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The Beast of Stornoway

Chapter 4 - Amani

"It has got to be a scam. There's no way this is real." Amani's mother laughed at her apparent stupidity.

"Mama, I don't know. I think it's for real!" she cried, following her mother around the house. Amani had been trying to explain the position to her and even show her the job post on LinkedIn. Her mother wasn't having any of it.

She smirked. "Okay, so have you got the email yet with the information?"

Amani sighed, shaking her head, "No," she whispered. It had been a few hours since she’d spoken to Mr. Auld, and she hadn’t received anything. Maybe her mother was right, maybe it was a scam?

"Girl, you quit your job for this?! It's not real! When you gonna get it through yo' thick head that people like us don't get breaks like this? I can guarantee you that email is not gonna come. You better call Mr. Wilson and apologize and get your job back."

"I'm not going back to work for those racist people, Mama! I'll find another job." She backed away from her mother before she could swat at her for talking back to her.

"Girl, you betta get out of my face with that attitude," her mother growled, pointing her finger at the stairs, "Go, go find yourself a better job than that one, with your fancy degree!"

Amani turned away from her with tears running down her cheeks. She wished for once her mother wouldn't throw her degree in her face. She worked so hard for it, she knew it was basically a piece of worthless paper now, but she was still proud of her accomplishment. Her father would've been proud of her if he’d been alive.

She dragged herself up the stairs to her room and lay on her bed. Her father was always telling her to follow her dream and follow her heart. It was too bad he’d passed away, and her mother had lost any interest in being supportive of her. She cared more for her brothers, and she chained her to this house because she claimed to need Amani’s help. Her mother looked at her like a paycheck most of the time, but Amani would do anything to make sure her brothers were taken care of.

She looked at her phone again, refreshing her email. There was nothing new, she sighed, dialing her best friend's number.

"What up girl, how'd it go at the Wilson's?" Jade asked.

"I quit. She called me a slave, and I quit."

"Ohhh shit. Did you tell Miss Lackey?"

"No, I left before I saw her. But I called about this other job I saw on LinkedIn. It's a personal assistant and they pay to relocate."

"Relocate. Where?"


"What?! No way. What did they say when you called?"

"Well, the person I spoke to, Benjamin Auld, said I could have the job."

"No shit, is this for real? How much are they payin?"

"5,000 pounds a month, that's about 6,500 dollars, and I don't have to pay for a place to stay, food, or transportation. So it's basically spending money. And I just have to do the errands for the old man of the house."

"Amani, this is like your dream. You've always wanted to go to Scotland, girl. You're going to take it, right?"

"Well, yeah, I said yes. But my mom made me think it was a scam and now I don't know." She sighed.

"Miss Blake has always been so negative. Look, if you feel in your heart that it's real, then you need to believe in that."

"Thanks, Jade."

"Man, am I gonna miss you." She said, sadness lacing her words.

Amani laughed. "I'll pay for you to come visit me."

"Damn straight! You betta!"


Amani’s phone dinged as it lit up in the early hours of the morning. She reached her hand from under her blankets, sliding her phone to her face. She frowned at the blurry message. She sighed, grabbing her glasses and shoving them on her face to stare at the screen. Her heart thumped in her chest at the email notification from Benjamin Auld, Blarcum Manor. She sat up, pushing her wild mane of curls out of her face and read the email:

Dear Ms. Amani Blake,

Thank you so much for accepting the position of personal assistant to Lord Blarcum. I have informed him of your acceptance, and we are delighted for you to join the team at Blarcum Manor.

Attached you will find a copy of the job description, your salary and the necessary visa paperwork you'll need to complete and take with you to your passport and biometrics appointment.

Your appointment is scheduled for Monday, 24th September at 1pm. If you could respond to me with your home address, I will give it to the car service that will take you to the appointment.

We have been notified that your visa will be granted on the same day. I will also need you to tell me the earliest you are available to fly, and I will book your plane tickets.

Thank you so much, Ms. Blake. I look forward to your response.


Benjamin 'Benny' Auld

Head of House

Blarcum Manor

Stornoway, Scotland

Amani read the email over and over before she damn near memorized every word on the page.

It's real, it's not a scam!

"Jade!" Amani screamed, hearing her best friends sleepy hello.

"What the fuck, 'Mani, it’s five o' clock in the morning," she grumbled.

"I-I got the email. It's real! I-" She stopped mid-sentence, seeing another email from the US Immigration service notifying her of her upcoming biometrics appointment.

"What? What happened?!" Jade said, her voice high with excitement.

"US Immigration just sent me my appointment confirmation." She breathed as Jade squealed.

"Oh my God! You're going to Scotland!"

"Oh my God!!!!!" Amani screamed.

"Sooooooo, what the hell are you going to tell your mama?" Jade asked as Amani sighed.

"I don't know, I mean, I told her yesterday, but she didn't believe me. You know her, she's going to have something negative and pessimistic to say about this."

"Amani, I love your mom, but fuck what she says. You're always so worried about your family, and your mom makes you feel that way. You stayed in Michigan to go to school when you really didn't want to. Then you stayed here knowing damn well you're smart enough to get outta here. Stop letting her hold you back. This is your chance to have that adventure you always wanted," Jade said and Amani smiled.

She was right, she needed to do this for herself for once. Her mother and her brothers would be just fine. She deserved an adventure, in the country she'd always wanted to see!

"That's true, Jade. She should be happy for me. I'll be making enough money to send back to her so she and my brothers can move out of this neighborhood."

"There you go, just worry about you, Mani. You know your mama does not want to leave the projects. She likes it here. She's not gonna want to move."

"I know. I think I've always known, but I just want my brothers to grow up in a nice area. What if something happens to them there?"

"Stop it. Just worry about you for once in your life. I'll still be here and you know I'll keep an eye on your brothers. For once just enjoy your life."

Amani smiled. "Thank you, Jade."

Amani happily responded to Benny's email with her address and potential date for a flight. She chose the first week in October as it would give her time to pack and get rid of a few things and say goodbye to her family and a few friends. She bounded down the stairs to tell her mother the news. She was already awake, sipping on a cup of coffee.

"So. You get an email?" She smirked as Amani grinned and nodded.

"Yep, I have my biometrics appointment on September 24th at the Immigration office, and I'll be flying off to Scotland the first week of October," she said, her face beaming. 

Her mother stared at her, covering her mouth with her hand. "Oh my God," she breathed out," You''re really going?"

"Yes, Mama, I'm really going." She nodded, feeling more confident and excited about her decision.

"I'm so sorry I doubted you." She sniffed, tears pooling in her mother's eyes. "I-I never thought you'd leave me or your brothers."

"Well, I need to make my own life, Mama. I'm not doing it to hurt you. I'll still send you money to support you," she said, hugging her tight.

"What's going on?" one of her brother's asked, running inside.

"Well, your sister is going to be leaving us to take a job very far away." Her mother smiled, but Amani could tell she was hiding her disappointment. She didn’t want her to go and that hurt to know she didn’t approve of Amani’s new adventure.

"Where you goin? You comin back to visit?" her brother Lane asked. His big brown eyes were filled with worry.

"I'm going to Stornoway, Scotland to be a personal assistant to the Lord of Blarcum Manor. And of course I'll visit you, Lane." She smiled, hugging him. This would be the first time she’d ever left her brothers, but Jade was right, she had to start living her life for herself.

"Can we visit you?" her other brother, Madden, asked as Amani looked at her mother.

"If Mama says you can, I'll send for you."

Amani looked at her mother and brothers, a twinge of guilt filled her heart. She’d never done anything for herself, so taking this job in Scotland because it was something she wanted felt wrong.

No, Jade is right. I’m allowed to live for myself. I’m allowed to have my own life.

She hugged her brothers tight. She wasn’t going to give up this opportunity. Her family would be just fine without her.

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