I’m calling The Missing Crimoire TMC from now on. Short. Sweet. Done.
For those contemplating diving into reading a new book — I understand the commitment, people — I want to introduce you, so to speak, to one of the characters in TMC. The villain, actually. Romulus Mortifer.
Who wouldn’t want to dive into the workings of an evil man? Reading his thoughts years before he appears in my book? It’s just a tiny taste of who he is, so I hope you invest some time…wait. Asking you to invest time to get to know my villain seems odd. OK, so just glance at the below, get the gist of who he is, and then prepare to invest your time in meeting Luke. TMC’s hero. You’ll love him.
But first – our villain.
The day I found out my brother wasn’t really part of our family, I hated him. I was seven. I remember overhearing my parents fighting in their bedroom–again–and my mother pleading, “Please, let me keep him. I’m his mother–”
“Don’t you think I know that?” my father fired back. “Keep him, fine. But you will not parade him around as a Mortifer.”
My mother mumbled something I couldn’t hear. Then, CRASH. Pieces of a vase skidded out from underneath the door.
“He is not my son.” My dad’s voice was so icy I swear I froze where I stood.
After that, the fighting stopped. For good. But the little bond we had as a family was forever broken. My mother wept constantly. My father was rarely home. Laughter, though unnatural in our family, became a thing of the past. And it was all because of him.
A two-year-old teetering mess, with the blue eyes of my mother but the face of someone else. I hated that face. It was the face that caused every tense moment in the house, every bitter glare from my father. I swear, every day my father wished my brother gone.
And he had every right to. The fact that his wife had had an affair in the height of his political career ruined every chance he had at an easy race. He was fodder now for media everywhere. He did the best he could–kept on the issues, answered as many questions as they asked, charmed them like hell, too. But in the end, he lost.
“Corruption in family leads to corruption in the office,” said one voter. To hell with that voter. To hell with my brother.
But why wasn’t I equally mad at my mother? After all, it was her mistake. I don’t know. Maybe it was because I saw the way my father looked at her after that. Or the way her eyes always held pain behind them. Grief seemed to be perpetually apart of her life. I couldn’t stay mad at that.
No, what I could stay mad at was an over-energetic brother whose laughter boiled my blood. What I could stay mad at was his incessant smiling and the way people laughed when they saw him. What I could stay mad at was his utter naivety to how he was destroying my family’s life. What I could stay mad at was him.
And I did. And I am. And I hate him. I’m now fifty three.