Here is the situation thus far:

Barnabas Collins has been missing for a week near Collinwood, whose master is now Gerard Stiles, but whose rightful master, Quentin Collins, is the subject of a witch trial where his cousin, Desmond Collins, served as advocate until being jailed for practicing the occult, himself, in a forced exposure probably engineered by Gerard, who suspects my friend Julia Hoffman rather than the witch, Angelique Bouchard, who has an obsession with Barnabas, a man once served by my ancestor Ben Stokes, who, when Julia first arrived, was one of the many live-on guests at Collinwood, along with the aforementioned Gerard Stiles who, at the time of Julia’s arrival, was not the evil monster he would become but someone merely fabricating the details of the drowning of Tad Collins and Tad’s father, Quentin, Gerard’s best friend and husband of Samantha, a woman Gerard attempted to marry in the wake (ha-ha) of Quentin’s alleged passing, and who would have done so, had it not been for the subsequent return of Tad and Quentin on their wedding day, causing interpersonal rifts which were furthered as Samantha chose the secretly gold-digging Gerard over Quentin, two men who later vied for the affections of Miss Daphne Harridge, a new governess to Collinwood, a house whose former master, Daniel, was dying at the time of the wedding, and who intended to bequeath all his wealth to Samantha, much to the consternation of Daniel’s son (and Quentin’s brother), Gabriel, an embittered malcontent in a wheelchair, who watched in glee as Quentin engineered strife between Gerard, his best friend, and Samantha, his estranged wife, by refusing to give up the son he had with her, Tad, a young man rendered helpless as Gerard moved to nearby Rose Cottage (with Flora Collins) but nonetheless maintained an odd friendship with Quentin, who still thought their friendship dear, while ignoring all of Gerard’s bad qualities, such as his practice witchcraft, a force insinuating itself into Collinwood by the evil power of Judah Zachary, a powerful warlock decapitated centuries ago in Bedford, Massachusetts and the architect of mass chaos in Collinsport via the mental seizure of Quentin’s cousin, Desmond (the man who brought the head to Collinsport as a gift for Quentin and who is now on trial for witchcraft), Letitia Faye (who has second sight and a keen singing voice), Dr. Julia Hoffman (a female physician who briefly attached the head to a body while under a hex), and now Gerard Stiles, supposed good friend to the one man man he did not possess, Quentin Collins, despite allegations from the state that Quentin is carrying out Judah’s grand design of revenge on the Collins family (whose patriarch, Amadeus, presided on the witchcraft trial), and whose the evil magic is powerful enough to overflow, causing strife with a neighbor whose cattle have died, a woman who perished with her forehead branded with the “mark of Satan” (hardly), which is a symbol also seen on the ring of Quentin Collins, a man later found kneeling over the body of his murdered brother-in-law, Randall Drew, a man who resided in a cell managed by a sheriff whose wife was found dead outside its bars from occult means, a fact emphasized by Lamar Trask, a crazed mortician and the chief accuser of witchcraft, a citation he uses to hector his sworn enemy, Barnabas Collins, the alleged (and, as it turns out, true) murderer of Trask’s father in 1795, the year when the elder Trask was walled up (for the public welfare) in the walls of the Old House on the Collins estate, the same house that Barnabas was leaving to testify on Quentin’s behalf when he vanished in a manner as mysterious as the way in which governess, Daphne Harridge, changed her affections from Gerard to Quentin, the latter of which caused her sister to go mad after their infidelity some time ago.

Pardon me if I am late to brunch.


T. Eliot Stoked!


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