Category Archives: Harbour House

Bring me your sick. Bring me your troubled. Bring me those that society can no longer cope with. They will always have a home at Harbour House. Coming 2020.

Drowning Boy

David Finn is a renowned artist in Coldford. From the first sketches he made to the images of Julia Harvester he created that will be forever etched in history, his work is synonymous with talent tearing through circumstances. He is a rare individual to meet in that he is genuine. Despite his struggles he is unspoiled by the ruthlessness that could have consumed him. He doesn’t see the might of the great towers of City Main. He doesn’t see law or religion. He sees the blend of colours that make up such a landscape and through the city’s eyes he paints them. I am reporter, Sam Crusow, and this is the ‘drowning boy’.  

David Finn’s Muse Collection

*** 

“Why don’t you swim?” 

“Why can’t you swim?”  

“Where you never taught to swim?” 

“If you moved your body you could, you know.”  

David lost himself in swirls of dark blue. He could feel the pressure pressing down on him.  

“Just keep trying. There’s a surface to reach somewhere.”  

The blue became darker as more black was added. The black was diluting the soft blue more and more as the swirls grew larger and larger.  

“Why don’t you swim!?” 

There was breathlessness as all colour fell to nothing. The black was so deep in the centre it reflected a little of the light above. You could reach up but what would you find? You had fallen into blackness now. It was too late. Even in a consuming mouth of water all roads lead to the same place in the end.  

David finally took a breath. He looked up to observe his piece. The central figure was genderless and without feature. It could be anyone caught in the whirls of darkness. Even without features it was clear the figure was in distress.  

“Can’t you swim?”  

“Why can’t you swim?”  

David could still hear the voices of his vision ask him. The sculpted heads on the shelves beside him had varying reactions to his latest work. There was one he called the screamer. They were always shocked at what was produced. What was art though if not shocking? There was the comedian who laughed through the worst of it. A great chuckle was their response no matter how black the paint got. Then there was the crier. They wept as the images revealed themselves on canvas. So beautiful, so tragic, so pleasant, it didn’t matter, it all brought a tear to their eye. Then there was the sculpture named Arthur who at full size stood watching over his shoulder with a contemplating hand on his chin and searching expression that seemed to change to suit the mood of the room.  

“Well done, David,” the statue seemed to say.  

It didn’t matter if he could swim or not, art was about throwing yourself in the deep end.  

Da\vid contemplates his latest piece.

*** 

David had a strong vision but sometimes it become cloudy. His talent became apparent to a high school art teacher named Mr Cassell. Cassell could see the raw flare in David and he sought to encourage it as much as he could. He was worried that David would become a product of his environment and would be swallowed up in a poverty trap and the images he could produce would be forever unseen. He was already falling to drugs and it was only a matter of time before his loosening grip as a teacher would break completely and David Finn would fall into the pits of society, another lost soul.  

“It would be a tragedy,” Mr Cassel had insisted at the time. “It would break my heart when I know what David Finn is capable of.”  

For David though, travelling through a world if images the colour blends became blurry. Sometimes it was such a striking use of form it drew from its darkest depths. Needless to say, try as his art teacher might, David fell into those murky waters and started to drown.  

“Tragedy,” Mr Cassel insisted. “An absolute tragedy.”  

*** 

Those murky waters of his life were cold and the current was strong but David had those around him who were willing to help pull him free. Having been raised in an almost feral environment by an uncaring mother David had spent his life seeking the positivity of life outside of his home. Luckily he found it when he stumbled upon the Ferrald family. Alex Ferrald was his closest friend. Alex was opposite to David in that he was raised in a caring home. Dr Graham Ferrald and his wife Stephanie welcomed David with open arms. He found the positivity he needed there and safety where his artistic vision could be nurtured.  

“I cannot wait to see it,” Stephanie announced of his latest painting that was to be unveiled at the Dalway Lane gallery in Main that very evening.  

David looked up from the stain he was trying to wipe off his shirt.  

“You’ll need a good jacket,” Stephanie decided.  

“This is my good jacket,” he stated.  

“Hmmmm,” Stephanie was disapproving. “I’ll fetch you something of Graham’s. I know you artists like that no care aesthetic but it’s a big night. She took the shirt from him and looked over the stain. “What is that anyway?” She asked.  

“Pizza sauce,” David assumed.  

Stephanie shook her head with a smile of exasperation. “I’ll see what I can do with it.”  

What she could do with it was throw it out. It was an old shirt but since it was what David had held his favourite it had some sense of sentimentality.  

When Alex arrived on scene he was dressed in his best jacket. His hair was neatly combed.  

“I forget just how handsome my boy can be when I get so used to seeing him look such a scruff,” Stephanie teased.  

Alex rolled his eyes. A Coby games T-shirt and jeans was usually more his style. Stephanie went off in search for good jacket for David.  

“I’m really looking forward to seeing this one,” said Alex.  

Most times when there was a particular image David was wishing to create, Alex would be told to wait for a grand reveal when it was done. He didn’t like showing a working progress. More often than not though David would be so excited by his piece he would describe it and the young veterinarian would play a game with himself as to how close the image in his head matched the final product. David’s descriptions were apt but the only way to capture the true beauty was to see it with your own eyes.  

“Thanks, man,” David said. “I’m nervous.”  

Alex patted his arm. He would be nervous. He always was with any kind of unveiling but he had been clean now for a while. His body was rejecting those murky waters from itself and that caused a lot of psychical pain. 

That was where the Ferrald family would find a suitable jacket for him. It would be thrown to him like a life jacket in a storm.  

Now dressed in one of Dr Ferrald’s blazers but still carrying the grungy artist underneath, David had Stephanie’s arm around him as she pulled both he and Alex closer.  

“Don’t the boys look so good?” Stephanie asked Dr Ferrald.  

Dr Ferrald, eminent cardiologist, gave a smile of approval as he finished affixing his bow tie.  

From the warm family home in the upper Mid West the murky waters flowed to City Main and the Dalway Lane gallery, passing underneath the tunnel of David’s career.  

*** 

David Finn was a raw talent. There were many who had hoped to hone his skill but the artist felt it was best he be free from the restrictions of learned technique. He was a true artist in the sense that the only value he saw in his work was from people who appreciated the vision. There was no coin required. His friend, Harper Lane, did though. She was an artist of note herself but unlike David she had swam the waters of society a little more carefully, relying less on her vision and more on astuteness. Art fed the soul and that was okay by Harper but only coin fed the mouth so she was willing to accept the need for business in the art world. Showing David’s pieces was a boon to both of them. It was a fine balance of colours with each cup filled equally.  

With warm embraces Harper met David and the Ferralds in the rotunda of her gallery. Her long, dreadlocked hair had been wrapped in a yellow and black Subalan head scarf.  

“Everyone’s so excited,” she said to David in an aside. “It’s all that everyone’s talking about. I’ve heard there’s some Penn reps in tonight so … please no outbursts.”  

David had been clean and sober for a while now but Harper was such the big sister type she would always show him which way the river was flowing so he wouldn’t waste time swimming against it.  

David took a deep breath. 

“I’ve got it. I’ve got it,” he said, more to himself than to Harper.  

Harper smiled with a natural radiance. “I know you do,” she said and she kissed his cheek.  

“I have some fan mail for you,” she said passing him two hand written notes.  

The first read as follows: 

I am sorry I can’t be with you tonight. I wish you every success. I’m so proud of you. Vincent. 

The second was more scribbled.  

I wish I was there, honey, but I’ll get up real soon. Take lots of photos. I love you. Tee 

David smiled. He folded the notes and pushed them into his pocket. There were some other people like his rehab mates, Tawny McInney and Vincent Baines, who had their own murky waters submerging them but they were there for each other. Even just having their encouraging words made David feel a little better.  

Harper led him inside.  

“We’ll get you some orange juice,” she offered, noting he was looking a little sickly.  

David Finn’s ‘Taking the Bait’

*** 

“Ladies and gentlemen. We’ve come to know David Finn’s work to be hard hitting, provocative and bold. His latest piece promises to be no different. Speaking to David earlier he said to me this particular piece could have been one of his longest to complete. It reflects life as a journey down a river from the calm pools to the rock filled rapids so it would never be truly finished for we’re always turning and changing and life flows on. That being said David felt it was time to climb out of those waters and find clearer, fresher ones, but the journey so far will be forever imprinted. I am most pleased to present, David Finn’s – Drowning Boy.”  

The curtain fell. The observers gasped. Upon a large canvas a wash of blues and blacks fell upon them. The central figure reached out in such a way it was for the observer to decide whether it was pulling you in or pleading for you to pull it out. The image plummeted towards ever darker depths.  

“Astounding!” Was one exclamation.  

David, bashfully received his applause.  

*** 

Alex and David had taken a return trip to gallery the day after the unveiling. They were looking at the drowning boy again. David was busy thinking of the true journey that the image represented. It fitted his own experiences well but there were so many people out there who he knew would understand. He maybe couldn’t pull all of them free. He couldn’t stop them drowning but he could express himself in such a way that showed without a single word uttered that he understood.  

“Don’t get too keen on that hanging there. It’s off in the morning, like,” these were the words of Reggie Penn. He was bounding towards them quite excitedly.  

Reggie had always been a fan of David’s work from when Harper Lane first displayed. The painting had been one called ‘This Child Bugs Me’. Reggie’s morbid curiosity of the great fat woman with a fly head throwing a baby had captivated him.  

“I need to have that,” Reggie had told his influential family.  

The image was one of horror but to look deeper there was a tale of inhumane selfishness that surrounds us at all times. It’s a greed that will never be filled. The child represented discarded potential so easily cast aside as the flies of society pick at the shit of what’s left behind.  

“I know all that,” Reggie insisted, when Harper’s partner, Gabrielle, explained this to him. “I get the depth. It’s a real cool story but it draws your eye too.”  

Drowning boy had caught his attention again but this time it was to be put to auction. He had come personally to see it in the gallery.  

The Penn family had something of a notorious reputation. The patriarch Reginald Penn was hailed as the King of Main. Reggie and his two brothers were met with a reverence and respect and the Penn family responded in kind. They had a certain nobility about them that earned them their would be titles. In order to keep them their reputation was also a violent one. With this in mind, as Reggie greeted David with familiarity, Alex was rendered tense.  

“How’s it going, Alex?” Reggie greeted the vet who had been responsible for treating some of the rats the quirky triplet kept.   

Mild mannered, upper Mid West, Alex found Reggie intimidating enough but he was considered the most personable of the Penn Triplets. Alex was something of a deer in the headlights when he turned and noticed Reggie had been accompanied on this day by the middle triplet brother, the boxer better known as Punchline Penn.  

“You’ve not been logged in in ages,” Reggie was saying of an online game he had been playing which he had invited Alex to.  

Reggie considered he and Alex bonded over their mutual love of video games. Alex did love video games but he considered them bonded over his fear of the triplet and now his more muscular and aggressive counterpart, Simon, was in tow.  

“I’ve been busy,” Alex said, “but thanks for the invite. I really look forward to it.”  

The situation would probably have been much easier on Alex if it hadn’t been for David fanning the flames for his own amusement by saying things like, “I heard one guy beat Reggie in a game once and he ended up disappearing.”  

“He did not,” Alex shook it off but there was always a ‘what if’. With the Penn triplets that was a big ‘what if’. 

Simon was observing the painting. He leaned his head back to get a good look at it.  

“It reminds me of the ‘Ripples’ by Gourdy that hangs in Luen,” he said. His upper lip tightened. His gaze narrowed. Then he nodded. “This is much better, like. It’s more real. ‘Ripples’ could be any old art you find but this one stands out.”  

David beamed. “Thanks man, I appreciate it.”  

“I knew you’d like it,” Reggie told his brother. 

“I do,” Simon said. “It’s a good one. I’ll talk over the details with Gabby.”  

The Penns went about his business, Reggie lingering a little behind his brother observing the paintings again as though it was the first time in seeing them.  

Alex breathed a sigh of relief.  

David chuckled. 

“You’re such a wimp,” teased the artist.  

“I can’t help it. I think it would be easier if they were mad at me. Then I would know what to expect. For some reason it’s much worse when he’s trying to be my friend.”  

“Reggie’s a good guy,” David assured. “Marcus is really to the point but he’s sound too. Besides, if they were mad at you do you really think you would know what to expect?”  

Alex shuddered. “Better a friend …”  

“I heard they once gave some guy the death by a thousand cuts treatment.”  

Alex frowned. “Shut up. They did not.”  

“I’m telling you man, it was brutal. The guy only asked for directions.” 

Alex’s frown deepened. “They did not. Shut up!” 

“I’m kidding,” David said. “It was because he tried to hit on their mother.”  

Alex shook his head. “I don’t believe you.” 

“You can take the chance if you like,” David offered.  

Alex gave it some thought. There were worse things than having a Penn pal he supposed. Then he thought about it some more.  

“Hang on,” he said. “If you’re so knowledgeable about that then you won’t mind discussing it with Simon.”  

David shook his head. “Would I fuck, man. I’m liable to get my face smashed in. It’s different for me. I’m not one of the inner circle like you.”  

Alex’s eyes widened. “That’s not how they see me.”  

“Put it this way,” David explained. “They love my work. They’ve bought loads from Harper and Gabby but I still ain’t been invited to Reggie’s Lonesome Nights server.” 

Alex gave another shudder.  

THIS CHILD BUGS ME: David turns his childhood misery into a striking piece of art.

*** 

When they returned to Alex’s home in Caroline Apartments, the vet made a point of accepting Reggie’s request. He had stayed offline since then but he was comforted in the knowledge that at least Reggie would know he was making effort in their seemingly blossoming friendship.  

Alex and David lost themselves in other video games. Alex was forced to hit pause when his phone rang.  

“Might be the clinic,” he said.  

“Hello?” 

“Hello, Alex? It’s Reggie Penn.”  

‘Oh, no, why?!’ He thought. 

“I’ve been trying to get ahold of David but the number we have isn’t working. Harper said he’s probably with you.”  

“He’s here,” Alex explained passing the phone.  

The two engaged in a battle of whispers and expressions before David finally answered.  

“Hey, man,” he said cheerily. “What’s been happening?”  

“We had your auction,” Reggie informed him. “We got your buyer.” 

“That’s cool, man. Who?”  

“A City Main collector. He’d love to meet you. Could you maybe come in so he can say a few words before he takes the painting away?”  

David agreed. “Sure. I’ll get up as soon as I can.”  

“One of us will be here all day anyway so just let us know when you’re here. Oh, and tell Alex I got his acceptance. I’ll see him on the server soon.”  

Ringing off from Reggie, Alex scowled at him.  

“I’ve got no phone,” David admitted. “They couldn’t get me.”  

When the details of the call had been divulged Alex said, “that’s good news about the auction. Maybe now you can get a new phone.”  

“It’s never the first thing I think of,” David admitted.  

The murky waters of life can carry us many different places. Beginning in the slums of the Shanties, David had struggled through the undergrowth to find himself in the great wide mouth of City Main. It was an unexpected journey and no knowing how the tides would turn but swim on he would. He had come too far to still be the drowning boy. The drowning boy was now to stand as a symbol of perseverance in the hands of a collector who’s eye it had caught.  

*** 

The light and setting of the auction house made the ‘drowning boy’ painting seem more ominous. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder and such a beauty as the grim desperation of the drowning figure was viewed differently depending on the mood. The darkness of the auction house store where it had been moved offered an abyss for the figure to fall into. On the other hand it could look as though the figure had managed to climb to the greatest heights. City Main was after all considered the greatest of heights in Coldford. There were many peaks but City Main was where it all came together. There ‘drowning boy’ could fall into concrete pools of aggressive business and ruthless politics. It was a different kind of murky water from the poverty of the Shanties but it was no less able to drown.  

Looking at the painting again gave David some doubts. Should he maybe have waited for this piece? He had admitted that his journey was still ongoing. There were still struggles to be had and dangerous waters to swim.  

 “Good morning, David,” a familiar voice drew him from his thoughts. 

“Mr Cassel! I haven’t seen you since …”  

“Since high school, yes,” Mr Cassel said. “That’s longer than I care to admit.” 

David had been so taken aback by seeing his old art teacher. He was flustered in a way that was akin to a child seeing their teacher outside the classroom. He looked different. He looked older, a little more casual in dress but he was smiling warmly.  

“Did you come to see the painting?” He asked.  

“I came to take it home. It now belongs to me,” the teacher told him with pride. “When you were my pupil I hoped upon hope that you would make a success of yourself. The success would of course fair you well but I hoped too because I just new people had to see your vision. It’s fearless, it’s encouraging, it’s humbling, it’s all those things and more. I promised myself that when you did I would have one of your paintings and here we are. Alex had mentioned this to Reggie Penn and he kindly gifted to me. I couldn’t not be more proud of what you became. I know it wasn’t easy but you got there didn’t you. This painting is even more significant to me because as your teacher I could only instruct you on how to swim. I always worried those waters would get far too choppy but you had it in you. You swam and you emerged. I can hang this painting with pride and know that you did it.”    

David laughed with joy. He wrapped his arms around his old teacher and embraced him tightly. The emotion spilled from his eyes.  

“I’m glad I did you proud, man,” he said. “I’m glad.”  

*** 

We all have that drowning figure within us. The rivers that swamp us are different but struggle is a universal experience. We all struggle from time to time and the ‘drowning boy’ painting stands a vivid representation of that. The purpose of art is to provoke. It provokes emotion and it provokes discussion. Seeing the image had me thinking how our world would be if we acknowledged that we all struggle in the water of our lives from time to time. Drowning comes from our own being no longer being able to struggle. The water enters the lungs despite all resistance and we are consumed. But what if we stopped trying to struggle and we helped each other out of the water instead. What kind of picture would that paint then?                                    

                                                                                                             

Art is subjective and will always live on.

“No Davey, No!” where the last words he heard him cry. It took some time for him to remember his childhood but now the artist’s ‘tortured boy’ piece is ready, thanks to his latest muse. 

Available now.


Trauma, obsession and addiction are just some of the reasons to seek refuge at Harbour House rehab clinic. The world outside can be a scary place after all.  

Building Bridges: Fullerton Construction

“We are Filton!”

Location: FILTON

Features in: KNOCK KNOCK  ; HARBOUR HOUSE ; MUSE ; PURPLE RIBBON

The biggest names in construction in the Shady City the Fullerton family firmly established themselves as the premier provider of construction and demolition services. With the monumental Fullerton bridge to their names no one can argue their reputation for knowing how to build sound structures. They are also responsible for the building of other notable buildings in Coldford such as the Faulds Park Building, the WEIR HOTEL and the BECKINGRIDGE TOWER.

A large family the Fullertons are known to have their fingers in a lot of different pies around the city. Brothers Jake and Caleb head the construction contracts, whilst their sister Jenna makes her name in the adult film industry. Until recently matriarch grandma, Lynette Fullerton sat the top of the family table but unfortunately she was one of the fallen 59 in the event known as the FREE FALL MASSACRE.

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Lynette Fullerton provides some tough negotiations for the Beckingridge Financial Firm.

They are an old money family from the wealthy town of Filton. Keen to show pride in their town they have ownership of one of the University teams. They aim of which is to build bridges between the two main institutions of higher learning in the city.

The construction empire currently in the hands of Jenna Fullerton

Whether it is tearing it apart or building it back up, Fullerton Construction are on hand in the Shady City.

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Character Profile: Jerry Owen

Name: Gerald ‘Jerry’ Owen

Age: Mid Fifties

Features in: KNOCK KNOCK ; HARBOUR HOUSE ; PURPLE RIBBON

What can we say about Father Gerald ‘Jerry’ Owen? He is the shame of his powerful family and he cares not a jot about that fact. Over the years his decadent behaviour is well documented. Most notably he stands accused of abusing countless young girls, using his place in the Church of St Wigan as a cover.

Church of St Wigan on Hathfield Bay Island.

One of his victims includes the notable Boss Lady of the Knock Knock club, TABITHA. You will be pleased to note though that was where his life as a libertine came to an abrupt end. Details of his very disgraceful exit from society are still sketchy but it was confirmed he came to a grisly realisation he needed to stop thinking with his crotch!

Tabitha was just as feisty as a youngster.

Joining the church was something of a last resort for Jerry. His brothers, his father and his dear mother were all at their wit’s end. When the abuse started to surface more and more thanks to protests outside his church thanks to the Knock Knock Baroness, TAWNY, he realised his number was up. He was not immortal.

The Baroness was quite the Holy shit stirrer.

Jerry had an easy life in the Church. His family were huge benefactors so he had the largest parish and every luxury a Holy man could ever hope to indulge in. Things changed though. The Church fell to the new leadership who weren’t quite as sympathetic to his quirks. As with any cult It was time to follow or lose it all. When the purge came, Jerry Owen could not be saved.

Available May 14th

Jerry Owen was sent into the priesthood to be hidden as the family shame. When the Church of St Wigan decide on a zealous new leader it could expose everything.

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Dinner At The Manor

Beckingridge Manor was a place that many would dream of living in. It was a beautiful old mansion house that had been in the family for generations. They were old money but Jeffrey Beckingridge aka Gramps was who made it really what it was. But behind those mansion walls lay skeletons. Like for instance, Alice Beckingridge. She had been accused of murdering her son. The boy had been born deformed. He had been hidden inside the manor, few even knew of his existence until his life was cut short and his body discovered buried in the Manor House lawns. She’s dead now too so plays little part in the following events.  

Then there was Alice’s sister in law, Elizabeth. Growing up in the world of privilege she had never really learned what it meant to consider others. Spoiled and selfish as you would expect Elizabeth set herself apart from the rest of her family by having a conscience. She did try. What made her the same was she had her skeletons too. The became less over the years with Gramps no longer around to lock them away.  

Elizabeth makes attempts to distract her nephew by hiring a music teacher.

Then there was Alice’s daughter Catherine. School shootings, extorting teachers and running her aunt Elizabeth over with the car so that she now walked with a prosthetic leg. Young Catherine was quite the up and comer. The society pages of the Filton Crier were keeping a very close eye on her indeed. Now she had her own baby, little Vicky. Time would tell where Victoria Beckingridge would fit into her family.  

Probably the most notable in terms reputation would be George. Elizabeth’s nephew and Catherine’s younger brother. He had hit first hit the headlines at age eight when it was he who had discovered his mother’s body. The already famous Beckingridge heir became even more so when he was kidnapped by his music teacher, Vincent Baines. Dead dogs, dead relatives, dead teachers were left behind. If there were a competition for the ûmost skeletons among the Beckingridge’s the safest bet would be George. Psychopathic tendencies is what they say about him but given his status in the city no one seemed prepared to do anything about it. The music teacher instantly regretted his decision to take the boy away from what he felt was a toxic environment. The Manor House was indeed toxic but stealing him away just gave George a whole new playground for ten long years. The musician’s life was made a misery but the family sighed relief being rid of little George for a while. When he was found they would have denied him if they could.  

George and his beloved companion Cecil.

So quite a mess as I’m sure you will agree and it rested on the shoulders of patriarch, Ernest Beckingridge. Sweet natured Ernest didn’t have the bite of his sister, Elizabeth. He didn’t have the iron will of his wife, Alice either. Quite frankly he didn’t have what it took to lead the Beckingridge Empire or keep his son and daughter in line.  

“Stop killing things!” Ernest cried in despair. “Why can’t you just act like a real boy?”  

George grinned. It was only feeding his temperament.  

“It’s okay, baby girl,” Ernest said to Catherine. “We’ll be fine.”  

Ernest Beckingridge has a lot on his shoulders.

Catherine snuggled into her father’s arms. At her age she really should have been learning responsibility but it was easier to hug her and keep her quiet. Ernest wouldn’t be around forever and Catherine was in for a rude awakening when she didn’t have her billionaire father to protect her. Elizabeth tried to warn her brother of this. She had experienced the same thing when Gramps died.  

Disfunction. A term used when a family unit is broken but carries on anyway. Blood is thicker than water. Money and entitlement make you even thicker than that to the ways of the world. But despite all their troubles life at Beckingridge Manor went on. Dinner was always served promptly at eight.  

*** 

The salad course had only just been served. George hadn’t ate much of it. Instead he made a fuss of it with his fork then left the shredded pieces. He had spilled some of them onto the table. Catherine wasn’t paying much attention as usual. With one hand she was trying to feed her baby. Vicky was leaning forward in her high chair trying to catch the spoon in her mouth but her mother’s eyes were too busy reading her phone.  

“George, will you take that disgusting thing off of the table!” Aunt Elizabeth barked.  

It was a stuffed mouse she referred to. It’s fur was matted, the stuffing was crushed and for some reason it smelled like garlic. He named it Cecil and he took it wherever he went.  

George glared at Elizabeth. “Cecil stays here,” he stated.  

“You’re eighteen,” Elizabeth chided. “It’s ridiculous that you would carry that filthy thing around with you.”  

Ernest looked up from his plate. He finally decided to speak up.  

“Come on now George,” he said. “Take it off the table.”  

Elizabeth wasn’t satisfied. “We’re trying to eat here and I need to look at those … stains? What even is that?” she wrinkled her nose. “Never mind. I don’t want to know, just get the damn thing away.”  

George grinned. Seeing his aunt get upset made him giggle. Cecil tended to have that affect on people. 

“May I be excused?” Catherine asked in what should have been a polite request but was instead laced with frustration.  

“No you may not,” Elizabeth said. “If you didn’t have your face stuck in that blasted phone the entire time you would be done by now. Eat your salad.”  

Catherine looked to her father. Ernest raised his eyebrows but said nothing. It wasn’t his problem. He had ate his salad.  

“How is the tuition going, George?” He decided to attempt polite conversation with his son. “Are you coping with it?”  

George wouldn’t be an easy pupil to teach. The general public scoffed at the idea of a grown man removing his pupil from his home only to become the kidnap victim himself but Ernest knew his son. It was indeed very plausible. The most unsettling thing about the whole scenario was how George had returned to the manor after all that time and it seemed like nothing had happened. The Beckingridges could adapt to any scenario. It was what helped them keep the flow of cold hard cash to the city.  

George nodded. “It’s okay.” He looked at Cecil. In his mind Cecil must have said something he didn’t approve of so he knocked him over. He could see Elizabeth stifle a stomach lurch at the toy.  

“And Kappa So?” Asked the father. “It’ll be pledge week soon.”  

Ernest had been a member of the exclusive Filton Fraternity back when he was George’s age. He wasn’t exactly one of the in crowd but Charles ‘Chick’ Owen who was the Chapter Leader at the time accepted him as one of their own. The fraternity was now under the guidance of Chick’s son Buddy. George had taken a shine to him. He even started to imitate him quite a bit, using turns of phrases he wouldn’t normally.  

“Kappa So!” He would scream, already wearing his blazer even though he hadn’t officially been accepted.  

“Buddy said you’re a peg legged whore and the only time you shut up is when you have a dick in your mouth,” George gleefully announced to his aunt.  

“George!” Ernest finally decided to intervene.  

It was too late though. Elizabeth was already on her feet. He had her fork in her her hand, pointing it at her nephew like Satan with his trident. She decided against it. With a clang she dropped the fork onto her plate and lifted her glass of wine instead.  

“Liz!” Ernest tried to stop her but it was too late. She emptied the glass into George’s face.  

“That’s disgusting!” He complained. “It tastes like feet.”  

Elizabeth sat back down. Her scowl had dissolved into a wry smile as she watched George try to dry himself with the table cloth, almost knocking his plate to the floor.  

“Gah!” Vicky started to reach out for her great aunt.  

“May I be excused?” Catherine asked again.  

“No,” Elizabeth barked. “We’re a family and we have dinner together. Even if we must share the table with lunatic Larry over there.”  

Ernest was shaking his head. “Can’t we just have one meal where someone doesn’t empty a glass of wine of another’s head. Don’t we deserve some quiet after everything the family has been through?”  

“Oh Ernest do shut up,” Elizabeth barked.  

Ernest sighed. He attempted to change the subject. It was always especially volatile between George and Elizabeth so he decided to engage his daughter.  

“So Catherine,” he began. “Did Vicky sleep through the night? I don’t believe I heard her.”  

Catherine shrugged. How would she know? If baby Victoria had been screaming merry hell from her nursery it still wouldn’t have been her mother to go and fetch her.  

“I think she was trying to say da da,” Catherine offered.  

Elizabeth was turning her empty wine glass in her hand. “It’s a pity she doesn’t know who Da Da is,” she commented.  

“I hope you choke pills and die you cantankerous old shrew,” Catherine snarled.  

Elizabeth gave a hearty laugh. “Oh Catherine, I wouldn’t have to be cantankerous if you didn’t leave your child for everyone else to look after.”  

Vicky had woken up through the night as it happened. Catherine wouldn’t have known this because she had ignored the baby’s cries until Elizabeth had come to fetch her.  

“Come to me my little darling,” she had heard Elizabeth whisper to her daughter over the monitor in a sweetened tone she used with no one else. It was so alien to her aunt that at first she didn’t realise who it was.  

Catherine raised her finger at her aunt. George was giggling to himself, his fair hair still stained with red wine. Ernest was almost burying his face in what was left of the salad in despair.  

“Can we leave the vulgarity please!” Ernest requested with a little more passion than they were used to. “It’s not for the dinner table.”  

“May I be excused?” Catherine asked again.  

“No.” This time it was her father who requested that she stay.  

“I’m not hungry,” she tried.  

“Maybe not,” said Elizabeth, interrupting Ernest. “But your baby still is.” 

“I have a vulgar story,” George put in. 

“No George,” said Elizabeth. “You don’t.”  

*** 

Later that evening the Beckingridge manor quietened. Elizabeth had decided to take a walk around to try and tire herself out. She sensed that evening would be one where sleep would not come easily. As she passed by Vicky’s nursery she could hear singing. At first she thought it was a figment of her imagination it had been so soft and tender. She recognised the song but couldn’t quite place where from. It was a male voice. Ernest wasn’t an easy sleeper then either so perhaps he had gotten up to spend some time with his granddaughter. Was the song the lullaby their nanny used to sing to them as children? Elizabeth still couldn’t decide. She didn’t want to disturb the sweetness. She actually found herself enjoying the tone. She pushed the door open gently. The nursery was bathed in soft nightlights. Stars danced across the roof. Vicky had pulled herself up onto her feet in her cot. It wasn’t Ernest who was singing to her though. It was George. The lighting had subdued his normally sneering expression. At the least the light had provided some of the softening. Some of the serene look had been given from the way he was watching his niece.  

George loved music lessons as a child.

He hadn’t heard his aunt behind him. His focus remained on his niece. Victoria tried to reach through the bars of her cot to Cecil. 

“No,” said George, again surprisingly calmly. Normally he threw a tantrum when anyone tried to take Cecil. It was ridiculous to see a young man of nineteen who was supposed to lead the Beckingridge Tower one day throw a tantrum like a toddler over a stuffed animal. He smiled at Vicky though. It seemed the after dinner entertainment was called off.  

“You don’t want Cecil,” George explained to the child. “He’s not a nice toy.”  

It had been the first time Elizabeth heard George admit he was a toy. Every other time he was insistent that it was his friend. Elizabeth knew he had just being doing it to create a scene. What frightened her the most about that realisation was that she would have created a scene too if someone irritated her the way she seemed to irritate George.  

George lifted a stuffed monkey and passed it to the infant.  

“Here. You have ‘cheeky monkey,” he said.  

Vicky grinned and clasped the monkey to her chest. Cheeky Monkey looked exactly like the little monkey on the pink onesie she wore.  

“Cheeky Monkey is a much better toy for you,” the uncle explained. Vicky seemed to agree but she kept her eyes on Cecil.  

“Cecil!” Vicky garbled in toddler language pointing to him.  

“That’s right,” George agreed.  

He seemed to take closer note of Vicky behind the bars of her cot.  

“They won’t keep you in here all the time,” George went on. “I won’t let them. It was so easy for them just to lock that door and forget me when I was a little boy. I won’t let them do the same to you. I know it can get scary in here sometimes. The door is heavy and the windows are high up but you won’t be locked in here. You can’t let them see you get angry. That’s when they lock you in here.”  

“Gah?” Vicky said almost agreeing. Her tantrum earlier had seen her banished to the nursery just like Uncle George said.  

“Yeah, that’s right,” said George. “They just lock you in here, sometimes for days. They would always have you smile. They would always have you laugh. You can’t say anything no matter how much you want to scream and rip into someone’s belly. But don’t you worry Vicky. You won’t be like me. You won’t need crusty old Cecil. I won’t let them lock you in here.  

He leaned over and kissed her head. “You are cute!” He gushed.  

Vicky giggled. “Yes you are.”  

“That’s enough George,” Elizabeth finally interrupted.  

George turned round finally paying heed to his aunt’s presence. 

“She was crying,” he said.  

Elizabeth insisted. “Then I’ll see to her.”  

“She wanted me,” George was adamant.  

Vicky lay herself down in her cot, clutching Cheeky Monkey closely. She yawned. George and Elizabeth left her room to let her drift back to sleep.  

“Good night, Aunt Elizabeth,” George said neither sweetly nor sneering. For a few moments he could be mistaken for a real boy.  

“Good night George,” Elizabeth replied.  

“Sleep well,” added the nephew.  

Was that a threat? Was that a genuine request? Was he deliberately being a nice to essentially be an irritating prick? Elizabeth found Ernest in the lounge and when she had relayed to him the conversation she had overhead with Vicky it seemed to make him uneasy. They had locked him away often when he was a child but what choice did they have? He was out of control. Who’s fault was that?  

George pulled the sheets up to his chin. Cecil sat balanced on his belly watching him with his beady black eyes. That was when he heard his door click, locked from the outside.  

Behind those mansion walls lay a whole host of skeletons. The Beckingridge family experts at locking them away.  


The Beckingridge family can buy just about anything. What they can’t buy is peace of mind from the psychopath that lives in the manor with them.  

The Beckingridge family thought they had it made. An obsessed music teacher took their problems away but ten years later it was back in the manor and the teacher in Harbour House rehab.  

The residents of Harbour House thank you.

To visitors of #harbourhouse2020 you are truly AWESOME!

I hope you enjoyed the read. Through your support the hard work of @RagdollsUK can continue! 💚 Each download helps another Turner’s Syndrome girl achieve their full potential.

From residents 1105, 0109 and 1310 THANK YOU!!! 😘

If you haven’t read yet the link is below. Be sure to leave your comments and reviews. I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Bring me your sick. Bring me your troubled. Bring me those society can no longer cope with for they will always have a home here at Harbour House.

0109: Interview with tawny mcinney

Harbour House 2020 trailer.

A woman, middle aged, frizzy haired and full figured is brought before me. She is smiling despite her surroundings. She has an unlit cigarette in her hand. She knows she’s not allowed to smoke in the office but she clutches it for comfort. Behind that smile is perhaps a little nervousness. She is Tawny McKinney better known by some as The Baroness. She’s an old show girl from the Knock Knock club in the Shanties and if you had told her she looked nervous just a few short years ago she would have dismissed it with a laugh.

Interviewer: So how are you feeling today, Tawny?

Tawny: I feel good. Better than I have done in a long time.

Interviewer: That’s good to hear. You’ve settled quite well into the routine here. When you first arrived you were mute.

Tawny (laughing): Some people would say having me shut my gob was a good thing!

Interviewer: You were brought in here as a trauma resident. Do you feel you can talk about what happened that night at the club?

Tawny (laughing again but now nervously): You really want to hear about that?

Interviewer: It’s why I’m here. I’d like to hear your own perspective on it.

Tawny: A lot of people got hurt. A lot of people lost their lives.

Interviewer: It was a horrific attack.

Tawny: Yeah those bastards!

Interviewer: I’m not here to discuss the cause of the attack or the motives of the attackers. I would just like to help you open up about what you saw and how you felt.

Tawny: They were like family to me. How do you think I felt?

Interviewer: I think you feel somewhat responsible. Is that correct?

Interview terminated. Resident 0109 becomes hysterical and requires porters and nurses to calm her. Interview will continue when she is in more of a state of mind to face the reality of her trauma.

#amreading #thriller #harbourhouse2020 by @VivikaWidow


Bring me your sick. Bring me your troubled. Bring me those that society can no longer cope with. They will always have a home here at HARBOUR HOUSE.

The Baroness was a much loved figure. An attack on her club would split the city in two.

Download the entire first season to kindle or read for free here at vivikawidow.com.

1105: Interview with Vincent Baines

Vincent had a good life with his partner Daniel Weir.

I am now speaking to a well presented gentleman. He is groomed, well dressed and watching me keenly. Former music teacher, Vincent Baines, initially appears to be a person whom most would respect and even admire. He is after all a talented musician. However, he struggles with serious personality issues and his residence at Harbour House came at a huge cost.

Interviewer: Son of the great composer, Fredrick Baines. A concert pianist by age 12 and a professional violinist by age 15. By all accounts you are an accomplished man so I must ask, where did it all go wrong?

Vincent: I thought that much would be quite clear. It was all over the newspapers at the time.

Interviewer: It was indeed. Murder, kidnapping and making an enemy of the richest family in Coldford City. But I’d like to hear it from your own perspective. Can you tell me a little bit about where it began?

Vincent: (Taking a deep breath) Must we?

Interviewer: I’m afraid we must.

Vincent: I was contacted by Elizabeth Beckingridge. She was looking for a music tutor for her nephew, George. George had been exhibiting severe behaviour problems and she thought it might help. He was a natural with the piano.

Interviewer: But the tutelage didn’t go so well did it?

Vincent: I did what I thought was best. When I first arrived at the Beckingridge Manor there was still police tape. How was I supposed to know?

Interviewer: You suffer from Obsessive Personality Disorder, correct?

Vincent: All my life, yes. It did me no good with the Beckingridge family though. When I met George all I could think about was getting him away from such a toxic environment. I didn’t realise he was the cause.

Interview terminated by my own choice. Vincent continues to struggle with what he did and it may be best he be allowed to settle into the Harbour House rehabilitation facility before reconvening.

#amreading #harbourhouse2020 #thriller by @VivikaWidow


Bring me your sick. Bring me your troubled. Bring me those that society can no longer cope with for they will always have a home here at Harbour House. 

Did your aunt tell you she murdered someone? No, she would leave that part out.” 

Killing is a game for the rich. 

When Vincent Baines is given the job of teaching music to little George Beckingridge he expects a typical commission from a privileged, wealthy family. George’s outbursts become more and more violent. His father is always absent, his aunt is afraid of him and his sister has been sent away to boarding school. Vincent is the only one who can get to the bottom of what is causing the child’s manifesting distress and unearth the terrible things the boy has seen.

***** A thrilling read ***** Hits all the right notes

1310: Interview with David Finn

David Finn arrives at Harbour House rehab clinic.

A scruffy young man is sat before me. His hair is bleached, his body thin and a little malnourished. He’s been through a lot it seems but brought to Harbour House to combat a drug addiction he’s on the list of those we aim to make better.

Interviewer: You were once described at Coldford City’s most promising young talent. You were a truly terrific artist. But you threw it all away on drugs, didn’t you, you rogue.

David shuffles a little. It seems the close scrutiny is making him nervous or perhaps withdrawal from needles is already getting to him. Still, no fix until he begins to cooperate.

David: You know what happened. You’re the reason I’m here, man.

Interviewer: How do you feel?

David: Like I got a life that ain’t worth saving.

Interviewer: A little bleak but I can see why it seems hopeless for you right now.

David: It’s the baby that got me the most. Elliot? What’d he do? What did his mums do?

Interviewer: You feel responsible for what happened?

David: Of course I do! He’s not the first kid I’ve said goodbye to either.

Interview terminated. Resident 1310 became too distraught to continue. Awaiting notice from Dr Winslow.

#amreading #thriller #harbourhouse2020 by @VivikaWidow


“No Davey, No!” where the last words he heard him cry. It took some time for him to remember his childhood but now the artist’s ‘tortured boy’ piece is ready, thanks to his latest muse.

Bring me your sick. Bring me your troubled. Bring me those society can no longer cope with for they will always have a home here at Harbour House.

Harbour House Now Open

Well folks that’s all she wrote! Harbour house is now live and ready for new residents.

Residents 1105, 0109 and 1310

Free to read on Kindle Unlimited pay a visit to Coldford’s best rehab clinic.

Trust the doctor. He knows what he’s doing.

Trauma, addiction and obsession are just some of the ailments our doctor is ready to cure.

Monsters lurk in every inch of This Place.

Bring me your sick and your troubles. They will always have a home at Harbour House and it is open now.