The following is a transcribed/novelized version I am attempting of the first episode of the third season of American Horror Story: Coven.
Through the darkness, a horse whinnies and his black coat reflects the little light that shines from the oil-driven street lamps. The streets of New Orleans in 1834 are quite empty and most homes have darkened windows, the residents asleep in preparation for the next morning’s workday. One set of windows is very bright, the curtains drawn and shadows of well-to-do party goers falling upon the porch. Laughter and light piano playing emanates from this home. A party is underway at the Maison de Delfine.
The lady of the house is attempting to marry off her daughters to affluent suitors at this soireé. The lamplight shines upon the decorated coats of three handsome bachelors who stand around Madame Delfine, listening to her jaunty banter while she fans her round face. Closing her fan, she begins to introduce the men to her daughters, who are dressed as elaborately as their mother. Large bustle skirts and tight corset tops. Feathers rise from the back of each daughter’s head and their ears and necks are adorned with jewels. They each nod as Madame Delfine starts the introductions in her southern drawl.
“Gentlemen, I want you to meet my daughters. Marie Louise Pauline, Marie Louise Jeanne and, from my first marriage, Marie Delfine Lopez but everyone calls her Borquita. What they may lack in outer beauty, they more than make up for with their many talents. Borquita’s a huge help to me with the domestics. While Jeanne excels in petit point. My youngest, Pauline, well, her major talent has yet to present itself.”
Pauline, ever the pestilent child, smirks while stating, “Perhaps my talent is in the boudoir, Mother dear.”
Madame Delfine, obviously embarrassed, says, “I guess we’ll find out on your wedding night, mon petit.” She then cracks open the lace fan and waves away the blush rising in her cheeks. She chuckles and resumes her poise.
Pauline looks away from her mother to the black servant in the adjoining room. A seductive glance. He looks back at her, surprised and attempting to hide this moment from any onlookers.
Later that evening, when all the guests have left, Madame Delfine is in her bedroom. She is dipping a brush into a bowl and smearing the thick, red concoction on her face. Slowly, as if she wants to savor the moment, each cheek is painted. She starts brushing it on her neck when her husband bursts into the room.
“Mon cherie” he says, out of breath.
“When the blood dries, my skin’s supposed to be tight as a drum,” she states, “Just look at this waddle!” She sniffs the bowl. “This blood’s not fresh. Borquita! S’ak pase’w la?”
“Mon cherie, something’s happened during the dinner party.”
Madame Delfine is informed of the travesty and quickly stomps into the parlor, where Pauline is disheveled and sitting on the chaise. She immediately starts slapping Pauline with full-arm blows to the face.
“Stupid slut! I invite all the eligible bachelors just to meet you and you spread your filthy legs for the houseman! You might as well rut with the family dog!”
“You can’t control me, Mother.” Pauline utters through clenched teeth.
“The hell I can’t!” She continues roundhouse slaps to Pauline’s head. “The hell I can’t. You know what we’re going to say? We are going to say he took you by force! Like the savage he is!”
The servant is bound with chains and standing a few feet away. He is shaking and says, “No ma’am. I did no such thing. Pauline came on to me and I told her I belong to someone else!”
“Keep that mongrel quiet!” she barks to her husband and he clubs the servant over the head. The servant drops to his knees and cries out in pain. “Haul him upstairs!”
The servant whimpers, “no… no… no…” while Pauline, ashamed, looks away from his eyes.
Cages line the walls of the attic, the heat making the faces in the cages wet with perspiration.
“Bonsoir, my pets” Madame Delfine says as she walks into the room, holding a lantern up to see. “Did ya’ll miss me?”
One of the faces she passes is grunting in muffled pain. Attempting to yell with a sewn up mouth.
“Hush up or I will rip your lips open and stuff more shit in there.”
“Why are you doing this to us?” another one asks.
“Because I can.” she says smugly. “Oh, merde. Now we’re going to have flies up here,” referring to one of the cages’ rotting corpse.
Her husband is stringing up the servant who now has a swollen eye and blood dripping from his head. He is sobbing and Madame Delfine is taking pleasure in his discomposure.
“There, that should do it,” her husband says as he finishes binding Bastian.
Addressing the servant, she says, “Bastian, you want to rut like a beast, then we’re going to treat you like one. Where’s my pickaninny with the head?”
A black child is walking towards her with a severed animal’s head, holding it by the horns. Bastian’s whimpering becomes frantic.
“Put it on him,” she orders.
The child slowly climbs up beside Bastian and places the hollowed out bull’s head over Bastian’s.
“Darling, you have outdone yourself. How ever did you think this up?”
“My great literacy began with Greek mythology. I used to sit on daddy’s lap and he would read me those stories full of their vengeful gods and wondrous, miraculous creatures. But the Minotaur was always my favorite. Half man, half bull. And now, I have one of my very own.”
Bastian’s writhing and muffled sobs increase as the two masters of the house leave the room.