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A French Madame
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D-Lotus



Joined: 21 Oct 2004
Posts: 4123
Location: Hollywood, USA

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2005 9:50 pm    Post subject: A French Madame  

Warning: This story contains mild graphical violence, reader discretion advised.

This is a Storygame: you read, you suggest and you vote.

By the way, since I was in a rush to post this chapter (I did promise that when I had a forum I would post it!), I may have made a couple mistakes.

Story so far: Burnwick, a middle aged man, finds himself stuck in a carriage going to a distant location with three other diferent characters. They start contributing stories and soon they start taking turns. Currently, it is the turn of the French girl, who is telling her story.


"If there was ever a woman bent on making the poor as poor and miserable as they could happen to be and still exist to feed and enrich the rich, it was Mme. Angelique Roussel. She had been wealthy by descent, and had made sure that the man she married was wealthier than her. Mme. Roussel measured the attractiveness of a man in money.

She had adopted the name Roussel from her husband at the age of eighteen, and had since that time prided herself of being the most faithful, attent, religious and considerate wife to have been percieved in France, or in the world, for that matter. Wether she had been faithful, attent, and considerate to her husband or to her husband’s estates is still an enigma to this moment.

She was still relatively young, just past her twenties, but she had adopted a quaint arrogance that seemed surprising in such a ‘devoted’ wife. These rumors never, never even bothered the fine lady much, because she was honest and trustworthy. Why, her husband could not even carry her away from her chores to which she so fervently took to! At long last, he was able to pull her away, but not with much insistance, of course; such was the virtue of the woman.

It was incredible how rapidly she became accustomed to the balls and luxurious parties. In fact, soon it was her who was dragging her husband after her. She was usually the center of attention for men and woman alike, until she became too frequent to be a source of mystery or curiosity anymore. So she began throwing extravagant parties at her own residence, much to the disconcert of her husband.

However, she was humble woman, and dressed humbly as well. Never was she accused of flamboyancy, gaudiness, or imprudency. That may have been due to the effect that her husband’s vast lands were a very intimidating factor which the admirers of the grand lady cogitated on before speaking of her.

And so it was that the miserable peasants watched carriages driven by beautiful stallions hasten by, brimming with the altive men and women, heading towards the manor on the hill that none of them ever ventured to. But soon the carriages became ignored due to their constancy, although some mothers would still look at their children and feel a deep pain for the responsibility of having brought them to life in such an innapropriate time, inevitably to suffer or die.

Mme. Roussel received her dear friends warmly as they arrived and stepped out from their carriages, and invited them to come in as she received them one by one at the door. They all smiled amiably and thanked her. Then they turned, glanced at the servant with the depreciation shown only to an animal, and walked on into the brightly lit hall, where they cordially saluted their friends and enemies. Mme. Roussel would then return to the room whose walls were covered in paintings and trophies, chattering happily while outside, men and women worked in the freezing cold. And although the innocent people who toiled outside in the dusk were never present in the minds of the high and mighty, as they were not even worth any consideration, it became fashion among some noble women to measure their happiness on how miserable their poor were.

“It seems, that the peasants in your parts enjoy their work.” told one woman in confidence to the prideful Roussel.

“Indeed, and should they not, like the dumb mules they are?” she responded brightly.

But Mme. Roussel made sure that her peasants and workers earned their wages from then on, and she contracted the services of a watchman to “stimulate” them when they were down-spirited.

Time passed as time is always bound to pass, and the carriages pulled by white stallions on their way to Mme. Roussel’s manor passed as well, but with less and less frequency, so that the peasants, although not surprised, stood up from their work to watch them go by.

The parties ceased and her husband found time to do things he yearned to do at last. He read literature, practiced with his gun, wrote, and of course, wasted his money or power on uncoarse and distasteful things that are not worth mentioning, for he spent more times on foreign beds than in his own. Mme. Roussel occasionally went to parties, balls and festivities, but most of her time she spent torturing her servants and brooding. And while she brooded, she tried to think of a plan to bring all the attention back to herself.

And it was then that Mme. Roussel concieved her glorious and elegant plan. It was supreme, divine, and flawless. She replayed it in her mind again and again, squealed in delight as she ate in her long rectangular table, squealed in euphoria as she walked through her pavimented gardens, and squealed inside her bed, draped with red curtains, as she went to sleep.

Invitations with the highest regards were sent out, endlessly flowing from Mme. Roussel’s expensively furnished room. A room with a high ceiling and bright windows, finely decorated, yet hollow at heart, for that room was a cold one, as was its resident.
________

It was a warm and sunny day; the wheat in the fields rolled in the wind like a wave, the children scurried around as they played, and the young men chattered idly with the young women before their fathers and mothers ushered them along to work again. It was a sign from God for a happy day.

Until the carriages, ominious, raising clouds and gusts of dust, rushed by again onto the dark manor that pended like a warning over the workers who struggled to find food for themselves. But they did not stop, instead, they came in succession, one after the other, always towards the manor. The dust blocked the sun light, merged into the wheat, and the scurrying of the children stopped suddenly, to be substituted with coughing. For a while, the turning of the wheels, the yelling of the drivers, the panting of the horses and the coughing, always the coughing of the feeble, was all that was to be heard.

For a while everything subsided and was quiet, and evening rolled about. Men, women, children and animals got ready to go back to home. And then, the ominious silence followed by the turning of the wheel, the yelling of the driver, and the panting of the exhausted horses. But this time the carriages went in circles, around and around the village square, slowly entrapping the terrified people at the center of it. The whips cracked against the horses and the peasants unanimously.

Like sheep, like horses, like animals, the peasants were encircled by the carriages that whirled around the square with maniac impetu, a terrible tornado of dust, blood and fury. The horses raced madly, foam frothing from their mouths as they pulled. The terrified fathers, mothers, and children slowly grouped to protect each other; they backed into the town square and stood there, like sheep, without protesting, without screaming or shouting. They stared in incredulity.

Then the carriages stopped, blocking the way out for the fathers, mothers, and children of France. The horses whinnied and braked suddenly. Then the finely laced dresses and neat tailored pants emerged from their mobile sanctuary gracefully among clouds of smoke or perfume. They walked in glamour around the speechless sheep and converged in one point, in front of the well. The position of the well was elevated and they rose above the sheep. The coach and carriage drivers pointed with guns at the sheep.

And Mme. Roussel was there, amongst them, merrily laughing, enjoying their surprise, as they all revolved around her like a smaller whirlwind of what had been before, now that the dust had subsided. The eye of the whirlwind moved and with the help of her smiling husband, gained a position where she was audible by all, sheep and wolves. Then the eye of perfumed malignance spoke.

“My friends, I have brought you here for a purpose, to play a game.”

Mme. Roussel smiled and the sheep looked at each other sadly, as sheep do.

“My friends, I shall now explain the rules of this game. Here I have a written list of all the ‘inhabitants’ of this defiled town. This town has commited many terrible acts that are now to be punished!”

Silence reined as the woman spoke. But then a young rebellious voice interrupted her.

“What have we done, Madam? Do we not tend the fields for you? Do we not do everything you wish?”

She glared.

“Silence! You have done evil, and know full well what it is, therefore you will be punished! In this list I have all the names of your breed, and every name in this list is numbered.”

She waved the piece of paper in the air.

“By dusk today, my guests will have picked five numbers of that list. Those people being represented by those numbers picked…will die.” she paused dramatically and smiled to the satisfaction of the rest of the wolves.

They clapped and laughed, watching eagerly. The peasants shuffled nervously, shifting their eyes around in fear. Then suddenly there was some scuttling of feet at the edge of the circle, and a young man, the owner of the rebellious voice shot out, running. He hopped over the carriages and kept sprinting. Madame Roussel grew worried and heads turned to watch. Three gun shots echoed out into the distance, and the young man stopped, tumbling to the ground. Madam Roussel’s face grew calm once again. The peasants and workers, who could have overthrown the aristocrats with sheer numbers within seconds, remained quiet and frightened.

“And now, dear friends, I invite you to think of a number. Any number.”

The aristocrats then in turn laughed merrily as they thought of the most innovative and funny number they could.

The peasants watched, tense and alert.

“Monsieur Roussel, would you have the honor of commencing this evening with the number you picked?”

Of course he would. Twenty- five. Madame Roussel scanned the list quickly, and then carefully pressed her finger on the paper.

“Jean- Paul Aubert. Step up, Jean Paul!”

Ushered by the others, who cared more about the threatening muskets of the drivers than the sons and wife of the man, he stepped up bravely. He wore simple clothes and simple demeanor. His face was bearded and gentle, and he held himself up with servicial pride. He held a cap in his hands, and tried to smile as he stepped onto the incline at the well.

“Well, what are your last words, Jean-Paul?”

He cleared his throat as his pained eyes searched in Madame Roussel’s soul.

“Please, I have a wife. Two children. Who will feed them?”

He found no soul beyond the barrier of her cold eyes.

“May they starve to death as beasts that they are.”

A few minutes later, another shot rung out. The crowd of peasants, avoided looking at the widow and children of the man, who cried without consolation. Nobody consoled them, and the peasants shuffled around, waiting to be slaughtered like sheep, hoping their name would not be called. And slowly the evening wore on, much to the enjoyment of the aristocrats and much to the terror of the peasants. Who was to blame, the sheep for not even defending themselves, or the wolves? Are you to blame if all your life you have been taught to be submissive? Finally, as the dark set in, and the day ended, the aristocrats calmed their thirst for blood, to the satisfaction of Madame Roussel. She had hosted an entertainment like no other seen before. She had become newsworthy, and she knew that fabulous rumors of her would spread among the rich and powerful. Who other was as original, splendorous and witty as her? She ignored that fierce rumors would spread throughout the peasantry of France as well. Within two months she would become a monster to the eyes of French peasantry, if she hadn’t already been one. Within a few more years, the sons of Jean-Paul Aubert would light fire to her manor as she and her husband slept. Madame Roussel died intoxicated, but that night, she dreamed of that sunny and splendorous day, when she had hosted the most marvelous party to ever have been hosted in France.”

The carriage remained in silence. No doubt they were sad and brooding. Yet the young man clapped persistently.

“Excellent, Madamoiselle…?”

“Lucille Dufour.” She said, pleased, and gave him her hand to kiss.

“I am myself called John. John Sankala.”

She gave him a quizzical look, which was accompanied by a similar look of the other two passengers.

“Ah, I see you find my last name rather interesting. Would you like to hear a story about it?”

One look at them confirmed his proposition.

Suggestions: As a Storygamer, you may suggest actions for the characters, which will then be voted on. This chapter will differ. You must suggest what the story the young man is going to tell will be about, based on his characteristics described to the moment, and his last name. Please offer as much variety and suggestions as you want, all will be critically recieved.
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Hyperion
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Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2005 5:58 am    Post subject:  

Ooh... MAGICAL ELEMENTS NEEDED! :p Love it.
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Ingrothechundyer
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Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2005 6:24 am    Post subject:  

Very nice :D
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D-Lotus
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Joined: 21 Oct 2004
Posts: 4123
Location: Hollywood, USA

Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2005 6:16 pm    Post subject:  

Thank you, but what about your suggestions on what the next story will be. You get to pick. What is the story of the young british gentleman with the strange last name? How did he get that last name?
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saxon215
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Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2005 2:56 am    Post subject:  

I've started reading it D but ill have to finish it later
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Key
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Joined: 08 Feb 2004
Posts: 2650
Location: The Royal Palace

Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2005 12:24 pm    Post subject:  

Great story, D! :D

Sankala is a Finnish name, but the young man is British. I suggest the young man tell a story of his Finnish father who had that name. Maybe his father fled the country as Russian troops invaded his village. Or maybe his father never left Finland - his mother and father met there, and then his mother returned to Britain, and the young man grew up with his father's name, hearing stories of him, idolizing him, but never knowing him.
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sisu
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Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2005 12:29 pm    Post subject: A jewel  

I think this guy swam the Ladega lake and ran through the forest and up Mount Koli and then down to the other side.

And now he wants to tell about that scary adventure.

:-D

And he wants to change his name to John Hardy.
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Shady Stoat
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Joined: 02 Oct 2005
Posts: 2950
Location: England

Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2005 1:05 pm    Post subject:  

John could tell the story of his mother, and her struggle to marry for love, rather than for social status or money. A lowly Finnish traveller, perhaps?

Just a suggestion. Well written, D :D
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saxon215
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Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2005 7:09 pm    Post subject:  

or perhaps his dad was a criminal anmd overheard the name being spoken in the bar so he used it as an alias, the man whos name it was was actually very rich and powerfful and our thief began to use the story that he was a cousin of this man who had been robbed and ransacked on the roads then the father found a wife and married under the alias an then he taught his son everything he knew about thieving and pickpocketing
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D-Lotus
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Joined: 21 Oct 2004
Posts: 4123
Location: Hollywood, USA

Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2005 9:20 pm    Post subject:  

Great suggestions...but, why all about his father? :D I'm sure you guys can make something else up. However, these ideas submitted are good so far, although I need some more detail. What was exactly was the relationship of his parents? What was their dilemma? Was there any myth involved with it, like climbing mountains and swimming through lakes?
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saxon215
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Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2005 11:27 pm    Post subject:  

you just want epople to write this for you dont you, i figured you'd get lazy if you won the forum
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Hyperion
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Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2005 11:32 pm    Post subject:  

Yeah! Umhm. He stole everyone's money, he did he did...
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saxon215
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Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2005 11:38 pm    Post subject:  

yeah but he gave mine back and thats all that matters
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D-Lotus
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Joined: 21 Oct 2004
Posts: 4123
Location: Hollywood, USA

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 10:17 pm    Post subject:  

Well, I just need some more options, so far I've got:

a. Something about his father, or past family.
b. The name was bestowed to him for some deed
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saxon215
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Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 12:21 am    Post subject:  

he could have done all that crazy stuff instyead of hims das
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saxon215
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Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 12:22 am    Post subject:  

hey whats up with that i didnt earn full points on that post, i demand more fables to make up for it, which is why i posted this
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D-Lotus
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Joined: 21 Oct 2004
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Location: Hollywood, USA

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 10:45 am    Post subject:  

Yes, I think Key changed the fable system. You get fables per words, which is annoying, but whatever. Ok, since no one is volunteering any more options, I'll post a poll.
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saxon215
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Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 1:22 am    Post subject:  

i voted for the second option, i think it'd be amore entertaining story if he himself were the one to have done the corageous deed or whatnot
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D-Lotus
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Joined: 21 Oct 2004
Posts: 4123
Location: Hollywood, USA

Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:55 pm    Post subject:  

Hmmm...a tie. Ok, then two more days, then the poll will be closed. I'm doing some research about Finland to write a better story, we'll see how it goes.

Also, I know that a lot of people read the story and don't comment, but please, if you can, tell me what you voted for, etc, because it encourages me to keep writing. I'm self sufficiently motivated, but not completely. I don't want this to end up like Strange Green, where only sax said anything at all. ;)

Anyway, thank you for your attention.
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Key
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Joined: 08 Feb 2004
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Location: The Royal Palace

Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 10:41 pm    Post subject:  

I voted for the third option. I like the idea of a family history for the name - we get to find out a little about where this traveler came from, so to speak - but I wanted to keep it recent history, within his lifetime.
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saxon215
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Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2005 12:54 am    Post subject:  

hahaha nice one D, what ever did happen to strange green, oh wait i rmeeber it got moved, i never knew what it was, i mean was it the strange green thing you find in your school back at the end of the holidays when your sure you put your sandwhich in there at the begining
or the strange green that comes when you vomit up a spearmint milkshake
or that strange green called aqua, thats a weird looking green too
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D-Lotus
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Joined: 21 Oct 2004
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Location: Hollywood, USA

Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2005 7:26 pm    Post subject:  

lol. Actually, it was that strange green thing you keep in your pants. ;)

Or it could be flubber...man, how old is that movie?

Ok, last day today (pacific time) and the poll is over. You have 5 hours to make a change. :D
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D-Lotus
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Joined: 21 Oct 2004
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Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 10:23 pm    Post subject:  

Poll is over. The prominent woman who fell in love with a Finnish soldier has won. Chapter due sometime tomorrow or after tomorrow. :D
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