Four writers for the price of one blog
“Madame.” The maid curtsies. “Monsieur Laval de Piquot.”
“What of the fard?” Madame Pierrette du Châtelet sighs. “Do you bring the fard yet?”
“No Madame,” the petite maid bites her lip. “Monsieur Lablat requests your patience. The quality of the honey brought to him–”
“Tell him I care not where the bee sucks! I lose patience!”
“Then why do you wait?”
“Madame. Monsieur Piquot. He declaims much upon his horse.”
“I am sure it concerns me not.”
“Of course, Madame.”
“And now, Lisette, why do you wait?”
“Madame, your bustier.”
“And why should I lace my bustier in the knowledge that it shall soon be unlaced?” The young maid blushes and curtsies. The soft scuffing heels of her slippers echo from the tall hallway. Doors open and her own light footsteps are joined by M. Piquot’s. “Ah, Monsieur Piquot. You were expected an hour ago.”
“I have been detained by a most delightful preparation.” Piquot absentmindedly straightens his powder blue frock coat. He crosses the short distance to M. du Châtelet and falls to both knees. The fine powder of his wig dusts his shoulders.
The young maid curtsies, uncertainly.
Her mistress has not excused her. She backs against the thick velvet arras that is the fourth wall of the room. The two halves of the arras met just where she stands. If she backs just a little further, she can vanish through the safety of the thick fabric. She waits for the merest glance.
“Why do you kneel?” M. du Châtelet asks.
“I have prepared.”
“Indeed,” M. du Châtelet smiles. “Stand again and I will aid in your preparation. A little suck and–“
“Madame, if you will but attend –“
“A villanelle, Madame, they are the rage. If you will –”
“Piquot, will you be long?”
“Nay Madame, I will be short.”
M. du Châtelet stares at her paramour momentarily. “Proceed.”
“Yes Madame. My hoarse cries –“
“Your horse, Piquot?”
“Yes, your horse. You said, my horse.”
“I said ‘hoarse’.”
“I care not for your horse, your carriage nor the coachman – ”
“Madame, if I may proceed?”
“Lissette, do you sneeze?”
“No, Madame. Madame, pardone!” The girl tries not to bat at the hands behind her, holding her hips through the arras.
“My hoarse cries but for your love –”
“I like not your horse!”
“Nay Madame, I but cry for your love.”
“And also your horse?”
“Hoarse – ”
“Piquot, why do you repeat me?”
“I do not, Madame!”
“Nay, but you do! Your horse, Piquot, your horse cries for my love. I hear you say so. Your horse cries for my love.”
“Pray, Madame, allow me but to pro – ”
“Lisette! You sneeze again! Have you allergy to Monsieur Piquot’s vanilla?”
“Villanelle Madame –” Piquot interjects.
“Madam, I – ”
“Why do you stand thus? Straighten! Mind your posture, Lisette!”
“He pierces me, Madame!” She holds her breath as though she had been pinched. Her knees lock together and she presses her hands to her belly.
“Pray, Lisette, does one line from Piquot’s poem so deeply affect you?”
“With a single stroke?”
“Yes, Madame, and very long!”
“You are ill-behaved, Lisette. Do straighten! Your posture is unseemly!”
“Yes, Madame.” The young maid straightens though her slender back remains arched.
“Madame,” interrupted Piquot. “If I may amend–”
“Yes, Piquot, amend.”
“They’re hoarse but with cries of love –”
“Piquot, you say ‘their horse’.”
“I say ‘they’re’ – ”
“Madame!” – the slight maid interrupts. “If the Madame would permit – ”
“I permit nothing! You are impertinent, Lisette! And have you forgotten how to curtsy when you address?”
“Madame, I am hooked.”
“Piquot reads but a single line, thus amended, and you are hooked?”
“Nay, Madame, from behind!”
“Lisette! But one line? You are hooked but you fall behind? You are nonsensical! What shall I do with you? You are impertinent! You shall remain there all the day and you shall not move!”
“But Madame!” the girl pleads.
“Lisette! What has gotten into you?”
“Naught yet if you but permit me to move!”
“Madame,” says Monsieur Piquot, “I think you do misapprehend – ”
“The horse again, Piquot?”
“Nay Madame, the girl, you’re maid, I do believe –”
“Oh Madame –” The young maid shudders and her eyes roll.
“You swoon, Lisette?”
“Madame, I am pierced. I am defenseless. He fills me.”
“Lisette, you are red as a beet and your thighs drip. Do you urinate?”
“I am taken, Madame.”
“Madame, please but allow me; I will explain –” M. Piquot interjects.
“Madame,” interrupts the girl hoarsely and red-faced. She curtsies now, hands knit at her belly. After she has curtsied, she reaches behind her to push her short skirt back down. “Monsieur Lablat.”
“Madame.” The tall and handsome apothecary steps through the arras and out from behind the maid. “Your fard, Madame.”
“Ah,” says Madame du Châtelet.
“I have procured a most delightful source of honey.”
“Then I am assured there will be no more delays Monsieur Lablat?”
“The hive is most youthful and even now pollinates, Madame; and promises to be moist and most fecund with honey.”
The girl bites her lips as the apothecary speaks.
“You may put the fard on my coiffeuse, Monsieur Lablat.”
“Of course, Madame.” The tall youth, with exaggerated flourish, crosses the room and places the fard on the Madame’s coiffeuse. As he leaves, he pauses before the young maid. He smiles. He presses his thumb gently at her lower lip as she gazes up at him. “I will assure your madame that your service to me is most exquisite.” The girl, still gazing up at him, curtsies and blushes. Then he presses his thumb between her lips and they close roundly about it. When he withdraws his thumb, her young lips part and her tongue follows. A pearling string saliva follows the pad of his finger until it breaks and moistens her chin. “You are moist above and below.” The girl blushes. He smiles. “I will inform the Madame that I will require your regular assistance in the production of the Madame’s fard.” The young maid curtsies again.
“You are most familiar with my maid, Sir,” says Madame du Châtelet.
“I am a man of means.”
“Do you propose, Monsieur Lablat?”
The youth bows deeply. “I am,” he pauses, “in need of such services as this maid will provide.” He smiles, sniffs his kerchief, and leaves.
“A course most strange, Piquot.”
“Yes, Piquot, your horse.”
“Madame, perhaps it were better we meet upon a ground more suitable to discourse.”
“Then, Madame, you are made aware that the English astronomer Herschel, Sir William Herschel, has discovered a seventh planet?”
“I am not, Piquot. How has he named it?”
“Madame, after Uranus.”