Wicked Wednesday Prompt #307: What would YOU do with a million dollars?

gatesIt was easy really as it had never felt like their money in the first place. They had bought the estate with a view to making more of it and that had certainly happened. It had been quiet at first, they didn’t know that many people who lived in the shadows like themselves, but over time word had got out and nowadays there was pretty much someone there most of the time, and especially at weekends and holidays. They had met people who they would never have usually come across and they felt the rich fullness of a life that is unexpected.

Things were pretty relaxed there and that was as they had always wanted them to be. Of course you could never be too careful and there had been the odd time or two when things had not gone as they would have wanted but generally the nature of people was good, and often it was more than. It is true what they say that you get out what you put in. And somehow when you don’t ask people for anything, you don’t put a price on things, you see the generosity of their nature. That was how is seemed to work anyway.

I suppose that everyone has something to give, and most people are happy to give what they can. And without that, it would never have become the place that it had now. Yes they had provided the four walls and the outdoor space, even some of the decor in order to create the kind of atmosphere that they wanted, but over time that had been added to in a way that they could never have afforded themselves, either with money, or time, or talent. This place had all of that now. In abundance.

The chapel for example. It had been nearly derelict but now it was not just water tight, there was also art adorning all of the walls and it made for something entirely atmospheric and spiritual. The old altar had been restored and could be used in a way which matched the needs of those who came here. So far no offense had been caused but it seemed to be accepted that things here would be accepted and that sort of philosophy appeared to encourage an interest in others and a feeling of wanting to share. There had even been a wedding taken place there one weekend deep in winter, but that was probably the most religious of the ceremonies to take place so far, if not the most ritualistic.

The great hall also had benefitted greatly. It was a place now where people could meet and chat, but also somewhere that the colours and the furnishings spoke of promises and suggestion. They had intentionally gone with a Parisian boudoir sort of style in most of the house as that seemed to create the right sort of feeling. The few chaise longues that they had commissioned in the beginning had quickly multiplied until there was ample seating for a number of couples to socialise or to play as the evening drew in. It felt luxurious, relaxed and sensual, as well as serving a number of very practical purposes.

The rooms were themed, many of them fitted to a certain period of time, or matched to a particular style. This had seemed to be successful and, as a second home or welcome escape to so many creative and imaginative sorts, it had not been left to them to choose and decorate it all. They had made it clear that they were open to ideas and suggestions, and these had come thick and fast, as those who came to visit and stay made themselves part of what it all represented.

Their desire to have memories to look back on, led them to create opportunities where people could immerse themselves in their fantasies and take pictures in order to remember and reminisce. This actually had advantages far beyond those they had dreamt of as it meant that the snapshots of what was there were removed and poured over, which led people to plan for their next visit, bringing props and additions which somehow found their way into becoming permanent features of the place.

The grounds were the same and those who could, brought their knowledge of flowers and plants which would enhance and entice. This provided not only a beautiful and private setting to explore beyond the house, but also several structures and additions which leant themselves to play in such a variety of ways. There was the more formal garden, but also the land beyond which made its way down to the edge of the loch. The surrounding mountains provided the feeling of safety, and a wall to the outside world which somehow enhanced the magical sense that here you could be anything that you wanted to be.

Of course no such place would be the same without a dungeon and that had been done really well. There was equipment in other parts of the house and grounds of course, and these guests were adept at finding something in what might have appeared to others to be innocent enough, but the furniture on the lower floor had been part of the initial purchases that they had made with the money. They knew that to buy something which was specialist and bespoke would be the right way to begin, but even that had been added to in a way which they had never dared to imagine. They had come to realise that most of the artisans who spent time creating such pieces, had a personal interest in their use. And so they joined the guest list and with them brought their skills and various samples of their work.

It was just a way of life for them now. Yes, the upkeep was considerable, but they loved what they did so really it didn’t matter, and it was pretty much as close to living the dream as you could get. They had never viewed it as a business so there was no need to have a set charge and actually, it more than paid for itself; the way it worked was that people gave what they wanted to and really that had turned out to be a huge part of its success.  They had never expected the million pounds that had come their way, but when it did, it seemed obvious what they should do with it.

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