Ce soir-là, je ne redescendis pas sur le trottoir.
Je regagnai ma chambre habituelle et me livrai à une introspection minutieuse. La conclusion de cette plongée en moi-même tenait en deux questions-réponses très simples : avais-je eu peur ? Non. Allais-je recommencer Oui. Le lendemain, j'achetai des porte-jarretelles à ma taille. "
"Clara la nuit" is one of those novellas which you wish it had been longer, so you could discover more about the mysterious character.
During the day, Claire is an ordinary woman who reads and loves walking on the streets of Paris, but during the night she turns into Clara, a prostitute of Rue du Temple. One night, a man asks her not to have sex with him but to read a letter instead. She is moved by it and she seems she cannot forget him. When she finally finds him while being drawn to a portrait resembling herself, she also discovers the sadness in his heart. The relation between them changes when, in danger, she finds comfort in his house and his arms.
Besides Clara's story and her past, the writer also examines the human condition, struggling between loneliness, vice and the need to love and be loved.
There is still an unanswered question: why did she choose to become a prostitute? She tells the painter that it is what she does best, but can that be truly convincing?
Read for the New Authors Challenge.