14 Juillet

From: [email protected] (Plume)

Here is a little story dedicated to all the Marianne and Lucette, and all the Titi and Jojo of this world. If you recognize yourself in either of them, or if you enjoy the show, drop me a line ;-)

BEWARE: in this story, there is a firework display. KEEP AWAY FROM SHOOTING ZONE!

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Titi and Jojo were tough guys. Real tough. You didn't mess with those two. Everyone in Belleville knew that. To begin with, they knew how to use their fists. Titi even knew some "savate" tricks. Riton-la-Teigne once learned it at his shins' expense. Since that day, he would never forget to give Titi a wide berth whenever their paths were about to cross again. When asked about Titi, Riton would shrug his shoulders, wave his hand as to chase away a bad memory, and say with a meaningful, unquiet look on his face: "This guy is dynamite!" Yes, Riton-la-Teigne. Twelve years old Riton! You have to consider that Titi (as Jojo by the way) was just ten, and that Riton had a reputation as someone who could take hard punches as well as deliver them. And seing Titi walking down the street, you just would have seen a rather scrawny looking ten years old boy. Just that he wasn't that scrawny. He had the muscles of a stray cat, and he had its nimbleness as well. Jojo still had something of a little boy's look. But then it would have been a mistake to just rely on his charming smile. With a slingshot in his hands, Jojo was (well, nearly) as accurate and effective as Wilhelm Tell with his crossbow. And he could reload a lot more swiftly! One more thing: Titi and Jojo had an encyclopedic knowledge regarding swearwords, and the wits needed to shoot those right in the bullseye when caught in a verbal argument. They were able to (an already more than once had) shut up the more talkatives of the Halles' Market's fishwives or porters.

For the time being, it was Fourteen of July night's dance. Titi and Jojo were lying flat on the floorboards, right under the platform on which a band played the musette. They had cut their way through the outer marquee with Jojo's pocket knife, and were now carefully hidden behind the raw fabric of the curtain (there were two observation slits, thanks to Jojo's knife) between them and the dancefloor. And where they were, they had a good view onto the waltzing couples, and especially onto the waltzing girls, whose light summer dresses opened in corollas, showing all kind of interesting details. On the floor, there was a pack of big Cobra firecrackers. Cobra firecrackers were not to be sold to children, but Titi had ways to get things that weren't to be sold to children. Both boys exchanged a glance. Jojo produced a matchbox. He opened it.

Lucette and Marianne were both fifteen, friends since early childhood, and this was their first 14 Juillet dance. Lucette didn't notice the red paunchy firecracker that rolled to a stop just between her dancing feet. She was kissing René for the first time and she had closed her eyes. Marianne didn't notice the other Cobra at her own feet, because she was listnening to Bébert's voice. And this voice was telling sweet words at her ear.

The double cracking report was so loud and unexpected that Lucette nearly passed out. Marianne gave a jump, looked around... and saw the curtain under the platform moving.

- Lucette! Here under the platform! Comee on, let's catch the little scoundrels!

The accordeon had already resumed playing. Both girls plunged under the curtain.

Once outside and at a safe distance from the marquee, Titi and Jojo stopped and waited. When they saw the girls appear, they scoffed at them:

- Hey girls! We saw your pants! (from Joojo)

- Yes, the moon is high tonight! (Here, Titi howled towards the night sky).

- You boys just wait 'till we catch you,, went Marianne. And then you'll be howling for good, believe me.

The night was clear, and lighted by the multicoloured bulbs that lined the marquee's angles. So the girls clearly saw Titi's answer: his left hand landed on the base of his right arm and his right forearm shot upwards. Both boys turned heels and bolted off. And that's when all went wrong. Jojo tripped on one of the marquee's guyropes and fell down. Titi came back to help him up. And suddenly hands were catching their collars. Titi's right foot collided with Marianne's left shin. She let out a yell, but didn't let him go. Instead, she gave him a slap that sent stinging hornets in his right cheek. Jojo tried a jab but only punched into thin air. He then bit hard into Lucette's wrist, who also yelled... but didn't let him go. Instead she caught his right ear and twisted, pulling his head (and his sharp kitten's teeth) away from her wrist. Facts were cruel, but you had to face them nevertheless: Titi and Jojo were outweighed. All they could now from then on was clench their teeth.

- There! said Marianne. Let's go to thesse crates and give those boys the spanking of their life!

- A spanking, yes, that's the idea! answwered a gleeful Lucette.

- You have no right to spank us! ventureed Titi.

- Then we'll use our left. And now shut up or else we lead you both back to the dancefloor, and instead of a spanking here, just between us, you'll get a very public one!

Those words hit home. Here behind the marquee, onlookers hardly were to be feared. And neither Titi nor Jojo cared to be seen in such a predicament. Marianne and Lucette sat down, each on her crate.

- Look at this mess! said Marianne, conssidering Titi. Scraped knees, a tear in the shorts, half of the shirt's buttons missing. I just cannot figure how boys can be so untidy. I have an idea that your mother won't be happy when she'll see you coming back in such a state. Could be that you earn yourself another spanking then. But let's get down to business.

- What are you doing? (this an alarmed pprotest from Jojo)

- Well, explained Lucette, I'm just takiing down your shorts...

- You don't dare to do that! It's not faair (this from Titi). We... we'll report you to the police!

- Yes yes (a soothing Marianne, seizing the waistband and taking down Titi's shorts and underpants) you'll tell the police that you got a bare bottom spanking like the little brats you are, and everyone in town will know all about it.

- Please ! Not the underpants ! (pleadedd Jojo)

- Why? I don't want to spank your clothees! It's you I want to spank.

Both girls had tucked their dresses up to free their thighs. But Titi an Jojo were far from being able to appreciate this charming gesture. Besides, they soon were both over those naked thighs, feet dangling in the air, with the pavement a few inches from their nose.

- Hey boys, what did you say about our ppants? You saw them? Well, we saw your bottoms, boys. What did you say? The moon is high? Yours are high indeed. Lucette, don't you find they're cute? (Marianne gently tapped Titi's naked rear).

- Yes you're right Marianne. What lovelyy little buns! Maybe a shade too pale? Shouldn't we warm them up? You know what? It's fun! Oh look! Over there! The fireworks! Le feu d'artifice! It's beginning!

A flower of red, yellow and green fire went blossoming high over the square, followed seconds later by the report's clap.

- Let's shoot a feu d'artifesses!!, exclaimed Marianne cheerfully.

Both girls lifted their right hand up. Both hands went down together in a double resounding smack. And now both hands tingled pleasantly. The hands went up again...

- I never would have believed that a spaanking could be that fun!

- Now Lucette, how could you have known?? It's the first time you play the right part... Let's go and spank the devil out of those boys!

There were great flares, rockets, Bengal lights, flowers of brightly coloured shooting stars. And for each and everyone, Lucette and Marianne thunderously applauded, using just their right hand. Some say (never give it away) that, after having clenched their teeth for a good third of the show, Titi and Jojo cried their eyes out and even begged for the spanking to stop. The last time that Jojo had wept was four years before, over his mother's knee (the day he had broken his fists windowpane with his first slingshot). The last time Titi had wept was two years before, over his mother's knee (the first time he had been caught playing truant).

And so that night, in Belleville, there were not just one feu d'artifice, but three. And not just one bouquet final, but three. One in the cloudless sky over the city. And two over Titi's and Jojo's most tender part. And believe me or not, the most flaming one was not the first.

Two days after this memorable double spanking, Titi and Jojo were at a street corner with their friend Manu. The three of them were leaning against the wall outside the drugstore, where they had just bought licorice whips. Suddenly, Manu whispered:

- Hey boys! Look! On the other side of tthe street! Those girls! Let's go and chase them! Let's have a look at them pants!

Lucette and Marianne were walking down the opposite sidewalk. Manu didn't notice it, but both Titi and Jojo winced, and their hands unconsciously went to the seat of their shorts.

- Forget all about it, man, said Jojo wiith a solemn voice.

- Yes, said Titi to a bemused Manu. Forgget about it. Those girls are... well, they are... dynamite!

On the other side of the street, Marianne and Lucette spotted the boys. They waved their hands and flashed a wide (and knowing) smile. Titi and Jojo waved back. Well, what else could they do?

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