julchen11 (julchen11) wrote,
julchen11
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The next Vineyard




This is for my dear prisca1960
just because ...


Title:              The Vineyard -  Chapter 12
Characters: Zeke/Casey
Rating:         PG


“The first time the estate was mentioned was in 1791. Lord William I. Connor – an Irishman – built it. He emigrated from Ireland after his wife – Lady Gwendolyn – died when she gave birth to their son, William II. It is told that he could never  get over this loss. He wanted to do something special and extraordinary in memory of his wife. He was an excellent winegrower and a couple of years later “Connor’s heartblood” was made the first time. Rising his son as a single wasn’t easy those times and people admired him, respected him and felt with him. He died at the age of 45 during a massive thunderstorm when he visited the grave of Lady Gwen. So his son – only 18 years old – inherited the Vineyard. It wasn’t easy whether for him nor the people because he wasn’t the slightest interested in winegrowing. He got married 2 years later and his wife Emily-Louise, the daughter of a well-known winegrower, took and led the Vineyard. 3 Years later their son Ezekiel was born. Emily not only loved him, she idolized him. After Ezekiel Elias followed. It’s a tragedy what happened next. Ezekiel had an accident – like his Grandfather he died at a thunderstorm on his ride back home when a falling tree killed him. At his funeral – so it is told – Lady Emily put a curse on the Vineyard. Every time the first born child should die before he turns 20 (it was Ezekiel’s age when he died), no  one should live happily here. No one of the cursed Connor bloodline. Lady Emily poisoned herself two months after her son passed away so it was on Elias to keep the Vineyard growing. His wife Abigail Kensington-Wright gave birth to 3 children – Jonathan, Jordan and Jason. At a harvesting one of the horses bucked and trampled Jonathan to death. Tragedies like that replayed for many many years. Every first born child died before it turned to be 20 years old.

The curse worked for about 200 years – every Generations after Elias lost their first born child. But in the course of time people forgot about this curse.

 

Benjamin Connor didn’t have children of his own when he decided that Casey should be his heir. Casey was the first born child of his cousin Mary and no one payed attention to the curse anymore, because he was alive and he was a first-born. He was 18 years old when he came here. It all seemed in order. He seldom left the Vineyard, he took care of his people and he was a seemingly happy young man who had found his home here. No hint that the curse would still be working.

Then – it was springtime 11 years ago – he went to Herrington, accepted an invitation of the first Winegrower in our country because he wanted to buy some stuff at an auction he learned about in the internet. When he came back something had changed. He had changed. More and more he threw back in his snail shell, becoming more and more quiet, absent, almost invisible to us. No one could reach him, he wouldn’t talk about what happened. We were concerned, more than concerned.”

 

At his point Bill Schneider went on.

 

“He withdrew from people, from life, becoming more and more mysterious. Sneaked out of the house at midnight, came back in the early morning hours. People started to call him weird, odd – oh, it wasn’t that he didn’t care for us. No. I was the second  manager but I quit my job when his Cousin Carl showed up. He was a brutal and ruthless, all he was interested in was money. The Vineyard became a place of cruelty, exploitation and inhumanity. Casey didn’t notice how Carl treated the employees, how he managed the Yard. More and more people lost their jobs. It was horrible but it was impossible to talk to Casey Connor.

Fortunately Joshua met him one night when he came back from a ‘night walk’. Of course he was shocked when he learned what was going on and at once he threw Carl out of the house.

But even after this he stayed invisible, only shadow of himself. Thomas and Sofie asked him but he always fled, snapped at them that it would be his own business. “

 

Zeke listened carefully. Confusion. “What happened next,  Joshua?” he asked silently.

Joshua sighed, looked at him intensely, taking a deep drag on his pipe “I think it’s time to go now…”

 

“No!” He didn’t want to shout but he couldn’t help about it. “Joshua, you can’t stop here. Please.” But there was no chance to keep him talking. Of course it was late, it was almost 5 a.m. and surely they all had enough. When Joshua stood up he bend down to him whispering in his ear. “Meet me tomorrow at the Lake. And now let an old man go to sleep, boy.” More quiet, only for Zeke to hear he whispered “Be careful, son. Very careful.”

 

Soon he was the only guest at the Blue Grape and time to go. So this was it? Shit! Shit! Shit! Why didn’t they talk earlier? So all because of a curse? Impossible. They were all crazy. Mature people acting like scared kids. Ridiculous. He simply couldn’t believe that his friends believed in this crap. Lots of people died by accident or suicide but shit happens. This were chances, nothing more.

 

But Casey was alive, wasn’t he? The words ‘be Careful, son. Very careful’ crossed his mind. Yeah, of course. What should happen to him on his way back home? No thunderstorm, no curse. He wasn’t related to the Connors.  Not at all.

 

At least he thought so…

 

 

TBC.

Tags: c/z; fanfiction; the vineyard
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