When Iris arrived at the door of the black dilapidated house where uncle Thomas lived, she could not see the Big Wheel and the Saint-jean Cathedral any more as the fog hung over Lyon city. She was lost in her thoughts and felt sad. Mum had died a few days before and she would never see her again. 2009 had been a nightmare. She was very reluctant to visit her uncle. She wanted to go back to the Big Wheel and dream of the huge Pérouges cream and sugar tart.
But she did not have time to think more as a white cat with shining green eyes suddenly brushed her past like a crawling snake. Never before had she seen such a strange creature that looked friendly at first but soon proved to be nasty and deceitful. The female growled and squeezed through a narrow opening in the front door. A cold draught made Iris shudder with fear and she ran away. In her panic she went down the steep street to the Rue Saint-Jean in the heart of Old Lyon.
It was early in the morning and many lorries were delivering goods to the local restaurants. She could see a rainbow of colors: the green for the French beans, the orange for the carrots and the pumpkins, the white for the cabbages and the yellow for the pineapples. She heard somebody saying that he was going to see his friends Mr Carrot and Mr Bean in their new crate that was waiting in front of Le Petit Glouton local restaurant and then they would go to the Montée du Gourguillon. She heard WHAT? Iris wondered if she was not turning mad. Vegetables could not speak.
Yet, he said that stupid little girl should not follow him as she was going to wake up all the devil imps who lied in wait for their victims. They trapped them in the tourist area of the capital of French cuisine and sprinkled their nose with a flavor-blind powder. When the tourists had a meal in one of the restaurants, they could not appreciate the cuisine lyonnaise any more. All of them complained that the local cuisine was totally tasteless. The devil imps wanted the tourists to leave Lyon city. Then, Dark Guignol would reign over the New Kingdom of dark chocolate river and all the meals would be made only with dark chocolate. So, everybody would have an indigestion and would become insensible to all the flavors of the French cuisine.
However, Mr Carrot and Mr Bean did not know that Iris had adopted Guignol puppet as her protector. In addition, the attack took place in Guignol’s district not far from the Montée du Gourguillon, an area so dear to Laurent Mourguet, the creator of Guignol. Those stupid imps were not so clever. “Guignol, Guignol, protect thy child from the devil imps”, the magic words turned the devil imps into two Pérouges cream and sugar tarts as Mr Carrot and Mr Bean were left dumbfounded at the incredible scene.
Once again, Iris knew that she had to find her uncle very soon as Lyon city and the local children were in real danger.