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A terrifying tale of a cruel Victorian crime

Are you brave enough to read?


I didn’t mean to, I didn’t mean to kill him. It just took over, I was a slave to my anger, imprisoned in my own mind.

Sorry if I get you, I am, but at least I will have warned you. At least you will have known.

A pale light fought its way through the endless darkness. Mist dragged itself through the air, the occasional droplet slicing through an eerie silence. The streets were deserted, shadows ready to jump out at weary passers-by…

The sound of footsteps echoed up and down. The streets’ lonely slumber disturbed. A figure in a long cloak walked agitated and clear through a typically Victorian street. The brain-busting odour of an uncaring butcher’s work spread like an army to cover as much ground as possible. As the figure neared the end of the road they ducked out of sight into an alleyway. Musty, mouldy damp walls closed from both sides; litter strewn across a damp floor. The figures breath had quickened to an unsteady rhythm, eyes darting. Then halfway down the alley they stopped.

My heart pounded. I’m sure I had seen someone, something. Fear was rising in my chest ready to explode. But, there was nothing, silence. I started again. What a mistake.

A scream echoed through the night – shrill, sharp and shriek. A man leapt up and started cursing in a foreign language. He was extremely thin, a ripped and grimy top clung to him. In parts his hair had clearly been ripped out, his teeth yellow crooked slabs in a wide, thin mouth. His nose had recently been broken. Ripped dirty parts of ear hung from an oval head. He barred the figure’s way still shouting.

“Sir please, I have somewhere to be, I didn’t mean to, I didn’t see you.” The figure’s voice was pleading.

The man answered. “Ah, English scum, who thinks just because I don’t have a full pocket of gold you can stand on me, I’m just a peasant!” the man’s voice was harsh and unpractised.

“No sir, I didn’t mean that at all.”

“I should teach you a lesson.”

“Don’t sir, for your own good.” The figure was still pleading. The words a mistake.

“Are you threatening me?” he roared.

“No sir, sir.”

“You filthy old scumbag, you slimy old toad.”

My heart was racing. I was scared, scared for him, I felt anger in my chest. I knew it was his last chance. “Sir don’t, I’ll kill you!” I was near screaming now. He didn’t answer and instead he bent down and picked something up. I knew it was too late now as the knife glinted in the moonlight. I became a prisoner once more.

Five minutes later…

Silence was broken again. A figure in a cloak that brushed the ground and something strapped to their back, tiptoed down the alley. They showed no remote surprise at the body on the floor, ripped, torn, destroyed. “Another attack the same as the first. I need to stop this beast before his anger kills us all.” They swung the scythe from their back, flicked the parts of the body they could find to the side and ran into the endless darkness.

By Jamie Fordham, year 8, Robert Smyth Academy

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