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Flowers in the Attic: "My Stepfather" (Part 1)

Maggie Mae

430 views

My Stepfather

This chapter starts with "That spring, Chris got sick."  I am going to just retcon that the timeline is a bit wonky because it's being written in past tense, as Cathy tells this story to a ghost writer. How long did they hang out in the attic knowing they could sneak out at any time? I can't imagine not going anywhere for years. That makes me feel uncomfortable and claustrophobic. 

Chris is sick and being a giant baby. He yells at Cathy, and tells her to be independant, not like "momma." Terror jumps into Cathy's heart and she starts dramatically crying, falling on her knees, and pressing her face into his (most likely congested) chest. He caresses her hair. Tenderly. (So he's not like me "caressing" my cat's fur, when what I'm really doing is 'dematting' and eventually there is biting and growling and then licking and purring. Cats are weird, yo. 

They discuss the idea that if one of them dies (hopefully it's Chris) the other will have to get the twins out. Cathy promises to be brave and go out looking for money by herself. She promises not to take anything larger than ones or fives, and all change. Oh, come on. If you found a stack of hundreds, why wouldn't you take them and leave that night? After they kiss (ew) and Cathy leaves, she narrates that she plans on taking whatever she finds, and jewelry too. For the pawn shop. 

Cathy basically sprints down to the bedroom, telling us all sorts of pointless logistical things, where she freezes in terror! Her mother's new husband has long legs and is sprawled out in a chair. Cathy "helpfully" points out that she is directly in front of him, wearing a transparent blue nightie (it's very short), with matching panties. She braces herself to be yelled at. However, he does not speak. 

In case anyone cares, he's dressed in a black tuxedo, with a pink ruffled shirt under. The edges of the ruffles are black. 

He's asleep. Against her better judgement, Cathy sneaks up on him. She does not go through his pockets, but instead gazes into his "handsome" face. 

Cathy is kind of old fashioned, because now she thinks "Momma - how could you? You should be ashamed! This man is younger than you - years younger!" Love is love, Cathy. Money is Money. Status is Status. What does age matter? 

There is quite a bit of description of Bart's body, his smile, his ring, his other ring, his nails, his height, his sensual lips and beautifully shaped mouth, and Cathy has an urge to kiss the man she believes his her stepfather. Poor Cathy, stuck in an attic with her brother during the most hormonal time of her life. She should be kissing boys behind the bleachers and in malt shops, not dreaming of making out with her stepfather, and letting her brother suck on her nipples. 

She is fearful of waking him up. I personally would likely have woken him up, just to see if he might be responsive to, you know, not keeping me locked in an attic. While Cathy ponders the pros and cons of waking him up for four paragraphs, Bart sleeps on. In a chair. So he's probably not having the most restful sleep, unless he passed out from drinking, in which case he won't remember this at all. Cathy finally comes to the conclusion that no one will care about four children over all of the riches of Foxworth Hall, which tells me that her early childhood was also full of shallow, superficial, materialistic "love," and not as stable as she made it sound. 

***

Cathy goes back to her room, crying. She didn't steal anything. Chris is like "what? Why?" and she doesn't answer him. She snuggles into bed with him. This section is some dialogue, and three paragraphs of her clinging to Chris, crying,  and finally him telling her to go to her own bed, and that she's a bad liar.

***

It is now summer. They have a goal of $500. She's fifteen now, the twins are eight. August will mark three years of being in the attic room. Cory is picking at some black-eyed peas, and it's offhandedly mentioned that he would "eat nothing but donuts" if they let him. Carrie comes to Cathy and tells her that "Cory don't feel good." (In a bird twitter, whatever that means.)  Cathy is like "WE HAVE TO GET OFF THIS ISLAND" and then there is some discussion about colors and I am so bored with this book right now. Momma likes black dresses, Cory and Carrie believe that white is the safest color, the twins are now sleeping (actually sleeping) in the same bed, with Cathy (not Chris, because he's useless) moving Carrie after the little ones fall asleep. 

It's another act break so I'm going to leave this here. I've got to go find my folder of gifs for the next section anyway! 

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SassyPantswithASideofClass

Posted

oh my goodness, thank you!!!!! and what girl wears a sheer nightgown when they are like 15??

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Maggie Mae

Posted

3 hours ago, SassyPantswithASideofClass said:

oh my goodness, thank you!!!!! and what girl wears a sheer nightgown when they are like 15??

Keep in mind that her mom had to have bought it for her and smuggled it upstairs. 

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HerNameIsBuffy

Posted

On ‎11‎/‎29‎/‎2018 at 4:22 PM, Maggie Mae said:

Keep in mind that her mom had to have bought it for her and smuggled it upstairs. 

Corrine did everything to facilitate the incest short of buying them wine coolers and putting on some Barry White.

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Playagirl

Posted

Just ewwwww. I've been reading these recaps for awhile and am getting more and more disturbed by everything as the book progresses.  I read this series as a young teen and loved it. I never questioned any of the plausibility, the inconsistencies, nothing. Oh, what a good number of years and some maturity have done to my taste in books!!! 

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FloraDoraDolly

Posted

21 hours ago, HerNameIsBuffy said:

Corrine did everything to facilitate the incest short of buying them wine coolers and putting on some Barry White.

It would be another ten years before Barry White's greatest songs came out. The kids would have had to make do with Elvis. I don't think they had wine coolers in the 50s and early 60s either.

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wild little fox

Posted

I remember life before wine coolers. Mid 80s is when Seagram's Wine Coolers first came out. 1986? I'm pretty sure that there were none before then. 

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FloraDoraDolly

Posted

It was in the mid-1980s. I can remember California Coolers were popular my sophomore year of high school, which was 1984/85. I think Seagrams came out a year or so later.

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JordynDarby5

Posted

If only Chris had died instead. He's also a moron for telling her not to grab hundreds. Yes Chris grab hundreds. Grab all the cash you can find.

I wish Cathy had woken Bart up and told him. I wonder how things would have gone. Surely he'd be horrified about that right? Unlike Corinne and Olivia.

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Maggie Mae

Posted

On 12/2/2018 at 6:04 PM, FloraDoraDolly said:

It was in the mid-1980s. I can remember California Coolers were popular my sophomore year of high school, which was 1984/85. I think Seagrams came out a year or so later.

Wikipedia says that commercial wine coolers started being distributed in the early 80s. 

I suppose if Corrine really wanted to get things going, she could have smuggled them some wine or chardonnay or just stocked a full bar. Cathy & Chris probably knew how to make martinis from age 8 or so. It was the 50s. 

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