now you may edit it, (read the small print next time ;) )
Bartholomew Charen was born six months after his father's blue berry farms soared the family into fortunes, lots of them. His nursery was all lace and silver heirlooms bought from other families, he life was all nannies and too many books in too many languages. Perhaps this is why after reading Bram Stoker's Dracula when he was eight he became convinced that vampires existed. A fact helped a long a bit by the fact that he met some in London. He wasted no time imparting this fact to acquaintances. He got away with it at first because he was little, and then because he was rich & people were sure his parents had neglected him and then lastly because he was considered, 'eccentric'. A combination of these personalities, and pale good features-with blue eyes that "saw to the heart of things" made Barty Charen the most sought after husband for five years, till Duke of Derby got his teeth fixed. Taken abruptly out of the spot light he met Claire at a college pizza place, bought her dinner, and proposed three months later.
"Daddy?" Mathilda Charen looked up from her Cheerios, "do you really beleive in monsters?" across the table Claire Charen shook her head forcefully. Bartholomew sighed, patted his mouth with a napkin and looked at his eight year old.
"Yes" he said.
"Mathilda, daddy's joking" Claire said quickly.
"Why don't you go take your cheerios into the living room and play with the dinosaurs?" the future heir to the Charen millions left the room, holding her bowl of cheerios and her ancestral silver spoon. The dinosaurs were made up of some real bones, collected by Aunt Emily, who was the coolest person ever and always brought home fossils and amber and things like that. Claire watched the door swing shut & then turned bright red.
"Imagine telling a child a silly story like that!"
"As if you meant that when you were-"
"And I don't think you realize-"
"And giving her that dreadful book when she was eight! Barty once is-"
"I really don't think you're giving me a fair chance!"
"Do try to control yourself Barty" and she stalked out of the room. He took the dog for a walk, and came home with another giant stuffed animal. Mathilda accepted these as small apologies for having to eat her cheerios in the living room. This time it was Timothy the Duck.
The argument never really got past that state, and it always ended with stuffed animals.
Barty had realized, over the years, that Claire paid great attention to the mental state of her only offspring. She sent orders down to the kitchen for cereal, and pancakes instead of savory crepes with truffles, mimosas, trout stakes in champagne sauce because she said simple comfort food was important to a child's development. Mathilda went to a local middle school (but Bartholomew drew the line at high school) and her birthday parties were the same as everyone else's. Barty remembered the year his father had bought a water park, and turned it over to him. In a telegram of course, from Paris.
This was all fine & well, but when it came to something he believed in, it was a bit harder to just accept it.
Once he took her on a walk, and tried to explain it, but he ended up just buying cotton candy and feeding it to the ducks. Another time he wrote her a very long letter and sent it to her boarding school in the south of France, only to find Claire reading it at the dinner table. He was rarely mad at his wife, but sometimes he wished he'd just married another beautiful, hopeless, unintelligent woman like his father had. Maybe a model, or a decorator, or writer or something. But no, he married a psychologist A Child Psychologist. She was lovely, and accomplished, and always smelled like spice cookies, but she wasn't exactly the normal Charen wife. He should know, his father had gone through five, Claire resembled none of them. Barty decided that was a good thing.
In the end it came out by accident. Most things do. Mathilda was ten, they were in a park, he'd just bought her a lollipop.
"Why doesn't mommy believe, in monsters?"
"Because she's never seen them".
Mathilda licked her lollipop, "oh" she said, "but I've seen them'.
"Many times". He said sagely.
"What types?" she asked.
"Were they mean?"
"No...not really. just very upset, and very tired".
"Everything is dangerous, if you give it enough room".
"But we're alright aren't we?" she asked.
" 'course we are, want to know why?"
" 'cause we're Charens" and he smiled, and bought her a stuffed bear from one of the shops on the walk home. His wife just shook her head.
Three years later, when Claire was out at some convention, his daughter sat down on the couch with her algebra homework and plaintively held the book out to him.
"How far did you get?"
'Number twelve" she said, "and they're all right, but it takes too long". He looked at the equations, graphing...and started to solve a few in his head.
" 'right, show me what you're doing..." two hours later, algebra homework done she stacked her books up on the coffee table.
"Mom said you believed in vampires" she said, "and then I remembered you told me once that you did".
'So?" he asked.
"Well it isn't exactly normal now is it?"
"We're Charens, we aren't exactly normal are we?" Matty closed her eyes and recollected her three ponies she'd gotten for christmas, and the necklaces her mother wore, not to mention the vacations, which always seemed to include private islands and jets loaned to her dad by some record company.
"No" she said, "but vampires?"
"You used to believe in ghouls".
"I was little, I was silly".
"Well, do you really?"
"It's true, I believe, in vampires, but I have proof"
"Than why doesn't mom-"
"Your mother never believed anything she didn't see with her own two eyes, it's very calming, but it's not very sympathetic".
"Where did you see them?"
'How could you tell?"
"They spoke to me, they remembered things, and of course they flew off into the night"
"Monsters don't need wings, and neither do vampires".
She sighed, "want to go for a walk?"
She came home with a Frog. She named it Stoker, and when Claire found out Barty ended up in the family room eating cheerios.
I liked this one, more then your last. This is a confused sentence though; "He was young, and not very bright and when he was hardly older than eight... " I think you meant to put a period in there somewhere. I think it would have helped if you'd put a paragraph after the article, about how strangely enough this hadn't put any movie stars of, and he'd been chased by such and such until the Earl of Derby came on to the scene. In addition, I would have loved if there had been a comment about her getting Dracula for her eighth birthday. What I liked was the way the story moved going from one thing to the next, which is also why I think the paragraph is important. I also read the first draft and I think this is an improvement; the first one was somewhat characterless. Ta- Tollers
Can I say ow? Sorry about the editing bit. I have to say that for a while I thought you'd picked out my future husband. You would make a very good Aunt Emily. Perhaps you would understand if I said that having read it all three times it just kept getting better? I wouldn't worry about tolkien-esque so much as Star Wars-esque becuase more people are familiar with that then TLoB&L.-Tollers (Miss you awful. If you drink enough tea do you turn into a tea pot?) (Your book and DVD just arrived.Cheers- K)
Can I get nitpicky with the grammer? Please? Because there are a great deal of instances where you used lowercase letters in place of uppercase ones. And a handful of the sentences look like you used capslock for two letters before hitting the button again. Also there are things like double n's or spots that needed puntuation. Commas ran off to possibly join the circus, periods jumped ship, that sort of a thing. The article was formated oddly; did you do that on purpose, because it made the article hard to read. Other than that I enjoyed most of the premise of the story. Though I can't say I like these characters as much as I liked your last ones (do you like to write about rich people?). Now you may tear mine up.
Aya- I'm so very sorry!!! I firmly resolve to read all of your post and not assume that I know exactly what you're thinking and am always right. Good points are wasted if they are offered at the wrong time. So in the future I will wait until you remove the editing note to comment and remember that you are looking after two toddlers and don't have access to MS Word. Missing you dreadfully, so does my tissue (the itching sighing seraphim uttered encouragement) box miss you so much. - Katy
Alright, thanks for fixing the first paragraph it’s improved. I love the capitals and how Matty and Barty have them (to clarify "Timothy the Duck", "A Child Physiologist" ect.) it’s a lovely detail. Matty and Barty seem to have the same kind of voice, either one of them could have said the thing about Emily when they were eight. Claire does not have their voice so Vampires don't make sense to her, but they love each other still. The part about the letter is confusing because it seems to be that it must happen after all these encounters eight and three are only eleven so she'd still be in local schools. You should probably rephrase it, with something that conveys the time easily. There are a couple of places where you need to indent, but that might be LJ, I've had some issues with keeping my indents. The only bad thing I can say for style is that in this final version, it was better but it felt a little labored. Mum says she's heard the exact same thing from GeoDot about you're return. See you soon. Love (Laughing Oedipus Vied Endearingly)- Katy