Six Violent Days | By: Uzair Waseem | | Category: Short Story - History Bookmark and Share

Six Violent Days


September 2, 1792

 

Bang! I heard the gunshots as I was about to leave for home and thought if would ever be able to make it. The gunshots were not as uncommon as we all wanted them to be, in the streets of Paris, but still I felt a bit perplexed. Being a lawyer, I could see where we were heading. People of France were already against the king Louis and suspect him for plotting a conspiracy against the revolution, and by fleeing; away with the Royal Family, he even endorsed it. However, he got arrested last month on 10th that even collapsed the French Military power under General Lafayette. My instinct told me that it is just the beginning and there is a lot more to come. After all, we are having a “Revolution”. Having faith on god, I left my office and fortunately reached home.

 

Even when the door was close, I could smell blood and some negative waves. Moreover, as I opened the door some rather nauseate feeling came over me. Holding my breath, I started walking and after a minute or two, the screaming became more audible to me and I saw a large crowd of people marching towards me. I stopped one of them and asked the matter, they were so afraid that none of them really answered me. As I walked a bit more further I saw a river of blood running from all over the street. Soon after I noticed the blood, I realized that it’s not as easy to leave for home. Suddenly a group of sans-culottes came in the middle of the street and with their naked sword started attacking people that were running before them. One of the supposedly “victim-to –be” came towards me and asked for help. The only place I could think of at that time was my own office. I took him back to my office discreetly and locked the door. Now were suppose to be there till every thing comes back to normal (which was impossible) so we agreed on leaving whenever we feel a bit safe.

 

As adjusted ourselves in a way that angry mob would not be able to notice us I asked him the real matter:

“Would you mind telling me the real reason behind this massacre?” I asked. I could see that his economic status is not as good as mine, as I analyze his appearance.

For a minute or two, he looked at me and my question remained unanswered.

“ What class do you belong to?” that was my second question regardless of my first unanswered question.

‘ I am an urban worker and my name is David  and I ,unlike you,  am more affected with this catastrophe. You probably have heard about Prussian army invading France.” his answer left the question for me. “Moreover, since we lost our two fortresses last week and today respectively to the Prussian army, they now have many ways to enter Paris.

I, in fact, knew about the lost of the fortress on August 23, but was unacquainted of the one we just lost.

 “These people thought that the prisoners in L’Abbaye had aided them, and consequently broke in to prisons and killed almost 1200 prisoners” he finished with the gesture of disappointment.

“Killed 1200 prisoners!?” I asked with mixed tone, as it was half of the prison population of Paris. “But what about the “Brunswick Manifesto” that warned them not to harm Prussians?” I asked with surprise.

“Do you think they care?” he answered in a sarcastic manner. “They probably are not one of you, and you don’t know what they are going through. Do you have any idea how expensive the bread is?” he threw another question towards me and I remained quite. I knew it was a stupid question to ask, as this Manifesto had already made them even more violent. They even attacked the Tuileries Palace and made King leave with his family. Leaders like Robespierre, Danton, Marat had already used this angry crowd to overthrow the French Monarchy, and with their support, nothing can stop this violence. It is a new nationalism and these people don’t give dam to king, noble or church. All they really care is about their nation.

 

“If I am not mistaken even you belong to the same group. Don’t you?” I asked in an interrogating tone. “ If so, then why are you hiding in here with me?”.

“All they really care is their nation, nothing else, killing people on the street is not a revolution, and not every one is a traitor. I am not against the revolution but I just want a bit more sensibility. As I expressed that, I entitled me as a traitor. They even killed my family.” he grieved and some tears rolled over his cheek. As I was about to calm him I saw the prevalent illustration of the mob’s wrath. I saw the head stuck over a pike and they were marching towards the other side of the street from my office. As I noticed more closely, I could not believe my sorry sight, the head belonged to Princess de Lamble, the friend of Marie Antimonite and sister in law to Duc d’Orleans.

 

“ I think I should leave because most of the crowd had  just passed towards the other way and this time is good to escape.” he said all of a sudden and stood up. “What about you?” he asked in courtesy.

“I would rather prefer sitting here for some more time,” I stated in almost confident way. “Why don’t you stay for some more time too?” I asked in a concerned way.

“No thanks” he said and left.

An hour after David left I thought of fleeing too. I grabbed my small bag and quietly fled from the back door. On the way home I witnessed some more dead bodies , but among those dead bodies one seemed familiar to me I walked towards it and after some time I was standing over its back with all my courage I sat down and turn it over. I was expecting this but not so early. a guy who just an hour  ago was sitting with me is no more in this  world. I couldn’t recognize his bloody face but his cloths were enough for me to conclude that he was David.

 

September 8’1792


The Massacre lasted for five days from 2 to 7 September. Many people lost many things including their loved ones. I fortunately lost none or lets say that not any one of my family, but still I lost one friend, a friend who met me because of the revolution and left me forever because of the same revolution.

I still don’t get that what was the real reason for this massacre and street violence or was it about killing everyone who opposed Revolution or was it about killing everyone who disagrees with you. During this period as the legislative assembly suspended in to chaos the angry mobs slaughtered three bishops that include Archbishop of Arles and killed more than two hundred priests. According to the mob what they were doing for these five days is a trial. a trial in which even judges are murderers with sleeved rolled up and hands covered with blood. They were either drunk or half-asleep.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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