The Darkness

Travelling into the darkness is magical and horrifying, all at the same time.

Darkness is everything we fear and hope. Anything can be contained within darkness. Travelling through it is a constant journey of discovery.

Our minds try to make sens of what we’re looking at. We assume we know what we’re going to see when the next sliver of light reveals that which was just hidden. The only way we can fight back the untamed horror of the unknown is to convince ourselves we know what comes next.

Darkness

Darkness (Photo credit: Roberto F.)

The only way we can keep moving into the unknown void ahead is to hope and pray that we can make assumptions about what comes next. When we can’t do that, the madness begins. The yawning chasm of terror opens ever so slightly in our souls. It’s cracks and shifts wider. Slowly, a little at a time, until that swirling maw of chaos envelops you.

Darkness is all of that. Darkness is all around us. It is what we struggle to emerge from every night. we fight to keep it at bay with out houses and walls and lights. We know that if we were to truly sit and exist in the dark, we might not know what comes next. That horrifies us beyond belief.

Darkness is what begins to approach at the beginning of every day. Even before we realize what the day can be, the countdown begins. The steady tick-tick-tick of the clock as the darkness of night grows ever closer.

If you want to know how truly close to the surface that terror is, sit a few minutes in the inky blackness of total darkness. Within moment your mind will begin to create visions of horror and chaos that you never thought you were capable of imagining. Unbidden, your mind will vividly create worlds and moments of indescribable insanity.

Know that that is what is hiding inside all of us. Ready to spring forth at a moments notice. That is what we schedule, and plan and structure to avoid. Not knowing what comes next will release that howling, swirling, driving mass of chaos. All we can do is move through the world with a plan.

We move through our days hoping that we can just stave that madness off a few moments longer. Because it is always waiting just ahead in that next darkened room.

Terror

Do you know what terror is?

Mind-numbing, soul-gripping terror?

That single moment when all of existence seems to freeze and crystallize.

Things seem to be happening but time is still.

Your breath catches in your throat, and you can feel your pulse pounding loud and hard and fast.

It’s in your ears, your hands, and your gut, just pumping away.

Your eyes widen and your mouth hangs open in a silent scream.

That single moment of pure, uncut, unadulterated terror.

It’s followed by he shadow of terror.

In an effort to avoid that feeling you jump at every twitch and sound.

Sights and sounds constantly threaten you with the possibility that they might be full of that terror you felt once before.

Things are never quite the same.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scream

Scream (Photo credit: anguila40)

The Killing Jar: Part 5

As Elena left the dining room, Johnathan followed her.

“Elena! Wait!” He caught her elbow and turned her to face him, “I wanted to talk a minute before you went home.” Johnathan looked down at his feet and then back at Elena. She was looking into his eyes expectantly. “I just- Well I wanted to say…” He struggled, then met her gaze, “I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed this afternoon. I missed your company more than I realized. I just wanted you to know, before you left for the night.” He exhaled.

Elena smiled, “I’m glad, because well,” She looked down, and the smiled up at him, “I missed you too. Do you want to know a secret though?” She dropped her voice, and he leaned in. She grabbed his hands, “I’m staying here this summer.”

Johnathan stepped back, shocked, “Here?! In this house,” He fought to keep his voice down, “Where I’m staying?”

She blushed, “I’m staying in a different part of the house, but yes, I’m staying here.”

“I suppose we’ll be seeing a lot of one another then,” Johnathan smiled.

“Yes, I suppose we will. Goodnight Johnny,” She pulled away slowly and walked up the stairs. Johnathan stared at her as she left. It took him much longer to get to sleep that evening.

The next day went much the same. A small specimen showed up in the morning, the work was done by lunch, and Elena and Johnathan spent the entire afternoon together.

Every day after that went the same as those before. The two grew close, and even shared a kiss from time to time. Their closeness was undeniable.

At some point, Edward stopped joining them for dinner. Every day, it was the two of them, just the two of them, all day.

One day, as Elena and Johnathan enjoyed a picnic lunch on the lawn, He looked into her eyes, “You know, I believe I’ve fallen in love with you E.”

“I know. You’ve been in love with me since we were children,” Elena teased.

“You know, I believe you’re right,” Johnathan smiled and kissed her deeply. “Would you maybe like to come see my room after we finish our picnic?”

“I believe I’m finished right now,” Elena breathed.

They left for the conservatory from his room in the morning.

The day passed in a haze. Neither Johnathan or Elena did much aside from gaze at one another. Their love had blossomed.

That evening, Elena took a book she’d been meaning to read from the library and retreated to her room with a kiss and a whisper of love for Johnathan. He had trouble sleeping again that night. In the morning, Elena did not attend breakfast.

Johnathan thought that she must have stayed up late reading. After breakfast, he headed to the library missing her. Elena wasn’t in the there either. As he looked among the bookcases, Johnathan began to get more concerned. He couldn’t figure out why she wouldn’t have come straight here. Johnathan decided to check the conservatory before heading to Elena’s room.

As he entered the conservatory, Johnathan felt his stomach knot up. Laying on the floor of the Killing Jar was Elena. The chemical system was running. She wasn’t moving.

Johnathan raced to the Killing Jar and threw open the door. He didn’t notice the odor as he moved to Elena’s side.

“Elena,” He pleaded, “E, please wake up. E?” The door closed and latched behind him. “Elena? ELENA!” Johnathan began to shout, “WAKE UP! E! YOU HAVE TO WAKE UP!” She wasn’t breathing.

Johnathan began to notice the faint chemical odor in the Killing Jar. As he looked up, he noticed the sealed door.

“What in the HELL is going on?!?!”

“You’ll find you won’t be able to wake her,” Edward said from the doorway, “She’s been in there a sufficient amount of time.”

“You Bastard! What is this?!” Johnathan began to cry.

“You see, among my collections, I felt I was missing something,” Edward began as he approached the Killing Jar, “It was something that had been eating at me. It was like a puzzle I couldn’t solve. I was missing something in my galleries, something simple, but I couldn’t quite discern what.” Edward was grinning broadly now, “Just a few months ago, it came to me as if  on a bolt of lightning!”

Johnathan was cradling Elena, sobbing now.

“It wasn’t one thing that was missing, it was two things. Humans! Male and Female to be precise,” Edward’s eyes were glowing and he was grinning maniacally, “No other collection in the world, of any size had Humans in it. I am going to be the only one! It’s a shame I’m losing a nephew, but I’m gaining so much more.”

“Why did you put here in here by herself?” Johnathan sobbed, “You could have at least let us be together.”

“But my dear boy, if you were in there together, you wouldn’t have found her like you did. That’s an integral part to all of this.”

“But why? What purpose does this serve?”

Edward was at the Jar now, watching the couple with the glimmer in his eye, “Oh, it’s nothing to do with the collection,” He smiled “This part is just for me,” Edward smiled and waited to add them to his collection.

The Killing Jar: Part 4

Elena had grown into a beautiful young woman. Her bright green eyes were the color of warm summer grass, and her long hair was every color from sandy brown to golden oak to rich coppery red depending on how the sun hit it. She had her slim glasses on, and her long wavy hair pulled up in a pony tail as she furrowed her brow intently at the book she was reading.

“G-good morning, Elena,” Johnathan stumbled, “I’ve been looking forward to working with you since Uncle Edward said you’d be here too,” He finished sheepishly.

Elena looked up, startled, “Johnathan!” She shrieked, “I didn’t know it was you I’d be working with!” She jumped up and raced towards him.

As she embraced him warmly, Johnathan realized that Elena was more shapely than he’d recalled. The color rose in his face. As he reluctantly let go of the embrace, Johnathan noticed that Elena had not released him yet. Her hair smelled of coconut.

As she backed away, Elena studied him. “Well you certainly grew, Johnny,” she smiled warmly, “Especially in the shoulders, and arms…” She trailed off. “Anyway! While it’s wonderful to see you, our catching up will have to wait until lunch. We’ve got work to do!” She bounced back to the desk. “It says here it’s a fruit bat today. Let’s get in there and get to it.” She gathered her notes and started toward the door.

Johnathan followed after her. “You’re really interested in this work?” he asked, “I never thought this would be of interest to you.”

“You know, when Edward mentioned it, I thought it might be good experience, and look good on a resume,” she mused, “But after I began to look at some of the preliminary notes, I found that I was actually curious to see the outcome of the work”

“Well then we have something in common,” Johnathan smiled.

Elena stopped short, and turned around quickly. “Yes. We do,” she was nearly touching him. “But now, to work!” She bounced across the hall.

Johnathan looked around at the many chemicals in the conservatory, “I’m not entirely sure what’s the best way to start this,” he said, studying the names on the bottles.

“There are some notes here indicating that this has had success with mammalian specimens before,” Elena said, pointing to the first bottle. “Why don’t you start there?”

“Let’s get to it then,” Johnathan began to work.

The work continued mostly in silence, except for the occasional chatter about what to do next. At 10, a gentleman entered through the back door carrying a cage with a small bat in it. The bat was flying around weakly, trying to escape.

Johnathan opened the door on the side of the Jar and the man stepped inside. He knelt down and fiddled with the cage, then stood up and retreated quickly. The bat lay on the floor of the Jar. Johnathan closed and latched the door. The bat began to stir. Johnathan activated the chemical vapor unit. Nothing changed.

“I think we just have to wait now,” Elena said, after a minute, “Shouldn’t take all day since the bat is so small.”

“How will we know?” Johnathan asked.

“I think we just watch it’s respiration,” Elena said.

The pair sat there for a few minutes, watching the bat move around.

“So should I not talk to you while you’re observing?” Johnathan wondered, “I was just curious, because I really would like to do this work for Uncle well. I don’t want to cause any problems.”

“We can talk,” Elena replied, watching the bat, “I only really need to make specific notes if something out of the ordinary happens during this time. If I miss it while carrying on a conversation then it likely isn’t noteworthy.” She smiled coyly and met his eye, “So long as I don’t get distracted.”

“I was just- I didn’t want to-” He sputtered, “I just meant I didn’t know what your notes needed to encompass. I wouldn’t want to make your work more difficult.”

“Relax Johnny, I was only teasing you!” She laughed.

Elena and Johnathan chatted and caught up on what they had missed of each other’s lives over the past four years. Shortly before lunch, the bat stopped moving on the floor of the Jar.

“Is it…” Johnathan approached the Jar.

“It looks like it,” Elena said, “Shut off the chemicals and let it clear out a few minutes, then you’ll have to confirm with the stethoscope.

Johnathan checked the bat a few minutes later. “I think it’s finished.”

“Well, then our work is done today,” Elena said, “Just let me go file these notes and we’ll go eat lunch. Then we have the afternoon off.”

At lunch, Elena and Johnathan began to get more comfortable with one another. They spent the afternoon wandering around the grounds talking. They talked about the last four years, they talked about the future, and they talked about all the time that they used to spend together. By the time they were headed back to the house for dinner, it was as if they had never spent any time apart. Dinner was a different story.

“How did the first day go?” Edward asked brusquely, “Any problems?”

“Everything went just fine Uncle,” Johnathan answered.

“And how do the two of you work together? Edward asked, the glimmer creeping back into his eyes.

Both Elena and Johnathan blushed. “Things are fine Uncle,” Johnathan said.

“I think it’s going to be a good summer,” Elena said, staring at her plate. Johnathan’s butterflies reappeared.

“Excellent,” Edward leered, “Most excellent.” They finished the meal in silence.

The Killing Jar: Part 3

“I’m sorry Uncle, but could you explain what it is and what it does? That is a very odd name.” Johnathan shifted uncomfortably.

“It is and does exactly what I just said,” Edward responded sharply, “Though I suppose it is a bit odd if you aren’t familiar with them. This is a Killing Jar. A Killing Jar is typically used by entomologists to kill and preserve insect specimens. This particular jar is the only one of its kind. I had it specially created for my newest project.”

“Forgive my curiosity Uncle,” Johnathan began, “But what on Earth could you need such a large container for?”

“I’m glad that you’re curious Nephew, it means that you ought to handle the work that I have for you with the inquisitiveness and delicacy that it requires.” Edward said gleefully. “You see Nephew, I have become a bit of a collector in recent years. I had taken a trip to a friend’s house, and he is an avid insect collector. He showed me his collection, which spanned multiple large galleries in his home. I became inspired! This collection was impressive, but many people have insect collections. There is nothing unique about one of those except for maybe a few exceptionally rare individual specimens. What intrigued me was the prospect of taking the techniques of insect collection and creating a much more one-of-a-kind series of galleries. To that end, I have begun to collect all manner of creatures, common and exceptional alike, and preserving them in a fashion not unlike an entomologist might. The difference being that my galleries include everything from insects to arachnids, amphibians to reptiles, invertebrates to mammals. I currently have the most extensive collection of preserved creatures ever known to man, and it is expanding constantly!”

Edward was nearly bouncing from foot to foot as he finished his explanation. Johnathan had never seen his Great Uncle this excited about anything.

“So the Killing Jar is for killing and preserving all manner of creatures?” Johnathan began slowly, “And the reason for the size is to accommodate even the very large creatures, which might not fit in a Killing  Jar used for insects,” Johnathan finished.

Edward smiled broadly, “I knew you were the right one for the job Nephew, you’re such a bright young man. You will begin your work in the morning. I have many individuals collecting samples for me. They will be delivering the specimens through the rear entrance to the conservatory. They will handle the creatures, your work will consist of preparing the Jar with the appropriate chemicals for each specimen. The goal is for the specimen to suffer no damage except the minor inconvenience of not living any longer. You will have one creature per day, delivered at 10 am sharp! It will likely take most of the rest of the day for the inevitable to happen. You will then press the switch in the library indicating that your work is done for the day. My laboratory assistants will take care of preparing your work area for the next day. They prefer to work overnight, however, so you shouldn’t have much interaction with them. After you retire for the evening, what you do with your leisure time is… your business,” Edward smiled his discomforting smile again.

“What is Elena’s part in this work Uncle? I’m sure it will be frightening for her,” Johnathan asked, concerned.

“Ah yes. The young lady.” Edward’s eyes glinted, “She is here to record for posterity every minutiae of the process from the preparation of the Jar until the specimen is ready to be delivered to my galleries. She has been informed of the nature of the work, and seems to possess the constitution necessary to properly record the events.”

“Then I will have the Jar prepared by 10 in the morning Uncle!” Johnathan exclaimed, “Though, might I ask as to the nature of the first specimen?”

“I believe you will be starting with something small and not likely to give you any trouble: a fruit bat,” Edward said, “Now off with you, I will see you at dinner.”

Johnathan returned to his room filled with excitement. He was never sure what he had planned to do for employment, but he was pleasantly surprised to realize that he was intrigued by the work he would be doing. Maybe he would find some direction that would keep him from ending up working in a retail shop for the rest of his life.

Johnathan joined is Great Uncle for dinner at 6 pm as he had many times before. There had never been much conversation at the table, which was not unusual. Great Uncle Edward never seemed to have much to say when he wasn’t discussing his work.

After a quiet but pleasant meal, Johnathan returned to his room. He suddenly felt weary from his day of travel and decided to read a bit before bed. It wasn’t long before the words began to swim on the page. Johnathan laid the book aside, changed into his sleep clothes and went to bed early.

Johnathan woke before his alarm and couldn’t sleep again. He was much too excited about the work awaiting him, as well as the co-worker he expected to spend the day with.

After showering and getting dressed for the day, Johnathan went down to breakfast. As usual, his Great Uncle had been and left the table. He was gone to his study to continue working. Johnathan ate a modest meal, and left plenty of time to get to the conservatory. He had to keep himself from hurrying to the library.

As he approached the library, butterflies erupted in his stomach. It had been four years since Johnathan had last seen Elena, and she had been growing more beautiful by the minute then. As he knocked quietly and pushed the door open, he saw Elena sitting at the desk that had been prepared for her. He was not disappointed.

The Killing Jar: Part 2

As he made his way into the hallway that led to the study, Johnathan slowed to a walk to catch his breath. He knew that if he showed up in the study out of breath and sweating, he would just receive twice the scolding from his Great Uncle. He smoothed his shirt as he approached the door.

The door to the study was firmly shut. With no reason to aggravate the situation, Johnathan took a deep breath and knocked firmly on the study door.

“Come in, I’ve not got any time to waste today.” his Great Uncle said in his sharp tone, though it was not unkind.

Johnathan opened the door carefully, mindful of the possibility of papers or books lying about. The desk sat in front of the large eastern windows that covered most of the wall. While the desk itself was free of everything save the book his Great Uncle was reading, the rest of the flat space in the study was covered in stacks of paper, books, journals, or some combination of the three. There was one uncomfortable looking wooden chair that had been placed directly in front of his Great Uncle’s desk.

“Sit down Johnathan, I’ve some things to tell you, some things to ask you and work to get back to,” Edward gestured brusquely to the chair, “You’ve wasted too much of my time already,” he finished crisply.

As Johnathan sat down, he focused on the book his Great Uncle had been studying so intently, hoping somehow that might give him a moment to steel himself.

“Johnathan!” Edward barked, “Look up here! There’s nothing for you in this book, and I want to speak to your face, not the top of your head!”

Johnathan snapped his gaze up to meet his Great Uncle’s. As soon as their eyes met, Edward’s glare softened.

“It’s good to see you boy,” his Great Uncle began, “I haven’t gotten to visit with you as often as I might have liked in the last few years. I know a young man has other things to do besides visiting his quarrelsome uncle, but I would be lying if I said I hadn’t noticed your absence more than I thought I might.” Johnathan relaxed visibly.

“I feel the same way, Uncle Edward,” he said with genuine warmness, “It feels ages since we’ve been to see you. We shouldn’t have let ourselves put it off so long. I am truly sorry we haven’t come to see you sooner.”

“Well I understand that my Nephew sent you to me as a kind of punishment over your holidays. I feel that I ought to be offended, but oddly enough, I’m not.” His Great Uncle’s grin was less reassuring than Johnathan assumed it was meant to be. “As it turns out, my sentimentality aside, I’ve need of some assistance at the moment,” Edward continued. “I’ve begun working on a particularly exciting project that has been decades in the making, and I need a sharp mind and a strong back to help me.”

His Great Uncle’s gaze fixed him as Johnathan replied, “So you’ll be needing my help then? That’s more than I could have hoped for Uncle.”

“Actually, not only you, but your sweet young friend Elena will be assisting me as well. I can’t be bothered to keep notes on the work, arrange it, and do the heavy lifting all at the same time,” Edward said dismissively. Even so he noticed the glimmer in Johnathan’s eyes at the mention of Elena. “So you won’t be complaining about who you’ll be working with most often then, I assume?” Johnathan reddened. “Now, now, I think I’d be more concerned if you didn’t want to work next to that beauty. She’s only gotten prettier, you know.”

“I’m sure she has, Uncle,” Johnathan said quietly.

“Enough about her,” his Great Uncle boomed, “I’m sure you’ll be thinking of her as much as your work allows. Let me show you where you’ll be working.” Johnathan noticed that his Great Uncle’s eyes had gotten bright, as they only did when he spoke about his work.

Edward led Johnathan from the study, and began walking toward the far end of the North Wing. Johnathan had never been allowed down these hallways before. He’d always been shooed away by the serving staff any time he found himself here. Eventually he had begun to avoid it specifically to avoid the scolding.

The hallway ended in three doors, all firmly shut and locked.

“Straight ahead, that door leads to my basement workshop,” Edward began, “You should have no need to be in there, so it will remain locked. On the left, that is the conservatory. That is where you will be doing nearly all of your work. Here on the right is the library. That is where your belle will be organizing her work, though I suspect the two of you will manage to find yourselves in one another’s company more often than not.” Edward’s grin was still not entirely reassuring.

“Well Uncle, what will you be having me do?” Johnathan asked, “I must say that I’m quite curious to know.”

“I’m glad to hear that you’re eager to assist me, Johnathan,” Edward said, retrieving a large ring of old-fashioned keys from his waist, “I believe that not only will you be suited to this work, but I think it will interest you well enough to produce excellent results.”

Edward slid the key into the lock. It turned smoothly and a faint click as the lock disengaged was the only sound in the hall. Edward swung the door open to reveal a conservatory the size of a small house.

It was made of wrought iron and leaded glass that was kept spotless. There were plants of every shape and size lining the walls. There were so many different kinds of flowers that Johnathan hadn’t even seen pictures of some of them. A large space had been cleared out in the center of the conservatory for what appeared to be a glass bottle about twenty feet tall. It had a neck at the top with a ladder that led up the side. There was also a doorway on the side, the door also made of glass. Both openings had complicated looking latches and a reddish band around them.

“I see you’ve noticed my newest acquisition,” Edward said proudly “That is called The Killing Jar.”

 

The Killing Jar: Part 1

Johnathan wasn’t sure whether he ought to be pleased or  disappointed. He’d been sent to his Great Uncle Edward’s house for the summer holidays. On the one hand, his Great Uncle was  a smart, rich, busy man who very much enjoyed the company of young Johnathan; on the other hand, his Great Uncle was also strict, unforgiving, and had strange hobbies. This trip was meant to be a punishment for the terrible marks he’d been getting at school, but he couldn’t keep from being at least a little excited.

The way Johnathan saw it, he got to spend several weeks away from his nagging parents and their stupid rules. If that meant he had to stay in his Great Uncle’s creepy old house, and maybe do a little bit of hard work for it, then that was fine by him. Besides that, his old friend Elena still lived in the estate next to his Uncle’s.

Johnathan had always liked Elena more than the boys his age. His father enjoyed coming to Uncle Edward’s estate on holidays often, and so Johnathan got to spend a great deal of time with Elena. While he felt a close bond with her, he did begin to notice what all boys notice when they spend time with girls their own age. He had never mentioned it to Elena, and she had never said anything to him, but the connection was there. There were glances that made him wonder, and touches that lingered longer than necessary. As such, he could never really see an opportunity to see Elena as anything but a boon.

Johnathan arrived in town via train on a wet May afternoon. It had rained for several days, and so there was a slight chill to the rain. The air felt heavy and thick, like walking through cold steam. It was a discomforting feeling. After finding the servant Great Uncle Edward had sent to the station to retrieve him, Johnathan hefted his bags into the old car.
“How long is the ride? I’ve never paid much attention before?’
“Over an hour, Young Master.” the man replied, “Though I can’t say if it will take longer in this horrid weather.”
“Well, I suspect my opinion on the matter won’t accelerate the trip.” Johnathan sighed.
The trip took nearly two hours, in fact. It was a grim two hours, with the only notable event being the lack of conversation that occurred.

When they arrived at the estate, Johnathan requested to be left at the gatehouse.
“I think I’ll walk from here, if you don’t mind.”
“I’ll inform Master Edward,” the man intoned, “though I’m not sure if he’ll be waiting on account of the delays.”
“That will be fine, thank you. I think that the walk to the house will arouse my senses, and might remind me why I enjoy visiting so.”
In point of fact, Johnathan had exactly two things in mind: He couldn’t spend another moment in that dreadful car in silence, and he had been hoping to catch a glimpse of Elena or her family.

It was a shorter walk than he had remembered. Likely because he wanted it to take some time. Soon, he reached the Main House, and noticed that his bags were still sitting outside by the edge of the driveway.
“I see ‘servant’ is a subjective description,” he muttered as he gathered his belongings and made his way into the front hall.

There was no one waiting to greet him there, and Johnathan couldn’t keep from being a little disappointed. With no one to ask, he made his way toward the room he had always stayed in when they visited here. When he reached his room in the East Wing, he found a note taped to his door in his Great Uncle’s distinctive script.

Johnathan-

You’ll be staying here in this room, as I suspect you rightfully assumed. When you’ve finished putting your things away, I want you to come to the study in the North Wing. I’ve got some things I’d like to discuss with you, but I’m busy here. I expect you to make haste. -Edward

“That’s Uncle Edward,” he thought aloud, as he began to put his things away.
Johnathan hadn’t brought a lot of things. He had decided that simpler was better for this trip, and had brought mostly clothes. Since his Great Uncle was so eccentric, the library at the house was full of many interesting books. Johnathan thought that between anything his Great Uncle required of him, the books, and hopefully Elena, he shouldn’t want for things to fill his time.

As he began to unpack his second bag, a thought caused his heart to quicken: When had Uncle Edward left that note? His heart began to beat even faster. The last thing he wanted to do on his first day here was upset his Great Uncle, and he’d already been late from the drive, and wasted more time walking from the gatehouse. Now, he had spent too long lazily unpacking his things.

He cursed as he began to race towards the north end of the house. As much he enjoyed visits to his Great Uncle’s, time with Uncle Edward was always a delicate balancing act. Uncle Edward was brilliant, he loved teaching the children new things about science and art, but he was a demanding man and could be cruel when he was in a mood. Johnathan  had rarely experienced his Great Uncle’s displeasure, but he had witnessed it many times. In one particularly unforgettable visit, Uncle Edward had several projects go wrong at the same time. This caused him to fire his entire house staff at the same time. With no kitchen staff, Johnathan’s family was forced to eat mostly canned soup and peanut butter sandwiches for two days until his father confronted Uncle Edward. The two men ended their shouting match with a brief fistfight and that trip was cut short. As such, he had no desire to upset his Great Uncle.