“There she is!”
“Oh, my God! She’s really alive.”
“Can you believe it? After all these years!”
The Countess waved gracefully to the crowd gathered on the lawn. She had agreed to answer a few questions and pointed to a reporter near the edge of the stone steps. Two armed guards stood at the bottom of each side of the steps, ostensibly to deter anyone from coming too close.
“Countess Greta,” the reporter said. “It’s so good to see you again. What inspired you to emerge from your solitude?”
Greta smiled and indicated the perfectly maintained grounds. “I wanted a fresh lemon for my afternoon tea.”
Everyone laughed politely. It wasn’t a real answer, for they all knew the Countess could summon a servant to fetch a lemon.
Another reporter asked, “We were used to seeing you dressed in mourning black. Does your more colorful attire signal a change in your lifestyle as well? Will you be entering society again?”
The crowd murmured. It was a bold question, to indirectly refer to the death of the Count. No one really knew what had happened, though of course there were many stories and rumors, some of them bordering on the scandalous and vile.
But Greta appeared unfazed. She touched the lace of her heather pink dress and said, “Oh, thank you for noticing my gown. It is springtime after all. But I do prefer the quiet life of reading poetry and painting watercolors in my studio.”
A few more questions followed regarding her taste in poets and such. One of the guards subtly shifted position, at which point, the Countess said, “It’s been lovely chatting with you all. We shall do it again soon.” With that, she disappeared back into the cavernous castle.
“She has so much class.”
“Such a great beauty, even now.”
“How old is she? Does anyone know?”
“The guards seemed more concerned with keeping her in than keeping us out.”
Written for The Daily Echo