"Uncle Kevin, do you know anything about a case involving the missing and possible dead fiancé of a woman named Jaq?" Mark asked his uncle, the police chief of the small town.
Kevin leaned back in his chair, one hand lightly stroking his sandy mustache. "The case was closed two months ago because nothing conclusive could be found to prove anything about it. Where'd you hear about it?"
"Kameryn took me to the Stone Dragon today and I met Jaq."
His uncle nodded thoughtfully. "Jaq and Dale made a good couple, they were the only two people strange enough to work out together."
"Strange?" Mark inquired.
"She was into some of the more macabre stuff after her twin sister died, and she was always talking about crazy dreams. Dale was into some astrology and dream reading. They got along great. Everyone wondered how he could stay with her though."
"What do you mean? Was there something wrong with her?" Mark asked as he pulled out a chair and sat across from his uncle.
Kevin clasped his hands behind his head and leaned back. "Her sister loved the woods, and was always taking pictures of them. She found this old castle back there one day with Jaq, and they explored it together. They kept coming back. Once, Jaq and her sister got separated, and Jaq didn't find her sister until it was too late."
"Part of the floor gave way under her weight while she was trying to take a picture, and she fell through and broke her spine. She died a couple hours later. Jaq didn't leave her until nightfall when half the town was out looking for them."
"Where you there?" Mark asked.
"What'd the castle look like?" Mark asked, somehow sure that it was the one that was hanging up in Jaq's store.
"The only part I saw was a giant white tower. The strangest thing about that castle, there was no mist anywhere around, but as soon as we got to the foot of the rocks beneath it, the mist got so thick you couldn't see your hand in front of your face."
"Did they ever recover Jaq's sister's body?"
Kevin shook his head. "It was too low to safely get down there."
"Do you know if Jaq still visits there?"
Kevin shrugged. "Maybe. She closes her shop every day at noon and disappears for an hour or so. It's a possibility."
"But don't go thinking of following her up there. Those slopes are treacherous for someone who doesn't know the terrain. I don't want to explain to my brother about why he's going to your funeral."
"Dad would just call me an idiot for getting myself hurt," Mark said with a laugh.
"How's he handling your mom's death?" Kevin suddenly asked.
Mark's smile fell and he looked down at the table. "Okay, I guess. He took it the hardest. But it seems like I'm the only one who's remembered to mourn Bryan."
"I'm sure that he's mourning Bryan, too. He's just more expressive about Caroline. He's loved her since high school."
"I know," Mark replied softly. He looked out the window from the corner of his eye, and could've sworn he saw a woman who looked like his late mother walk by the glass, but when he turned his head, she was gone.