Friday, 29 April 2011

Blood at the Palace

By afternoon the crowd filled the streets. We were mostly women, all walking in the same direction, all chanting the same slogans. When we got there, the tired October sun was going down behind the palace and the air turned cool. I stood near the gates. People were shaking them, shouting and screaming as if possessed. The guards drew back and watched from the other side. Their faces were pale with disbelief, agitation, and fear. No one could believe what was going on. Even the rain couldn’t calm the mob. As the evening drew on, hunger and cold fed the rage. It was around six when we broke through. I saw a guard go under. He never got back up. We ran into the palace calling for the Queen’s head, drunken on the opulence, the blood, the mad rush of unexpected power. Had it not been for Lafayette’s theatrics, the royal family would have been ripped apart that very night.

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