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Mademoiselle Noir

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Victor loved the fairy tales his mother would read too him when he was a child. Every evening after supper and after his chores he would settle down with his old book of stories for his mother too read him too sleep with. The book, by the time he was too old for bedtime stories, was tattered and the spine weak. Victor loved the book so much that even after he grew up into a young man and was on his own he still kept the book, not too read anymore but to give too his children so they could grow up with the dwarfs and fairies like he had.

However once you start to grow older the stories fade. Without reading them Victor began to forget the stories he had loved when the real world was all he saw. The world in retrospect to the stories where dark and colorless. Almost as if colors were a fairy tale themselves the world held no brightness for Victor anymore. Now that he could no longer call himself young and unwed with no children to care for Victor would often find himself wondering into the woods at the edge of town. He never went too far, he knew that the woods could be dangerous especially if you wondered too far and became lost. And he was always careful to never go farther then was recommended for someone his age.

Frankly though Victor couldn’t suppress the desire to go farther. He wanted to see life that wasn’t shrouded in the grey film him and his village were used too. Maybe he could, one more time, feel the rush of adventure that he felt when he was a child. And so he wondered farther. Slowly so he wouldn’t trip Victor pushed passed the boundaries and was soon walking in unfamiliar surroundings.
It was spectacular!

Laughter slowly bubbled its way past his lips till he could no longer contain it. He was laughing till his sides were soar and his smile was side. He ran. As fast and as far as he could go Victor didn’t glance back until he saw a clearing in the distance. Sprinting forward he ran through the last of the trees until he finally came to the beginning of the tall field grass that came up too his hips when he entered.
Victor stopped, almost frozen in fear.

Large and imposing a cobble stone tower sat in the middle of the field. A few stones seemed to have come loose over time however as there were a few holes throughout the structure. Vines have grown through the holes and on the side of the tower as if they were fighting to see which would get to the top first but the most terrifying of all was the figure who stood in the window sill at the top of the tower watching him. Their skin was so pale Victor could swear he could see through them. Hallow brown eyes and long thin black hair that cascaded down the side of the tower. Victor could swear he saw a corpse. The thin lips of the figure began to move and softly the person sang:

"Moi je m'appelle mademoiselle Noir
Et comme vous pouvez le voir
Je ne souris, ni ris, ni vis
Et c'est tout ce qu'elle a dit"

Victor ran.

Back through the woods as quickly as his feet would carry him he had to get away because whatever that thing at the top of that tower was it was not human. At the very least not human any longer. He needed to get away and as night feel he finally saw the dark silhouette of his town in the distance. He hadn’t even realized when he ran out of the forest into the town he would gain some attention. Villagers who were just walking home or out for a late stroll found him panting and wheezing, shaking like a leaf and as pale as death. He couldn’t voice immediately what he had seen when prompted. It wasn’t until he had caught his breath that he had his wits about him and he looked too the first person that he had made eye contact with. He spoke with almost a strained whisper.

“I saw a living c-cor…” He swallowed hard to get the word out. “A living corpse.”

The concern in their faces was replaced with fear and each looked at the other as if to ask what to do. It wasn’t until a younger boy, maybe no later than fifteen had spoken up.

“We can’t just stand here and do nothing! If that thing is out there we have to protect ourselves! Grab any weapon you can and we will make sure this corpse goes back to where it came from!” He cried out.

The townspeople with a new sense of courage yelled their agreement and ran off to find their guns and swords. The young man fixed his steady gaze on Victor.

“Oy! Old man do you remember how to find this creature?”

Victor nodded slowly.

“Good you’ll lead the way.”

With that the boy ran to rally the rest of the town to the edge of the forest and Victor was left still shaking. He would have to go back for his people but the thought of seeing that corpse again had him ready to faint. Still if this young boy was brave then he could he too. He braced what nerves he had left grabbed a torch and ran over too meet them.

It was now or never.

Taking the lead over the group Victor navigated the townspeople through the forest. Since they weren’t running the trek took much longer then Victor had remembered and his was trying his hardest too remember his way with the little like he had from the torch he carried. A few times he did fear he had gotten them lost until a strange rock of odd tree reminded him of his route. It wasn’t till he saw the clearing that his breath stilled and he froze again. The boy took notice of this and with the rest of the group moved past Victor into the clearing leaving Victor to follow behind for a change.

The tower, which was intimidating before seemed like something out of a nightmare now. The silhouette was all you could make out as the tower appeared black. It wasn’t until Victor held up his torch that he saw it. The figure still sitting in the window sill unmoving and still gazing. The shadow the torch cast on their face made the already thin future seem more sunken in and dead. It was without a doubt a corpse to him for nothing could look as fearsome as that. He could feel the eyes watching him again and just as before the faint song could be heard.

"Moi je m'appelle mademoiselle Noir
Et comme vous pouvez le voir
Je ne souris, ni ris, ni vis
Et c'est tout ce qu'elle a dit"

Their fear they felt was palpable and not one person dared to move closer. The boy however was unfazed as he glared at the figure.
“Victor you were wrong about what that thing is.” He seethed unable to keep the disgust from his voice. “Clearly that’s a demon straight from hell! If we want to keep ourselves safe we need to kill it.”

The young boy looked at Victor with the bravery of a tiger and stepped closer to him.

“We both know you won’t do it old man but I will.” He snatched the torch from Victors hand before he could protest, not that he was going too, and ran to the bottom of the tower where the long thin black hair rested. He sneered at it and pressed the flame to the strands. They slowly took the flame and without hesitation the fire began too climb. “If we burn your hair hell spawn it will eventually burn you too!” He cried.

Victor would be lying if he said he wasn’t impressed by the bravery the child shown and for a moment he took pride. He gazed up at the demon, whose hair was almost half way up the tower now, too see how the monster would respond now. But to his surprise the hollow eyes still gazed at him, but this time he could see the emotions in their eyes. Fear, wistfulness, and pain. A sinking feeling in his chest had him stepping back when the realization hit. He was wrong. They all were. This wasn’t a demon but a person. Someone asking for help and instead was met with death. Their eyes remand looked and with a sad smile the person sang one last time.

"Moi je m'appelle mademoiselle Noir
Et comme vous pouvez le voir
Je ne souris, ni ris, ni vis
Et c'est tout ce qu'elle a dit"

Then it was too late.

He was gone.