The Road To Paris
As I continue my research at the Vatican Archives into the life of The Late Contessa Llwaxanna Loveless Von Bralispth, it becomes increasingly clear that she resonates with self-confidence, curiosity, and mystical depth that earns her a reputation with the people she encounters. A Margret Meade, Julia Child, Samantha Stevens of her time.
Anthropologist, cook with a flair for the mystic, she loved three eyed cats while the scent of lavender always kept alive the presence of her mother, the late Esmeralda Lucinda Goochie Von Bogg Stuppor. Then there was the mysterious red coat that she got from The Old Lady Of The Tree.
The current letter I am reviewing begins after her marriage to count Igor (pronounced eyegore) Alexandru Octavian Peter Gabriel Cristof Loveless Von Bralispth. She writes:
We took our vows at the “Manastirea Putna” in the province of Bukovyna near the tomb of Stephen III. Great Grand Mama Zwzanna died last night. She left me her cup, the one she used to read tea leaves. On her deathbed, her last breadth she whispered: “Llwaxanna, there is great need for you in Paris. You have much to learn from the French.” I did not know of what she meant. This was my last guidance by her. We married the next day, left to spend our honeymoon in Paris.
All roads that led to the city showed much poverty, and the peasants we saw died one by one as they lay on the roadside. A large number still remain, and to each of them what was possible to dole out, the least scrap of bread. We only possessed enough for those who would otherwise die. Choosing caused me great pain. The staple dish here consisted of mice, which the inhabitants hunted, so desperate are they from hunger. They devour roots which the animals cannot eat; one can, in fact, not put into words the things one sees.
This poor country is a horrible sight; it is stripped of everything. The soldiers take possession of the farms and have the corn threshed, but will not give a single grain to the owners who beg it as an alms. It is impossible to plough. There are no more horses; all have been carried off. The peasants are reduced to sleeping in the woods and are thankful to have them as a refuge from murderers. And if they only had enough bread to half satisfy their hunger, they would indeed count themselves happy.
She ends the letter, “Although I know now why Zana told me go to France, I struggle with what I may do.”