Bastille Day

byoggbashan©

Copyright Oggbashan June 2003

The author asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work. This is a work of fiction. The events described here are imaginary; the settings and characters are fictitious and are not intended to represent specific places or living persons. All conversations are shown in English but some are assumed to be a translation from French.


Mary and I were staying at an English friend's house in a small French seaside town close to Calais. We had been there before but never in July. The house was some way inland, about ten minutes' drive from the town down very small roads.

On July 14th we drove into the town early in the morning to buy our bread. We had forgotten that it was Bastille Day and how important that day is to the French. We parked our car at the side of the Town Hall and bought our bread at 8am. We didn't realise that the baker was closing in an hour. We went to a pavement café for croquettes and the first coffee of the day. As we sat there we we aware that the town was unusually active. People were rushing around which just isn't done. Normally everyone strolls around with time to stop and chat. Not today.

We finished our coffee and walked back to the car. A gendarme waved us away.

"The road is closed." he said.

"But our car ..."

"It will have to stay where it is. The road re-opens at 5pm."

We argued, we pleaded, we mentioned at friends in high places (we had met the Mayor) and even hinted at bribery. None of it worked. He was implacable. The parades would start from this road and while our car and the others were acceptable where they were, they could NOT be moved.

Mary and I were nonplussed. We had left everything at the house. We had no food except the loaf of French bread. We had money but the car was empty. We had been warned about car thieves who would smash a window just for a coat or a pair of sunglasses. We were stuck in the town until 5pm.

The first priority was food. We hadn't had breakfast. We went back to the café and had croque monsieur with coffee. We asked the waiter what would happen during the day. There would be a number of processions, starting with a children's one at 10am. The churches, the schools, the old soldiers, everyone had a separate procession. The last one at 4pm would be the fancy dress parade. Everyone would be in that. Afterwards the partying started and would continue to midnight or later with free food and drink provided by the Chamber of Commerce, the Friends of Liberty and other groups. He insisted that we had to take part in the 4pm procession. Everyone would be in it. They even had the hospital's patients on trolleys and the occupants of the Old People's home. Death was the only acceptable excuse but he remembered that one year a funeral party had joined in.

We resigned ourselves. If we were staying in France on Bastille Day we had to participate. But how? We had no fancy dress? Mary was wearing a button fronted summer dress, panties and sandals. I had shorts, a T-shirt and sandals. That was it. The shops had shut except a small convenience store. We rushed in. They had no clothing, not even a funny hat. We bought cheese and wine to go with the bread for lunch.

We watched the processions in the brilliant sunshine until about 1pm. We had eaten our bread and cheese and drunk the first bottle of our wine. It was cheap vin de table with a plastic cap. Not that it mattered. Wine was flowing like water everywhere. We were hot, sweaty, light-headed, so decided we needed a break from the festivities.

We walked to the seafront and then into the dunes beside the small river which we had forded in bare feet. The fine dry sand was constantly moving in the breeze. We found a hollow in the dunes that was sheltered from the wind. Even there the sand penetrated but it was bearable. Mary shed her dress, unbuttoned it and spread it out. We lay down and dozed.

I woke to find Mary's hands pulling my shorts down. She was pantie-less. She leant over me so I kissed each breast tenderly before licking my way down to her navel. I could feel her rising excitement. She moved up so that I could use my tongue between her legs. I kissed the inside of each thigh, brushing my lips across her muff as I moved from side to side.

After several repeats Mary dropped her full weight across my face. I had to respond with my tongue. I parted her lips and my tongue pushed into her warm moist cleft. Mary's arms and legs wrapped around my head pulling me close. I felt her shudder as the first of a series of orgasms pulsed through her. I tongued as hard and carefully as I could to keep her arousal at its peak.

She rotated on my face, her hands reaching for my erection. She had barely touched it when I climaxed, rearing against her. My sticky wet emission spread over her hands and my stomach. My face was slick with hers. She slid down beside me. We held each other close but the heat was too much. Wherever we touched, we sweated. Where we sweated, grains of wind-blown sand stuck.

We tried to make love again but sand is a great abrasive. I understand that some Aborigine women use sand to deter a potential rapist. It works too well. Even though we both were willing, sand in the privates makes lovemaking impossible.

We tried sixty-nine but that just put sand in our mouths as well as everywhere else. We used the second bottle of wine to swill the sand out of our mouths before finishing it.

"Tony, why don't we go for a swim?" Mary asked, shaking sand off her thighs.

"Why not? We aren't getting anywhere on land."

We left our clothes where they lay. I emptied my shorts pocket. Mary passed me her lipstick from her dress's pocket. I put everything into my handkerchief and buried it under a tuft of grass. I smoothed the sand to cover what I had done. The wind-blown sand would help. Leaving money and car keys easily accessible was too much of a risk even in such a secluded place.

Cautiously we looked out of the hollow. There was no one in sight so hand in hand we raced for the wide sandy beach and the calm blue sea. It was surprisingly warm, perhaps because the tide was coming in over the sun-heated sand.

We swam until Mary wrapped her legs around me. Standing chest deep in the sea we attempted a knee trembler but she kept floating off at the critical point. We moved inshore until we were waist deep. That was successful. Mary shuddered in the waves as she grasped me tighter and tighter with her thighs. I was finding it very difficult to keep up the tempo, to remain standing, and to restrain myself.

Mary realised my dilemma and pressed her breasts hard against me. That warm softness was too much for my self-control. As I came a wave knocked us over in a flurry of arms and legs. My ejaculation spent itself as long strings into the uncaring sea.

As we made our way across the narrowed beach to the dunes, I checked my watch. It was 3pm. The watch should be right. It was guaranteed to 30 metres of water, as was Mary's. Hers had the same time.

"What are we going to do for the fancy dress parade?" I asked. "We haven't got anything to wear."

As I spoke we reached the hollow in the dunes.

"You are so right," Mary replied, looking down. "We haven't got a thing to wear. Our clothes have gone."

They had. We knew it was the right hollow. We could see the empty wine bottle and our footprints leading out of it. In the hollow the sand had been brushed clear. There were no tracks, not ours, nor the thief's footprints. We could see which way the thief had gone because there was a cleared path through the muddle of tracks leading back to the river. We had no clue about the thief's identity.

I walked across to the tuft of grass. I felt with my fingers and to my relief found my handkerchief. I opened it. The lipstick, car keys and money were still there. I showed Mary.

"Great," she said. "Your handkerchief isn't large enough to cover me and it certainly won't cover both of us, will it? We had a problem before. We had no fancy dress. Now we have no clothes at all, on Bastille Day when the whole town will be out and about until the early hours."

A thought struck me.

"We don't celebrate Bastille Day in America, do we?"

"No. Perhaps they do in Canada or in New Orleans." Mary replied.

"But we do celebrate something on July 14th. What?"

It came to us at the same time.

"National Nude Day!" we chorused.

"OK, Mary. We are Americans. The French think that Americans are capable of anything, no matter how bizarre. We can celebrate National Nude Day and we have our fancy dress. Can we do it?"

"I'm willing if you are."

"Let's go."

We had to swim the river now that the tide was in. On the town bank I put the wine bottle in a glass recycling bin.

Mary and I held hands, looked at each other, and braced ourselves for our very public display. At least we were free of sand. The river had washed us clean.

"Hold it," said Mary "How will they know that it is National Nude Day?"

"We write it on our backs with your lipstick."

So we did. We wrote:

"Aux Etats-Unis c'est le fête nu."

We joined the 4pm parade. I had tied the handkerchief to my wrist. At first we had some very odd looks. Each time we turned our backs to show the message. Every time the odd look changed to laughter. As we passed the Town Hall we saluted and then turned our backs on the Mayor. We received a loud cheer from the assembled dignatories and the brass band played "The Star Spangled Banner" or at least tried to. The band had been drinking the free wine all day and weren't very good even when sober.

When the parade made its second tour of the town someone had found some US flags. We were preceded by the band and followed by the Boy Scouts carrying the flags proudly.

Back at the Town Hall the Mayor stopped the parade. He thanked us for representing the US so magnificently and presented us with French tricolors to wrap round ourselves "in case our American allies catch cold this evening". Then he gave us the prize for the best fancy dress of that year.

Wrapped in the tricolors we joined the official party on the dais while the parade went round the town for the third time. We were asked to join the Mayor to lead the procession to open the party.

At the party we ate and drunk to our fill. About one am we were met by the gendarme who had stopped us moving our car that morning.

"Monsieur, Madame, I have some good news for you. A parcel has been handed in as "lost property". I recognised Madame's dress. Your clothes are waiting in my car. I suggest that I should drive you back to your friend's house since you should not be driving. Tomorrow morning a police car will bring you into town to collect your car. Is that agreeable to you?"

"Yes, thank you." I replied.

So we had an official escort back home.

We were in full colour on the front page of the local paper that week. I am glad that they only showed our back view. National Nude Day is one thing. I am not sure that front page frontals would be good for US/French relations.

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