Parisianne Modert swears it’s not too late to reveal Victoria’s secret


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$500 is still up for grabs as our contest The First Annual Peggy Dobbs Write-of-Passage continues. Parisianne Modert, that dabbler in dialogue, conjures up her favorite writer (she WILL correct me if I am wrong, no doubt) Sylvia Plath for this romp.  But upon careful reading  this entry goes beyond plathitudes.

Here is

Punk Rock Oblivion Averted

by Madame Parisianne Modert


“Sylvia,  This do I drink to thee.  Hey, what gives?”

“Hey, you.  Leaving without saying goodbye to me?”

“Maggie, give me back my vile.”

“Not on your death girl.  Mixing Plath and Shakespeare for a suicide note Victoria?  Tacky.  What is this crap anyway?”

“Belladonna and Helianthus bloom.  Last minute improvise.”

“No gas oven?”

“Graveyards don’t allow them.”

“Heptonstall, England rather than Paris?”

“A woman can change her poetic mind can she not?”

“Yes and you will right now or so help me.”

“Or you’ll what Maggie?”

“Down the hatch.”

“Don’t please no!”

“You were going to kill yourself.  Why?”

“You wouldn’t marry me.”

“I was still married to my husband, ex-husband.”

“So you’re divorced?”

“I say yes, the Pope says no.  Who are you going to believe?”

“Of course you Maggie, but why are you here?”

“Well it isn’t to join your dead poet devotee society.  I swear, it is not too late.  I love you, so you better not say you’ve stopped loving me after all you’ve put me through.”

“I added Helianthus didn’t I?”

“Sunflower blooms are suppose to make me feel better?”

“My last thought was going to be of my undying love for you.”

“Want to rewrite that one?”

“My infinite love for you?  Is there any hope for us my Magpie?”

“I should hop on the next flight out of Heathrow and let you rot with Sylvia here for asking me that, but I love you too much.”

“Maggie, I love you too, but you knew I was here?”

“A regular Sherlock Holmes I’m getting for a spouse.”

“After all these years you are accepting my proposal?”

“Sweetie, this isn’t your best thinking day is it?  Yes, I want to marry you and become…I can’t believe I’m saying this…your lesbian wife.  Is that the term?”

“I have no idea.”

“Doesn’t matter, but champaign not poison please.”

“Because you love me Maggie, I want to live forever.”

“Doesn’t work that way, but we’ll have time.  I promise, but indulge me with one non negotiable prenuptial please.”

“Anything for you of course.  What do you want?”

“No upstairs lips on downstairs lips?”

“Well, I can live without sex, so alright.”

“Kidding! No sex?  Don’t make me drink this vile.  There I poured it out.”

“Thank you Maggie, but you still haven’t told me who…”

“I’m in love with you, you silly Victoria.  We’re getting married.  Can’t we let this drop?”

“Alicia calls me silly Victoria.  Should have known.  Alicia put you up to this.”

“Just because I started corresponding with her online, you think she…”

“And you met her at a group meeting more than once.  Does a punk rock star drummer bang her drum on stage with a banjo?”

“Sounds interesting, but…”

“You saw her do it at our Artist Unhinged Meetup.”

“And your niece was on beat until the snare drum skin broke.  Whoops!  Alicia kept on strumming though.”

“So Alicia outed my suicide attempt?  How could she?”

“She loves you Victoria, so be grateful.  This reminds me of something you better get straight…I mean…you need to be honest with me.  No more secrets between us.  You told her and not me.”

“I only told her I was going to England to pay my respects to Sylvia’s grave.”

“Lit Broadway opening night marquees are more subtle.  Alicia’s a bright woman.”

“She’s become my second mom and mother’s know their children.”

“We sure do kiddo.  I can’t believe it.  I’m marrying a transitioned woman whom my ex will give me mocking grief over, but that’s not even the headliner act here.”

“And that would be?”

“You’re almost 40 years older than your niece who is giving you away as your mother and then becoming your bride maid niece.”

“Who’s going to be your bride’s maid?”

“Bride maids, best men, combo haven’t decided, but I promised Alicia she could be yours.”

“She’s perfect as long as her band isn’t playing at the reception.  Will there be a reception?”

“You better believe there will be and yes her band is playing with you and I are singing punk rock, backup vocals.”

“My microphone will be turned down, right?”

“Off is more like it.  I’m not marrying you for your licks…I mean singing voice.”

“Does this mean we get to honeymoon?”

“I never tried spreading honey on my…excuse me for a sec…that’t my international phone.”

“Did you get to Auntie Victoria before she offed herself?”


“Picture a Billy Idol ‘White Wedding’.”

“Neither of us should wear white sweetie, but good news, you’re the mother of my bride.”

“Yippee, rock on.  Auntie Victoria said yes?”

“It was either yes we wed or I was going to drink her poison.”

“Joe yelped poison, I said pills, my lead singer chanted hanging and the bass player had his money on unlit gas stove.  He taught literature at Berkeley before getting punking cool.”

“You two are related alright.”

“The two black sheep of our family.  So will this make you my daughter or my aunt?”

“My mama was my mama, so Aunt Maggie will work.”

“We’re three black sheep sisters, Auntie Maggie Pie.  Had to say that.  So, how about you both dress like Amanda Palmer for the wedding.  She’s my daughter’s favorite singer, songwriter.”

“Balloons, panty flashing, falling out of our bras or naked?”

“Great idea…balloons.  Instead of cutting the cake, because Victoria shouldn’t have sugar, you pop each other’s dress.”

“Let me get back to you on that one.  It’s Mommie Punkiest…take the phone Victoria.”

“Thank you Maggie.  You saved me again Alicia.”

“You scared me young lady.  I’ll have no more of this suicide drama from you.  Understand me, silly missy?”

“Yes, Mommie Alicia.”

“That’s a good girl.  I’m doing your makeup.  Your wedding march could be “Anachronistic Girl.”


“Yes, Victoria?”

“I’ve never been happier in my life.”

“Video streaming on!  Good.  Now kiss each other on my downbeat.”

“You heard your mother, kiss me Victoria.”




33 thoughts on “Parisianne Modert swears it’s not too late to reveal Victoria’s secret

  1. Parisianne Modert says:

    Not the lead up I was expecting Thorn, but very funny and clever. Thank you for publishing my story. The opening line is from “The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare as Juliet prepares to drink the vile of poison which contains the essence of the belladonna flower which Friar Laurence has prepared. Heptonstall Church Cemetary is where Sylvia Plath is buried, so the scene is literally at her gravesite. It is interesting to me that the Church at Heptonstall was replaced in Victorian times giving rise to using the name Victoria. The original church was named after St. Thomas a Becket in 1260. There actually are sunflowers growing on Sylvia’s grave in front of her headstone when the season is right. I did have the permission of my niece to use her and her gentleman for this story. The use of the name Maggie with the nickname Magpie was to give strength, but free spirit to the rescuer. A mad woman such as Victoria needs an imagnative and bold counterpoint in love, yet very different in character. Victoria and Maggie are fictional, but were fun to create. I hope all of you who read this story will find it humourously entertaining; although I hope you find the story a bit disturbing as well. Reaching the edge of the obvilion of death is a sadness. The redemption of this sadness is stated as a love theme. My story, unlike Thomas Becket, who lost his life by being murdered by the order of he crown of England and Sylvia Plath, who lost her life to the dispair of her husband leaving her for another woman, is a romance come into bloom. So this story is a triumph over death, a joyous joining of two spirits much like we pray Peggy and Homer have been reunited in heaven. I thank you for reading my story and welcome your comments.

  2. Diane Cresswell says:

    Outdid yourself again my dear. Brilleg and swishdig that’s all I have to say. Oh hang on a minute…my bad – sorry those weren’t the words – heard them wrong. Brilliant and wish I wrote them…but you did it better. All those places put into one story…nice!

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      Thank you Diane. In every character and place chosen there often is a bit of the authoress. This dialogue story does use elements of my own interest and yet not. Victoria has wrestled in her mind between dying in the Paris which she loves in her heart and the Heptonstall where her second love lies buried (Sylvia Plath). The story takes place in the near future of a few years from now. I went back to Mrs. Plath Hughes for the suicidal impact and humor at her expense later in the story, because she died in a most unusual way. I wish I had had the room to include the line, ‘men must die near the autos they love more than their wives, but women must die in the kitchen where their husbands have placed them. I guess it wouldn’t have worked as well as the cemetary, but the thought was rather Dorothy Parker humourous. In my own life, my niece brought me back to life from the dead when she suddenly appeared after a surprise phone call in 2012. I was sick of mourning after eight years of it, had been writing for some reason unknown to me for two years, but Alicia is a life force and compassionate attention who can not be denied. She is a punk rock drummer, a banjo player, a video maker, a makeup artist, a painter and so much more. She has the spirit of a neo-Viking woman in love with a very nice neo-Viking man. I don’t see often, but I love her like she was my own daughter even though I swear she is more mature than I am. The dating and modern world seem very foreign and strange to me. Alicia has been my bridge to this century, so I look to her often for advice. Thus she is sort of a second mother to me. Out of my three stories submitted this time, this is the dark humorous one. Victoria and Maggie are part Romeo and Juliet in that order along with Hermia and Helena (see painting) in that order from A Midsummers Night’s Dream. The amusement to me is that Victoria wishes to have her last moment as the unrequited love of her life Maggie rather than herself. She is confused, crazed with despair, but love rescues her thanks to the efforts of the two women Victoria feels the closest to and yet hasn’t been fully candid with by plotting her own demise. I hope you will enter as well Diane and if so I eagerly await the reading of your story (ies).

      • Diane Cresswell says:

        I got that so much through the words you were expressing. We all need an “Alicia” in our life – the one who can do some kicking when needed and with lots of love. She definitely appears to be an extraordinary individual and there are no accidents that she’s in your life. I’m still thinking on what to write.

  3. Diane Cresswell says:

    Outdid yourself again my dear. Brilleg and swishdig is all I have to say. Hang on a minute…oops heard the words wrong…coming though a bit clearer…okay brilliant and I wish I wrote this. However, you did it better!!! Nice!!!

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      Thank you Tiffany. To have my writing compared to such Rock Divas and one of my favorite movie creators makes shy all over (not easily accomplished on either side of the pond by the way). You just added three points to my Narcissistic Personality Disorder test score – yeah! (I’ve been working on it since I originally only scored a 24 out of a 100). Our lives (if we are honest about it) have very few defining moments, but to me a story needs to be such a moment in time. It must shake us awake, break our hearts and let us know that we can change, that life is good not bad and that we need to celebrate this goodness that God has given us. Writing needs to be cutting edge (see FJs sharing above) with characters who are engaged with each other (pun intended). Thank you for you insights of intelligent and rockin’ kindness.

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      Love it, love it, love it. Burroom…burroom…Amanda Palmer…total goddess by the way is married to one of my favorite authors Neil Gaiman. She was half of The Dresden Dolls. I absolutely love her videos including her cover of “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and her video of her own “Map of Tasmania”. The balloon popping idea came from a video of her at a show where she let the fans pop her naked. I wasn’t a looner until then, but now I believe. Thank you FJ. My niece does consider me “Anachronistic Girl” which is an awesome song and video as well. Rock on!!!

      • Parisianne Modert says:

        To you Amanda Palmer devotees my apologies…the song is actually called, “Girl Anachronism”, but the words flowed better in the story the way I turned them.

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      Just intense dialogue put into quick back and forths for space considerations. I have been accused in my novels of being far too narative, far too lyrical. I normally believe in descriptives as rich sub-text into the psyches of my characters, but 1000 words doesn’t leave room for my more normal style. I’ve written a poem which was 1000 words. Word count disappears more rapidly than most people suppose. When I write the dialogue part of any novel or short story, I try to limit the speech making to profound points of view. The rapid back and forth between is meant to emphasis the familiarity and drop of pretense between Victoria and Maggie. Victoria has been the seeker of Maggie’s hand in marriage, but now the tables are turned and it is Maggie who is the seeker. Look at the intensity in Amanda Palmer’s face below. This is how Maggie feels about almost losing her love to suicide. Maggie’s latent acceptance of a marriage proposal years in the offering has become determined despite how uncommon the relationship with Victoria and Victoria’s niece Alicia is. Maggie (thought of Tennessee Williams) when I was writing the part is a woman surrendering to a love which her society may well condemn and be shocked by. Maggie is the one making the sacrifice of love much like Victoria had been ready to sacrifice herself to death. Maggie therefore is the hero counterbalancing the anti-hero nature of Victoria. The reader is suppose to fall in love with Maggie’s swagger and selfless nature; while being both distrurbed by Victoria’s mental illness and pure fidelity of love for Maggie. My style regardless of format is to give the reader alternative, shock and awe romance which pops their eyes out of the sockets, the air out of their lungs and leaves them gasping. In novels this process happens in waves far apart, but in very short stories such as this one, I write from the top of a 50 foot, rolling wave.

  4. Michael Stang says:

    First, a minute to think. I was surprised to discover what graveyards don’t allow–Pais, England, or Flatbush. This vein is thinnly varnished with an equisite patina, though tell me of Billy Idol, when you have the time.
    Cork and Spark

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      I actually am confused about your comments and the use of the words of patina, Cork and Spark here Michael, but I’ll try anyway. I’ll presume by Pais you mean Paris. And the Flatbush reference makes no sense to me at all. Sylvia Plath on February 11, 1963 committed suicide by placing her head in her kitchen oven with the unlit gas on. There is a lot of me in the character of Victoria which is why that particular graveyard was chosen. If you were my friend, you would know that in the past I have talked about living someday and dying in Paris. The reference to graveyards not allowing gas ovens is to speak of the mental confusion within Victoria. Who in their right mind would drag one there, figure out how to get a line to it and turn on the gas. The cemetery is remote actually. She is heartbroken and finally has had enough. Her statement to her niece was a veiled plea for help. Maggie demands honesty in a marriage, because she didn’t want to be dismissed. Part of Maggie is furious with Victoria for not telling her and for almost completing the suicide. I have no idea what cemeteries in England allow and don’t. It isn’t important Michael other than being a literary device to link the despair of Mrs. Plath Hughes over losing her husband to another man and Victoria losing her intended wife to a man in a time conjunction. It is also necessary in order to make the shift from a straight relationship story which is the default for most readers to a lesbian love story. Most people especially men don’t believe two women can love each other just as much as a man and woman can. As a writer I needed to defeat this prejudice within my potential readers. It was important to establish early the depth of Victoria’s anguish and despair along with Maggie’s near panic in chasing after her love. The story is not thinnly varnished, it is bold in each other’s face. it is a confrontation with blunt honesty. Maggie does mock, because it is her style and she has over the years been put in very awkward and trying circumstances by this other woman who has come into her life in a most illogical way. Death is tragedy and romance is life to me. This story inverts several aspects. The near death comes first with love overcoming it. There is dark humour throughout, because the relationship of Victoria and Maggie has been a rollercoaster ride of emotions. The punk rock theme fit the relationship very well. Neither Victoria nor Maggie are punk, but the glue, the common ground healer is Alicia who is (in real life she really is). There is a marked difference in the acceptance of being lesbian in my niece’s generation as opposed to my own. I wanted to bring that out. Alicia accepts the relationship without questioning it at all. She’s a straight, young lady, but isn’t bothered at all by her aunt’s love for another woman. For Alicia it is just as natural as her own orientation. She just wants her aunt to be happy with the person that her aunt loves. The Billy Idol reference is a reference in-between generations, because he was after the older ladies formative years and before Alicia’s. He however is one of the pioneers like Joan Jett and the Sex Pistols that lead to later punk rock groups. The “White Wedding” reference is an absurd way of talking about the possible innocence between Victoria and Maggie. Maggie has been a straight woman who never has had sex with another woman and Victoria, like me, is a “transitioned woman” defying orientation. While neither is virginal they are to each other which helps the tension further. Maggie is traditional enough to know that a woman who has been previously married before should not wear white. Women understand this, perhaps men don’t. It is a vehicle therefore to counterbalance their innocence with each other. The kiss at the end is a confirmation of their love for each other. It is another way of saying, “And they lived happily ever after.” I’m a romance writer who believes in true love Michael.

  5. Stars Fall On My Heart says:

    A love story that went from near-tragic to magically comical <3 I bet Sylvia got a kick out of this from wherever she is on the other side!

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      Thank you Stephanie. The story begins at the end of “The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet” and plays with several themes later on from the comedy within “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” One of my nicknames which I had late in my college years was Shakespeare, becasue I think it was the favorite class I ever took and shockingly at that time in my life, I was a deadringer look-a-like to a famous etching of him that appears in many text books. Look below…creepy right? So there is a part of me which has for years adored the Works of William Shakespeare. Alicia in a way is a Puck mixed with the fairies of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in modern punk rock style, because she is like that in real life. I doubt Sylvia would find my antics amusing, but I imagine Mr. Shakespeare probably would tell you, “All’s Well That Ends Well”

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      Thank you Sheri. My audience is primarily women of deep heart and open souls. When I read these words from you, I knew I had succeeded in reaching my audience.

  6. Ken Weene says:

    I can only wonder what music you played while writing this. I want to play it while I re-read so I can better appreciate the rocking quality of your characters’ song.

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      I often listen to Blue Note Jazz from the early 60s, Russian Opera or Baroque for violin such as Vivaldi or romantic piano such as Chopin when writing. For this piece I actually wrote it without music. Amanda Palmer is best experienced live or in video. Her songs are provocative and disturbing at times, but too much to focus through. My niece calls me Anachronistic Girl but the song title I was looking for is actually Girl Anachronism. By that she means I am a woman who belongs and behaves with values from an age other than our own. I would be much better set in 1800 England, 1860s England or France and 1920s Europe. While this combination is curious and aids my sense of the romantic, it does not play well with modern distain fo both classical romance and the freedom of the jazz age. Thus I am a woman out of her proper time placement. My niece is a very free, young woman whose punk rock, Viking lifestyle isn’t me, but intrigues me. Within romantic dialogue I believe there needs to be a push me pull me kind of good humoured difference of opinion to separate the characters and to keep the reader off balance a bit. In the movie, “Somewhere In Time” it is described as “excess within control, stay one step ahead of your audience, keep the mystery alive.” In writing this means stimulating questions of fascination as to what makes the characters tick, surprised by what they do say, but recognizing that those words fit that character. If I had to recommend music to listen to while reading this story it would be English, recorder and meant for the 1590s. The reason for this is that primarily this story was influenced from “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” along with “The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet”.

      • Parisianne Modert says:

        I looked up the relationship of Janis Ian and Pat (Patricia) Synder, married originally in Canada, who have been together for about twenty years and live in Nashville from what I can figure out. What they share with the couple I created is that they grew up in an era where lesbians could be institutionized and marginalized. The setting is meant to be about three to five years from now in the future after my niece has formed a band of her own which places the couple, Victoria and Maggie in or near their sixties. Maggie expects her decision to love a woman in her senior years rather than a man will still be seen with mocking tones and issues from the society around her. Speaking myself as a transitioned woman who is primarily lesbian, having a transgender past is more of a social stigma than my being considered lesbian generally. Maggie has had to overcome both stigmas along with Victoria’s suicide drama and other generation punk rock niece. The intention of the story is one of love can bring even the sadest of creatures back from the edge of oblivion. Maggie is written to be a woman who is cautious, but when needed she is decisive and an independent thinking woman very much in control of situations. She arrives in the story with panic, but no guilt. What if she hadn’t arrived in time? I would like to believe she would have mourned the loss of her friend without blaming herself. Victoria’s problem among many mental ones is a lack of faith in her friend and their closeness. My modus operandi in story telling is alternative romance that has couples which fall outside most groups. Here is a lesbian love story between two women with neither being traditionally lesbian.

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      Thank you. A very high compliment indeed, because the distinct separation of character personalities is essential to dialogue which works.

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      Thank you Jack and I loved your story too, because of the richness of your characters behaving as themselves. Living characters are the dominants of any stage with everything else being mere stage props and decoration of subtext to me. Objects whether of instrument, location or the veil of thin whisp of air place us in the scene, but it is the characters’ eyes, minds, hearts and emotions which bring the action alive within the reader. Each character must be able to be related to and yet they must constantly surprise us as we learn more and more about how they are not anyone we have ever met before. Story telling to me whether in a work this short or a lengthy novel must keep that discovery and wonder ongoing to the very end. This story is a gestalt of three characters who have enough connection to belong with each other and yet there always has been contension and a certain sense of separation amongst them. The intimacy of the last line is the healing, the “and they lived happily ever after” that fairy tales romantically promote. The transformation in the characters from the opening to the end is the perfection of true love becoming real as we all hope for in the deepest recesses of our own hearts.

  7. Candace Louise says:

    Very interesting! It took me a few moments to get used to the dialogue, but the characters became defined pretty early on and it was a lot of fun to read. Sweet and funky!

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      The start is meant to create a crescendo of an angst that has been going on between Victoria and Maggie for years. How would you react if there in front of your eyes someone you love as a person is going to down poison and die? Imagine the trip for Maggie trying to get to Victoria hoping she will not be too late. I pictured the conversation between Alicia and Maggie which got Maggie to drop everything and get on that jet across the pond to England. In her mind she knows how stubborn Victoria has been and that her lady will not listen to anyone but her. Imagine that Maggie has wanted to believe that Victoria was not so desperate only to have to snatch the poison from Victoria’s hand at the last moment. In a contest like this the word count has to be limited to accomodate the onrush of stories, but it is a shame in this case, because the front end of this story had to be dropped. Such is the curse of only having 999 words to place. Thank you for your kind thoughts.

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