The table is made of dark mahogany, with carved chrysanthemum running up its legs and silver outlining the sides. It is the strenght, the soul, the history of the house. It breathes dust and talks on quiet nights. It changes its anatomy each generation, but the flowers remain the same. The mahogany is still the same. And more important, it's strenght is still the same.
This generation has made it larger than it had been for centuries: pulling old chairs out of dark closets but buying new silverware. It has hatched four heads and several tails. New cracks and marks sit along its surface. Some flowers were even chipped away. And it's decorated with gold statues and tall wax candles.
The four heads are called Gloid, Algerno, Fantin and Piktor, all offsprings of the past main head, who is now too senile to difference between his children. The tails are reserved for husbands, wives, sons, daughters... and Serilda. She's too young to be a head yet, but the table can feel it coming.
Gloid is the Main head, but the table calls her Serpent. Cold-blooded, quick to act, ruthless. Not quite to the same level as her father, but with a bit of polish, she'd be in the same track. She sits in the middle, her third husband on the left. So far, he doesn't have a name, and will probably wilt before the year's finished. But he's quite charming, even if his eyes tend to wander towards the third Head more often than to his wife. Serpents don't blink, but if they could, she wouldn't bat an eye at this. A Main head carries the empire of the chrysanthemum, runs the business, keeps the house cold, safe, distant. And keeps herself even farther away.
The second child, Algerno, is the Tamed Dog. Civilized, smart, narcissistic. He fancies himself above the rest of his siblings, because he questions his father and isn't afraid to speak his mind. The little soldier, the golden hero. He still jumps when he's told, and tries to convince himself he's doing it out of free will. He salivates when he receives approval, and needs someone to follow. He's brought all kinds of people to the table, and only his children have stayed. So he hires nannies instead, and locks himself in his studio, stuck to is reflection.
Fantin is the third, although you wouldn't know this from portraits and family pictures. He's but the Spectre of the table, without a seat reserved, but present as the rest of them. Passionate, resentful, jaded. When he left, he designed an artful crack to the table. Both figuratively and literally. The crack hasn't been repaired since. Once a year, during tragedies twice, he visits, with no one on his arm. He makes a toast, dedicates a mournful look to the pandemonium of his family, and makes sure to never walk close to his father's chambers.
The last head is Piktor. She has her mother's eyes, the only proof that she was ever on the table. Buoyant, charismatic, an hedonist. The woman nurtures the table, controls the staff, and manages to spend more than all her siblings combined. She's the Crown, unfazed by the world, and locked in a golden cage. Many men and women have been allured to the table by her charm, before getting discarded like an old toy. And the table suspects the reason she's been allowed to grow spoiled is because if they lost her, they'd lose their mother as well.
And finally, there's the tail to become a Main head: Serilda. The table adores her, for she's the only one that's able to bring change, the only one that isn't corrupted yet, or rather, the most corrupted one. She's barely twelve, and already understands the anatomy. She's silent, furious, waiting. The all mighty Time Bomb, who'll burn up one day, and bring everyone down with her. Or perhaps, she'll rise and create a new table, chip away all the chrysanthemum, tear the house apart. There's no telling how far Serilda will go, or what she'll turn into.
But one thing's for certain, the table will be thrilled by whatever's the outcome.