At last, I am the Master of Collinwood.  I hold unquestioned dominion over this monument of sand and ash.

Long live Barnabas Collins.

I have seen Gerard’s masterwork.  I have seen the death of the children in my charge.  I have seen madness consume the immortal.  I have seen my own creation slit apart and feasted upon by the savage dead.

I see all this, and I know that it is not of Gerard’s making.  It is my own.  I thought I could cheat destiny, playing the game by its own rules. I should have burned the house down by my own hand and sent the family to safety.  To those who call me ‘fool,’ you shall have no greater advocate than I.

None of this was supposed to end this way.  In fact, it was never supposed to end.  When I was a young man, and my father first said the name, “Collinwood,” I knew that whatever we built was intended to last forever.  We had always been a family beset by tragedies that equalled our treasures.  Collinwood was his answer to that.

I had long wondered why he had me schooled in architecture instead of having me join my uncle in the affairs of business.  I’ll not soon forget his fury when he learned that my education was in naval architecture.  Nor shall I forget the extension of my education by another two years so that I might become the engineer he had intended.  Both disciplines would be required to bring into reality the vision he described.  Construction took so long that I had nearly lost interest in it as the house neared completion.  I was more concerned with building a marriage, perhaps with a cozy annex for domestic infidelity in a distant and easily-forgotten nook.

Not so easily forgotten.

My father and I were fools to think that Collinwood was a monument to last forever.  If the beast has taught me anything, it is that nothing here lasts forever.

Not even the triumph of evil.

Collinwood is over, but its first and last son is not.



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