As a new member who have yet to stretch his E-legs it was quite hard to figure out what I wanted to do for my first request. Which was why I just sat down, drunk with the marvellous powers coffee and cigarettes, and wrote a lengthy four and a half pages. From it stems a simple yet strangely compelling story of a man who's life is turned upside down by events outside his influence and turns him from a poor eccentric bastard (in some ways bastard by the old definition) into a rich eccentric bastard. I am not going to leave any pretences, for this I want a writing partner with a female character simply looking for some fun romance writing. Where it will bark I have no idea, I simply just present to you an ordinary story with no real plan as to what it wants to be.
Shall you find it interesting just PM me and we'll put something together. Suggestions welcome.
So here you go, a wall of text for no other reason than to inspire me and give you a taste of the writing style I present for this particularly RP. Enjoy!
"For now the estate is employing fifteen workers and with the sum left for you by your aunt it can stay for a considerable amount of decades without..."
"Cut them lose. I only intend to use the estate for a small while, until I can find a buyer."
He looked out the window, disinterested. The old bag had finally caved for the cancer and as the only relative alive he had inherited the van der Meer Estate. He had never known until a month ago that his family kept any rich relatives hidden from him. To his knowledge, he was the last van der Meer and was quite happy about it. His lawyer, the esteemed Mr Vernage Cooper, looked up at him where he was standing, bathing in the sun at the large windows of the almost archaic office the lawman kept.
"Quinlan, I am afraid the will states in it a demand for you to live there as 'a true van der Meer' would do."
The young man flicked up a cigarette from a beaten up package, planting it firmly between his thin lips. After lighting it he drew a hand through his dark hair and sighed. Had he known of this he would never have answered Lady van der Meer's invitation. He had never met her before this, but she claimed to have been at his parents' funeral. According to her she was the older sister of his mother's. Having married his father after the war she had denied the riches of the family and lived with her husband, a simple veteran of the Pacific Theatre. Quinlan's older brother died at the mere age of ten and his younger sister died just a couple of years ago. Then his parents died in the car accident half a year ago. Having heard about the dealings of the van der Meer family and its history, he was sure that the whole lineage was cursed. The more reason to be rid of it.
"What would I care? Better someone else or the state taking the damned inheritence! I am perfectly fine as I am."
Vernage put down the paper and took off his glasses to shine them. The thining hair on his scalp was glued to his head by sweat, the summer sun warming up the city to cruel degrees.
"Your current life style suggests otherwise. How long since you ate properly."
Quinlan turned around with a brow cocked. He was about to say something stinging but was interrupted by the growl of his innards. He turned back to the window and leaned his left elbow on it. Sucking on the cigarette he thought about his current situation. Throughout his life his siblings had been raised by his father, which was the sole reason they survived on their own. They worked as a foreman and secretary respectively and earned their living on it. He on the other hand had been raised by his mother to be what he was now; a brilliant modern Renaissance Man, but with no employ or income to speak of. He often contemplated what his mother had been thinking. If it was her way to relive some lost glory of the van der Meer or a twisted tradition of the same. Something like 'raise your middle child to be a waste of space in the modern society'. She certainly had made him its crowning achievement. Had he ever gotten a job he'd probably hadn't kept it for long.
"You know damned well my situation, Vernage. Which is why you keep plaguing me about this..."
Vernage put on his glasses again and scoffed.
"You are letting your principles kill you, Quinlan. Had I been in your clothes I would have taken the name and the estate and thanked the gods for giving me such an opportunity. You haven't fully grasped it yet, Quinlan, but with as much money as Lady van der Meer left behind you could live the rest of your life in splendor and still have enough left to feed four more generations."
The young man stopped for a minute and thought about that day when he first met the old hag. Like a spider in a net, bloated with the richness of past achievements. She had asked him such strange questions. Particularly about his childhood, his skill with musical instruments, knowledge of science and academics. As if it was essential for the...
"Quinlan! Would you listen to me for once! You know I care for you, we're practically family. Your father would have liked you to live a long and happy life rather than die in the gutter without a penny. I think your mother would have told you to take the opportunity as well. Now sign the damned papers and take a cab down to the estate!"
He turned and watched the old man. He had raised from his chair and was holding out a pencil for him to use. He threw the long dead cigarette in the ashtray and took it, signing the will. He sighed deeply and gave Vernage a sour look.
"This will probably tip me over the edge, you know? I'll be a fully fledged van der Meer in a few years."
"Nonsense! I don't know where you got the idea, the van der Meer family was a splendid family that helped finance the foundationof this nation!"
Quinlan turned around and strode out through the door. To each his own. Founding heroes, sure, one could say that. But the money they used to support Washington's claim for freedom had come from slavery and opium. It didn't stop there either. The van der Meer had been decadent fools that put their claim in anything that could further their reputation and power. It had collapsed after the war, when it leaked that they had financed the Nazi Party in the early 30's. No wonder his mother had taken her fair distance from them.
Walking out in the street he loosened the tie and rolled up the sleeves of his jacket. As he hailed a cab he saw some protesters walk down the street on the other side of the road. 'Down with Nixon', 'Stop the Bombs', 'Free Vietnam'. He might be liberal in his ways, but the damned hippies couldn't think further than the pot took them. He jumped into the cab that screeched to a halt and instructed him to drive to the Dutch Estate as it was known. His eyes were wide with speed demon fed terror as he struggled out of the car when it stopped in front of the gates. He had barely paid the driver before he sped down the corner. Quinlan could have sworn he had been on the other side of the town just a couple of minutes ago.
"Mr van der Meer..."
He turned around, seeing an elderly man waiting for him at the open gates. He was clad in clothes that would have fitted better in the last century, but it was probably a tonne more expensive than what he wore. He lit a cigarette and stepped up.
"Quinlan will do. You're Duncan, right?"
"Yes sir, I am. The others are waiting for you."
He walked past the butler and into through the gates. He was hit by the smell of the colourful garden, an impressive sight to be sure.
"Yes sir, the rest of the employed staff."
"Oh... I guess you are all fired."
The elderly gentleman didn't even cock a brow.
"Right so, shall I instruct them to leave the premise then?"
"Yes. Although you can stay until evening. I need someone to show me the ropes around here..."
Quinlan put a hand on the doorknob of the victorian estate, pushing the door open. Inside were gathered a dozen servants.
"Everyone leave, you have been relieved from your duty."
Duncan didn't waste time it would seem. Quinlan watched the stunned crew and gave a weak smile. After a while the message sank into the staff and they went to their quarters to gather up their things. He hadn't noticed last time, but the insides of the estate were huge. As the people dispersed he felt lonely in the empty space that the main hall offered. Twenty rooms, a dining hall, a grand hall and a kitchen worthy a restaurant. The cellars were more like catacombs in his own meaning and apparantly held five hundred years worth of alcohol if Vernage were to be trusted. The tower held a small observatory and study, filled to the brim with books, trophies and other pinals of dubious origin. The walls were so darkened, old oak lining them. How in the whole Hell would he be able to live here? It was so big! It was... his home.
As evening fell on the estate Quinlan sat exhausted in front of the fire place in the study. Duncan had cooked some dinner for him and now he sat in the most comfortable chair with a glass of two hundred year old brandy in his right hand and a cuban cigar in the other. He wasn't too comfortable with this. It felt wrong. As if he was here uninvited. Duncan entered the room with a tray, coffee and bicuits. Quinlan looked up from the fire and sighed.
"I do believe you'll have to stay, Duncan. This estate is... terribly big. The gardener can come back once a week as well..."
"As you wish, sir!"
Once again, no reaction. He sipped the brandy and took a mouthful of the cigar in. He could barely believe it. So this was his new life? Just sitting in this house, enjoying stuff that his forefathers had worked to build up. Built on terrible deeds for that matter. He shook his head and straightened up in the chair.
"Duncan... I would have inherited even if my mother was alive, wouldn't I?"
The old man paused for a moment and then sat down in the chair opposite to his own. He seemed to weigh his words carefully before finally continuing.
"Because you are a van der Meer. Not only in name, but in soul. I suspect your mother had something to do with your peculiar education. It's a well kept tradition that each inheritor of the van der Meer estate be educated in a classical manner dating back to the days when your forefathers set foot in this country some four hundred years ago. In these modern times it is just about impossible to make a living on such an education. But the family have provided for your continued comfort."
"Through the blood of others."
"Of course. The family always has. It is no wonder that they have accumulated such riches when they have not cared about the means to getting it."
Duncan stood up and took a short bow.
"I know it might be hard for you accept, but you are the last van der Meer. If you are unhappy about your ancestry, I suggest you find a way to deal with it yourself."
After that he left the room. Quinlan sat quite for a while. Then he stood, striding through the room up to the piano across the space. He sat down and started playing, like his mother had taught him. Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Rachmaninov and Chopin, all through the night until the sun rose over the town. He couldn't sleep, the house was keeping him awake. As the clock struck seven the door opened and Duncan entered with breakfast. He ate, drank some coffee and then returned to the piano. He was harrowed by insomnia, his fingers trembling. He started realising why his mother had given him these gifts. It had been meant to provide for the family. For his parents, his siblings and eventually the next generation of van der Meers. But he was alone. Rich and lonely. Like the old saying goes. He slammed the lid shut and stood up. Hell no! He wasn't going to be miserable because of what his forefathers had done. It was about time he gave himself some slack. It was about time he started living. It was about time he made up for his lineage's atrocities.
"Duncan, where's the phone?"
"You want to do what exactly?"
Vernage sat stunned in the chair as Quinlan loomed over him, a mixed expression of bloodshot eyes, maniacal smile and genuine happiness on his face.
"You heard me, Vernage. I want to give away half the inheritence. To charity!"
Vernage sipped on his coffee and Quinlan strode through the room to the humidor, picking up two cigars, throwing one to the surprised lawyer. He lit his own and threw his hand out to his surroundings, as if he wanted to embrace it all.
”So that I can live with this! Do you realize this estate is built on the blood of others! The whole bloody family is built up from a base of war-profiteers, slavers and God-knows-whats. My mother knew it, which was why she raised me like this. So that I could get the inheritence and provide for the family. Now my family is dead, gone, only me left. Do I wallow in my blood-inheritence all by my own? Heck no, how could I? So what I want you to do is to give away 50% of my inheritence to charity, 50% of that going to some sort of equal rights foundation, the rest to an orphanage or twenty! The other 50% will be the foundation of my lineage. The new van der Meers, no longer bound to the cursed line that has given me this opportunity!”
Vernage sat stunned, a lit cigar hanging limply from his bottom lip. He took some time before saying something.
”You're mad Quinlan.”
”You said it yourself! The money left behind is enough for me and four more generations and it will, Vernage! From this foundation, we'll create fortunes that will feed the new family and those that are in need.”
”Quinlan, you are nearing thirty and have yet to find a woman, yet you speak as if you already have ten kids to feed...”
Quinlan lets out a semi-crazed laughter and sits down in his own chair. He sits there for a while, his eyes becoming heavy.
”I know, right? But I'll succeed... please, Vernage, let me do this. Dad would have... liked it.”
He holds back a yawn. The lawyer sits quite for a while, smoking the cigar slowly. Finally he stands up and puts his hat on, giving Quinlan a nod.
”You are mad, I won't budge on that. But something tells me this is the only way to make you accept this inheritence. I'll start looking into some charities for you. Just have some sleep, otherwise you will never find a woman in time.”
Vernage left the room, the young budding philantrope already asleep. Quinlan van der Meer was only his second day into his new life, but for the first time in two months he slept easy.