Peer Review by ollieollie (United States)

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The People's Rebellion

By: horsiegirl


    “Miss Bassot? Miss, please wake up, there’s someone at the door for you.” I sigh, rubbing my eyes sleepily. Sitting up, I stretch my arms, a bright smile spreading across my face.
    “Oh Odette, will you be a dear and get it for me? Besides, they are more likely here for my parents, are they not?”

    “Do not worry Miss, they have already spoken with your parents.”
    “Really?” I clap my hands, and when no candles light up the room, I speak into the darkness once more. “Odette? Did you not hear my clapping?”
    “I heard it Miss.” I wait impatiently, sure that the matches are merely malfunctioning. When nothing happens, I get up, shuffling through the pitch-black space. As I try to feel around for my dressing gown, I huff, peeved.
    “Odette! Are you trying to get yourself let go?”
    “Trust me Miss, you’re going to be upset with me for a lot more than not lighting the candles.” And that’s when my vision fades.
    When I wake up, I’m being dragged through the streets on my knees, surrounded by the common folk. They march around me on all sides, seemingly staging a protest of some sort. I struggle furiously, trying to escape, only partially understanding what was going on.
    “What’s going on? Unhand me you mongrels!” No one responds for a moment, and I prepare to voice my distress one more time. Suddenly, breaking the silence, a very familiar high-pitched voice pipes up.

    “We’re escorting you to the guillotines, my lady.” I watch helplessly as Odette appears by my side, curtsying mockingly. The crowd laughs, leering at me.
    “Wait until my Mother and Father hear about this!” I shout, tossing my head indignantly, trying to gain control.
    “But Miss, they already have! In fact, just look right in front of you.” Odette points ahead of me, and I recognize the unconscious bodies of my parents being yanked along the dusty path as well. I feel my body sag in defeat, not able to believe this was happening.
    “Why are you doing this to us?” I yell. I feel myself fall to the floor as I’m dropped mercilessly. I grunt at the couple of kicks that are bestowed upon me and look up weakly at Odette. Another servant has appeared next to her who I briefly recognize from the palace.
    “Do you remember my name Miss Bassot?” he asks. I stay silent, for of course I do not. He is but a lowly servant and I am royalty. Royalty who is now lying in the dirt at his feet.
    “Of course you do not. You monarchs never take the time to learn the names of mere provincials. My name is Pierre, and in case your memory has failed you completely, I worked at your palace.” He spat out ‘palace’ as if the word was a nasty taste in his mouth. “I am also a leader of this Rebellion!” He stoops down to my level, tipping my head up towards him with a finger. “You have heard of the Rebellion, haven’t you?” The crowd roars raucously, clearly finding the assumed ignorance of us nobles hilariously funny. He slaps my cheek with the strength of a professional and I choke on the filth that fills my mouth as my head slams onto the ground, surprised that I wasn’t knocked out once more.
    “Yes, of course I have. What noble has not at this point?” I’m able to choke out through the pain, attempting to not divulge my disgrace.
    “Exactly!” He crows. “So why, pray tell, did you and your family not flee for your lives like the majority of the rest of the nobility?” I stay silent once more. I truly have no idea. Why was this not considered more of a threat towards my family? Why did we think we would be spared? How did we not guess that some of our own staff was plotting against us?
    “Was it because, perhaps, you felt completely safe amongst your trinkets and money? You felt like, even though it happened to so many others, it could never happen to you? That nothing bad would ever happen to you?”
    Pierre stands up and faces the crowd. “We will overthrow these tyrants!” he bellows. “We will be our own leaders!” The crowd cheers, throwing hats to the air and produce towards me. I feel myself being lifted again, hauled over someone’s shoulders like a sack of baguettes.
    Looking throughout the throngs of people who fill the streets, I feel a deep pang. These people had once bowed down whenever I graced them with my presence. Now they were viewing my death as if it were some cheap spectacle, some evening entertainment for their pleasure.
    Pierre has raced over next to the guillotines in the middle of the square, his arms raised above his head. “Praise be to our great God in Heaven who has led us to victory over a portion of our captors on this blessed day! Now, who shall go first?”
    Murmurs break out, spreading quickly through the hordes, but when shouts emerge, the masses seemed to have made a unanimous decision. “The Princess!” they howl gleefully.
I study the device that would end my current misery as I’m marched up to my dismal demise. It was very large, but didn’t look especially threatening, especially compared to some of the other torture apparatuses I had seen in my time.
    Pierre took me into his arms, roughly strapping me down into the implement. I ponder what I, what all of us aristocrats, could have done to be better rulers. If we had fed our people, if we had been less cruel; I could go on and on. But it was too late now. For death was creeping closer and closer by the second, and though my departure would be quick, it would be humiliating, something that the revolutionaries knew all too well.
    “Goodbye Princess,” Pierre says, smirking. I send my last prayer to God quickly, right before the blade falls, pra...

Peer Review

'These people had once bowed down whenever I graced them with my presence.' This stood out to me because the main character is still, even after all of this, trying to retain some control. It's probably exactly what all the nobility felt during the French Revolution, and the author did a really good job of portraying that emotion.

I don't know what I'm feeling, to be honest. A mix of horror and satisfaction, would probably be the best way to describe it. Because even though this is a high-tension, traumatic thing for anyone to go through, she probably deserved it.

Did you have fun writing this? It reads like you did!

Reviewer Comments

I really enjoyed this. It was really interesting, and I'm looking forward to reading more of your work.