yourself with this story. Hell, you’ve outdone all of us with this story. The second time I read your story, I imagined it in Vincent Price’s voice and it was perfect. This is by far my favorite of all your work.

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      Thank you Gary. My poetry (my real heart’s love in writing) is either very dark, very erotic or both. My novels and short stories tend to be alternative romances with absurd humour thrown in for comic relief and tinted with social commentary. I’ve been trying to chase the darkness out of myself lately, but clearly some remains to still be burned at the stake or staked through the heart. I wish everyone a reflective All Saints Day upon this November morn when vampyres and vampyresses must return to the darkness.

  3. Parisianne Modert says:

    i wanted to thank my fellow writers at East Hell Writers/Anti-Socialistas for your critiques of 7 of these 10 stanzas on the 29th after writing the beginnings two days before. With that advice and the encouragement of my dear friend Kyle Katz, I wrote three additional stanzas towards the middle of the story poem and submitted it post haste but terribly late for Halloween. My apologies for putting Derek, a most proper British gent, in such a position when he was clearly feeling more perishing than publishing. The effort to publish my poem therefore must have been a tall apples and pears to climb. Thank you for honouring me so graciously kind sir. I adore the picture by the way feeling it is perfect as an introduction to this poem.

  4. KYLE Katz says:

    Brilliant, scary, poetic misery. This should be kept in the archives among the best darkness of braking shawdows. Oh my!!!!

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      When Dark Shadows, the original series, won countless fans mostly young girls my age with the appearance of Barnabas, the vampyre, to step up Dan Curtis’s version of “Jane Eyre” within weeks of being cancelled, I was sorely missing. Many years later after countless dosages of estrogen my fangs suddenly appeared. Vampyres became tingles of raw sexuality within me. Their bite to the neck became a dripping release of pleasure sought as a woman. May be women love being held and nuzzled? I know I do. May be women wish to be desired and courted with charm? I know I do. Suddenly I loved Drusilla, Spike, Angel and Darla from Buffy and yes Barnabas Collins. My Dark Shadows collection came in a 15 pound coffin in fact. This poem is more the setting of one which Anne Rice might have chosen before the cross no longer burned her. Haloween is a needed time for humans i believe. We harbor so many internalized fears and compressed emotions hidden from others. This poem hopefully opened those jack and jill-in-a-coffin suppressions and set them free as a hungry vampyress craving the blood of the living. All of us fear not death, but the nihilism of never being us again. Part of us therefore longs for the eternity and abilities which the vampyre has been granted. As humans we need to scream, be frightened as much as we require sexual release. For some people the two are entwined like lovers in not so divine of eternal embrace.

  5. Stars Fall On My Heart says:

    Adam should have checked to see if that forbidden fruit was poisoned first before he bit, don’t you think? This is awesome, but it reaches epic proportions when read aloud =D

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      I have no idea what the Adam reference is about, but here is a naive young lady who has been by appearance sake been well treated by the master and mistress she has been raised by and served from the time she was able. They are the couple giving her a coming out which in the south of that day and age was one’s placement in the the society of the well to do. She trust them like a daughter trusting her parents until it begins to unravel. The punch she has been given has been spiked with liquor to dull her senses. She is the macabre entertainment meant to be used and thrown away for years before the cotillion. She is no more than a lamb led to the slaughter. The use of lamb in the poem is to suggest her innocence. Girls in the 1840s weren’t as sophisticated as girl’s of today it must be remembered. The unconsecrated blood is what turns her from a human death to an eternal vampyress. The usage of the lamb and the blood are Christian symbols along with the word “Amen”. She is laid out on the table much like Jesus was laid out on the cross. She is nailed in another way, but again the symbolism continues. The rolling of the sod laced earth as covers on her shallow grave are like the stone being rolled over the tomb of Jesus. Much like Him, she escapes, but hers is a different path forward. The blindfolds are a symbol to the words, they have eyes, but can not see. Like them, the young girl can not see once the coffin lid is closed on her until she fights her way to the surface of the graveyard above. She also looses sight temporally when the chandelier goes black. Here are several of the worse fears realized. A fear of being overpowered, a fear of violation, a fear of blindness, a fear of being buried alive, a fear of being paralyzed. Her last discovery in life is that her parents were murdered as well by these cruel people so they could possess and manipulate her. And yes, poems should be read a loud in my opinion, so I’m glad that you did.

        • Parisianne Modert says:

          Perhaps Eve was a vampyre who bit her mate in his Adam’s apple. I like to tell people, who are Biblical in belief, that woman did not come from a man’s rib, but rather men come from a womans’ womb. Of course there is womb for debate here. Actually the stars were more of a poetic device to let the reader know that evil can not erase all beauty. The stars and the tiara of roses (which come with thorns, thus crown of thorns) was a hint at the approaching resurrection of this young girl. After all she is going to be reborn much like Jesus from his tomb. The unconsecrated blood was also a device of the unholy blood she receives which is how she becomes a vampyress. Here is an unholy transsubstandiation in false communion with God of blood and body that become vampyress rather than Jesus. The fact that the gravedigger’s blood is used means that he is a hidden vampire resenting the wealthy abusers of this young woman. He therefore is like a dark priest in what he pours in her mouth. Note I used the term slaughtered lamb which again is Christian symbolism for what happened to Jesus upon the cross.

  6. Michael Stang says:

    Not at all a poetry writer, I am in awe of the way you reachout and pull me to the next word. One after another until the child in me sits me down with legs crossed and I am at the end sweating. Anne Rice should read this and feel guilty.
    The work that went into your effort is absorbing.
    It’s great.

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      Thank you Michael. I wrote three of the stanzas towards the middle in about 30 minutes of an instensity which drained me. Basically I got excellent feedback on the 29th, encouragement to submit late on the 30th which is when I dashed out the additions and submitted never believing this poem would get published. I am most grateful that it was. Thorn and Derek have been most kind to this impetuous moi. I normally like to think out the theme, step by step of a scene with questions about the characters as if I am writing stage or movie directions. I have to believe in the logic, flow and balance of characters. In poetry, it normally takes me a minimum of twenty rewrites and far more individual revisions. The original 7 stanzas were a lark to prove to a writer’s group that I am more than alternative romantic idealism. For some reason my poems tend to be very dark, very erotic or a combination of both. Poetry forces one to think in meter, to cut to the bone and value each word. I normally torture over synonyms to improve subtle meanings, meter and rhyme with some poems (not this one). Within poems I find it essential to pay close intention to using powerful words of exacting emotions along with meter which puts the reader in the same mood when they read it. I can’t imagine writing a poem without testing it out loud with all the drama it calls for. In that reading is where one learns what works and what does not. Just to be compared in small part to Anne Rice is high compliment. I really want to visit her castle museum of dark torture someday when I venture to New Orleans.

  7. Jean Rodenbough says:

    Can you be sure you were not too late? Well-constructed narrative verse that keeps us reading all the way to the sorrowful ending.

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      Thank you Jean. I never have to worry about being late (very bad, I’m such an evil transwoman) joke – think about it). Speaking as a vampyress…I mean one who is smitten with the thought of vampyresses and vampires, I find the ending cathartic with the notion that she takes her revenge earning a sense of justice for her parents’ murder years before as well as her own. In the 1840s I doubt that detectives were as fascinated or as acute in dealing with blood splatter patterns, but they would be most impressive. I’d like to believe that much like the tragedy of the Titantic that the blindfolded band played on as the young girl is ripping throat after throat apart. I would like to think that the police eventually found each of the deceased heads resting on their main course plates on the dining table arranged according to name placement tags written in that same gold pensmenship as blood drips from the chandliers. What a banquet this is even if the conversation is non-existent.

  8. Diane Cresswell says:

    Oh my gosh wow!!!! Oh my and again oh my. Damn I wish I could write like you do so well. Oh my again and again…now I have to go to bed with these visions of revenge in my head. Love it!!!!

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      If we are honest as women remembering our loss of innocence, which in this young lady’s time period would have been believable at 17, we can relate to lingering anger, disillusionments and bewilderment at the constraints place upon us as women. In saying this I sadly avoided this experience myself due to biological misunderstandings between my parents and myself. Despite this, I noticed this shift from the naivety of being a little girl to that of coming out as a young woman. Here is a young woman, poor and orphaned by station in life, unaware that her benefactors murdered her parents in order to use and possess her. Their gifts to her have been like cattle being fed to fatten them up for market. The market here is their own lust and entertainment for their perverse circle of friends who have traveled to their estate in the Bayou country near New Orleans. The young woman is very much the sacrificial lamb. She is blooming from servant of the well to do into proper society thinking she is like their adopted daughter. The future for a lady in the south of those days being recognized so, meant a lush future with a husband of charm and provision. She has arrived into the fantasized lifestyle she has dreamt of until it all goes very wrong. Thank you Diane for your high praise. I apologize for disturbing your rest.

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      You are very kind in your praise, but I wrote this to release the dark tension building in me. I would much rather be the light, nurturing spirit which you bring to your family and to life. Horror stories and poems allows people like me not to dwell on the darkness of how unfair life can be along with fears of the ever pending grave. There is a richness to having a scene before electricity and indoor plumbing. Picture the laterns swinging like ropes on a gallows platform. It all comes back to playing on the fears that others naturally possess, but wish they did not. For this newly risen vampyress, revenge was a meal best served at 98.6 degrees.

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      Thank you Mike. I adore vampyre lore whether gothic, southern like this one, urban, Euro or camp comedy. If I chill you to the bone, make you hiss feeling your own fangs or make the ladies feel the vapors as they say down south, I have done my job as a poet and story teller. If this had not been horrific and respectful to other vampyre lore of the south, then I would have rewritten and rewritten until it did. An initial write in poetry is 5 percent of the work with the rest being editing, syntax corrections, better word replacement, logic correction and a lot of amplifications of emotion evoking. Horror must allow the slow paced tick, tick, tick of terror to build in the reader one shovel full of dirt after another until they are buried alive in fear. At that moment the snap of the brutality must rip the breath right out of them. It isn’t the ghost saying boo, but the watch spring of inner tension being wound too tight with the boo taking the reader off guard.

  9. FJDagg says:

    Powerful images, Parisianne! I was particularly moved by “…frozen fear as the air grows stale, three quick puffs, my heart seized in my chest.” Intense.

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      Thank you FJ. I got the line from my last moments with my partner of 30 years. My reaction to her three quick puffs, she gasped, then died instantly in my arms. This is a clinical classic pattern of a heart seizing.

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      There is an attempted meter here which is drawn out to hold a sense of southern meandering set against the vulgarity of how this young woman has been raised for slaughter. I imagined that the orchestra practically drowns out her first screams until the wife covers the pinned girl with her own lips. There is an underplay of a spinal cord injury here, because I couldn’t conceive at the time on how to present it. Within this poem there are many of our worse fears as female humans. Later the intensity of meter is attempted to rise as the vampyress recognizes her own power and lust for both blood and revenge. I thank you for your kind words.

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