Welcome to the true story of the Villareal family of Windenburg, a family that Definitely Does Not Have Any Secrets.
(Ok, ok, so this story is only 82.81% true. I took screenshots as I was playing just for fun, letting the game drive the plot, then took some pick-up shots to fill in the gaps.)
There is a secret campsite on the far end of the Von Haunt Estate, and this was where Jacques and his children were supposed to meet to discuss their Definitely-Not-Criminal Plans.
Jacques was grilling hot dogs. He didn’t want his children to starve – not yet, anyway, not before their work was finished.
But he really did worry about his children. “Offspring, it is time to focus,” he said.
Luna, however, wouldn’t stop texting someone on her phone. And he had found poor Hugo lost and wandering aimlessly in a hedge maze. This was why he didn’t want kids. They were idiots.
“Offspring!” he commanded. “It’s dinnertime. Let’s focus, please!”
Hugo and Luna joined him obediently at the picnic table, chowing down on hot dogs, Hugo’s bonfire crackling next to them.
It was time to talk business.
“All right, offspring. Family Fun Day starts now. By the morning, the Von Haunt Estate will be reduced to ashes.”
“Why are we burning this place down again?” asked Hugo.
“I’m an insurance salesman,” said Jacques. “Do you have any idea how much insurance sales increase when there’s been a high-profile fire? Incinerating this cherished tourist destination will make customers flock to my MLM insurance company!”
“Wait, I thought you were in the criminal career?” said Hugo.
“Yes, that’s what I just said,” Jacques responded, annoyed.
“So, this’ll be just like our last Family Fun Day?” groaned Luna. “Because I’m still haunted by the moment we realized Mom was trapped inside the building you made us set on fire. You said the building was empty.”
“Oh yeah, that’s right,” Hugo agreed. “Dad, that was a really traumatic childhood experience and it will negatively affect us for the rest of our lives.”
Jacques rolled his eyes. Why did his children have to be so whiny about things like family members dying?
“Hey, accidents happen in my line of work, but it’s all for a good cause: money. Now, some of you may die, but that’s a sacrifice I am willing to make.”
“Dad, I don’t feel good about burning down this cherished tourist destination. It seems unethical.”
Jacques exhaled sharply. These kids just would not stop with the self-righteousness.
He decided that if one of them happened to get caught in the fire tonight – or, Watcher willing, both – it would be a gift from the heavens. He’d never thought about doing to his children what he’d done to his wife, but… well, now he had.
“We won’t drag Max into this, right?” said Luna, worried. “He’s just a kid. Where is he, anyway?”
Even though it was after-hours, Max was in the dining room of the Von Haunt Estate.
He had gone back to see the portrait of Lord Bernard Escargot Shallot IV, his #1 enemy, somehow managing to slip under the velvet ropes to get closer.
Bernard’s portrait hung above him, but if he climbed onto the end table, he could reach it. Then he could pull it off the wall and drag it into the fireplace.
It was too big to fit into the fireplace, but Max bet the portrait would still get ruined.
And, if he got extra lucky, the painting might go up in flames and spread the fire to the rest of the estate. Now that would be gravy.
Max grinned. Burning the portrait of his arch nemesis and watching his estate burn to the ground would be So. Much. Fun.