Behind the Scenes – Who is Lolita Goth?

Originally I wasn’t going to feature Lolita in the Goth’s story.  She was just going to be mentioned and that was it.  As the story progressed I began to realise I was giving other members of the Goth family a different story so why should Lolita be any different.

So I began to look into Lolita’s origins.  I re-read some theories online to remind myself what other simmers thoughts were.  Some were suggesting that she was a sibling of Gunther’s.  This intrigued me so I conducted some experiments.  In a separate save game I created a household with Victor Goth, Gretle Goth, Prudence Crumplebottom and Simon Crumplebottom.

First I tried the most common suggested parentage of Lolita – Victor and Gretle.  While they produced some pretty daughters they didn’t really resemble Lolita very much.

My next thought was what if either Victor or Gretle had an affair.  So next I tried adding the Crumplebottoms into the mix. The next pairing to be tested was Victor and Prudence.

Again some very pretty daughters with some aspects similar to Lolita but not close enough for my liking.

Therefore I moved on to Simon and Gretle.  This is where things got interesting.  The nose and mouth in particular on the daughters of Simon and Gretle tended to favour the smaller ones like Lolita’s. All the girls seemed to bear a closer resemblance to Lolita.

This is how I came to the conclusion that Simon Crumplebottom and Gretle Goth are Lolita’s parents.  I believe Victor and Gretle were close friends with Simon and Prudence after all their children married. It is not hard to believe that the marriage of Gunther & Cornelia was an arranged one. Working from this I am creating a whole back story for Victor & Gretle and maybe for Lolita too.

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The Goth Family: Chapter 6 Who I Really Am

Amelia’s POV

Moving here to Sunset Valley was not my first choice but after dad died my options were limited.  The house we had lived in before his death was rented and without a job I was unable to pay the rent.  With little money to my name finding another place in Twinbrook was not an option, so here I am by myself in a town I know little about.  The few friends I have are back home.  Being somewhere where I don’t know anyone makes me feel isolated and lonely but this move was all about a chance at a fresh start so I just have to make the best of it.  Once I get a job and start socialising I am sure I will make new friends.

Dad had told me about this house years ago.  It was my parents first home together and where I spent the first few years of my life.  The move to Twinbrook came after mum’s accident. Dad couldn’t bring himself to live here without her, he never sold it though.  Up until a couple of years ago it was rented to a lovely couple.  They moved out soon after dad got ill.

Dad’s illness made him think a bit more practically, he started to get his affairs in order for one thing.  He made a will and signed the house over to me.  The last thing either of us wanted was to loose it.  The house is mine now and I am free to do whatever I want with it.  At first I was reluctant to make any changes but I’m sure mum and dad would both be happy with me making this place a home again.  Keen to make a start on the work I wanted to do to the place I hired someone to repaint the outside of the house.

Most of my belongings had already been delivered before I got here.  Among them was a box of mum’s things that dad had kept.  Her wedding ring was in this box at one point.  I usually wear this along with dads on a chain around my neck, it makes me feel like they are still with me.  My favourite item in the box is a photo album.  Inside are photos from my parent’s wedding.  She looked so beautiful and they both looked really happy.  My wish is I that I can find a love like they had one day. I love this photo so much, it’s my favourite one of mum.  The plan is to get a copy framed one day, well when I decide where I want to put it.

Most of the first week was spent trying to get things in a habitable state.  I planned to leave the inside at it was for now.  Most of the furniture was still in good condition although I felt the sofas could do with being reupholstered.  The green and yellow combo is a bit old fashioned for my taste.  Instead I have been working on getting the front garden more presentable.

Mum and Dad probably liked it but I felt it needed updating. It was untidy and full of weeds.  The path had remained untouched for years and was starting to look tired and overgrown.  With some help from a local landscaping company it was soon looking much better.  The plants brightened the place up and I even found a spot for my beloved scooter.  Just changing this small area made me feel more like this was home.  I was going to enjoy living here.

Well, that’s what I thought at the time.  A couple of weeks later I got a phone call that changed everything.  I had not long got myself a job at the science lab.  It was late in the evening, I had just settled down after a long day at work with a glass of wine and was flicking through the channels on the TV trying to find something worthy of my attention. My phone was sitting on the table in front of me, not that I was expecting it to ring it was just so I knew where it was.  It’s not like I know anyone all that well yet anyway.  When it did ring it startled me so much I nearly spilt my wine. Curious to see who was calling I picked it up.  Looking at the display I saw it was a local number, who on earth would be calling me from around here?  I started to wonder if it was a cold caller or a prank call.  Only one way to find out I guess and I answered the call.

“Hello?” I said answering the unfamiliar number. “Who is this?”  My tone was not overly friendly but then I wasn’t expecting anything important.  I was armed with some choice words ready for them, however I was caught off guard when an elderly woman spoke. Her voice was calm and polite. Quite pleasant to listen to actually. 

“Yes, hello. I am sorry to disturb you so late.  My name is Cornelia Goth, I am calling on behalf of my husband Gunther Goth.” she explained calmly although I could sense a slight tension in her voice.  

“Oh hello, what can I do for you?” I asked trying to remain calm.  A call from the Goth family? Why were they calling me?

“My husband has something he wishes to discuss with you.” Cornelia continued. How I hate that line.  Very rarely does it mean anything good, in my experience anyway.

“Can’t you tell me over the phone?” I asked, fishing for any titbit of information I could get out of her.  This was such a weird thing to happen.  How did they even have my number to begin with? It’s not like I have any ties to them.

“My husband and I both agree this is a discussion best done in person.  Would you be available next week?” She told me.  It was clear I wasn’t going to get anything out of her.  Kind of reminded me of when I used to ask dad about mum.  He always said I was better off not knowing.  I gave up asking about her in the end, it became clear dad didn’t want to talk about it.  Maybe when I get things sorted with the house I can do my own digging.

Suddenly I remembered I was still on the phone and this woman wanted a reply.  What was I going to say? I mean what could Gunther Goth possibly wish to talk to me about?  “Um, ok” I said in reply, shrugging my shoulders.  “Any particular day you had in mind?”

What have I got to loose, I thought. After agreeing to the meeting Cornelia and I spoke a little longer in order to arrange a date and time then I hung up.  Yawning I made a note of the date of the meeting before heading to bed.  I just know this meeting is going to be on my mind until it actually happens.


One week later

I had seen photos of the Goth Manor but they really don’t compare to seeing it for real.  It is such a huge imposing building and obviously very old.   Taking a deep breath I made my way to the door and rang the bell.  A blonde woman answered the door with a warm smile and ushered me inside.

“Amelia right?” She asked as she led me into a spacious hallway.  “I’m Agnes, it’s nice to meet you.  Please come this way, Gunther’s waiting for you.”

Agnes pointed to a large room on her right as she spoke.  Before she could say anything else her attention was drawn away when the cries of a baby could be heard from upstairs.

“Please excuse me.” Agnes said in response to the cries. “My daughter needs me”

“Of course” I said smiling politely.  “Thank you”

I remained in the hallway briefly watching Agnes hurry upstairs towards the sound of the cries.  Looking to my left I saw the room Agnes had pointed to earlier.  Talking a deep breath I entered the room.  A thin pale man I assumed was Gunther was sitting on a sofa that was part of group arranged near a fireplace, next to him was a woman I assumed was his wife, Cornelia.

“Hello” I said in an attempt to alert them to my presence.

The woman rose from her seat when she noticed me and greeted me warmly. “You must be Amelia, it’s nice to put a face to the name. I’m Cornelia we spoke on the phone,” she said shaking me hand.  “Please sit.”

“Ah of course,” I said following her towards the sofas. “Thanks.”

“Thank you for agreeing to meet with us,” Gunther said smiling warmly at me.  “It is so nice to finally meet you.  Your father has told me so much about you.”

“Thanks” I said politely even though the comment was totally unexpected “I didn’t know my dad was friends with you.  He never mentioned anyone by the name Goth.”

The way Gunther and Cornelia looked at each other when I spoke was curious.  They seemed shocked that dad never told me.  Was there something they knew that I didn’t? Would I ever find out?

“You are probably wondering why you were invited here?” Gunther asked me.

“It had crossed my mind” I answered in a thinly veiled attempt to remain polite.  That was stating the obvious a little. I had to resist the urge to tell them to just get on with it.

Gunther coughed and Cornelia regarded him with concern. Gunther shrugged her off saying he was fine.  “You must have heard about the disappearance of our son Mortimer?” Gunther explained. “Such an awful situation but with no other children it has left me without an heir.”

“Yes I heard about that but what has that got to do with me?” I asked then realising I should probably show a bit of sympathy about their missing son I added “I am sorry to hear he is still missing.  I hope he is returned to you safely.”

“Thank you, so do I” Cornelia said.  I could see tears forming in her eyes.  He was her only son and it was only natural that she missed him. It was clear they would never give up hope that one day they would be reunited with him. It was kind of sweet really, I hoped wherever he was he knew how much they loved him.

Gunther sat up straighter, cleared his throat and spoke the words that would change my life.  “Amelia, I invited you here because I want you to be my new heir.” he told me.

I was stunned.  Of all the scenarios that I had imagined over the past week this was not something I had ever thought would happen. It felt like I had won a competition I hadn’t even entered. “Heir?” I repeated making sure I had heard correctly. “How? I am not even related to you.  Don’t you need someone from your own bloodline?”

Gunther smiled knowingly. “You really don’t know anything about your late mother do you? About her family?”

“What does my mother have to do with this?” I asked suddenly very confused. What did these people know about mum? It was at that moment that I noticed a photo sitting on a table behind him, a wedding photo.  I had originally dismissed it thinking it was of Gunther and Cornelia’s wedding but now that I looked a little closer it looked familiar. Of course I couldn’t take this as solid proof of a connection to mum.  The photo could have been planted.  “Can I ask why you have that photo?”

Gunther and Cornelia both turned to look at the photo I was referring to. “How long has that been there?” Cornelia asked.  Clearly she hadn’t seen this photo before.

Gunther looked at his wife. “I’m sorry my dear that was my doing. The reasons for which will become clear soon enough.” Clearly this was a polite way of saying he would explain it to her later. Gunther then turned to me. “In answer to your question that is a photo of my younger sister, Lolita on her wedding day. One of my favourite photos of her actually.”

“Sister?” I repeated starting to realise that maybe there was something dad hadn’t told me about mum. “T-that’s my mother.”

“Wait a minute” Cornelia said “You mean to say you’re Lolita’s daughter?”

“My mother’s name was Lolita if that’s what you mean.” I answered using the facts I knew to be true.  It’s not exactly a common name so there was a chance they could be talking about mum.  One thing was clear at this point, if they really did know mum I needed to hear more.  I could do some investigation later to confirm their or disprove their story.

“Please let me explain.” Gunther added. “Perhaps it will help you with your decision.”

“OK” I said prepared to listen.  There really was little other reason for him to have that photo.  I remember dad saying mum had a difficult upbringing and had few friends.  Dad had told me that mum’s closest friend besides him was her brother.  He would never tell me who her brother was though.  Maybe he thought he was protecting me, but from what?

“Without going into too much detail Lolita was the daughter of my mother, Gretle and Cornelia’s father, Simon Crumplebottom.  She was the result of an affair that had been going on for years.  Lolita met your father when they were both in high school.  They quickly became close friends and later started dating.” Gunther explained.  He stopped briefly to have a drink of water then continued.  “I was there the day she married your father.  It was the happiest day of her life, I remember her telling me that.  The only other time I saw her that happy was when you were born Amelia.”

“This is all great” Cornelia said when he finished.  “What I don’t understand though is why tell everyone Lolita was your wife?”

Gunther rolled his eyes and turned to look at his wife.  His expression told her that this wasn’t the time.  All he said in my presence was “I made a promise to my father before he died.”

“So you asked me to be your heir because my mother was your half-sister?” I asked sensing Gunther needed a change of subject.

“Yes and no” He said confusing me further.  “It seems like an odd arrangement now but back when my parents were young it was common practice among the higher classes.”

“Arrangement?” I questioned. “What arrangement?”

Why can’t old people just get to the point for once.  It’s like starting off at the middle of a book and then going back to read the start.  Really annoying, dad used to do that all the time.

“My parents marriage, like my own was an arranged one.” Gunther explained. “I think it would be frowned upon now but my parents were cousins.  My grandparents were keen to keep any marriages between those from upper class families and at that time there wasn’t any other suitable matches for my father.”

“Wow” I said.  This seemed like a story from a different world, from my point of view it was.  “So I am a Goth by blood then?”

“That’s right” Gunther told me.  “I am sorry if this is overwhelming for you but it is all stuff I felt you needed to know.”

“It’s ok” I told him with a smile. “It is a lot to take in but I am glad you told me.  Dad, for whatever reason would never tell me anything about mum’s past.  It is nice to hear about her from someone who knew her.”

“Thank you for meeting with me and listening to an old man’s tale.” Gunther told me.  “You will need time to process all this and come to a decision I can understand that.  Please take your time and call me when you know what you want to do.”

Gunther handed me a card with his phone number on it.  I took it and put it in my bag.

“Before I go could I ask you something?” I asked.  If my guess was correct there was something dad lied to me about.

“Of course” Gunther said.

“Do you know where my mother’s grave is?” I asked him. For years I had visited the graveyard in Twinbrook where I had been told mum’s grave was.  The gravestone even had her name on it.  Before now I had never had any reason to doubt this.

“Your mother lies in the town cemetery just down the road.” Gunther told me.  Was anything dad told me true? I never suspected there were so many secrets in my parents past.

“Thank you” I said standing up.  “Well I wont take up any more of your time.  It was nice to meet all of you.”

I thanked Gunther once more and left Goth manor.  The graveyard was my next stop, I was assured it wasn’t far so I decided to walk. Maybe it would give me time to think about what I was going to do now.

Authors note: For those who didn’t guess (I don’t think his name is mentioned in the chapter) Amelia’s father is All Bran Mendoza from the Mendoza ISBI. Someone had to fill the role so why not one of my favourite spares. 😀 

Also sorry for Cornelia and Amelia’s expressions in the photos for the meeting.  They do like each other, I think it’s just the Grumpy trait they both have! Oh and Agnes pops up in the background of one along with a plumbob, please ignore that.

 

The Goth Family: Chapter 5 A Growing Family

Cornelia’s POV

Ever since we were kids and Agnes first showed signs of being a witch I have been jealous of her.  Being a witch in my family means you possess a great power and also granted a longer life.  Something to do with magic prolonging life, I didn’t really listen when mum told us.  It wasn’t until we got older that it started to bother me more.  As I got older my body started to show signs of aging. Graying hair, wrinkles but Agnes still looked so young and beautiful. It just didn’t seem fair and I shut her out because of it.  I just couldn’t bear to look at her.  My jealously caused our relationship to break down.

For a while things seemed fine.  We went our separate ways and both found love.  Agnes met Erik and I married Gunther.  Admittedly my marriage to Gunther was pre-arranged by our parents.  It wasn’t until Erik’s unfortunate accident that I had any substantial contact with my sister.  Yes I had been civil and remembered birthdays and things but I had tried to maintain a distance from her.  After Erik’s death I tried to reconnect with Agnes and improve our relationship.  However, in return she lashed out at me.  She shut herself away from the world and I let her. It was in anger and frustration that made me avoid her even more than before.

Then came the pregnancy, I wasn’t about to let my only sister go through that alone so I urged her to move in with me.  Being older and hopefully wiser I realised it was silly to be jealous.  Especially with Mortimer’s disappearance.   That made me realise that no one will be here forever and despite her longer lifespan there is no guarantee Agnes will outlive me.

While I was having a rare moment to myself thinking about all this I heard Agnes calling for me.  Her tone sounded urgent so I hurried upstairs to find her clutching her stomach

“The baby’s coming” She said in a strained voice.

We soon discovered it was too late to get Agnes to the hospital so I helped her get onto the bed.  With my help Agnes gave birth to two beautiful baby girls.  I was glad Gunther wasn’t around, he would have been useless but then men usually are in these situations.

Agnes told me she was grateful I was there.  Despite our differences in the past she is still my sister, I couldn’t very well walk away when she needed my help.  Plus I got to see my nieces come into the world, it was such a lovely moment.

After it was over and the girls had been born I left Agnes to rest while I cleaned them up.  I wrapped them in pink blankets that I had bought, since I had been with her at the scans I knew she was having girls.

“Have you decided on names yet?” I asked as I handed her one of the girls.

“This one is Bianca” Agnes said looking down at the sleeping bundle in her arms.  “The other one is Alice.”

I knew Bianca was an old family name and Agnes told me that Alice is the name of a character from her favourite book.

After we had all had cuddles with the girls I put them in the newly finished nursery while Agnes rested.  I am quiet pleased with how it turned out. Gunther was not very happy to start with as this was his old study. Grumpy old sod hasn’t used it in years, he just doesn’t like change.  

Speaking of Gunther not long after Bianca and Alice were born Gunther fell ill.  His doctor was called out but the cause of his illness is still a mystery. All we know is that he is very weak and has strange bite marks on his neck.  The doctor suspects an it’s the bite of an insect or something.  I saw the look on the doctor’s face when he examined Gunther, like he was scared.  Why wouldn’t he tell me what he really thought? All I wanted to know was what was wrong with my husband and could it be cured?

The doctor prescribed some pain killers to make Gunther more comfortable but the prognosis was not good.  If Gunther continued to get weaker he might not have long left.  With Mortimer still missing this was not what I needed to hear right now.  I couldn’t bear the thought of loosing my husband as well as my son.  Gunther as usual was thinking more of more practical matters. The issue of who would run the estate after his death was something we could no longer afford to put off.

Both Gunther and I knew there was not a lot of choice left.  His older sister, Frieda had died without having children as had his uncle Samuel.  I soon worked out Gunther was the last Goth left alive.

“There must be someone” I said desperately.  “We can’t let this place be sold to some stranger.”

Gunther sighed and readjusted himself.  “There is someone else, another Goth”

As he spoke Gunther handed me a scrap of paper with a name and a phone number on it.

“I have already spoken to our solicitor and explained everything.” Gunther explained gently

“This is your heir?” I guessed before he could continue.

Gunther nodded and laid back on his pillows.  “Could you invite them over please.  One day next week should be fine. I want to explain everything in person.”

Gunther fell asleep after giving me that last request.  I smiled gently, covered him up and quietly left the room still holding the scrap of paper in my hand.  Looking for somewhere quiet where I would not be disturbed I found myself in the kitchen.  It was getting late but I knew if I left it till morning I would find reasons to put it off even longer.

Sighing I grabbed my phone from where it was sitting on the counter charging and dialled the number.  This is for Gunther, I kept telling myself.

“Hello?”

“Yes, Hello.  My name is Cornelia Goth I am calling on behalf of my husband Gunther.”

 

 

The Goth Family: Chapter 4

Do you know what’s worse than being stuck as a ghost for a long enough time to make it feel like the world has left you behind? Not being able to remember what your life was like before that. All I can recall is a blinding flash and when I woke up I was a ghost.  Before that my mind is a blank.  Who was I? What did I do? How did I die? Is there anyone alive who misses me? I know my name at least, it is written on my tombstone after all.  Lolita Goth, as for everything else well your guess is as good as mine.

One thing that strikes me as odd is why I am buried in the grounds of this house.  All the other people buried here have familial connections to the current residents of the house.  I don’t feel any such connection to them.  Then again since I have no memory of my waking life so I could very well be related to them.

Since I seem to be bound to this property I spent many a night of the years wandering it’s many rooms in the hope of finding a clue to who I was but found nothing.  As the years passed I began to loose hope of ever finding out the truth.  Most nights now I spend my time watching the family that lives here.  They seem like nice people so I am sure they won’t mind.

The couple that lived here are quite old now.  They have recently suffered the loss of their only son.  He went missing a couple of weeks ago now.  I saw what happen to him but of course I can’t tell them that.  After all they can’t even see me.  The kid seemed nice so I am hoping as much as they do that he returns safely.

On one of my nightly wanderings around the house I heard voices in the kitchen.  I floated down to hear what was being said when I heard me name mentioned.

“I’m glad we decided to redecorate” the woman said. Cornelia I think they call her.  “Makes the house seem new again.”

“We will have new additions to the family soon” the man pointed out.  Gunther if I recall correctly.

“Speaking of my sister, where is she?” Cornelia asked.  “resting I hope”

“I think Agnes went outside.” Gunther told her.  “To the graveyard.”

“Lolita again” Cornelia said slightly annoyed.  Gunther had told her the same story he had told Agnes, that I was his first wife.  Was this who I had been? “Why do you keep her here?”

Gunther looked out of the window and sighed sadly.  “I keep her in the hope that one day I will truly remember who she was.” he confessed.

So Gunther wasn’t 100% sure either.  Why would he go around telling people I had been his wife if he wasn’t really certain.  I mean how on earth can you not know who you were married to.  Surely there would have been a record of such an event?  Why hadn’t anyone looked into it? Was he that honest a person that everyone just took his word for it?

Cornelia and Gunther’s conversation started to bore me so I left the kitchen and wandered the downstairs for a bit.

“Um hello?” a woman asked as I floated into the dining room.  I looked around me but there was no other living beings in here.  Surely she couldn’t see me?

“Do you mean me?” I asked curious to know if she was indeed talking to me.  There is this strange device these people talk into a lot so I thought she might have been talking into one of those.

The woman walked over to me.  “Please don’t leave.” she said.  “I just want to talk.”

“You can see me?” I asked “How is that possible?”

The woman smiled warmly “My mother told me it’s a gift our family has.  Every member of my family has the ability to see ghosts.”  She explained.  “It’s why my sister wants the graveyard removed.  She can’t bear ghosts.”

Suddenly I felt guilty about all the times I had been in Cornelia’s presence.  If I had known this previously I would have left her alone.  The last thing I wanted to do was upset anyone.

“You’re Lolita, aren’t you?” she asked.  “I’m Agnes”

“It’s nice to meet you Agnes” I said shaking her hand.  Touching a living person felt strange, it’s not something I have done before.

“Is it true you were Gunther’s wife?” she asked.

I looked at her sadly “I don’t know.” I answered truthfully.  “I have no memories of my life when I was alive.”

“I’ve read about this” Agnes told me with sudden enthusiasm.  “It’s rare but in cases of unnatural death memory can be affected.”

This intrigued me. After all I was a lot younger in appearance to the other people in the graveyard and I was yellow whereas the others were grey in colour.

“Is there any way to restore my memory?” I asked.

“There is one way I know that has potential to work.” Agnes told me.  “It’s something I thought about attempting with someone I lost.  Until that is I realised I would have been doing it for the wrong reasons.”

“What’s that?” I asked.  The hope that had once deserted me came back.

“Something you have to be certain that you want.” Agnes explained.  “It’s kind of a one time thing but I can bring you back to life.  I have read about cases where a witch like myself has restored life to a ghost and over time their lost memories came back.”

Is that really what I wanted, to live again? What if I didn’t like what I remembered? I was certain that I had been a ghost long enough that everyone I would have known would be gone too.  What would I do with another chance? This was not a decision to be taken lightly. I told Agnes I needed time to think about this about returned to my grave.

Authors note: Shorter than I had originally planned but this felt like a good place to stop.  Next chapter coming very soon. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Goth Family: Chapter 3

So Aunt Agnes moved in with us at mother’s insistence of course.  It is actually nice having her here. Mother and father, yes that is what I call them.  I just don’t feel the relationship I have with them is close enough to call them mum and dad.  Most of the time they are not around anyway, always working, always busy.  Makes me feel like I’m just in the way most of the time.  Aunt Agnes is different though, she always makes time for me even though she is busy herself.  Even more so now she has a baby on the way.

One good thing that has come out of my aunt being here is the redecoration that has been going on.  She managed to convince my parents that the place needs updating.  For a long time I have seen this house as big dark and empty but with the improvements that have happened I am beginning to feel better about it.

It’s been slow progress but so far the kitchen, front reception room and downstairs bathroom have been completed.  Aunt Agnes helped mother with the colour schemes and together they have made the rooms brighter and more welcoming.

One significant change I should mention is to myself.  I had my birthday not long ago and I am now a teenager.  Aunt Agnes baked me a cake, It looked so good.  I don’t recall mother ever baking me anything.

It is probably wrong for me to say this but I was a bit annoyed that mother decided to have her birthday at the same time as me.  For once I wanted all the attention to be on me and no one else.  At least Aunt Agnes was there to cheer us on, I wish father could have been there too but he is too ill.  He spends most of his days in bed now.  Mother says it is just flu and he will get better soon.  I can tell by the look in her eyes she is not telling me the truth but I didn’t push it.

The first thing I did after becoming a teenager was to head to the bathroom and look in the mirror.  I wanted to see what I looked like now.  Holy plumbobs did I look different.  One thing that hung heavy over my head now that I was older was the burden of being my father’s only son and heir.  It was expected of me to take over control of the estate as well as the family business when he died.  Having my future worked out for me like that seemed like a prison sentence.  It was not something I relished or even wanted.  Oh how I wished more than anything I wasn’t an only child.

Not long after my birthday I was asked out on a date.  An actual girl asked me out! Can you believe it? There was a time when I wouldn’t have even considered any girl other than Bella but things have changed, I’ve changed.  Anyway I digress, I had arranged to meet my date at the graveyard. Not sure why she wanted to meet there but I didn’t want to put her off.

Kaylynn and I hit it off straight away.  It was actually refreshing to talk to someone who saw beyond my surname.  Bella’s nice and all but I think she only hung out with me because of my name.

“So a graveyard huh?” I said looking around “Funny place for a date.”

“I work here” She told me. “So I thought it was easier to meet you here.”

Well that sure cleared that up.  Not sure I would want to work in a graveyard.  It’s bad enough having one at home.  When I take over that is the first thing to go. Not my idea for garden design.

The date was going really well, Kaylynn and I seemed to have a lot in common.  With that in mind I took a deep breath and did something spontaneous for once.  I kissed her, not a full on snog or anything just a small one.  After all I wasn’t sure how she was going to respond.  Kaylynn surprised me by kissing me back.  I am not sure where things between us are going to head but we have decided to take things slow and see what happens.  We have exchanged numbers and arranged to meet up again.

Things seemed to get better after I kissed Kaylynn.  My father got better and gave me a belated birthday present, a new easel.  I have loved painting for as long as I can remember, I find myself at peace when painting.  It is my escape from the world and all the problems around me.  One thing that hasn’t improved is my friendship with Bella.  It is sad but I suppose that is just how things go, nothing lasts forever.  Besides I have new friends now and of course I have Kaylynn.

As good as things seemed at that moment however, there is always something that has to throw the balance.  For me that was one evening when I was painting in the conservatory as normal.  Out of the window I saw strange lights in the sky so I ran outside to investigate.  From the moment I stepped outside I wished I hadn’t.  Flying above the house was a huge alien spaceship.  Fear and dread consumed me as I turned and ran back towards the house even though I knew it was in vain.

My efforts were indeed proved to be futile as a beam came down from the ship and bathed me in its bright blue glow.  Almost at once I felt myself being lifted off the ground and towards the ship, It is an odd sensation I can tell you.   I have seen so much on TV and in movies about alien abductions but to experience it for real is something else.  I screamed for help even though I knew it would do me no good.  Everyone else had already gone to bed.  They would have no idea what happened for where I had gone. I took one last look at the house I had grown up in before the doors of the spaceship closed blocking my view.

The Goth Family: Chapter 2

Time went on and I started to settle into my new routine.  I found I enjoyed my new job and was soon promoted, which I was pleased about.  It’s nice to be in an office after being stuck large room sorting newspapers out into runs.  Mortimer came over a lot in the evenings now too.  He told me he was grateful not to be alone in that big house.  I’m not sure I believe his stories about all the ghosts though.  Having him here reminded me of when Erik and I were trying for a baby.  We never were able to conceive, I wondered if I ever would have children now.

Cornelia and I still haven’t sorted things out between us.  She comes across a bit cold when she picks Mortimer up.  I know she won’t let Gunther do it though, Cornelia’s paranoia about Gunther and any other woman prevents it.   One evening, I can’t remember the exact day Cornelia picked Mortimer up as usual after finishing her shift at the consignment store.  That’s where she works if I haven’t mentioned it already.  It’s just to get her out of the house really, I mean it’s not like they need the money. Anyway after the usual polite conversation they left and I found myself gazing at a couple of paintings that hung on the wall near the staircase.  I can’t remember how long they had been there but they certainly weren’t my taste, at least not any more.  It was then that my gaze drifted around the room.

The decor was rather dark and the furniture was old.  Why did I have so many chairs and sofas that seemed to serve no real purpose.  Yes I like reading but but surely 4 sofas and 4 chairs was a bit excessive?  I didn’t just sit and mope for the past year, did I?  Well whatever, it was time for a change.  That was my weekend sorted, I told myself.   If I was willing to move on with my life and make changes then my house should reflect that I decided.

After work one day that week when I knew I didn’t have to look after my nephew I decided it was high time I paid a visit to my old friend and close neighbour Fiona McIrish.  We had been friends for years but over the last year I neglected our friendship.  I hoped that today I could fix that.  My thinking was if I couldn’t mend my relationship with my sister then maybe I would have better luck with Fiona.

Considering I hadn’t seen or talked to Fiona for a while she seemed pleased to see me.  She like most people these days complimented my on how much better I was looking.  Anyone would think I had been seriously ill the way people talked! I filled her in on what had been going on recently.

“I’m sure Cornelia isn’t avoiding you on purpose.” She reassured me.  “She might just be busy, you did say she works long shifts at the store.”

“You’re probably right” I told her though I was a bit sceptical about that.  It’s not like Cornelia works at the store every day.   Having just mended bridges with Fiona I didn’t want to rock the boat too much so I held my tongue and smiled.

Fiona and I talked for a while longer just catching up and each other’s lives.  Then I noticed it was getting late.

“Wow is that the time.” I said glancing at the clock on her kitchen wall. “I should probably get going.”

“Oh OK” she replied. “Try not to leave it so long next time OK. I’ve missed our little chats.”

“Me too, and the coffee that usually goes with them!” I agreed as she pulled me into a hug.  She always has been a hugger unlike me who would prefer a simple wave.  I guess I’ve just been a loner for too long!

That weekend my house was being redecorated and the smell of paint was overwhelming.  I needed to get out and I knew through a colleague at work that there was some kind of festival going on in the park so I took a walk to see what was going on.  The guys decorating my house were trustworthy enough to be left alone.  They had been friends of Erik’s so I knew my things would still be there when I got back, hopefully.  I didn’t feel like wearing my usual black skirt so I hunted in my wardrobe for something more comfortable.  I threw on a pair of leggings and a long pink top and left the house telling the guys to call if they needed anything.  Obviously I left the teabags out, it is well known that workmen like their tea! Well it is round here at least.

After wandering around the park for a bit, seeing what was going on I headed over to the food stands for a bite to eat. It was nearly noon by that point after all.  I was in a bit of daydream wondering what I fancied to eat as I looked at the menu propped up to the side of the food stand.  As I moved to join the queue I bumped into a guy who was trying to join the queue at the same time.  He was kind of cute so I forgave him for bumping into me.

“Oh I’m sorry” I said smiling bashfully.

“That’s ok.” he said waving my apology away. “I was miles away anyway.  I’m Conner by the way.”

“Agnes” I told him as we joined the queue. “You hear alone too?”

This seemed like a good line to fish for details about his relationship status.  You got the information you wanted without seeming to forward. As I looked at him I thought it would be nice to get married again and maybe have a couple of kids.

“I am at the moment but my girlfriend is supposed to be meeting me here for lunch.  She works nearby.” He explained.  “She is expecting our first child so I guess I have a bit of a baby brain at the moment.”

I laughed a little but inside I was thinking ‘what a shame’.  Why is it the good ones are always taken.  “Congratulations” I said out of politeness. “Do you know what you’re having?”

“No we want it to be a surprise.” Conner told me.  “It’s exciting though, I can’t wait to be a father. Do you have any kids?”

“No, it’s just me” I said simply. The conversation fizzled out after that.  It was my turn to order anyway.  I ordered a bagel and a coffee and sat down.  After eating I thought I should head home, see how the decorators where getting on.  I made me way to the exit and ran into Gunther who was then coming into the park.

“Hi Agnes” Gunther said as I approached him. He was smiling warmly at me.

“Hi Gunther” I replied.  “You here alone, Cornelia working today?”

Gunther sighed. “Yes she’s working all day.  I’m sure she takes these long shifts just to avoid me.”

Trying to pin Cornelia down for a chat was proving difficult. It amused me that I saw more of my brother-in-law than my own sister.

“I’m sure that’s not true” I said trying to reassure him.

“Oh just a warning she was not happy when she found out we had been alone in the house” Gunther told me.

“We weren’t alone though.” I commented. “Mortimer was there.”

“You know what she’s like” Gunther explained. “She has this idea in her head that we weren’t just talking that afternoon.”

This was what I had expected and I rolled my eyes. I knew all too well what Cornelia was like where Gunther was concerned.  She was so worried about loosing him that she saw any and every woman as a threat to her marriage even me, her own sister.  After asking Gunther to pass on a message for Cornelia to call me we parted ways.

“Oh hang on!” Gunther said suddenly to my retreating back.  I stopped and turned around.  Gunther ran up to me and handed me an envelope.  “We are having a party next weekend,  you will be there won’t you?”

“Of course!” I said trying to sound at least a bit enthusiastic. A party, I thought that won’t be uncomfortable at all.  I could just imagine Cornelia watching me like a hawk.  When she has something in her head she won’t let go regardless if there is any truth to it or not.

After parting ways with Gunther I got a call from the decorators to say they had finished.  They had been working on the main living area on the ground floor and I was so excited to see what they had done.  It was safe to say I was not disappointed when I walked in. The room looked so much bigger and was brighter and more importantly less useless seating!

“Much better” I said as I looked around.  As I admired the room I wished I had done this a lot sooner.  This was a warmer and more welcoming room now.  I was keen for someone to visit me now so I could show it off!

The following week went all too quickly and the day of Gunther & Cornelia’s party arrived.  When I arrived at Goth Manor there weren’t many people there and Cornelia was nowhere in sight. “Typical” I muttered to myself

I wandered towards the door and glanced around.  I spotted Gunther by the pool.  He grinned and waved me over.

“Agnes glad you could make it.” He said pulling me into a hug.  Honestly what was it with people and hugging? Was this a new trend I hadn’t heard off?

“It’s a bit quiet for a party” I commented looking around.  “Where is everyone?”

“I’m sure they will be here, It’s still early yet.” Gunther said and wandered of to mingle with his guests.

I went to change into my swimsuit, it was a pool party after all.  The cool water of the pool was inviting so I lowered myself in and swam around for a bit.  After a while Gunther and a couple of the other guests joined me.

A while later the party was in full swing.  There were more people here yet I hadn’t seen Cornelia anywhere.  I guessed she probably had to work again.  I sighed and went to talk to some of the other guests.  There may have been a couple of glasses of wine drunk too.

Gunther joined the group to check the drink supply.  “I’d better go get some more.  You lot sure can drink!” he said looking at all the empty bottles.  There was not just wine available, a variety of soft drinks had been put out too. “Agnes would you come help me?”

“Alright” I said and I followed him into the house.

“Thanks for inviting me.” I told him when we were inside. “Shame Cornelia couldn’t be here.”

Gunther, I noticed was looking at me a little strangely.  Without warning he grabbed my hands and pulled me close.

“I’ve wanted to do this for so long.” he said before kissing me.

What was happening and why wasn’t I stopping it? I guess I got caught up in the heat of the moment and the wine I’d had probably didn’t help.

Before I realised what was happening we had moved upstairs to Gunther’s bedroom and, well you can fill in the blanks.  Afterwards we both realised the mistake we had made and made a mutual agreement never to speak of it.  It would be as if it had never happened which was fine by me.  No good would come of it if anyone especially Cornelia were to find out.

Unfortunately fate had other ideas. A couple of months after the party I discovered I was pregnant.  What the hell was I going to do? I hadn’t told Gunther yet and I wasn’t sure if I ever would.  Cornelia was going to hit the roof regardless if I told the truth about the baby’s father or not.

This came shortly after there was another addition to the family.  For a long time I have wanted to get a dog but Erik wasn’t keen on them.  I went down to the shelter and picked out cute little dog called Austin.  The name suited him so I kept it. He can be a bit of a lazy thing but I wouldn’t be without him.  Pushing the issue of Gunther being the father of my unborn child aside I think my life is finally getting better.  I feel like I have come out of the darkness and am now standing in the light.  Although there is always something that can take that good feeling away.

In my case that something was my sister Cornelia.  I didn’t want her to find out about my pregnancy second hand so I deliberately went to the consignment store near closing time when I knew I would run into her.  Having spent so long trying to pin her down and get her to talk to me it saddens me that cornering her as she left work is the way it had to be done.

It had been a while since I last saw her, she had stopped picking Mortimer up.  Gunther was doing it instead.  She had to be avoiding me, I just wish I knew why.

“Agnes what are you doing here?” Cornelia asked coldly.  I could tell this was not how she wanted her evening to go.

“I just wanted to talk to you” I explained. “There’s something I want to tell you, before you find out from someone else.”

“Come on then, out with it.” Cornelia urged.  It was like she really didn’t want to be here.

“OK” I said slightly taken aback by her impatience.  As such I decided there was no point beating around the bush.  “I’m pregnant.”

As expected Cornelia’s reaction was not a pleasant one.  You could literally see the frown on her face deepen

“You’re what!” she exclaimed. “Do you even know who the father is or did you just latch onto the first man who stood still long enough?”

“That was uncalled for.” I said a little shocked by her response.  “Do you want to know or do you just want to carry on insulting me?”

Cornelia folded her arms and looked at me with that cold stare she did so well.  Mother would be so proud of her.  “Fine enlighten me.” she said coldly.  I could tell she wasn’t expecting much.

“I don’t know who the father is” I lied. There was no way on earth I was going to tell her it was Gunther.  “There was a party, a works thing I think.  I got a little drunk and I found myself in bed with someone.”

“You don’t remember who it was?” Cornelia asked slightly sceptical.

“No I don’t” I said carrying on with my lie and praying she bought it. “As soon as I realised what had obviously happened I got out of there.  I thought I could just forget it ever happened.”

Cornelia’s frown seemed to lessen.  “Are you keeping the baby?” she asked though I think she already knew the answer.

I nodded “Of course. It’s conception may not have come at an ideal time but having a child is something I have wanted for so long.  I am just so scared though, I never thought I would have to do this alone.”

“You won’t be alone.” Cornelia said putting her hand on my shoulder.  Her tone was warmer, kinder.  What had happened to my sister?

“What do you mean?” I asked.

Cornelia sighed. “I think it’s time we left the past were it belongs and look to the future. There is one option open to you, I hope you take it. In fact I wont take no for an answer”

She put her hands up in front of her when she said that last bit to stop any protests I might have had.  Not that I had any.  Despite never really being that close to Cornelia at any point in our lives I couldn’t have been happier at that moment to her as my sister.  She was willing to help me despite any differences we may have had in the past.

“Thank you” I said smiling at her.

 

 

The Goth Family: Chapter 1

It’s been almost a year since Erik died, I still can’t quite believe it. To make it worse he died on our honeymoon.  We had only just begun our journey together.  There were so many things we wanted to do, so much we dreamt of achieving.  None of that would happen now, well not together at least.

This morning I find myself standing in front of Erik’s grave, something that has become part of my daily routine.  Most mornings I sit here and tell Erik what’s been going on in my life which I have to admit is usually very little.  Well to be honest I used to sit when there was a bench here.  It was something I have had for a long time, might have been my mother’s actually. Anyway the wood was in a very poor state and was unsuitable for use so I had to take it to the junkyard.  I was going to get a new one but I saw the fountain, liked it so I bought that instead.  Wow that is really not like me acting on impulse like that.   So as I was saying I stand in front of Erik’s grave now.  I am not one for sitting on the ground, some people enjoy that sort of thing I know but not me.

I looked at Erik’s grave and sighed deeply.  This was harder than I had thought.  “Erik, I hope I find you well? I have come to tell you something important today.  After hiding away from the world for so long it is time for me to get my life back on track.  It was last night that I realised I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life alone.  I’ve spent too long shutting people out and wallowing in my grief.  Yes I miss you more than anything and I always will but I can’t keep putting my own life on hold.  I know you wouldn’t want me to do that.”

Shutting people out, I had gotten so used to spending my days in solitude that I had forgotten I did that.  Directly after Erik’s death I have shut myself away from everyone including Cornelia, my sister.  Looking back I am ashamed to say I was jealous, it didn’t seem fair that she still had her husband and son both very much alive when I had nothing.  Things have improved in recent weeks but our relationship is still not what it was. Erik’s death was a hard time for me and I was hurting a lot but I should never have taken it out on Cornelia. Although I am beginning to think there was more to the relationship with my sister breaking down than just Erik’s death but I’m not ready to talk about that yet.  Still trying to figure things out with that myself.

My days since his death have all been fairly similar I wake up, get washed and dressed, go talk to Erik, have breakfast then go down into the basement to study alchemy.  Yes you did hear that correctly, you see soon after Erik’s death I heard that there might be a way to bring Erik back using alchemy.  As a result I brought every book on the subject that I could find.  Despite all the studying I have done though I have yet to find any mention of a way to bring back the dead.  I am beginning to realise that whoever it was who told me about it was just trying to make me feel better.

Today was going to be different.  There would be no hiding in the house for me anymore. It was high time to get my life back on track.  First thing I did was fire up the computer and apply for a journalism job at Doo Peas Corporate Towers.  It has been a long held dream of mind to work in journalism.  With that out of the way I drove to the salon. I felt a change of style was long overdue.  

The woman in the salon, though dressed a bit oddly was actually very friendly and helpful.  She listened to what I said and told me her ideas.  Emma was her name I think.

“I don’t want anything too over the top” I told her “Just an update on what’s already there.”

“Sure no probs” The Emma told me.  “Let me see, well you have great hair so a simple restyle should sort things out there.  As for your outfit.  I have something new in you can try.  It’s of similar style to what you’re wearing.”

I gave Emma the go ahead and grinning she got to work.  It felt good to do something for myself like this, it had been too long.

When Emma had finished I stood in front of the mirror again.  I could hardly believe the what I saw, was that me? Yes I was still wearing black but that’s OK.  What I couldn’t get over was how much younger I looked.

The neckline on the blouse was more daring than I would have chosen myself.  I smiled as I imagined the look on Cornelia’s face when she saw me wearing this.  It was worth keeping it just for that!

A feeling of dread came over me at that moment.  That was where I needed to head next.  It was time we sat down and had a long talk.  We needed to get things sorted out between us. Sighing I turned away from the mirror and made my way out of the salon.

It is only a short drive to Goth Manor from the salon and it isn’t long before I find myself heading towards the front door.  Goth Manor has been in Gunther’s family for generations and has had little alteration done on it.  In my opinion it is showing it’s age.  It is definitely looking tired.

As it turns out Cornelia wasn’t at home, her son Mortimer greeted me instead.  I can’t help but wonder who leaves a child of his age home alone?

“It’s great to see you Aunt Agnes.” The boy tells me with great enthusiasm.  “Are you feeling happier now?”

Such a sweet boy.  Mortimer was of course referring to my immense sadness over Erik’s passing.  From what I remember Cornelia telling me Mortimer spends a lot of time with a girl called Bella.  I have heard of the girl and her family and it seems she is a good influence on my nephew.  Her kind nature has definitely rubbed off on him.

Mortimer asks me if I can stay for a while.  “It gets so lonely sometimes” he tells me.  “Mum & Dad seem to always be working. Can you stay a while?”

“Of course” I reassure him. “Anything for my favourite nephew.”

“Thanks Auntie” Mortimer grins and he gives me a big hug as thanks.  Just that one small act has made me feel so much better.  It was nice to see the kid actually, he is always a ray of sunshine in my dark and lonely world.

After sitting with Mortimer for a while and helping him with his homework I heard someone approach the house.  I got up and looked out of the window hoping to see Cornelia.

“Agnes” Gunther said with mild surprise. “You’re looking better. Can I ask why you are here?”

I smiled politely. While I had nothing against my sister’s husband we have never really talked all that much.  Cornelia usually makes sure of that, she has always seen any woman even myself as a threat to her hold on Gunther.

“I came to talk to Cornelia.” I explained. “There are obviously still issues the pair of us need to address.”

“I’m afraid she is still working.” Gunther told me with a friendly smile. He appears to have had his hair cut shorter and has gotten rid of that stupid hat.  I for one think he looks better for it.

Gunther made us tea and we talked for quite a while.  Mortimer excused himself and disappeared upstairs.

“You know Mortimer is always welcome to come visit me after school.” I suggested.  “I can’t bear the thought of the poor thing in this big house all alone.”

“That is very kind” Gunther said, “I will let him know.”

Gunther turned and looked out of the window.  A sad expression appeared on his face.  For a moment I thought he was missing Cornelia but then he looked at me again.

“I imagine Cornelia has told you about Lolita?” He said suddenly.

Yes she had but only what she wanted me to know.  That Lolita was Gunther’s first wife who died in a tragic accident involving a faulty appliance shortly after the wedding.

“A little.” I confessed “I know she was your wife.”

“Lolita was more than just my wife.” Gunther said sadly. “She was my first love.   Loosing her was the worst day of my life.”

After Gunther finished his story I asked if I could see her grave.  Gunther said I could and I went outside.  I hadn’t realised Gunther and I had been talking for so long, it was already dark when I walked to the graveyard.  Lolita’s grave was easy to find, it was the only one with flowers on it.  Clearly Lolita meant a lot to Gunther, in a way looking at her grave reminded me of Erik’s.

I went home that evening feeling a lot better about things.  Although I hadn’t managed to talk to Cornelia, I felt my relationship with my brother-in-law had improved greatly.  Clearly neither of us realised just how much we had in common.  Gunther had even joked that maybe he’d married the wrong sister.  That was something I quickly pushed out of my head.  Despite my relationship with my sister not being on the best of terms I would never steal her husband.  The one thing I prayed for though was that Cornelia didn’t find out about my talk with Gunther.  Knowing how jealous she can be that would not help mend things between us.