I was bored so I'd thought share my unfinished story of Alister with y'all. I still have a lot to do with it and will take a while to finish but I'll post the rest of it eventually.
[ffstory]14th June 2004
Today is the day I start this diary, and a new job. And who am I? My name is Alister Vikram Fletcher. I was born in 1978, in the exotic country of India to Kalindi Tambe and Bartholomew Fletcher. I was raised in Father’s home country which, of course, is England. My education was a strict one. I was sent from school to school and finally settled in the top private school for boys. I wasn’t the most popular at school but Mother wanted me to take my education seriously, so I did and ended up with top marks. I was somewhat of a child prodigy. When I was seventeen years of age, I had the opportunity to get into Cambridge early. Father urged me to take History, Geography, Philosophy and Archaeology. I enjoyed them and excelled in all of them. Father wanted me to follow in his footsteps and work for Croft Industries, a company that recovers ancient artefacts. The founder, Richard Croft, had funded my studies.
A month or so ago, Father told me that Croft’s missing daughter had been found in Plymouth as a convict stowaway in late 2003. The poor girl was brought in trembling with shock. Father had offered me a job to take care of things for her. Oh, I have to go now! My train is due to arrive in a few minutes.
22nd June 2004
Lady Lara is a delightful woman, though still traumatised by her ordeal. She made such an effort make me feel welcome. We engaged in very intriguing conversations of our travels and knowledge. The only thing about her that irritates me are her large…mammary glands. What man would find that attractive?
Her butler, Winston, does everything for her. It is a bloody shame! He explained that she used to be daring and adventurous and almost always put her own life in danger. She’s so different now. She is quiet and reluctant to do anything. I can’t help but feel sorry for her. I hope she recovers soon. The tech man, a very nice African-American who goes by the name of Zip, has been at Croft Manor for several years, since ’98 I believe. He is loud and sloppy but lovable. I’m sure I will enjoy working with all of these interesting people.
15th July 2004
I am devastatingly, horrifically, terribly, distressingly fatigued. It is currently 5:32am. I have been working for weeks, researching the key of the city of Antioch for Lara. It made me titter at the time when she ordered me to research it. All I could think of was Monty Python and the Holy Grail!
Lara thinks she is well enough to work now. But Winston and Zip contradict the idea. I must say, I don’t approve either and I’ve only been here for a month. Just yesterday, Winston was trying to persuade her to visit the doctor. She was livid. “ I haven’t seen Dr. Young since I was four years old, why should I see him now?! Especially when I’m perfectly healthy? That’ll just waste his time!” she was yelling. Winston was calm but in his eyes, you could see the worry and concern. “ You are not well. You’ve had a terrible past. I think you should prolong your break,” the dear old man shook violently as he said this. Zip called me from up the stairs, so I couldn’t watch the rest of their disagreement.
25th July 2004
Lara finally reached Antioch this morning but for some strange reason, she had a panic attack. Zip, Winston and I were in the Tech Room communicating to her through the computer. Zip was the first to hear the frightening wheezing sounds. I heard the startling groan and the thud that followed. Winston began to cry and I was too stunned to speak. Zip telephoned for an air ambulance. Lara was flown back to England and to a hospital.
Seeing her with the oxygen mask and wires attached to her was sickening. She looked so pale, weak and helpless. Winston wanted time alone with her. I didn’t know why, and Zip didn’t either. As I watched them both through the window, it was like watching a father and daughter. They were so sweet together. It was like they had a special bond. I asked Zip what happened to Richard but he refused to answer.
Lara has to be kept in overnight so we all went back to the mansion, exhausted. Winston went straight to bed, even though it was only 8:30pm. Zip and I stayed up for a while. We talked about our interests and hobbies. I sound like a bloody boffin next to Zip. I like reading History and Philosophy, Gilbert & Sullivan musicals, Monty Python, and Louis Armstrong. Zip likes baseball, skateboarding, basketball, swimming, computers, cooking and punk music and he thinks rap is ‘’k.’ When we finally went up to bed, I got upset again and I asked my new friend if I could sleep in with him. He agreed but I have to sleep on the sofa.
26th July 2004
Last night was a disaster. I discovered an embarrassing secret of Zip’s. Apart from having a chronic snoring problem, he talks in his sleep. Last night, he sounded awfully like that Barry White person. It was quite difficult not to laugh. I wonder what he was dreaming about? …No, actually, I don’t!
Winston received word from the hospital. Lara is fine and she can come home later this afternoon. Thank goodness. The doctor said she can’t work again for at least two months. She’ll be ready then, I’m positive.
In celebration, Zip wanted me to take a whizz on Lara’s quadbike. NO BLOODY WAY! It was a rusty old thing and it looked like it was about to fall apart at any second. I gasped and cringed in horror whenever Zip did a complicated move. The noise from the revving engine made my ears bleed, literally. Why can’t Zip sit down and have a relaxing read of some interesting literature?
31st July 2004
Lara has become more independent now. This morning, she cooked her own breakfast (her favourite food - baked beans on toast.) We were so proud of her. I can’t help but feel pleased and cheerful. At least, she is taking baby steps and not biting off more than she can chew. I don’t want to sleep with Zip again. Not much going on today, I think I will read some Nietzsche. I haven’t read any of him in years.
4th August 2004
Anaya Imanu? Who the devil is she? She just randomly turned up on the doorstep. She was very friendly though, and she told amusing stories and she was fun to be with. She and Lara were very alike. They could have been sisters. She wanted to know how Lara’s mental health is. I guess a certain someone has been keeping friends up to date. I asked her how she knew Lara and she asked in response, “ Aren’t you Lara’s new guy?” Zip later told me I blushed. I swear I didn’t! But if he tells anyone else, I’ll tell them about his Barry White issue.
Anyway, you might be wondering where Lara was in all of this. She never got to see Anaya. She went out for a drive on her motorbike and came back hours later. God knows what she was doing. As Anaya was leaving, she turned to me and whispered in my ear, “ Give this to Lara. Whatever you do, don’t read it,” and she thrust a tatty old book into my hands. It had Mr. Croft’s initials printed on it. “ She left it with me in Peru. I’ve had it for fifteen years and I wanted to give it back. She’d miss it, I know it.” Zip gave me a sideward look, as if he knew what it contained. I promised the woman that I’d give it to its owner but I didn’t promise about the latter.
When no one was looking, I smuggled the book into my study. I opened it. It had an unpleasant odour and the pages were yellow with age but intact. I read the first line of the book, “ 14th February, 1968: My daughter was born this afternoon and I’m already obsessed with her.” I carried on reading and discovered a disturbing secret. Richard wrote that Amelia went missing but Lara believed she was dead because she saw it happen. Despite this, he carried on searching for clues and no one believed him. He revealed he was so depressed that he seriously thought about suicide but he knew he had to keep on living to find out what happened to his beautiful Amelia. I felt sick. I couldn’t believe the founder of Croft Industries would even think about committing suicide. Right at that moment, I realised there was more to Lara than people thought.
9th August 2004
There’s been a change in Lara’s meek behaviour. She seems a lot happier now and I’m glad about it. This could be a chance to meet the proper tough, determined, athletic tomb raider at her finest. She could even be working soon. I believe in her. She may never know this but she will always have my support. She, Winston and Zip are my dearest and only friends and I love them all, I’ll support them no matter what.
Mother is ill. Father says it is only the flu but when I was talking to him on the phone, I sensed that he was lying. There were several times, as a child, when he lied to me about quite important things. When Grandmama died, he told me she was going travelling all over the world, and even wrote letters to me from her. After that, I could never trust him ever again. I hate Father sometimes. He is so pushy and stuck up; all he cares about is himself.
10th August 2004
Winston and Lara had a night out with a friend of Richard’s, so Zip and I had the whole manor to ourselves. He started up the computer and clicked onto a porno website. He was clearly enjoying it. He excused himself to the lavatory and left me alone with the computer. The nightmarish images made want to die. I wanted to look away but I couldn’t. All I could do was roll up in a tiny ball, covering ears and shutting my eyes to block out the surroundings. Suddenly, I felt a tight squeeze on my shoulder. It was Zip. When I finally stood up, he burst out laughing. “ What, are you GAY?!” he joked. I didn’t say anything; I just scoffed and stormed off to the study. I was rather offended by the comment, which isn’t true.
He tried to apologise but I just blanked him. He walked off, dragging his feet along with him. He was distraught. As the time approached dinner, I heard Zip’s heavy leather boots stamp the wooden floor in the hallway. His voice was muffled and quiet but I managed to hear him. “ Look, I’m sorry about the porn. I just wanted to guy-bond with you, and I’m sorry if you were offended when I called you gay. I’m sorry; I didn’t mean it!” I feel awful. I don’t want to shut my best friend out but I’m just so mad at him.
13th August 2004
Still no change on the Zip front. We’re giving each other silent treatment now. Since Lara and the butler weren’t around that evening, they keep asking us what’s wrong. I want to confess everything to Miss. Croft but I can’t bring myself.
Father rang today. He said Mother’s flu has worsened and she’s hospitalised for pneumonia. I’m so worried and confused about everything. Why am I so angry with Zip? Should I tell the others about the fight? Will he forgive me for ignoring him? Is Father lying? Is Mother all right? Will she die? Tell me what to do!
14th August 2004
Zip and I are friends again. It’s a long story, so I will start at the very beginning. At breakfast, Lara announced fantastic news. She told everyone that she had been using the gym at night and had taken to it like a fish to water, a bird to the sky. Winston was over the moon. Zip comically yelled out, “ Ye-ah! Do your thang, girl!” he threw his arms up, flew from his chair and did a little dance. I stifled an immature giggle. I never really approved of monkeying but it made me laugh a tremendously huge amount. I think he might have noticed it. He had an odd look on his face. Later, Lara showed us what she can do. I ooh’d and aw’d in amazement. She was a pretty sight, jumping and swinging across the room. At the end of the display, Winston began to clap and we young lads followed suit. This little applause transformed into manic screaming within seconds. Zip whistled and he raised his hand for a High-5 but he realised we were still rowing. It made me feel really guilty. He was making a bloody good effort to be friends with me.
Winston butted in. His kind, old face was turned upside down as he frowned. He took us both by the ear in his gloved hands and flung us onto the sofa by the fireplace in the foyer. He towered over us like some horrible dictator. He put his hands on his hips and bellowed, “ What the hell is wrong with you two?! You’re acting really very childish!! I don’t know what happened but this has got to stop. It’s gone on long enough,” he finally ended with. I hung my head in shame. I had to agree, it was childish. “ Alister, do you wish to speak?” Winston snapped. “ Yes,” I said, and I apologised and Zip apologised. He gave me a warm hug and he bashed me on the back. I knew it was meant to be friendly, but it was painful. I’m really glad that we’ve made up. It was difficult to act irate all the time. I’m just glad it’s over.
27th August 2004
This was the worst birthday I ever had. I wish it was over. I wish I was dead. It started out just like any other birthday. Winston presented me sweet smelling cologne which he had made himself. Zip bought me a crash helmet with ‘Biker Chick’ written on it in big pink letters. He explained that he was going to teach me to be macho, by using his skateboard. Lara gifted me with a book. It was titled The Mayan World of Artefacts. She smiled and announced she was getting back to work soon.
Zip was going to treat me to a trip to the pictures and a night on the town. I was looking forward to it, greatly, until I received a heartbreaking telephone call from Mother. She revealed that she only had one month to live. She also told me that it wasn’t pneumonia, but cancer of the stomach. I was enraged with Father who failed to mention that one little detail to his son. I was so depressed from losing my mother. She was a sweet lady who was kind and honest to everyone, unlike some. She made the best curry in the whole world.
After the call had ended, I vomited and burst into tears and I don’t know what happened next. I awoke in my bed with a doctor and Zip hovering over the bed. My head hurt terribly and I couldn’t see that well; everything was grey and hazy and I could only manage to make out the two people. The doctor said I had a nasty fall and might have a concussion. He advised me to rest for now, but if Lara’s working, I’d be out of action. Zip explained he had found me collapsed on the floor and immediately came to my aid. I’m bloody grateful for him, I can tell you.
1st September 2004
Winston has hired an assistant for me, a young intern named Edwin Morgan. He must be in his late teens or early twenties. It is his first proper job, and he is very nervous. He suffers from a stammer which gets in the way of things. Last night when Lara needed information for a Mayan god, Edwin was so excited that he must have stammered fifty thousand times! In the end, Zip had to ‘translate’ and he got confused with the information and misinterpreted “ As Ixtab hung herself from the rope, a poor Mayan farmer tried to save her life but she whipped him with the rope which killed him too,” as “ Abs are fab, a tongue is for dopes and Maya Farter is a hot chick.” That meant that the tomb raider did the rest of the mission for the wrong reasons. Poor Edwin. He means well but I wish his stammer would be treated.
30th September 2004
Edwin resigned last week, because I have made a full recovery and he felt he didn’t belong in Croft Manor; he wanted to work somewhere else, probably closer to home. Before he left, I advised him to get his stammer fixed and he said he would. He also told me that I was his biggest hero. I can’t tell you how flattered I was! I’ll miss the lad but life goes on. Speaking of which, there is still no news from Mother. I want to be with her…when it happens, except I’m needed here. God bless the woman.
16th November 2004
I apologise for the extended absence. Lara granted me a break so I could be with Mother. She died last night. She looked peaceful and happy. I am going to the reading of the will in a couple of days. Father shouted at me, saying I was demolished from the will because I was a bastard; nothing but a result of an affair. I loathe him with all my heart now. I want to kill him but I just can’t bring myself. I know Mother would never cheat on Father.
20th November 2004
I want to go home and see Zip. The meeting was catastrophic. Mother left me £12,500 and the infamous curry recipe. In her will, it said that I was the most beautiful son any mother could wish for and that she was sorry to leave me at such a tender age. She gave £6,000 to Father and she said the rest was to go to Cancer Research UK. The will said the money wasn’t much but as the saying goes, ‘every little helps.’ Father was infuriated and he pushed me up against a wall and threatened to kill me, if I didn’t give him my share of Mother’s money. I burst into tears and ran off. It was all I could do, without Zip’s helmet, I felt as helpless as an infant. I just want to get out of here! I never want to see Father EVER again! My life is over!
21st November 2004
I’ve decided to come home a week early. I was supposed to be organising my mother’s funeral but I can’t care less now. Father isn’t talking to me and I him. Not even Winston can sort this fight out. I always sensed that Father resented me in some way but I never thought he’d threaten horrific things. I wonder what the others are going to think. I have to go now; I’m packing my clothes away.
23rd November 2004
I came home yesterday afternoon. Zip greeted me at the train station. No one else was there. When I spotted him after getting off the train, I rushed over and held his face in trembling hands. There was a glint of tears in his eye. I let out a heavy breath and my hands fell down his back and we hugged. Zip rested his head on my mine. As he walked me to the van, people stared at us and sniggered behind our backs, but I didn’t care.
Winston was slightly terrified by my sudden appearance back in Croft Manor. He kept rubbing his bug-like eyes in disbelief. He asked me what was I doing here and I just answered that this is my home. Lara was very annoyed with me. She was absolutely furious that I’d just run away without a proper goodbye to Mother. I’m twenty six years old, I can do whatever I want!
24th November 2004
I don’t know what I’ve done just now, but I’m slightly scared by it. It was 12:34am and Zip was having a few ‘brewskis’ and I was telling him about what happened with my father. As I watched him, slumped back on the sofa with the bottle in his hand and his rippling muscles illuminated by the fire, there was this strange pang inside me. I lent in close to him and he turned his head in slight shock. I cupped his face in my hands. He dropped the bottle and squeezed my arms. I kissed him. I grabbed his thigh and moaned with pleasure. Zip grunted and then pulled away. “ No!” he cried. He faced the fire. “ That never leaves this room…”
It was a bizarre and baffling experience. The treachery of the world around us melted away to nothing. The only thing that mattered was us and I couldn’t help but like it. It was an extremely beautiful moment and I want to experience it again but…Was this the last piece of my sexuality waning?
25th November 2004
I’m still confused about last night. Zip’s been acting weird since then. He’s usually loud and joking around. Today, he just sat at the computer all day and didn’t say a word to me. I need help! I’ve fluffed up everything! I want to explain the kiss but I can’t! I’m so bloody stupid! I want Mother and I want Lara.
28th November 2004
I’ve confessed the kiss to Winston. I was in tears when I told him but he laughed at me, right in my face. He asked me what my feelings are towards Zip. I love Zip, I do. But I love him as my only best friend. I don’t want our relationship jeopardised by this vast mistake.
Winston sat Zip down and left us alone. Zip told me that he was disgusted by what he did and confessed he enjoyed it slightly too. He said he can’t stop thinking about it. I told him I was relieved to get it out of my system and that I’m bewildered and puzzled. What if he was right, by saying I’m gay? Of course, there was a time with my first girlfriend when I was twenty two. I didn’t feel any love for her but with Zip, I did. Zip finally mumbled in an awkward tone of voice, “ ‘S all right, dude. No sweat.” He chuckled nervously and I did too. I feel so wonderful now that I’ve gotten it off of my chest and I’m also relieved that Lara knows nothing about it, unless we can’t trust Winston but I’m sure he’ll keep our problems confidential.
1st December 2004
Because I will no longer enjoy the company of Father, I’ve asked Zip to spend Christmas (and his birthday, which is tomorrow) with him and his family. He is over the moon about the arrangement and we’re going flying to Florida tonight. I’m very excited! It will be splendid to meet the rest of Zip’s family. It’s a big one, unlike mine.
I’d be meeting his eccentric Grammy Rosa, his father Finlay, his mother Louise, his five brothers Rodney, Randall, Rex, Ronan and Ralph (apparently Zip had a sixth brother named Ricky, who was shot in a gang fight seven years ago) and his three sisters, Beverley, Meryl and Godiva. I can’t wait to meet them.
2nd December 2004
Zip turns thirty four years old today and I forgot to buy him a present. Sod it.
Ms. Rosa is indeed eccentric. She is very, very, very, very Jamaican. She wears traditional clothing all the time and she is a kind old lady. She is a somewhat reminiscent of my mother. When I first saw her come out of the house to greet her grandson, the first thing that came out of her mouth was, “ We don’t like no pooftas ‘ere, sweet darlin’!” Zip laughed awkwardly. It was obvious that he was embarrassed. “ Don’t worry, Grammy, he’s a friend,” and Rosa snapped at him, “ Shuddup, Reginald!” Wait a moment! Reginald?! No wonder he changed his name to Zip.
Finlay is a very interesting man. He is a retired baseball player and now fixes cars. He’s big and plump and he smiles far too much. He, like Zip, loves playing with computers and the family has a whole room dedicated to computers throughout the ages. Tonight, he made a beautiful meal of spaghetti bolognaise. It was the best spag bol I ever tasted. Why can’t my cooking taste like his?
Louise is a workaholic. She works for a computer firm. Surprise! Surprise! She’s working late tonight so I haven’t met her yet. I’m not sure if I want to.
Zip’s brothers and sisters are very nice. Rodney has brought along his wife and teenage daughter. Godiva, Zip’s nineteen year old sister, has taken quite a shine to me. Her legs turn to jelly whenever I’m in the same room. I hope it isn’t an awful schoolgirl crush. Beverley and Meryl are identical, not in looks but in ways. They’re chatterboxes! At dinner, they wouldn’t stay quiet, though their husbands are very lucky to have them.
Rex isn’t very nice. Earlier, I needed the men’s bathroom so I could dress into my nightclothes. As I was approaching the door, he shoved me aside and snarled at me like a frenzied dog. Zip later warned me about his behaviour. He was in the same gang fight as Ricky and he survived, opposed to Ricky’s brutal death. He blames himself. It’s rather ridiculous, I know, but I am empathetic.
3rd December 2004
I suffered a bloody nose this afternoon. It was a sunny day so they decided to have a game of baseball. I was terrified. Thank goodness I brought the ‘Biker Chick’ helmet with me. I stood there, quaking in my boots as my turn to bat arrived. Unfairly, Finlay was the pitcher. He chucked the ball as hard as his professional arm could, and it smacked me right in the face. I was knocked unconscious. When I woke up, my helmet had been removed, and I saw Rosa hovering above me, babbling something under her breath. I could see Godiva’s bottom lip quivering. Finlay, Rodney, Ronan and Zip lifted my flaccid limbs and carried me back to the house. My nose hurt like hell!
The next thing I know, Godiva was wiping away the blood with a clean damp cloth. She was smiling and giggling but said nothing. I must say, she’s a rather good nurse. I asked if she was in university or not. She said in a breathless, timid voice that she doesn’t care about university. All she wants is to marry me and mother my children. Poor Godiva. I had to reprimand her; I told her that I’m flattered but a romantic relationship would never work. I think she may have been offended by it. She pinched the bridge of my nose and stormed off to her room. She refused to come out for the rest of the day. Grammy Rosa blamed me and insulted me at dinner. Finlay wasn’t impressed and Rex looked like he was about to brandish a gun in my forehead. Zip attempted at defending me but failed. After a long pause, Ralph agreed with his baby brother. Crowd psychology followed; everyone else mumbled, “ I suppose so, yeah,” and “ He’s not all bad,” and “ Godiva’s only young anyway.” Thank goodness for Zip.
6th December 2004
Godiva has forgiven me and we’ve become quite good friends. We have many things in common. There is a shrine and an array of posters of Louis Armstrong in her bedroom and there is a History book on her bedside table. She also hums songs from Pirates of Penzance and usually belts out Three Little Maids From School while out riding her hand-me-down bicycle around the neighbourhood. It is a delight watching her whizz around the empty roads. She offered to give me a go, but being a bloody coward I declined.
Zip has decided not to celebrate Kwanzaa with Louise’s side of the family. He and his siblings usually do, apparently. Zip wants to get back to the UK as soon as possible. It is peculiar for him, he loves the Everglades which is where the family hail from.
17th December 2004
Zip and the lads gave me a few days’ tour of the Everglades. (The women decided to stay at home, to take care of the house.) We have just come back tonight. It was a thrilling experience! It is more beautiful than India. I’ve never seen anything so extravagant. The air boat was my personal favourite part of the whole tour. The sky was clear, the wind was chilly and the water sparkled in the sunlight. It was wonderful, though I do miss Lara and Winston.
Godiva was ecstatic when she saw me come through the door this evening. She jumped into my arms for a hug and everyone laughed, including myself. Her silliness is quite entertaining. We all had one big African style meal together.
21st December 2004
Don’t tell anyone but I’ve gotten Zip a brilliant Christmas present. It is a rare, vintage baseball personally signed by the deceased Jackie Robinson, whoever that is. I cannot wait to give to him. Imagine what his face will be like! Not only have I bought Zip a present but Godiva and Rosa too. I got them both nice looking bath bombs that might interest the two ladies. I wonder they have bought me? Something poofy, no doubt.
29th December 2004
As we approach the new year, I feel unsatisfied with this past year. I have lost both my parents, met superb friends, made questioning errors, obtained the greatest career my life has ever seen. 2005 seems like a long way off even though it is only around the corner. What it will have in store for Alister Fletcher, I do not know, only time will tell. [/ffstory]