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L'Estranger: Chapter Six
L'Estranger: Chapter Six

L'Estranger: Chapter Six

Mitzi1776Mitzi Danielson-Kaslik

My mind swam with all the unimaginable adventures and escapes a man such as Reget could have. He reminded me in a way of Othello, a dark man with stories to be told. But I was not Desdemona, so I already knew our ending had not been foreshadowed.

"I don't know when I was born." he began. "It was the summer, August, from how my mother tells the crops to have been. She gave birth in a field about an acre or so over there," he gestured broadly beyond the window "she's dead now, of course."

"I'm sorry to hear that."

"No, no, it's alright." he smiled. "I think she's happier now free in the jungle as a spirit than as a slave working on this plantation."

"She worked here?" I asked in alarm.

"Yes." he nodded. "I was born in an indigo field. I was born a slave."

"And your father?" I asked.

"He was the man who owned all of this."


"He bought my mother when she was twelve, and I was born a year later. He would have sold me on so his wife wasn't so ashamed at my very existence except for one thing he couldn't ignore; his only son was away at a school in France learning to fence, so he would have no one to run his production line when he got too old and frail. And I had learnt to read and write from papers in his study."

"So you took over his plantation?" I asked in surprise.

"Yes. I did what I could to keep the people he enslaved as safe as I could. I did what I had to."

"I think I can understand that sentiment." I nodded, trying with everything I had to show him that I could understand and appreciate that a horrible world can create dubious acts at best from even the most moral of people.

"And then after the situation was Vincent Oge, Lafayette wrote to this chateau and told me that I was to act as the liaison between the black population and the French representative."

"The French representative? Is that Blanchelande?" I whispered as if I had just discovered something terribly secret.

"It certainly is," he smirked.

"Then what am I doing here?"

"Depends who you ask."

"Well, who should I ask?" I smiled.

"If you asked Blanchelande, he'd tell you that you are here to be his beautiful French virgin wife and bear all his children and rule over the colony forever." he laughed.

"And if I asked Reget?" I smirked. "What would he say?"

"He'd tell you that a certain French representative has been doing an awful job of peacekeeping, and you have been sent as a true friend of the Revolution."

"Ha!" I tipped my head back in hysterics. "If only they knew me, they'd hang me."

"If only either side knew me, they'd hang me."

"Either side?" I asked, curious to whom he referred.

"The French' masters' and the rebel alliance."

"There's a rebel alliance?" I said a little louder than I should have done.

"Yes. Don't tell Blanchelande; it'll only upset him, and he might feel the need to go out there and hang a few more slaves."

"Of course, I won't." I smiled.

"Thank you, Elodie," Reget whispered to me.

"Thank you, Reget," I whispered in return.

It was then that my mind went hazy, and I began to fall into a deep sleep on the chair. Visions seemed to swirl in my mind like the waxy golden shadows of the things that the evening candlelight projected onto the cream walls, and I knew for the first time in years that I was safe to sleep now. Oddly enough, it was in a chamber was a mixed-race man I had known a matter of hours (an idea unthinkable to many young ladies of good breeding) that I felt secure. I felt Reget already knew me better than anyone else in this dark world did and that he understood me just as I would like to be understood and believed me just as I liked to be believed.

It was not the light from the open valance drapes that awoke me in Reget's chamber (laying out on a chaise lounge where I suppose he must have moved me), nor was it the growing heat that flourished from the open French window, drapes tossed up in the breeze that blew in off the sea. No, it was the disturbingly potent gaze of Blanchelande staring at me in my dishevelled if not slightly serene state from beyond the heavy oak door which had been left open the previous night.

I opened my eyes to see him there, staring at me as if he had seen some kind of new planet in the sky. But, even when I caught his gaze, he did not look away, be seemed to stare right into me with eyes that did not see.

"Good morning." I swallowed, looking frantically around.

"Yes," Blanchelande replied.

"What time is it?" I asked, attempting to distract.

"Nearly a half-past ten," he said, still staring at me. I looked around again and realised that Reget was not in the chamber; perhaps he was just another of the imaginary tessellations of myself that I had created in my mind.

"He's gone to the docks," Blanchelande said, half vacant, half intensely bewildered and perhaps slightly angry.

"Okay." I swallowed.

"I want to talk with you, angel," he whispered.

"Oh, okay, yes." I nodded.

"Shall we go to the drawing-room?" he smiled, offering me his hand to help me to my feet.

"Okay." I swallowed, unsure of what he could want.

"May I escort you, Elodie?" he asked, offering his arm.

"Thank you, Blanchelande." I smiled, taking it and walking with him from the chamber. Yes, there was undoubtedly something perfectly, wonderfully familiar about Blanchelande.

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About The Author
Mitzi Danielson-Kaslik
About This Story
1 Mar, 2022
Read Time
4 mins
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