The Bonfire of Justice, a short story by Vicegod. Date added: 2012-06-01. Times viewed: 244.
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- Intro: A friendship that is beyond time, gender, nationality, and physicality, but don't possess your friend's body just because you want to sleep with his friend, from Theo Cecil DeCelles' collection of shorts titled A Faithless Desire.
The Bonfire of Justice
Norma felt quite uneasy about her son’s scary imaginary best friend. The child psychologist on the phone told her that it was as common as cherry pie that children have imaginary best friends. What Norma didn’t tell the shrink was that her son developed peculiar effeminate habits since he began playing with Mademoiselle Charlotte Monroe Cerise. Never mind that her child didn’t name his imaginary friend Jane, Harry, or even David, it had to be flamboyant and complex. Norma wondered why she didn’t go into detail about her son being a sissy. She did feel ashamed of her son. It wasn’t a healthy feeling for a mother, but the other boys refused to play with her son. He had no friends, and the girls didn’t want to play with her son Oscar because he simply was a boy, so he somehow befriended a little girl from Paris, France. How strange for a nine year old, Norma thought.
“Oscar, do you want to go to The Sports Shop and I will buy you a baseball bat for little league when you start in a few weeks,” Norma asked.
“Mademoiselle Monroe Cerise says that my parents should get me a chemistry set because I am too smart for baseball, baseball is for morons,” little Oscar told his mother.
“You know that I told you that Mademoiselle Monroe doesn’t exist. She is a figment of your imagination, but you will argue until I am upset again that she does exist. So she doesn’t like baseball. What does she like?” Norma said giving in for the moment playing along with her son’s fantasy.
“She likes cherry ice pops because it makes her lips ruby red.”
“If I get you a cherry ice pop from the fridge, will you tell Monroe Cerise that she should give baseball a chance? She might find it more interesting than she thinks.”
Oscar sat at the breakfast nook on a stool pondering the question for a moment. His eyes rolled to the side as if he was looking at someone. He leaned over to his side a little as to attempt to hear somebody better.
“Monroe Cerise says that I won’t be good at little league but you will make me do it anyway, and that I don’t have any choice, and um, that you already made the decision for me.”
This imaginary friend game was really beginning to frighten Norma a little. His imaginary friend had a really well developed sense of personality and intellect. Maybe other children’s imaginary friends were as complex as her son’s invisible buddy. She could only hope what he was doing was normal for a boy.
“You need to start making some decisions for yourself. The Mademoiselle is becoming a little brat by making all your recent decisions for you. If you let your imaginary friend make your decisions, then why can’t you let me make decisions for you?”
“She says you make them for me anyway no matter what.”
“Well do you want a cherry ice pop or what?”
“Yes, please mom.”
She went to the freezer to grab the blood red ice pop and handed it to her son. He looked up smiling at his mom. No matter how strange her son behaved, his cute little smile always warmed her heart.
“Since you have chosen to have your treat, now you are required to give little league a chance. You might like it.”
“Ok,” he said. He jumped from the stool and ran outside while whistling a song he learnt from a children’s show on TV.
My god, being a mom was sometimes being a clever manipulator convincing her children and everybody else into thinking that she was wonder woman. A wonder woman she was indeed. She was queen of the universe, or at least queen of the suburbs. If it wasn’t cleaning the house, it was doing yard work. If it wasn’t yard work, it was shopping, cooking, and dishes, and then after part time work and full time mom, her husband wanted to have sex.
Both parents went shopping for dinner leaving their two children at home. Oscar had an older sister aged thirteen who was in charge of babysitting her little brother for ten dollars a week. His older sister Lita was watching TV oblivious about the whereabouts of her little brother. He was easy to babysit as long as he stayed indoors until their parents came back home. Oscar was in his sister’s bedroom playing dress up. He wore his sister’s nightgown and stared happily in the mirror at himself. The sleeves hung droopily over his hands and the bottom hem of the nightgown crumpled on the floor at his feet. The nightgown was made of ever soft cotton. It had a round collar with lace trimming and was the cute color of peach, not a drab navy green, or worse a gray or brown that Oscar was forced to endure when he wore his own boy clothes. Oscar went into the living room and pranced in front of the TV set that his sister was watching, “Look I’m wearing your dress,” Oscar set in a high pitch voice.
“Shut up I’m watching TV,” his sister said, unsurprised and unconcerned that her strange little brother was wearing her nightgown. She knew like any thirteen year old that little boys shouldn’t wear their sisters’ clothes, but she didn’t care what her little brother did as long as he didn’t bother her when she was watching TV and that she got her 10 dollars from Mom and Dad. Little Oscar felt unusually defiant that lazy hot August day, “No, I’m going to dance,” he said. Lita just shrugged her shoulders. The TV was more interesting than her little brother. It wasn’t the first time that he was doing girlie things anyway. He especially had a penchant for her Barbie dolls. The nightgown felt so airy and comfortable on him. The cool air drifted underneath the hemline and up his legs as he kicked like a showgirl. He wished he could wear nightgowns to bed every night instead of constricting white briefs and Kool-aid stained T-shirts with superhero characters ironed on them. He twirled and danced to no music in the living room feeling powerful and pretty like the middle school girls his teen uncles admired. He smiled as his little mutt puppy chased after him barking and trying to bite the hemline of the nightgown. Monroe Cerise approved of his behavior. She danced beside him. He walked back into his sister’s room and began playing with Barbie. His sister’s toys seemed like frivolous objects full of holiness that fell from the giving hands of God into her toy box. They were forbidden yet sacred objects that Oscar yearned to own himself. Girls get to have all the fun he thought. Since his sister was watching TV and his parents were shopping, he wanted to play dolls with his friend.
“Monroe, where are you?” He called out to an invisible force.
“I’m right beside you, are you blind?” She said in a snotty tone.
“Do I look pretty?” He asked her.
“Yes. Too dire you can’t leave the block where you live. Thus ride with me on my horses to my Chateaux la Pont Noir. I have an extensive wardrobe chez moi.”
“You are so lucky, you were born a princess, and what am I, but a little boy.”
“You will grow up to be thee strongest man, mon cher boy,” she said with sweetness dropping her air of superiority for a moment.
“What are your clothes like in your palace?”
“I have a closet grander than your sister’s bedroom. I have more clothes than Barbie. I have princess dresses of silk, satin, velvet and lace. I have pearl earrings, amber rings, silver bracelets, and magic perfumes made just for me by an alchemist in, how do you say, ah oui, in the township near my chateaux.”
“Too bad my dad won’t let me go to your palace for dress up,” Oscar sadly said.
“No amount of clothes will make me feel better since my prince is forced by his father to guard as his military duty, Anglican barbarians to the north threaten us as always. My prince is only eleven years old like me. I am told that I am a woman but I still feel like a petite girl. He is barely fit for knighthood,” Monroe Cerise said. She ran over to Lita’s canopy bed and began crying.
“Don’t cry, he is just a boyfriend,” he said.
“What the hell is going on in here!?” Lita said as she barged into her bedroom. “Get out! You are so weird talking to yourself again.” His sister pointed to the door. Oscar went out with his head held low. He always felt shame when he was caught doing something girlie.
For the next several years, Oscar came home to Princess Monroe Cerise who always waited patiently on his bed eager to hear some news about Oscar’s daily life. Nobody else seemed to care about how he was doing. They only seemed to care about how he was doing in school. He was a quiet kid who stayed in his room all weekend listening to music. He wasn’t on the streets like some bad seeds and Oscar’s parents were relieved about that, never mind that he dressed in loud fashion and had his hair in a peculiar style unlike any of the other boys in the neighborhood. They didn’t know that their son still talked to his best friend Monroe Cerise because he silently talked to her in his head.
That friendship started slowly due to the language barrier, although added with the minor obstacle of another time and dimension. Mademoiselle was very intelligent but she had learnt modern English in fits and stops. She was communicating with him since he was nine and she was eleven years old. For the first few years, he often didn’t comprehend her strange words because the mixture of old fashioned English assimilating modern day American slang betwixt a strong French accent. After trial and error, she learned to speak to him fluently, unlike Oscar, who by very nature of his laziness made no effort to understand languages of any foreign cultures. He did care about his best friend, though not enough to learn her language very well. All French words sounded like the same word over and over with minor variations anyway--too many vowels to comprehend he thought to himself. Monroe Cerise was hurt that he refused to speak or even attempted to learn her language with much effort. He could only speak the basics of French grammar, just enough to get on by if he was to walk a Parisian street, but it was a symptom of his modern culture, she thought, and she grudgingly accepted.
“Nobody likes you at school, but you still have me Monroe Cerise, queen of Paris France.”
“I know I still have you, but I still don’t feel any better. I want a boy to fall in love with me at school. I never have kissed anyone yet,” he said feeling complete isolation.
“That is because you are plain and ugly, not glamorous and fabulous like me,” Monroe said. Oscar became hot with intense anger. He went over to Monroe, grabbed her by the hair, and pushed her across the room. He pounced on her and forced her face into the fish tank. “I want to drown you,” Oscar said in a forceful whisper. He leaned on her body and held her head under water. If somebody bore witness to his attack on her, they would have only seen a boy acting like he was leaning on somebody with his hand clenched in a fist shaking in the cold water; the fish were terrified. The milkmaid who was spying on her strange master witnessed Monroe Cerise bent over shaking her wet hair and struggling, as if an invisible devil was tormenting her master, but she dared not bother Monroe Cerise. She possibly was a witch becoming possessed! Who would have believed a wretched milk wench accusing a well loved aristocratic beauty of witchcraft anyway? He finally let Monroe Cerise up for air. Monroe said nothing as she sat down on a bedside chair as her wet hair dripped on the bedroom floor. Oscar thought that maybe she was in a state of shock. She looked up between her stringy black wet hair and gave him an evil glare that Oscar would never forget. She said under restrained anger, “I want to meet the boy you are in love with. I want to see if he is good enough for my best friend. However my best friend is like a psychotic child who beats me.”
“Don’t insult me and I won’t abuse you,” Oscar reminded, “besides remember when you kicked me in the butt when I called you a slut. I had that bruise for a week and my mom inquired about it and I had to lie to her.”
“We really need to not fight ever again because we only have each other and nobody else,” she said.
“Who else has a relationship like ours? I thought about this friendship yesterday to try to clear up the confusion I have about the valid reality of our relationship. We all know that nobody else can see me in your time period, and the fact is that I am considered by them to be unreal. We both know I am a spirit that exists from the past to you, and to me, you are a spirit of the future. Somehow our time periods merge together, as if a time warp engulfs the both of us as we speak to each other. Just a few days ago my milk maiden saw me skip through the gardens of my chateau near the Seine. She saw me talking out loud to you, but of course, it seemed like I was talking to myself, or my imaginary best friend. Still the rumors are going around the servant quarters that I am speaking to evil spirits, but I am aristocracy, I can kill the milkmaid if I do so please, and not be punished. So of course no slaves here in my world confronts me about us since I am a lady of such privilege of all finery, unlike you boy, anyway I must enjoy the powers of my position while I can. If that revolution you told me about is true and will happen.”
“Monroe Cerise, I won’t be talking to you much longer if you continue to call me ‘boy’”
“Would it be better if I said garcon, at least I have the decency to speak to you in English. You have taken high school French and vous parlez francais comme un enfant,” she said with a tone of acute criticism.
“I do not speak French like a baby, and are you calling me immature?”
“Perhaps you could do some of your twenty first century lessons in etiquette. A boy your age is already father to children in my time. You are soft with inactivity. Perhaps the modern exercise, how do you say? Aerobics or those contraptions, those bizarre machines that make your muscles get bigger you shall do. Then you will attract that boy you do so admiration,” she said, her grammar was getting worse. Oscar noticed that she made mistakes with her English grammar when she was very upset.
“What do you do? You don’t exercise and you eat all that fatty French food?” He asked the waiflike princess.
“I walk the countryside outside Versailles often and French women don’t get fat. Nous sommes parfait,” she answered.
“You are perfect,” He said as he grabbed his hand mirror from on top of the speaker next to his cologne. He looked into the mirror. His mangy brown hair was in need of some highlights. His haircut was uneven by the amateur hairstylist who butchered his hair the week before. He didn’t like his wide nose. He wished it was smaller and more delicate. He knew that he could never compare to the beauty of a French female who was admired by the families of French aristocracy.
“You have so many suitors and I have never even kissed a boy. Who would want to kiss me?” He asked.
“I have kissed a few boys in my time, but if word got out that I freely kissed, I would be accused a harlot. I must remain pure for my future husband.”
“I have a picture of the boy at my school that I’ve told you about. Do you want to see him?” He excitedly asked her.
“Yes, of course. I am your friend and our love crosses the boundaries of space and time. Why would I not want to see my best friend’s love interest?”
“What are you doing right now?” He asked the princess.
“I am sitting on the grass in the sun outside Versailles. I have my parasol to keep the horrible April sun from burning my neck.”
“It’s April in your time period? It is October in my time period. It is so cold today in Medicine Hat as most of southern Alberta froze last night. It snowed too much. I wish it was still August.”
He went over to his dresser. He opened the second drawer down and dug through various sentimental junk that he kept in the drawer. There was a magazine of nude men, a couple of men’s fashion magazines. He had some science fiction books and a few animation movies from Japan. He found his high school yearbook and he opened it to the page where he sketched a heart in red ink around a rugby player.
“Close your eyes and concentrate hard so you can see my world. I know it sometimes is difficult for us to see each other’s worlds but relax and concentrate,” he said.
Monroe Cerise was sitting on the grass just outside a cow pasture. The field was still damp from an early morning drizzle. She sat with a parasol in one hand for instant shade, and a fast wavering fan for a breeze to aid droplets of sweat that were running down her brow. For the unusual April heat wave was becoming so unbearable that she almost desired to go back to the coolness of the chateau. Mademoiselle Cerise was now grateful for the dunk in the fish tank, since it was cooling, but she was having difficulty concentrating because of the bees and flies abuzz around her. Despite a great fear of bees, she drifted into a trance. She became so relaxed that she forgot about her surroundings. A vision of a small blue colored room appeared in her mind’s eye, and in it she saw Oscar’s hand holding an odd book, although everything appeared odd in the future world according to mademoiselle. On the pages of the book were multitudes of small square photographs of young men and women. Oscar’s finger pointed to the photograph with the red heart surrounding it.
“Do you think he is cute?” Oscar asked.
“I do think he is handsome. I do think that you should introduce yourself to him.”
“Doesn’t he look like one of your suitors, the man from Grenoble?”
“You mean the Marquis de Beauchamp, even though your love interest looks healthier, the marquis is still so always coughing with a sickness and he looks quite tired. I am forbidden to see him for fear that I will catch his illness, which makes me very sad, you see, I was closer to him than the others, and now fate had made a decision for me,” she said sadly.
“But you have a set place in your society: I have nothing concrete. I have no suitors. No boys expect me to introduce myself to them. There is no set social protocol for somebody with my sexual orientation in this place like you have. There is so much hesitancy of what social role I play here. I am still considered by some a lesser male and others a sinner.”
“But you live life like a prince, yes your home is modest, but you enjoy in little pleasures that even the richest in my country can’t taste or even get to experience on a regular basis. The information that is at the tip of your fingers, there are so many concepts and thoughts that are very difficult for me to comprehend or even accept.”
“I know, but no matter how many things my parents buy me, no matter how much strawberries and chocolate I can feed myself, I still need to feel another boy to touch,” he said weakly.
“You are the cause of your own demise because you lack the courage to present your best qualities to such a noble appearing lad, and then you whine in the comfort of your own room. I am tired of hearing you say ‘oh, I am lonely.’ True in my time you would be burnt at the stake as a sodomite, but enjoy the freedom of your time and go to the remarkable and handsome boy that makes even a princess envious, by the way, what is his name?” She asked in giddiness.
“Oh c’est tres beau, go if not for yourself, do it for me,” she said.
Oscar continued to stare at the photograph of the gorgeous rugby player. The guy had messy light brown hair. He had gentle sideburns that made his jaw line somewhat stronger and angular, very masculine. He stood in the picture with his teammate holding a rugby ball. Robert’s eyes were completely blue and he had very long eyelashes that offset his very angular features, it made him almost pretty.
“I will introduce myself in the boy’s locker room,” Oscar teased.
“Oh my god, not the locker room, can I go to your locker room so I can view the boys too?” She pleaded.
“Last time you saw the boys naked and you ran back to your chateau in giddy embarrassment.”
“Not this time because you will introduce yourself to the young Mister Robert,” she felt her cheeks flushed red with lust.
“I will do it,” he said with a sly smile.
“Can we both experience strawberries, chocolate, and whipped cream to celebrate? I haven’t tasted them for months. Sweets are not too easy to come by even here in Versailles.” She was lying. For it was he who ate such goodies, she closed her eyes and meditated, both experienced the taste, for her spirit partially possessed his body, both spirits shared in one body during a communion as both remained conscious, but he would be the one to get fat. She tried to get her friend to gorge on both their behalves at least twice a week. Sometimes she begged him to eat chocolate bars, soft drinks, and pizza; other times pies, cheeses, and hot dogs.
He went downstairs to the fridge. He was often at home alone. His mother was at work, his father was out on the road as a trucker, and his older sister was away in college. He opened up the fridge and there were imported strawberries. His mother kept the fridge always stocked with strawberries or other berries that were in season. Berries, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream were some of the few things that seemed to make her son happy. He placed the strawberries in a bowl and put whipped cream on top. He poured the syrup over the delicious treat.
“What about the nuts,” Mademoiselle Cerise reminded.
“Thanks for reminding me,” Oscar said out loud. He spoke out loud since nobody was at home to hear him. He never spoke to his spirit friend out loud in public due to the fact that he knew people would think that he was schizophrenic. Mademoiselle often kept her face buried sometimes in a book around her equals, and they thought she was practicing English out loudly, because she did read English language books out loudly to cover up her special friendship.
He took a bite of sweet decadent strawberry, he imagined Robert placing the strawberry into his mouth. He moaned as the mixture of fruit and whipped cream rolled over his tongue. The thought of a guy putting his finger into his mouth made him moan again. Mademoiselle Cerise slowly caressed her breasts, as she was a spectator of Oscar’s fantasy. They then drew their attention from the cute innocent fantasy, and turned their full attention to the dessert and binged, within an hour finished the entire small basket of strawberries, and an entire box of vanilla ice cream. He felt bloated and his stomach felt like an overstuffed sack of potatoes. He ran into the bathroom to purge his stomach too full of the richness of citrus and cream.
“I need to get back to my quarters, thank you very much for the treat,” Mademoiselle Monroe Cerise said.
He didn’t say anything as he bent over the toilet waiting for the evacuation of the food into the porcelain bowl. Mademoiselle Cerise grabbed her parasol and fan. Bees were buzzing around her because her sweet perfume contained real flower essences magically formulated by an alchemist for attracting male kinship. She walked back home satisfied at her culinary indulgence without the guilt and weight gain.
Several months passed as Oscar attempted to gain enough courage to talk to Robert. Oscar always got scared and walked away before he could even open his mouth, much to the impatience of Mademoiselle Cerise. It was April, and they both knew the school year was almost over. He was determined to at least say “hi” to Robert. Oscar went into the gym dressed in his gym sweats and T-shirt and he viewed Robert in his handsome splendor. Robert knew that Oscar was staring at him, but he was popular among the popular athletes at his school. Robert wanted badly to talk to Oscar but he didn’t want to be seen talking to him in front of his jock buddies. Even though Oscar was known by the girls as the weird and quiet cute guy, nobody seemed to care or talk to him as he seemed to fade into the background. As everyone talked to each other, he stood in the corner looking at nothing in particular except at Robert out of the corner of his eye. The horror of having a too macho gym coach deride their gym performance with a condescending voice and mean comments began again as the teens began running around the running track.
The horror of gym time was over, and it was shower time, which was awkward not only for Oscar, but for many others. Whatever was being hidden under clothes was revealed in plain sight for all others to judge. Some of the guys were chubby, some were scrawny, but the real judgment came to penises. Some where almost baby sized, but at home under sheets were normal sized, and others were long and floppy, but when erect at home they weren’t as big as they might have seemed while half erect in the showers. Usually Oscar went into the locker room and undressed and dressed as quickly as possible as to not be seen by others, because he felt insecure of his somewhat small baby fat. In such a conservative school where most individual expression and creativity were frowned upon in sometimes subtle and not so subtle ways, sports and perfect bodies reigned supreme. Any guy in high school without six pack abs were not part of the hunk club, the club that many pretty girls giggled over, and some guys giggled over although silently in their hearts, and discreetly in their bedrooms at home. Today was not the day to be a wallflower in the boys’ locker room. Oscar went into the area were all the popular jocks were talking stupid talk about everything and still nothing, and dared to change slowly and quietly in such near proximity to such self assigned kings of the athletic department. One of the guys made a rude comment warning the others not to drop any soap and bend over, all the guys laughed dumbly, except Robert who was hoping to see what was under the clothes of the guy who always seemed to prefer to be invisible. Robert noticed that Oscar wasn’t completely physically fit, and in fact, he seemed slightly soft around the edges, but he wasn’t too bad, he was merely average. The other guys hurried into the showers and Robert began to tag along, but stopped and turned back around as he “accidentally” forgot his towel. Both Robert and Oscar made eye contact that was too intense for both involved, both eyes darted quickly away.
“Hey!” Robert said such an informal greeting to Oscar as he grabbed his towel.
“I just want to say….” Oscar said.
“Say it Oscar,” Mademoiselle Cerise said.
“I just want to say that you are incredibly noble looking,” Oscar said in a half whisper.
Robert quietly chuckled and his body shook. His shoulders slightly lifted and he placed his hands over his eyes in complete embarrassment.
“Thank you,” Robert said.
“Here is my home phone number call me on Friday please,” Mademoiselle Cerise said to Robert as Oscar remained in a vacuum state of amnesia.
Robert didn’t know what to say. He was glad that his buddies where in the showers already. He couldn’t be seen taking a piece of paper with a phone number written on it from another dude. They would think he was some sort of homo, and then his closet would be made out of glass. He quickly glanced around to see if anyone was staring at them, and to his relief nobody was staring at the two, so he quickly grabbed the paper and went back to his locker putting the phone number into his jean pocket. He passed Oscar who was already putting on a T-shirt without going to the showers. Robert pretended to be staring at the ground not noticing Oscar’s presence, but he loved walking pass him again as his bare hip quickly rubbed against Oscar’s penis, frottage made both their faces feel warm. An action their parents couldn’t have ever imagined in their wildest dreams; as parental expectations disregarded such education as both were expected to adopt eventual straight laced maturity. Oscar stared after Robert. He noticed that the florescent light highlighted every little muscle in Robert’s back, but also highlighted his paleness, which probably looked better in dim light. Monroe Cerise wondered if that was how the Marquis de Beauchamp looked naked. She waved her fan a little faster to cool down. Robert thought about how oddly Oscar spoke when he said, “Here is my phone number call me on Friday please.” He said it with a strange accent that he never really heard before. The accent almost sounded familiar, sort of like a French Canadian, and the way he said it, it was almost like a girl. Robert didn’t like the way he said it, but he did have English class with him. Several times Oscar said things out loud in class, and during that time, he spoke like any normal guy. His voice wasn’t like a femme of any sort. However there was a femme who spoke for Oscar who was la femme Mademoiselle Charlotte Monroe Cerise, la princesse de Paris, France et l’amour.
After school that day Oscar was livid with anger. He lay motionless on his bed with his eyes tightly closed. He attempted to get a hold of Mademoiselle Cerise for about half an hour. He knew that she probably found Robert attractive too and somehow she was going to try to do something brash to get with him. Oscar learned in history class how women in France back in the pre revolutionary days were to be ladies, unlike today, and that meant remaining a virgin until the best suitor won. If Mademoiselle Cerise could participate in the modern day dating process outside her time dimension, she could have sex with Robert while partially incarnating inside her friend. She shuddered with excitement about the possibility of having a shared experience with Robert. Robert would think that he would be fooling around with only Oscar, but Mademoiselle Cerise would feel the erotic passion also without any of the negative repercussions of her time. She would have the added benefit of knowing what it was like as a male physically loving another male. Oh dear. She could have sex without completely having sex thus remaining pristine for a future husband! Oscar wanted to be alone if anything seriously fun happened with Robert. He didn’t want anybody watching, or even helping to perform whatever might happen, from a kiss to a good caress. He was seventeen and ready for a kiss or even more.
“Monroe Cerise, where are you?” He whispered.
He hated to wait for Monroe Cerise. Sometimes he really needed somebody to talk to and she wasn’t always available. She always seemed to be preoccupied with leading the life of an exciting debutant. He was envious of her luxury, yet she was envious of his freedom, because she was held up to a standard of smothering moral behavior, etiquette that she had to keep at all times while in public, never feeling free. Unlike Oscar, who really could say or act in any manner that he wanted, especially without a stake burning bodies in the city center of Medicine Hat, nor the threat of being ostracized by the fine citizenry of the mighty aristocracy. If a lady in her court acted in any such way, acting the harlot, she would surely be socially ostracized and not invited to any formal functions. Oscar was an outcast and loner anyway, and so it really didn’t matter what he said or really did, most people didn’t care at all and slowly he couldn’t be around anybody except his spirit friend. Although he loved Monroe Cerise, he was scared that one day he would lose her then he would be completely alone.
“Charlotte Monroe Cerise, if you don’t talk to me, I won’t speak to you for a month, and you know I have an iron will,” he threatened.
“I will speak to you in a half an hour,” she sent a thought to him that he heard in his head as a distant whisper.
He then realized that she was in some place or situation where she could not readily communicate with him. He began to suspend all fear and anger, and he began to breathe deeply and relax. He closed his eyes and emptied his mind completely. Soon he opened his eyes and he saw Mademoiselle Cerise sitting on a chair. She was holding a violin. The maestro was counting “un deux trois, un deux trois,” the maestro grimaced for the worst. No matter how hard she attempted to carry a tune, it sounded like two rabid cats mating at midnight. The violin screeched.
“No Mademoiselle, you are doing it all wrong,” he said in French.
The maestro rolled his eyes at the dreadful ordeal of teaching an untalented lady, although he was being paid large sums of money to teach the young woman at least one tune to satisfy her father. Mademoiselle Cerise’s father considered himself a progressive man, and although only men were considered the true bearers of musical genius, he wanted to shock his peers with the unusual talent of his daughter so they could admire his avant garde efforts.
Oscar lay on his bed, and on several occasions, he opened his eyes and raised his head to check the clock. Images of Robert moved through his mind. Several times he shivered with warm sensations in his chest. Just like Monroe Cerise said, she started yelling out his name as she sat in a little meadow about a mile from her home. She sat under a cherry tree as her beautiful white stallion stood obediently near her while munching on fresh green clovers of the meadow. Oscar could hear sleet patter against his window and wind was blowing hard outside, it was just evening time, unlike the time and space where Monroe Cerise inhabited, where it was late morning and the sun shone perfectly with tranquil mild weather.
“Why did you completely overpower my body only to proposition the guy I admire?” He asked.
“I didn’t mean to invade your words and actions. We both agreed not to take over the bodies of one another without ample warning or consent, but I took matters into my own hands because you lacked the courage to take action on your own behalf. At least what I did will yield some positive results,” she said.
“You are planning to date him leaving me out of the pleasure,” he accused.
“Of course not! I have feelings for Marquis de Beauchamp here, you know that. I fully possessed you for a few seconds so he could get to know you. You lacked the courage to take initiative.”
“I don’t even know if he likes other guys. I only assumed that he likes guys because of the way he stared at me. What if he wasn’t gay, you could have gotten me into a lot of trouble.”
“Mais non, I saw the way he looked at you and I took action. A woman knows that look a man has who adores her and he was doing it to you. I have known you since we were very little kids. I knew you would have chickened out before you even gave him your phone number. All you said was ‘I think you look very noble,’ what kind of conversation starter is that eh? You could have said, I wish to get to know you more, you are so beautiful, I am charmed then kissed his hand.”
“That sort of behavior is reserved for French men toward women back in the day. I am a twenty-first century boy. That sort of introduction would have scared the poor guy away.”
“What sort of time period do you live in eh?! I would think things would have been completely worked out by the time you exist--so far into the future. There is so much good potential everybody in your time tends to squander, and it makes me sad. At least you live in more stable times. There has been rumor of talks of revolution among the peasants, and it is making everybody very weary in my family. Marie Antoinette and many other people just laugh and think about how quaint that talk is, but I am scared because what you have told me about the French Revolution. Every time I try to tell somebody close to me about what might happen, they laugh at me, they say I am a silly girl, the queen at the guillotine, they can’t even imagine it. They say that my dreams of a revolution are just nightmares. I dare not tell them about what you told me about such a revolution. I explained your descriptions of the revolution are in my dreams to safeguard any accusations of treason. On top of that worry, my love of my life is sick on probably his death bed, and all you do is whine about a boy that you didn’t have the courage to ask out on a date.”
Suddenly Oscar felt waves of shame as his face grew crimson with embarrassment. He realized that his problems seemed quite petty in relation to the problems of others. He decided to lighten up a little and he attempted to trust her, even though she invaded his space in every sense of the word.
“I’m sorry. I need to trust you, but I have never possessed your body without permission, it is very scary. I am about to do and say something and suddenly somebody inside of me takes over and moves my lips. I felt my vocal chords vibrating, but somehow it wasn’t completely my voice, and then I felt my hand moving toward Robert with a piece of paper with a phone number written on it, and then I realized you took over my body not once but twice. I had no idea that you wrote my phone number on a piece of paper.”
“I did it as a favor for you. What would you have said to him without me taking over? At least the second time you were conscious of my spirit possession, when I wrote down the phone number on that piece of paper, you were kicked completely out of your body and into the abyss, and I can do it again if I want too!”
“I wanted to start small talk with him. I wanted to charm him into liking me with my personality, and then you took over, I am still completely embarrassed.”
“At least you are given the possibility of love while my lover suffers,” she cried. She put her hands over her face and she began sobbing. She wanted her prince to come to the rescue her so she could live happily ever after, except the prince caught tuberculosis, forbidden to see him, even as he was experiencing his last days.
“I am grateful for your help. I also want to tell you how awful I feel seeing you crying like this. Love is a horrible thing sometimes. I hope the Marquis de Beauchamp gets healthy so you can feel strong arms around you--holding you again because you deserve all the love in the world.”
“Merci. You deserve love too,” she said. She laid on her back staring at the puffy white clouds above as a tear rolled down the side of her face. The tear dripped onto a blade of green grass. The teardrop looked almost like a dewdrop of the early spring morning.
“I am so tired, too much excitement,” he said as he began to drift off to sleep. Monroe Cerise also felt tired, she was truly tired of life, jaded at such a young age by too much fortune and one serious misfortune, a fear of an entire country in the beginnings of turmoil.
“Oscar, get up, some boy is on the telephone for you,” Oscar’s father said. His father was home after a long trucking run across the country. He looked up and his father was standing in the bedroom doorway. Oscar instantly knew who it was on the phone. His heart began to beat faster. His eyes grew wider. He began to shake in nervousness. Oscar’s father was surprised that his son actually got a phone call from someone. He knew his son didn’t have a social life, but he hoped that his son would start making friends, and maybe this phone call was the first of many. Oscar hurried down the hall to the living room to the answer his prayers on the telephone. “Hey,” Oscar said into the phone. He tried not to sound too excited, even though he felt like jumping up and down like an excited cheerleader.
“Hey guy, I was just wandering if I could come over to visit you sometime tonight,” Robert’s voice flirted on the other side of the line.
Silence. Robert thought it odd that there was no immediate reply from him. Oscar couldn’t stop smiling as he felt a rush of euphoria realizing that touchy feely stuff could be the best thing to happen to himself, or anybody else.
“Hello? Are you still there?” Robert asked.
“I’m here, I was just thinking about something great. Come over whenever you want, I have some cool things in my bedroom,” Oscar said.
“Yeah like what,” Robert prodded.
“I’ll show you, come over now if you want.”
“Well now that I have your phone number, I need your address, after all I think we are about to become good buddies.”
Oscar was beginning to think that everything was beginning to move a little too fast. What about that first date? What about getting to know one another before even inviting a guy over? The thought of two guys going on a date seemed odd even to a gay teen like Oscar, screw it, he thought, its pizza time!
“I rented a couple of movies, and I got some money, do you want to order some pizza when you get here?” Oscar asked.
“Ok, were do you live?”
Oscar had an intense emotional rush as he waited for his new friend to enter his house. He looked around his room and tidied it up a bit knowing that no material human outside his family saw his room. The princess often had a somewhat snotty disdain about the small confines, “About the size of my boudoir’s closet.” Yet Monroe Cerise was jealous about his TV or his “dream box”, his stereo, or his “music box,” and she envied his privacy. Privacy was what Oscar needed since he decided to ask the new visitor to stay the entire night, even though it was a school night. He called the pizza parlor and ordered the biggest and meatiest pizza to be delivered. He went downstairs to get a few cans of soda from the refrigerator. His father was sitting at the table playing a game of Cribbage with a neighborhood friend.
“Dad I am having a friend spending the night.” His father’s eyes shot up and he turned quickly around “what?” His father’s friend who made a game move looked at Oscar’s father noticing the father’s look of surprise.
Awhile later Oscar ran fast downstairs and paid the pizza guy. Standing right behind the pizza guy was Robert. He stood in the doorway with a smile.
“I bought us pizza let’s go up to my room.”
“Sure!” Robert said.
Oscar didn’t feel like introducing his friend to his father but his father stared long and hard at the intruder entering the household as the two teenagers rushed past him.
“Impressive you would want to hang out with my son, he isn’t the sporty type, he is more of an intellectual brain,” Oscar’s father suspiciously said.
“Yeah, everybody is impressed with Oscar in my English class. I overhear some comments about how everybody thinks of him as so smart,” Robert said as he sneaked a wink at Oscar.
Oscar blushed at that remark, but he felt happy that people actually had something nice to say about him, that they actually noticed him.
The boys hurried upstairs to the bedroom. Robert couldn’t help but stare at Oscar’s butt as he followed him up the stairs. Once inside the room, Robert looked around his room and noticed that there were many maps all over the walls. There was a framed map of the world, there was a map of Tasmania, and an old map of Europe during the middle ages. Oscar noticed Robert staring at all the maps.
“I plan on traveling the entire world when I grow up,” Oscar said.
“My dad was in the military, I’m lucky to have seen a lot of the world. I’ve lived in Okinawa in Japan, South Korea, and Germany. I am stuck here in Alberta now since my mom divorced my dad and moved back here from the States,” Robert said.
“Did you like those places?”
“Yes, I wish I was back in Japan, that place was really peaceful, and the school I was in was great, but my mom needs me more than my dad.”
“Your mom is lucky to have a son like you who wants to be with her, you are such a nice guy,” Oscar said.
“Well, I try,” Robert said as he mauled a piece of pizza, ten minutes later the pizza box was empty. Oscar turned on the gay cable TV channel. Both boys watched entranced by a lifestyle that both were apprehensive of living, but also relieved to see that there were many different types of people just like themselves. They sat on the bed as they leaned against the wall. Robert suddenly put his arm around Oscar’s shoulders. The way that a guy felt was one of complete warmth, buzzing electrical pleasure, hard and soft at the same time. Oscar turned his head toward Robert and they both leaned forward……...
……..Oscar awoke at four in the morning feeling completely disoriented. He didn’t know where he was for a moment. He searched for Robert in the near pitch dark. He felt complete panic as he tried to focus his mind. He eyes began to focus in the dark making out the shape of his bedroom window. He felt around for Robert on the bed but he realized that there was nobody else in the room. He hurried to the light switch looking around the room. He unpleasantly realized that he was naked. He stood beside his bed trying to piece together the events of the night. He wondered if the night with Robert, when he cheerfully biked over, was some sort of wonderful dream that he made up, that he wanted a night like that to happen so badly that somehow it seemed real. He closed his eyes and he tried to force his brain to remember any of his actions and any of the conversation that might have happened. Then he suddenly realized that maybe something happened that night that should not have happened at all.
“Mademoiselle Cerise,” he said out loudly in his room not caring that he might wake his parents downstairs.
“Monroe Cerise, if you don’t come to me now, you will never see me again, no matter how many times you come to me in your mind I will never answer you again. You know I mean it.”
He waited for an answer. “Monroe Cerise, I am not going to call you anymore. I am about to say goodbye forever.”
“I am here. I was just having a late night dinner with my family. I just excused myself to the washroom. Shouldn’t you be sleeping, it must be almost dawn in your time period?”
“Don’t try to play sweet with me girl, you possessed my body tonight.”
“You are my friend, I told you that I would never do any such thing without your permission ever again,” she said.
“I do not trust you. You are a French aristocrat. You lie because you feel that a rich person like you should always get whatever they want without any regard to others feelings.”
“No, I am not a woman to be despised. You have got it all wrong. I have feelings for other people. Please do not be so angry. I am going through very much difficulty. We are having one last celebration. The peasants are revolting and in the middle of the night we are to sneak out of the palace, I am so scared. I wish I could have a beautiful man like Robert to love me and make me feel safe if only a moment, but I would never overpower your body, it is too difficult.”
“I believe you. I have studied your history. You know what is going to happen. If you trust me and let me advise you, you will not be murdered by the peasants.”
“What should I do Oscar? Just one moment, please I will go back to you but I can hear lots of people screaming from outside. I am very scared. Somebody is knocking at the washroom door,” the princess said in trepidation.
One of the servants was at the washroom door asking for “Mademoiselle Cerise.” She stood in the candle lit hallway with a demure look on her unhealthy pale face. She curtsied and looked at Monroe Cerise with a scared look in her eyes.
“Your father sent me to tell you to leave with nothing. We are attempting to find a secret route outside of Versailles. The peasants have surrounded the palace. You must leave now,” the servant said.
“Oscar what should I do? You know the future.”
“Go, go to your bedroom and lock the door. Don’t even open the door for your father. Everything will be fine. The women at Versailles are to be saved and the men are to be blamed for the country’s inequality. You will be captured, but you will not be killed or tortured, you must just stay on your bed and read a good book and ignore the screams of hell outside, it is scary, but trust me, all will be fine,” Oscar said to her as he glared at the picture of Robert inside the high school yearbook.
Monroe Cerise hurried the long corridors toward her bedroom. Once in her bedroom she began reading the Bible, it was the only book that she could concentrate on and feel like at least God was protecting her from the angry mob outside. She began to hear gunfire and the windows of her bedroom were shattered by a few large rocks thrown from outside. She threw the Bible down on the floor and reactively ran for cover underneath her bed, there she felt safer, for surely the palace guards would take control of the weak, sickly, and smelly peasants, such garbage were not even in God’s high regard.
“Oscar, will my father die?” The princess asked trying to hold back tears.
“Maybe,” he said with a hint of foreboding while grinning.
“I have never been so scared in my entire life,” her voice was shaking. Both she and Oscar heard the screams of anger and agony coming from all around. Oscar’s heart began to beat faster. The sounds that were being heard made both of them grow cold. He opened his eyes feeling grateful at being in the safety of his own room. The distant smell of a men’s cologne was left from hours before, the smell of Robert and the faint aroma of pizza. He closed his eyes again. There was a morbid symphony of evil and confusion inside and outside the palace, the sounds of angry dogs barking intermixed with screams of “tyrants,” and “criminals,” and the screams of men and women pleading for mercy.
“I hear women being hurt, I think the commotion is still far away, this is a big building, they haven’t made it to this wing yet,” she said.
“Mademoiselle, it is me, your humble servant Claudette. I have some peasant clothes for you to put on so you will be disguised and not be hurt by the mobs. They only want to kill the rich,” the servant yelled from the other side of the chamber door.
“Don’t answer that door, it is a trick,” Oscar said.
Monroe Cerise ignored the advice. She ran to unlock the door. Her favorite servant and best friend stood looking terrified in the hallway. Claudette ran past the door while waving a dirty skirt and some wooden shoes. She was in a panic jumping up and down saying “vite!”
Monroe Cerise hurried to put on the peasant clothes. She hurried to wipe any makeup off of her face with a dry towel. She undid her stylish hair and messed it up. She put on the wooden shoes. “Do I look horrible?” She asked Claudette. “Yes,” Claudette said. They both held each other’s hands. The only item that Monroe Cerise could not bear to part without was her beautiful diamond and gold necklace given to her from the Marquis de Beauchamp; it hung low around her neck. If anybody asked her where she got such a luxury, she would say that she stole it from one of the ladies of the house. They held hands as they ran to the back doors in hope they could slip out of the ruckus unnoticed and unharmed. They ran past the angry mob that was dragging the yelling noblemen and screaming ladies by their hair and maiming them. Claudette and Monroe Cerise began screaming, “Kill the rich!” waving their fists as they hurried through the mob in the crowded hallway. They both sighed with relief once outside the building.
Two dark shadows ran across the dark gardens of Versailles. The distant mob was growing ever more distant. They were relieved when they realized they were running the right way from the angry disenfranchised peasants. They could hear the horrible sounds of loud guns being shot by the palace guards. The girls ran until they could run no more. They decided to sit on some rocks beside a stream. They rested on the ground in utter exhaustion. Claudette estimated that they ran for four hours or so because the moon had traveled a great distance from one side of the sky to the other side. Only two hours later, the sun awoke the young women. They both noticed the beauty of the morning as a brief respite from their misery. They had no idea where they were or how they got there. They had no idea where to proceed. They walked sadly together until they were to have some hint as to where to go. Once or twice, they found clean streams to drink from to quench their thirst. They said nothing, because they knew that they were lost in the wilderness, and that they could die from hunger, thirst, or even a pack of wolves. When they found a road the girls laughed in glee. They knew that sooner or later somebody would be traveling pass to help poor helpless girls who were vulnerable to the street bandits that often prowled the roadsides hoping to rob victims, or to hurt lost peasant girls. They walked along looking like haggard French wenches when a coach pulled up beside them.
“Young ladies, do you realize that you are in danger being alone without a protector? Do you not know about the terrors of these times?” The Catholic Priest asked from inside the coach.
“My coachman has to carry a gun and a sword to protect even a holy man. Where are you two unfortunate girls off to?” The Priest asked.
“Please, our palace was destroyed and our masters were being captured. We escaped and we do not know where we are going and what we are going to do,” Mademoiselle Cerise said.
“We need refuge,” Claudette said.
The Priest’s eyes rolled up as if he was looking at the trees above the road, but he was thinking of a way to help the two poor but beautiful young women who looked scared and hungry.
“There is a convent that is on my way to where I am going. Do you girls feel like this meeting was maybe a sign from our Lord? Perhaps your destiny is to serve our Lord rather than men; for the palace that was destroyed was only a temporary place, while the palace of the Lord is perpetuity.”
The girls nodded. They both hurried to the opened coach door and climbed inside. The Priest had some peanuts and dried figs that he had stored for snacking in a leather bag. He handed the girls the bag so they could receive some energy for the trip. They began a bumpy ride to the convent.
Oscar asked his mother if he could stay home from school because he was feeling ill. She put her hand on his forehead to feel if he was running a fever, he wasn’t warm, but his eyes were droopy and red with what looked like lack of sleep. He was very pale so she agreed that he should stay home, but she ordered him to stay upstairs in bed, no goofing around while both parents were away for the day.
Oscar relaxed as the sun shone through his window onto his bed. He felt grateful that he didn’t have to walk in the snow to school after the cold snowstorm the prior night. He kept his eyes closed as he watched in his mind’s eye as the Priest spoke to the two girls in the coach. He could only understand a word here and there, but from what he gathered, he knew that the girls were being driven to a convent. He lay in the late afternoon sun shining through his window in his time period as the early evening grew cooler in her time period. The convent was seen in the distance and both girls became worried about how things were going to turn out for them in the convent. They didn’t want to become nuns, but they had no other prospects for their future. They wearily left the coach and followed the Priest. The convent was at the edge of a little village. About two dozen small cottages were lined along the main street of the small village. The convent had a beautiful church spire looming over Romanesque archways built by the village people six centuries before. The townsfolk were naturally curious about the arrival of the Priest into their village. He often brought back goods to trade but this time he had nothing, except two ragged looking peasant girls trailing behind him.
Oscar felt like his body was only seen as a vehicle for pleasure for the young harlot. He concentrated harder than he ever concentrated before, and then he felt his soul go through some sort of void, as if a giant suction wind was forcing him into a strange and unfamiliar face. It always felt crowded for two souls to be inside one body. He began to shove her spirit out of her body, and because she was unprepared for the psychic invasion, her entire mind and spirit went into an unconscious void where no memory existed. The same void where Oscar existed as Monroe Cerise made love to Robert.
The villagers were staring at the Priest and the two girls when Monroe Cerise walked over to the Priest and ripped the holy rosary off of his neck. The Priest took two steps backward with eyes wide and startled. She put the crucifix in her mouth. She growled like a cat as the beads flew apart and landed on the ground. She ripped off her dress and started to dance naked in the middle of the square while rubbing her nude breasts with the crucifix. She said in horrible French with an accent of a drunken Englishman, “I want to eat the noses of the village children.” The villagers began to scream and yell to “kill the witch!” as they rushed at her. She laughed as they led her to the stake at the edge of town to burn her. Nobody was punished in such a manner in the village for years, but this was the time to do it. The crazed witch laughed wickedly as they tied her nude body to the stake. They almost accused Claudette of being a witch too, but she knelt in front of the Priest and said, “I am a servant of our Lord Jesus Christ. I did not know the girl very well in Versailles for she was somebody else’s servant.” Claudette’s life was spared as she was led crying by one of the Sisters into the convent. Claudette turned around one last time as the peasants were putting faggots for the burning under her best friend and master. She turned back around and entered the sanctuary of the convent.
The flames were kindled, as the flames grew larger, the smoke rose higher. Oscar felt the heat above the flames coming nearer to the skin of Monroe Cerise’s legs and feet. When the pain could not be tolerated by him inside of her body any longer, he jumped out of her body. Monroe Cerise opened her eyes. She was confused for a few seconds, then realized that she was being burnt at the stake. She had no time to think once the flames began to singe her skin. She screamed out loudly as the children plugged their ears trying to block out the screams of the evil witch.
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