You can keep this to yourself, can't ya?
Mr. and Mrs. Bloomsbury mustn't know that I am recording the activities and ongoings at the estate. You see, I work for them. Awful people they are. That's right, I said it! They enjoy the suffering of others. Actually, they don't just enjoy it, they savor it like the last bite of a decadent meal. They relish in the misfortune of anyone unlucky enough to not be a Bloomsbury. But enough of my griping, eh? You're here for information. Let's get on with it.
The estate was commissioned to be built in 1732 by one Mr. Algernon Bloomsbury II. A lonely man in his thirties that had inherited an incredible fortune when his parents died in a tragic accident involving a runaway horse and a carriage. The parcel he selected to build on sat on precisely 40 and a half acres of lush land atop a cliffside with a deathly far drop to the rocks at the bottom. The property is conveniently located right outside a quaint little town with quaint little townsfolk and quaint little cobbled streets and quaint little thatched roof houses. About an hour's walk from the edge of town, barren fields full of brush and bracken line the way from the estate to the road, protecting the main heart of the estate from outsiders with curious minds and prying eyes. The view from the road is ghastly enough to set a chill in your bones no stew or quilt can banish. Bloomsbury just looks wicked from the outside.
At the very far reaches of the property sits a looming, old and weathered house. It was designed to catch the sunsets beyond the cliffs through massive westward facing windows. The entire west side of the house must have been made of glass.
With its vaulted ceilings, intricate windows, and a grand staircase that would make a queen want to abandon her palace in favor of life at Bloomsbury, its plain to see that Algernon had money (and lots of it.) One would think just one unimaginably large labyrinth of a house would be enough to keep a single man content, but not Ol' Algernon. Just after the construction of the main house was finished, he commissioned a group of the town's laborers to build him a stable big enough for a dozen thoroughbreds, a greenhouse so large that three of the village houses would fit within it, and a small carriage house with servants' quarters above it. Currently, the property is also dotted with a number of small outbuildings that serve various purposes, a ramshackle chicken coop and a tool shed among 'em.
The main house itself has never had a family other than one headed by a rightful Bloomsbury man inhabiting it. After Algernon finished building the estate, he found himself a snooty, high society, wife, got married, and a year later an heir was born. A son named Ezra. No one knows much about any of Algernon's comings and goings since then. By the time I came around, Ol' Algernon and his wife had been long since dead from some mysterious disease, leaving a barely grown Ezra to go about maintaining the estate alone. At that point Ezra was a young man in his early twenties muddling his way through life with no one to keep him company. I can't say much more on Algernon, but I have a bit of a tale to tell ya about Ezra.
One crisp fall morning, in the fickle month of September, Mr. Ezra Bloomsbury awoke alone as he always had since his folks died. After washing up and shaving the rough new growth of hair from his cheeks, he dressed alone, made himself a breakfast of two eggs alone, ate alone, and then washed his breakfast dishes alone. It had become his routine way of life to be alone. He rarely left the estate according to the other townsfolk, except on the rare occasion that he needed to see the tailor.
Apparently, this brisk September day was a day that required one of those rare strolls into town. He had worn a hole in the knee of his favorite pants and wanted to have them mended. So Ezra gathered them up, donned his coat and a matching cap, and set off alone down the hard packed dirt road into town. As usual, by the time he had made it to the tailor's shop, he had been gawked at by no less than half the town's inhabitants. He reminded himself that this was precisely why he stayed at the estate, alone. There was no one to stare at him and remind him of the very noticeable thick scar trailing from his left eye to just underneath his chin.
Ezra scurried in the door to the tailor's shop with such haste one might have thought his hair was on fire. After unceremoniously dumping his trousers in the arms of one very surprised tailor, Ezra turned on his heel, called over his shoulder that he would be back for the pants in three days time, and marched back through the door from whence he came.
His pace through the square and out onto the road beyond the town's edge would have given even the finest militiamen a bout of exhaustion. Clearly, he was in such a hurry to return to his solitude away from the stares of strangers, that by the time he realized he needed to rest he completely overlooked me sleeping on the other side of the old fallen log he chose to gracelessly drop himself onto. I met Ezra Bloomsbury when we both shrieked in terrible surprise that the other suddenly existed in the same vicinity. Me, having just been woken up from what little sleep I could find, jumped to my feet and bolted backwards into the brush. Ezra was so startled, he slipped sideways, hat flying and limbs flailing, and landed his right side in the wet, slippery mud that one could always find in the ditch along the road.
Once he had righted himself and done his best to wipe his hand free of what seemed to be magically multiplying mud and tracked down his now muddy cap, he timidly called out. "Uhm, 'scuse me?" I barely heard it from my place among the overgrowth his voice was so soft. "Hello?" He called again, a little louder this time.
"I'm not going to hurt you, I swear. You scared me, thats all."
I poked my head around the tangle of trees and scrubby brush I had hidden myself in and made eye contact with him faster than I had wanted to. The recognition was instantaneous. The scar from eye to chin was a dead giveaway. You see, I used to be one of those townsfolk that stopped to gawk at him when he came to see the tailor. My parents had told me stories about the Bloomsbury estate, saying things like anyone who worked there ended up cursed, lots of mysterious deaths, you know how it goes. People like to make up stories to explain the unexplainable. Because of this, I had grown to have a weird fascination with the place and the people within it. Rumors around town said Ezra got that scar from falling out of a window as a boy, others said he got it from pulling a hot kettle onto himself. No one actually knows.
Once I had gathered that he really wasn't going to hurt me, I slowly picked my way out of the brush to come face to face with him. He looked me over with more intense curiosity than a child seeing a lolly for the first time.
"Why haven't you run home yet? You're not afraid of me?"Ezra wasn't used to people standing this close to him for very long at all. I slowly shook my head and piped up "I ain't got a home."
My parents had died and I had nowheres to go, you see. I was sleeping behind that log in the ditch because it was the first place I could find that felt even a little bit safe. Right after my folks died, men from the town came and pulled me from the house and locked the door behind me. I was tossed onto the street with only the grubby old clothes I had on. The pants were ripped from knee to ankle on one side because they were three inches too long. The thinning shirt was tattered and stained from hiding in the thickets along the road. They didn't even let me get my one pair of shoes. I'm sure I looked like a walking corpse that had clawed its way back up from the grave.
For some reason though, Ezra wasn't afraid of me either. He kept peppering me with questions about my living situation and I kept giving him short answers in return. By the time we covered the part about me not having parents or a home, he offered up a tentative solution. He told me I could live on the estate if I worked for him. He'd give me meals and board in exchange for help keeping the property from falling down. I must have agreed so quickly that it startled him for a second time. We started the walk back to the estate in uncomfortable silence. I may have been a fool to agree so hastily, but I was far too excited to see what dark and dirty secrets the Bloomsbury had to offer.
The years went on, I worked to maintain the property and Ezra grew older. As I grew taller, Ezra's family grew bigger. He eventually met a snake of a woman. She saw riches and wealth and decided a life of luxury meant she could ignore his disfigured face. Eventually conning him into marriage, she sunk her greedy fangs into the Bloomsbury as far as they could go. A few years after Ezra married her, Mordecai was born. I've come to realize that Bloomsbury men have a knack for attracting the meanest, nastiest women. Ezra maintained his kind disposition, but Mordecai became more and more unpleasant as he grew up. His mother's venom ran through his veins. I continued to work on the property throughout his childhood, but I did my best to stay as far away from him as possible.
Eventually, Ezra died leaving ten year old Mordecai with only his mother. She raised him to be cruel and callous, to sneer when he spoke and to look down on anyone and anything that wasn't up to "Bloomsbury expectations." That's what she called it every time she punished him with switches or a leather strap. She reminded him with every blow that he had "failed to meet Bloomsbury expectations." I'm not sure she knew what the Bloomsbury name was meant to be, or what "Bloomsbury" expectations actually were according to Ol' Algernon and Ezra. From what I could tell, Algernon wasn't cruel. Ezra certainly wasn't either. She took the Bloomsbury name and twisted it into something sinister to suit her own fancies, much like she twisted Mordecai into a spitting image of her own wickedness.
I can't say much more right now, but I swear I'll tell you about the current Bloomsburys as soon as I can. Just keep this quiet. They can't know I'm spilling secrets.