WHISPER YOUR NAME INTO MY HEART (7)

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Chapitre VII ~ LES ACOLYTES

(The Devoted Attendants)

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rotocol on behalf of my Wedding Entourage is left to Etienne the young Captain of Our Guard.  Etienne is officially chagrined because I, Giselle, a daughter of the King do not properly represent the King.  And yet I carry Etienne’s yearning eye as I ride away.  Chanson my beloved horse needs no urging to pursue poor Magge into the Monastery courtyard.  The four acolytes who had been signified by the commanding finger of the Thirteenth Monk lead poor Magge away.  Together we arrive at the Infirmary which is a separate house.

        The acolytes gently dismount Magge from her horse.  A tear is forged by me for each of poor Magge’s sharp inhalations.  As they lead her inside they remove from her the hooded cloak that is heavy with dampness.   Revealed on the back of her garments is a dark cloud of stain.  The wounds from her whipping are exhaling her very life.

        With shocking boldness the four acolytes do conspire and then do remove all of Magge’s attire.  She is being held naked and barely conscious next to a stone pool of gently steaming liquid.  There must be a furnace below or within the stone.  The acolytes remove their own clothing while balancing Magge in a skillful ballet.   They step into the pool, lowering Magge in a cruciform pose.  Magge starts with a gasp as the warm unctuous water slowly submerges her body up to her neck.  Her eyes are rolling now and do not seem to focus.  Her eyelids descend slowly as my own eyes yet widen in anguish for her.

        The acolyte who steadies Magge’s head against his shoulder and cheek speaks to me soothingly, saying ~ These waters are a medicinal concoction.  They extinguish putrefaction and bind the skin. ~

        Another, younger, acolyte is steadying Magge’s legs and he speaks enthusiastically, saying to me ~ These waters also preserve the dead for burial. ~

        The first acolyte glances at me and then he glares at the younger acolyte and he hisses, saying, ~ You mean for Resurrection, Quattuor!  I am sorry Your Highness.  Quattuor is young and yet unenlightened.  Your Highness, I am Tredecim, and we are all servants to The Incorruptibles, servants to Your Highness, and servants to God. ~

        Quattuor, whose pride is now injured, speaks, saying, ~ But servants to Tredecim first of all! ~

        They laugh gently at Tredecim’s predicament.  I speak to them, saying, ~ Are all of you named as Latin numbers? ~

        They all nod and mumble affirmatively, saying, ~ It is a Rite of Humility, Your Highness. ~

        The acolyte at Magge’s left hand speaks, saying, ~ I am Duae. ~

        The acolyte at Magge’s right hand speaks, saying, ~ I am Sedecim. ~

        I now watch Magge’s face slowly transforming from death mask to sleeping maiden as her body imbibes the warm medicinal bath.  For the first time since her excoriation I have a whisper of hope for Magge.

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WHISPER YOUR NAME INTO MY HEART (6)

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Chapitre VI ~ LE TREIZIÈME MOINE

(The Thirteenth Monk)

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H - RESIZE1 - 500eartsick am I, Giselle, the fourth daughter of the undisputed King of France my father, when my inferior wedding entourage arrives at Le Monastère de l’Incorruptables.  Magge raises her pallid face and her watery eyes embrace the graveyard beyond.   Terror impales my heart as with ghastly optimism I whisper, saying, ~ Defend your faith, Magge.  The Incorruptables will intervene for you ~

        Etienne, the young Captain of Our Guard, rides around the wedding entourage, guiding the straightening of the ranks.  He smiles encouragement to Magge and then he salutes me, gazing into my eyes longer than protocole allows.  Etienne finally assumes the point of the spear.

        The Incorruptables stand outside the Monastery gates, bearing a solemn monolithic greeting.  They include twelve monks in hooded robes of dark vermillion, each of these with a golden sash.  A thirteenth monk, in the center, wears a hooded robe of violet with a vermillion sash.  Each of them has a young man in attendance who wears a coarse loose chemise and a cullote of white.  Only that thirteenth monk speaks, and smiling with ceremonial ennui, says ~ Deus nobis arridet. ~

        I reply, to the gasps of the wedding entourage, ~ Yes, God may smile on all of us, but can he stop smiling long enough to tend mercy unto Magge? ~

        The thirteenth monk is taken aback for a moment because I know Latin.  Magge taught me well.  Yet the thirteenth monk is not offended by my request.  His eyes hold me and then they follow my trembling finger toward Magge’s apparition.

        At once, the thirteenth monk mutters and snaps his finger, pointing to Magge.  Four of the attending young men hurry toward Magge’s horse and lead her into the Monastery courtyard ahead of all of us.

        To that thirteenth monk I speak, saying, ~Mihi complacui. Benedic vobis.

        The thirteenth monk replies, saying, ~ Thank you, your highness.  I am well pleased with you, too, your highness ~

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WHISPER YOUR NAME INTO MY HEART (5)

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Chapitre V ~ Le Grand Guerrier (The Great Warrior)

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chapter 5 O - resize 500ur pathetic royal wedding entourage trudges through the forest.  It has been raining.  Magge rides her horse beside mine.  Pale and feverish, she remains hooded like grim death in those damp riding clothes.  Le Capitaine de Notre Garde rides back beside Magge and looks at her.  Magge forces herself up straight and offers a pained grin.  She is transparent with illness.  The Captain Of Our Guard looks to me questioningly.

          He is young and awkward.  To me it occurs that my wedding entourage is but a minor assignment that has been given to a new recruit.  I speak too sharply, saying ~ How do you like being Le Capitaine de Notre Garde thus far? ~

          He furrows his brow in embarrassment at my tone.  He looks at the tear~shaped ~6~ I have carved under my eye in protest of Magge’s six lashings.  He says to me, ~ How do you like being a Princess thus far? ~

          So, my situation is well known.  He does not look away.  He says to me, now kindly, ~ I am Etienne, your highness.  They were unfairly harsh to your tutor ~

          I reply bitterly, ~ Yes.  We make up civilization as we go along. ~

          Etienne offers softly, ~ It will not be much farther to Le Monastère de l’Incorruptables ~

          I am not comforted.  I am to reside in the Monastery of the Incorruptibles where the barbarian Hrolf The Walker will convert to Christianity.  Then Hrolf and I are to be married as a political bargain.  In the meantime, I am to be instructed in the Ways of Men by the monks of the abbey.

          Suddenly a figure emerges from the forest and waddles hastily towards us.  Startled, I do see that it is a deformed old woman.  Her nest of hair holds a twisted face that looks as if it has been cooked twice.  She bears only one eye in the center of her forehead.  She is clothed in bark that she must have stitched with her own hair as thread.

          The old woman grins crookedly and claps her hands and cries, ~ Le Grand Guerrier! The Great Warrior! ~

          The mounted guards reel toward her with their swords drawn.

          I cry, ~ Stop! ~

          Etienne yells, ~ Stay your swords! ~

          The old woman now dances, saying, ~ The Great Warrior! The Great Warrior! ~

          The mounted guards halt and glance back at Etienne.  He glances at me and he nervously clears his throat and then commands, ~ Give her food and leave her be.~

          I watch Etienne sit up proudly and ride back to his position in the entourage.

          And yet have I the feeling that the poor old witch was speaking to me.

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WHISPER YOUR NAME INTO MY HEART (4)

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Chapitre IV ~ CHANSON (Song)

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When Magge has been whipped so cruelly for my insolence I have no one to turn toward.  The Doctor and my three sisters have placed Magge’s mutilated body upon my bed.  I cannot face myself as the perpetrator of her suffering so I flee from my chambers.  I find myself fallen in the stables where I cry.  My tears mix hideously with Magge’s blood on my face and the bloody ~ 6 ~ that I have carved under my eye for the six blows of The Demon’s Tail that Magge has borne in my stead.

          Suddenly there is a snorting sound beside me.  It is Chanson my beloved horse.  He has broken free and he has come to me.  He stamps his foot.  He is upset because he has seen that I am crying blood.

I cry saying ~ Oh, my Chanson, I have brought terrible suffering upon someone that we both love. ~

He lowers his head and he nuzzles me but he is afraid.  He doesn’t understand so he breathes rapidly.  I gesture saying ~ I have caused the whip, the Demon’s Tail, to fall upon poor Magge. ~

Chanson bares his teeth and he rears snorting.  He remembers the whip.  He bucks several times and then returns and he nuzzles me.

I cry hard saying ~ Find me forgiveness, Chanson, find me forgiveness! ~

Chanson leans hard against my cheek and he rubs up and down.  My God, there are tears falling upon me from his eye!

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WHISPER YOUR NAME INTO MY HEART (3)

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Chapitre III ~ Coups De La Queue Du Démon (Blows of the Demon’s Tail)

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A s punishment for my insolence in the council chambers of the King my father, the Queen my mother has ordered the whipping of Magge my nurse my tutor my confidant.  In front of my eyes are two soldiers, one on each side of Magge, holding her erect with her arms pulled tautly outstretched.  She is stripped naked and stands in a pile of straw within my own bed chamber.

        The King my father and the Queen my mother and Mafeo The Motherfucker watch as the Executioner prepares to flex The Demon’s Tail down upon poor Magge.  A third soldier restrains me as I scream saying ~ No, no, no, no, no!~

        With that first stroke The Demon’s Tail pops like a giant ember and Magge screams and I scream with her.  Her innocent blood sprays onto the straw at her feet.

        With that second stroke Magge screams through bravely clenched teeth and she shudders.  I hear myself wailing.

        With that third stroke there is a snake of blood crawling down her bare leg.  Magge’s head falls forward onto her breast and she is limp.  The two soldiers hold her still erect like a crucified doll.  Should I thank the Devil that she is fainted?

        With that fourth stroke her excoriated flesh shakes but she only moans in delirium.  A second snake of blood joins the first in a pool on the straw at her feet.

        With that fifth stroke her unconscious body convulses in animal resistance and she makes an unearthly howling sound.

        With that sixth stroke there is a bursting halo of bloody spray that strikes us all.  The King my father says ~ Enough! ~

        The soldiers let Magge collapse face~down.  Her six bloody slashes pulse and disgorge a bloody tide that the straw cannot devour.  I am released by the soldier and I throw myself beside Magge and I kiss her face.  I become bloody.  The Queen my mother unto me sternly says ~ I only hope you have learned your lesson. ~

        I clench an imaginary sword and to them I say ~ Someday I will recite this lesson to all of you! ~

        As the King my father and the Queen my mother turn away and leave with their soldiers, Mafeo looks back at me and I swear I see a glimmer of sadness in his eye.

        Magge moans and I fall back to her and I clutch her hand and I say into her face through scalding tears ~ I am sorry, I am sorry, I am sorry! ~

        Magge opens her eye and whispers to me, saying ~ I am sorry, I am sorry, I am sorry. ~

        My three sisters and the Physician enter my bed chamber and immediately drop to their knees and tend to Magge.  With a whisper my eldest sister Héloïse says ~ Mafeo told us to come.~

        I stand myself back up above them and see my defaced image in the far mirror.  Unnoticed I take a razor from the Physician’s open bag.  I go to the mirror and I am talking to myself saying ~ Six lashes they were forbidden by royal convenience to give unto you?  They shall not look again upon you without seeing their injustice! ~

        Under my left eye I begin to cut with the surgical razor.  I end having a number ~ 6 ~ carved like a tear for the six lashes of injustice suffered by Magge.

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WHISPER YOUR NAME INTO MY HEART (1)

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Chapitre I ~ Journées Indésirables (Undesirable Days)

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     chapter 1 whisper- crop1      am called Giselle, fourth daughter of the undisputed King of France.  Of age I am fifteen years.  This day I am pledged in marriage to Hrolf, The Walker.  Rather would I journey directly from my window down onto the stones of the courtyard far below.

        Magge is my nurse and my tutor, my confidant, and to me she is as a mother.  For my birth-mother, the Queen, conjoins the King, my father, only in ambition.  Magge teaches me to read Holy Scripture.  Secretly she teaches me to write.  She teaches me the Secret Places of women so that I might instruct a husband.

        This day Magge weeps.  She tells me that Hrolf is called The Walker because he is a warrior so immense that some horses cannot carry him.  She weeps that he will split me like a log.

        Magge’s tears fall upon my bare neck.  She embraces me and kisses where her tears are fallen.  She fears to soil my dressing gown so gently she slides it from my shoulders.  She grasps under my arms to guide the gay cotton slowly over my breasts.  Her thumbs pause at my nipples and there she bows forward and she fastens her lips so soft and warm and moist.  I tremble as always I do.  Her gentle hands guide my dressing gown down from under my breasts to below my purse.  My dressing gown therefrom descends in a halo around my bare feet.  She opens my purse with caressing thumbs.  She kneels down before me and kisses my open purse and reaches inside with her tongue to polish my sacred pearls.

        I swoon onto the bed dancing for Saint Vitus.

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