Pictures at an Exhibition No.3 & 4

“They say the parterres are wonderfully designed.” She cast a look at the sky. “It’s nearly fall. I’m sorry I couldn’t take you here sooner.”

“It’s okay, mother. Are there flowers?”

“There are, but you mustn’t pick them. Look, there it is, the Tuileries Palace.”

The little boy saw a group of children. One shouted orders and was met with mixed reactions. Still, the children scattered. The footsteps running across the courtyard resembled the fluttering notes of a flute.

“Would you like to go play with them?”

He shook his head. “I’ll stay here.” They watched until the sun set and the temperature dropped.

Years later, he went to visit it again. The theater had ceased operations and there were no children. It was home for the Constituent Assembly, not royalty.

He heard the clatter of a cart’s wheels approaching, the noise taking on a crescendo. The noise roared in his ears before it began fading. A tympani continued thudding in his head.

And when he thought about the gardens, it was all he could hear.

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