A Dream Worth Dying For
By J'aimie Graham
June 5th, 2001:
169th anniversary of the Uprising of 1832
Disclaimer: Okay, I know every site for Les Amis has a story about how Enjolras felt as his dreams were shattered, and I figure, what the hell, LCM/BTB will hop the bandwagon. This is a piece that I wrote out of boredom on the 169th anniversary of the uprising in 1832. Enjoy.
"Enjolras," a young man garbed in shabby, worn clothes and a tricolour said, from the foot of the barricade, "Enjolras, they are coming… it is almost over. We are running out of cartridges, and there is little we can do. If we surrender now…"
"If we surrender now, Andre, we'll have done nothing for our country. Let us do this, pay for it with our lives, and die knowing that we were a thorn in the side of the National Guard." The blond, fair-haired man said. His steel-blue eyes were fixed directly in front of him, and he did not look to the young man as he spoke.
Enjolras sat there, at the top of the barricade he and his friends had erected, and stared in front of him. He did not look sad - his blue eyes were as clear as ever - yet he did not look happy. He had led his friends into this uprising, believing that they had a prayer of making a difference in France's ever-changing government, but in the end, he knew he was tangling his dreams with reality. There was no way some thirty - if there were even that many - men could beat out an entire army. It just wasn't logical. There weren't enough weapons, and there were already so many wives that would have to endure the pain of claiming their husband, son, or brother's body the next day.
Did he regret any of this, though? No… no, he didn't. He meant the words that he told Andre. They would die having left a thorn in the side of the National Guard. He was immensely proud that they had made it this far. It was unfortunate that they didn't have nearly enough guns, or nearly enough ammunition, or else the battle may have lasted longer. But there was no feeling in the world that matched Enjolras' at that very moment. It was the feeling of a dream - a life's goal - finally being achieved. While there would be no new Republic that he'd seen - no Utopia - now at least the French government knew what their people wanted… demanded. He only wished he'd live to see what would happen after the blood, smoke, and odor of gunpowder was gone. Enjolras made his way down from the top of the barricade, and was instantly surrounded by his friends, and men who he hadn't ever seen before that day.
"Enjolras, we are out of cartridges," Feuilly said urgently. "We have nothing to…"
"We're doomed. Can't we…" Courfeyrac broke in.
"We're not doomed. Enjolras has a plan, listen everyone…" Combeferre said, trying to hush everyone around him. Although, in his mind, the young man had agreed with Courfeyrac's words. There was no way out now… they were trapped in a prison they'd made by hand.
"A plan… yes, of course," Enjolras said, swallowing hard. Was he afraid? No, no of course not. This was what he'd dreamed of for many a day, and countless a night. There was months and months of planning into the events that were taking place at that very moment. "Listen, everyone. My friends, we have fought hard, and I am extremely proud to be here, but I urge you - if you are a husband, son, brother, father… leave immediately, and go directly home to your families. Take the National Guard uniforms, and leave your weapon… This will be the most gruesome part of the fight."
The men looked to eachother, but no one moved. Enjolras continued, "Please, please leave. Your families need you… where will they be tomorrow if you are not with them? The gutters will not only run with blood, but with tears! Go… go immediately, before it is too late."
Enjolras watched the few men who had been convinced to leave - for the sake of their families - take the National Guard uniforms to sneak out of the barricade. "Thank you all, very, very much." He said quietly. "Your bravery is unsurpassed, but now it is time for this to end." He looked to the remaining few, "Now, back to your places my friends. This will become a hand to hand fight, I promise that."
They all nodded, and separated to their own different places. Enjolras went back to his perch on the top of the barricade, and noticed how close the National Guard were. They were in sight - a cannon… "They are here, my friends! They are here!"
The man stood, and took the red flag that had stood proudly atop the barricade. With all of his strength, he held it over his head, standing on the top of the barricade, and waved the flag of freedom. He was proud… so proud… his one goal… his one dream had come true, and he had seen the love of his life - Lady Liberty - approached him, and for a brief second, she had touched his face. She was so close, yet so far away…
It was the greatest feeling in the world, matched by nothing.
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