Viva la France.

“Mesdames et Messieurs, and those in between, welcome. We are in for a busy time I’m assured by my friend who is an acquaintance of Robbie. I suggest you get your plains and pearls in good order as you will not want to bring undue attention to yourselves during the separations. So, I suggest you cultivate a guarded excitement.”

The meeting was a gathering of expert knitters and the would-be accomplished, to ensure they were in position to get the most out of the revolution. This soon to be change, they were told, would elevate them to a more equal status in this land of suspect plumbing. There’s nothing like a severed head to convince all and sundry, that someone is meaning business. Being splattered with the blood of the gentry was considered an added bonus, hence the desire to be at the forefront in the changing of people’s minds.

Knitting was considered to belong in the lower strata of society, whereas, needlework the upper, as only they could afford the spectacles to augment their quickly failing eyesight from the close scrutiny required to perform the miniature stitches and compositions.

“Messieurs, on the days of our viewing and support, I suggest you adopt a less flamboyant manner of dress and remain as nondescript as possible. I mean, we don’t want to be losing our members to the scaffold. 

Mesdames, I think you will have less to be concerned about as our status in society is one step up from the slave which we are also endeavouring to change in this particular evolution. I’m not sure whether it will give the slave equal status with us, if so, hard luck, welcome to a life of drudgery and  unclad posteriors for convenience.”

The speaker was a leading but circumspect advocate for the elevation of the ordinary citizen into the position of giving illusory substance to the way their country was run. She could be heard during rousing speeches of others regarding equality, and liberty to mutter, “hear, hear” from behind a concealing fan. Unnecessarily exposing one’s arse during heightened periods of emotion and upheaval was definitely non-survival. Apologies to relatives of mistakes made at a later time very seldom balanced the books. 

The leader of the knitting circle had been christened Marie Antoinette, but she quickly dropped her middle name when she saw which way the wind was blowing, for Juliette. She had an inventive mind and devised a light-weight collapsible chair of steel rods and canvas which she sold to the knitting class as a suitable, portable and comfortable seating arrangement to witness the heads falling into the baskets. 

The members weren’t blood-thirsty, they said, but wanted to see democracy ushered in speedily by way of virtuous-terror. One cannot make, they also said, tasty soup and delightful ‘Aliments de France, without torturing geese and slaughtering animals. So, viva la neck-chopping.

The impending revolution was likely to be a lengthy one and the knitters were encouraged to gather up and spin as much wool as possible before being called to witnessing duty.

Many sheep could be seen as having had clumps of their fleece removed before the farmers had a chance to ‘disrobe’ the sheep in a more decorous manner. However, makeshift spinning wheels could be heard to turn in impatient feral households. By the time the first head was loosened, the knitters had more balls than a football fan-club. They looked to a lubricious and arousing future with restrained avidity.

Introducing a new member, Marie 'Juliette became ncharacteristically speechless as she did her best to welcome him into the knitting circle. Antoine Piaff was a very tall and striking man and Marie ‘Juliette’ fell in love with him in an instant. So personable was he, that when he confessed that he wasn’t a knitter himself they didn’t mind. He did add that some of his best friends had heard of the skill. The members voted to let him join as an honorary knitter and get a choice position to watch the leavening of a society.  They said they needed his sketches to record this revolutionary transition to a greater democracy. He was advised, however, not to make use of the collapsible chair of Marie ‘Juliette’ as his head might be seen as a desirable one for removal so tall, was he. Everyone should be as an ordinary citizen height and not stand out in an ‘Egalite, fraternite, liberte, society that was in the offing.

Unbeknownst to the fraternity of knitters, they now had among them a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing.’ Although having an impeccable command of the French language due to French governesses, the ‘Wolf’ preferred the name of the ‘Scarlet Pimpernel.’ Belonging to the ‘Upperclass’ of English society, he thought he could push back the tide of resentment toward the French Aristocracy, but as it turned out, he was ‘shit out of luck.’ However, he was able to benefit from his extremely erotic association with Marie ‘Juliette.’ Like the British, the French lower classes suffered the privations of the inadequate distribution of resources, but were much more liberated in the bedroom.

Marie ‘Juliette’ was a tiger between the sheets, the floor, the garden and even among the myriad of saucepans and dishes that are used to make up French cuisine. Antoine lost the pulpy fleshy texture of the British upper-class and chiselled his body down to a magnificent loving machine. His artistic talents were allowed to lie fallow whilst he indulged in this French corner of sexual accomplishments which they are famous for. It was fortunate indeed that Marie ‘Juliette’ was as infertile as a eunuch as she frequently commented to her beloved this fact between bouts of heroic frenzy. 

During one particularly spirited coupling, he confessed that he was English and this brought the righteous session to a close because of the laughter emanating from Marie ‘Juliette.’ She thought the proposition that an Englishman could embrace any sexual experience unless being pissed out of his brain, or he indulged in the Anglo technique of ‘Bam, bam, thank you, Mam.’

Antoine, the once ‘Scarlet Pimpernel,’ and Marie Juliette completely missed the revolution as they were elsewhere and otherwise engaged. The knitting club made the mistake of sending their wool to a wool processor who dyed the wool a ‘Royal Blue’ and they were picked up by Robespierre's men as Royal sympathisers and guillotined. 

August 22, 2020 05:46

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Dan Willmot
04:35 Sep 03, 2020

This is a great take on the prompt, I always love to read stories when real events are at the centre of the story. The ending was rather entertaining too, an unexpected twist that I found very enjoyable. If you ever got the opportunity I definitely think this story would do well being extended with more detail.


Len Mooring
01:18 Sep 30, 2020

Thanks, Dan. I'm a bit tardy in responding to your nice comments, but they are appreciated. What an era that was. The British royals had a lucky escape, bugger it.


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Maya W.
23:29 Aug 29, 2020

Nice story! I loved this take on the prompt! Would you mind checking out some more of my stories here? Thanks!


Len Mooring
01:20 Sep 30, 2020

Thanks Maya. Yes, I hop over to yours. Brings a new slant to 'I'll show you mine if you show me yours.


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