The marmites 28

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The marmites 28

  1. 1. Apologies for the wait! I’m sure you’ve all been unable to sleep out of sheer anticipation. *COUGH* Anyway, to recap, Godric and Iris had 4 sprogs but then a mysterious mopey teen turned up claiming to be Godric’s son. That doesn’t sound as dramatic and well written as I had planned... Oh well! Enjoy!<br />
  2. 2. Dawn’s pale fingers pushed through the small, solitary window , forming a rectangle of weak light on the room’s bare floorboards.<br />Hamlet sat slumped on his rickety bed, the sole piece of furniture in his dusty, bare room. There were lighter patches on the stained wallpaper from pictures that had hung there long before she had brought them here. Hamlet sometimes wondered what the pictures had been of.<br />Once, when he was younger he had asked her, his mother, what she thought. She had sworn at him for asking such stupid questions and then hithim. He didn’t ask her questions anymore. They hardly spoke. Except that is, for when he gathered the strength to confront her about where she went at night, to beg her to stop stumbling home early the next morning stinking of alcohol and screaming for her son.<br />
  3. 3. Or rather, screaming at her son.<br />“Hamlet! Hamlet you bastard! Where the hell are you?” she would yell, clutching her head as her own screeches baited her hangover- which was of course her son’s fault. “Hamlet!”<br />And he would appear, with a hangover remedy ready in a glass to give to her. Meretrix would take a gulp and then spit it back out, screwing up her face in disgust. Depending on how the night had gone, she would either drop the glass to the floor or send it flying towards her son. <br />Fortunately, the drink impaired her aim and it would shatter against the grubby wall, adding yet another stain to the tired carpet. The crash would take her by surprise and she would stagger backwards, often tripping and falling as her legs gave way beneath her. Meretrix would continue to scream slurred swears at Hamlet as he helped her to her feet, cursing the day he was born. Hamlet would allow her to collapse onto him as he struggled to get her to her room and into her bed thankful at least that on that particular night she hadn’t brought some slimeball home to share it with her. He would push her matted hair out of her face and be careful to make sure that she slept on her side so that she wouldn’t choke when she inevitably vomited during her sleep. And all the while he would think of how much he hated his mother. <br />
  4. 4. He didn’t want to hate his mother- but he did. And he hated himself for doing so. <br />He hated Meretrix for every time he’d cleaned up a puddle of her sick, for every time she’d left him alone for days at a time, for every bruise she’d given him, for every night he’d spent alone and frightened, for every name she’d ever called him, for every stranger she’d brought home, for every time she’d picked him up from school stinking drunk, for every pitying look and cruel sneer he’d had to endure...<br />And yet, Hamlet couldn’t forgive his loathing.He had used to believe that, one day, she’d stop drinking and thank him for all that he’d done and apologise for the way she’d treated him. And then everything would be ok. Of course, he hadn’t believed this for very long; Hamlet had been forced to grow up very quickly. But he still felt an overwhelming guilt for hating her so. A part of him felt that her behaviour was his fault and that if he could only stop being as useless as she told him he was, she’d stop.<br />
  5. 5. When he was small, he had blamed his absent father. But at the same time, he had invested all his hopes in him. If he were to come back, then surely things would get better. <br />But then one day, after growing tired of Hamlet’s insatiable stream of questions , Meretrix had finally snapped and told him that his father was dead. “What?” she had asked him with a harsh laugh. “Did you think Daddy would make it all better? You worthless little sod. How pathetic.”<br />
  6. 6. And Hamlet agreed with every bile soaked remark she threw at him because she was right. That was exactly how he had felt. He knew nothing about his father, only that he was dead and this left lots of space for Hamlet to fill in the blanks himself. All his life, he had invested every drop of affection that he had never been able to feel for his mother into the shadowy figure he had never known. And to Hamlet the idea of his father became almost divine; far more perfect than he could have realistically been. <br />So he loathed himself for being weak and pathetic, so unlike the glorious paternal ideal he had invented over the course of his life. Even if he were alive, he wouldn’t be able to stand his wretched excuse for a son.<br />“But that doesn’t make any sense!”<br />
  7. 7. The sound of Godric’s distressed voice jerked Hamlet from his memories and back into the present. Back to what he had to do.<br />“I- I mean,” Godric spluttered. “Iris you know I would never- Even when I was a romance sim I would have never- I wouldn’t have-”<br />Iris, curiously calm, cut him off. “Godric, I know you wouldn’t cheat on me. And besides, look at him. He’s older than Hermione. He was probably born around the time that your Bachelor Challenge started. Look Godric. Do you seriously not know who his mother is?”<br />
  8. 8. With more than a little obvious difficulty, Godric turned to look at the boy once more. For the first time, Hamlet looked up from his untouched mug to stare back at Godric with sad green eyes. Eyes that he could now place.<br />“Meretrix?” it came out quieter than Godric had intended but the name seemed to hang in the air, lingering like a foul odour. The boy jerked slightly and resumed staring into his mug. <br />“Mmm hmmm,” Iris spoke softly, watching her husband struggle to get his head around the situation. “Meretrix?” he whispered again. <br />“That’s right G,”<br />“Mere-” he began but, before he could finish, Iris grabbed a handful of his hair and yanked on it hard.<br />“OW!” Godric rubbed his head, his blue eyes hurt and confused. <br />
  9. 9. “I’m sorry but you’re missing the point babe. Yes, that cow is his mother,” she glanced anxiously at Hamlet, checking for signs of offence but she found none. “but what matters is that you’re his father and he needs a place to stay.”<br />Godric, who had regained the ability to speak in full sentences, looked from his wife to the boy-to his son- and back again. <br />“He’s going to stay here?” <br />“Well, from what I can tell, Meretrix has given him a pretty shitty life so far and now she’s abandoned him entirely. Hamlet has nowhere else to go and I assume that you don’t want your son living on the streets?”<br />“No, no of course not.” he said hurriedly. “Of course he can stay.” Godric was still having difficulty fully absorbing the situation. He suddenly became aware of the impression his behaviour might be giving his son. Godric hadn’t meant to appear so unwelcoming, it was just such a shock to him. Hamlet’s arrival had brought back a flood of memories of Meretrix, all the hurt and hate that he had thought he had moved past. He racked his brains for something comforting, something paternal, to say. <br />
  10. 10. “I’m really sorry” said Hamlet, getting up from the table. “But I don’t have anywhere to go.”<br />Godric didn’t say anything; the boy’s voice- his son’s voice- was just like his had been at that age, although perhaps with more of a pained quality.<br />“Don’t be silly, your Dad’s just slow to take in new information. He’s always got by on his looks and charisma.” Iris attempted to lift the atmosphere with humour- without success. Dad she thought. Wow, I just became a stepmother. Pushing aside visions of hooked noses and poisoned apples , she<br />put her hand on Hamlet’s shoulder. He flinched slightly as if he had expected her to hit him and she reprimanded herself furiously, making a mental note to try and find out if Meretrix had ever abused him. <br />“Come on, you look exhausted. I’ll show you the guest room- well, your room I suppose.”<br />
  11. 11. “Well you can do pretty much whatever you want with it.” Iris said. “It’s a little basic I’m afraid, but it’s yours.”<br />“All of this?” in a rare moment of eye contact, Hamlet’s melancholy green eyes met Iris’s.<br />“Err,” Iris scanned the sentence warily for sarcasm but it was clean. “Yeah... Is this quite different to your old room then?”<br />Hamlet thought of his broken bed, musty stench and grimy walls, comparing his old claustrophobic box room to the light and airy, space he found himself in. <br />“You could say that.” he answered quietly. There was silence for a few moments. Hamlet appeared to be lost in his thoughts. His dark hair fell over his face, hiding his eyes. Iris had no idea how to act around him. For a second, she was tempted to sit down beside him and put her arm around his shoulders but, remembering his earlier reaction, she stopped herself. Suppressing a sigh, she walked to the door.<br />“Well you get some sleep. You can meet the rest of the family tomorrow.” <br />And won’t that be fun to explain. <br />“Mrs Marmite,” Iris turned back. “Thanks,” She smiled.<br />“Don’t mention it, and call me Iris,”<br />
  12. 12. Godric was pacing around their room, scrunching up his hair as he always did when he was anxious. <br />“How are you so calm about this?” he asked<br />“Calm? I’m scared out of my freakin’ mind Godric! I just became a stepmother to an apparently emotionally scarred teenage boy! Trust me, I am not calm.” she paused and sighed. “This is a big deal and we can’t change that. Of course you’re scared. I’m scared too. <br />“If he were anyone’s son but hers. I- what she did to Giselle-”<br />“I know,” she said softly “it was awful, she’s evil. So just think about how horrible she will have been as a mother. Think about the way she will have treated Hamlet, the way she’s treated your son.”<br />Godric felt suddenly disgusted with himself.<br />“I bet he hates me already.” he muttered.<br />
  13. 13. “By Offler, are you kidding me?” Iris stared at him. “Godric, the only person to have ever disliked you was an envious perverted mammoth. I’m not saying it won’t be awkward for a while at least, but you’re a fantastic father and a rock god as well as a legacy heir. Plus, he’s had a traumatising, abusive upbringing so we can only be an improvement! I certainly plan to capitalise on that!”<br />Godric smiled weakly. <br />“I’m so lucky that you married me Iris.”<br />“Well it was more dependant on my ability to sprint to a hot tub before 7 other contestants than luck but yes you are.”<br />
  14. 14. Hamlet lay awkwardly on his bed, unused to the softness of the sheets. He heard Godric laugh downstairs and frowned slightly. He had not expected to be given such a warm welcome. The family were seemingly willing to adopt a perfect stranger, to give him a loving home. It had been far too easy; they had needed no convincing at all. It was a shame really since it had taken quite a while to figure out how to fake a DNA test result. <br />He supposed that his eyes, being her eyes, were all the evidence they needed. And now that he’d actually met Godric, Hamlet couldn’t deny that there was a definite resemblance between them. It was easy to conclude that he really was his father based on their appearance. Meretrix must have had a ‘type’ back then whereas now she just brought home whoever she found in her favourite sleazy bar. <br />At least it wasn’t all lies he thought. Meretrix really was his mother and Hamlet genuinely had nowhere else to go. He almost felt a familiar stab of self loathing when he thought of the lies he had told the generous, convivial couple but he stopped himself. He couldn’t feel bad, he was supposed to hate them. He had to hate them. That was why he was here and without that hate he had no chance of completing the task he had been given. <br />
  15. 15. Eventually, Hamlet had been able to extract more information about his father from a drunken Meretrix. He now knew his name, Billy, and the location of his grave. What’s more, Hamlet had found a box of old blurred photos under his mother’s bed. He had no idea what his father looked like, and he would never dare to ask Meretrix, but he had convinced himself that one of the indistinct figures was his father. <br />The quiet overgrown graveyard quickly became Hamlet’s favourite place. Sometimes he would sit in silence, searching through the fuzzy images for the thousandth time, and on other occasions he would talk aloud to his father about everything and nothing all at once. These sessions sometimes helped and sometimes made him feel even worse but Hamlet continued to visit and talk to his father’s grave. <br />
  16. 16. The only person who knew about these visits was Hamlet’s one and only friend, Horatio. They had been friends since they were small children. Horatio had been the only one willing to befriend the quiet, sorrowful boy that the rest of their class shunned. Hamlet had an occasionally unusually and curiously poetic way of phrasing things. He would sometimes say things that just didn’t seem right for his time and this distanced himself from his peers-although his English teachers loved it. <br />Horatio was as carefree as Hamlet was burdened and a loyal, good-natured friend. He had often kept Hamlet company on the long frightening nights that Hamlet had been left home alone. <br />
  17. 17. But unfortunately, Horatio eventually had to go home; he had a family who loved him. Horatio’s family worried about their son’s melancholy friend. They knew so little about him and in all the years the boys had been friends they had never met his mother. The family would have welcomed him with open arms if only he had let them get close enough. But as soon as they tried to find out more about Hamlet he would make a polite, hurried excuse and vanish. If they asked Horatio if Hamlet was in any trouble he would smile and reply that Hamlet wouldn’t have to worry with him at his side. He’d always support his best friend and stick by him if things got messy. <br /> And of course things didget messy. Messy in ways Horatio could never have imagined. <br />
  18. 18. “Get up Hamlet, I have little time,” <br />Hamlet scrambled backwards in the gloom, daring neither to accept that the spectre was really there nor to meet its gaze. “Do you know me Hamlet? I am your father’s spirit, doom’d for a certain term to walk the night”<br />Hamlet forced himself to look upwards at the lucent but grim figure that had appeared before him-the ghost of his father. <br />“Alas! Poor ghost!” he whispered into the night. <br />“Pity me not, but listen to the tale I’m about to tell you. Listen to the story of my most foul and unnatural murder.”<br />
  19. 19. “Hamlet-” Horatio’s voice was shaking. “Don’t listen to it. Let’s get out of here.”<br />But Hamlet ignored him.<br />“Tell me, father.”<br />“Some years ago, when you were but an infant, your mother was visited by a past lover who, in a violent rage demanded that she take him back.”<br /> “When she refused, telling him that she loved me, he set out to find me and in his jealousy he murdered me. Of course, your mother still would not have him and he returned to his life as a legacy heir.”<br />Hamlet, shaken by all that had happened that night, struggled to accept that his father’s murderer could possibly be-<br />“Godric Marmite? No...he-it can’t” <br />
  20. 20. “Yes, he was my murderer. And if you have ever loved your father, you will avenge me Hamlet. Take Godric Marmite from his children as he took me from you.”<br />“Kill him?” Hamlet’s insides seemed to be burning and twisting inside him. His head span as the very ground he stood on seemed to shake.<br />“I can’t!” He couldn’t take a life. He wouldn’t know where to start. “Father forgive me, I can’t-”<br />
  21. 21. “HAMLET.” As the terrible sound hung in the air, Hamlet suppressed a moan of terror and despair. “Avenge me!”<br />“Father no!” but the ghost ignored his plea.<br />“Avenge me!”<br />“But how?!” he cried in desperation.<br />“The glow worm shows the morning to be near. All these years you have told me how you loved me, how you wished to make me proud. I charge you with my revenge if ever you loved me Hamlet. Adieu! And remember me!”<br />And the ghost was gone. <br />
  22. 22. Hamlet returned to an unsurprisingly empty house and Horatio, who had no desire to be alone for quite some time, had come with him. Whilst Horatio sat jabbering wildly in shock, Hamlet stood by the window in a silence more intense that usual. <br />“I mean- a ghost...crazy...how is that even-”<br />“Horatio?” his voice was unreadable. “Don’t tell anyone what you saw.”<br />“Fine!” Horatio made a sound that might have been intended as a laugh but it sounded like he was retching. “People would think I was mad if I told them anyway! Maybe I am mad... I mean, ghosts?! It’s just impossible.”<br />
  23. 23. Hamlet did not look away from the window but gave a calm reply as he stared out across the dark at the house in which his father’s killer lived.<br />“There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio, than are dreamt of in our philosophy”<br />“O all you host of heaven! O earth! what else? O, fie! Hold, hold, my heart; Remember thee! Ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds a seat In this distracted globe. Remember thee! Yea, from the table of my memory I'll wipe away all trivial fond records, All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past, That youth and observation copied there; And thy commandment all alone shall liveWithin the book and volume of my brain”<br />“Yeah, uh..sure Hamlet. Is it okay if I stay here tonight?”<br />
  24. 24. Hamlet paused shaking away the memory and taking a good look at his new room. He sank into a chair and began to sob.<br />“Now to my word, It is ‘Adieu adieu! Remember me!’ I have sworn it.”<br />
  25. 25. Pulling her Daddy’s favourite pose!!<br />The next day was Hermione’s birthday but the celebrations were sullied by necessary but awkward introductions. In truth, it was worst for Hamlet who thought that the family hated him and prayed that he was right so that his task would be easier. Godric and Iris also found things uncomfortable but did their best to ignore it. The children were intrigued and excited by their new big brother- although Heffalump found his silence boring- and Archie and Farnsworth were too absorbed in their increasingly senile worlds to pay the situation much attention. <br />As planned, that evening a surprise party was held for Hermione.<br />“hey, what’s going on?”<br />
  26. 26. She leapt backwards in shock as several small fireworks showered the scene in dazzling light.<br />
  27. 27. “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” the cheer went up from the crowd of family and friends gathered under a multitude of colourful lanterns and fairy lights.<br />Hermione’s eye was immediately drawn to mouth-watering chocolate cake surrounded by presents and balloons. <br />
  28. 28. Hermione ran to each of her parents to thank them with a tight hug.<br />“You’re welcome Hermy” they smiled. <br />
  29. 29. Naturally, smustling ensued giving simselves the perfect opportunity to embarrass themselves in various ways. For example, getting stuck in a wall. *headdesk* <br />That’s okay Maryse, don’t feel obliged to help simLauren or anything. I should give Archie your address for this!<br />
  30. 30. Ginny, who thought that the children’s smustle lessons had been thus far inadequate set her hand to teaching.<br />But after a while a loud, clear shout brought it to a halt. <br />“CCCAAAAAKKKKEEEEE!”<br />
  31. 31. Despite the family’s best efforts, Hamlet had chosen to stay in his room rather than attend the party downstairs. He had been torturing himself over this, trying to decide if it was ruder to reject their kind persuasion or to skulk gauchely in the corner of the party. <br />Eventually, after thinking of how sad the little girl had looked when he had said he was remaining upstairs, he gathered his courage and joined the celebration. <br />But instantly wished that he hadn’t.<br />“Hey, who’s this Godric?”<br />The guests descended on the mysterious new arrival and Hermione’s age transition was forgotten. <br />
  32. 32. “Ahh...” Godric had been happy when he realised that Hamlet had come to join them but now remembered that only the household knew of their delicate situation. Everyone had been too caught up in the party to inform the extended family of their new addition. Besides, how the hell did you drop something like that into conversation?<br />“This is Hamlet. He’s Meretrix’s son.” He then became aware of his disastrous choice of words. Crap crapcrap. You idiot. “And mine.” he added hurriedly as the party fell silent.<br />The only noise to be heard was the rowdy ramble of ‘Cotton Eye Joe’ from the stereo.<br />“Er, well it’s nice to meet you Hamlet.” Gok shook Hamlet’s hand in a tactful attempt to make the atmosphere less hideously awkward. Most of the guests adopted a similar approach, putting two and two together and trying to carry on as before. <br />Others did not have such insight.<br />“Wai, a secoond.” Rob Anybody, Big Man of the Gotham clan of Nac Mac Feegle was not known for his discretion or his intelligence. “Crivens! Sooo he’s thasooono’thaspavie coo what woos woorkin’ fertha hag?” <br />
  33. 33. Try as the guests might, the atmosphere was dead. Dead as a dodo who had just been appointed professor of deadness at Oxford university.* <br />“Soooo, how about that cake?” Ani Mei suggested. <br />And the focus returned to Hermione as she took a deep breath and blew out her candles. With help from the sugar high provided by the cake’s seven different kinds of chocolate, the party picked up pace again. <br />*Anyone?<br />
  34. 34. Soon after growing up into a (rather pretty I’m sure you’ll agree) knowledge sim*, Hermione snuck inside to read the book she was currently hooked on. <br />*Okay, she rolled a 3 the first time and then I rolled again by mistake *cough* and she got a 1. 3+1=4=knowledge. I’ll be good with the others I promise. <br />“Sorry I ruined your party, I really didn’t mean to.”<br />Hermione looked up, surprised to hear Hamlet initiate conversation.<br />“Oh,” she smiled. “Don’t worry about it. I’ve never really been one for parties.”<br />
  35. 35. Hamlet then sat down beside her and Hermione put her book aside, eager to encourage this uncharacteristically sociable behaviour.<br />“I really shouldn’t have come down.” he continued. “I ruin everything.”<br />“I’m sure that’s not true”<br />“Oh it is. And besides, an appearance from the son of the bitch who tried to destroy the family was never going to the highlight of the evening was it?”<br />He spat the word bitch with real disgust and Hermione saw hate burning in his eyes. She ignored her urge to ask more about Meretrix, not wanting to pry and scare him off.<br />
  36. 36. She sighed. “It really isn’t your fault who your mother is.” Hamlet said nothing. “And it’s not important either.”<br />“it is,” he replied. “because all anyone ever sees when they look at me is her. Your family has every right to hate me. I’ll just be a constant reminder of what she did.”<br />“We don’t hate you!”<br />Again, he didn’t reply.<br />“Listen Hamlet, you belong just as much with Dad as you do with her. More so even, because here you’ll have a good home with your family. You’ll only ever be judged on what you do and who you are.”<br />His answer was very quiet but eerily clear.<br />“But what if that’s not any better.” Without looking at her again, got up and left the room.<br />Hermione frowned as she watched him leave and worry crept over her; she would keep an eye on Hamlet-for his own sake. <br />
  37. 37. “Mum, do you think Hamlet’s settling in ok?”<br />Iris sighed.<br />“Well, it can’t be easy...”<br />“He seems to get on with you better than anyone else. You are officially in charge of looking out for him.”<br />Hermione gave a small salute.<br />“I will not fail you commander.”<br />
  38. 38. As time passed, Hamlet slowly became more comfortable around the family and came out of his shell, inch by inch.<br />“Well,” Iris smiled as she sat down with a large plate of spaghetti. “since I don’t dare to ask Heffalump considering her last report card, how is school going for the rest of you?”Heffalump’s glare quickly vanished when she was given her food.<br />“Well the school Arts Festival is coming up soon and I’m entering a story I wrote in the creative writing category.” said Hermione. “And I’m trying to persuade Hamlet to enter some of his poetry.”<br />“I didn’t know you wrote poetry Hamlet!” Godric smiled encouragingly at his son who shifted uncomfortably in his seat.<br />“Oh, it’s not very-”<br />
  39. 39. “Don’t listen to him,” Hermione told her father. “It’s fantastic! I’m so jealous, these beautiful words just seem to come to him.”<br />“Well I’d really love to see some of it” Godric smiled. “If you don’t mind”<br />“Er,” Hermione, Godric and Iris watched him apprehensively. “Yeah, I suppose that would be okay.” He even smiled a little and Hermione beamed back at him.<br />“He can give you some help with your band’s lyrics Dad.” Heffalump giggled.<br />“Hey, what’s wrong with our lyrics?”<br />“She’s got a point G,” Iris agreed. “How does that one song go?... A llama’s chewing on my shoe...”<br />“And babe, these socks belong to you*!” Helena and Heffalump chorused.<br />“Hmmm,” said Godric. “Maybe we have lost some of our lyrical depth over the years... Whadaya say Hamlet?”<br />“Uh, sure, that’d be great.” he smiled again, wider this time.<br />Hermione winked slyly at Iris across the table. <br />*It’s still better than I’ve got so many clothes that I keep them at my Aunt’s houseTinieTempah! *growl*<br />
  40. 40. To Hamlet’s immense surprise, he found himself smiling more and more as he began to feel truly at home. He discovered that he loved having siblings and made a real effort to help to look after them. <br />
  41. 41. But then he would remember why he was there.<br />He found it so difficult to believe that Godric would ever have killed someone.<br />He hated himself for what he knew he had to do. He hated himself for lying to everyone. He hated himself for becoming attached to the family and for putting off his task. He hated himself for doubting his father and for not having the courage to do as he asked. And he hated himself for being so busy hating himself that he had no time to do anything about it.<br />
  42. 42. He knew he couldn’t face the Marmites that night and wandered aimlessly for a while but he was unable to escape his anxieties. He desperately needed a distraction. <br />“Thanks for coming Horatio.”<br />“No problem, so what do you have planned?”<br />“Nothing,”<br />“So we’re not heading inside your fabulous new pad for cake and chitchat with the family then?”<br />“No.”<br />“That’s a shame, I think they like me y’know.” he mused “But I guess that means you had something a little more adventurous in mind?” <br />“I just need to stop thinking for a while.”<br />“That would be my speciality.” Horatio grinned. “But in that case, we’d better get out of here quick before that interfering know-it-all shows up and-”<br />
  43. 43. “I assume you’re talking about me.” Hermione had appeared from nowhere looking simultaneously concerned and furious.<br />“How the hell did you do that?” Horatio cried but she ignored him and spoke to Hamlet worriedly. <br />“Hamlet come home, it’s late. I really don’t think you should be hanging around with someone as irresponsible as Horatio.”<br />“Hey! I’ve known him his whole life!”<br />“Well then don’t you think you’ve been a bad influence on him for long enough?!”<br />Hamlet stood patiently watching them squabble.<br />“Look Hermione, why don’t you just leave us to get on with our evening hmm?”<br />“So you can get my brother into god only knows what kind of trouble?! If you think I’m letting Hamlet out of my sight you must be even thicker than I thought!”<br />“Well it looks like you’re coming along then!”<br />
  44. 44. 5 hours, 2 buckets of glue, a small box of fireworks, several brightly coloured wigs and a near run in with the local law enforcement later...<br />
  45. 45. It was quite a while before they felt safe enough to stop running. Panting heavily, they skidded to a halt and checked one more time for signs of a pursuit. <br />Hamlet breathed a sigh of relief, collapsed onto a nearby bench and closed his eyes.<br />“That was HILARIOUS!” Horatio yelled through peals of laughter. “Did you see that guy’s face?! Even by my standards, that was a good night.”<br />Needless to say, Hermione begged to differ. <br />
  46. 46. “Are you freakin’ KIDDING me?!” she yelled. Hermione drew herself to her full height and her hair seemed to crackle with electricity. “Do you have ANY idea what could have happened if we had been caught? We could have been arrested! Or worse, EXPELLED. Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to bed.” And with that she stormed away, visibly fuming. <br />
  47. 47. Horatio watched her leave wearing a faintly bemused expression. He shook his head and flung himself down beside Hamlet.<br />“Right then,” he said. “The old ‘rainbow wig’ gag always cheers you up and my new scheme with the Catherine Wheels is obviously genius, but you’ve hardly smiled all night. Spill the beans mate.”<br />He didn’t respond. <br />“Hamlet,” the joking was gone from his voice now. “Come on, tell me.”<br />
  48. 48. “I have of late--butwherefore I know not--lost all my mirth, forgone allcustom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavilywith my disposition that this goodly frame, theearth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this mostexcellent canopy, the air, look you, this braveo'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof frettedwith golden fire, why, it appears no other thing tome than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason!how infinite in faculty! in form and moving howexpress and admirable! in action how like an angel!in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of theworld! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me,what is this quintessence of dust? man delights notme:” he paused. “No, nor woman neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so.”<br />“It hadn’t even occurred to- ok, fine it had.”<br /> Horatio sighed.<br />
  49. 49. “I don’t know what to say Hamlet.”<br />“Neither do I.”<br />The two friends sat there for quite some time without speaking again. Horatio was accustomed enough to Hamlet’s melancholy to know that just sitting with him was all he could do; a small comfort but at least it was something. <br />Horatio was worrying more and more about his friend. He’d been too terrified to pay much attention to what the ghost had said that night. But had it mentioned something about...? and asked Hamlet to...? And had he...? No. Hamlet had found his way into a good home. He wasn’t seriously going to..? No. Of course not. <br />
  50. 50. Archie was engrossed in fixing a notoriously leaky bath when he heard the voice- it was like marble snapping.<br />ARCHIE.<br />Archie knew what this meant. He sighed and turned around.<br />IT IS TIME. <br />“Are you quite sure, I mean are you certain?”<br />AS THE GRAVE.<br />“Oh.”<br />
  51. 51. “Godric, two more of your groupies broke in.”<br />“Again? Are you sure?”<br />“Well I don’t think they’re plumbers? Are you plumbers?”<br />“We are the plumbers of souls. We make sure they are flushed safely from the toilet of existence, down the pipe of eternity and into the waste treatment plant of the beyond.”<br />Archie frowned. “I’m going to a waste treatment plant?”<br />IGNORE THE BIMBOS. THEY IMPROVE THE AESTHETICS OF THE SERVICE BUT SEVERLY REDUCE ITS EFFICIENCY. HAVE A DRINK.<br />“Does it help?”<br />IT CERTAINLY HELPS ME GET THROUGH THIS JOB.<br />
  52. 52. “Iris, I think I might be gone for a while. Say bye to Farnsie for me, and tell Maryse that I’m sorry it never worked out between us.”<br />“Uh, sure Archie.”<br />
  53. 53. And so passed Archie the long suffering husband of Farnsworth.<br />As I’m sure you agree, he was so much more than just a blood type.<br />
  54. 54. Archie’s memorial was a quiet family affair, much like the funeral Heffalump had held the week before for a dead mouse she found in the garden. <br />“Brethrens we are gathered here in the bosom of Jesus to say goodbye to this mouse killed before its time. We have given it cheese and bread for its journey to heaven … or at least if it goes to hell it’ll have cheese on toast.<br />Dust to dust, <br />For richer or for poorer<br />In sickness or in health<br />May the force be with you. <br />Because you’re worth it.<br />Amen and out”<br />
  55. 55. magazine<br />Exclusively to POSE Magazine: Home life with Galinda Marmite.<br />Galinda is positively glowing as she settles down ready for our interview. I tell her so and she gives a melodic laugh, flashing me her winning smile.<br />“Well it’s all down to those little ones” she says, gesturing with effortless elegance towards her nieces and nephew who are playing with an assortment of toys as their parents look on proudly. “of course the make up probably helps! But when I’m with my family the love just oozes out of me.”<br />I ask Galinda how often she sees her brother and his children. “Well not as often as I would like, but whenever I can.” she admits, sorrow touching her beautiful face. “But it’s very difficult. Both Godric and I are so busy.” I nod understandingly. Godric Galinda’s brother is of course the current heir to the Marmite legacy and the frontman of the critically acclaimed but controversial deathrock band My Allergic Reaction. <br />P O S E<br />EXCLUSIVE<br />At home with Galinda<br />“Family is so important to me”<br />Her love for her family and life as the world’s most fabulous Aunt.<br />PLUS!<br />Zombie Tom dishes the dirt!<br />
  56. 56. Galinda’s other siblings have also met success. Her older sister Ginny is established as a celebrated though reclusive artist whilst her younger sister Giselle is the wife of Prince Edward, heir to the throne of Adalasia and the mother to a horde of royal darlings. (the couple recently celebrated the birth of their 7th child, Briar Rose). Not forgetting, of course, her brother Gok, Gotham’s hottest fashion designer and new Dad to twin girls Coco and Vivienne. <br />“It’s safe to say that we’re all very happy.” she smiles. “I only hope that the new generation meets the same level of success. <br />Because it doesn’t matter how much money we make or how many awards the Academy honours us with,” she winks cheekily “in the end it’s all about family. I just don’t know what I’d do-” he voice cracks and I spy a tear in one of her dazzling eyes. “if anything were to happen to them I’d-”<br />^ (L-R) Heffalump, Helena, Hiro, Galinda and Hermione who’s due to blossom into a teen any day now.<br />^Gok and baby Vivienne.<br />^Baby Coco.<br />
  57. 57. “urgh, what a load of bull”<br />Meretrix tossed aside the old issue of ‘POSE’ Magazine in disgust. Her hate for that wretched family had subsided over the years, with help from alcohol, but a couple of months ago, when she had happened to pick up the magazine on one of her drunken shoplifting sprees, it had all come rushing back. She had remembered why she had wanted to obliterate the Marmites in the first place as well as the fury of defeat and the humiliation of Godric’s rejection.<br />It had brought her a strange clarity, she no longer required quite so much booze to get her through the day; she had been too busy planning to drink. Meretrix had turned her thoughts to revenge now that she was older, crueller and, more importantly, had a son to use as a pawn. <br />She wondered how Hamlet was getting on with his mission. No doubt the pathetic boy was yet to take any real action. He had always been weak- but that was why it had been so easy to get him involved. He was a slave to his many tiresome emotions and this had made him easy to manipulate. <br />
  58. 58. She had just needed a little help from an old friend.<br />Meretrix had only told Hamlet that the grave belonged to his father in order to shut him up. She didn’t like to remember the truth about her son’s father and the way he had rejected her. If she remembered that then she remembered the pain and she would have to admit to herself that she had actually fallen for the man she had been using.<br />It turned out that the drunken lie would prove most convenient. Provided, of course, that she could persuade an old friend to play a part in her scheme. But that had not been difficult.<br />“Billy, I need to talk to you.” <br />
  59. 59. As she had expected, the ghost had appeared almost instantly, surprised to get a visit from his past lover.<br />“Billy,” she had smiled. “it’s been too long.”<br />“What is it Meretrix?” Billy knew that she was not to blame for the car accident that had claimed his life, but that didn’t mean he trusted her. <br />“is that any way to greet an old friend?”<br />“Oh yes, because you’ve been a bloomin’ wonderful friend since I died.” he had snorted. <br />“You didn’t come to my funeral and the only time you’ve visited my grave other than now was when you told that weird kid that I was his old man! He’s been down here nearly every bloody day since then, whining and sobbing... I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I wasn’t his dad when it started and I figure I’ve left it a bit late now. But it’s bleedin’ depressing believe me.”<br />Meretrix had smiled as she thought about how easy Hamlet had made this for her.<br />“Well actually, that boy is the reason I’m here. He’s my son and-”<br />“he’s your son? The apple’s blown a way from the tree there ain’t it? He hasn’t exactly inherited your spirit.”<br />“Hmmm, you’re quite right, he’s a piteous wreck. But I have found a use for him, as I have for you.” The ghost had folded his arms suspiciously. “And you would of course not go unrewarded for your help.” Billy had raised a spectral eyebrow.<br />“I’m listening...”<br />
  60. 60. “...So let’s just go over this again.” the ghost had said. “You want me to appear to your boy Hamlet and to pretend that I’m his father which he’ll believe because you told him that my grave belonged to his old man. But in reality his father is Godric Marmite, who you’re still mad at what with the foilin’ of the schemes and the rejection ‘n’ all, so you want me to tell Hamlet that Godric did me in and to convince him to whack for revenge like?”<br />“Yes, but could you please try to sound a little more supernatural and menacing when you do it? You’ll detract from the delicious tragedy of the whole thing.”<br />“I dunnoMer, sons icing their dads... S’all very upsetting really. What can you offer to distract me from my terrible guilt?”<br />“Life.” she had whispered.<br />After a few moments of contemplation, Billy had asked her doubtfully “do you have that kind of power?”<br />“I spent years with the head of the sisterhood of the silver raccoon Billy! And I’ve kept myself busy over the years.” It had been a hollow promise, of course she didn’t have that sort of power, but Meretrix had been sure that Billy’s desperation would lead him into a bargain with her and sure enough, a smile had spread across his pale face.<br />“I’ll start rehearsing.”<br />
  61. 61. She had returned home early the next morning to find Hamlet pacing the small, grotty living room. He surprised her by confronting her about where she had been for the last 5 days. “Out.” she had snapped, thinking of all she had done since she had read the wretched article: the time she had spent spying on Godric and his precious, perfect family and her visit to the graveyard. She goaded him for worrying about her, pinching his arms and yanking his hair. <br />Hamlet shouted angrily at her to stop. When she brought her hand round to hit him, he shocked her by grabbing her wrist. Yanking it free, shelaughed at him asking if the cry baby was ready to fight back. He said nothing but, after a moment, stormed out the front door.<br />He had surprised her by defending himself; it was an uncharacteristic display of spirit. But she had been pleased. He would need some form of a spine if he were to play his part correctly.<br />She knew exactly where he was going.<br />That’s right. Go and see your Daddy...<br />
  62. 62. Heffalump’s grades averaged at around a C. She cold easily get Bs if the work interested her enough, but her attention was not all that easy to capture.<br />Helena outshone her in every test but Heffalump was comfortable with it and pleased for Helena’s success. <br />Besides, though she wasn’t conscious of it, she outshone her twin in every other way. <br />“Ciao Rodney! You’re doing a fantastic job. Don’t work yourself too hard okay?”<br />
  63. 63. Hermione, of course, remained the school’s star pupil. She’d been offered places in more private schools than she could count, but did not believe in selective schooling.*<br />*and neither do I. <br />Soon enough she realised her LTW: become a media magnate.<br />At the first opportunity, she took a job in journalism. Learning from the mistakes she made with Ginny, Farnsworth didn’t try to push Hermione into science. She recognised her gift for writing and supported her whole-heartedly. <br />Hermione still took an interest in her grandmother’s work and was grateful for the suggestions she made about her writing. <br />
  64. 64. “No, no” Farnsworth cried, reading the story over Hermione’s shoulder. “The villain should have an army of atomic supermen. Yes... Atomic monsters with octagonal bodies that suck blood...” <br />“Er, thanks Grandma.” <br />But Farnsworth had already wandered off muttering something about using lightening to create life.<br />
  65. 65. I try to fit a muffin baking picture into every generation so here it is! <br />Oh Helena, never mind.<br />These photos, particularly the top left one, perfectly sum up the twins’ relationship.<br />
  66. 66. Godric felt more at ease with each passing day. Things had been so awkward initially, but he was beginning to truly feel like Hamlet’s father. He was opening up and settling in; a part of the family. <br />At Iris’s suggestion, Godric had begun to teach him to play the guitar. They both knew that this was a flimsy pretext for a series of bonding sessions, but they soon became more comfortable around each other and began to enjoy themselves.<br />
  67. 67. “hey Hamlet,” said Godric after a particularly successful session. “I want you to have the guitar.”<br />Hamlet’s instinctive reaction was to scan the offer for tricks- but it was clean.<br />“No, I couldn’t... It was your first-”<br />“Yeah I know,” he sighed. “And she’s a beauty, but she’s not compatible with the mega-monster amps we have to use now. It breaks my heart, but you need serious noise if the fans right at the back of Wembley are going to hear properly. I think it’s time to pass the torch and I know you’ll take good care of her for me.”<br />Hamlet was stunned. He was as surprised as Godric when he found himself hugging him.<br />“Thanks... Dad.”<br />“No problem,” he was taken aback. “What are fathers for eh?”<br />
  68. 68. “Hamlet!” Iris cried, appearing from nowhere. “Drop some rump-rattlin’ beats so I can get down with my funky self.”<br />“Er, Iris” said Godric “are you sure that’s wise?”<br />“You doubt my ability to bust a move?! I challenge you sir, to throw some shapes!”<br />
  69. 69. Hamlet definitely liked having Iris around. She wasn’t at all what he had expected and was certainly an unconventional mother.<br />When she had caught him playing computer games when he was supposed to be slaving over a lengthy history essay she had simply said:<br />“If you head to the left after the second checkpoint on the next level you’ll find a medi-pack and an armour upgrade.”<br />And walked off. <br />
  70. 70. “don’t wanna be big boy!”<br />Oh Hiro. I can so relate if you throw in a gender change. But I’m afraid you don’t really have a choice. So you’ll have to be brave ok?<br />“brave like TakezoKensei!”<br />Exactamundo.<br />“..hero like Kensei... Brave boy.”<br />
  71. 71. “...’snot so scary!”<br />Well not for a hero like you.<br />“WEEEE!”<br />“YATTA!*”<br />*for non heroes fans/non Japanese speakers, yatta=I did it= Hiro’s catchphrase. <br />
  72. 72. “Helllloooooooooo Hiro!”<br />“Who’s that? I can’t see you!”<br />Ah, the dodgy eyesight has returned to the Marmite children. To the mirror!<br />
  73. 73. Ah, now he can actually see which will probably come in handy while he’s saving the world.<br />“you’ll never take me alive evil emperor Zurg!”<br />“That’s what you think Kensei! Prepare to face my humongous-posion-laser-gun-of-awesomeness! Mwhahahaha!”<br />“Activate cloaking device!”<br />“Noooooooooo!”<br />
  74. 74. Maybe, just maybe, things would work out ok. What did it matter if he wasn’t really Godric’s son. The family had accepted him...he was happier here than he’s ever been with his real family. <br />Maybe he could stay with them and forget all about what he was supposed to be doing.<br />Hamlet thought of his real father and flinched under the weight of his guilt. But wasn’t it his duty to avenge him as Billy had commanded? But that would mean... No, he couldn’t. He couldn’t even believe that Godric was capable of...he was so kind and...but did that really make a difference? He sighed.<br />“One may smile and smile, and be a villain; at least, I’m sure it may be so in Gotham.”<br />He himself was living proof. <br />
  75. 75. “What the hell am I going to do?” he whispered.<br />The pale moon spoke no reply and neither did the cold earth. <br />He removed his hands from his face just in time to see a shooting star race across the night sky and, for a moment, his despair vanished. <br />“Aren’t you going to make a wish?” a painfully familiar voice sneered. <br />
  76. 76. “What do you want?” he said quietly.<br />“I’ve come to see how you’re getting on with your little mission.” she replied. “What? You didn’t think I’d find out where you disappeared to?”<br />“I didn’t think you’d care.”<br />Meretrix smirked.<br />“Well I needed to know if you’d try to do something stupid to yourself again. That could land me a lot of trouble.”<br />“I’ll try to be more considerate.” <br />She ignored him.<br />“Billy’s grave was the first place I looked and, after a little reunion, he told me where you were.”<br />“Why didn’t you tell me that he was murdered?”<br />“What difference would it have made? I certainly don’t care and I didn’t think you’d have the spine to do anything. Billy, however, seems to think that I’m wrong. He was telling me all about your plan to avenge him. Urgh, the pride in his eyes was really quite nauseating. He’s just as stupid as he ever was if he thinks you’ll go through with it. You’ve been here months now and done nothing. I’d get a move on if I were you; Billy was never one to be kept waiting.” <br />Meretrix saw fear enter her son’s eyes and struggled to contain a chuckle as she thought of clumsy Billy, who had no moral centre, but was undeniably harmless.<br />
  77. 77. “Hmmm,” she walked slowly in a circle around him. “I assumed it was just taking you so long because you’re pathetic, but it’s more than that isn’t it?” <br />Hamlet said nothing.<br />“You like it here don’t you? Do they make you feel welcome? Loved? You stupid bastard! They don’t mean it. How could they possibly like you? The worthless wretch who’s invaded their family.” <br />Hamlet tried furiously to block out her voice.<br />“Can’t you see the resentment in their eyes? Don’t you hear them whispering about you when your back’s turned?”<br />“They don’t!”<br />“Of course they do! How could they not be? You’re a gutless, twofaced... You’re vile Hamlet. You can’t do the one thing your father asks of you; you’re cuddling up to his murderer instead. And think of all the lies you’ve told! Even if your delusions come true and your perfect new really do love you, what will they do when they find out who you really are?- why you’re there? I don’t think you’ll be invited to too many birthday parties after that! What will Billy do to you when you break his heart?” She paused for a moment and then laughed. “You’re really in a mess now aren’t you?”<br />She was right. He couldn’t come clean... he couldn’t break his promise... he couldn’t see a way out...he’d have to do it...but he couldn’t...not when they had been so...or had they?...maybe she was right....was he a fool to have ever believed that they could...did that matter?...<br />
  78. 78. Meretrix laughed again and, to Hamlet, the sound seemed unbearably loud; it bounced around the walls of his crowded mind. <br />She turned without another word and walked slowly away. Just as Hamlet finally collapsed into tears, she called back to him across the night. <br />“If you check your locker on Monday morning, you might find something to get you out of this mess.”<br />
  79. 79. “Hey Hermione!” Horatio said brightly. “what are we watching?”<br />“we are not watching anything.”<br />“My tremendous intuitive sense of the female creature informs me that you-what’s the phrase... Have beef with me.”<br />“Oh how very insightful of you.” <br />“Awww, sweet.” sighed Iris.<br />“WHAT?”they shouted.<br />“Ok,ok, there’s no need to yell in unison. I was merely making an observation.”<br />“That was the most ludicrous...”<br />“yeah, I’m just looking for Hamlet! Oh, have you seen him by the way?”<br />“He’s in his room I think. He’s been acting seriously strange...and worse since he got home from school. It’s like he’s gone backwards.”<br />“I’d better go and find him then.”<br />
  80. 80. Meretrix had been right. The thing Hamlet found in his locker would get him out of his mess- but not in the way she had intended.<br />“To be, or not to be: that is the question...”<br />
  81. 81. “Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to sufferThe slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,And by opposing end them?”<br />“To die: to sleep;No more; and by a sleep to say we endThe heart-ache and the thousand natural shocksThat flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummationDevoutly to be wish'd.”<br />
  82. 82. “To die, to sleep;To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;For in that sleep of death what dreams may comeWhen we have shuffled off this mortal coil,Must give us pause: there’s the respect<br />That makes calamity of so long life...”<br />“For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,<br />The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,<br />The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,<br />The insolence of office, and the spurns<br />That patient merit of the unworthy takes,<br />When he himself might his quietus make<br />With a bare bodkin?”<br />
  83. 83. “Who would these fardels bear, <br />To grunt and sweat under a weary life, But that dread of something after death,<br />The undiscovered country from whose bourn, No Traveller returns, puzzles the will<br />And makes us rather bear those ills we have <br />Than fly to others that we know not of?”<br />“Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;<br />And thus the native hue of resolution <br />Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,<br />And enterprises of great pith and moment<br />With this regard their currents turn awry<br />And lose the name of action...”<br />
  84. 84. He closed his eyes.<br />“But not this time.” he whispered.<br />
  85. 85. “HAMLET NO!”<br />Hamlet had not been in his room when they went to look for him. But they had found a note scrawled on a piece of paper. <br />
  86. 86. “What the hell are you thinking?!” Hermione cried. She realised that anger may not be the best way to deal with a suicide attempt and softened her voice. “Hamlet come home.” she begged.<br />“You don’t know what I’ve- what I have to- this is- I have to-”<br />“Hamlet,” Horatio stepped in. “Why are-”<br />“You know Horatio!” he screamed. “Don’t you see? This is the only way out of this. If I don’t do this then I’ll- and he’ll-”<br />“Hamlet I don’t care what you think you’ve done” Hermione sobbed.<br />
  87. 87. “We’re your family and-”<br />Hamlet pulled the gun from his pocket.<br />“Hermione don’t” Horatio warned, seeing that these words would do more harm than good.<br />“-you belong with us!” she cried. <br />“No I don’t.” his voice was a blank monotone. With a sharp click, he readied the gun once more and began to back away from them. They moved closer in panic. <br />“No Hamlet!”<br />He raised the gun to his head as he moved backwards; they froze.<br />“Don’t follow me.” <br />Still in position, he continued to back away and vanished around the corner of the alley. They raced after him- but he was gone. <br />
  88. 88. “I just don’t understand... Why would he...” Hermione’s breaths were shallow and irregular. Iris gave her daughter’s hand a gentle squeeze and turned to look at Godric. He sat slumped onto the table; he had been silent since Hermione and Horatio had woken the household with their terrible news. <br />“He seemed happy here.... I don’t.... And now....” Hermione sobbed. <br />Iris let go of her daughter’s hand and ran her hands through her hair, desperately trying to extract some sense from the situation. <br />“Did he say why he was-” she began. “did he say anything at all?”<br />“No,” Hermione moaned. “ He just said that he didn’t belong with us and...that I didn’t know what he’d done...” she frowned as though something had suddenly occurred to her.<br />
  89. 89. Horatio thought of his promise to Hamlet as the family watched him with pleading eyes. <br />He began to feel very hot. He squirmed a little in his seat as the family continued to watch him. <br />He couldn’t tell them. He wouldn’t betray their friendship like that. But then what would that friendship matter if Hamlet were dead. He thought of his friend lying lifeless amongst refuse and dustbins in an alley somewhere...alone...his brains smeared across the filthy brickwork...<br />He swallowed hard- and told them all he knew.<br />“...and that Horatio did know.” <br />The family turned to look at Horatio who, until now, had been silent. Even Godric raised his head from the table. His blue eyes were sad and exhausted but in them a tiny spark of hope glimmered.<br />
  90. 90. There was silence for a few moments after Horatio finished. He waited nervously, unsure about how they would react to such a revelation.<br />“I’m going to look for him.” said Godric suddenly, standing up.<br />“We all are.” Iris said grimly. Her expression was puzzled. “Godric, you check downtown and Farnsworth, you search the park.” Godric and Farnsworth left the table immediately.<br />“What about us Mum?” Hermione asked.<br />“You two are coming with me. The kids will be fine.” <br />
  91. 91. “Something doesn’t add up here.... We’re going ghostbusting.”<br />“AWESOME! Can I come?!” <br />“NO Heffalump. You should be in bed!”<br />“Awww PLEASE! I wanna go ghostbusting too!”<br />“We have ghosts in the garden! You can bust them tomorrow.”<br />“It’s not the same and you know it!” she wailed and with that she stormed away.<br />
  92. 92. Horatio lead them to the graveyard in which he said Hamlet’s father was buried. <br />“How will you make him appear?” Horatio asked nervously. “Are you going to perform some kind of ritual?”<br />
  93. 93. “Not exactly,” Iris replied. She cleared her throat. “Oi! Wakeywakeyghosty!” she yelled, giving the gravestone a swift kick.<br />And sure enough, presumably through the incredible power of simselves, Billy appeared.<br />
  94. 94. “Right. I want answers and I want them fast so you better pay attention.” <br />Billy considered an insolent reply but decided against it when he saw the steely, Ankh Morporkian determination in her eyes.<br /> “Right-o” he said nervously.<br />“You told a boy that you were his father and that you were murdered by Godric Marmite. You then frightened the aforementioned boy into agreeing to kill Godric in revenge.” <br />“Point number one, Godric is not even capable of killing a flobberworm let alone another sim. Point number two, I know for a fact that Hamlet is Godric’s son. So I am brought nicely to my concluding question: <br />WHAT IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS OMNIAN IS GOING ON?” Billy said nothing for a moment, then he sighed.<br /> “How did you know that he really was Godric’s son?” he asked resignedly. <br />“Well I had to make sure his story was genuine didn’t I? I mean, he could’ve been anyone really! And some of Lauren’s paranoia was beginning to rub off on me by this point... So I enlisted some scientific help to make sure he was who he said he was...” <br />
  95. 95. “EXCELLENT! This is just the sort of project I’ve been looking for. I will craft a magnificent machine to determine the answer from a series of unnecessarily large tissue samples I will extract from Hamlet and Godric during their sleep! It will be 20 cubitshigh and 20 cubits long and covered in tiny flashing lights of every colour and it will have a changeable voice function and a cup holder and MP3 compatibility and GPS... And I shall call it... THE PATERNIFUGE!” she cackled madly.<br />“Err, wouldn’t it be easier to just do a DNA test?”<br />Farnsworth stared at her.<br />“You have so much to learn.” <br />
  96. 96. “So I know that Hamlet is Godric’s son. And right now he’s out there somewhere, scared and alone and about to blow his brains out...”her voice trailed off. She shook away the thoughts. “So I want to know why you did this.”<br />Billy ran a pale hand through his ghostly hair and edged towards his gravestone.<br />“Oh no you don’t.” Iris growled. Billy stopped and sighed again.<br />“Ok, fine. The thing is...”<br />Iris and Hermione listened in total disbelief. How could a mother do such a thing to her son? Horatio, who was acquainted with Meretrix, had little difficulty believing Billy’s story. <br />“Billy,” Hermione said softly. “Meretrix won’t be able to resurrect you.”<br />“She’s never had any power of her own” said Iris, watching shock wash over Billy’s face only to be quickly replaced by anger.<br />“What do you mean?” he asked.<br />“She was only ever Laci’s grunt. If she were powerful enough to raise the dead, it’d be... obvious” said Hermione, thinking of Elphaba. <br />
  97. 97. “I can’t believe I’m still falling for her tricks now that I’m dead!” Billy bellowed and the earth seemed to shake beneath their feet.. “This is IT. The next time I see her-” And he let out a terrible shout of fury and aguish. Horatio whimpered slightly.<br />“I can’t bring you back to life Billy,” Iris said “But I think I can help you out. Just give me one second.” she pulled out her phone.<br />“Godric.... No I haven’t... Have you?....Oh....I know....Listen, I have to tell you something....”<br />
  98. 98. “This is it?” Hermione asked, eyeing a particularly fresh looking stain on the grimy carpet.<br />“Yes.” said Horatio quietly.<br />Iris looked around the room, knocking over several empty beer bottles in the process. <br />“Well he’s not in here. Does that door lead to his room Horatio?”<br />“Yes.” said a sneering voice from behind them. “But he’s not in there either.”<br />They turned to see Meretrix shutting the door behind her. She drained the last dregs from a bottle in her hand and flung it against a wall.<br />
  99. 99. “Has he done it then?” she asked. “Has he done dear old Goddykins in?”<br />“No.” said Iris “Things have worked out a little differently.”<br />“I thought as much. He’d never have the spine to take a life.”<br />“He seems to have enough to be willing to take his own.” Hermione shouted and she started furiously towards Meretrix but Horatio grabbed her arm and held her back.<br />Meretrix thought for a moment. <br />“That does sound suitably pathetic. Typical of the wretched boy.”<br />“You really don’t care do you?” Iris asked, utterly astounded. “he’s your son”<br />
  100. 100. “Oh don’t give me that.” she spat. “He was useless, a constant reminder of his father and the whole revolting legacy. And when I finally found a use for him, he failed at that too. You legacy sims think you’re so much better than the rest of us don’t you? Why do you get to be played for generations whilst the rest of us go ignored and frozen in time?” her voice changed to a scream “Well I’ve had enough! I’m not just going to-”<br />“Oh give it a rest you old tart.”<br />The voice seemed to have come from everywhere and nowhere and the room was suddenly much colder. Meretrix stopped midsentence and looked around for the voice’s owner. She stared at Iris in terrified confusion who smiled slightly in return as the voice spoke again. <br />
  101. 101. “B-Billy,” Meretrix began, her voice shaking. “what are you-”<br />“You shouldn’t have lied to me.”<br />“I-I didn’t...I was-”<br />“Oh I think you did.”<br />Meretrix began to back away and Billy moved closer.<br />“This isn’t the sort of thing that I can just let slide Meretrix.”<br />“Billy, no.” she was unable to keep the fear from her voice which trembled and cracked as he moved nearer. “Billy-” He stepped forward again; Meretrix was now pressed against the wall. “Billy!” This time it was undeniably a scream of pure terror. He swept towards her, raising his lucent arms almost as if to embrace her. <br />
  102. 102. She screamed again as she became trapped in his ethereal grip and was lifted from the floor. <br />Hermione, Horatio and Iris moved backwards in horror as Billy dragged her down through the apparently solid floor and her nightmarish screams became gradually more distant.<br />They stood in a deafening silence that none of them dared to break.<br />Until<br />I am paralysed...so afraid to die...<br />‘Panic Attack’ by Dream Theatre erupted from Iris’ pocket. She fumbled for her phone.<br />“hello?” <br />“it’s me,” said Godric’s voice. “we’ve found him.”<br />
  103. 103. 6 months later...<br />
  104. 104. The Marmite house was full of laughter, balloons and delicious party nibbles*. Both Hermione and Hamlet had achieved fantastic grades and secured places at Shiz University. What’s more, Hermione had just announced that she had reached the top of the journalism career track and that her boss promised she could have a full time position once she graduated. The family couldn’t be more proud and had thrown a little soirée to celebrate.<br />“Y’know,” Godric began, pulling Iris closer to him. “things have worked out pretty well after-” <br />“NO!” Iris yelled “Shut up!”<br />“Er, wha-”<br />“Every time you do the ‘everything’s going to be ok’ speech something dramatic happens. So shut your cake hole!”<br />Godric thought for a moment, then smiled. <br />“Ok. Now speaking of cake...”<br />*at least until the simselvesarrived...<br />
  105. 105. Although no one was aloud to vocalise it lest they provoke the plot monster, things really did seem to be going well for the Marmites. <br />Hamlet was happier than he’d ever been and the rest if the family were the better for having him. <br />“I can’t wait!” Hermione squealed. “It’ll be so-” she broke off as Hiro collided with her mid run.<br />“Sorry Hermy!” he called as he continued out the door. “Ando come back!”<br />“I know,” Hamlet smiled. He paused. “Have you seen Helena?”<br />“She’s outside with Demetri I think.”<br />
  106. 106. “No way!” Helena cried. “That’s my favourite too!” <br />“Really?” Demetri sounded equally surprised. “But everyone else always says that their 2nd album is the best!”<br />“I know! But Mellon Collie is so much better!”<br />“It’s got ‘Bullet with Butterfly wings’ for gods’ sake!”<br />“But then their 5th album-” Helena began, but she was cut off by a new voice.<br />“Sorry I took so long babe. Thanks for keeping him company Helena!”<br />DOG WITH CRUSH<br />
  107. 107. Heffalump skipped straight past her twin and into Demetri’s arms. <br />“Did you miss me?” she giggled.<br />“Obviously.”<br />Heffalump laughed again and leaned in closer. As the couple broke into a heavy make out session, Helena slipped inside. <br />
  108. 108. Eventually, Heffalump joined her; Demetri had had homework to finish. <br />Helena took a deep breath and prepared to confront her twin about something that had been bugging her for some time.<br />“Lumpy, where were you? You made Demetri wait for ages.”<br />“I was just out, don’t worry! He didn’t mind, he never does.”<br />“Because he’s totally infatuated with you. But that doesn’t make it ok does it?”<br />Heffalump studied the concern on her twin’s face and laughed, running a hand through her bright hair to keep it extra messy.<br />“Ok, I’ll try to be a better girlfriend.”<br />“I just don’t think he deserves to be-”<br />“I know sis, I know. I’m really glad you get along with Demetri so well.” Heffalump threw herself into an affectionate bear hug and skipped away. Helena watched her leave and sighed.<br />You have no idea.<br />
  109. 109. Thank you very veryveryvery much for reading you wonderful person. <br />No I mean it.<br />I do!<br />Don’t be so modest.<br />Forgive me for the enormous amount of time this chapter took and for the general skewshyness of the unnecessary plot. <br />Also, what I have planned for Uni will be a LOT more light-hearted.<br />I also plan to upload some backstage bloopers and outtakes on L J which have the potential to be quite funny since my sims love to ignore plots. <br />Thanks again. <br />Lauren (wonderfulweirdo)<br />RECORDER?<br />David Tennant in a recent RSC production of Hamlet which I was lucky enough to see and freakin’ adored. <br />

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