Lord J. P. Addams snuffed out the last candle, in the last row, of the last sconce on the wall of his library. His manuscript and the book that would guard the new family vault, appropriately titled Greed was finally finished.
Painstakingly handwritten in his finest calligraphy, Greed was a masterpiece, if he did say so himself. He’d have it bound tomorrow, in a fine bit of leather, and with gilded pages, a stylized version of the family crest on the front cover. He’d illuminated the title page himself, and had bought marbled endpapers. No Addams ever forgot anything from their apprenticeship. Oh yes, his father had, as his great grandchildren’s friends would say, ‘pitched a fit’, but J.P. had his mother on his side, at least.
He shoved a hand through his shock of unnaturally white hair, grimacing as his cramped fingers stretched and his ink splattered hand left streaks of a faint blue - the underlying color of the fast-drying alternative to Indian Ink. A simple cleaning charm never worked, even though he was well versed in them. Mother had made sure of that. No Addams would ever lack the skills necessary to survive life, no matter how rich or poor they were.
He sighed. Sleep had eluded him the past fortnight, and his darling wife Persephone had noticed. At nearly a hundred-and-twenty, J.P. had thought he’d seen nearly enough of life. His sons had lived and died in war, torn apart for the glory of others, and then, in true Addams fashion, had come to life once more, shocking their enemies to the core.
Persephone had taken one look at their sons, shaken her head, and with her lips pressed into a fine line had softly uttered what would become their family’s motto “ Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc !” We gladly feast on those who would subdue us.
His brilliant wife. Percy, his love. They’d been together nearly eighty years, and neither of them looked to be over the age of forty.
JP winced as he realized he’d been standing in the darkened library for at least fifteen minutes. Percy’d be wondering if he’d come to bed, or if he’d be sleeping in his library tonight. He knew he’d been worrying her lately, but he had to finish what he’d started.
To the average person, Greed would read as a fictionalized account of a little-known female pirate: Dread Pirate Sylvia. Only an Addams, however, would know that she was the reason they had their family.
Lady Penelope Addams married Long John Addams, his father. They terrorized the high seas, both of them looking to escape their families. It was an intriguing story and one that he’d begged his parents to tell him, over and over at bedtime.
Though they both worked, despite not needing to, his parents had always had time for him. Their only child, he had been stubborn and reckless, acting out the stories of their adventures, much to the chagrin of his teachers.
His mother had just died, nearly a month ago now, following his father, who had died the year previous.
His lovely Percy understood the need to preserve the family history. After all, while they were Addamses, they wouldn’t be alive forever.
Their sons Lafeyette and Casanova, and their daughter Tabitha would need to know what was truth, and what was fiction.
At the fair age of one-hundred, Cas had had three children, with different mothers. He’d gotten swept into the tradition of adoption, something that all Addamses believed was prudent. After all, if one had no family, one was nothing in the beginning.
Poor Lafay, at ninety-eight had only the one son who still lived, and young Tabitha at ninety-six only had the one daughter.
JP closed his eyes for a moment, and then stiffly stood up, back and knees creaking. It was well past time for sleep, and he had quite a busy day tomorrow.