Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Immortal Beloved - 2


Longwood, St Helena, British Empire: May 5th, 1821


I started at the mention of this name, my name, Antoine Christophe Saliceti, a Montagnard within the Assembly with direct contact with his majesty, Bonaparte.
Was I just in Rome or was I simply dreaming of my days in Rome? The days, weeks, months, even years seem to crash together at times. They pass so quickly and yet they drag endlessly on.

Napoleon often likened himself to a Caesar. This little man, this little crazed man who was bringing us all to ruins; certainly his conquest of the world was a haven for my feasting, but the madness was starting to run too deep. The citizens of France were living in squalor, the world had become a wretched place and the promise of the new enlightenment was quickly fading.

“Christophe!” Bonaparte called again.

I shook the cobwebs from my head, the faint buzzing of the feeding urge gnawing at the back of my brain. My insides were beginning to burn and it would not be long before I was able to quench the rising thirst within. Was it the anticipation of the feast or the feast itself? Certainly I have had my share of ‘delicacies’ – the royalty, the privileged, and the enlightened. Some even went willingly – with the faint promise of immortality – so naive yet so delicious.

Outside the palace the sounds of revolt filled the square. Death and destruction surrounded us, the Empire was crumbling and this little mad man, with his ridiculous combed over hair and pot belly stood idly by as it all burned.

I have seen him before. Over the centuries I have seen this madness and I have used it to feed my hunger. It is said that humanity often learns from his mistakes – the truth is man is doomed to repeat them over and over again.

I often wonder though if I have allowed the madness to continue too long.

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