Max Ernst’s “Une Semaine de Bonté: Lundi, l’eau” (writing prompt)

Bernadette’s Dream

Max: Patrice, Patrice! Good God man, provide me with your assistance!

Patrice: Nothing else matters now Max… Nothing, else, matters

Max: Patrice! Help me drag poor Marcel to safety. It did not work, he is close to death! You said the waters held healing powers. It is bullshit Patrice, complete bullshit! If you don’t help me right now, I swear I will kick your ass and hold your head under the water until you yourself are healed!

Patrice: …I am in love with this woman, Max. Her name is Bernadette Soubirous.

Max: Patrice, you fool. We merely form a part of her dream life, when she awakes we shall fade away. By breakfast time, she will find herself unable to recall the dream. There will be no trace left that we ever existed.

Patrice: Max, I implore you, don’t say such things.

Max: You are right my foolish friend, you may well be in love, but nothing about this matters and she will never know.

Patrice: How is Marcel, our dearest friend?

Max: Marcel is dead Patrice. Why did you hold him under water for ten minutes as a cure for a hangover? It did not work!

Patrice: He lacked faith Max.

Max: He lacked oxygen Patrice! Why did you not let him up for air after his arms had stopped thrashing around?

Patrice: Because …

Max: Yes Patrice..? Because?

Patrice: Because … I truly believed at that very moment, by the Grace of our Holy Mother, Marcel had finally accepted God into his life.

Max: He’d died Patrice, you stupid damned fool!

Patrice: This is so…

Max: And for the record Patrice, Marcel lived a humble life, attended Communion during the week and every Sunday –

Patrice: Alright Max…-

Max: He gave much time to cleaning his church, created wonderful floral arrangements and cleared litter from the churchyard. I believe he held more God in his heart, Patrice, than you will ever know.

Patrice: Alright Max! Can we leave it now? As you say, this is all just part of Bernadette’s dream. Can we simply move on, if you please?

Max: I will let poor Marcel rest, slip his body back into the water… …Patrice what are you doing?

Patrice: Well Max, you know, don’t judge me…

Max: I completely reserve the right to…

Patrice: You say this is all but a dream, is that not true?

Max: Yes Patrice, I said this and it is so.

Patrice: And, ultimately, Bernadette will awaken?

Max: Patrice! What are you doing? Why do you lift the bed-clothes uncovering her modesty?

Patrice: Max, calm down.

Max: Are you about to do what I fear you are about to do?

Patrice: Bernadette can awaken at any time she chooses, these events form part of her own will. I commit no crime of conscience by following the desires of my heart.

Max: Alright Patrice, you have gone too far. You believe it’s okay to pull back the bedclothes? To untie the front of her nightdress and to fondle each one of her perfectly formed cantaloupes? This… is… an outrage and I demand you stop now!

Patrice: Maxie Maxie Maxie, what did I say? Calm your head down my dear friend. For-you-know, Bernadette she is a nun, working as a nurse at the infirmary, and this is her fantasy.

Max: Wait, what is in this bottle located on the bedside table? As I agitate the liquid and pass the vessel back and forth under my nose, I recognise a vague scent.

Patrice: Why… stop bothering yourself with matters of insignificance and come join me!

Max: Patrice! While I struggled to bring Marcel ashore, you laced her lemonade with morphine, dispensing the potion between her lips by use of this chromium-iron alloy straw, now left in the glass.

Patrice: Max! Listen to me. We have hours ahead of us to take our pleasure, to do whatever we so desire! Let us not waste this opportunity. She lays before us in an induced state of unconsciousness and we are two sexually repressed Frenchmen of our time.

Max: Stand to one side Patrice!

Patrice: Hey! There is no need to be so pushy.

Max: I demand you put that grotesquely gnarled bald-headed yoghurt slinger away this instant and pull your trousers up!

Patrice: Come on man, it is 1867, people are calling it the summer of love, we are living the dream!

Max: Out of my way Patrice, stand aside as I administer arousing slaps about her cheeks!

Patrice: Okay, if this is your thing Max., okay be my guest.

Max: No Patrice! Cheek slapping is not my thing! My motive is to awaken her and bring to an end this perverse game, once and for all. You do not deserve existence, this nightmare will soon come to a close!

Patrice: Max! Stop that! Bernadette stirs!

Max: No Patrice, you are sick and this must end, now!

Bernadette: Uhhh… Sister Marie?


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