Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sublime Lines From Awesome Books

Pick a sentence you love from a book -  

“Perhaps all our loves are merely hints and symbols; vagabond-language scrawled on gate-posts and paving-stones along the weary road that others have tramped before us; perhaps you and I are types and this sadness which sometimes falls between us springs from disappointment in our search, each straining through and beyond the other, snatching a glimpse now and then of the shadow which turns the corner always a pace or two ahead of us.”

~~ Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Flash Fiction Challenge from "Terrible Minds Blog".

Elizabethan Dread

by Esme Pilbeam

Three truths will I tell you and one lie, only this and no more.
My time is short.  They will be coming for me soon.  I pray there will be time enough to conclude this Confession before the axe separates my head from the rest of my body.

Guilty of the Sin of Covetousness~~

I had brought myself up in the world, from child beggar at the gates of the city, to Lord Mayor with a grand house and beautiful wife.  I was received at court and befriended by the King, supping alongside, enjoying many pleasures, pure and impure, with His Majesty.  Still it was not enough.  Nothing could assuage the fire within me that never ceased to burn, throwing a bright light upon the ugly memories I tried to scour forever from the walls and tunnels of my mind.  The sights and sounds of life as a beggar, living with the cold, hunger and foul stench of the streets.  A childhood spent as witness to never-ending loss and pain.  My father was a cipher to me, my mother, in the twenty second year of her life, found dead in a doorway with babe in arms, my fifth or sixth sibling, crying at her breast. The babe soon followed, as had three others before him.  These ghosts and more could be vanguished, however briefly, at the sight of a bright new bauble, a crisply cut doublet or prancing steed.  This was my raison d’etre: to acquire, at long last, that exalted possession which would vanquish forever the ghosts, the pain, the visions.  

Guilty of the Sins of Fornication and Adultery~~

It has been only the rarest of occasions when I restrained myself from enjoying the pleasures of the flesh. At every level of my life, from guttersnipe to present, there has been great opportunity to people my bed with all and sundry, from small boys (although, having been violently and forcibly “schooled” as a young boy, I did take great care to be gentle) to the most buxom of country girls, the thought of whose luscious mounded breasts, even now, cause me to stiffen.  The great beauties of the day - both male and female - were mine for the taking -- and the fucking.  And alas, I must admit, a leathery hag or two.   My tastes were indiscriminate and insipid, to say the least.  My saving grace was simply my great talent for providing pleasure to myself and to whomever chose to partake of my talents.  While nature had left me bereft of many basic necessities at the beginning of my life, she compensated for it by blessing me with that ultimate gift among males: a huge and very flexible member.  It rose to the occasion on command, much as a well trained pup might do.  With only a pointed thought, up it would pop, it’s long pink shaft straight and erect as any professional soldier waiting for instructions from his General.  I was that general sending this scurrilous creature out into the field of battle ready to conquer and master the glorious trembling, moist, hills, dales, and furrows that awaited his tumescent pleasure.  Never was I turned away nor rebuffed as my infamy grew throughout the land.  My Lady Wife was without complaint as she was the greatest beneficent receptacle of my cocksmanship.  Her favorite conjugal position was the wheelbarrow,  It would be indiscreet of me to go further so I shall refrain in this particular discourse.  Still, after I have left this world, I feel certain she will miss my throbbing prick for it was like no other she could ever have known.  As for myself - I shall miss the warmth of those sweet, velvety, quivering orifices in which I dallied so often.  All the wriggling, giggling, and squealing conquests with their cries of “More! More!”!  Oh such passion have I shared with the world!  Mon Dieu!  The time draws nigh and I have yet to speak of more serious matters.

Guilty of the Sin of Murder~~

There were many maimings and woundings during my younger days of brawling in the streets and taverns, naturellement. My first murder must have been the strangulation of an enemy who threatened to expose me to the King as a traitor, which is all too easily understood.  One simply cannot allow someone so evil to continue breathing.  There was that time circumstances necessitated my poisoning the tip of a dagger to eliminate the husband of my Lady Wife.  Alors! I must ask you - how else could we have married?  That was accomplished with such ease.  A simple meeting in a hallway, a brotherly kiss in greeting and the prick of a blade tip.  Done and done.  And the Bishop, that loathsome, blackmailing Bishop.  Merde! How I relished smothering that smug, complacent face while he lay sleeping upon his precious silk coverlet.  It pains me that he could not be here now to grant me absolution.  Oh yes, I
must not leave out that delicious young groom - oh such magnificent buttocks! - whose horse I spooked too see what it would do.  The sight of his head bouncing along the rocky pasture and then into the rushing river to drown!  One must do what one can to find amusement, n’est-ce pas?  Finally, the reason I am here - I killed most willingly and with great enjoyment, the Duke de Anjou, who committed adultery with my wife.  How dare he!  

To this, my Last and Final Statement, I set my Hand and Seal~~

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because of thy just punishments, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who are all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin.  Amen.

                Roland de Villefort
“Honi soit qui mal y pense”