Excerpt for At The Cafe Blanc by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

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People are chasms, be sure not to fall for them

I am not sad, nor happy or mad

Only here for a moment

A pity and a wonder, a ghost and a god!

Beware, for dreamers are dangerous

Each dream a weapon against the sleepers heart

Will I never know love?

Oh, cursed life, you give me nothing

For nothing I am and everything else the same

I sit here in perilous circles

Perhaps I would never want to meet the woman

Who could ever love someone such as I

I am sure she's out there somewhere

Wishing she would die


I had been coming to this small French cafe since I had moved to this city about six months ago. It was called the Cafe Blanc and the place was almost as dry as its name. When I had first begun coming here, it was to work on my novel. I found the silence of this small cafe comforting and the ugly faces of the customers, somewhat inspirational. I was getting a lot of work done here until about three months ago, when an unusual looking woman walked in. This woman was absolutely breathtaking and I hated her because I knew that as long as she was here, I would not be able to get any work done. She sat at the far corner of the room and ordered a coffee. For about an hour or so I tried to write but all I could really do was think about her. Like a disease, she made me prisoner within my body. When she finally got up to leave, I couldn't help but watch her as she went towards the door. She wore a long, brown trench coat with a red dress underneath. Her slim legs were covered in black nylon and on her feet were red high heels. This woman's face was very pale and her hair was long and black. She was perfect and I couldn't wait to never see her again. As I watched her leave, my eyes were fixed on her perfectly round bottom. I was astonished at how disgusting my thoughts suddenly became. Images of running after this girl and asking her her name sickened me. How could I think of such an absurd thing? But this wasn't the worst of it.

Since that day about three months ago, the same woman kept returning to this cafe and sitting in the same exact spot. I sat a few tables away from her and tried my hardest to stay focused on my work. I knew that the logical thing to do would be to stop coming to this damn cafe and find somewhere else to write, but I couldn't bring myself to leave.

Today, as I walked towards the cafe, I knew that this would be the day that I either talked to this lonely woman or murder her. When I walked in, I went over to the same table I always sat. I took out my journal and my fountain pen and waited for the waiter. Pierre was his name and he knew my usual order, but he still asked me anyway.

'Good day, Monte,' he said. 'What can I get you.'

'Question mark,' I said.

'Oh right,' Pierre said. 'What can I get you?'

'Cup of black and toast with butter,' I mumbled.

Pierre the waiter nodded and walked away. When he came back a couple minutes later I found that I was beginning a paragraph in my journal. I waited for this woman to arrive as I wrote. Finally, as I heard the door open, there she was. She was wearing the same trench coat that I first saw her in all those months ago. We never made eye contact, in fact, she never looked anywhere near me. This woman must have been aware that I had been coming to this place every day since she had been coming here. After all, I had been sitting in the same spot all this time, but still, it seemed as though she never noticed, which enraged me. In the corner of my eye, I watched as this woman sat at her usual table, pulled out the same book and began reading it. Pierre walked over to her and she whispered something to him. He nodded and walked over to the bar. I suddenly got an idea. As Pierre gave the woman her cup of coffee I did my best to make eye contact so that he would come over to me next. Thankfully, Pierre saw me and walked over.

'Can I get you anything else, sir?' he asked me.

'That woman,' I said. 'I mean, who is she? What is her name?'

'Oh, you mean Lorette? Lovely woman isn't she?'

'Do you know anything about her?' I asked. 'And don't call her lovely.'

'Pardon?' asked Pierre, taken back.

'She has been haunting me,' I said.

'Sir, can I get you anything?' Pierre asked me.

'No, never mind,' I said.

Pierre then walked away. I couldn't take this anymore. I got up and walked over to the woman's table. I stood in front of her for what seemed like years. She didn't move or even look up. I cleared my throat as she slowly turned a page in her book.

'You know what I am going to say,' I told her.

'I do,' she said, still looking at her book. Her voice was soft.

I took a seat in an empty chair across from her.

'What can I do about this?' I asked her.

'I am never sure what you men do about it,' she said. 'All I can tell you is that nothing is going to happen between us.'

'You don't know my name,' I said.

'No,' she said. 'It wouldn't matter even if I did.'

'Listen to me,' I told her. 'You're always on my mind. I don't know anything about you and yet I desire you. What have you done to me? What kind of a trick is this?'

She slammed her book on the table.

'I don't know what this is,' she said. 'It's not my fault. Is it my beauty? It must be. Who am I to you besides this woman you see in this cafe?'

'Everything,' I said. 'You are everything to me. I can barely sleep. You're always on my mind.'

'Perhaps I am not real,' she said. 'Perhaps this is not real. This feeling you feel towards me. I am nothing but an object you desire. Tell me sir, do you wish to marry me?'

'I can't imagine living without you,' I told her.

'You don't even know my name,' she said. 'But you wish to marry me? Does this sound real to you?'

'Perhaps it is real because of that,' I said. 'The fact that I don't know anything about you, but still my heart aches for you. Is that not real? Tell me, Lorette.'

'Oh, so you know my name? The waiter must have told you.'

'That day you first came in,' I said. 'You've been coming here ever since. Is it because of me? Do you desire me?'

'I am a woman,' said Lorette. 'What I desire does not matter. I can have any man. I am nothing but a fantasy to you.'

'Tell me that you want me,' I told her.

'Now you're sounding desperate,' she told me. 'Tell me, will you want me for the rest of your life?'

'Well that's hard to decide, right now,' I told her. 'This is the first time I've ever talked to you.'

'If you want me to be yours,' said Lorette. 'Then you must have the idea that you and I shall be together for the rest of our lives, or then what is this between us?'

'What do you mean?' I asked her.

'If you truly desire me,' she said. 'Then you must be sure that you will desire me until one of us dies. If we begin a relationship with one another then we must both be sure that we will want each other forever , or else we are just merely acting as lovers.'

'What have you done to me?' I asked her. 'You're going to kill me!'

'Yes,' she said. 'But what if you didn't see me everyday? Would you still desire me?'

'No, of course not,' I said to her. 'I would forget about you and desire the next pretty girl I saw.'

'Now you're breaking my heart,' said Lorette. 'You admit that I am not the most special girl to you? Now I desire you. I must be the most desirable over all other girls or else I have nothing to live for. Tell me that you want me and no other!'

'I am beginning to see that you are not the woman of my dreams,' said I.

Lorette began violently clawing at her face and pulling her hair.

'Tell me you love only me!' she screamed. 'Tell me that I am the most beautiful woman to you.'

'Oh, how wrong I was,' I told her. 'I can barely see you anymore. Oh Lorette, how foolish I was. Get out of my sight you vile insect.'

'What can I do?' she asked me, desperately. 'Tell me what I can do to have you love me once more.'

'It wasn't love for you,' I told her. 'It was the mystery of you that I loved but now I know you too well and no longer do I feel anything towards you. You are nothing but the past, Lorette. I can move on but you cannot. You are nothing but an object to the world. You are a setting. A forgotten fantasy. I desire any woman now that is not you, Lorette.'

The woman began screaming and bashing her head against the table. She reached for her coffee and poured it all over herself. I sat there thinking about my freedom and knowing that I had to leave this place as soon as possible and begin my new life. Without thinking I reached across the table and grabbed the book that Lorette had been reading since I had first saw her come to this place. I opened it and scanned each page to find that they were blank.

'What is this?' I asked her.

'A trick!' she said. 'It was nothing but a dirty trick. The entire time I put on a show for you. I knew you were a writer, so I pretended to love reading for you, Monte. Everything that I am is but a trick. This is not my face. These are not my clothes. Not my skin, not my voice, not my name, not me. Nothing is me because nothing could ever truly want me forever. My entire existence is based off the fact that I must persuade men and make them desire me or else I am nothing. Nothing I tell you! But you made me this way.'

'Enough of this,' I said, getting to my feet. I turned to face the other customers. At this point I saw that everyone in the cafe had no face. Their eyes, noses and mouths were all gone.

'I'll find someone else,' Lorette said, softly.

'You'll what?' I asked her, darkly.

Lorette jumped to her feet and climbed onto the table. She then pointed right at me and screamed, 'I'LL FIND SOMEONE ELSE.'

'Yes!' I said. 'But you will never forget me. I will haunt your mind until you die knowing that you have a weakness. The fact that a man saw through you and didn't want you, will haunt you until you die, Lorette!'

She grabbed at her head with both hands.

'No,' she said. 'Stop it, stop saying that!'

'I own you woman,' I told her.

'But what about your flaws?' she asked me. 'Your hair is greasy, you emit a foul odor, you're too skinny. You live with your mother, you don't make very much money and you are insecure.'

At this point I climbed onto the table as well and began ripping off Lorette's clothes. She tried to fight against it but I was too strong. Within moments I had her naked and shaking on top of the table. I then jumped down.

'Look at you!' I spat. 'Disgusting little freckles in places all over your body. A mole by your belly button! Your nipples are too big and you have hair underneath your armpits. You are a monster. No true woman has any flaws, right?'

'That is only your idea of women!' said Lorette. 'You picture us without having these flaws until you find that we do and then what do you do? You cast us aside like broken toys! You leave us and then what can we do? Tell me, tell me!'

'Nothing,' I told her. 'We have made you this way and we will destroy you, Lorette.'

'What is going on here?' came a voice.

Lorette and I both turned to see that someone had walked into the cafe. It was an officer. Just then the faces returned to the customers.

'Officer,' I said to him. 'Arrest this woman, she has exposed herself to me.'

Lorette looked down at her nakedness and her empty soul.

'I know nothing about this woman,' said the officer. 'This is the first time I have ever seen her and yet I desire her. Is she yours?'

'No, officer,' I said. 'She is guilty of tricking me for a long time now.'

'Not a bad body on her,' said the officer, walking towards us. 'I am sexually attracted to her.'

'As well as I before she revealed herself to me.'

'Would you mind if I had her?' the officer asked me.

I said nothing

'Yes, officer,' Lorette said. 'I don't find you very attractive, but it will upset Monte if you have me. This is the only way I can defend myself against him.'

Pierre the waiter then walked over and said, 'I was also attracted to this woman, may I have her afterwards?'

'Yes,' said Lorette. 'Yes you can all have me!'

'You're only doing this because I don't want you anymore,' I said to her. 'And I never told you my name.'

The waiter began taking his clothes off. Just then the officer took out his gun and shot Pierre. 'You belong to me now, woman.'

I watched as the waiter bled out and died on the cafe floor. I never paid my bill. The officer then began to take his clothes off.

'Now I see that I shall never have you back, Monte,' said Lorette. 'I will let this awful man have me because of all the terrible things I have experienced here today.'

'He is not a good man,' I said.

'No, I am not a good man,' said the officer. 'And I don't actually desire this woman, I just cannot resist her nakedness. I must take what I can get, for I am not a good man. This woman has been revealed and she will only accept men like me who have also been exposed.'

'I warn you officer,' said Lorette. 'I will get bored of you. I have not truly won you over, but instead submitted myself to your desperation.'

'I know,' said the officer. 'And the two of us shall live a lie to one another.'

The officer was now completely naked and climbed onto the table with Lorette. The woman laid on her back and spread her legs open.

'And to think of all the times I thought of myself doing this to you, Lorette,' I told her. I then turned around and saw that all the customers were now standing naked and watching.

'What are you all looking at?' I asked them.

A young boy walked forwards and opened his mouth and said, 'we're entertained, can you blame us?'

'Read on,' I said, looking right at you through these words. 'I am sure our imagination is the only truth within this lie.'

I turned back around to find the officer and Lorette engaging in sexual intercourse. I looked at their faces as they were doing it and I could see that they were caught up in a pleasure that had nothing to do with each other. Their faces became blank and I could tell that only their bodies were real in this moment and that their minds were nothing but a pit of sorrow, confusion, regret and anger. There was no love here, only sadness.

'Are you happy now?' Lorette whispered to me as the officer continued his duty inside of her.

'There will be many more that do this to you, Lorette,' said I. 'But I will always be the one that you wished had never truly found you out. Everything you do from now on will be in fear of me. This changes nothing.'

Lorette began to cry. The officer pulled out and began to dress.

'My wife would not like what I have done here,' he said. 'I used to love her until I married her. Now I want nothing else but other women.'

'How was I?' Lorette asked the officer.

'Like the rest,' he said. 'Since I had become a married man, sex no longer means anything to me. I will continue to desire women, but only because there is nothing I can do to stop it. You are an object to me woman, nothing more.'

'There is nothing I can do about that,' said Lorette.

'I exposed you, Lorette,' said I. 'I found you out to be this object and now you must remain exposed until you die.'

'I shall never find love,' said Lorette. 'Knowing that love is only the perception of me to men before they get to know who I am.'

'And who are you?' I asked her.

'I am nothing but a being that makes itself into this object of desire for men,' she said. 'Everything I do is to make me into this object and once I am exposed and I am nothing more. There is nothing here but my will to be loved.'

'And the only way you can be loved,' I said. 'Is by remaining as the object out of grasp and never becoming something that a man can truly know. Once you are in his power he will begin to love you less because he shall see that you are nothing but someone trying to be the desire of someone else.'

'Can there be any love between a man and woman?' Lorette asked.

'Take it from a man who is married,' said the officer. 'No.'

'Each of us are a universe apart,' I said to Lorette. 'We each seek compassion from other people to feel closer to others consciousness. What love truly is is the desire to absorb each-others consciousness. I can never be you and you can never be me, but what we search for is a way out of ourselves by absorbing ourselves in another.'

'That is impossible,' said Lorette.

'That is love,' said I. 'That is why love is always a failure. You can only act at being someone for someone else.'

Just then Lorette's stomach began to expand. In a matter of moments her belly was three times the size it was before.

'My god,' I said. 'You're pregnant.'

'This wasn't suppose to happen,' said the officer.

'What is that suppose to mean?' asked Lorette. 'I carry your child.'

'It never meant anything,' said the officer. 'We were caught up in the moment. I don't want this.'

'Aren't you proud to have a child?' asked Lorette.

'No,' said the officer. 'I mean, I can pretend to love this child but the only thing I truly desire in life is to live for myself. Once this child comes to be, it will no longer be about my life. This is death! This is the death of me!'

'Pretend!' screamed Lorette. 'Pretend to love this child! Pretend! Pretend!'

'Yes, pretend!' I said.

'Pretend!' chanted the customers. 'Pretend! Pretend!'

Lorette screamed and pushed and suddenly the baby was lying on the floor. The officer picked it up, pulled out his knife and began stabbing it.

'No!' Lorette screamed. 'I needed this child! My life is so empty!'

The floor became a pool of blood. I could no longer move. My feet were stuck to the ground.

'This could have been your child, Monte,' said Lorette. 'Look at what you have done.'

'I would have done the same,' I told her. 'But I would have killed this child slowly, instead, through years of acting like a father to it. I would have left you, Lorette, as the boy became a man and then I would be responsible for the death of both of you. I would have gotten a steady job and slaved away to a future I never wanted. The role of a father is the worst role a man can play. The mother needs her child. The child needs the mother, but only for a small time. No one needs a woman. This is why you cling to the idea of having child, to feel like someone needs you. It is the completion of your objectivity. You're entire life is based around getting this child so that you feel wanted without selling yourself to the idea of finding yourself a man that wants you.'

'You're killing me Monte!' screamed Lorette.

'I have created you, Lorette!' I screamed back at her. 'Don't you see? Everything you are is because of me. But do you think I wanted this responsibility? Now we must play this game with each-other, forever.'

The officer threw the dead child to the ground.

'All I wanted was sex,' he said. 'Not life in a prison, you wicked whore.'

'Don't call her that,' I yelled at him.

'Whore!' the officer screamed. 'Whore!'

I felt my feet become free and suddenly I lunged at the officer. I brought him to the ground, reached for his pistol that was in his belt and pointed it at his stomach. I then pulled the trigger and shot. Blood erupted from his mouth and he began laughing. I shot more and more and the officer died.

Lorette grabbed my shoulder and looked into my eyes.

'So, you do love me?' she asked.

Just then the customers began yelling, 'whore, whore, whore!'

I turned to face them all and saw that their faces had turned into the officers. I shot at each of them until they were all lying on the floor dead. The original officer then began laughing again, grabbed me by the neck and looked right at me. 'There is no death, fool. I shall live always in your mind.'

I punched him and my hand disappeared. The book Lorette had been reading opened by itself and suddenly had words in it. I ran over to it and saw that it was my name written thousands of times.

'What is this?' I asked myself.

'You saved me,' said Lorette.

'Where is my hand?' I screamed.

'I can tell you where it is,' she said. 'But you must promise to love me.'

'Yes, anything,' I pleaded. 'Just give me my hand.'

Just then my hand reappeared.

'Thank you,' I said.

'Do you love me?' Lorette asked.

'Yes,' I said. 'I know now what love truly is.'

'I gave you a piece of yourself in exchange that you play at loving me,' said Lorette.

'And I shall always know that you are not real,' I said to her.

'No,' she said. 'How could I be? But you must use me to find yourself.'

'My life will now be a debt to you,' I said to Lorette. 'Let us go build a life together knowing that we will forever be complete strangers to one another.'

'It is the least we can do for each-other while we are here,' said Lorette.

The cafe door swung open and a familiar looking woman walked in.

'Lorette?' I asked, perplexed.

'Get out!' Lorette screamed at the woman who walked in. She was wearing a brown trench coat with a red dress underneath. 'This one is mine.'


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