Jackson Mauzé

A Carpinter Named Robespierre

Her face, even in deep sleep, illustrated her spunk and individuality. Delicate eyebrows, often furrowed in accusation, finally lifted in deep relaxation. Combed eyebrows, blush, eye liner, and mascara highlighted the desires she once shared with her peers: acceptance, popular status, and sensual appeal.

A pair of eyes glared out from within the shaded overhang, watching her swing gaily in the breeze. The wind plucked at her muddied, knotted hair and tugged at her singed eyelashes, flashing her eyelids open to reveal hollowed sockets. The watching man, known to the other Carpinter's only as Robespierre, struggled to stand, his spine cracking and groaning as he moved towards the hanging corpse. He approached her slowly, scratching his groin feverishly as a blistering gust swung her into the CVS sign on the building with a soft thud. In the nude, stark white against the red sign, she appeared to have a faint halo around her.

He peered up at her, head cocked. She had few scars or burns. Her muscles were thin, unfit for exotic or terrific motion. Her hands were slight and soft - hands like tea towels. From her scrubbed pores and angular figure, he could tell she came from a life of safety and comfort. Despite a gloomy outlook on life's joys, she slept each night tucked in a clean bed with a warm belly. She was skinny, though ironically never as skinny as she wanted to be. Only the raw black skin around her neck, bruised and broken by the thick noose, suggested the despair wafting around this floating angel.

But the man ignored all that.

How descriptive feet can be! They tell stories of places traveled and of deeds done. They bear their masters hundreds of miles, tread multiple continents...and all without a day's rest.

Robespierre smiled toothily at those pale, flabby feet. There were no calluses or blisters. No moles or sores or rashes. No hangnails or scars or jutting bones. Her nails were painted rainbow from left to right. They hung now, slack and nude as she was. Eighteen years of pampering and carrying, of pounding and prodding and tapping. Those feet were the vessels which brought her to love, to create, to be an individual, and to live - and after eighteen years their only reward was interminable rest; to twitch in the wind as civic entertainment. Every memory was gone - now nothing more than a flash in the moment between the rush and the snap.

She had the life that would never be his, and only through the snapping of society did the frugal survive while the rich perish. The feet of any beggar, vagabond, or tramp are soiled and gnarled. To the bourgeois, it was revenge and jealousy.

Robespierre glanced around to ensure those watching, the filth of a surviving breed spread around the parking lot, were intentionally avoiding his gaze before cutting the rope that held her aloft. He caught and cradled her corpse in his arms before dragging her under the overhang. In moments, he pulled her with him into his bed of molding blankets. To stimulate and nourish was the ultimate price of her formerly fertile life. As he grunted and mewled, the drug of power absolute, of control invincible, raced hot through his blood.