Mercer Manor, Millbrae, California
An exclusive gathering of wealthy and influential citizens of Northern California was held at the Millbrae home of The Bank of San Francisco’s founder, Montgomery Mercer. A representative from the Teatime Tattler, Susannah Clemens, was invited to a pre-holiday high tea with Mrs. Mercer this past weekend. Miss Clemens was thrilled to attend the social along with the ladies from the Millbrae Philanthropic Society. The group toured the 32,000 acre estate in elaborately decorated coaches before entering the grand home. Mercer Mansion consists of forty-two rooms, three stories, a conservatory, carriage house, and three artificial lakes. The main house took three years to build and is one of the grandest in Northern California outside of San Francisco. Miss Clemens reports that the women on the tour were all aflutter over the gardens and vistas, and were grateful the sun cooperated with their excursion rather than the usual thick fog that blankets the hillside just south of San Francisco proper.
Montgomery Mercer has amassed a considerable fortune aided by the gold and silver boom in California, and he’s set out to create a dynasty in the young state. His eldest child, Montgomery Mercer II, is currently attending the University of California in Berkeley, a new learning institution which his father helped to establish across the San Francisco Bay. The couple’s daughter, Meredith, attends a finishing school located in Grass Valley, and was not present for the event. Montgomery Jr., on the other hand, and his charming friend from the university, Sterling Mackey of the Virginia City Mackeys, entertained the ladies by playing the piano together and singing. The young men are studying law at the new university and shared their aspirations of becoming lawyers and starting a firm together, however Mrs. Mercer sternly reminded Montgomery II that his father had other plans for him, at which point he abruptly left the room and the tea commenced.
The tea was the first time society women had been invited to the Mercer’s home and while Mrs. Mercer set an impeccable example, wearing a lavish dress she stated had been made by a tailor in New York during their last visit, there was a tension in the air that more than one guest alluded to on the ride back down the hill. The most plausible cause was the upcoming holidays, which would obviously put a lot of pressure on a woman like Mrs. Mercer, however Miss Clemens was struck by something Montgomery Jr. said as he and his friend were leaving the tea. Most of the guests were otherwise occupied, but Miss Clemens overheard Sterling consoling his friend with the knowledge that his twenty-first birthday would be arriving soon and with it a bit more freedom. Montgomery shook his head and simply stated, “not freedom, more responsibility. I’m running out of time.” She heard no more as they disappeared up the back stairwell.
The Mercer Family remains a mystery to the writers of the Tattler, but never fear, dear reader. We shall uncover the source of the aspiring young lawyer in future articles. Until then, we remain steadfast in our search for the truth.
About the Book
Harkening back to the glory days of gothic romance that had us up reading all night, we present, Haunts and Hellions… 13 stories of horror, romance, and that perfect moment when the two worlds collide. Vengeful spirits attacking the living, undead lovers revealing their true nature, and supernatural monsters seeking love, await you. Pull the blinds closed, light your candle, and cuddle up in your reading nook for some chilling—and romantic—tales. With stories by: Emily Blue, Lucy Blue, Kevin Ground, Rowan Hill, Naching T. Kassa, Emmy Z. Madrigal, R.L. Merrill, N.C. Northcott, Emerian Rich, Daniel R. Robichaud, Daphne Strasert, Tara Vanflower, and B.F. Vega.
R.L. Merrill’s story “The House Must Fall” is an homage to Edgar Allan Poe’s “Fall of the House of Usher” and tells the tale of Sterling Mackey’s search for the truth about Montgomery’s disappearance from the university mere months after this article was written. Paperbacks available now from Amazon, or a Special Edition pack can be purchased directly from HorrorAddicts.net Press. E-books will be available soon!
About the Author
R.L. Merrill brings you stories of Hope, Love, and Rock ‘n’ Roll featuring quirky and relatable characters. Whether she’s writing contemporary, paranormal, or supernatural, she loves to give readers a shiver with compelling stories that will stay with you long after. You can find her connecting with readers on social media, advocating for America’s youth, raising two brilliant teenagers, writing horror-infused music reviews for HorrorAddicts.net, trying desperately to get that back piece finished in the tattoo chair, or headbanging at a rock show near her home in the San Francisco Bay Area! Stay Tuned for more Rock ‘n’ Romance.