L’ Esprit D’Escalier: Part Seventeen.

by | Dec 16, 2023 | Uncategorized | 2 comments

The ride home was a pleasant one.

The evening progressed and Lucien was either ignored totally, otherwise the butt of the others’ acerbic humour. Either way, it didn’t bother him, he was in another world. The combination of his induced senselessness and a new found obsession with homicide, rendered him immune to both.

What occupied his mind was how to dispatch the three horrors to oblivion. As he cut into the succulent tart and dipped the morsel in rich truffle cream, the solution came to him. The earthy fungus, mixed with the herbs, buttery pastry and aromatic cream conceived the embryo of a plan. He’d flesh out the bones at a later date. Meanwhile, it was main course time. Lucien was brought back to earth with the sound of his detested sobriquet.

“Lucie? Lucie! Are you with us?” Marielle cawed in a wine-induced tone.

“Yes Mimi, I’m here,” the doctor replied, like a lost boy who’d been found. He surfaced just too late to cut off his hostess’s own nickname from the reply. The two guests turned to each other and grinned with relish at Lucien’s faux pas.

“How many times?” Marielle growled, her anger exacerbated by the mirth of the boys.

“Yes Marielle. Sorry Marielle.” For the first time ever, he was neither intimidated or humiliated by her vicious duplicity.

“Follow me. This evening is turning into the Lucien show. Why do you crave so much attention?” The arrow-sharp put down glanced off his newly acquired armour and Lucien quietly obeyed his mistress. In the kitchen, Marielle upped the ante of abuse. However, the normally eye-watering insults fell on deaf ears; something that succeeded in annoying Marielle further. By the time the main was ready, mein host was shaking with rage.

The rest of the evening was a blur to Lucien, to the severe vexation of the other three. In the absence of their victim, their conversation was virtually non-existent. Meanwhile, Lucien’s plan was growing arms and legs. He began to recall, from the dim dark past of his medical career, the effects of certain fungi on the central nervous system. The doctor couldn’t wait to get home and begin his research. He would choose the starter, as usual, for the next soirée. The starter to end all starters.

By the time Lucien pulled on his overcoat, which made him immune to the affected hugs and kisses the others were indulging in, his plot was almost complete. His scheme was now fully grown and ready to launch upon his unsuspecting tormentors.


The ride home was a pleasant one. Lucien was unable to suppress the tiny grin that graced his time-worn features. The smile was returned by several fellow travellers. Around three stops in, young Emily de Marisy boarded the carriage, alone. Immediately, she made for the seat opposite Lucien and greeted him with a warm smile.

“Thank goodness it’s you Doctor Lucien. I hate travelling alone on the Metro. There are so many, erm, perverts around,” she said, settling in the seat and pulling her coat around her ample, exposed breasts.

“Don’t worry. You’re safe here. Have you had a good evening?” Lucien allowed his own smile to broaden, in an act of reassurance. The girl pulled the collar of her coat over the oval purple mark on her neck.

“Yes, thank you doctor. It was most enjoyable. We watched a movie and had food. May I apologise for my manners earlier? I get carried away in the company of friends. You know how it is?” Emily squirmed in embarrassment. Lucien merely nodded and continued smiling. Things have a way of righting themselves, he pondered.

He accompanied the young woman for the rest of the journey, listening empathetically to the woes of a hormone induced teenager. Arriving at the apartment block, they were greeted by Emily’s mother, arms folded, face like a late July thunderstorm.

Before the woman could let rip, the teenager skillfully disarmed her mother’s aggression.

“Mama, doctor Lucien was so good. I’ve been terrified. God knows what would have happened had he not been there to rescue me!” Her pleading tones shocked both Anna and Lucien.

“I see. Thank you doctor. And you, upstairs now. I’ll deal with you later. I need to speak to Lucien.” The child obeyed immediately, shooting a triumphant glance at Lucien. He was sure that she winked at him.

“Doctor Lucien. I want to apologise for my outburst this morning. It was out of order,” Anna said, placing her hands by her sides. “ I have been under so much pressure recently and the kids have taken a back seat.”

“Anna, please don’t apologise. I understand the stress you’re under. Sometimes one has to make difficult decisions. It’s tough being a GP but being a single parent of teenagers puts it in the shade.” Lucien’s reply set off the waterworks in his neighbour and she wrapped her arms around him, sobbing uncontrollably.


As he let himself into the flat a few minutes later, Lucien contemplated the transformation of his day. He removed his overcoat, sat at his desk and opened the laptop. He selected the dark web app, typed in his password and selected the search engine.

In the box, he typed the words that would finally set him free from this life sentence of Hell…

Poison Mushrooms


  1. Kenneth Childs

    Doctor Death.

  2. brian

    Haha! Yes Ken😂


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