“I can’t believe your demonic ancestor managed to avoid being included in your files. I have no clue who could have had the kind of access to just erase it. Anyways, name’s Bournael, nice to meet you Lady Meassael.” Bournie extended his hand towards May for a quick shake. She gave him a solid one, as if being interviewed.
“Likewise, Sir Bournael.” May smiled, the handshake ended, and Bournie took a look at the damages to the park.
“So that’s tree repair, ground repair, feather collecting, and making sure the animal is fine, correct?” He turned to us youngsters in that moment, and I nodded. “So why the fuck did you ask a fallen angel for a favor instead of asking The Neighbors? Wait, nevermind, realised what I just said the moment the words left my beak.” Bournie was in his Danny DeVito looking human form in that moment, and thus, no beak. Hell, he didn’t even have a beak usually. “And what the Hell, I was already up here doing a bit of cleanup, a much nastier cleanup than fixing up a park.” He pulled a revolver out of his coat. A gorgeous piece, covered in engravings, an obvious phrase inscribed on the barrel in a script I had no recognition of. I only figured it was a phrase from having seen similar firearms in movies and games. “You lot, go home.” Bournie gestured to May. “You, I never saw. And you, Lily, consider us settled, after what I pulled for you, in regards to the capitalist cannibal help you gave.”
He made a shooing motion with his free hand at all of us, before he started blasting. I only caught a few glimpses of what the gun did. Whatever he ‘shot’ with it reverted to how it was before it got damaged. Like watching footage reverse in real life. The moment I got home and everyone split to their own apartments for the night, I just kicked off my shoes and fell into bed, face first, passing out the second my head hit the pillow.
I was awoken by the indistinguishable sound of my phone vibrating on my nightstand due to a call. May had ended up spending the night at my place, not sleeping, just staying awake and watching the entry points, worried for my well-being. With a groggy slap I got ahold of my phone, answering the call.
“Good morning Miss, am I speaking with Lily Donnellan?” The voice on the other line was a guy with a tone I distinctly recognized, from having met Gel.
“Yes, you are, for now. I’m planning on taking my mother’s last name, will need to update that in the system. Lily Dawncat, after that.” I replied, or I hoped I replied, I was exhausted and wished to just curl up and keep sleeping, unsure whether it was the cat demon aspects of me taking over, or whether I just was, deep down, a lazy girl.
“Noted, Miss Dawncat. My name is Colin Farther, I’m your father’s lawyer, and the executor of his estate.” I could hear Mr. Farther take a deep breath on the other end. “It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you of your father’s passing.”
I burst out, laughing in shock, scaring everyone, I could only imagine the expression on Mr. Farther’s face as I let out a guttural, loud, sudden ‘Ha!’ I collected myself. “Sorry, I just… I know only the best about the dead, but he deeply hurt me as I grew up. How’d he… pass away?” Bournael you genius bastard, now you have double the reasons to keep him in Hell, he’s legally dead and enduring a deserved punishment!
“It was suicide, he was found this morning by cleaning staff. Considering your admittance of abuse, I doubt you had much contact with him recently.” Mr. Farther seemed to have both tensed up and eased up at the same time. As if he was trying to be gentle with me now, not for the sake of my dad, but for my sake.
“Not really, no.” I considered for a second, whether to admit to his visit, give a motive to Bournael’s faked death of my dad. And then the second passed, and I figured, what the hell, I’d go for it. “Well, he visited yesterday evening. Didn’t recognize me. Thought I was my own girlfriend. Was a massive misogynist to my face, and then got transphobic when it hit him who I was.” I sighed, rubbing my arm, as I stood up off the bed, to walk around while admitting all this. “He couldn’t really do much to me though, neighbors were nearby, my downstairs one rushed up, city guard on dial, which made dad leave. I guess he took the fact he’s got a daughter in the worst possible way.”
“I see. Thank you, Miss Dawncat, I’m sorry for my client’s behavior towards your person.” The shift from calling dad my dad to calling him a client was definitely for my sake. “Now, as executor of my client’s estate, I need you, as one of his living relatives, to appear in my office. Would today be possible?” Mr. Farther worded that in such a way, it made me think I wouldn’t be the only one in the office.
“Yes, today would be possible.” I looked to May, who was still sitting in my apartment. “Is it okay if I bring a family member along?”
“Of course it is, Miss Dawncat. Today at 4pm, I’ll email you the address. See you then.” I heard an email notification buzz right as Mr. Farther mentioned it.
“See you at 4, Mr. Farther.” I hung up, put my phone carefully on my desk, straightened myself out to the best of my ability. I took a deep breath, and with a smile I yelled out “Hell. Fucking. YES!!!!” I could see May jump a bit in surprise from how loud I yelled that yes. “He’s officially fucking dead! Dad’s officially dead! He’s not listed as missing from me kicking him into Hell! No investigation! Nothing of the sort! He’s fucking dead!” I started laughing hysterically, out of pure unbridled joy. “Oh thank fuck I got a therapy appointment tomorrow with Mrs. Fahrenheit, I need to talk soooooo much shit out with her, holy fuck!” I leapt into May’s arms for a hug, still laughing. I could start moving past all he had done to me after tonight.
Mr. Farther’s office was near the edge of town. It wasn’t huge, and he didn’t have a receptionist or secretary. It had the feelings of a well used, well liked lounge. A solid wooden table with a leather chair behind it, a leather couch opposite it, with armchairs on either side. A bookcase filled with books on law from many different eras on the side, and a door going off to areas unknown. I had the feeling Mr. Farther’s apartment was behind it.
I was currently sitting on the couch, with May on the armchair besides me. The business suit she was wearing was stunning and perfectly tailored, giving her a no nonsense vibe. As for myself? I was wearing a simple black dress and flats, had to appear at least SOMEWHAT in mourning, despite my reactions during the phonecalls. The sound of rustling papers could be heard from the adjacent room, when the door into the office opened. The woman who walked in could have walked straight off the set of a noir movie. Wavy brown hair down to the middle of her back, her dress tight and showing off curves one could easily get envious off, with legs for days. She gave off the vibe of a widow that murdered her rich old husband for the money, and was hiring a detective to keep the trail off herself. As I said, noir movie set.
“Doesn’t speak with me for 8 years and now I find out Arthur’s gone and offed himself. That was my move, jackass, nearly drove me to it.” The dame sighed and walked to the other armchair, slumping down on it. “Madeline Donnellan. Not that he’d ever admit it, but I’m Arthur’s sister.” She looked to me and to May. “You know.” She began. “The last contact 8 years ago? A phone call. Arthur calling me to let me know he had a son, that he has custody of him, and that I’m not allowed to see him, before he hung up on me.” She chuckled. “And I do not see any sons here. Does being trans run in the family or something?”
“It actually does on my mom’s side. I’m Lily, Lily Dawncat.” I moved on the couch so I could shake hands with Madeline.
“Not using the asshole’s last name?” Her handshake was sturdy but quick.
“Not anymore, no.” I answered, which earned me a knowing nod from my aunt.
“I getcha Lily. So, who’s the stunning butch sitting across from me?” Madeline turned her gaze to May. I swear, had Madeline been holding a drink, she’d have lifted the glass up along with her eyebrow, to toast May.
“May S. Lugubra, I’m Lily’s great grandmother.” May got up, walking over to give Madeline a quick handshake as well. “Charmed.”
“I hope you’re not using virgin blood to keep your youth or something because I sincerely doubt you’re anyone’s grandmother.” Madeline chuckled, which May rolled her eyes at.
“That’s family business that I’ll leave to Lily to discuss with you, if she so chooses.” May moved back to her previous position, which was timed perfectly with Mr. Farther exiting the adjacent room, with a few papers in hand. He was a lean man, greying hair slicked back, suit blue and a bit too loose on him. He was missing the spikes and red dressed glasses wearing boyfriend, but add those and he’d look like a real life Phoenix Wright. Hell, a localised live action Phoenix Wright, it was subtle but his Japanese heritage was visible.
“Ah, Miss Donnellan, glad you could make it, I trust you’ve had time to acquaint yourself with Miss Dawncat and Miss Lugubra.” He gestured towards me and May as he said our names, before he sat down at his desk. “Apologies for the delay, I had to go through Mr. Donnellan’s Last Will and Testament so as to write a copy that didn’t deadname or misgender Miss Dawncat. At which point I realised I could just prepare bullet points of the entire thing to discuss with the parties present. And so I did that.” He pulled a paper out of the stack and handed it to me. “Here is a list of all the physical possessions he left you, based on what he had in his home and his office. Mark which of these you’d like to keep, and which you leave up to me to deal with.”
The list wasn’t long. Hell, most of it was a list of furniture. Just straight up furniture. No kitchen equipments besides cutlery. No decorations, nothing precious. His apartment was more minimalist than mine. I had a corner where all my furniture was put, but it felt and looked lived in. It was my space. My room at his place? A prison cell. Bed, desk, dresser, bookcase. No windows, no decorations, no posters, nothing that would make it mine, that would make it a place you’d want to stay and live in. I handed the paper to Madeline. “Auntie, I don’t think I need the dining table or the set of chairs in my apartment, you decide if you want anything.”
She looked over the list, and I could see her mouth doing the movement for a spit take, just without an actual drink to spit. “Excuse my language Cole but Jesus Fucking Christ Arthur, you live like this?! Ikea model displays have more personality than this!” Madeline held her forehead. “The echo in that place must be insufferable.” She was right. Fuck, that’s why he was so much more intimidating while I lived there. There wasn’t anything to absorb the sound in that apartment, and so his footsteps echoed as if in a large cave, making them more ominous than they had any right to be. “Yeah nah I think this should all be donated or something.” She gave the paper back to Mr. Farther, who nodded.
“Very well, with that the only thing left is the matter of the apartment itself. Are you in possession of any real estate, Miss Dawncat?” Mr. Farther turned to me, which made me stop and think for a moment.
“I have an apartment here in town, claimed for as long as it takes me to either graduate or drop out. There’s also my grandmothers’ place, which mom gave to the city after moving all their possessions to her place. Which… I own now.” I steadied myself on the couch. “It… it never hit me until now that I own my childhood home. Mom and Dad were never married, he was a sperm donor, there wasn’t any intercourse involved.”
“A virgin to the very end. I’m extremely proud of you dear brother. You masturbated into a test tube one time and managed to get a daughter to abuse out of it.” Madeline interrupted, pretending to toast with an imaginary glass.
“I don’t care what happens to dad’s apartment, give it back to the city for all I care, I’m never stepping foot in that lifeless prison cell of a living space ever again.” I faced Mr. Farther head on, and he nodded.
“With that, I believe our business is concluded. Miss Dawncat, Miss Donnellan, Miss Lugubra, it was a pleasure seeing you all, despite the unfortunate circumstances that brought us all together. I wish you the best.” Mr. Farther stood up, as did we all, shaking hands and leaving. The second we were out of the office, Madeline grabbed me around the shoulder.
“I’m taking my niece out for dinner so we can all shit on Arthur’s grave, and so that you tell me why your supposed great grandmother looks half my age.” She said, looking towards May by the end.
“What do you mean half your age? You look 25 tops.” I raised my eyebrows.
“Well thank you Lily, yes it’s true HRT is fucking magic and makes girls de-age, but that still doesn’t explain May, assuming she even told me the truth. Come on girls, my car’s nearby, I’m treating you both to a Mourning Feast.”