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It's A Pity About Your Head

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"It's really a pity about your head." They say, looking at it. I must admit, it's a rather nice one. Having had it for 22 years and seven months, I've grown quite fond of it. They pull my hair away from my neck as a sharp jab in the back sends me to my knees, thrusting my noggin right through the gory hole in the wooden structure. I only have time for a few thoughts before my thinking organ says goodbye to the rest of me. I want to make them profound, worthwhile. But all I can think is that I guess I should have run.


"Pierrepierrepierre!" My little sister Annabelle ran at me, wailing and flapping her arms. In one chubby hand she held her doll and in the other she held, well, her doll, who seemed to have had another unfortunate accident. My heart sank as I realized my trip would be delayed, screwing the porcelain leg back onto Antoinette. I knelt down in preparation for my sister's soggy torrent of please followed by soggier hugs, surreptitiously tucking the map into my back pocket.

I let her run through her whole routine, in the back of my mind suspecting it may be the last time I would get to hear it. Unlike other times I've been in a hurry, I refrained from suggesting she get the royal carpenter to mend the thing. I took into my arms gently and tried not to think of the scoldings I was sure to get from my father for arriving late. Luckily, the doll didn't take long to fix, and soon I was on my horse, sword banging against my side as I asked him for more than I knew to be wise.

I slowed up right outside the camp, smoothing away his sweaty hair in a futile attempt to pretend I hadn't raced there, and strode down the road in what I imagined was a properly princely fashion.

Flames kissed my face and I almost fell as my steed tried to spin, eyes rolling as the scent of charred comrades reached him. The camp, supposedly far from the reach of the revolutionaries, had been burned to ashes, dark blood seeping into the ground even as death moans escaped singed lips. Hooded figures weaved through the carnage to gather, surely planning to slither off as quickly as they came.

If I were less brave or less stupid, maybe I would have run away. To my credit, i did run. It was just in the wrong direction. I didn't know it at the time, but I was running not into a battle, or even a massacre. I was running into a guillotine, it's wooden simplicity mocking my doom.

It's really a pity about my head.



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