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Desirez (WIP)

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Desirez (WIP)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Je Suis INSANE on Sun Nov 06, 2005 8:08 am


The ever-present problem with dreamers is that, they (more often than not) lose touch with the physical tangible reality and confuse the reality that they fashioned in their head as being the true reality.

It was quarter past seven at night on Thursday February the twentieth in the year 1848, and the Cafe Rosalind bustled with lethargic life. Cafe Rosalind had seated in her four mourning youths who had just put to rest the fifth of their company that morning. One of them had ceremoniously suggested placing a fifth chair at the table, as they had done while their companion was alive. None in the party objected. How could they? This cafe was a favorite spot of his while living and putting a lonely bar stool at their usual table was a way to tell his spirit that they were thinking of him.
For the first hour, the friends abated their grief by staring at the people in the café, but then took to scrutinizing the empty stool. Guillaume, the youngest of the party, spoke for the first time in days.

“Did anyone talk to his parents? I was too lost in my thoughts to even think about consoling them.” The young one of seventeen surreptitiously brought his cuff to his eyes. His brown eyes rubbed red from the past days of feinting running noses. “I would not have known them even if I had thought of visiting them. I don’t even know what their names are.”
Raoul sat to the left of Guillaume; he bore the name the “Angel of Paris” and frequently signed his paintings with this title. The “Angel of Paris” was fitting for Raoul; his features were so angelic that if one was to come upon him at mass praying you would swear that he was Gabrielle.

Raoul shook his head. “I saw them once before. I went and shook his father’s hand but I was lost for what to say. He kept on expressing his deep gratitude that I came to see him off."

"What was going through his head? The poor fool!" Sebastien exclaimed as he dropped his coffee, the nearly full cup clattered on to the table expelling some of its contents on to its owners white shirt. The liquid had long been cooled; Sebastien never really had planned to drink. The cup was just something warm to hold on to while they talked.

"Zut!" He cursed, dabbing the stain with a handkerchief that one of the party had offered him. His friends knew why he was indignant; he had been away when the death occurred and was fortunate to have made the funeral.

Simon laughed randomly, at which Sebastien thought Simon made a joke out of him and began to rub aggressively the spots on his shirt.

"Oh mais non! Sevy, not you, I was just musing that not one of us feels guilty...” Mused Simon, as the group stared at him perplexed. “Are we not supposed to say that his death was some what our fault…” Raoul reached over the table and punched Simon in the shoulder, the only place he could reach from his seat.

"Simon, that was disgusting! If you were harboring hard feelings you should not have come at all." Raoul reprimanded as he threw himself back in the chair.

"The wrath of the Angel!" Simon spat mockingly under his breath as he shifted his hips in his seat so he faced away from the table.

Guillaume, the peacemaker, expressed the friends’ obvious wish that they should act like Lucien's friends not rabble.

"I didn’t even know where he was from. Did you know? It seems that he has always resided in Lyon. I know he wasn’t Parisian." Guillaume implored the others in his company looking from one visage to the next. Simon and Sebastien both muttered in unison that they too knew he was not from the North. Simon thought he formerly resided Nice.

"He was from Toulouse." Raoul corrected rubbing his eyes. "His father owns a farm he did not wish for us to think ...bad of him. In his opinion we were all rich Parisian brats who would snub him."

"Then why did he tell you and not, Sevy? You are as Parisian as they come Angel." Simon inquired scooting towards the table.

"I am the Angel for a reason." Raoul replied simply. “Lucien felt the need to confide in someone, you know, towards the end…”

Lucien shocked his parents when he revealed to them his interest in the arts. They believed he had the appearance of a businessman, and often took to wagering guesses as to what field he looked most suited for. (His mother’s last bet was seven francs that he would become a lawyer and his father still insisted on his son being a doctor.) Lucien came to study art at the college in Lyon in September of 1843. Lucien’s parents were not terribly poor, but they could not pay for his education. A patron who believed that Lucien could succeed as an artist with an education and a studio was paying for his schooling. The patron was one of the wealthier townsmen, whose portrait Lucien painted.

His apartment in Lyon opened to a square. The square had sitting on it a church; it would have been a rather ordinary church if it did not house the most student artwork from the college in the town.

It was at that church where he met Raoul who later introduced him to the others. The rest of their history is of little consequence to anyone but those it involved. The reason of Lucien’s premature death began at the commencement of the term on the twenty-eighth of September in the year eighteen thirty-nine, which was the day the embodiment of his torment, first appeared. Lucien had just been given the honor of contributing to the collection of art at the church the day before.

Lucien made his pocket money at this time in the same way that he had always done. By painting portraits, no one elegant or anything like that mostly middle class who did not have access to cameras. Most people did not have access any way seeing as though cameras came into existence two years earlier. He set up a little studio in his apartment and received the sitters between two and six on Saturdays.

It was six o’clock when Desiree tapped on the door. As soon as Lucien answered the knock, she flounced in the entry hall.
“I’ve come to have my portrait painted.” She announced, the strange woman said this as though she were addressing a crowd with a proclamation.

Lucien was taken aback with the seemingly high-class lady who had come unescorted at night. He led her to his studio where he had all of his clients sit. The woman took in the room and twiddled her hair in a bored fashion. It was tied up in a bun but the strand that she played with came down to her back. He noticed that the woman did not walk but instead would strut around the room.

“Mademoiselle, I am able to paint you in your house. I do not actually have the subjects pose here.” Lucien informed the lady politely. Her back was turned towards him as she admired a half-finished painting but when addressed as 'mademoiselle', she pivoted and chortled in an amused manner.

“Are you sure that I am not married?” She twitted feinting that she was insulted.

“I only assumed that if you were married your husband would have scheduled an appointment.” Lucien retorted as he relit a wick that flickered out, the woman’s face became stony.

“You should not assume. Guessing will only cause you grief.” Lucien’s brow furrowed and he started to ask her what she meant. Assuming that it had a deeper meaning but he thought better of it.

Lucien dragged a sofa to the middle of the room he thought that the woman would be most comfortable sitting down. Lucien placed the sofa at the point in the room with the best lighting. He then prepared his easel. Lucien was particular about the way he set his supplies. He liked his materials to be in the order in which he puts them.

With everything in its place, he began the primary sketches. The lady kept silent as he drew for most of the time but as two hours passed, it became clear that she had lost interest in being closed mouthed.

“You are going to ask me my name, are you not?” She said when she could not control herself any longer, her large blue eyes gracefully resting on him.

Lucien laughed, with out breaking his train of thought continued to draw her. “You never expressed a wish to give it to me.” Lucien explained coyly. Trying to be difficult the woman in turn dropped her chin a little from where she had been holding it for the portrait.

“My name is Mademoiselle Desiree.” She replied curtly.

Desiree, the named suited her, for she had the most pleasing figure and face that Lucien had ever seen and as a painter of portraits, he had seen a great many. Lucien observed that she had perfect dimensions. Neither da Vinci nor Michelangelo could have dreamed a more perfect person.
She amused and annoyed him in a way that no one in his acquaintance had before, so when she finally left Lucien did not know what to make of it. He felt jumbled up inside like pottery shards at the bottom of a kiln, unsure how to feel. All Lucien knew was that he had two weeks to decide that was when Desiree said she would be back to check on her portrait. Lucien told her that he would bring the painting to her house but she insisted that she return to check on the progress.

Monday after classes, Lucien met up with the circle of friends at the Café Rosalind. They took their usual table near the front window of the café and Lucien, as was the last one to the table, pulled up an extra chair.
“So, are you working on the piece for the church Lucien?” Sebastien questioned offhandedly.
“No…truth be told I have not thought of it since I was chosen.” Lucien feeling guilty confessed to his friends. Raoul placed his hand on Lucien’s shoulder.
“You should not take this honor so lightly.” Raoul’s parental-like tones would have been completed only with a wagging finger.
“I know, Raoul, I know.” Lucien said hanging his head. “I should be…I must be open with you all. There is a lady…” Sebastien and Simon made exaggerated noises of realization.
“That explains it then!” Simon exclaimed throwing his hands in the air. Trying to look like an old man Simon
stuck his bottom lip out, and then he pulled his pants up and took Guillaume’s glasses. “You see here young men, is a perfect example of men being tackled away from his duties by…woman!”
“What’s the remedy Grandfather? Are we lost?” Sevy cried playing along with a look of anguish; he folded his hand imploringly in front of his chest. Grandfather Simon placed a fatherly hand on Sebastien’s shoulder mimicking Raoul’s gesture.
“I am afraid, son, that with people like this traitor on the field of battle that there can no victory for the industrious man.” Simon barked feinting angry tones and wagging his head ‘ashamed’ at Lucien.
Guillaume could barely choke out what he wanted to say. He did not laugh so much as normal people do but then he was younger than the rest of them. Simon suggested once that he was just shy. “So who is this mystery lady? Any one we know?”
Lucien could not explain the perfection’s of Desiree. Raoul would think that he was just amplifying her beauty. If only he could show them the primary sketches but that would break the confidence that he had with his costumer. He decided to describe Desiree the best that the vernacular could allow. Just as he suspected, they thought him blinded with love.
“I should leave.” Lucien sighed with a beaten down manner as he stood up slowly.
“We didn’t offend you, old boy?” Simon inquired his head following Lucien around the table.
“No, no not at all I must start on the piece for the church.” He explained when he reached the door. In the back of his mind, though he, in truth, hurt at their unbelief. Lucien went home and worked on Desiree’s portrait.
The night, that Desiree promised to return, to check up on Lucien’s progress finally arrived. Lucien had scrubbed the apartment, moved unneeded papers to boxes and out of site and placed a more palatable cover on the sofa. Lucien both prayed that she would notice the changed and hoped that she would not.
The hour long seconds that passed brought a new panic in Lucien. Pessimistic thoughts danced on his mind to a fast tune that he could not place, but he could hear the words. ‘She is not coming.’, ‘A lady like that would not lower herself to bother with someone like you.’ Then Desiree arrived.
“Lucien, my dear, how have you been?” Desiree greeted him expressing hasty familiarity that caught him off guard. He muttered that he was doing well enough. “And my painting? May I see it?”
Lucien as a rule did not allow the unfinished painting viewed by anyone other than himself but Desiree did not follow the norm. He led her by the elbow to his easel; Lucien completed it days ago and considered it the best that he had ever painted.
“Shall I cover my eyes, Lucien dear?” Desiree suggested squeezing his hand gently. Lucien’s heart froze in ecstasy; her hands were soft.
“Yes, you close them and I shall turn it around so you will have a surprise when you see it.” Lucien coaxed gently taking hold of her hands tenderly and placing them over her eyes. Then Lucien turned the painting over so the canvas faced them and they were able to see the picture. “Alright you may look now.”
The dissatisfied look on her face as she brought her hands down to her waist spoke volumes her visage said more than anyone else had told him in his life. Desiree did not turn her face away in disgust or try to mask it with a pleased smile. She simply starred at it with a look of utter disappointment.
“You don’t like it?” Lucien observed his fears shaping before his eyes; he was a failure.
“It does not resemble me at all. This cannot be my portrait.” Desiree exclaimed, expressing a fool’s hope that this was some other painting. “The lighting is all wrong. The proportions are revolting…this is a joke. Where is my painting?”
No imploring that she could muster would change the fact that this portrait was in fact hers. Lucien could not find anything shotty with the lighting or proportions. He went so far as to make her point them out to him, wishing he could see what she could.
Desiree posed for him again, or Desiree forced him to sketch her again.
Desiree left in silence and broke it only to inform Lucien that she would be back again in two weeks to check on him again.
Over the two weeks, he worked endlessly on her portrait breaking only to eat and go to class. Lucien considered the portrait perfect the night before the two weeks deadline.
Desiree again rejected the painting. Claiming that there were more faults with this portrait than the last one. She demanded to view the sketches maybe the errors originated there. Lucien began to wonder if he had done anything right in her eyes. She went away upset again; he would see her in two weeks time. Lucien hoped that a fortnight would be enough time for her to come to her senses.

This set a painful precedent for the next four months. Lucien stopped visiting his friends in November and did not return to school after the holidays. He worked solely on the portrait; he not only put his heart into it he poured out his soul. God knows that a man cannot live long with out a soul so He tried to intervene through Raoul.

On a morning in late January Lucien sot inspiration, so he went to the church across the square to find it. The church had many wonderfully good paintings that were deemed worthy enough to hang there. Raoul happened to be at the church praying for Lucien.

“Lucien!” Raoul exclaimed when he saw his clearly beaten friend. “Where have you been? I thought you were ill or something terrible. You look something terrible.”

“Oh, Raoul it is you?” Lucien quiried look through Raoul not really noticing that he was there. “I cannot do it. She simply asks too much of me.”

“Who? You cannot do what? Lucien…” Raoul cried becoming seriously disturbed by Lucien’s condition, considered calling a priest over to aide him.

“I must go back to Toulouse. I cannot stay here. Failure…complete failure.” Lucien ranted wringing his hands. “The painting I cannot get it right. She is killing me.”

“The woman?” Raoul said becoming more confused than ever.

“Raoul, sometimes…I think…that’s what she meant to happen all along. She wants me to paint my soul away. I love her.” Lucien confessed and staggered out of the church.

That night Desiree came to for the last time. Lucien no longer cared about the state of his apartments or the order of his brushes. He only wanted to see Desiree.

“Lucien, my love, you look pale. Are you ill?” She mentioned then kissed him after he claimed that he felt fine.

“Desiree, you are one fine piece of work. You know that?” Lucien meant to compliment her but it ended up sounding wrong. She smiled any way and leaned in to kiss him again when a pounding on the door called their attention.

“Lucien open the door, please. Simon is with me we want to see you.” Raoul’s voiced implored through the door.

After making sure, that Desiree had no objections to letting his friends visit he let them come in. Simon made a face at the mess that seemed to be over taking the rooms.

“Finally! You three will get to meet!” Lucien called jovially motioning his two friends in. “Desiree these are my school mates they…Desiree?”

Lucien entered the room in which he left Desiree in so he could answer the door but she was not there. He called for her a few more times exclaiming all the while that this was a very good joke but not the proper time. Raoul and Simon exchanged worried glances.

“Lucien, is this the marble you are using for the church sculpture?” Simon asked motioning towards a four-foot by three-foot object that a sheet concealed.

“Church sculpture…?” Lucien questioned confused. He never saw bulky object before.

“Do you mind if I…?” Raoul inquired as he reached up to remove the sheet.

“NO!” Lucien gnashed slapping away Raoul’s outstretched hand. “I must find Desiree she couldn’t have disappeared…people don’t disappear.”

“Lucien you are just embarrassed. Come now we are your friends.” Simon mused grabbing a hold of the sheet. Raoul’s eyes widened in realization and he desperately to put the sheet back on the statue it was in vain.

The statue was masterfully done with a classic Roman flavor to it. The woman had perfect proportions, long flowing hair that was tied up in a bun it looked long enough to reach her back. The statue’s eyes were large and softly looking down with a tender like gaze at whoever stood below her. Simon started to praise the piece but Raoul silenced him.

This cannot be…my…what is this? What happened to you?” Lucien spoke to the sculpture. Raoul saw that Lucien had gone insane. “Desiree …come back…I love you. I will die. I will die.”

Lucien sobbed embracing the marble woman and cried harder when she did not hold him back. Raoul tried to pry him off the statue to calm him down but before Raoul or Simon could get a hold on him, Lucien ran out of the house.

Raoul, Simon and the police found him a half hour later dead in the street. A carriage ran him over. The police questioned the driver about the accident.

“He just ran out in front of me. He was just fine walking down the road then he leaped in front of me. I swear.”

Witnesses told the officers later that the man who died was talking to himself. That he looked like he was dreaming, off in a dream talking to someone.

“How does a man go insane?” Guillaume asked his friends in the café.
“You make ‘insane’ sound like a place, Guillaume. Then again I suppose it might be in his mind.” Simon reflected mockingly putting his hand to his chin to act out deep thought.
“I do not think that Lucien went insane. I think he just left his sanity.” Sebastien sat back and remarked trying to join the conversation. “What do you think Raoul?”
Raoul did not say what he thought. He believed that insanity could be just an opinion. That in Lucien’s mind he was sane; he saw the woman did he not? Well…no Lucien was not insane he was still there with them before he died. Not all there but there just the same. Lucien was just dreaming.
Last edited by Je Suis INSANE on Wed Feb 01, 2006 2:35 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Je Suis INSANE on Fri Nov 11, 2005 8:18 am

No I mean seriously I need feed back.

I've been out of the writer's world for awhile and need to know if I should continue or not.

In this case no news isn't good news.

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Senor_Fun on Sat Nov 12, 2005 2:19 am

Some grammatical errors, although that's no real problem. The style is good, the shorter paragraphs allow for a precise verbiage that brings a contemporary realism to your flow. However, I would suggest breaking up the short, blunt paragraphs with a few more verbose, descriptive elements.

Dialouge needs a little work, I don't know many kids of those age who speak like that, although the cultural differences may account for that (although I've been to Europe, and the kids seem the same).

Polish up the mechanics in another copy or two and work on putting in a few of those stylistic elements I offered. Thematically, it's pretty solid, although lacking a clear direction-- although, that could be a motif in itself. Nice work, especially for one claiming to be out of it.

Keep writing, my advice.

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Je Suis INSANE on Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:23 am

I've been meaning to post the finished rough draft for a while now it was done in Novemberish (I think.) I know the ending is crap, but I haven't had time to work on it. (It's no excuse but I can't think of anything better to explain why I haven't finished it yet.)

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby miyumi on Mon Jan 30, 2006 9:11 pm


I'll comment after I can actually read it...

See, the paragraphs being run together like that, no indents, no extra space between, make it a solid wall of text on the left. To me, the point of paragraphs is to break up that solid wall to the left, and make reference points so I don't loose my place when I'm scanning the line. With that solid wall, when I go back I have to read four or five lines to figure out where the next line starts, or go to the back and do it that way... either way, it breaks up the story into a bunch of lines which aren't connected in my mind anymore. Connecting them gives me a headache.

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Je Suis INSANE on Wed Feb 01, 2006 2:25 pm

Oops. That was because I copy and pasted it.

Thank you so much. That looked like...oh editor's worst nightmare sort of thing.

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby miyumi on Fri Feb 03, 2006 3:25 pm

Indeed. It looks much better, but it's still a little clustery... but good enough for me to edit.

I must say that your writing style is just awesome! A little work on the dialogue, definitely, but other than that... well, I hope I can write like that! The only thing I'm going to go through step-by-step are grammatical problems. I've put your portion in bold, and then my suggestion, with the change in bold. Since your paragraphs are still not completely broken up, I'm not even going to try counting them to tell you where the sentance is... I'll just hope you know what you wrote where.

All Lucien knew was that he had two weeks to decide that was when Desiree said she would be back to check on her portrait.

Grammar: Is it supposed to be "two weeks to decide; that was when"

Lucien both prayed that she would notice the changed and hoped that she would not.

Typo?: "changes"

Lucien coaxed gently taking hold of her hands tenderly and placing them over her eyes.

Grammar, "coaxed, gently taking"

On a morning in late January Lucien sot inspiration

Word choice: sot is an adjective used to describe a person. "That was a lonely sot of a man." You are looking for sought. "I found the paper that I sought under the chair."

He never saw bulky object before.

Grammar: Maybe, "He never saw that bulky object before." "the" would also work.

Then again I suppose it might be in his mind.

Grammar: "Then again, I suppose it might be"

All in all, it's a great story, and I really like it. I agree with senor_fun, keep writing!

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