EXCERPT FROM THE HOUSE by Sebastiana Randone
This guaranteed a life time of opulence that was steadily profligate. It is fair to say that she lacked that parsimonious streak which one often finds amongst
the affluent. This predilection for excess guaranteed her considerable
popularity among her large community of acquaintances.
Childless, husbandless, and therefore unencumbered, Immelda spent the
first few years of her widowhood travelling throughout the continent. This
experience equipped her with an erudite wit and a refined sensibility, largely
inculcated by exposure and introductions to many of the finest estates of
Europe. Back in England, and residing in the Florentine/Rococo styled
estate known as ‘Elysee’ which was specially designed, Lady Brackenthorne
had developed a predilection for entertaining. She was renowned for hosting
social events during the full moon. These parties would last over several days
and nights, and were comparable in extravagance to those feted festivals
thrown by the hedonist king, Louis Quatorze.
With a penchant for all things pagan, this self-avowed ‘witch’ often
recreated rituals involving a collection of invitees presiding in the casting
of circles, leaping and dancing round large bonfires in the garden.
These guests had been spied on many a midsummer evening gambolling
unfrocked on the capacious grounds of the Elysee estate. As was to be
expected, such displays of Dionysian ostentation had created much idle
embellishment in the imaginations of those neighbours turned voyeurs,
who found loitering on the fringes irresistible. And so word rapidly
spread that Lady Brackenthorne was the hostess of orgiastic gatherings.
It was during one of these theatrical occasions that Sammy first met
the charismatic and raven haired hostess, whose sensuality was equally
matched by a gregarious and outgoing personality. Since the death of her
husband, rumours had abounded over her licentious appetite for younger
men. It was therefore no great surprise to learn that Sammy had become
her latest conquest. What was novel however and without precedent,
was the fact that she had the young scamp now residing at her palatial
estate. The consummation of this union took place on the very same
evening that Luna was visiting Alderry Place, when Sammy had been
conspicuously absent. It was also at this time that he finally succeeded in
winning over her ladyship’s affections, and so commenced the impetuous
romantic merger. The chemistry between the disparate couple justified
the young man’s immediate instatement to Elysee. Shadowy and sly as
Sammy was, he appealed to the heathen loving lady, who had eschewed to
date numerous suitors of more decorous and placid dispositions.