As she faced the firing squad, in a distant chilling dawn, Margarete Louriette Magnons remembered that afternoon when she discovered Amaryllis. Then there had been no war, only desire. Amaryllis lived in Carcasone near the border. It was a small town, only sixty houses, built by the bank of an ancient river. Amaryllis would, in the chilling dawn, wash her feet among the polished stones and the rippling river weeds. Her heartbreak was so recent that her feelings still lacked names. And they felt enormous; like eggs ripening into separate lives.Amaryllis sometimes was struck mute.She would point and want and wait.

Every autumn, in the month of the least and dryest warmth, Amaryllis’ family would immigrate to the beach at Carcasoni across the border.Creating a great uproar among the locals and merchants was her father’s delight and her mother’s cold disdain. He was like a massive human kettledrum, banging along with large handfuls of money.She was ice. And so Amaryllis had to invent herself, herself.

She had already invented love. And un-invented it.And men had become anathema. They bored her while adoring her.She wanted nothing to do with penises and the town soon even stopped whispering about it. The priest never looked her in the eyes in church, however. The religious Swiss can be unforgiving.

Margarete arrived from Paris.From the monde de couture, the epicenter of chic; and discovered a Jean D’Arc.A marytr with the beauty of a saint. It was desire. It was love. It was lust. It was lovely. They were lovely. Les fleurs, the opening bloom of each woman’s cunt amazed them when they touched.Velvet Parisian lips coursed across the litheness of Amaryllis, while she in turn rained petal-soft kisses over Margarete’s rouged nipples.And sucked them lightly, drawing more nectar as her fingers caressed the swollen shaved lips of glowing pink.Amaryllis slid her thumbs up the labia and bent to breathe softly on Margarete’s pulsing clit. “Fleur, fleur, fleur,” Margarete murmured over and over.My flower.

Down by the wet reeds, amid the soaked plants and the unmoving river stones, woman loved woman in a give and take, possess and retreat, erotic and animal hour of riparian pleasures.The whispered, hungry breath of Sappho and Diana tickled dandelion puffs along the flowing water.The chuckles of naiads and tree nymphs rolled like gleaming droplets over the pale, writhing bodies of Margarete and Amaryllis.In the dusking of that night in autumn.

Amaryllis pointed at her and Margarete understood all the muted want there.She sat in Margarete’s car and pointed at the road.They went to Paris.

“I hope…” Margarete said as they entered the loop of the great city.

Amaryllis nodded, her hair brushing her lover’s face.

The dawn’s early wind blew Margarete’s hair across her cheek as she looked again at the line of rifle barrels only a few feet away.They aimed at her. Would fire. Adieu, Amaryllis. Or rather, Hello. Amaryllis had already faced this fate. Had been tied, shot, taken down and thrown roughly in a wooden crate. Collaborateur! What did that mean? A word! They had put on shows, nothing more. If the people of Paris wanted to see lesbian lovers, why not? If the Nazis who came wanted to see it, too, and pay money, and protect? Why not? For this she was being murdered, Margarete understood.For that, they had killed her Amaryllis.

They say death is like an orgasm. Or at least one is something like the other. Perhaps it is.

© 1999 William S. Dean. All rights reserved.

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