Status: Currently working on - hope to finish by the end of the summer.


Chapitre Un

September 23, 1783
Marie de Beauharnais – a rambunctious child of fourteen – sat slumped over atop her spotted brown horse (Bruno, as she called him) and watched with drowsy eyes as the gravel road passed under her. It had been only a week since her arrival in Groslay, yet she had already grown tired of the redundant little town. There was nothing to see, save miles of nearly identical vineyards, and if there was something to see, she would have no one to see it with. Everyone she had met was either old or boring. The neighbor girls, the Potier’s, could not think of one interesting thing to do in their time together. They told her that life in Groslay was consistent, and there was some kind of charm to that living.
But Marie knew she would never be satisfied there. She needed to return to her old home in Brittany, to bother her sister Anne, who had been left there with her new husband. She needed to sit by the docks, inhale the salty air, and write line after line of meaningless poetry about whichever sailor caught her fancy that day. She needed these things to keep her sane, to inspire her to continue her writings. Her mother told her that that chapter of her story had ended. Marie believed the author had abandoned it halfway through.
She sat up and groaned. “How much longer will it be?”
“Just a few more minutes,” Edgard answered exhaustedly.
Marie turned towards Antoine, Edgard’s younger brother. He was tired too, but his spirit was always higher, and Marie knew just how to cheer him up. She tilted her head forward and let the brim of her hat fall over her eyes. “Hey! Where did everybody go?”
Antoine laughed. “To bed, I hope.”
“You should really try this. Groslay is much more pleasant when you cannot see it!”
“Then how will we know when we’ve reached the market?”
“We can smell it!” Marie squeaked, her hand over her nose. “Matter of fact, I think we’re close.”
“We’ve arrived.” Edgard announced.
Marie grabbed Bruno’s reigns and tugged. “I knew it! I knew it!” She boasted.
Antoine reached over and plucked the hat off of her head, returning it to its normal position. “Look, it’s just like the market in Brittany, right?”
Marie gave an exaggerated yawn. “Minus the sea…and the sailors…and Mademoiselle Pierre…”
“Give this to Antoine,” Edgard interrupted, handing her a torn piece of paper, “I trust that he can handle the fruits and vegetables.”
Antoine took the list and glossed over it. “Sure thing boss, lemons are the big green leafy things, right?”
Edgard looked irritated.
“You better let me go with him, Edgard,” Marie began sweetly, “we wouldn’t want to surprise my parents with a sour salad!”
“Fine, fine,” Edgard waved his hand dismissively, “but no funny business this time. Meet me back here as soon as you two have finished.”
“Aye aye!” Marie saluted.
Once she and Antoine had trotted away, Edgard looked over his portion of the list once more. He sighed and rubbed the ache in his left shoulder; dealing with merchants was his least favorite duty.
When at last he lifted his head, he saw Marie in the crowd. She turned, met his gaze, and blew a kiss. He received it with the slightest smile before departing.
♠ ♠ ♠
I've been working through some difficulties but I think I like this chapter as its own. I began posting this story a while ago but am currently updating it/rewriting. My goal is to finish by the end of summer, so I will post a new chapter every 1-3 days.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate and welcome feedback. :)