King Of The Britons

11-05-2014 Sunday

Today was a very exciting day, because I was going to eat at Evelyn’s. I was totally prepared for it. I put on some casual but smart looking pants, a nice shirt and a tie, but all pretty casual – as casual as a tie can be. Mum had asked a friend of hers, who’s a hairdresser – to come over this morning to cut my hair. I think that was just a little too much, but at least Mum was trying her best to be helpful. On the other hand, I think she also just grabbed this opportunity as an excuse to cut my hair again the way she likes it.
Dad dropped me off at Evelyn’s at four and a somewhat short and chubby man wearing his Sunday best opened the door. He looked me up and down a bit and said in a really posh voice,

’ Are you the one they call ‘Arthur’?’

I looked at him with big eyes. I was so taken aback that I just stared at him and totally forgot to answer the question. Then he said,

’ Well, speak up son, are you or aren’t you?’

            ‘ Yes, sir, I think I am.’ I stammered.

‘ You think you are? Well I never. How can one not be certain of who one is? Tell me, have you come here to dine with us tonight?’

It didn’t feel like I was doing very well, I felt myself getting smaller and smaller and I wanted to turn round and run home at that very moment. Then I heard Evelyn calling from upstairs.

            ‘ Is that Arthur at the door, Dad?’

Her father looked at me again and then he yelled back at Evelyn.

            ‘ If he is, he does not know it himself.’

I heard some sort of growl or aargh or something and then I heard footsteps coming down the stairs. It was Evelyn coming to the rescue. She looked stunning in her bright red dress all the way down to the ground. I had never seen her looking so lovely as she did then. Red really looks good on her. She saw her father and then she saw me and I think she could tell by the looks on my face that I was a bit in shock. She hit her father on the shoulder and said in a playful angry voice,

‘ Dad, what did you say to Arthur? Have you been messing with him already?’

Her father looked at her with a smile on his face and said,

            ‘ Who? Me? I’d never.’

Then he looked at me and said,

‘ What are you still standing outside for? Come on in, ye who is called Arthur.’

            ‘ Dad, stop it,’ Evelyn said in that playful angry voice of hers.

I think my love for Evelyn grew at least two inches when I saw her in that red dress. Also, I had never really noticed her incredible English accent before. Maybe it was because of her father’s posh voice.
When we got into the living room Evelyn’s mother was there watching some series on TV. She got up and then it was then that I noticed she was rather tall, taller than her husband and she was also wearing her Sunday best. I felt a little underdressed and maybe too casual, but I think I got away with it. Evelyn’s mother reached out to give me hand and before I could even say anything Evelyn’s father said,

            ‘ He’s Arthur, King of the Britons.’

Followed by a hit on his shoulder from both Evelyn and her mother. Then her mother said,

‘ It’s nice to finally meet you Arthur, king of the Britons. We’ve heard a lot about you. Pay no attention to my husband; he’s not always like this, only when he’s nervous.’

He was nervous!? Well, you could have fooled me. A lot more happened, but it was all quite positive and her parents are not so bad as they had been painted. Actually, they were quite friendly. They were a certain kind of relaxed posh people. Her mother can surely cook by the way. We had Sunday roast and it actually tasted like what I have always imagined Sunday roast should taste like. Now I’ll probably never dare to invite Evelyn over for dinner. I’d better learn to cook quickly.
I wanted to say more about the evening, but it’s getting quite late and I really need to get some sleep. Tomorrow I hope to finish the last chapter of my book and then I’ll have to re-read everything again to make sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes in there. Luckily I’ve also got a friend abroad to help me out a little. That’s it and that’s that. See me tomorrow.  

The Baby Farm Murderer

28-01-2014 Tuesday

22.30

‘I hope you know what baby farms are,’ Mr Bent Continued,’ because I am going to talk about one. A baby farm is not a farm where you can pet babies and look at them from behind a fence. Baby farms were places where they’d put unwanted babies. Some of these babies came from wealthy women who, for instance, were not married and would be a disgrace to the family if anybody were to find out about the kid. Other babies would come from prostitutes. Having a baby is not a very good selling point, is it? So these women would put their dumplings into the hands of a baby farm.

Babies were left there for good; parents would never have to come and visit the kids. They’d pay the baby farm a large amount of money – some would pay monthly or yearly instalments, others would pay everything at once – and the lady at the baby farm would take care of the kids. This way no one was to find out about the unwanted babies and you could live the rest of your life as if you had never given birth.

Amelia Dyer had her own baby farm. She also had a problem. Amelia really loved money … a lot. She loved money more than anything. That, as you will understand, is not the problem; there’s nothing wrong with loving money. However, she hated … no … she loathed babies. From their tiny little feet to their disproportionally large heads, she hated every inch of them. But, she loved the money. Money … babies … money … babies.

As you can see, she had a problem. There she was with all that money, but also all those kids. What to do? She did what every baby-hating-but-money-loving woman would do in the 19th century: kill the babies. That’s what she did. She would choke the babies and dump their tiny little bodies in the river Thames. Problem solved.’

This is where I had to swallow. I got a bit of a lump in my throat. Who would do such a thing? What kind of woman would do that? Is money really that important? I couldn’t really grasp it. Mr Bent stared out of the window a little bit as he drank his tea and waited for the right moment to continue. Which in my case will be tomorrow, as I need to get some sleep. See me tomorrow. 

Amelia Dyer – the beginning

20140127_23113327-01-2014 Monday

22.30

So, as I was saying, I was making tea for us and Mr Bent came into the kitchen with his dowsing rod in his hands. He looked at the rods and played with them a little. Trying to hold them in different ways to make different geometrical shapes. While he was fidgeting with those darn things he said, in his thoughtful deep dark voice,’ You know, I’ve actually never quite understood these things.’ That’s when he threw them out of the window.

We stared at each other for a couple of seconds and then burst out in laughter. You should have seen the look on his face. He was dead serious when he said it and just chucked them out like that. I hope nobody was walking by at that very moment. He said he had something better for me. Well, actually, two things. Another story, and, what was even better, a book! The book he had been looking for wasn’t for him; it was for me. I made a picture of it to show you. It has got all kinds of freaky ghost stories about London. Sometimes I wish school made us read these kinds of books, they are way more interesting than things like ‘Gone with the wind’ or ‘Jane Eyre’

When tea was ready we sat ourselves down in sitting room, somewhere amidst all those books. Mr Bent said it was ok to just make a chair out of books if I wanted to. I thought it would a bit disrespectful, so I just threw some books on the floor and sat down on the sofa (I know, bad idea) while Mr Bent settled himself on one of the few … no, rephrase … the only free chair in the room. Which, as you can understand, wasn’t free anymore now.

He asked me if I had ever heard of a woman called Amelia Dyer. The name didn’t really ring a bell. Even after thinking really hard with my little thinker I couldn’t think of anyone who goes by that name. Even though I kept thinking Mr Bent was already saying it was useless to go on thinking. Amelia Dyer has been dead for a long time now; for over a century already. The world might be better off without her, too. She was not the nicest of woman.

‘For this story,’ as he added a little more bass to his voice,’ I have to take you back to the late 19th century. It were different times then, what with Jack the Ripper about, stirring up life in London. Great many killings were going on at that time and not all of them were done by dear ol’ Jacky.’

A loud noise of things falling filled the room.  It made an awful racket. We looked round us to see if we could see what had happened. A bunch of books fell down from one of the shelves and on their way down they had knocked over a quite inexpensive vase that shattered into pieces as it hit a very thick book. Mr Bent couldn’t be bothered. He took of sip of his tea, which was still piping hot, and swallowed it as if his throat was made of lead. Maybe that comes with old age, I dunno.

I will have to continue my story tomorrow. I can assure that it is going to be amazing. Though it’s a bit sad too. My bed is calling me and I can hear it calling me over the song I’ve been hearing in my head all day. Does everybody have that? A song that just gets stuck in your head for days and you can’t help but humming it or singing it in your head. The most frustrating thing is that I keep on repeating one bit of the song because I forgot the lyrics to the rest of it. All day long I’ve been walking around singing the same two lines, then I pause for a bit – there are more lines but I just don’t know the words – and finish with the last line of the verse and head into the first line of the chorus ending in a lalala, because I just don’t know the rest of the bleeding song anymore. I hope I am the only who has this, I wouldn’t want anybody else to suffer like this. See me tomorrow.

The Rock!

07-01-2014 Tuesday

17.00

Yes! I have survived yet another day of school. I am invincible! Although I don’t really know if you could call it a superpower,’ Hi there, random citizen, I am Schoolsurvivor Man, here to serve you.’ No, I don’t think it would work. And I would not look cool in a superhero outfit. Some people just have that; no matter what they wear, they always make the outfit look ridiculous.

Why do they teach all these useless things at school? I want to learn about catching ghosts, but they don’t teach you that. They give you maths, and history and mostly the boring bits, too. The only correct answer I have ever given so far is,’ He died.’ Most likely I will have to learn ghost hunting in my own time. I have already watched the film ‘Ghostbusters’, but I reckon that is not the way to do it. Besides, they have got all these gadgets that cost a lot of money. I think I will have to settle for a DIY ghost buster. I will have to look into these things.

Right after school I started searching the web a little, but there was not much I could find on who Sarah and Philip really were. There were a lot of websites describing the ghost story and sometimes even somebody talking about a sighting of the ghost, some pictures (mostly drawing, actually), but none of the websites I found mentioned anything more about their lives than what I had already heard. There is an air of mystery about this whole thing and it’s not just Sarah being a ghost.

Some things just don’t really add up, but I think that is quite normal with these ghost stories. Most of the time these stories have been passed on from person to person and very little was written down. Information gets lost and changed and stuff. Maybe Mr Bent knows more, but I somehow doubt it. He is not particularly fond of the Internet.

Hark, Hark, Mum is calling. I think from now on I am going to call my house ‘the rock’, because I have been living under it for years now. Seems like I don’t know anything about the world out there. Mum tries to keep me inside as much as possible. I wonder if she thinks I am not ready for the world or if the world is not ready for me. It’s not easy being schoolsurvivor man. So long and see me tomorrow.