Terribleminds is a wonderful place. This flash fiction challenge is courtesy of a random title generator and S.W. Sondheimer’s wonderful brainstorming.
Because I was stuck.
So it’s her fault I have history all kinds of messed up.
Well, mostly her fault. I do this sort of thing anyway.
In other news, I swear I haven’t abandoned the blog. I’m just busy trying to finish up Annie and get her out to my partner in crime so I can free up a bit of space for with which to fill with other things until I get the edits back and have to re-visit my little weird slice of the Wild West.
She’s ALMOST done!
A few more chapters!
Only a few!
I promise I PROMISE I will update this thing with all of the latest news. SOON.
Cross my heart and poke out my eye, it will happen.
Until then, enjoy my (and Shiri’s!) version of the French Revolution.
In Final Tesla, We Revolt!
France is coated in black and blood. The common have darkened the skies, blotted out the sun using the wealthy’s own weather-generators. Stolen technology with which to change the world.
Marseilles, France. 1783.
What used to be a free port is now sealed to prevent the rich from getting away from what they have earned. Sure, some buy their way out, but they are quickly found and brought back to face justice.
In the form of a chair.
Sitting in the middle of the port town.
When it is called to life, the chair sparks, coming awake with the flick of a switch, humming and purring with thousands of volts of electricity. Electricity the rich have hoarded for themselves.
In Tesla the people of France have trusted. In Tesla’s name they will take it back from those who would dare keep it from the people.
Thousands of the wealthy dance in the chair.
The People’s Delilah.
Rigged together from wood, leather, copper and brass. She is a menace of wires and shackles. There is nothing comforting about her presence in the square. Only to the common does she bring a measure of respite from the oppression of the rich.
There is no heat for which to heat houses.
There is no food for which to eat.
Those who do have heat and food have gone broke from the astronomical rates the wealthy landlords charge for the use of their Tesellators. Generators that feed the palisades and mansions. Their food is rotten.
“Turn it on, Henri.”
The chair sits on an elevated podium. Next to it is another podium with a lever. The lever stretches underground about six feet, where there is a Tesellator in a specially dug cavern. The common people have done this in secret so as not to alert the rich to their plans. While the masses were given rotted fruit through gates by gloved hands, a select group of men were digging. And digging. A break in to Monsieur Callie’s house was not reported to any authority. Nor has his body been discovered, still sitting at his place at the head of his table, tea cup in hand, pinky extended. A smile still sits on his lips, as if he is still enjoying the conversation common folk know him to have with no one but himself.
Pity. He was one of those who opened his home, had been generous with the common people.
One should learn never to be trusting when rumours of a revolution abound throughout the country.
Henri nods. “She is ready.”
A tell-tale hum cuts through the thick air, joining with the thunder overhead. Lightning plays in the sky.
How fitting. A smile draws a jagged line across our revolutionist’s face. He nods back to Henri, then turns to a woman. “Go get her.”
The woman nods, pointed chin set. She has no love of the rich. She has seen her family die because of their selfishness and greed. What they have, we should! She cried to them when the revolution started.
“It is not the way of things,” her father said sadly, eyes already hollow.
“It should be! Papa, please! You know this to be true and yet you sit and do nothing! We need food! We need heat!”
Her father died soon after. Her mother and sisters as well. Her name is Marie and she hates sharing her name with the woman shivering in her cell, hugging her arms to her slender body, looking at Marie with wide, delicate eyes.
“S’il vous plaît, ne faites pas cela. Qu’ai-je fait? Qu’ai-je fait?”
“You know what you have done.”
The other Marie is dragged from her cell. She is given clothes and her hair is taken from her. No one speaks. The other Marie sobs, hiding her delicate eyes in her hands.
She is the worst of them. She is the one who told the people “Let them eat cake by the fire!”
She is the one that will die today.
“Une leçon doit être enseigné,” the first Marie, with the pointed chin, says. ” Les riches ne sont pas toujours obtenir ce qu’ils veulent.”
The other Marie looks up at her, eyes welling with fresh tears. No sympathy is shown her. Her delicate eyes harden. She spits on Marie with the pointed chin.
“Go to Hell.”
Marie with the pointed chin smiles. “You first, little Queen, nes pa?”
They drag her, the other Marie. The beautiful one, the pretty little Queen, toward the chair. Her hard exterior fails her. She kicks and screams. She does not want to go. The people watch and scream back, murder in their eyes. A trail of blood leads the pretty Queen to her doom. She is strapped in. The helmet is placed on her shorn, pretty little head.
“You can’t do this!” She screams. “You can’t! What did I do? What did I do?”
The lever is grasped by Henri, now clothed in black. The world is silent but for the storm overhead.
“You stole from us,” the crowd answers as one. “You have taken what should have been ours.”
The other Marie begins to laugh hysterically. Tears shine in her delicate eyes falling in thick rivers down her round cheeks.
“And you would kill me for this! You are no better than me! There will be those of you who will become rich! And you will steal, you will hoarde what is yours, and you will be no better! You will be no better!”
“Now, Henri!” Our revolutionist cries out.
Henri throws the lever. Electricity shimmies and sparks down the helmet, making the other Marie twitch and slaver all over herself. Her eyes jiggle in their sockets. She dances. The crowd cries out in unison, voices echoing above the thunder.
“In final Tesla, we revolt!”