As I walked towards Uncle Streisand's mansion, I quickly noticed how large and foreboding the door was. It was as large as a fully-grown elephant, dwarfing me in size and height. Once more, it appeared to be made out of cold, lifeless metal-grey iron that was as cold as frost itself. Furthermore, it was bolted with two bars of stone cold steel that screamed "I don't want anyone to come in here. Go away."
I could tell right away that my uncle wasn't going to be a friendly man, and my plans of reconciling with him were put on ice for the most part.
Although I was expecting the door to be difficult to open, to my pleasant surprise, the door opened with great ease, making a slightly deafening creaking sound. It was akin to a rusty hinge that hadn't gotten any oil in a few aeons of its lifetime. Somewhat startled, I nonetheless went in, my flashlight at the ready.
As I went inside the mansion, I noticed how it had changed since my childhood. Whereas before, it looked unexciting and monotonous, now however it was bursting with glamor and life. It clearly was going to take some time to get used to the fact that the mansion plainly had a makeover that managed to rejuvenate its once fading glory days.
The walls, previously drab and covered with peeling, mouldy wallpaper were now covered from top to bottom with sparkling, cyan-coloured diamonds that, from the way they were arranged, resembled wallpaper to some extent.
Similarly, the floorboards, once rotting and ridden with splinters and holes, were now replaced with emerald green oak floorboards, polished with such gusto that I could see my reflection as though it were a mirror.
Likewise, the beautiful, lifelike paintings and priceless shining vases were likely a new addition to the mansion, since the last time I visited my uncle, the paintings looked as though Picasso had painted them whilst drunk. In addition, the vases were partially broken and hastily repaired with feeble amounts of expired glue. The paintings themselves looked splendid, with their almost lifelike portrayals of my fellow men, smiling and posing as though they were models for a magazine, flawlessly dressed in the finest outfits and attire money could buy.
Of course, one couldn't exclude the vases, since they had quite the upgrade last time I saw them. They were a brilliant white colour, shaped to appear conical, with the end of the vases appearing to narrow to a point, with brilliant blue water-like decorations covering the vases. In a single word, they were charming to look at and admire, and I admit that I found myself staring at the vases for a long time. That is, until the tell-tale coughing of my uncle broke my long, uninterrupted focus.
*Cough Cough* Coughed Uncle Streisand, and, at this moment, I am embarrassed to admit that I nearly jumped out of my skin in fright. "Charlie, me boyo! I haven't seen you since you were a little boy! My, oh my, look how much you've grown. Why, you could easily dwarf your mother in size, give or take a few years."
"Oh! Um, yes, I clearly have grown a few inches, Uncle, I'm, er, so glad you've noticed my increase in height." I uneasily said, coughing a little so that Uncle Streisand wouldn't pressure me on anything else about my life.
An uncomfortable silence filled the room, causing me to feel slightly bashful, since it was evident that my uncle had gone from rags to riches in the aeons since our last meeting.
His once grey hair was now dyed a brilliant blond colour, and his formerly agitated blue eyes were now sparking and glimmering with life and joy. Even his wrinkles were almost non-existent, and they would only become apparent if someone were to look through a microscope.
To make things more arduous for me, he was wearing a fancy navy blue gentlemen's tuxedo, complete with a golden monocle, perched neatly on his right eye, and a pocket watch, hanging from a silver chain on his left pocket. He looked every inch a gentleman, whereas I looked like an average commoner that you would feel pity for.
"So then, would you like to partake in some fine dining, courtesy of yours truly?" Proclaimed my uncle, as though he was a megaphone, and I was the unlucky victim of his thunderous cries. Before I could answer, Uncle Streisand clapped his hands together twice, and a neatly-dressed butler came up to us.
His hair was jet black, like a ravens' feathers, and neatly combed to perfection, and his eyes were a bright green colour, like grass or emeralds. Likewise, he was wearing a standard-issue bright green butler outfit, consisting of a spotless tuxedo, a grey bowler hat with a light grey band on it and a pair of pristine white butler gloves. I could tell that he was going to be a monotonous person, and my suspicions were proven when he spoke.
"Good day, Master Streisand, and Master Davis, would you like anything?" Said the butler, his dry, humourless attitude contrasting greatly with the exuberant and joyous nature of the mansion. "Yep! For me, I would like the finest wine you can make, and some beef Hors d'oeuvres, served with a delicious cheese sauce on the side. Of course, I couldn't forget my grandson Charlie here, so for Charlie here, he would like a cheese platter with a non-alcoholic drink on the side, please." Said Uncle Streisand in a loud and bombastic way, as though he was an explosion given physical form.
The butler sighed emptily, muttered a slightly inaudible "yes sir", and then he walked away, presumably to prepare our meal. At that moment, I almost felt sorry for him. Lord knows how much he had to put up with, since my uncle was well-known in my family for being about as subtle as a grizzly bear trying to play hide and seek; that is, he was the type of person that would loudly say whatever he was thinking about, no matter how bizarre it was.
After another awkward silence, in which my uncle proclaimed that he once wrestled a grizzly bear over some ham sandwiches that his mother made for him, the butler came to us, carrying both our meals. "*Ahem* Dinner is served. I trust you gentlemen don't want anything else?" He said, staring at Uncle Streisand with a raised eyebrow, as though he was aware of his volatile nature. "Nope! Nothing else, for the moment." Uncle said, with a sly wink towards me.
The butler then set the table for us, and I couldn't help but marvel at how exquisite the table was. It was a wooden oak brown colour, with some light and dark brown hues mixed in for good measure, shaped like a rectangle, as all tables ought to be, and even the pristine white tablecloth looked as though it would win the award for fanciest tablecloth of all time.
Uncle sat down first, as is tradition for gentlemen like him, and he then gestured for me to sit down as well. We began to eat, and I quickly noticed how exquisite the cheese platter was. It was like a harmony of flavours; sweet, salty, sour, bitter and tangy all combined into one flavoursome experience. Combined with the fizzy drink I had ordered (since I was a teetotaller; that is, I wasn't a fan of drinking alcohol), it was a taste sensation like no other.
As I ate the food, it seemed to gradually decrease my gawkiness to the point that I even had a small conversation with my uncle about how fancy the mansion was now. "Aw fiddlesticks, it was nothing. All I did was just buy a priceless jewel from a yard sale, and then, I acquired so much money that I felt like Scrooge McDuck! Seriously, it's like that jewel I bought was... magic." Whispered my uncle, which was surprising, given how loud-mouthed he usually was. "Uncle, I hope I'm not interrupting anything, but why did you whisper the word 'stone'? Is everything alright?" I inquired, but by then, my uncle had completely ignored me, primarily due to his chaotic and disruptive mindset, and he was now chatting with the butler.
Before you could say "Bob's my uncle", it was Evening, and, after saying my goodnights to Uncle Streisand, I went to bed, sleeping in a golden king-like bed. It resembled something out of Tudor or Victorian times, with the pristine white bedsheets and pillows, and the bright orange mattress was by far the jewel-encrusted cherry on top.
For some strange reason however, either due to the tantalizingly delicious food or due to my natural sleeplessness, I couldn't sleep that well. I tossed and turned like I was in a tumble dryer, trying to find a comfortable sleeping position, but I ultimately gave up trying. I then laid in bed for a while, staring at the teal-hued ceiling, thinking about how successful my uncle was now compared to me, a unemployed 15-year old whose only claim to fame was being able to cook instant noodles without reading the instructions.
To be honest, I could've spent hours staring at the ceiling, the cold, dark ceiling, if it weren't for my uncle calling out for help. "Help! Help me! Someone, anyone! Help me!!!" He screamed like a cow being led to a slaughterhouse. He then shrieked in fear and pain. Silence followed this.
Now, although I was slightly jealous of Uncle Streislands managing to be more successful than me, I still did care for him, so I instantly ran to his aid. What I saw, however, made my hair stand up on end and my heart do a backflip in shock.
In front of me was the ruby red jewel that my uncle had talked to me about, only it was a strange heart-like shape, pulsating and beating like a real heart, complete with a bright red blood-like substance leaking out of it. At one point, I thought I saw a red tendril slither out of the heart, all slimy and twitching, lashing out at me like it was alive. It made me feel disgusted internally, but externally, I kept a facade of serenity and composure. For some reason, the jewel heart was guarding a door, and if I listened closely I could hear my uncle's agonising cries of anguish and misery. Now, I wasn't Sherlock Holmes-level when it came to piecing together clues, but I knew that my uncle was inside the room that the heart was protecting.
At that moment, I made my move without hesitating, grabbing a baseball bat from a nearby, crimson-hued "in case of any emergency, break glass" box and attacked the jewel. Even though I wasn't exactly the best when it came to fighting, I wasn't going to let this... thing hurt my uncle.
In response, it suddenly grew bright red octopus-like tendrils and flailed them rapidly at an ever increasing pace, swinging them faster and quicker, as though it was trying to rip and slice apart my body like swiss cheese. I tried to dodge, but I only partially succeeded, since my face was sliced somewhat due to the tendrils. Thankfully, I knew a thing or two about baseball, having been the local school baseball champion back in my younger years. Using the baseball bat, I attacked ferociously with the strength of a grizzly bear, pummelling and hitting it until it was weakened by the force of my baseball bat's pummelling. It still flailed its tendrils in a wrathful-driven frenzy; somehow it was still alive despite my savage beating.
Despite it trying to kill me using its tendrils, I eventually managed to smash the jewel heart into smithereens, its screams of rage and anger slowly fading until it died.
Once the deed was done, I effortlessly used the baseball bat to break open the door which my uncle was presumably kept captive by the jewel. The baseball bat sliced through the door with no trouble. The moment my uncle saw me, bruised but no worse for wear, he ran towards me in happiness, embracing me in a bear hug.
"By golly, Charlie! I'm so glad y'all rescued me from that jewel thing. Why, ah had no idea that it was cursed until ah cut mah finger whilst decorating this very room. Next thing ah now, ah was kept in here, and the jewel spoke of world domination and taking over the world, or something along those lines."
"Don't worry, uncle. Since I smashed the jewel to smithereens, I guess it won't be troubling us anytime soon." I said, trying to reassure him and ease his worries. We then parted ways, hugging each other every now and then.