Letter From Klaus
Set in a castle in Germany
“Here, Father. A letter for you,” Kurt said, handing it over as he sat down at the dining room table.
“A letter? It has no stamps or postmark. Where did you get it, Kurt?”
“It was handed to me. It is from our cousin, Klaus.”
Father froze, his hand in the envelope. “Surely you are mistaken. Klaus is....”
“Awake.” Kurt said it firmly.
“Awake? How is this? What did he tell you?”
“Nothing. I did not talk to him much. I talked to Dorian. I think Dorian is his boyfriend.” Across from him, his mother began to cough, her hand groping for her glass. Just as Kurt was about to get up to push it closer, her hand found it. She took a deep swallow, her eyes on her husband's face.
“His boyfriend?” Father's voice was very stern.
Kurt shrugged. He watched his father pull out the paper and read.
“What does it say, Eric?” His mother asked. He waved a hand at her, finished reading the letter, turned it to see if there was anything on the back, and then read it again before lowering it and meeting his wife's anxious gaze.
“He says that as his father has repudiated him and named me his heir, he accepts this decision and will not contest it. He writes that it is not a heritage he wishes to have. Also that he requests from the estate all that was his, and lists a sum for which he says his lawyers have recently presented an accounting and a request for payment. Almost a half a million marks!”
Kurt nodded. “Dorian said Grandfather took all Klaus's money from the bank, and sold his cars, and took his things, even though he was only in a coma and not dead.”
“Oh, Gott!” His mother looked even more upset.
“That's why they were here, today. To get anything left of his things.” Kurt began on his potatoes, even though no one else was eating yet.
“Here. In the house?” his mother demanded.
“Yes, here. But don't worry, I went with him to make sure he did not take anything that was ours.” His mother now looked horrified that strangers had been in the house, that her son had been alone with them.
Father nodded, “He says here in the postscript, he will send us a list, in order that we not worry, and to prevent any other missing items to be assumed to have been taken with his belongings.”
“Dorian said there were little paintings missing,” Kurt said. Both of his parents turned their heads to state at him intently.
“I told you I thought that one by the light switch had disappeared!” his mother exclaimed.
“Yes, you did. I apologize for doubting you,” Father said stiffly. He glanced down at the letter and added,”he also states there is an abandoned well by the old creamery and the cover is rotting. He recommends we replace it before one of the children falls through. And that the old horse's teeth need floating.” He shook his head and then added, “He says he will send someone to re-ward the house!”
“But...” His mother looked confused.
“The stone is under the carpet in the room with all the animal heads,” Kurt said. “He showed it to me. It's red.”
“But how...He should not have been able to know it was there! He's not a wizard!” Father was looking angry as well worried.
“Yes he is,” Kurt said.
“No, he can't be,” his father said gently. “Your grandfather told me. His son had no magic.”
“Yes he does.” Kurt said it firmly. Then, realizing he had contradicted his father, he quickly added, “I saw it.”
“But he says he does not want the name, the estate,” his mother pointed out quickly, her eyes meeting her husband's again.
Kurt said, “He gave me cufflinks, and other things, with the initials. He used to have the same initials as I do, but now he says he has no use for them, so they are mine.” Kurt lifted up his fork again for another big bite, watching while his father picked up the letter and brought it closer to his eyes as he checked the signature.
“Klaus Eisen?” His father sighed and dropped the paper to the tablecloth.
“Iron Klaus.” Kurt repeated.
Kurt's mother said thoughtfully, “I think I understand. If he has a boyfr...a male partner, then he would still have the question of the heir to consider. If he leaves everything as it is, he doesn't have to address the issue. He approved of Kurt or he would not have given him the cufflinks. I think...we do not have to worry, Eric.”
“No. I don't have to worry. I just have to live with it!”