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The Nadir
 
Claude had railed against Etienne’s insistence that he not keep such close company with Mimi. It would seem improper, Etienne said, so soon after Andre’s death. Now that he had returned it was more fitting for a priest to attend to the young widow’s needs. Claude had laughed at that. He doubted that Etienne would have any idea about Mimi’s needs!

Well, Claude wasn’t laughing now. Those precious weeks had evaporated into nothing, just like everything else in his life. Mimi had reluctantly agreed with Etienne. Let some time pass, she said, and then they could be together - openly this time.

He looked at Mimi now, bound to the massive mahogany bed. He couldn’t tell if she was talking to him, crying out perhaps, because of this terrible rushing noise in his head. It hadn’t stopped since Etienne told him of his plans to leave the church. Of his plans to marry Mimi.

"Sit down, Claude" he’d said, sounding for all the world like their dead father. Claude remembered slamming his fists hard against the arms of the chair, and his incoherent spill of words that protested Etienne’s claim. His brothers expression barely changed as he delivered the final blow: Etienne had found out that Mimi was pregnant and the child obviously couldn’t be her poor dead husband’s! Hardly stopping to catch his breath he continued that he presumed that the child must be Claude’s. Mimi could not seriously consider marrying Claude, not being more than a child himself and under the conditions of their father’s will virtually penniless......... Etienne would marry Mimi himself and that she wasn’t in love with him, probably didn’t care for him at all, hardly mattered. She needed a father for her child and to preserve her way of life. He droned on hammering forth point after point until Claude ceased to hear anything over the wall of noise in his head. When he finally looked up it was dark and Etienne had gone. Claude was alone and for the first time in his life completely sure of what he must do.

broken, bruised, forgotten, sore................

The fine lawn handkerchiefs with which he’d bound her wrists restricted the circulation in Mimi’s hands and although he rubbed her white fingers briskly he didn’t loosen the bonds. He wanted to lie with her again but instead stooped to press his ear to her stomach. Now he understood, that was the noise that had been drowning out all other voices. It was the child, his child, calling to him. A small voice crying out over the waves of amniotic fluid that bathed him.

too fucked up to care any more.........................

Her stomach was still so smooth, no external sign of the life within. Why had she told Etienne and not him? They could have left together, gone far away. Surely Etienne couldn’t be right about the money, that she would have chosen money over him?

She wasn’t saying anything now, he was sure of that. Claude traced the delicate design of the lace pillow over and over in his mind as he pressed it hard against her face. Thornless roses, so beautiful but ultimately defenceless. Claude had to be sure there was no chance Etienne could steal his child. He had to be certain that through some trickery Etienne couldn’t raise this fragile spark to life.

tear a hole exquisite red

fuck the rest and stab it dead

Claude expected there to be some resistance but the knife slid through the flesh with ease. Where did the child lie he wondered? Would it cry out when the cold blade struck it? He begged it for forgiveness, pleaded for his child's understanding.

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