The Dark Ages

The Dark Ages

A Chapter by Eric Richard

Paris when Medea ruled.


The street uttered screams and wails and was coated with bloodshed. Thrashes that came out of the shadows caused the mice to disperse in fear as they flooded back into their mouse holes. Every entranceway slammed shut, the curtains drawn, and every nook and cranny masked at the sound’s advancement. The sound increased in intensity as it reached closer with each step until it blared. Each adjacent footstep brought faintheartedness throughout. The humans from the world above were absentminded of the chaos, which materialized below.

     A group of guards turned the corner and were followed by a mammoth sized creature, Medea; a name spoken would be taboo. The mice held their breath; those remaining scurried when they caught a glimpse of the creature. The sunlight mirrored the darkness until it faded away being overtaken by the dusk as Medea made her way into the depths of the courtyard. She searched for the slightest reason to obliterate any individual; she needed to keep the mice in line to demonstrate who is ruler of the kingdom and all throughout the land. God forbid if she was challenged in anyway; Medea was not hesitant to slay anyone who spoke out against her by any means. Silence was the better alternative.

Thirty years younger than, Margaret Petit cowered in a darkened room lighten only from the insufficient rays that entered through the crack in the floorboards.

“Mama, how long does she expect us to live like this? Certainly we cannot do this forever,” Margaret said. 

“We will do this as long as that rat is in power my dear,” spoke Frances Petit without enthusiasm.

“Hush! Keep it down we don’t need her to hear us. Do you want us all to be annihilated and made examples of in front of the entire kingdom?” cried out Jacques Roux, his eyes snooped the darkness of the outside world.

“Oh how possibly could she hear us,” Frances snapped, “she may be walking away right now.”

“Phew. We got lucky this time,” Jacques stepped back down from the curtain, “we got lucky this time, but who knows how long until she comes back.”

“Are you suggesting we stay in hiding for the remainder of the evening?” asked Margaret.

“It might be better if we stayed in hiding until this terror is behind us” Frances said.

“Or come up with a plan to overthrow her” suggested Jacques.

“But, how are we to stay hidden here for so long without her catching us?” asked Margaret.

     Jacques stormed across the room, pounding against the floorboards with his paws. He heard a loud thud underneath a tattered throw rug. Upon moving the rug, it revealed a key ring attached to a trap door hidden in the shadows. He pulled open the hatch.

     “I will show you the way,” said Jacques disappearing into the darkness. Frances followed with hesitance down a narrow stairway; the steps creaked with the passage of each step, the air is horrid and musty. Margaret lingered behind her heartbeat quivered spying the dust and cobwebs she lowered the hatch behind her scanning the room with a look of worry.

     On the upper side of Paris was a mouse hole covered in marble hidden behind ivy overlooking the park. It was home to Sebastian Barbineaxs and he sat at a desk with books laid out and quill in his hand. Medea walked the uptown streets her paws pounded the pavement like hooves of a horse. She approached the doorway and knocked on it with her fist upon no immediate answer it turned into a bang.

     “What is all the ruckus about,” Sebastian said opening the door only to see the large creature. “…Your grace I was not expecting you, especially at this time of night. What may I help you with?” He moved out of the way just in time as the dark shadowy figure nearly stampeded into him.

     “The kingdom needs your home, you have twenty four hours to vacate the premises.” Medea snarled shoving papers into Sebastian’s face.

     “Med-Medea, your honor you cannot just step in here and expect me to move without notice.” Sebastian stammered.

     “I can do whatever I wish I am the queen aren’t I? Although, I am feeling hospitable if you feel twenty-four hours is not enough time I will give you an additional twenty-four hours.” Medea shoved the papers under his nose once more.

     “I shall not be doing anything of the sorts,” cried Sebastian. “ I have reached my wits end, you are no queen by my account. Why, Medea you are nothing more than a shrew, a dragon that abuses her power and it about time someone has stood up to you. You cannot have my home that is out of the question you will simply go elsewhere. I am not leaving,” he shouted. 

     “You are trying my patience Sebastian Barbineax,” Spit landed on his face as Medea shouted. “You listen and you listen to me good. If you are not vacated from the house within the allotted twelve hours you will be taken into custody and perhaps exterminated” Medea barked dropping the forms in front of Sebastian and stormed off.

     “How dare you threaten me, your majesty,” Sebastian picked up the papers tore them to sheds and slammed the door.

Jacques fumbled down the hallway striking the surface of sheer metal; he scratched it with his paw. A loud mechanical noise roared throughout as light flooded the corridor.

     “That’s more like it,” stated Jacques. The light glimmered off the concrete walls as the sun reflected off the coral reef. Portraits filled the wall, although the face of Medea is nonexistent, it showed two male figures both portraying a first class lifestyle; Cornelius Monceaux, an older mouse complete with full-grown mustache, while the other a younger mouse clean-shaven; Sebastian Babineaux.

     “Where are you taking us Jacques?” cried Frances.

     “To the land of the underground,” exclaimed Jacques as he moved through the corridor.

     “You’re certain she won’t find us, because you realize if she does we all be killed,” cried Margaret.

“The mice of the underground have been here for quite some time.” Jacques said. As they approached the end of the hallway the space widened as if accommodating the mice of Paris who filled it. An older mouse stood in the center of the room easily recognizable from the portrait.

“My fellow mice of Paris, the time has come for Medea to be overthrown and this reign of terror to come to an end,” Cornelius spoke with a thick French accent. As the name of the ruler rung throughout the underground it brings faintheartedness as mice cringed and shuddered.

“Shhhh….have you gone mad?” Jacques raced towards Cornelius. “She might hear you, be quiet.”

“So let her hear me. This evil empress has ruled our city streets for far too long, she causes fear in our streets and I for one am tired of it.” The mice applauded.
     “Due to the fact, Sebastian Barbineaux holds on our community with his integrity, confidence, bravery, loyalty and gentility, I have taken it upon myself to make him my right hand man.” The mice cheered throughout the tunnel.

Sebastian sat at his desk, his head lowered and quill in hand. On the verge of tears, he fought them with all his might to no avail; one managed to break free and caressed his cheek, then merged into the paper. He drifted off into a deep slumber.

© 2012 Eric Richard

Author's Note

Eric Richard
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Added on November 24, 2012
Last Updated on November 24, 2012
Tags: Paris, Mice, Ball, Celebration, Evil


Eric Richard
Eric Richard

Palm Coast, FL

Been interested in writing since as long as I can remember. I hold my Bachelor's degree in creative writing and my associate's degree in General Business. I took a creative writing course which .. more..

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