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Distant shores of France,
Toward you I advance,
Looking for your water.
The sun seems to beam down,
Oppressing the nearby town,
Where I sit talking to a doctor's daughter.
Her clothing looks so chic,
I dare the boy next to me to speak,
Enchanting him with my eyes.
Dare I say this is my place,
I run around the forest with haste,
Expecting a strange man to become wise.
I feel safe at the stump of a tree,
Imagining a family of three
Beautiful birds chirping in the sunlight.
What will happen to me when I get gray and old?
Will I remember the stories I once told,
The ones that brought me joy and fright?
I guess we will just have to see,
Go along with the processes that be,
Dreaming of our youth when it has gone.
I will always admire the country,
Looking upon the sea and its bounty,
Alongside the doctor's daughter until dawn.
I really want to visit France.
As soon as the pen touches the paper
He's in bed with her.
Their bodies entwined, fingers touch
Lustful lips engage.
The ink spills, a saucy read, music hall madness;
Deception and lies the step to our dance.
Rapturous applause a whirlwind of fantasies, but
The inks run dry.
Our finale is over and my overture begins...
©️ 2021 Joshua Reece Wylie. All rights reserved.

Inspired by the 2018 film 'Colette' starring Keira Knightley
Thomas W Case Mar 16
I dreamed I was at some sort
Of carnival/expo with my
sister and my ex.
Somehow I got separated
from them
I met a young French woman.
She was beautiful, and she
Liked me a lot.
There was a lot
of passion and an instant
connection.
I had cuts all over my
face for some reason.
She liked me anyway.
In fact, she didn't even
mention the cuts.
The attraction was strong.
There was a heat I
could smell.
We started making out,
and we were just
getting ready to do it,
when we noticed a
large crowd behind us.
We laughed, and she wrote
her information on my
hand.
Later, I was playing
with a bear, and some other
strange animal.
I fell in a river, and her
phone number and address
were washed off my hand.
I never did find my
sister and the ex.
I woke up, and felt
Sick to my stomach.
Why are all the
good ones in dreams?
I need to visit France.
Michael R Burch Oct 2020
Renee Vivien Translations


Song
by Renée Vivien
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

When the moon weeps,
illuminating flowers on the graves of the faithful,
my memories creep
back to you, wrapped in flightless wings.

It's getting late; soon we will sleep
(your eyes already half closed)
steeped
in the shimmering air.

O, the agony of burning roses:
your forehead discloses
a heavy despondency,
though your hair floats lightly ...

In the night sky the stars burn whitely
as the Goddess nightly
resurrects flowers that fear the sun
and die before dawn ...



Undine
by Renée Vivien
loose translation/interpretation by Kim Cherub (an alias of Michael R. Burch)

Your laughter startles, your caresses rake.
Your cold kisses love the evil they do.
Your eyes―blue lotuses drifting on a lake.

Lilies are less pallid than your face.

You move like water parting.
Your hair falls in rootlike tangles.
Your words like treacherous rapids rise.
Your arms, flexible as reeds, strangle,

Choking me like tubular river reeds.
I shiver in their enlacing embrace.
Drowning without an illuminating moon,
I vanish without a trace,

lost in a nightly swoon.



Amazone
by Renée Vivien
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

the Amazon smiles above the ruins
while the sun, wearied by its struggles, droops to sleep.
******’s aroma swells Her nostrils;
She exults in blood, death’s inscrutable lover.

She loves lovers who intoxicate Her
with their wild agonies and proud demises.
She despises the cloying honey of feminine caresses;
cups empty of horror fail to satisfy Her.

Her desire, falling cruelly on some wan mouth
from which she rips out the unrequited kiss,
awaits ardently lust’s supreme spasm,
more beautiful and more terrible than the spasm of love.

NOTE: The French poem has “coups” and I considered various words – “cuts,” “coups,” “coups counted,” etc. – but I thought because of “intoxicate” and “honey” that “cups” worked best in English.



Renée Vivien (1877-1909) was a British poet who wrote primarily in French. She was one of the last major poets of Symbolism. Her work included sonnets, hendecasyllabic verse and prose poetry. Born Pauline Mary Tarn in London to a British father and American mother, she grew up in Paris and London. Upon inheriting her father's fortune at age 21, she emigrated permanently to France. In Paris, her dress and lifestyle were as notorious as her verse. She lived lavishly as an open lesbian, sometimes dressing in men's clothes, while harboring a lifelong obsession for her closest childhood friend, Violet Shillito (a relationship that apparently remained unconsummated). Her obsession with violets led to Vivien being called the "Muse of the Violets." But in 1900 Vivien abandoned this chaste love to engage in a public affair with the American writer and heiress Natalie Clifford Barney. The following year Shillito died of typhoid fever, a tragedy from which Vivien never fully recovered. Vivien later had a relationship with a baroness to whom she considered herself to be married, even though the baroness had a husband and children. During her adventurous life, Vivien indulged in alcohol, drugs, fetishes and sadomasochism. But she grew increasingly frail and by the time of her death she weighed only 70 pounds, quite possibly dying from the cumulative effects of anorexia, alcoholism and drug abuse.

Keywords/Tags: Renee Vivien, lesbian, gay, LBGT, love, love and art, French, translation, translations, France, cross-dresser, symbolic, symbolist, symbolism, image, images, imagery, metaphor, metamorphose, metaphysical
Michael R Burch Oct 2020
Veronica Franco translations

Veronica Franco (1546-1591) was a Venetian courtesan who wrote literary-quality poetry and prose.

Capitolo 19: A Courtesan's Love Lyric (I)
by Veronica Franco
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

"I resolved to make a virtue of my desire."

My rewards will be commensurate with your gifts
if only you give me the one that lifts
me laughing...

And though it costs you nothing,
still it is of immense value to me.

Your reward will be
not just to fly
but to soar, so high
that your joys vastly exceed your desires.

And my beauty, to which your heart aspires
and which you never tire of praising,
I will employ for the raising
of your spirits. Then, lying sweetly at your side,
I will shower you with all the delights of a bride,
which I have more expertly learned.

Then you who so fervently burned
will at last rest, fully content,
fallen even more deeply in love, spent
at my comfortable *****.

When I am in bed with a man I blossom,
becoming completely free
with the man who loves and enjoys me.

Here is a second, more formal version of the same poem, translated into rhymed couplets...

Capitolo 19: A Courtesan's Love Lyric (II)
by Veronica Franco
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

"I resolved to make a virtue of my desire."

My rewards will match your gifts
If you give me the one that lifts
Me, laughing. If it comes free,
Still, it is of immense value to me.
Your reward will be—not just to fly,
But to soar—so incredibly high
That your joys eclipse your desires
(As my beauty, to which your heart aspires
And which you never tire of praising,
I employ for your spirit's raising) .
Afterwards, lying docile at your side,
I will grant you all the delights of a bride,
Which I have more expertly learned.
Then you, who so fervently burned,
Will at last rest, fully content,
Fallen even more deeply in love, spent
At my comfortable *****.
When I am in bed with a man I blossom,
Becoming completely free
With the man who freely enjoys me.

Franco published two books: "Terze rime" (a collection of poems) and "Lettere familiari a diversi" (a collection of letters and poems). She also collected the works of other writers into anthologies and founded a charity for courtesans and their children. And she was an early champion of women's rights, one of the first ardent, outspoken feminists that we know by name today. For example...

Capitolo 24
by Veronica Franco
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

(written by Franco to a man who had insulted a woman)

Please try to see with sensible eyes
how grotesque it is for you
to insult and abuse women!
Our unfortunate *** is always subject
to such unjust treatment, because we
are dominated, denied true freedom!
And certainly we are not at fault
because, while not as robust as men,
we have equal hearts, minds and intellects.
Nor does virtue originate in power,
but in the vigor of the heart, mind and soul:
the sources of understanding;
and I am certain that in these regards
women lack nothing,
but, rather, have demonstrated
superiority to men.
If you think us "inferior" to yourself,
perhaps it's because, being wise,
we outdo you in modesty.
And if you want to know the truth,
the wisest person is the most patient;
she squares herself with reason and with virtue;
while the madman thunders insolence.
The stone the wise man withdraws from the well
was flung there by a fool...

Life was not a bed of roses for Venetian courtesans. Although they enjoyed the good graces of their wealthy patrons, religious leaders and commoners saw them as symbols of vice. Once during a plague, Franco was banished from Venice as if her "sins" had helped cause it. When she returned in 1577, she faced the Inquisition and charges of "witchcraft." She defended herself in court and won her freedom, but lost all her material possessions. Eventually, Domenico Venier, her major patron, died in 1582 and left her with no support. Her tax declaration of that same year stated that she was living in a section of the city where many destitute prostitutes ended their lives. She may have died in poverty at the age of forty-five.

Hollywood produced a movie based on her life: "Dangerous Beauty."

When I bed a man
who—I sense—truly loves and enjoys me,
I become so sweet and so delicious
that the pleasure I bring him surpasses all delight,
till the tight
knot of love,
however slight
it may have seemed before,
is raveled to the core.
—Veronica Franco, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

We danced a youthful jig through that fair city—
Venice, our paradise, so pompous and pretty.
We lived for love, for primal lust and beauty;
to please ourselves became our only duty.
Floating there in a fog between heaven and earth,
We grew drunk on excesses and wild mirth.
We thought ourselves immortal poets then,
Our glory endorsed by God's illustrious pen.
But paradise, we learned, is fraught with error,
and sooner or later love succumbs to terror.
—Veronica Franco, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

In response to a friend urging Veronica Franco to help her daughter become a courtesan, Franco warns her that the profession can be devastating:

"Even if Fortune were only benign and favorable to you in this endeavor, this life is such that in any case it would always be wretched. It is such an unhappy thing, and so contrary to human nature, to subject one's body and activity to such slavery that one is frightened just by the thought of it: to let oneself be prey to many, running the risk of being stripped, robbed, killed, so that one day can take away from you what you have earned with many men in a long time, with so many other dangers of injury and horrible contagious disease: to eat with someone else's mouth, to sleep with someone else's eyes, to move according to someone else's whim, running always toward the inevitable shipwreck of one's faculties and life. Can there be greater misery than this? ... Believe me, among all the misfortunes that can befall a human being in the world, this life is the worst."

I confess I became a courtesan, traded yearning for power, welcomed many rather than be owned by one. I confess I embraced a *****'s freedom over a wife's obedience.—"Dangerous Beauty"

I wish it were not considered a sin
to have liked *******.
Women have yet to realize
the cowardice that presides.
And if they should ever decide
to fight the shallow,
I would be the first, setting an example for them to follow.
—Veronica Franco, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Keywords/Tags: Veronica Franco, France, French, courtesan, translation, poetess, poetic expression, love, virtue, desire, lyric, lyrical, gifts, rewards, cost, costs, value, fly, soar, joy, joys, beauty, heart, spirit, spirits
ghost queen Jul 2020
It was cold, windless as we walked along the Seine towards Ile-de-la-Cite. The city had wound down, as people settled in for the weekend. The sky losing its light, turning navy, almost black, l’heure bleue, what the French called twilight, when one sneaks away to meet their lover.

The snow fell, slow, light, a delicate flurry, as the street lights flickered on, their orange yellow glow barely illuminating the ground below. We walked arm in arm, as she readjusted and tighten her hold so as not to slip. She felt good on my arm, in my arms, right as rain, as if made for each other, like interlocking jigsaw puzzles.

We walked in silence, our looks and smiles saying more than words. She radiated a beauty, a nubility like no other, match only by that of Aphrodites.    

The flurry thicken, as we cross le Petite Pont to Ile-de-la-Cite. I sensed a reluctance and heaviness in Seraphine’s step as we crossed over the slowly flowing waters of the Seine. It was late. She was tired, I assumed, from all the evening’s dancing, and now the walking to her flat at Place Dauphine.  

We walked past the square in front of Notre Dame. It was empty, and covered with a velvet blanket of white snow. It was surreal, the emptiness of the square, the majestic towers of the belfry contrasting against a gray white sky, the falling snow, the yellow of the sodium lights, softly illuminating the scene.

I walked us to the entrance of the square, and sat us down on a bench at the entrance of La Crypte Archéologique. We chatted about the dance, the evening, and how fun it had been. I told her I occasionally worked in the Crypte overseeing and helping the excavation the Lutèce layer, but spent most of my time at Musée Carnavalet doing administrative work or Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève doing historical research.

In silence, we looked in wonder and awe at Notre Dame. Seraphine snuggled tighter against me. I wrapped my arm around her, looking into he eyes. She was preternaturally beautiful, bewitching and lethally seductive. I felt as if I had no power to resist her, like a moth to a flame. I placed my hand on her cheek, and drew her in, kissing her, light and gentle as an 8 pm church bell rang in the distance. We kissed more intensely. Her breath getting harder and heavier. She put her hand behind my neck, pressing me into her, as she ****** my tongue into her mouth, harder and harder, till it hurt. Surprised by her lust, I pulled back, when I heard the 9 pm bell, the last of the evening, ringing.

I was confused, disoriented, as if I’d just woken up. I just heard the 8 pm bell as we started to kiss. Now it was 9. And my tongue, it was sore; my mouth had the metallic taste of blood. She’d gotten carried away and ****** hard, drawing blood. But I felt oddly calm. She said it was late and should get home. I stood up, took her hand and walked towards her flat. Her parent must be rich or noble, as Ile-de-la-Cite is too expensive for the masses.

At the door of the courtyard of Place Dauphine, she told me she had fun, looked deep into my eyes, gave me a light kiss on the lips, entered the code on the number pad, and disappeared into the darkness of the courtyard garden.
ghost queen Jul 2020
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.
ghost queen Oct 2020
Night was falling, a full bright silver moon was rising, and Seraphine’s hunger had become unbearable. She needed to feed, had to have young fresh female blood, to stay alive and young.

Science had caught up with the reason vampires needed to feed on the youngest, preferably baby’s blood. In 1866 a Frenchman named Paul Bert had conjoined rat’s circulatory systems in a process called parabiosis, and thus the Prize of Experimental Physiology from the French Academy of Science.

In 2012, Cambridge University’s Julia Ruckh found old mice cojoined to young mice physically and mentally rejuvenated, becoming younger, smarter, and more energetic. Subsequent research discovered proteins in the plasma caused the rejuvenation. News outlets had proclaimed, “fountain of youth discovered in ordinary plasma.”

Seraphine needed the youngest, which has the highest concentration of rejuvenation proteins and hormones;  the purest, which is virus-free, and female, which has the highest levels of estrogen and progesterone.

Ideally, a baby girl’s blood would be best, but in today’s modern society, killed babies drew attention. The next best and the pragmatic thing was a 15-year-old runaway girl. L’ Association Assistance et Recherche de Personnes Disparues (ARPD), estimates 1000s of Parisienne girls, ages 10 to 18, runaway each year due to ****** and or physical abuse, ending up on the street, and having survival *** in 48 hours or less for food and or protection. And few if anybody cared. They disappeared, never to be found, presumed dead from a ****** overdose, or stabbed in a fight for food, money, or drugs.

Since runaways had high levels of disease due to survival ***, ****, and ****** addiction, Seraphine focused her attention on young troubled Arab girls living in the Habitation à Loyer Modéré (HLM) or projects of the 93rd, the department number of Seine-Saint-Denis, the poorest, predominantly Maghreb Islamic Arab banlieues of Paris.

Seraphine would undo her ponytail, letting her raven black hair cascade down around her shoulders, so she could fly around and into the projects at night landing on rooftops, listening for arguments, yelling, or shouting of eahira (*****), waqha (****), or haram (forbidden). When she heard those words, she knew a father was forcing old-world customs and religion on his born and raised in France daughter. The daughter, going to secular French public school, knew neither Arabic nor Islam, rebelled, wanting to live a secular, feminist rather than a submissive religious life.

Seraphine had found this month’s mark. She focused her superhuman hearing and sight on a tenth-floor open balcony window of the building across the street.

She could see an older man dressed in the traditional white dishdasha tunic, and taqiyah skull cap worn to evening prayers, yelling and throwing his hands in the air. Further in the flat, Seraphine could see a girl, crying. The man yelled waqha, waqha, then slapped her, and she fell to the floor. An old woman pulled the man back, as the girl got up and ran out the door.

Seraphine knew how this would play out and where the girl was headed. Four blocks away was the Lycée Général et Technologique, which housed a 24-hour crisis center for teens facing physical and or ****** abuse, pregnancy, homosexuality, ****** addiction, or homelessness.

As foreseen, the girl burst out the front doors of the HLM, running, crying down the street. Seraphine leaped from the 13-floor building into the air, silently following the girl like a bird of prey. The girl walked down Rue Bonnevide to Rue Guy Moquet, taking a shortcut through a wooded park.

Seraphine flew down to the ground, landing without a sound, and followed the girl from a distance. She could smell her youth, see her round hips and long shiny hair. When the girl had walked deep into the dark and silent park, Seraphine sprang forward like a puma, tackling the girl to the ground, and slitting her throat before she could scream.

Seraphine savored the ****, drinking the squirting blood from the carotid artery, relishing the warm fresh blood. The girl, in shock, blinked rapidly, trying to process what had just happened to her. She tried to speak but gurgled only blood, tears of fear started streaming down her cheeks. She knew she was dying, was afraid of dying, and wished her father was here to protect her, and make it all go away.

The blood slowed to a trickle. The girl had bled out and her body died. Seraphine continued to drink, ******* harder to get the remaining blood. The girl’s body convulsed then stilled as her brained slowly and finally died.

Seraphine had fed and would be satiated till another full moon.  She got up and licked her lips of residual blood. Her clothes were drenched in sweat and blood. She looked at the girl’s dead body, admiring her clear complexion, and big brown doe eyes, but felt no remorse for the ****.

She picked up the girl’s body in her arms, jumped into the night sky, and flew 65 kilometers northeast of Paris to La Foret De Compiegne in la department d’Oise, a secluded and rural part of northern France. Dead center in the forest lies Saint-Jean-aux-Bois, a small, and forgotten farming village of septuagenarian and octogenarian.

Seraphine flew to a farm a kilometer outside of the village. As she neared the farm, she could smell the putrid stench of pig ****. She started her descent, dropping the girl’s body, which hit the ground with a thud, in the barnyard, as she gently touched down.

The farm was dark, the only light was that of the full moon. She heard a rustling coming from the farmhouse. She saw an old man walking her way, holding a dim flamed oil lamp. He did not look at her, only at the ground, afraid of what would happen if he looked her in the eyes.

Seraphine grabbed the girl’s body by the hair and dragged it to the main pigpen, and threw the body over the fence and into the pit of sleeping pigs. The body hit a pig, startling it out of its sleep, squealing, waking up the other pigs, and realizing they had been fed fresh meat. The pigs sheared the flesh off the bones, then chewed and ground the bones. Within a couple of hours, there would be no trace of the young girl’s body. She was just another disappeared runaway.

Seraphine turned her attention back to the farmer, pulled out a brick of Euros from her coat, and threw it at his feet. He didn’t dare pick it up. He was too afraid of her. He knew what she was. And she knew, he knew what she was.

He’d seen the countless girl’s bodies come through like chicken carcasses at a processing plant over the decades. He knew he would die of old age soon, and only hoped God would forgive him for helping a monster.

Seraphine turned around, jumping into the sky, and disappeared. He was trembling and relieved that she was gone. He won’t see her for another full moon. He painfully bent over and picked up the brick of Euros. His hands were shaking.

******

Seraphine got out of the shower and wrapped her hair in a towel. She looked in the mirror and admired herself, the flawless white skin, the blood red lips, the pear shaped figure, but most of all her firm perky *******. She was brushing her teeth, when the doorbell rang. She rinsed out her mouth and wrapped a towel around her, walked to the door and opened it. It was Damien. She mischievously and alluringly smiled. He grinned back, knowing why she’d called. “I was so glad you were still up when I called,” she said poutingly.

She took his hand and led him to her bedroom. It was softly lit, a low yellowish light, not unlike that of a candle’s. The walls were decorated in red damask wallpaper with gold crown, base, and chair moulding. It was very elegant, very French. The bed was a large four posted red ruffled canopy, covered with a red duvet and pillows.

She got to the foot of the bed, turned around, unwrapped herself, sat on the bed, and shuffled herself to the headboard. She looked at him and spread her legs, showing, offering herself to him. Damien took off his clothes and crawled to her, over her, and leaned down to kiss her. She rose up to meet his kiss, wrapping her arm around his neck, then dragging him down in her.

She kissed him hard, ******* his tongue into her mouth, biting his lower lip. She stopped. He looked at her, a questioning look on his face. Then she pushed him down towards her *****. She had a trimmed and sculpted bush, just enough not to hide her full lips.

He started kissing around her bush, her tummy, and inner thighs. He could feel her squirming, as he circled around, edging closer to her *******. He kissed her lips, sliding his tongue up and down, then penetrating her.

She was wet, and tasted fresh, like sweet spring water. How amazing he thought to himself. I’ve never tasted a woman like this before. He went deeper with his tongue, pulling back the lips with his hands. She pushed his head hard into her. He licked her splayed ******, as she moaned in pleasure and approval. He moved his tongue up till he got to her ****, and lightly rubbed it then stopped, kissing her tummy. She relaxed and sighed.

He kissed his way down to her ****, kissing it softly then circling it with his tongue. She arched her back as he vigorously rubbed her **** with the tipe of his tongue. She moaned, then yelled stop, stop, in breathy gasps, then fell back into the pills. She took his head in her hands, and pulled him up to her mouth, and gave him deep, passionate baiser amoureux.

She took his hard **** in her hand and guided him towards her *****. She slid his **** up and down her *****, lubing up the head of the **** with her wetness. Then she let go, and he penetrated her slowly, as she gasped then moaned. He felt her wetness and heat as he slid deeper into her.

He started to pump rhythmically back and forth, slowlying picking up speed, as she moaned and groaned as he bottomed out his **** into her. He was going to *** and started to moan, when she yelled, “choke me, choke me.”

Taken back, he slowed. She looked up at him quizzically. “Choke me,” she said sternly. “You're a big boy. Choke me,” she repeated with a bit of irritation in her voice. He placed his hands around her neck and lightly pressed and started pumping. He got back into the rhythm and was back on track, getting close to *******. “Harder,” she said, “hard like you mean it.” It turned him on, and he clamped down harder as he pumped harder, animalistically.

He knew she was getting close to orgasming as she moaned and writhed under him. “Oui, oui, oui,” she screamed, and in a blink of an eye, she’d flip him on his back. Her hands on his chest, holding him down, as she rode him hard. She screamed, “ah, ah, ah,” then collapsed on his chest. His ****, still hard, inside her. She slowly rolled over, taking him with her, till he was on top, then rocked her hips, wanting him to continue, to finish.

He started to moan. She hooked her wrist around his neck and pulled him to her mouth, kissing him hard and deep as he came. He convulsed collapsing  on top of her. His **** still inside her, as she wrapped her arms around and rocked him back and forth, kissing the top of his head as if comforting a child.

He rolled over, crashing into the bed with exhausting and fatigue. He looked over at her. She was staring up at the ceiling. He saw the reddish purple strangulation marks he’d left on her neck, and slipped into a deep sleep.
kevin wright Jul 2020
Below the arms of rambunctious pink vigour
dappled in leaf like shapes
an expeditionary line of soldiers
counters a returning line of sated mandibles
a olive stone hovers in line

'spem in alium' a warbler throats
amongst the cherry’s fruits
tickled with the morning’s warmth
another builds the morning chorus

a caressing swift kiss the tree tops
butterflies wandering their brief path
ruffling on warm air through poppy in memorium
a bee dips in a jubilant flower

above a pointy hill
clad in medieval remains
a source guarded by pillared stones
the clock tower strikes its hourly pulse

encouraged by a marquis ghost
artisans prepare the blank canevas
intoxicated by its fibres
arts fourth dimension is transfused

the clink of glass
a gurgle of rosé
a shuffle of one nethermost
scissor crossing of delicate bangled ankles

a delving hand into a pannier
a cracking of a baguette skin
goats cheese melts on the tongue
matched by spicy sausage

a tractor awakens
engulfed by swarms of gleaming cycles
swathed in coutered body suits
hidden behind go faster sunglasses

quilted vine groves sprout
give birth to a Provencal lawn
seasoned kegs breath their first gasps
quintessential blue fills our eyes

calm are the days
quick is the inspiration
cool are the colours
cherish the vitality
a village in provence, musical interlude of Tallis, daily life
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