2. Lucille

There were times Francoeur found expression of so called 'human' sentimentalism rather difficult. No matter his efforts, few, if any, seemed to understand his deepest desires on love, life and Lucille. Could he afford to be forever dependent on a tune to carry the thoughts of a life he knew to be ephemeral? No, he decided. He craved a new outlet, one that required little show and nil of preamble.

An abrupt and mature choice for a flea with the mind of a child (or so they said), and one he deemed most proper. His choice was a form of expression familiar to humans and one they practiced often, from what his peeping, curious eyes had observed of the outside world.

It had been far from a last resort. Quite the opposite, Francoeur was excited to see it come to fruition. He could already play the scene out in his mind: his admission of love would bring about a slight blush to Lucille's cheeks, and a smile to compliment the smooth texture of her skin. She would take a hand to her breast, surprised, as all the women did in the moving pictures. And most importantly, she would give him an answer. She would reciprocate. The thought made him click with delight and chance a glance backstage as his solo came to a close.

She was not there.

Strange, as she was taken to watching his performances (with all the love in her heart, bless her). No matter, he would find her. He could only hope she was not unwell. Today was to be the day of his confession!

Francoeur took an obligatory bow and hurried backstage, seeking Lucille's private quarters. Something about her absence unsettled his tiny beating heart, as if there were an unfinished statement to be read by her decision to leave. A strange foreboding overcame him, and for an instant, he found himself unsure.

I cannot afford to be nervous, he thought. And it was true. Francoeur had been planning this for weeks, simply waiting for the right moment. He was certain of her answer; he needn't delay the inevitable.

His pulse quickened, the anticipation swelling to near a bursting point. That was about right—excitement was a more appropriate response than nervousness. It was illogical to be nervous.

He maintained this posture as he arrived at his destination, standing outside Lucille's quarters, the doorknob calling out to him like the serpent in the Garden of Eden. Touching it suddenly seemed like a curse, but he resolved to do so anyway, just to get the whole damn business over with.

Nervous! He was not supposed to be nervous. But it was all that he knew, coming face-to-face with Lucille, his friend, his companion, his soon-to-be lover. But she did not yet know of his confession, regarding his presence as if he had intruded on something deeply private.

"Francoeur!"

He did not understand it, but it made him hesitate. Maybe it was the way she stared had at him, her expression one of masked sadness, her demeanor of one who had met the acquaintance of Frankenstein's creature that suddenly put a damper on his confidence.

He searched her eyes, finding love, fatigue and…pity?