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A Revolutionary Idea

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I quickly open Sarah’s letter:







1789
Monsieur Napoleon,



Your former lieutenant general in the French Revolution, Louis Descartes, is in Chateau d’If, the prison on the Mediterranean Sea. He has told me that he was innocent, that he had a reason for doing what he did, and, as much as I shouldn’t believe him now, I do. I know that you have been keeping a friendly relationship with Louis, and I was wondering if you could liberate him. I would join you, but I must leave for Paris in time to ignite the French Revolution. Perhaps I could take Napoleon with me? I will be on my way by the time you will get this message, so you can Respondez Sil Vous Plait tonight.









Yours Truly,





Sarah Vernes



“Get prepared for a long journey Napoleon,” I tell my son. “You’re going to Paris.”

“With who father?” he asks.

“Sarah Vernes, an old friend of Louis’.” He goes upstairs to get ready. In the meantime, I try and think about Louis. What could he have done? He never got in a single fight during the wartime.

Sarah doesn’t arrive until nightfall.

Quickly, I go get Napoleon. When both of them are on the horse, I wink at Sarah. She winks back with a smile on her face.

“I shall rendezvous with you in Paris,” I tell Sarah.

After an hour of preparation myself, I set off for Chateau d’If. I slip three pistols into my bag.

“This is going to be a long journey,” I murmur to myself.
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Sixteen hours of riding along the French Riviera brings me to the island -- and corresponding prison -- of Chateau d’If. When I find another horse that Louis could use, one from the prison, I tie it up next to mine, about a mile inland. You’d think there would be guards out now, wouldn’t you? I think to myself.

I glide across the pedestrian footbridge and slither through the prison door. A couple of cells later and I find Louis.

“Louis, it is I, Napoleon. Sarah informed me about everything. She would be here, but she is going to launch the French Revolution. Hold on a second and I should be able to get you out of here…there! We’ve got to get to the Bastille!”
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Right in the next room, the police commissioner heard everything. He dispatched a hundred troops for Paris.

“Let the games begin,” he says.
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When Sarah and Napoleon found a place in a wooded area to rest, Sarah had prepared some of the food that she found packed with Napoleon’s things.

“All you have are beans?” she asked.

“We’re peasants, not aristocrats like you…” Napoleon shot back.

After their dinner, Napoleon fell asleep shortly. Sarah could not fall asleep; Louis was still on her mind.

‘I had to waste my time to come and see you when this man named Philippe said that you were in jail, and he said that you beat a police officer to death! What were you drunk?’

‘No, Sarah, I was not drunk I did it to pro-’

‘Do what… protect your inner manliness? You needed to show your masculinity by killing someone?’

‘NO! THE REASON WHY I BEAT HIM UP WAS BECAUSE HE WAS GOING TO KILL YOUR FATHER. HE FIGURED HE COULD BLAME ME FOR IT AND MAKE YOU LEAVE ME. HE WANTED TO MARRY YOU FOR YOUR MONEY!’

It was that moment, in front of him, that I started crying.

‘Listen, Sarah, I didn’t mean to-’

I ran off before I could hear the rest.
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Louis and I got out of the prison quickly. Soon as we reached our horses, we had seen probably over a hundred troops on horseback riding out of the prison. They must know we are around here, and now they’re going to find us. No other way they’d respond that fast. Louis and I watched silently for ten minutes before we dared to take a step. Our horses galloped to the Pyrenees, away from the policemen.

“We’ll take the back roads,” I tell Louis.
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Louis and I decided to ride all the way to Paris nonstop, in hopes of meeting Sarah there early.

“What was up with you being in jail? In the military you never dueled… and now you get sent to prison after you kill somebody?” I asked. “I don’t think that that you would do such a destructive thing. You took a man’s life!” I exclaim. “What, did he offend you in a personal way?”

“Listen, Napoleon, and listen well! Whatever happens to Sarah offends me personally! I have a personal bond with Sarah and that is because I love her so much! This man would hurt her so much and I could not let that happen! When I grew up, I had no parents to take care of me! My parents died when I was seven in a fire! Sarah is the first person that I actually have love connections with and no man is ever going to break that connection! Understand?”

“Yes, I do. That is why I think that you really need to talk to Sarah. It would be best you do before she starts a riot that could -- potentially -- kill you instead. Angry women are more a threat than any king or queen,” I warn him.

Louis and I don’t talk in an engaging conversation for a couple of hours. The blistering heat distracts us.

“Where do you suppose the policemen were going? If they knew that somebody was breaking out, they could have assumed that they could not have gotten very far in that amount of time. They should’ve scoured the area before moving that far out, shouldn’t they?” I asked.

“When you had awakened me, did you mention any confidential information that the French policemen did not know about? Something like…a revolution?” Louis asked me.

It was then that I turned my head over to him, giving him a look of guiltiness, and it was then that we headed right for Versailles.
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After five days of complete riding, Louis and I made it to the Bastille. After an hour of scouring for Napoleon and Sarah, we decided to wait on top of a ravine on the opposite side of the Seine. Within the next hour, Sarah and Napoleon were on top of the mountain outside of the city. We rendezvoused with them outside of the Bastille.

“The French police are right behind us! We only have five hours to start a revolution!” Louis warns Sarah.

“This is a revolution! We can’t just overthrow the entire government ourselves!”

“Or can we…?” questions Napoleon.
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Louis, Sarah, and Napoleon were over at the Bastille with a riot of people ready to storm the French prison. I am eager to join them, except I still do not know the whereabouts of Philippe and his army. Aroused with suspicion, I decided to take an early movement on Versailles.

Unexpectedly, Philippe was already on his way out of Versailles. It was probable that his soldiers were already in the royal palace, trying to protect the king or queen.

I decided to instead provoke him by dueling him. I made ready my pistol. It was then that he came over to me and agreed for a duel.
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Both of us walked into the maze for the duel. He ran to one area; I ran to another. I knew that he was not going to run into my arms, so I started to mull over which way I should go. I could tell then that Sarah, Louis, and Napoleon were watching me.

After moments of returning only to the same place in the maze multiple times, I decided to climb the green hedges. Each time I did, Philippe shot in my direction. He knew where I was, and I was determined to find out where he was.

However, he must have lost me multiple times, because it was one more hedge to climb and I found myself right on top of Philippe. One carefully aimed shot and he was down. Blood spilled all over like a broken bowl of punch.

I exited the maze, and Louis and I opened the door to Versailles. We were going to start a revolution ourselves.
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When the door opened, there were two corridors to take. Napoleon and I went down the west corridor, and Louis and Sarah moved up the north one.
“Why are we splitting up?” asked Napoleon as soon as we turned away from Sarah and Louis.
“Louis and Sarah have some talking to do,” I said.
Immediately, he realized what they had to talk about, he was glad that we went down this corridor. After only ten minutes of them talking, we had met up with them again.
“We’re going to get married!” exclaims Sarah.
“Glad to see that you figured everything out,” I tell her.
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Napoleon ran around the corner, eager to progress. He gave off a high pitched shriek, saying after that he saw soldiers and about twenty of them. Luckily, I pulled him back in time before any of the soldiers could catch sight of us. Louis grasped a torch.
“Let’s see how this works…” he says, hurling the torch around the corner. Immediately, that section of the hallway goes up in flames. I pull out of my bag a pistol, and I hand Louis and Sarah my second and third ones, respectively.
“Cover your eyes, Napoleon,” I warn him. I shoot at the crystal chandelier on top of the twenty of them. Deafening screams fill the corridor, and blood splattered everywhere. I take a look at Napoleon, learning that he never shut his eyes. Sarah did.
As we walked past the bodies, passing to proceed, I could tell that Sarah had a lot of anger toward the monarchs and their minions.
“Serves them right, those filthy, monarch-loving buffoons!” she said.
Sarah ran ahead to find more guards, hoping to kill a few herself.
“Told you angry women are dangerous…” I whisper to Louis.
The eastern corridor, the one we moved on to, was known for its elegant fireplace. Sarah knew what she was going to do when Louis told her that.
A runner stretched the entire length of the corridor. Sarah pulled the runner out from under one of the guards. Within minutes, the scenes progressed from having one person becoming unsteady and all four of them falling in the fireplace.
Napoleon complemented her.
“Thank you,” said Sarah, modestly and primly.
We got a glimpse of the King and Queen running down the Southern corridor. When I knew that they left, I gave off a little smirk. Only Louis noticed it, but he did not question it. Napoleon counted twelve guards left.
“Let’s do this the old-fashioned way,” said Louis.
The three of us all aimed our guns in the direction of the guards, and we all shot fourfold.
“Twelve perfect hits,” Napoleon said, as he ran down to observe the bodies. All of the gunshots had hit the heart of the victims.
After we ran outside, past the dead bodies, we saw something that amazed us -- well, them.
The King and Queen were locked in a guillotine.
“Please, please, how about -- uh, I lower taxes?” asked King Louis XVI.
“Yes, and, uh… I will let people have free paintings of me!” said Marie Antoinette. King Louis gave her a look. It was a short of “How the hell it that going to save us? We’re about to be killed and you offer free pictures? Obviously they don’t want that.” kind of look.
“Or you can have free pictures of me!” said King Louis. Marie Antoinette gave him the same look that he gave her. Only this time, it included a sort of “You idiot!” look as well.
It was later that day, in the year 1789, that King Louis XVI of France and Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, were formally executed.
Then Napoleon asked me something.
“Father, could I ever be the King of France?” he asked.
“You’re only twelve. God forbid you actually do your work, and now you want to lead a country? We’ll see in twenty years,” I left him with.







Epilogue

Louis and Sarah got married on the French Riviera. For their honeymoon, Louis and Sarah went to the royal bedroom at Versailles. I’ll leave you with this -- nine months after that, a new being came into this world.
Louis did later question me about that smirk he noticed while we were inside Versailles.
“You knew all along, didn’t you?” he asked me.
“How’d you know?”
“Your smirk.”
“Fine… yes, I did know. When we were scouring the city for your maiden, I met with a group of rioters. I had specifically told them to block the exits of Versailles. Somehow, I knew that that day was when it was going to end.”
Louis hasn’t told anyone that yet. It’s our little secret.
Nowadays, I rest in my little cottage in Dijon. Life is slow, but everyday I get up and walk to my wife’s grave. Napoleon has moved on and is settled near Paris.
Surely enough, Napoleon did show me. Twenty years after the beheading of Louis and Antoinette, in the year of our Lord 1809, Napoleon was named Emperor of France. Every time we meet, I always remind him one thing:
“You aren’t King. You lose.”




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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

AdmiralFalenzetti said...
Dec. 26, 2008 at 4:56 am:
I remember this story from last year :D
Very nice way of displaying a historical event in a fictitious manner, as well as a very refined writing style. A piece of magnificent constitution and high caliber.
 
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BNP said...
Dec. 26, 2008 at 4:53 am:
I think that this story is beautiful! I am a very big history buff...but that isnt the best part about this piece: the fact that this story is good pure storytelling that is rarely found anymore just proves that he is a very talented writer. Please write more stories, Bryan!
 
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