It’s been about three years since I traveled to Montauk Peninsula, and spent time with my friend Charlotte Demerayes. I wonder what she has been up to since our last visit.
It looks like not too much has changed, as far as I can see. The grounds of the estate are just as pristine, the walls surrounding the estate are still standing, as majestic. But, there is a difference here, um. I can’t put my finger on it, but something’s strange.
There’s Charlotte now.
Augie: Hey Charlotte.Charlotte: Hi, Augie.
Augie: How are things?
Charlotte: I’m good.
Augie: The last time I was here, I allowed you to run the interview. Why don’t you introduce yourself and take it from there. I will pop in and out, when I think of a question or two.
Charlotte: That works for me.
Augie: The sea sounds ominous today.
Charlotte: Yes, Augie the sea does sound a little angry. If you pull the curtain back, you can actually see the harbor in the distance. Okay, I think I’m ready. Let me see. I suppose I should introduce myself and then go from there.
Augie: I think that would be a great place to start
Charlotte: Here goes. My name is Charlotte. I am the only living child of Theis Veit-Standforte and Chevalier Georges Aethelbert Demerayes. We live in this mansion that has been in the Demerayes’ family for generations. My mother is called Mistress and father is Master of Fanaman. He is a land baron. I had a younger brother, but he died when we were children. No one speaks of Matthew. Actually, no one is allowed to say his name, or mention anything about him according to Mistress. Let me see, I am nearly twenty. I have never married, nor have I ever been betroth. According to Mistress, I am a disaster, a failure to all women and a failure to the Veit-Standforte’s name. You see women in this era were considered spinsters if they were not married or betroth by the age of sixteen. I am a little late. Mistress reminds me all the time that I am an embarrassment, I accept this. I wanted to be unconventional, you know never marry. Enjoy life. That was not to be. Mistress had other plans for me. To be honest she hates me.
Augie: Isn’t that a little harsh.
Charlotte: Oh no, Mistress does not allow me to go anywhere. You know Fanaman is cursed?
Augie: No, I did not know this.
Charlotte: Yep. Let me see. My life is centered between these walls. All I have learned about life was taught by Mary. She’s my favorite person. She’s also our maid. My dear old Alexander, I love him the best (besides Father). I call him Alexy. He’s Father’s manservant and Father’s boyhood friend. Mother has no friends. I call her Mistress, just like everyone else. Actually, she prefers that. She spends her time conjuring up spells and doing evil things to people and me. She never spends time with me, unless it is to ridicule me about one thing or another. I heard at one time she had a friend. But, she disappeared, like the things in the mansion.
Charlotte: Mother tells me that I am crazy. That I steal things. Actually, I think Mother is the one who takes things and blames it on me. Or, I could be crazy. Let me see. Oh yes. Mother hates Father. She is really mean to him. I suppose she is that way, because she was forced to marry him—some old tradition. Mother hates father, sorry I just told you that. Well, she hates her life at Fanaman. She hates the servants. She hates just about everything. Did I tell you that she sees ghosts?