Flash Fiction: A French magistrate executed a search warrant for the soul of a man who died in the 14th Century near the Chartres Cathedral

Le livre de la sainte trinité_circa 1400

by LJ Frank


Where and when was he buried?

I was sent a confidential letter from a French magistrate. The letter was titled The Labyrinth and noted a body was buried in the vicinity of Our Lady of Chartres Cathedral about 80 kilometers southwest of Paris in the late 1300s. The magistrate noted he had executed a search warrant for the man’s soul, and I was called in to lead the investigation based on my expertise.

Are you taking the job?

It helps pay my rent.

Do you speak French?

I told him I had a hard enough time with English. Though I’m not sure if the person’s soul he sought was originally from France. From another perspective  a soul is a soul. I would think after death, language is the least of anyone’s worry. I mean wouldn’t the soul be multilingual, that is, not English, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic or any other language. Death is universal so wouldn’t it follow that language after death would be? Otherwise, you would need interpreter souls wandering about…and that might lead to confusion. In fact, the entire soul business is a complicated affair.

Well…I never really thought about it in those terms. Are there such details after death? That is, wouldn’t the Grace of God come into play?

Does belief need evidence? The person died under mysterious circumstances in the 14th Century and it’s his soul the magistrate signed a warrant for.

Very odd! How does one find a soul? 

Not only that…it seems the grave in which this 14th century individual was buried produced an empty coffin. 

It was already dug up?

Or, perhaps the body was never buried there in the first place.

Good grief. What now?

This 14th Century person may actually have been a “she” as it was unclear as to the gender at the time of death, and hermaphrodites were treated with great respect.

Does it matter now? Do souls have genitals?

Aren’t all souls in a manner of speaking androgynous?

Intriguing thought.

And there’s something else.


At the time of death a sacred ceremony occurred according to records and a valuable artifact was perhaps placed next to the body.

But where is that body buried if not that grave? And what’s the significance of the artifact?

Perhaps the significance is of a hereditary nature. The magistrate is a very striking looking hermaphrodite.

Is he a direct descendent of the soul he seeks?

His wife is. Hence, The Labyrinth.