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I was one of Louis XVI’s (sez) many black dot assassins. One wouldn’t suspect a woman, so it was easier to go through the city unnoticed, even without being on the arm of a man. I wore my hair differently (in a tight bun) and wore black street clothes. When I wore my hair in the popular noodle island curls with my signature white long teardrop earrings and my off-the-shoulder red ball gown, I became La Duchesse de DuBarry. While everyone else wore wigs, I slept in braids every night to achieve the curls they thought I naturally had. Oh, the blush was real. In those days a Vitamin D deficiency was favorable.
I was a sort of Uriel for the Crown. It was energizing when I first started.
I’d been friends with her, and I hadn’t known that she was an enemy of the Crown. She’d followed her father in that. Eugenie was my first assignment.
After crying my eyes out that same night, I came to realize they’d made it someone I knew to make me able to kill whosoever they might assign me to.
As I took a liking to history, I visited the private royal library. Hidden in a book, I found a mini-daguerreotype of Empereur Napoleon, holding his hand under his jacket and over his heart. I also saw, right behind the picture, a note with a hole in it the size of a bullet. The paper was yellowed at the edges. It had become a black dot note on the life of his killer.
My summoning names were “mon ange” and “ma belle ange (my beautiful angel).” They meant that I had to attend yet another ball to get yet another black dot note.
Once I arrived home and had changed into my street clothes, I had to tear up the note. They would tell me the home address and I would proceed from there.
If the assignment seemed to want to fight, I would knock them unconscious, then stab them in the brain stem. If they were peaceful, they were to be shot in the lower back of the head. Thieves and common killers wouldn’t use such specific methods. Once word reached the Crown from the police, they would know if it was an assignment or not.
The cover of the affair was convenient for Louis and I. The public and other nobles wouldn’t know of the assignments, and it was a common enough and accepted part of being royal that one would cheat on one’s spouse as they were all marriages of convenience and station, nothing to do with love. Any children had were had out of duty to the royal line, not out of paternal or maternal love or instinct.
One time when I was simply in their chambers visiting as La Duchesse de DuBarry, Louis finally stopped telling Marie that it was because she was too beautiful and lovely to want to kill when, for the umpteenth time, she asked, “But why does no one want to kill me?” He turned his head violently fast, looking angrily calm, and said, “Because you’re not important enough.” He was the Crown and she was something pretty and royal for him to be it. That’s why he married her. That was why any king had married a queen.
When I wasn’t learning fencing, required but not something I was adept at, I would go to church. As the years wore on, I would come to frequent it more often. It was a place to think. I wasn’t feeling my own thoughts stifled by the instructions from those who worked for the Crown, much as I was grateful to them for everything they’d taught me. I found my heart heavy from each kill. I wondered sometimes how I dared enter a church, but still found it so peaceful that even my own bedroom, now a place I would wash my hands and face of what I’d done, paled in comparison.
In the years leading up to the guillotinage, Louis began to seem more and more paranoid. His eyes would widen and the borders would seem even wider with a greater fear behind them.
The very last assignment I received was one of the Crown’s own. He hadn’t seemed to be conspiring against His Majesty, but he’d talked so much of feeling so much like a Bonapartist that he might as well be against the Crown that he was taken seriously. The assignment had gotten ’round to me.
We all met him one night, under a streetlamp that was out. We’d picked it for the occasion. We looked in his eyes when we asked him where he stood. It was us; he could tell us anything. The tinge of fear in his eyes said it all and it was as though someone had shot us in the heart with an emotional bullet. Our leader drew his smaller trick-pistol first, then dropped it. He then drew his proper pistol and, though his hand was shaking, shot him, first in the face, then the chest. His second then mercy-shot our once friend to stop his shaking.
I went to church one final time instead of going home. This time, the priest was there and gave me a knowing nod. I looked at him with tears still in my eyes and feeling a wave of gratitude and warmth toward him. Even if he was only there to cleanse the air with incense, it was comforting to know that someone was there for me. As much as I was bonded to those others who’d gone through what I had, we all felt alone in it too. I began to think on why I’d done that all those years. For the Crown. An easy answer to throw at myself, but why did I do it? What had been my own reason for it? I couldn’t answer myself. Did Louis’ “adoring” public know of how mortal their leader was? Did they know that he wasn’t really ordained by God or semi-divine? I recalled one time when he’d been going to sign something and pricked himself. He’d bled just as anyone would. If his public were made aware of this, how would they react? I would think his guillotinage would have come sooner. The hatred and feeling of oppression weren’t exactly new.
There is one final thought I’d like to leave you with. You want to know how and why Louis XIV died? All of the other nobles, including me, threw their names into a hat. None of us could afford to besmirch our names in order to be next for the throne. After the hat, we were enemies. Being “mon ange” was now safer than being La Duchesse. We let his “adoring” public do the rest.