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Widow's Hill Notes to Dark Shadows

By Graeme Cree

Horror / Humor

Episode 5

EPISODE 5: Learning that Vicki is an orphan, Carolyn bamboozles her into thinking that staying at Collinwood may provide some clue to her identity.

Next morning, Vicki is up bright and early to narrate about her harrowing experiences last night (namely the whole "Sobbing" angle that didn't go anywhere).

Carolyn comes in and suggests that they have lunch together. Vicki says fine, she knows this great place in Times Square. Cause New York is where she's going to be after she tells Liz to take this job and shove it. (Of course, she'll phrase it a lot more politely than that.) Carolyn wants to know why Vicki is leaving, when she hasn't even met David yet. ("Oh, you have met David? Never mind, then.")

When Carolyn and Vicki leave, David risks getting Vicki's girl cooties, in order to sneak in and snoop around. He stops to drop a few water balloons, knowing that anyone who gets hit by them will swear that they came from Vicki's window, while the skunk in Carolyn's underwear drawer gives David an alibi for the morning.

Downstairs, Carolyn takes Vicki to the kitchen to show her the great Collinwood chow she'll be missing out on if she leaves (Mrs. Johnson doesn't work there yet, you see). Carolyn says she wishes Vicki wouldn't leave. She was really beginning to regard her as... somebody she met.

Vicki is just explaining that she's leaving because Uncle Roger was a complete ogre last night, when Roger himself comes in, all smiles and jokes (and he hasn't even had his first cup of coffee yet). Roger tells Vicki that there's a letter for her, which is odd, considering that it's too early in the morning for mail delivery. It's also too early to be getting mail, since she only arrived in town yesterday. Roger begs Vicki to forgive his boorish behavior last night, and says that if she won't, he'll simply have to throw himself off Widow's Hill. Vicki says that when you put it that way, she has no choice: Happy Landings.

Upstairs in Vicki's room, David has just finished packing all of Vicki's things back in her suitcase. He really hopes that Vicki takes the hint, as pranks that involve neatness really go against his nature. Since David packed all of Vicki's things, he probably packed her unmentionables too (although these aren't actually mentioned).

Down in the kitchen, Vicki asks if Carolyn heard that mysterious, ghostly sobbing last night. Roger didn't hear it, but concedes that if it really happened, it would be ghostly and mysterious indeed. Carolyn didn't hear it, but opines that it was probably the cast of Never Too Young (The show that got cancelled in order to make room on the schedule for Dark Shadows).

Carolyn asks Vicki what it was like growing up in a Fondling Home! It sounds terribly interesting!! Carolyn's interest level drops noticeably when Vicki tells her that it's a Foundling Home, not a Fondling Home. Anyway, Carolyn begs Vicki to stay, and says that she'll go out of her mind in this mausoleum without someone her own age to talk to. Sure, yesterday she was trying to convince Vicki to leave before the place drove her batty. But she's had a night to think it over, and her selfish side has won out.

Vicki tells Carolyn not to talk that way about Collinwood. At least Carolyn has a home and a family. Vicki lost her parents when she was a child. Carolyn says she should have checked the Lost and Foundling, but Vicki doesn't appreciate the joke.

Vicki continues. She was left on the doorstep of the Hammond Foundling Home one snowy evening in a cardboard box. There was nothing in the box but Vicki and a note. Carolyn wants to know what the note said? "Do Not Open Until X-mas?" Or "Postage Will Be Paid By Addressee? Vicki says no, all the note said was "Her name is Victoria... she's all yours". That's it. No address or phone number. Not even a last name. Vicki whispers that she's always felt that the person who wrote the note left that information out deliberately! Carolyn says "Uh, yeah."

Vicki explains that that's why her last name is Winters. Since the Foundling Home didn't know her last name, they just named her "Winters", after the fact that she was found in the winter time. Carolyn admits that that's kind of rough, but it would have been even worse if they'd found her on Groundhog Day, or Trash Day.

Carolyn asks if Vicki has ever tried to find her real parents, and Vicki explains that that's why she's there. You see, every month between the ages of 2 and 16, she got a $50 check from an anonymous donor. The envelope was postmarked in Bangor, and Bangor is only 50 miles from Collinsport! Then, suddenly she gets this job offer from a complete stranger who lives only 50 miles from Bangor! So, doesn't that suggest that Liz, or Collinsport or Collinwood or something is connected with Vicki's past? Carolyn asks if Vicki wants a polite answer or a truthful answer.

Upstairs, David's attempt to pack Vicki's suitcase for her is beginning to result in an awful mess. Oh well, hopefully she'll get the hint either way.

Vicki takes a walk out to Widow's Hill to ponder her options, when a strange man comes up behind her. He introduces himself as Sam Evans, the town drunk, and father to Maggie, the sassy waitress at the Coffee Shoppe. Vicki asks if Sam is there to tell her to go back to New York, like everybody else is. Sam says no, he's just on the clifftop looking for Roger (the light is better there than at Collinwood).

Sam asks how Vicki is managing up in the House of Tears. ("Is that anything like a House of Pancakes?"). Sam says in a way, yes. It was Josette Collins who made it into a House of Tears, and she wore a lot of pancake makeup. Believe it or not, Vicki hasn't heard of Josette Collins yet in all her 24 hours at Collinwood, and makes the mistake of asking. Sam tells the story. There's no need to remember it, as it will be retconned a half dozen times before we get to the 1795 Story in which Josette actually appears.

But in short, Josette was the French wife of Jeremiah Collins, the guy who built Collinwood. She cried herself to sleep every night, because everyone hated her. The family hated her, the townsfolk, even the house. And do you know why they hated her? Because she was a stranger in town. Vicki, who's only just arrived herself, asks is this going to be one of those stories with a message? She really hates those.

Vicki asks what happened to Josette Collins. Sam explains that one night Josette came here to Widow's Hill. Right to that very X mark that Vicki is standing on now, in fact. She came to the clifftop and dived right off into the rocks below. To add insult to injury, the judges only gave her a 7.8.

But you can still hear her ghost on the wind sometimes, sobbing her heart out. Vicki thanks Sam for the story, but assures him that there are no such things as ghosts. Sam asks how Vicki knows that, but she's not really sure. It's just what she's always heard. Sam says that's the same reason he's always believed in them, which kind of brings the argument to a halt.

But Sam says okay, how about Mrs. Stoddard? She's stayed shut up in that spooky old mansion, roaming the halls for 18 years without ever once leaving! That makes her... kind of like a ghost. Except that she's not dead. And she can't make the walls bleed. Actually this is kind of a stupid analogy.

Vicki returns to Collinwood and asks why Carolyn never told her about her mother. Apart from the fact that she only met Carolyn yesterday, of course. Carolyn says the story is true. Liz hasn't left the house since about 6 months before she was born. It started the day after her father left home without warning, and Liz fired all the servants and put a padlock on that room in the basement. Probably Liz has stayed at Collinwood all this time waiting for Paul Stoddard to return. Is that so hard to believe? Granted, it would be more believable if she were waiting with a rolling pin in her hand.

Vicki starts to head back upstairs to pack, but Carolyn has a brainstorm and stops her. Wait a minute! Vicki is 20 years old, right? And Carolyn's father disappeared 18 years ago! That means the checks started coming at the same time that Carolyn's father disappeared! Vicki can't leave with a red-hot clue like that staring her in the face! There must be a connection! Vicki doesn't think that makes a lot of sense. "Oh, really Miss Bangor-is-only-50-miles from Collinsport???"

Vicki returns to her room, and finds David, an open suitcase, and a big mess. David is reading Vicki's letter, and taunting her with its contents. "Her name is Victoria... she's all yours." David explains that he had to pack Vicki's suitcase! The Widows made him do it. They're the local ghosts, you know. Vicki asks David if he'd like to be a ghost!

Vicki chases David out, and tells Carolyn that she's decided to stay. Not only to track down that clue Carolyn gave her, but to get revenge on that kid!


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