“I’m surrounded my idiots.” The Old Dam paced in her office.
First, her daughter was murdered by a stuffed bear. A toy! Less than two feet tall. Despicable! She deserved her fate.
Second, Willem, her supposed faithful servant, lost Sir Dam’s coin. He had only one task: To bring her that coin. And he lost it! On a dance floor of all places, where he was tearing it up with half of the eligible hags from town. Disgusting.
And, lastly, her nephew, Mordecai, is now the spokesperson for good, clean prison living.
Old Dam screeched, raising her fists in the air, shaking them at the ceiling. Her family was a disgrace. If she didn’t do something fast she would grow olderand leave this family without the standard Blackwater grace.
Later that evening…
“I was surprised you called.” Mordecai met Old Dam in the middle of her study, kissing her dutifully on the cheek. “The last time we spoke, you made it clear that if I pursued a career of ‘insufferable, do-gooding’ I’d be written out of the family.”
Dam lightly patted Mordecai on the cheek. “I’m so happy you’ve come.” He was surprised to see unshed tears in her eyes. “I behaved horribly. Please forgive me. Angel’s death has hit me harder than I thought it would.” She pulled Mordecai into her arms, squeezing him tight against her black-gowned bosom. “It made me realize how important family is. Can you ever forgive an old woman?”
Mordecai blinked. This was the first time Aunt Dam had willingly hugged him. Definitely the first time he heard an apology leave her lips. Perhaps she’d seen the way he stood up to his Warden and was finally proud of him. He returned the hug, feeling a warm glow in his chest. “Of course, Aunt Dam. Don’t give it another thought.”
She leaned back, beaming. “Wonderful. Share a drink with me?” She turned to the small table against the wall that housed different sized decanters.
“Well, actually, I have another presentation tonight. It’s going to be aired on the seven o’clock news. So it’s best if I—”
Aunt Dam turned around, thrusting a glass into his hand. It was half filled with a brown liquid. “Oh, just a sip, it won’t kill you.” She grinned. “I don’t think we’ve ever had the chance to do this.” Her smile fell. “I normally shared a drink with Angel every evening.” She lowered her gaze, sniffing. “We would discuss our day.” She sighed. “I just miss her so much.”
Mordecai put an arm around his Aunt’s shoulders, leading her to the couch. “I think I can spare a few minutes.”
Dam lifted her head. One tear rolled slowly down her cheek. “How did I miss what a completely wonderful nephew you are? I’m so happy you’re still in my life.” She clinked her glass with his, waited until he brought his own glass to his lips, before doing the same. “To family,” she said, her gaze on him over the rim of her glass.
“To family,” Mordecai echoed, tipping the glass back to empty it in one swallow. One of the things he missed the most in prison was his aunt’s stock of Wray and Nephew Rum.
Twenty minutes later Mordecai lay, snoring and drooling, on the carpeted floor. Dam lifted the afghan off the back of the couch and wrapped it around her shoulders, gazing down at her dear, gullible nephew. This was just the beginning. Mordecai ruined by rum and a few crushed Ambien wouldn’t be making tonight’s We Heart Prisoners presentation or any others.
Lord Slogar: -45
Professor Helena Slogar: 0
Melissa Slogar: 0
Elias E. Gorr: -30
The Old Dam: -20
Cousin Mordecai: -10
Willem Stark: +10
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