The Wandering Mind

February 19, 2010
As I recount this recent and most unfortunate adventure that has befallen me, my hand quivers with an emotion, fear, that reminds me that nothing that lays before me is certain, and that by week’s end the dear reader might see me strung up in the gibbet along the Thames, dancing to the hempen jig. I write this singular and haunting account from a jail cell, where I am being held on charges of murdering young Mr. Simon James-Carlyle, son of an upper-class doctor whose residence is unknown to me. It started when I stepped into a tobacconist’s shop to purchase some cigars. The small, one-room shop was covered in a thin layer of dust and cigar-ash, and as I looked about, a thin man of small stature appeared before me, leering in a most peculiar way. I gazed back at him, squinting through the thick air and smog that drifted through the open window. He appeared to be one with the rotten environment that surrounded us, covered in filth and decaying matter. I was quite disgusted at first, and almost walked out of the place, but I had a desire for a good cigar, and though this might not be the place to find it, it was the cheapest I could find and the most I could afford. I broke this awkward stalemate, asking if I might purchase some cigars here. He replied in the affirmative. I purchased the cigars and stepped out into the street, breathing in the air. London air, as the reader might well know, is not the cleanest air in the world, or indeed the country. But even my short tenure within the tobacconist’s shop left my lungs crying for succor, and I obeyed their will. I pulled a golden watch from my pocket, the last remnant of my previous life. But I will not engage the dear reader in another story, a story which as far as I know has nothing to do with the one I am telling. But now, as I languish in this hellhole that is Her Majesty’s prison, I wonder, how much do I really know of the advents that have been occurring of late?.....My mind wanders….. I glanced down, and the time being 11:25, I put the watch back into my pocket, glancing nervously about. If you have ever been on the streets of London, dear friend, then you know it is not a wise thing to expose objects of value to the eyes of other men. Oh, little did I know that in thirty-five minutes time my entire world would come crashing down! Life is a sad thing….. I used to think it a lark, but even then some unseen force was chipping away at its foundation, until it collapsed, throwing me into a Hades which is the London streets. It’s been five years now…. I resumed my walk, going at a laid-back pace and puffing at one of the repulsive cigars I had purchased off the Tobacconist. As I rounded a corner, I threw down the cigar, grinding it into the mud. I muttered curses at the ones who had brought me to this level, the ones who had stolen my life of leisure, my fortune, and had reduced me………… Ah, I have begun to fall asleep, the dampness of this walls and the food here do nothing to improve the spirits. It grows late… I can tell, not by the setting sun, which I cannot see in this accursed prison, nor by the fact that I grow wearier with each passing minute, for one is weary all the time. No, I can only tell that the day has come to a close because a guard has appeared in front of my cell, his duty being to light the numerous torches which line this dreaded corridor. Oh, how can a man be so reduced that he needs another to tell him that night draws near? For then the day is surely done. I must stop this roaming mind of mine. I have resolved to set these events down, so if I do not live to see the week’s end, possibly you, reader, will realize that I was not another faceless miscreant, sent to the gallows for a petty crime, for I committed none! Perhaps it is simply vanity when a man carves his name into a gravestone………… I continued down the street, hands in pockets and filled with self-pity and loathing…..I suddenly found myself in a crowd, with people pushing in on all sides……I became frightened, and tried to run, but this mob was vast, and filled with hatred and fury. They directed their attention on a young man, for what reason I did not and do not know. I couldn’t think, and I began running, through the mob, towards the young man. He saw me, he saw me, looked at me with eyes wide open with fear….those eyes haunt me. I was, he was, the last thing we saw before….. He raised his arm, a small pistol in hand. Filled with fear, I launched myself at him unconscious of anything around me, groping for the gun; I found trying to rip from his grasp…a click a sharp crack was heard, so close to my face I was stunned, blinded...

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This article has 8 comments. Post your own now!

ashley said...
Mar. 19, 2010 at 4:36 pm
You are such an amazing writer! I am so proud of you!
Dave in Munich said...
Feb. 25, 2010 at 1:41 pm
Excellent short story Mr. Richard_cour_de_lion. I just got back from London last night and must keep you story in mind during my next visit
laramama said...
Feb. 24, 2010 at 9:13 pm
nice job... excellent descriptives
poppy and grandmom said...
Feb. 23, 2010 at 4:50 pm
This was excellent. You never cease to amaze ud. Looking forward to reading more.
deb g said...
Feb. 23, 2010 at 4:26 pm
Great images are given to the reader. My mood was brought right down there alongside a hopeless, wronged man in a dark and gloomy prison. It's really very, very good writing. Keep at it!
Jamma said...
Feb. 22, 2010 at 4:32 pm
Very well written, it kept me on the edge of my chair, keep up the good work.
CarolPlumUcci said...
Feb. 22, 2010 at 1:30 pm
Hey, kid! You're so "right there," and you put a reader right there, too. Your language seems authentic to something; have you been reading ~A Tale of Two Cities?~ You're a good writer. If you think you eventually want to try to sell stuff, tell your mom to email me and I'll give you some blow on that. The only think I'd do differently is make paragraphs. Readers shy away from huge blotches of gray and always, you're a servant if you're a writer. Ni... (more »)
flagman said...
Feb. 22, 2010 at 12:26 pm
Nice job, keep up the good work! Can't wait for the next one.
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