Of all the elusive episodes of Miss Jean Louis’s life, none has been more mysterious than the October day when she was nineteen, when she disappeared from the tour group she had infiltrated in Switzerland. The reasons she had been trying to blend in with the tourists has been whispered elsewhere, and is beyond the scope of this post. But what happened after she stepped behind a pillar in the dungeon of Chillon Castle and before she reappeared that night in a hostel in Geneva, has been unknown until now.
Walking in Montreux, under the trees with their many-colored leaves, just close enough to the group to seem like she was listening to the guide, Miss Jean Louis found herself staring at the calm blue waters of Lake Geneva, and she was suddenly certain that the lake stared back at her.
Something was wrong, and she had to figure out what.
When the group entered the castle, the tourists scattered in different directions, and she saw her chance to slip away. Heading down into the dungeon, past the pillar where Byron carved his name, she found another, less-noticed pillar, inscribed near the base with a mysterious symbol and the name “Mlle Jean Louis.”
What ritual she swiftly performed, the author of this blog dares not repeat, but as she whispered the final word, the castle changed around her and became young again. You may not have thought a castle could be young, but this one was. It was smaller, but newer, and filled with activity.
Miss Jean Louis climbed out of the dungeon and sneaked past a pair of Roman guards to the kitchen, which she found empty for the moment. Looking out the window, she stared again into the lake, and this time, she recognized the spirit that stared back. Like the castle, it was younger. She prayed that meant it would be easier to defeat.
To be continued…