Today Aunt Agathe came to visit. I have not seen Henri’s sister in a year! She came by carriage and can only visit a few days, as she is afraid to be away from Paris for long. There is much unrest and rumors of revolution. She brought a slew of troubling news, but my dear Henri says that we won’t be affected by the uprisings, as we are safe in the Loire Valley. Even if the strife comes to the countryside, we are secure behind the well-fortified castle walls. I am still dreadfully worried, though.
Henri told me to, “Only fancy pleasant thoughts. To think anything ill could cause you to have another nervous fit, dear.”
But I do have ill thoughts. I feel dreadfully unhappy and often cry for days.
Agathe says she was prone to such fits when she carried her first child. Apparently, they are entirely normal. Still, Henri wants me to remain peaceful and stresses that Agathe’s first child was sickly and grew into a wicked little imp who fights his dear mother with petulant rages at the drop of a hat. Henri says that I should be peaceful so as not to have a spiteful child like she.
Agathe brought a lovely Christening gown for the baby. It is handmade with fine lace and silk. My dear child, I can imagine you wearing it, and I simply cannot wait. I wish you would be born today!
I sit writing this in the garden, and the servants bring me a tonic as I watch Agathe and Henri play jeux de boules on the grass. The boules sparkle when tossed in the air and come falling down like shooting stars.
Agathe is leaving in a couple days. I wish she could stay longer. She says she will come back and stay with me after I give birth. I imagine us all here together, playing in the grass, tossing boules, and picking garden flowers together on that beautiful summer’s day in the future.
Absinth is the tonic that Josette-Camille takes every night to calm her “fits of fancy”. Prescribed by her husband to keep her calm during her pregnancy, she wallows in the intoxicating elixir and the enchanting visions it summons.
Sequestered to a tower room in the keep, Josette-Camille fights for her unborn child while the French Revolution rages outside.
Hidden whispers guide her, taunt her, and reveal a truth so sickening it leaves Josette-Camille with but one choice.
Read the first chapter from Journal Intime...
Oubliette — A Forgotten Little Place copyright © 2016 by Vanta M. Black.
Website, art, cover, and jacket design copyright © 2016 by Black Château Enterprises.
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