The old grandfathers clock, given to me when my mother and father died, rings out the hour of eight, as I begin to sip my brandy.
Now as an old man of eighty four, who has defiantly seen better days, I celebrate my birthday alone - again. As I had for better than forty years since my wife Charlotte, before she indirectly went the way of my parents, which was foretold to me by my curse.
Now, the only release left for me is my escape. To wait quietly for the arrival of my successor. And, as I have learned from my dreaded past, the past that is presently the only thought I dare consider, you can't change what is to be.
As the brandy begins to cloud my mind, as it has all too many times recently, I pour another as the cascade of what is to be begins to climax in a solid rush of realization down upon my thoughts, and down it in a single gulp to speed a euphoric cloud into my brain to the point that I now no longer care of what thoughts pass my minds eye. The thoughts of what is to be.
Yes, it was fifty years ago to this day that it all began. A day that I'll curse for the rest of my life and beyond and never know it..........