Le Rasoir Argent


Click the pic for the original challenge. Written for Ermilia’s Picture It & Write.

Yvette Duvalier strolled peacefully between the narrow rows of small grey houses toward Rue Principale. The brick borders of their frames and doors were as grey as the plaster. The avenue was quiet and empty in the dim early morning light. Roofs were all nestled tenderly under a blanket of fog, as peaceful as Yvette’s mood. She was humming happily to herself and the pleasant lilt of her voice carried on the cool, still air. The sidewalk clay was hard under her feet, thirsty for autumn’s rains after a long summer.

She turned onto Rue Principale and stopped to stare in the window of the hair dresser’s shop on the corner. The owner had just put in one of the large, clear windows becoming more and more popular in store fronts. A display case behind it showed off all the popular fashion on plaster busts. Yvette’s attention was devoted to a styled chignon with ringlets on the back and sides. The proprietor smiled at her, busying himself with the arrangement in preparation for the day’s business. He pointed out with a nod the sale price for the one she was admiring. Monsieur Duvalier serait adorer! she thought as she smiled back with a slight curtsy.

The light from the store cast her reflection upon the glass and she stepped back to take it in. She wore a dark brown dress, with yellow lapel trimming a white, ruffled-lace chemise. Her blonde tresses curled naturally, and they would fit such a hairstyle perfectly. She would be ever so beautiful, but it was the reflection of her pregnant tummy she beamed at with pride.

She was about fourteen weeks and the stretching pot beneath her dress showed clearly when she turned to the side to model it. Her smile broadened as she ran her hands across her tummy, pushing it out further to help her imagine. Her husband, Michel, would be so proud when the baby was born. Soon, she would be feeling him kick; she was sure he was a boy. Michel was not so sure, but sometimes a mother knows.

Still cradling the baby in her womb, she glanced up the street. It was only a few feet to the small black-roofed station where the horse-drawn carriage to Paris would be arriving soon. The benches were empty. She heard the sound of running feet on the stone-paved streets behind her as she started to turn toward the station, where she would sit and wait for the carriage to come.

There was a sharp, sudden pain in her middle, and she looked down in surprise. A flash of something shiny protruded from her stomach and then it was gone. Yvette watched in open-mouthed shock as one of her fingers fell to the stones below. There were more footsteps, running away now. She held her hand up to stare in disbelief at the place where her finger should have been. Blood poured down the front of her dress. She fell to her knees and clutched her stomach.

“Mon bébé!” she shrieked.

The proprietor had seen what happened and came running from the store, shouting after Yvette’s assailant. “Sale bête! Sale bête!” he cried out, racing to Yvette’s aid. “Avec Dieu pour son témoin!”

Yvette knelt trembling with her hands still clutching at the blood that would not stop. “Mon bébé,” she cried softly.

The shopkeeper came to her side and knelt next to her, still yelling angrily back up the avenue. There was nothing else he could do, so he yelled.. His voice faded away in the fog, and Yvette couldn’t hear it anymore.

© 2013 Anne Schilde

About Anne Schilde

Image "Webster's Kiss" © 2011 Anne Schilde Thanks always for reading! ♥
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37 Responses to Le Rasoir Argent

  1. joetwo says:

    How random and horrific. The image of the shopkeeper yelling as he can’t do anything else.

    • Anne Schilde says:

      It’s so strange because what I remember him yelling in my dream and what I knew he meant were two different things. It would have been more like, “Animal! Filthy pig! With God watching you!” if he said it in English. But it implied that God would judge him and it sounded more like what I wrote.

  2. Ermilia says:

    Traumatic ending. I like that it was unexpected but it makes it so tragic. Although, I’m curious as to what sliced through her? The French sprinkled into the story was a great touch, Annie! Terrible when she cried softly, “Mon bébé.” Thanks for contributing this week. 🙂

    – Ermisenda

    • Ermilia says:

      By the way, I just translated the title of the story. It hints at the weapon. Such a tease! I really want to know more about what happened to Yvette, the why and how.

      • Anne Schilde says:

        The Silver Razor is the name I gave to the razor sharp sword that must have run her through from behind. I imagined with some fancy that it had been stolen from the private collection of Louis Phillipe, and that it might be fun to write a novel with that title one day.

    • Anne Schilde says:

      I find it very touching that in death she cared only for her baby. I dreamed it in French, so I did my best. Thanks always for hosting! ♥

  3. gemini says:

    Oh how horrific and unexpected. A good write as usual Anne..:)

    • Anne Schilde says:

      Thanks, Gem. It’s funny when I woke up from this, how desperately I wanted to go back. The intrigue of being in 19th century France was overwhelming.

      • gemini says:

        I have quite intricate story dreams too Anne and sometimes they can be overwhelming. Perhaps it comes with having an imaginative and creative mind. After reading yours and Joe’s contribution I had to do one too and have now posted it. 🙂

      • Anne Schilde says:

        I’ll have to check it later… riding coasters. Woo hoo! I love writing from dreams, but it gets hard. You can only write so many swimming pool, waiting in line, and theme park stories.

  4. neenslewy says:

    I began to realise what was about to happen – and had that rollercoaster feeling of wanting to get off – a fabulous write with lots of description. And an incredibly powerful end line!

  5. you lace the story well with joy and then unexplainable horror

  6. ugh. gut wrenchingly sad and. tormenting.
    Have some ice cream before you sleep, Annie, sweeten your dreams a little, darling..

    • Anne Schilde says:

      Haha, I had ice cream last night, Randy! I dreamed I was a guy and I got shot in the stomach by some heroin trafficker because he mistook me for my twin brother. I’m not sure that’s better.

  7. Thats really sad but really well written. Love your use of imagery, especially the roofs being ‘nestled tenderly under a blanket of fog’

  8. nightlake says:

    Really painful and moving when cried for her baby at the end.. wonder why the assailant did that

  9. Simply Ellen says:

    Since I have been reading your contributions, I have never read as much that has more literary prowess than this. This is the best yet, with the how the story flows and how detailed it is. I feel like the character in the story while I was reading. Great touch with the french. Bravo Anne 🙂

  10. MissM says:

    This is tragic indeed. Very sad.

    • Anne Schilde says:

      I always wonder if the tragedy in death is rhetorical. Is it more or less tragic if we die some other way? Or at another age? Thanks for reading, Miss M.

      • MissM says:

        That’s a thought provoking comment. I guess we’ve been conditioned to think and believe in a certain way. Such questions may not have a definite answer – but are so very relevant..

      • Anne Schilde says:

        I like questions that stay questions. Answers are kind of final like death. 🙂

  11. II says:

    So morose, but it is a vivid example of a mother’s natural love, even for her unborn.
    At first read, I thought…oh the perpetrator cut her finger to steal her ring (there’s a chance she’ll make it!), but then I saw the comments and reread, and realized she was also hurt in her ‘middle.’

  12. Anna says:

    I always see your stories as a way into a very distant, and yet alarmingly close, elsewhere. You know just how much I love the colour grey- it reminds me of the mystery of dreams, and brings sadness to the front of my mind. I very rarely, truly, feel the tragedy of fiction but somehow you make me feel the grey more every single time. I do so love grey.

  13. I had to go back and reread the last part where the sliver flashes from her tummy. At first, I was thinking you were going with a kind of Alien type thing. Like maybe somehow her own baby cut off her finger from inside her womb? Maybe I’m just macabre. I did like how you described the scene. I could feel myself walking on the cobblestone street holding my pregnant belly.

    • Anne Schilde says:

      It was a dream I had, so the imagery was all very clear in my head. It was around the 1850s. I was run through from behind by a very sharp sword, but I was in such shock I really didn’t know what had happened to me. It’s great to see you!

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