Séraphine, Vignette nº 7, Le Cercueil
I was on the phone talking to the museum. Ground-penetrating radar had found what looked like a coffin at the Lutetian layer, and they were in the process of digging down to it. I was telling Sylvain to use the new 4K video cameras to record every detail when the doorbell rang. I’d left the door ajar, knowing Madame Pinard, the concierge was bringing by an adjuster to inspect and cut a check for the repair of the leak in the ceiling that had washed away chunks of plaster, now laying on the hardwood floor in the bedroom, exposing the wooden rafters of the attic.
“May we come in Monsieur,” she shouted from down the hall in the foyer. “Yes, Madame, please come in,” I shouted back, with more exasperation in my voice than I wanted to express. “I am on the phone with the musee Madame, please show him to the bedroom.”
I saw Madame and the adjuster come in out of the corner of my eye and turned my head to see them as they walked the stairs to the bedrooms. The adjuster was not a man, but a woman, which was surprising in France. The first thing I noticed about her, was her wide round birthing hips, what the kids, called thick. She wore a long-sleeve white silk blouse, black pencil skirt, and the traditional, obligatory Parisian back seamed stockings. I didn’t make out her face but caught sight of her red hair tied in a tight bun on the back of her head, and the milky white skin of her neck.
“Damien, are you listening,” said Sylvain, the dig manager on the other end of the line. “Yes, I replied, “l was distracted by my landlady bringing an adjuster into the apartment. Yes, I’ll come down as soon as they leave.”
After a few minutes, Madame and the adjuster came back down. The adjuster walked into the foyer to wait. Madame came into the living room and said she’d have a crew out tomorrow to start repairs. As madame turned and walked down the hall, I got a better look at the adjuster. She was pure Celt, with red hair, white skin, dark brown doe eyes that looked black, high cheekbones, and the sharp straight nose of a Greek statute.
Besides her stunning beauty, I noticed her necklace, a traditional golden Celtic torc, which signified the wearer as a person of high rank. I’d never seen a person wearing one. I’d only seen one on a statue, The Dying Gaul in Le Louvres. How so very interesting I thought to myself.
As she was talking to Madame and turning to leave, she made eye contact. She tilted in acknowledgment and goodbye. I nodded back and she was gone. I wished I could have gotten a chance to talk to her, maybe even ask her for an aperitif at the corner bistro. Oh well, c’est la vie.
I went to the dig at the La Crypt at 12:30-ish talked to Sylvain for a bit and went down to the lower levels to see it for myself. The area was gridded out and several cameras on tripods were recording. The team was within centimeters front the top, and so put down their trowels and used a high-pressure water and suction hoses to remove the rest of the topsoil. The top came into view, the excess water was ****** away. Sponges were used to clear and clean away the mud.
The stone was obviously Lutetian limestone, finely sanded and polished. The lid was craved, which first glance, looked like Norse runes and one Celtic knot. “Take pics and send them to religious studies,” I said half to myself, half to Sylvain. How strange to have Norse and Celt iconography together I thought to myself.
It was late when I exited the metro station. The air was bitterly cold, my breath appearing and disappearing around me like a mystic cloud.
I was tired, exhausted from digging, and was seeing things in the corner of my eye that I chalked up to aberrations of a fatigued mind. That is until I walked past the Boise de Boulogne. In a dark recess, along the tree line, I saw what looked like a faintly glowing woman in a white dress. My first reaction was horror, remembering all the monster movies I’d seen as a child. Then quickly, my adult mind kicked in and rationalized it away as an artsy late night photography session, which is common around Paris. The sting of the cold refocused my attention and I hurriedly resumed my walk home.
I was tired, muddy, and had to take a shower before throwing myself into bed. I showered, dried off, and pulled back the new, thick duvet I’d bought for winter. The moon was full, beaming softly, barely illuminating the dark bedroom, as I cracked opened a window to let a small amount of fresh cold air into the humid stale room.
I slid under the duvet. I liked the cold, it reminded me of camping in the mountains with my old man and being snug in our down sleeping bags as we talked half the night away. I quickly fell asleep.
I half awoke, sensing a presence. I opened my eyes and saw a woman, ****, standing at the end of my bed, enveloped in a faint blue luminescence. She looked at me with big doe eyes. I watched her watching me, trying to figure out if I was dreaming or not.
She crawled on to the bed. I couldn’t feel her as she made her up the bed. She straddled me. I saw glint around her neck and saw she was wearing a torc, and realized who she was.
Her face was centimeters from mine. Her eyes burned with ferocity, intensity, and anger. I looked back up at her, fear welling up inside of me. She looked down at me. Her penetrating eyes, looking into my soul. I could feel her in my head, my mind.
She felt my fear, and without a word, just the look in her eyes, reassured me, calmed me, and my body and mind relaxed as if a nurse had given me a shot of morphine.
She touched her lips to mine, and felt the heat of her beath, smelled her dewy scent. I didn’t move. I knew I was prey. I knew what she wanted, and let her take it.
She slid her tongue into my mouth, and I gently ****** on it. She ****** up my lower lip, biting it playfully. She tasted sweet, fresh, like spring water. I couldn’t get enough of her. I wanted more. I kissed her harder, deeper, and felt myself slide to the edge of sleep, no longer sure what was a dream, or what was real.
She pulled back the duvet, grabbed my ****, and stroked it till it was painfully hard. She kissed it, put it in her mouth, and ****** it. Her head bobbing up and down. She’d stop, bite the head, and use her teeth to scrape up and down the shaft till I winched and yelled out in pain.
I started to moan, my body tightening, and arched, thrusting deeper into her mouth, coming as she raked her nails hard down the side of my chest. To my surprise, she didn’t spit out but swallowed my ***, licking excess from around her lips.
I opened my eyes and was blinded by sunlight streaming in through the open windows and curtains. What the ****, I thought to myself, I never sleep this late. It was always dark when I wake. And the birds, chirping in the trees outside my window, were loud, and grating on my nerves.
I slowly got out of bed. My body ached, my lower lip hurt, and my **** was sore. I grabbed my **** and immediately released it in pain. It was raw as if I’d had ***. I was definitely confused. My eyes darted from side to side as I tried to make sense and remember last night. I left the dig, came home, showered, and went to bed.
I trudged to the kitchen and made coffee, all the while, racking my brain for some clue as to why I felt like ****. I poured a cup, leaned back on the counter, and sip the coffee. I shook my head, placing my hand on my hip, and felt a sharp burning. I looked down and saw blood on my hand and side. I went to the bathroom mirror and saw fingernail marks down both sides of my chest. I just stared.
I had no idea, no clues as to how these happened. I jumped into the shower and washed off, bandaged up the bleeding scratches with paper towels and tape, dressed, and went to the cafe at the corner.
Despite the cold, I sat on the terrace, ordered coffee, bread, butter, and jam. I looked at my phone. It was 8:08. I looked at my text messages and emails for some clue as to what happened last night.
Breakfast came, and I sipped the coffee, staring out into the street. The waiter walked past me. “Oui madame, what would you like this morning,” he said. “Cafe et croissant,” she said. The waiter turned and walked back inside. I turned my head to the side for a quick look and blinked twice. It was the redheaded adjuster from yesterday.
“Bonjour M. Delacroix,” she said. “Bonjour Madame,” I instinctively replied. There was an awkward pause. “I am Brigitte, Brigitte Dieudonné,” she said softly.
We small talked over breakfast and when I tab came, paid, and said, “I headed to the office.” “It is the weekend monsieur. “Yes,” I replied, “I work at an archeological dig on Ile de la Cite. The crypte.” “I am headed that way myself, do you mind if I walk with you,” she asked.
We walked to the metro station, down the stairs, through the turnstile, and onto the quay. The train came, the doors hissed open, and we strode in. The train was full of Chinese tourists and it was standing room only. I grab a pole and Brigitte did the same as she squeezed up beside me.
The train jolted forward and Brigitte bumped into me. As the train smoothed out, she kept leaning into me. Her derriere in my crouch. I could feel her body through her coat. I was getting turned on. As the trained curved around a curve, it rocked back and forth. Her *** bumping and grinding against my now hard ****. Could she feel my hard-on through the coats? She half-turned her head a gave me a coquettish smile. She knew I thought to myself.
We exited La Cité metro station, on to Place Louis Lépine. Before I could say anything, she said she’d like to see the dig. “Sure,” I said, and we walked to the La Crypt. We walked down the stairs to glass doors and pass the touristy exhibits and displays, to the back, behind the green painted plywood wall. Sylvain and several grad students were standing over and around the coffin. Two of them were in the pit setting up a portable x-ray machine, one with a still camera, another with a video camcorder, and the rest looking down at their tablets.
Brigitte and I walked to the edge. The coffin’s lid had been clean. The runes and Celtic knot were clearly visible. “Danger, death, mother,” Brigitte said. Sylvain turned his head, and said, “she is right, danger, death, mother according to the religious studies guys.” “How do you know that,” I asked. “It’s in all the teenage vampire movies,” she replied grinning.
“The top one is an inverse Thurisaz, which is means danger. The second one is an inverse Algiz, which means death. The knot is Celtic for mother, and the dot in the heart means she had one daughter,” Brigitte said trailing off.
“It looks you’ve got it under control Sylvain. I have an appointment. Brigitte can I walk you back to la place,” I said.
We walked to la place and stopped at the metro entrance. “Can I have your number,” I asked? “Yes, you may, if you promise to call monsieur Delacroix,” she said smiling girlishly. She took my phone from my hand and typed in her number and dialed. Her phone rang. “I have your monsieur, Delacroix. A bientot,” she said. We did la bise and she was off.