The Dazzling Tower

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Lucette attends a x-mas eve ball where she meets Basile Girard a seemingly charming man but the fabulous night turns ugly.

Submitted: July 29, 2011

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Submitted: July 29, 2011

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Paris: Girard Mansion December 24, 1900

The night was relatively warm considering it was Christmas Eve. I was standing on my balcony in my rented room in the mansion. The annual Girard Christmas Eve ball was being setup downstairs in the ballroom with three hours left till it would start. I returned to the bedroom and plopped down in the overstuffed easy chair by the window and picked up Love and Mr. Lewisham by H.G. Wells. He was known mostly for science fiction books, which I did not care for, but my mother insisted that it involved politics, my favorite subject. The book was engrossing. Mr. Lewisham decides to give up on becoming famous and became a socialist involved in spiritualism. I read till I finished the book and closed the cover with a satisfied sigh. I glanced at the clock and saw the big hand on the ten. I had ten minutes to prepare for the ball that began at eight! I threw on my lilac ball gown that my mother said complimented my fair skin; I put my more brown than blonde hair into a messy chignon and then remembered that the ball was supposed to help me find a husband, so I took it down and put it up nicely. I rushed out of my room and into the hall. I slowed down and started to think about the ball. It was essentially held to celebrate Christmas but it was also so the Girard’s youngest son, Basile, could potentially find a wife. He is the same age as me, twenty one, and is very handsome, raven hair with emerald eyes. I had never met him but his friends and family say he is very nice. I ascended the stairs but my dress was slightly too long and I tripped on the hem. A few party goers looked over but none proceeded to help me up. I rose on my own and walked, carefully, down the rest of the stairs with finesse. The ballroom was decorated in silvers, golds, reds, and greens. A huge, elegant Christmas treewas in the center of the room, stealing the scene. All in all, the ballroom was beautiful.

I searched the ballroom for a dance partner but none of the men wanted to dance. I would have been insulted if several other women were not doing the same thing. Dejected, I retreated to the garden. The night had cooled slightly but it did not bother me. I was straining my eyes to admire a rose in the dim light of the moon when the doors to the ballroom opened and closed. I assumed an unfortunate position behind the bush to see who had joined me. At first all I heard was their feet on the grass, and then they moved into the moonlight; I realized it was Basile. He appeared to be distress. I wanted to know what troubled him but I was afraid I would startle him. My legs were beginning to cramp from squatting and I fell into the bush, cutting my forehead in the process, it was bleeding, unfortunately.

Basile exclaimed in an alarmed voice “Qui est là?! Who is there?!” I stood up shamefully, though I was not sure why. I had done nothing wrong but hide from Basile. He was squinting in the dark to see if he knew me, nothing. “Who are you,” he said in a charming voice when he noticed that I was a lady.

“I’m Lucette Martin, sir.” He strained to think if he knew that name but came up blank. To clear things up I said, “We had never met but my mother knows your parents,” that seemed to ease him slightly. I smiled and walked towards him. We were finally face to face, actually face to neck but that’s a trivial detail. He smiled down at me which caused me to blush but in the dark he thankfully could not tell. He reached for my right hand and brought it to his lips. I giggled faintly but stifled it with my left hand.

The he asked, “Why are you out here?”

“I replied bashfully, “Nobody wanted to dance so I came out here to admire what I could see of the flowers.”

He chuckled, “Men can be very shy sometimes, especially around a beautiful woman like yourself.” I blushed deeply. Still holding my hand he dabbed at the cut with his hankerchief until it ceased bleeding and then heled me back into the ballroom and we waltzed. Most of the women were obviously jealous, which made me happy. People were finally envious of me! The music stopped and we stopped dancing, he was still smiling at me. He leaned over and whispered in my ear, “Meet me in my room at midnight,” he said with a playful smirk. He told me where it was and went to find another dance partner. I was so excited, I could barely contain myself. I snacked on the food, drank a little, and danced with various partners that I cannot remember their names or faces. Finally the ball was over and some guest went home while others, like me, retired to their rented guest room in the mansion.

Midnight was almost here, five minutes till. I opened my door and looked both ways down the hall. When I was certain no one was coming I bolted out the door to Basile’s room. I found it without much trouble, before knocking; I checked my new pale pink dress and hair. When everything was in order I knocked.

Not a minute passed when he opened the door. “Lucette come in,” he said slightly too loud. Basile looked the same as he did at the party, but more tired and his clothes were wrinkled. I dismissed it and sat on the cream couch in the center of the large room that Basile gestured to. I was admiring the view of Paris from the couch when Basile brought champagne over. The bubbles tickled my nose making me giggle which made Basile laugh.

We made small talk for a while a frisky voice radiated from I’m assuming the bedroom, “Basile, when are you coming back? We’re not done yet are we?” Basile blanched and ensued to the room and disappeared behind the door.

Hot tears swelled in my eyes, “How could I have been so stupid,” I thought. Then I observed a flash come from the coffee table and saw a letter opener. In my fury I picked it up and hid it behind my back. Basile returned with a sheepish smile plastered on his face. He opened his mouth to explain but I was in no mood; so without thinking, I took the knife and plunged it into Basile’s heart, killing him instantly.

The once pure couch was now splattered with blood and so was my dress and hands. I soon realized what I had done and whispered, “I killed Basile Girard.” Tears fell from my eyes but I did not wipe them because of the blood on my hands. I needed air! I burst through the doors to the balcony and took a deep breath. The cold air burned in my lungs. I looked up at the sea of stars and asked, “How could this night start so beautifully but end so horrifically?” With that I got up on the balcony edge by holding on to a nearby plant.

I looked down, “High enough to die quickly,” I thought mournfully. The cut on my forehead bled again, streaking the left side of my face with blood until it reached my chin where the bloody tear fell to the distant ground. Ignoring the blood, I released the plant and took flight into the cool night. The last thing I saw before being engulfed by death was the dazzling lights of the Eiffel Tower off in the distance.


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