Francille's Eyes | a macabre poem
Updated: Sep 3
The following is an extract from a horror script I am developing. Or at least it was originally. I'm now developing it as a short film in its own right. It's inspired by a tradition of macabre narrative poems epitomised by Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Raven’. Poe’s poem also inspired Tim Burton’s ‘Vincent’. These are both wonderfully macabre tales in which the narrator - speaking in eloquent rhyming verse - leads us down a dark rabbit hole of vivid horror imagery. ‘The Raven’ chills, while ‘Vincent’ toys and amuses. With FRANCILLE’S EYES I wanted to push both the horror and the possibility for black humour, using a similar technique of verse narration and a macabre gothic subject.
In relation to BLUE BLOOD, the scene is a private feast at a grand mansion. Here, one of the gentleman stands to perform a poem. It is a fun little diversion that has not too much to do with the main plot (which is why I am pleased to share it). Enjoy.
I have prepared a poem. It concerns a boy named Henry...
The gentlemen cheer and bang the table. This is obviously an old favourite. Bonker launches into the poem. His delivery is note-perfect, a bravura performance of pitch-black wit, equal parts entertaining and disturbing...
It has often been told how Henry was born,
In a room full of screams on a black and sunless morn…
His mother, delivering his soul into the cold, unwelcoming world,
Suffered a grave and fatal complication
As she heard the midwife cry 'Abomination! Abomination!'
And she saw, swaddled in her arms, a small, pink child
With sharp razor teeth and the Devil in his eyes.
With her dying breaths she prayed to God above
He would be a good little boy, not like his father,
Rather, he would show kindness, honesty, sweetness and love,
Goodness, above all.
Then die she did amid a chorus of tears.
Her words climbed to heaven
But her wish fell on deaf ears,
For she forgot the final word, 'Amen'.
Thus began the life of Henry,
He started it off by killing his mummy,
Starting as he meant to go on…
For time passed and as little Henry grew
So too did his proclivity for acts of wickedness and depravity.
And tonight, here, we continue the chronicling of his misdeeds…
Now as a boy of five little Henry had a nanny,
Her name was Francille, she was a fine piece of fanny,
Widely admired for her cherry-red lips and soft, supple breasts,
But it was her eyes that Henry liked best.
Each ocular orb a jewel of a thousand hues of starry blue,
Divine marbles of feminine beauty.
Well, marbles happened to be one of Henry's favourite games…
Francille, pure of heart, had no indication of his wicked machinations.
She mistook his fascination for fondness, love.
But Henry's attachment was anything but,
He didn't want that silly French slut
With her Frère Jacques and her croissants for breakfast.
He wanted her eyeballs.
Now Henry had a few tricks up his sleeve,
A series of ploys intended to deceive
And persuade Francille that butter wouldn't melt.
He wooed her with adoring eyes, listened rapt to her stupid fucking songs,
And played the angel, her bonny young prince, a paragon of charm,
Masking his fantasies of grievous bodily harm.
The scene was set.
Francille entered the nursery, ignorant of the threat,
And found Henry in a melancholy way.
Complaining about his tummy and crying for his mummy,
She took him on her knee and said 'There, there.'
And as she wrapped him in cuddles and blew away his tears,
Henry, sensing his opportunity, darted out a hand, straight for the object of his desires -
Now Henry wasn't just a wicked child, he had strength beyond his years and the reflexes of a snake,
And with claws sharpened for purpose, he ripped the eye from Francille's face.
She fell back.
As the blood gushed and as she wailed and flailed and cried for her mother,
Henry snuck in and plucked out the other.
The theft complete, Henry pocketed his prize
And made away with Francille's eyes.
This spelled the end of the nanny's employ,
For she now lived in terror of that wicked little boy.
Henry played nicely with his marbles, alone in his room.
And the Devil looked on and smiled.