Loathsome, tiresome, heroic only in the smallness of his self-awareness, the Prince of Carcasses throws himself down in the muddy soil next to a tomb, bounces off the marble top and lies writing, undulating like a snake, gripping the cold sides and pushing his head backwards into the mud.
He is weeping a woman’s name. Dull-faced footmen stumble forward holding copper tanks of rocks and rainwater.
“Oh the thunder!” cries the Prince “black consuming horror of endless night!”
On cue three footmen ring the largest cauldron, hoist it up and shake it back and forth. The rolling rocks counterfeit the sound of storms.
A second crew holds up a huge black velvet circular shade on dull brass poles, designed specifically to blot out the sun. They place the Prince of Carcasses in the centre of his carefully ordered blot. A third stands by the moaning man as he crawls, he holds out an iron sieve on a pole and delecatly shakes cold rainwater over the princes weeping face.
“Oh monstrous ice-hearted woman with a daemons eye!” cries the Prince. He waves and makes a writing sign. A servant sighs. Paper is brought. A pen. Another woman will die soon.
The Prince of Carcasses is searching for a woman who can appreciate the grey churning depths of his ennui and the dark silent tragedy of his fallen soul. This will never happen. The Prince of Carcasses is a snivelling privileged little shit who happens to have a magical talent.
The Prince loves women. He doesn’t really pay much attention to what they do or why they do it or what they say, or what that means, or how they act when not around him. But he loves them. He is hungry for them and drawn to them. They pin him with arrows of burning desire. He shakes and shivers in their wake. Turned ankles corkscrew his heart.
When the prince can no longer hold back the red gurgling of his onrushing love, he writes a poem. The woman becomes immortal. Her body dies.
No-one knows what the women involved think of this as he steals their voice at the same time. They are silent forever.
Depending on how the prince felt about them, the women become different kinds of undead. Those he watched and worshipped from afar usually transform into pearly floating ghosts and beautiful wraiths. Those he was sexually obsessed with slowly rot. Zombies. He watches as their naked flesh decays. Knowing no-one can ever comprehend the storm of emotion in his poets’ soul. Who knows the poets spleen!
The Prince of Carcasses has had all the buildings in his city replaced with graves. All the buildings are buried or disguised as statues and tombs. He has taken the tops off drains the make the gurgling resonate and commanded greyness and continual rain. This has had no effect.
He has replaced all forms of entertainment with games of solitaire played with incomplete packs of cards in empty wood-panelled rooms. You can also listen to music, so long as it seeps out of a building several doors down. He also advises you to stare at the sky when it is blank.
He likes cats and is kind to them, possibly recognising the only other form of life as self-centred and indifferent as himself.
The Prince always hungers for witty conversation, his own. He does, however, need someone to talk at. If you visit with the prince he will not listen to you. When you are gone he will compose satirical verse about your stupidity and cloddish indifference, it will be believed. He is a genius after all.
Despite his tendencies, women often still attend the prince. He pays well, the city is poor and there are no jobs. No-one destroys the poems. They are too beautiful. He publishes them. Poetry is the cities remaining export.
Essentially Baudelaire is a fucking arsehole. Never have I seen so much talent in the hands of someone I so badly want to choke. I hope you like this because I am only half way through The Flowers of Evil and I’m gonna keep writing this shit till I’m done.