A Tale of Two Cities






Tormented screams from thumb screw tortures caused him to
shudder as the key spin in the lock. He cracked the heavy wooden door
aside then, pushed it open wide. It was so dark and damp inside.
The man he sought lay there on cold, hard granite. Body lean, wasted.
One torch licked and split it’s light in ghastly shadows
upon the walls, dropping off dying ash in flame and spitting falls.
The stranger moved swiftly. Cloak covering the slouch that bought him
face to face with the lying man. With cheap wine (heavily doped)
he hoped t’would quickly make him sleep before he could protest this deed.
With all good speed he forced the gasping man to drink and
as he quickly fell asleep it was then, that he changed places.
Later that day…
He heard the drums but the sun was warm on his face as looked up to see
its rays gleaming brightly on the dripping blade.
Pityful women in the front row knitted tri-color hats with feverish intent
interrupting their stiching every now and then to rise up and cheer with the crowd as the blade came down with such a whoosh, a thump, and another head
rolled into the waiting basket.
His heart then knew a moment or two of desperation and what it
must be like to live here in this peasant revolution. This dreadful reign of terror
but, he fought away those fears amidst their half-crazed cheers.
He was a drunken sop, and had spent a whole life wasted… until he
met and fell in love with the other man’s wife. He’d made a vow that he would
do whatever he could to ensure her happiness and that of those she loved.
With this last sober act, he felt his soul, cleansed.
Now, it was time to say goodbye.
‘It is a far, far better thing I do, than I have ever done. It is a far, far
better rest I go to, than I have ever known.’





 And the blade fell….His life, done.

The Sunday Whirl Wordle words caused me to think of this when I saw the words this morning.
It’s loosely based on the Famous author Charles Dickens novel A Tale of Two Cities
A story of both London and Paris (being the two cities) beginning in in 1775….leading up to and including the French Revolution.
It’s a tale of a man who falls in love with a young woman who, though she loves him as her friend she, is not in love with him. Rejected he swears that he will always love her and will do whatever it takes to see her happiness and those she loves. He’s a drunk and a waster though, but when he hears about her being caught up in the troubles of the French Revolution he goes to Paris and with the help of others, he assists her and her child to escape then, sets about freeing her husband in the only way he knew how. They looked very similar in appearance.  He bribes the jailers to let him and his helpers into the Bastille (prison)  and, swops places with him.

This has been made into a movie several times over the years, the version I grew up watchin and therefore remember the most is one made in 1958 starring  Dirk Bogarde as Sydney Carton, Dorothy Tutin as his lady-love, Christopher Lee, Leo Mckern & Donald Pleasence. The pictures are from that movie.

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Shared with The Sunday Whirl Wordle #18
Poets United Pantry #63
Carry on Tuesday #prompt Time to say goodbye