The Martinet's Children (LaFemmeFatale & Vermiciro)

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Vermiciro, Aug 10, 2015.

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  1. C. M. Sinclair / 29/ Freelance Journalist

    Perhaps it was envy, or a flare of blue-collar classism, but Sinclair found the sheer magnitude of Timothy Herrington’s wealth to be vulgar. That the socialite spent it so magnanimously was even more irksome. It felt like he was flaunting it, feigning altruism to gain favor. Sinclair figured if Herrington was such a saint then he should have been living a more ascetic lifestyle.

    Sinclair didn’t trust him, or to be honest, he didn’t trust rich people. Money had a way of fostering the worst in others, be it from pecuniary lack or excess. And knowing just how deep Herrington’s pockets ran left Sinclair circumspect. Had he the opportunity to decline, Sinclair wouldn’t have vacillated in the slightest. But he couldn’t.

    No matter how parsimonious Sinclair lived, he still struggled to make ends meet. Freelance journalism wasn’t a well-paying field. He lacked most of the haughty qualifications too, selling himself on the quality of his work alone. Though, for all the adversities, the job was better than being on the force. The memories Sinclair took from being a police officer were more than evanescent thoughts and restless dreams. They had coalesced in him, had become a visceral self-philosophy. What Sinclair had experienced as a public servant had changed him, and he couldn’t say with certainty whether it had been for the better.

    As the dense greenery thinned to intermittent, deciduous giants, Sinclair pulled out his cell. The wheel in his left hand, phone in right, he quickly reviewed his notes. Herrington had accomplished so much. The man had saved lives and brought succor to the indigent. Sinclair hadn’t done any of that. His time as a cop was disparate to such feats. He couldn’t even vouch for saving a single life. It left him ashamed and jealous.

    The feeling only marginally faded as Sinclair reached the wrought iron gates of the Herrington estate. Before he could reach the intercom the passage was opened. He looked suspiciously at the security camera and pulled ahead. The path leading to the main building was flanked with trees, deciduous palisades which the sun flitted through as he drove past. Dense, green foliage shaded him overhead. It opened into a roundabout before the mansion front doors.

    Surrounding the estate were resplendent arrays of flora, stems bending under the heavy pulchritude of their blossoms. They flourished in contrast to the imposing, Victorian edifice the Herrington’s called their home. In the shadow of dour architecture, Sinclair parked. Though he had faced the threat of death while on the force, the gravity of the Herrington’s was still intimidating. Sinclair crunched down a handful of tic-tacs before climbing the stairs.

    Expecting similar treatment to what he experienced at the gate, Sinclair was momentarily nonplussed when no one opened the door. They knew he was there, but perhaps formality took precedence. He swallowed his nerves. And knocked thrice, succinctly, an act that would send into motion more than Sinclair could have ever anticipated.
    #1 Vermiciro, Aug 10, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2016

  2. Zain Herrington / 20 / Home Schooled College Student​

    Today was the day that an unknown journalist would enter the Herrington estate to write an article about Zain's father, Timothy Herrington. Ever since he was adopted by the man he now calls his father, he has witnessed the true meaning of a wolf in sheep clothing through his very our pupils. People are constantly fooled by Mr. Herrington every year, but now he was allowing a perfect stranger to stay within the walls of his home for a few days. When the children had heard such an event was taking place, shivers ran down each childs' spine knowing that if they did anything wrong during that time, the consequences would ultimately be grave.

    Gathering all the children into the foyer, Timothy analyzed how each child was dressed to make sure that there was nothing out of place before speaking. "Today, someone will be here to interview me for a paper. As you all know, you are not to step a toe out of character during the time he is here." He paused for a moment making eye contact with the younger children, who could only stare at the floor and flinch as they feel his glare upon them. It was a fear instilled in them from the moment they were taken in. "He will see you as well behaved children that love their father unconditionally and do not show an ounce of rebellion." He directed towards the children who were now in their adolescent years. All Zain could do was look over his siblings, hoping that they would do as they were told to avoid any kind of punishment that could cause them great harm in the end.

    After Timothy was finished with his lecture on how each child show conduct themselves, a knock could be heard coming from the door that sat behind him. A quick glance was directed at the children once more before he made his way over to open the door and greet the man, who would be staying with them for a while. Standing with the older children in back and the younger in front, Zain signaled for all over them to smile as they greeted the journalist once their father brought the man to the foyer to meet them.

    Timothy opened the door to expose the man named Sinclair, standing outside to be welcomed into the estate. "Mr. Sinclair, its a pleasure to meet you finally. Please come on in." He said as he gestured for the gentleman to enter the foyer, where they children presented him with a smile and a short hello in unison. "Welcome to our home, Mr. Sinclair. We hope that you enjoy your stay here."
  3. To have the man himself, Timothy Herrington, open the door was not something Sinclair had expected. With so much wealth and real estate he thought he'd be greeted by hired help. Brow lifting in surprise at the lack of cavalier treatment, Sinclair tried to extend his greetings as formally as possible. "It's an honor to make your acquaintance, sir." He internally winced at his sycophantic tone, hoping Herrington didn't take it for sarcasm.

    If the man's affluence hadn't been understood upon seeing the granduer of the exterior, a step inside would correct that mistake. Carved mahogany embellishments, brass accents, oriental rugs, and decorations Sinclair had only seen while watching Antiques Roadshow with his grandmother were but a portion of the visible opulence. But something was strange. He had only viewed a modicum of the house, hardly enough to cast judgement, but all the pictures Sinclair has so far seen of the children he had seen before. They were replicas of those taken for other articles, special events, and ceremonies. It was a curiosity he hadn't time to dwell on though as he soon met those very children.

    "Hey, uh... Thanks for having me." Sinclair reciprocated the greeting with a gauche wave. Still young and having little experience with children, he wasn't certain how to address them without feeling impertinent. The discipline the children displayed was jarring as well. Sinclair felt like he was before the Von Trapps, half expecting Timothy Herrington to pull out a whistle and have them sound off like the little soldiers they were.

    Sinclair smiled awkwardly and gestured to the children. "Great kids you've got, Mr. Herrington. You weren't jesting when you said you adopted those you felt could change the world. They've certainly got that vibe."
  4. After having greeted the journalist, Zain tapped each child gently on the back to tell them to head off to their positions. It was sometimes to keep the younger ones in order, but he could immediately feel them tense under his touch, which meant they understood the consequences if they did anything out of line. "Why thank you. I take great pride in them, but I hope that they don't get in your way during your time here." Timothy said as he waved his hand towards himself, signaling Zain to come close. Nodding his head as he caught a glimpse of it, he started walking over to the two gentleman.

    "Mr. Sinclair, this is my oldest and brightest of the children, Zain. I suspect he'll be the one to blow all of my achievements out of the water when he gets older." Timothy boasted as he patted the young male on the back, yet the smile upon the male's lips tightened as he let his father praise him. Any praise given was accepted, but was thought of a momentary rewards because the mood of their father could change in a split second later on when the journalist was out of sight and out of hearing range for such actions to happen. Deciding it was best to give a response, he placed his hand on his fathers' shoulder as if trying to stop him from touching him any farther before replying.

    "It will take me years upon years to pass you, dad." He decided it was better to call the man 'dad' rather than 'father' because he thought it would make him seem strict and hopefully it pleased the man. Remembering one of his 'jobs', Zain offered his hand to shake the others.

    Seeing his brother, Jason, giving him the okay from around the corner that only he could see behind Sinclair; Zain took that as signal to continue on with the job. "You would probably rather talk to dad about his accomplishments, so why don't you two have the interview in his office?" He suggested, pointing at the doors behind Sinclair, which Jason had just gotten out of after making sure that it was already for them. "I'll even bring you refreshments after I get it all ready." The smile on Timothy's face couldn't have been brighter and that meant that the man was elated with the results so far from his children. This could only mean that they were doing fine for now. All they could do was wait until the man found something that he didn't like just to throw it in their faces.
  5. Things felt strange. Sinclair tried to attribute it to his nerves, to the uneasy trepidation of spending night in a stranger's home, but he couldn't reason the feeling away despite how subtle it was. Everything felt rehearsed, like the acting in a high school play, somewhere between flat and dramatic that didn't quite settle. That wasn't to say rehearsal was suspicious though. While working homicide on the force it was usually evident of surreptitious behavior, but before a business interview, Sinclair assumed at least a little practice was to be expected.

    Swallowing his detective suspicions, Sinclair accepted Zain's offer and shook hands. He tried to see what he could measure from the gesture. Gauging the young man's grip, and the general duration of the shake. "I'm sure you've got a bright future ahead of you." Sinclair agreed.

    At the mention of relocating to a more private setting for the interview, his brow quirked with momentary interest. Sinclair had only ever associated offices with two things, paperwork and reprimanding that bordered on castigation. He wasn't thrilled. The casual and open nature of the foyer was preferred, but Sinclair figured he hadn't much of a choice. "Office it is then." he resigned with a smile. "And though your father is the subject of my article I'll be certain to have some questions for you too, Zain."

    Sinclair hoped to get some statements from several of Herrington's children. Hearing their take on Herrington's parenting and the astronomically high expectations they were held to would better round out his article. But the gnawing feeling that their comments would be censored by rehearsal once again came back.
  6. Hearing that Sinclair would too ask him questions for the article, Zain couldn't help thinking to himself if he should answer like he was always told to or possibly do the one thing he has been afraid to do his entire life. Shaking the thought for his mind, he watched as his father led the man to the office, where they would be talking for a quite a while. Walking to the kitchen to prepare the men something to eat and drink, he noticed his younger siblings gathered in the dining room prepping the table for later that evening. As Zain watched them for a moment, he was quickly pulled from his thoughts when he felt someone tapping him from behind.

    Turning to the person, his eyes made contact with Frances. Frances was holding a broom and dustpan with a questionable look upon his face. "What's wrong, Frances?" Anyone could tell that the young boy was uneasy about something, but what was unknown. Zain didn't think he had messed up so far, so there was no reason for the boy to look the way he did. "Zain.. I'm feeling that pain again.." He said as he clutched the items in his hands tightly.

    It was trauma that each child experienced, whenever anxiety set in from the thought of making a mistake. Panicking a bit on the inside, Zain gripped his younger brothers' shoulders as he began to breath in and out slowly, hoping that Frances would follow and he did. "Don't worry. You just need to breathe, because if you don't you know what will happen." He always had to watch out for his siblings, there were even times when he took their punishments to keep them from being hurt terribly. When Frances felt relaxed again, he thanked his brother before going into the dining room to help the others.

    Finally having time, Zain stepped into the kitchen to make his father and guest something to eat. He didn't want to make anything big since they would all be having dinner together a few hours afterwards. Sighing as he finished making them small sandwiches as well as some tea and placing him on a tray, he picked it up to take to the office. Knocking at the door, he heard Timothy's voice beyond the door telling him to come in. Taking a deep breath in, he opened the door to see the two men sitting to chairs across from each other.

    "Sorry to disturb you, but I figured you were hungry Mr. Sinclair." He said setting the tray down on the table between them.
  7. What affluence could buy was limitless, or so Sinclair was coming to believe as he took in Herrington's office. Though it wasn't the mahogany desk or priceless art that arrested him so. It was Herrington's body of work. Adorning the walls were various placards and certificates of all the man had achieved. Beneath the weight of such charitable success, Sinclair felt small, a grain of sand among the dunes. It was only in believing that Timothy had accomplished such out of the depths of his pockets, not kindness of heart, that Sinclair was able to withstand the burden of his pressing shame.

    "Lovely office, Mr. Herrington." Sinclair commented absently as he took seat. "Good to see what you've done on the walls, in case I forget during the interview." he jest, hiding his wry quip in a conversational laugh. There was something arrogant about displaying one's achievements. But Sinclair knew that down in the black-hole well of his psyche, he thought such about Herrington out of jealousy.

    Eager to begin the interview, to assuage his pernicious feelings, Sinclair began recording on his cell. "I hope you don't mind me-" His comment was interrupted as Zain entered. Sinclair wasn't much in the mood for eating, but accepted out of appreciation. "I suppose I could use a bite to eat." he smiled. "Thanks."
  8. As they sat in the office by themselves, Timothy knew that his children were taking care of their necessary tasks in order for this interview to go smoothly, yet that meant he was also on high alert on anything that was amiss. "Why thank you. I put a lot of effort into making this room comfortable for myself whenever I needed to work." He said before taking a seat across from the male, who had now made himself at home in his chair. Hearing a knock at the door, his eyes went towards the door as he spoke loudly for the other to come in.

    Watching as his oldest stepped into the room, Timothy remembered that Sinclair seemed to have quite an interest in him and that bothered him a bit. Although he didn't think that Zain would say anything about what really goes on behind closed doors, yet knew of Sinclair's past as a officer which meant that his curiosity probably wouldn't stop him from getting what he wanted.

    Not wanting him to stay much longer, Timothy waved Zain off and the boy did so, closing the door tight behind him. "Oh and before we continue, you can just call me Timothy, Mr. Herrington is a bit much especially since you'll be spending quite a bit of time with us." He stated while grabbing one of the sandwiches to eat.

    Stretching his arms up after closing the door, Zain hurried off to the dining room where the others were to get them all to their rooms. After making sure that each child were doing their homework silently in their room, Zain leaned his head back against his bedroom door as he looked up at his ceiling wondering how long he could keep up this facade in front of this man. Pretending was harder than anything else they had to do because he had to watch his actions more than when there wasn't anyone around. This was one of the reasons Timothy didn't have any servants, because anything that he did to his children in front of people would easily slip outside of their home and ruin his reputation, which was something he couldn't have.
  9. Casualness extended with nonchalance, an offering of superficial equality that Sinclair was reluctant to accept. To have a man address a superior casually was sign of insolence; to address an inferior casually was similar to mockery. Sinclair wasn't fond of formality, to lax in his presentation to warrant respect, but when it came to business, formality kept things impersonal. It was in resignation that he agreed to Timothy's terms. "Sure thing," Sinclair smiled tightly, before testing the name, "Tim."

    That was as far as the gesture went however. Sinclair wasn't eager to reciprocate, and his reasons had little to do with work. They were strictly personal. Timothy was aware of his full name, there wasn't any mystery to it. But Sinclair was reluctant to go by anything other than his surname after more than a decade of grade-school teasing. Constantine was a mouthful. Connie was sweet enough to rot his teeth and induce vomiting. Sinclair would do just fine.

    But there were things more important than names to be discussed. Cup of tea in hand, wishing it were coffee, Sinclair eased back into his seat.

    "So, Where better to start than the beginning?" Sinclair asked rhetorically. "What would you say was the catalyst, the spark that kindled your magnanimous, humanitarian philanthropy?" If there was a story beyond his required job, Sinclair would find it. Anything to climb out of the deepening pit of penury and thankless commissions, even if that meant tearing down a magnate of worldly generosity. The game was afoot.
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