Ask Uncle Morty
by Uncle Mortimer
Uncle Morty sometimes gets requests to apply his Netherworldly wisdom to the problems of existence of one kind or another no matter which side of the veil you call your home. He has decided to share his answers with our readers in hopes that you also may be heartened by his sagacity. (He told me to write that.) Following is a request for advice and his response. Enjoy.
Dear Uncle Mortimer,
I really need your help. I’m a twenty-one-year old woman and my home life is…well…I think it’s abusive, although I have no real way of knowing because I don’t get out into the world very much and I have nothing to compare it to.
You see, my father is a mad scientist. I won’t name him but he’s famous here in Padua, Italy. (Let’s just say it rhymes with Pappacini). My mom died so there was no one to help raise me and I think things got out of control because of that. Dad’s specialty is poisonous plants. When I was a baby, he exposed me to toxic plants. He says this is so I wouldn’t be harmed by them, but now I suspect that what he really wanted was someone to do his dirty work in the garden. If he’s outside with the plants, he has to wear gloves and a mask. Not me! I can be around them all day long. Here’s the crux of the problem. I’m toxic! Not emotionally, although maybe that too. Like literally toxic. I can’t leave the confines of the garden without worrying that I’m going to kill someone. For instance, yesterday, a honeybee landed on my sleeve. When I breathed on it, it keeled over. I can’t go to school. I can’t go to parties. Up until recently I couldn’t get a date because, you know, I might kill them! Of course, my dad doesn’t really care because he needs me here to take care of the garden for him. Paduans pay him all kind of money for poisons. I overheard one of the servants saying it was his poison that killed the last Pope for crying out loud. In addition to wanting to lead my own life, I don’t want to be complicit in these shenanigans!
This is all bad enough, but now I have a boyfriend. You would think that would be better right? I wouldn’t be so lonely. Sad to say, that’s complicated too. This guy, let’s call him Jim, got an apartment next door overlooking the garden. I caught him watching me. Then he started talking to me when I went out to deadhead plants and do the chores. I mean that’s fine, right? (Also, I want to be clear. I didn’t start talking to him. He started talking to me!) Somehow he found a way into the garden, and he started hanging out with me. (I found out later, he bribed the neighbor to help him find the back gate. I mean that’s kind of romantic right? But also it’s kind of weird.)
Guess what? Turns out dad manipulated the whole thing. He knew all along. It was one of his creepy experiments. Now it turns out the poison is working on Jim too. He’s toxic. He accidentally killed a spider with his breath and came over here ranting and raving about how wicked I am. Jim blames me for everything. But I didn’t know that it could happen to someone else! I never touched him. I wanted to keep him safe. I kept him from touching all the poisonous plants. I never led him on. Should I have sent him on his way? Maybe. But he knew the garden was toxic and also that I’m trapped here. It’s not like I can follow him around.
Jim now says I ruined his life. I don’t know how dad pulled it off, but I promise I had nothing to do with it! I was just really lonely. It turns out my dad wanted to find me a husband that I couldn’t kill and the only way he could manage it was by performing another of his crazy experiments. It probably wouldn’t hurt his feelings if we had kids and they helped carry on the work of this crazy place. But Jim isn’t keen on it! And, of course, neither am I! All I’ve ever wanted is to get out of here and live life like a normal girl.
Now I’m caught between my boyfriend and my father. Actually, if I don’t take the antidote Jim brought over, he’s threatening to take it himself and leave me here alone. (It hasn’t been tested in any trials? Who knows if we’ll even live through it? Insert eye roll emoji here.) My father thinks we should both be content to live here with him and work in the garden. I guess forever? He’s got a lot of money and he says he will provide nice living quarters for us to stay in.
All I ever wanted was a normal life, but I feel so trapped. Maybe I just fell for Jim because he was the only guy I’ve ever actually met. I thought I had found true love and now I don’t know what to do. I think things might be even worse than before! I’m thinking about taking the antidote. If I die, I die. Then I’m out of here, right? Please advise me!
A Captive Bee (atrice)
Oh, my dear! I hardly know where to start. You are indeed in a toxic situation, caught between two terribly venomous men. Are there any authorities you can call? You need both medical and psychological help. Immediately. There is no excuse for what either of these two bozos have done to you. Your father has selfishly ruined your life for his own purposes, sacrificing you to his own scientific curiosity and economic gain. And then there’s Jim. The stalker next door! Gaslighter supreme. Sheesh.
The fact that Jim started out by spying on you, then bribing someone to get into the garden, and then taking advantage of what he certainly understood to be your extreme loneliness paints him as a stalker. This is seriously creepy stuff. When he realized your situation, he should have immediately contacted authorities himself. Whether he feigned a romantic interest in you or was serious, once apprised of the situation, he should have done everything he could to get you out of there. This he did not do. He kept coming back into the garden to walk with you of his own free will and talk to you of his own free will and it sound like he knew about your medical condition and who was to blame. It’s great that he brought an antidote and all…but he’s blaming this situation on you?
Your father created the perfect abusive situation by making you feel that reaching out to others would be harmful. And then when Jim came along, it seemed like he might be your savior. Instead, he’s just another creepy guy who’s more concerned about his own skin than helping the girl next door, the prisoner of a mad scientist, escape! My dear, you must tell someone about all of this. There are other scientists in Padua. There are medical doctors who study poisons. There is someone out there who can help you.
As for the antidote? Who created it? Could that person treat you under supervision? You certainly shouldn’t just swallow it on Jim’s advice. His judgment is certainly in question. Who knows if he has an ulterior motive or if he just doesn’t have any idea what’s going on? Could it be one of your father’s experiments? Who knows? But I do know this. You can’t trust either of these guys.
Be brave my dear! I’m emailing you some information where you can contact me directly. I will do everything I can to help. I’m reaching out to a necromancer that I know as we speak. I will help you formulate a plan of escape. Addresses and phone numbers to follow. Do you have access to any money? Pack some clothes without telling anyone even, and most especially, the servants. When the time comes you will have to put on a mask and gloves and leave the house.
Courage! It’s time to write your own story!
*If you would like to ask Uncle Morty for Advice please send your problem to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Ask Morty.
Mortimer Richard Wolcott is, quite frankly, not very forthcoming with his bio. We're not even sure if that's his real name. His work during his previous embodiments is not something he'll willingly share. He also won't explain why he's currently assigned to the world of the living. His deathography is somewhat clear only from the point at which he showed up at Sacred Chickens Farm for a Halloween Party and never left. He is occasionally pressed into service to help write the blog and you can search the archives here for his wisdom. He enjoys hanging out with cats, the occasional cocktail, and dispensing sarcastic remarks to the living.