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"Beloved reader, I leave you now with a tale penned by the Abbe de Coulmier, a man who found freedom in the unlikeliest of places: at the bottom of an inkwell, on the tip of a quill..."

***

 

He slid his ragged quill beneath the manacle locked fast around his left leg and rubbed the tip of it against his ankle. The touch of the quill was almost painful on his red and tender skin, but he had known for a very long time now that pain could be a kind of pleasure - and in any case, he was no longer one to leave an itch unscratched.

The Abbe let his head drop back against the damp, stone wall of his cell and closed his eyes. Where to begin today?

"Our story concerns a young nobleman named Donatien, as fresh-faced a lad as ever enlisted in the military."

No. Not Donatien. Never Donatien.

De Sade had always been and would always be simply the Marquis to Abbe du Coulmier, as Mademoiselle Le Clerc had always been and would always be --

Madeleine.

Maddie.

The Abbe shifted uncomfortably, his free hand reaching down to still the sudden movement of his unruly prick.

"Our story concerns a young laundress named Madeleine, who...."

His prick throbbed, strained upward, and he moaned.

He must start again.

"Our story concerns a young man named du Coulmier, a Catholic priest, and the director of the Charenton insane asylum in France."

He waited a moment, turning the words over and over in his mind. He glanced down and saw that his prick was no longer quite as insistent as it had been a moment before. So...a good start then. True art needs to build slowly, to take its time.

If there was one thing the Abbe du Coulmier had, it was time.

"Our story concerns a young man named du Coulmier, a Catholic priest and the director of the Charenton insane asylum in France, a man who delighted in anything to do with the mind."

"Perhaps you are surprised, my dears, that it was not men's souls alone which drew the Abbe? You shouldn't be. The souls of men were not neglected by our young priest - no, not at all - but he knew that God had more for him to do than just minister to the spirit."

This was going, perhaps, a bit too slowly to provide the proper dramatic tension. The Marquis would not be pleased.

The Abbe took himself in hand.

"There was a young girl who worked as a laundress at Charenton. Her name was Madeleine Le Clerc, and oh, but she was eager to learn. From the Abbe, she learned to read and write, but he was not her only teacher...nor were reading and writing the only lessons young Madeleine learned."

The Abbe tightened his grip on his member, stroking it firmly.

"Down a curved hallway, in a locked room not far from the Abbe's own chambers, was Donatien Alphonse Francois de Sade, better known as the Marquis de Sade. The Marquis had also taken an interest in young Madeleine, but his lessons...oh, the lessons taught by the Marquis were not of the sort commonly approved by the Church."

His breath quickened.

"Time and again, the Abbe discussed how harmful - spiritually and otherwise - the activities in which the Marquis chose to indulge could be to a young innocent girl. The Marquis, however, seemed not to understand.

"Perhaps if you joined in with our lessons, my darling, you would discover that there was nothing whatsoever to worry about," the Marquis said, drawing closer with each word he spoke. "And then, if you still felt that there was something corrupt about, for example, the mere insertion of a finger or two in the delightfully tight back passage of a ripe nymph such as our Madeleine - and oh, my Abbe, she is ripe for the plucking - well, you could assign penance right then and there, couldn't you?"

The Abbe slid along the filth-encrusted floor of his cell until there was a bit of slack in the chain that bound his leg, and he wrapped the chain around his prick.

"Say what you will about your Church," the Marquis said, "but they certainly understand about punishments, don't they? I've always been partial to the lash, myself."

He tightened the chain; he could feel its greasy links leaving indentations on his prick and balls. The Abbe moaned.

"Imagine if Madeleine were here now," said the Marquis, his breath hot on the back of the Abbe's neck. "On her knees in front of you, the ties of her second-hand corset undone, luscious orbs waiting for your touch."

The Abbe drew in a quick breath.

"You squeeze her nipples between your fingers, twist them sharply." The Marquis slid his hand down between the Abbe's legs. "The harder you squeeze, the more she likes it."

The blood was pounding in the Abbe's veins, and he pushed harder and harder into his hand.

"Harder, Abbe," the Marquis said, his own voice uncharacteristically harsh. "Oh yes...like that, my heart! Oh, yes!"

The Abbe du Coulmier cried out as he came.

***

His eyelashes fluttered.

"Abbe," Madeleine whispered softly in the Abbe's left ear.

"Abbe," whispered the Marquis in his right. "My dear heart. My cherub. My darling."

The Abbe du Coulmier leaned back again, his now-flaccid member held loosely in his hand, his eyes closed still against the emptiness in his cell. Doctor Royer-Collard would say that he was closing his eyes against the truth, that if he ever wished to be made whole again, he must accept that the Marquis and Madeleine were - -

He smiled, and shook his head.

What did the Doctor know of Truth?

The Abbe could hear their voices, Madeleine's and the Marquis's. He could speak to them. He could feel their hands and their mouths on him.

They were alive and they were with him.

And when he closed his eyes, there were always such beautiful stories to tell.