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Pain and Passion's Courses

Short story By: Mintboy
Action and adventure



A story about a teenager in the Victorian era who is rescued by a young girl who he falls in love with. However, even after escaping the trackers are still after him. Can the pair manage to escape their clutches.


Submitted:Sep 23, 2012    Reads: 15    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


Pain and Passion's Courses
Prologue
April 21st 1846
The atmosphere was uneasy. Though, the sunset had sent the sky into an astonishing purple haze and, the rush of the waves was harmonious like an orchestra fading away blissfully from a crusendo. In the cool air, that encposassed the lone pair, were golden seagulls swiftly darting two and fro. The sea embraced the horizon for fear of falling to the abyss beneath. The breeze whipped past her light brown hair and into the pale cliffs behind, making a whistling sound at each crag. There was a silence between the repetetive floods of emotion. She looked at him almost angrily.
"I could've left you there," she said piercingly.
"I don't understand what I've done wrong, anyway I'm about to undo all the wrongs I have ever done by ending my life for your survival," he replied sheepishly.
"You're meant to thank someone whose saved you, not fall in love with them!" she protested prudently.
"You kissed me remember!"
"I was scared - I told you already it was a mistake!"
"So you believe that me falling in love with you is also a mistake? I assure you it was fate. Who wouldn't fall in love with you? You're amazing, intelligent, funny and beautiful. I mean, no wonder you're angry - I'm nothing but rubbish!" he said, slashing through each word simultaneously holding back from becoming teary. He looked into her eyes. He remembered the first time he looked into those eyes. The amount of dread that coursed through his bones when he first saw her. The eyes that he had come to love. They looked like emrald jewels to him now.
She sighed.
"You're not rubbish," she whispered.
"Why did you read my diary anyway?" he asked politely.
She blushed.
"No reason but curiosity, now I'm sorry I ever did," she said as she winced at him.
He fashioned his diary from the rucksack.
"Let us see" he said.
Chapter 1
April 13th 1846
"Dear Diary,
Amber and I are on the run." Scribbled Mitchell, content with the first sentence he had managed to craft in his shining new diary. Now all his diary wanted to know was his life history. He chewed the end of his feather before continuing. "I shall have to start from the begining ." Although he knew that every second he spent writing, the trackers would be gaining on him - but he was compelled to write. The temptation of sharing his story with the rest of the world felt crucial to him at the time.
"My name is Mitchell Warne. My father died of an uncurrable illness, just as I was born. I was left with my step-mother who, until I turned 13, loved me apparently very much. The reason she despised me after, is due to the fact she ascertained in my fathers will, that all of the inheritance belongs to me as soon as I turn 18. Unless I become insane or die before I have written my own will; then the money is given to my father's second wife. Since the dicovery, my step-mother has gone out of her way to make my life hell.My blood mother has been in a mental asylum since my fathers departing.
On the day of my 16th birthday she spiked my drink with such strong alchol that I could barely walk straight. Whilst I was intoxicated, she bought in two waiting doctors to review my health, especially my mental stability. The doctors, suspecting no foul play ( due to the ouderlessness of the alchol) declared me as insane.
On the same day I was stolen away to a hospital, called Bedlam,of course at the time I was not aware of where I was going as I were still severly drunk. Whilst on the horse drawn cart I could barely make out the shapes of the two doctors faces, however even whilst intoxicated the potent memories of the streets of Victorian London, were vivid enough to see. I looked outside the window and could see the columns of smoke rising from the steel factories' chimneys, a stones throw away from the factories I distincly recall passing my Uncle's home - 221B Baker Street. What I most recall passing were the grandness of parliament square and seeing the construction of what they called the London eye.
By the time I had arrived just outside Bedlam I must have slep at least twice enroute. The pain in my head , what my step mother called the 'hooligans hangover', had managed to blunt all of my senses. The doctors dragged me out of the cart and onto the cold stone pavement. I heaved myself onto my feet and blindly ambled to where I was guided. I entered the building.
The sweet, unfforgettable musk of the reception begrudgingly seeped into my nose.
'Would you like a seat?' said the homely old woman. There was a table across the hall it had bulbous legs and reminded me of my plump cat's stomach .It had two chairs at either side. What I had failed to notice, in the moment, was that the chairs had wheels on the legs. I, still dazed with a hangover sat briskly into the seat and vanquished my thirst with the glass of water at the table. I started stiching my memories together in an attempt to remember the events that happened during my blackout. But nothing.
Her sickly warm breath stabbed my face.
'Now my dearie' she squaked annoyingly 'Welcome to your new home' she beamed, placing a wierd accent on the end of each word.
'What d'you mean?' I asked as I looked around at what looked like a buisnessman's recption.
'The government believes a place like this ... is beneficial to a person like you...' she trailed off and began humming - at which point I had become infuriated and spoke out.
'Listen to me, you sodden old wretch, this is just a mistake. Now show me the way out!' I demanded. She chuckled to her haughty self and from her humming she broke into a song which was like an uninterpretable sequence of sounds. Tears of unmistakeable joy rolled off her cheeks.
'My boy, my poor poor boy' she wailed.
'I demand to be let out' I exclaimed, as I reached out, my fist like a claw, to hit the old woman. In one swift movement two large stocky men grabbed at both my arms and bound me with rope to the chair. My struggles to escape were futile. I could hear the old woman, quietening from her song, as I rolled away towards a wall: a dead end. One of the large suited men then stepped infront and pushed the 'movable' wall and I was munuvered through.
A sense of impending doom was haunting me. I haulted. Infront, kneeling was a middle aged man, deeply scarred across the face, his chest was naked and displayed such heavy wounds it made one wonder how he kept breathing. He looked up, as a child would at it's mother, I could not ever not feel sympathy towards him. He laughed.
'You... you might just steal all the attention' he panted then cracked his neck. He shifted his eyes onto the suited stocky man on my side.
'There once was a lad who was mad,
his truths and his lies are all sad.
Forever he'll be,
a slave onto thee.' he said so shrewdly that he could have, for a moment, be mistaken for a poet. Dribble gorged from the knelt man's mouth as he nodded at the suited man. Instantaneously my mouth was covered with a cloth, after which, I believe I passed out.
The walls are grey. A miserable monotonous grey. An unmoving grey. I was layed out on the floor in an empty room no bigger than a prison cell. The walls are also empty, more empty than the room. The grey walls are bare and daunting. In the corner there is food - hope. My mind screamed out and my body instinctivley jarred towards the half loaf of bread. I drowened myself with the sickly stale bread whilst launching the stick of butter down the back of my throat.I was ravenously hungry. I spied a note underneath the food. Picking it up I read the note 'Welcome to Bedlam. Enjoy your stay.' I had never heard of such a place called Bedlam. What ever this place; they wanted me alive.
Judging from the arrival at Bedlam I assumed it was a prison. Also that during the blackout I must have commited a crime. I kept wondering what might it have been that had landed me in prison. I got up from the corner next and I walked over to the mettalic door which had no window or handle just a lock. I kicked it several times, waited for the ringing to dull,but no anwer returned. I put my ear to the door - silence. Confused , I sat on the wooden floor and waited for the next arrival of food.
Perhaps an hour later. A woman walked in. She was very attractive, however, what she was holding in her hands nullified her extreme beauty. Her scent was relaxing and soothing. In her right hand she carried handcuffs, in her left a whip. There was no betrayal of emotions on her face.
'What is your name boy?' she inquired. I remained sat, illogically, and replied compliantly.
'Mitchell Warne' I stuttered. Her presence in itself was electryfying and most defenitley intimidating. I would, after that day, come to loathe this woman, but at the time I was unaware. My unfaithful eyes became fixated with the weapons.
'Don't worry Mitchy, these are just stage props. You see, I'm an actor. Right now I'm playing an Egyptian queen who lords over her slaves,' she said. However she noticed that I was still not fully convinced. Perhaps due to the fact I had just remembered having seen the 'knelt man'.
'I have to carry these everywhere. My imbecilic director believes it'll train me for the role. He believes he's invented something called 'Method acting' apparently,' she complained. I then came to believe that perhaps the 'knelt man' was also a method actor and all of this was a wind-up by my step mother. The woman sat infront of me and gripped my shoulders reasurringly her eyes flicking from each of my eyes constantly.
'I need you to relax, so that I can ask you a few questions,' she spoke authoratively.
'You promise those are not for me ma'am,' I spoke stumbling over each word foolishly.
'I promise' she said in a seductive voice. I believed her. She smiled.' Now firsts are firsts Mitchy. How old are you?'
'16' I replied. She gave a menacing smile. 'A smile none the less' I thought at the time.
'Do you know why youre here?'
'No,'
'Do you have a girlfriend,'
'I used to, but we broke up recently,' at which point her smile grew with such delight it worried me.
'Oh poor you,' she said with a synthetic sympathy and moved on hastily 'Now I just want to check your health' as she tore my shirt off. 'Don't tell anyone but my father made me train as a nurse' she whispered as she winked. I was still astounded by her strength. I remained silent. 'Fit as a fiddle' she remarked joyfully. She walked over to the whip and flicked it into the air. 'Build me a pyramid now,' she exclaimed then giggled. 'What do you think Mitchy? Good acting or what?' she questioned.
'Very convincing' I replied in a sinister tone.
'But I'm missing a slave aren't I?' she said as she paused and swung around to look at me. Her prowess now glistening. Quick as an arrow she whipped me across my chest. Enraged I stood to my feet and threw her against the wall.
'Everyone loves a rebel' she said, our faces now only milimeters apart. She licked her lips and kneed me in the stomach leaving me sprawled across the floor. She handcuffed me and chained me to a hook in the wall. The toture had begun.
Chapter 2
" A year later. I had become sullen and malnourished, not to mention scarred physically and mentally. They, the grey walls were now my happiness and joy. The walls are my entertainment and serenity after each session of pain. Suddenly the metal door coursed open and unfamilliar face appeared. I cowered swiftly into the corner.
'Please I implore you to see sense. I beg you do not hurt me,' I pleaded almost rehearsedly.
'I'm not going to hurt you' she said.' Her voice was ellequant and mistyfying. I did not let my guard down, I could still remember the first session of toture which felt as if it had occured only a moment ago. There was a silence.
'I'm Amber Redleaf. Pleased to meet you' she said as she sent her hand forward to greet me, at which I flinched. I had become terrified of everything, every motion and sound. At least five minutes of silenced passed, only then I realised the girl was to do me no harm.
'What are you doing here?' I implored.
'I thought you'd never ask! My father inspects hospitals and sees if they are making enough money to treat patients. Right now in Bedlam, it seems too much money is bieng made. So my father has gone undercover to dicover the reason. He brings me along to inspections to teach me about how hospitals work. At the entrance it seems my father paid a great deal of money to come inside. As we were walking in, the receptionist explained how they kept 'patients' in here that could be visited for a high price. She said were allowed to do anything with the patients.
My dad let me pick one of the infinite rooms of the hospital, that were hidden behind this strange cardboard like wall. Judging by your scars and your condition it seems that they toture patients in here. 'Mental patients' considering we are in, Bedlam, the biggest mental aslylum in London.' she broke off and looked sympathetically into my eyes. In that one go all of the pains in my body dispersed and vanished now that everything had been explained.
'You have to help me escape' I said in hope.
'I won't have to, my father will expose this injustice to parliament,' she said quietly content.
'But what if something happens,' I said in desperation. So we started hatching a cunning plan.
I went a bit like this:
- A months wait, to see if parliament takes action.
- If not, Amber disguises herself as my mistress then has the regular session of toture with me and says that she wants to buy me as a slave and says that she will pay later.
-Run far away enough and not pay the high unnaffordable price.
After waiting the longest month of my life she arrived again.
'My father lost his job in parliament due to the reshuffle' she said as looked saddened.
'Is the plan still on track then?' I asked. She brought her hands out, from behind her back bringing to the fore a whip and handcuffs.
'Remember they need to hear screaming otherwise they'll know somethings up," she said trembling whilst hand cuffing me.
'You need to hit me hard. My pain threshold is really high,' I said almost proud of bieng so servitude. 'You've got to do it.'
She raised the whip above her head and struck down on my back. It didn't hurt, yet, you could tell she put quite some effort into the hit. She repeated, this time slightly harder and my face went red. Twice more, but then the oozing blood started making her worried.
'Blood loss is actually considered good practice these days,' I laughed. ' One big blow and you'll see that I will be absolutley fine.' She contorted her face and hit me so hard on the chest I bent double and screamed in agony. She started breathing very heavily and cried.
'I'm so sorry. So so sorry,' she didn't stop weeping.
'Keep going,' I said trying to hide the pain. She nodded and obeyed. And thrice she hit me for good measure, once across the neck, which made me vomit.
'No more, no more' I begged. She continued with the final stike, that beat me to the ground. Now I was flat out on my stomach, beginning to get worried myself. She knelt and picked me up and wiped the vomit and dribble off my mouth avoiding eye contact at all times. Then unexpectedly she kissed me on the lips.
'That was the only sorry I could come up with,' she justified to herself as she pulled away slowly. I did not know what to do, the kiss felt amazing. So I kissed her back. She didn't resist.
Then she slapped me across the face.
'What was that for?' she questioned.
'What was the slap for? The kiss was a thank you from me!' I reasoned. She slapped me again.
'I haven't even managed to get you out of this cell yet!' she scowled.
'Worth the slaps though' I murmed under my breath.
We escorted ourselves out of the chamber and back to the reception. The events of the past year all limped to the back of my mind as I looked out of the window to freedom. However, to my cursed luck I saw the toturing woman conversing to the old recptionist woman.
'That's the real deal, lets slip off before I get noticed,' I whispered to Amber. The torturing woman glanced at me and instantly recognised me. She started shouting at the stocky men, who now looked a bit old, to chase after me. It was a close shave. Me and Amber clambered onto her horse and rode off. That would not be the last we saw of them. That was for sure."
Mitchell strected his arms before continuing his diary.
"'Where are we going? We've already run out of food,' she asked whilst looking sternly at me, pehaps because I devoured everything in sight and left nothing for her.
'My uncle, he's a detective so he'll be able to tell us how to cover our tracks. Then we can avoid ever meeting the torturing bastards,' I said ending my speech, realizing I was no longer in the company of 'toturing bastards'. She looked at me inquisitivley, as if to say from her visage I was impolite. 'Sorry for the language' I said apologetically.
'Where does your uncle live?' she questioned.
'On 221B Baker Street in Cental London near the Thames. By the way where are we now?'
'A few miles from Bedlam. Perhaps on the outskirts of London near Cambridge,'
'We've got a long way to go still and I would ride the horse only if I knew how,' I said embarresdly. On our escape she had ridden the horse, with me sitting behind her which was slightly awkward because even in such suspense of bieng chased by muderers I unintentionally got an erection, which she pointed out was creepy as she could feel it on her back. What did she expect? During the stay at Bedlam I had hardly any energy and I was alone most of the time, so remaining chaste was an easy task. However, now I was in the presence of a girl who actually doesn't enjoy trying to ruin me.
She pulled out a map from her rucksack and plotted our course to London.
'Let me take a look,' I said inquisitivley.
'Why?'
'Boys are better at reading maps than girls,' I said jokingly.
'Right so, where are we now on the map?' she said harshly.
'I'm out of practice,' I said as I pushed the map away.
'Boys are also more silly than girls!' she roared. 'Do you really have to sit behind me - I could always teach you to ride. It's not too difficult. I mean if a girl can manage it!'
I streched my legs and done some traditional Victorian 'warm ups' and jumped onto the horse cassually. Then she climbed behind. She reached forwards, her body clasped to mine, and grabbed the reigns and passed them to me.
'What do these do,' I said ponderesly.
'These are reigns, they steer a horse' she said as she patted the horse on it's back to get it to start strolling. ' Hit the horse on the right and he'll turn left and vice versa,' she said instructively.' That's it,' she said encourigingly as I turned left in between two trees then turned back right through the next two. Then we came to a halt behind a fence.
'How do I jump,' I said excitedly.
'You'll need to build speed, but first let's reverse,' she said as she grabbed my hands and pulled the riegns back with only slight force. Now we were at least fifteen yards from the fence. 'Hit the reigns exactly down trying to hit the neck as much as possible. Are you ready?' she said, then paused. 'Go!'. The horse sped towards the fence whilst she was still holding my hands in place, then she flicked the riegns up when we were almost about to hit the fence itself. The moment of exilleration in the air was like ecstacy. I braced my self for a bumpy landing but was suprised when the horse gracefully continued into the next field without a hitch.
Amber gave me directions until we reached near enough to see the city walls, which seemed close because the walls were so big but in fact there was a long distance yet to cover. Then as nightfall approached she fell asleep gripping to my back. The horse knelt down out of tiredness and I moved Amber off and lay her on the grass and tied the horse to a tree. I lay next to her almost motionless body. The moonlight shone down on her face. Only now I saw how beautiful and enchanting she really was. Also I saw what a kind hearted person she was for saving my life. Watching her sleep was facinating. The peacefull rise and fall of her chest, the cascading silky hair at her sides. The time I had spent with her was the happiest of my entire life. I think I'm in love with her.
The birds were singing. The sun was shining. She was looking at me. Staring. I rubbed my eyes and sat up. She remained still.
'G'morning my lady,' I said with a smile.
'What was it like, don't pretend to be all cheery. I know what they've done to you for so long and your clearly not insane like the other patients,' she interrogated.
'My step-mother probably put me in thier to steal my fathers inheritance,'
'Gosh, all that suffering for money?'
'Yeah, she's pretty cruel but hey; look I'm already recovering,' I said, pointing at the minorly faded scars on my arm.
'But aren't you scared that I or someone else might treat you like they did?' she observed.
'I haven't thought about it like that and I guess you already have treated me like that, which is wierd,'
'Dont remind me. Also that kiss was a mistake," she said cooly. This made me feel dejected and I opened the map infront of my face to hide my sadness.
'Onwards to Sherlock Holmes,' I said cassually. That was the last we spoke until we reached my uncle's home. When we arrived, we were greeted by Mrs Hudson, the land lady, who gave us fresh clothes and food and prepared us for sleep. Then when Mr Holmes arrived he said that he was very tired and would talk to us in the morning, he did however, give me this diary upon which I write at the moment. Oh yeah, the horse ran away whilst we weren't looking." Mitchell closed the diary and fell asleep.
Chapter 3
April 14th 1836
'Quickly, go and wake him up!' said a voice. It was Mrs Hudson talking to Amber.
'Mitchell, you must wake up,' she said as Mitchell groaned like a sloth.
'I am a wake,' he yawned unappreciativley. 'What is it?'
'Your step-mum is after you aswell as the Bedlam men' she said informitivley.
'Why my step-mum?
'She can't recieve anymore inheritance if the lawyers dicover you are fit enough to be outside a mental asylum. So she'll propably want to kill you right now. The where abouts of the Bedlam men are still unkown but your uncle suspects the two parties are allies.'
'How do you know all this?,'
'It turns out your step-mum and uncle regularly send letters to one another, but your uncle has ensured that your saftey is of upmost importance at the moment,' she said with relief.
'Plus he's a detective,' He said in a humorous tone.
'There is no time for jokes, Mitchell, we must plan before we are captured,'
'We? We? No offence but your safe now, you can leave,' Mitchell said, even though he knew it was hurtful to both him and her.
' The Bedlam men might recognise me, I'm no safer than you are. I could end up in Bedlam now myself,' she said. Mitchell realised how much Amber had sacrificed, just for him.
'Why risk your safety for me?'
'When I saw you in there, in the cell. Those eyes of yours the must've hit a heart string of mine.' she said hastily as she stood up from my bed and walked downstairs. Not looking back. Mitchell slipped into his clothes and followed her down. As he reached the bottom of the stairs he found the living room was in complete darkness. He stepped in and suddenly everyone jumped at him and shouted
'Suprise'. His uncle raced forward and embraced him.
'Been so long my boy,Happy 18th Birthday,' said Sherlock.
'It's so nice to be here,' he said cheerfully.
'A few battle scars I see, would've come to rescue you myself but, I was so busy, so I sent one of my crew. Took ages to find the right person for the job.' He said as he pointed to Amber with his cane. Amber was carrying a cake, a victoria sponge cake with a strawberry and rasberry jam filling. She bought it over to Sherlock and Mitchell and gave them each a slice.
'You know my uncle?' Mitchell asked curiously.
'Best of mates me and Amber's Dad,' replied Sherlock. 'Oh look, my Mrs Hudson has some betroot! My favourite. I'll leave you two to it!' as he winked slyly at them.
'What ever did happen to your dad?'
'He works with the navy now onboard Sir Walter Raliegh's ship. They're due to set sail in a few days,' she said sadly.
'Why are you sad? I would love the chance to leave London and travel to distant lands,' inquired Mitchell.
'You don't understand. My fathers passion was to work in parliament, he wanted to be just like his own father. Now he just scrubs the decks like a commoner.' she said dissapiontedly.
'I know what'll cheer you up!' he said, as he reached for the newly invented icecream flavoured lemonade.
'Oh that's wretched,' she snorted. They both started laughing.
'What's so funny?' said Sherlock as he returned with a large stump of betroot in the side of his cheek.'We need to crack on.'
Sherlock began instructing them on how not to be tracked and also the best routes in London. Also telling them where they could stay for food and supplies. He mentioned stopping off at Charles Dicken's home for some entertaining reads if they got bored. Most importantly he told them of the spare cottage he had at Brighton. Which if they reached, without bieng tracked, could live in peace. Amber and Mitchell were apprehensive about living together but Sherlock informed them that the cottage was fully seperated down the centre. When Amber asked why that was, Sherlock replied that he had been planning his nephew's saftey ever since he was born. He had got a cheap house division made when he started planning Mitchell's escape from Bedlam.
'Anymore questions?' Sherlock asked.
'How much longer can we stay at yours, uncle?' Mitchell gleamed.
'Another night then no more.' Sherlock said sternly.
It was three hours past mid day. Amber was growing bored, so she stepped into Sherlock's study. The room was packed with books . She was suprised the shelves withstood the wieght of the elephant sized books like a rugby player holds his massive bulk of muscles upright . On the desk there were letters scattered to and fro. A type writer in the centre ,unmoved from the day it was placed there. None of the documents were type written. Everything hand written. As she wondered closer she pulled open a cuboard in the desk. Inside were type written documents. s
She took the first one out. It was titled 'Death'. It read as
' Every Day. I know how, I know when, I know where and I know what. Why? Why does a human have to die. The helplessness at the end of every single life. The hope that life will continue. Felt by each one who goes through it.
They make me look at death everyday. They ask me all the questions about what happened to each poor soul. I know of all the answers. I cannot tell them however, why the universe has chosen to condenm all life, to a certain death. What is the reason I myself choose to continue to exist. Wether it is nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of grief. Or rise up against a sea of trouble and pain and by doing so, end them?
Time and time again I bring myself to a point in life where I feel that if I were to continue living, then, when I do reach death I will regret having lived passed that point. To die. To sleep. But in that sleep. What dreams may come? For once we have shuffled off these motal coils.
What is the point? The point of life. Each day is painful and sorrowful though I dare show it not. For the oppotunity to end up in Bedlam is not one I would hastily approach. In that dream of death how will I be judged? The dream of death may entail a far worse scenario than that of the grief I dream today.'
'It doesn't make sense' said Amber outloud.
'I agree,' said Mitchell. Amber was startled by his entrance. Every move Mitchell made astonished Amber. The collectiveness and calmness, even after a year of toture, that he possesed within him was inspiring. Mitchell on the other hand, was feeling the frantic beat of his heart. He had sought for a moment like this to tell Amber how he felt about her.
'Sherlock is pained by the amount of death he sees every day, I would be too , having to investigate brutal murders, one after the other, cannot be good for you!' Amber announced.
'We should make or do something for him to show that we appreciate his kindness,' Mitchell said, who was now becoming so uncomfortable, that he began a sweat.
'That's a good idea, I like people who can make grand gestures, perhaps Sherlcok likes gestures too,' said Amber boyantly.
'Perhaps a party tonight, when he returns from work,' said Mitchell as decicive as a hawk. Mitchell thought the idea of a party, when he was slightly drunk, could help him with courting Amber.
There was a knock on the door.
'Who is it?' asked Mrs Hudson.
'It's Sherlock Holmes,'
'Come on in Sherlock, I thought you'd have a key with you, oh well...'
Amber and Mitchell were arranging the food for the party as they heard a thump.
'What was that,' inquired Amber as they cautiosly raced over to the front door. On the floor lay Mrs Hudson, still breathing. Blood was streaming out of her shoulder. In the pool of blood there was a note. Amber crabbed forward slowly.
'Careful Amber, let me check the door first,' said Mitchell attempting to be heroic. The street was desolate. Amber read the note.
'Sherlock Holmes is dead,' said Amber quivering.
'Must've been one of Sherlock enemies,' said Mitchell. Amber began sobbing. Mitchell comforted her with a hug.'We must leave tonight. I'm pretty sure my uncle had other enemies too. Once they dicover he is no longer alive they'll probably lay pillage to this home. I'm pretty sure a clever man like my uncle would have given Mrs Hudson protocols on what do in such an event. The damage to her shoulder doesn't look too extensive. We need to start packing, right now.'
'We had a party planned and it was going to be a really happy evening,' said Amber now growing even more distrought looking at Mrs Hudson.
'I know, I know,' sighed Mitchell as he gripped Amber's hand to reassure her.
Traveling at night in Victorian London is a occurence even angels fear. The streets are compacted with serial killers, muggers and rapists. The most notorius bieng Jack the Ripper. However niavely, Amber and Mitchell decided that they had slept enough during the day to be able to dodge Victorian nightly troubles. The streets gleamed gold. The gripping cold wind forced the two lonesome travellers together as they craved for any amount of warmth.
The many millions of stars beamed down to earth providing them ample company. The barren street felt calming rather than disturbing beacuse the moon's face smiled at them. The street lamps were all identical to the one in Narnia. Yet niether had read of Narnia as C.S.Lewis was not yet born. Amber's favourite books were Jane Austen novels. However, Mitchell enjoyed Agatha Christie's many marvelous Mysteries. The author of this book that you are reading has a taste for George Orwell's novel Nineteen-EightyFour and Sheakspeare's Hamlet. All of these vapid and vain thoughts teamed through both thier minds. Not once expecting and realizing that someone was following them.
'No where to stay my lovelies, running way are we?' the man said in a slurred voice.He was, about five foot and eight inches, he confronted them in the street carrying an empty bottle of wine. Yet the way the man stood, almost in a military stance, revealed his drunk state was a pretence. He wielded a knife.
'Whoah, you had a bit too much sauce? What do you want?' said Mitchell bravely. Amber remained silent as she slowly crawled backwards.
'That girl. I want her. Anything. I'll give you anything you want boy, because I really am not in the mood for a struggle today,' he said pointing at the girl.
'Sorry she's already taken,' Mitchell said knocking the knife out of the mans hand.
' I don't think so,' he retorted as he swung the wine bottle at Mitchell's head. Mitchell arched backwards to dodge it. The dodge was sucsessful. On the way back up, however, the wine bottle approached him from the other side. He was not quick enough this time and the blow left him dazed. Mitchell believed this was the end for him, until he saw Amber picking up the knife. She submerged the knife into the back of the man's neck. He fell on top of Mitchell. Mitchell quickly threw the blood bathed body off his shoulders. Amber dropped the bload soaked knife.
'Who the bloody hell was he?' Mitchell wondered.
'That's Jack - '
'The Ripper?' interrupted Mitchell in shock.
'Let's see if he's got any money, I forgot to get some when I was at Baker Street,' Amber said stabbing into the dead man's pockets. She retrieved a scrunched up ball of paper and twenty pounds worth of money. Amber undid the piece of paper. It was a love letter. Enscribed on it was a detailed explanation from a woman, called Esmerelda Groundhog, who said that she loved Jack very much but also that she would never disobey her father. Underneath the woman's many kisses was a sentence written in blood. 'On your name I will seek revenge on all women.' The two decided that, though there were many reasons to continue the endevour, it was probably safer to reroute to the nearby Charles Dickens' home.
April 15th 1846
The BigBen struck 12. The stars were still looming overhead as they approached a small lonely house. All but one light was burning in the home. Amber knocked on the door. A short clad man appeared at the door carrying a cricket bat, darts and some heavy books about tax laws.
'Who are you?' He said stiffening his nose to try and look threatning.
'Friends of Sherlock Holmes. I'm Amber Redleaf and this - ' said Amber very abruptly intterupted. As soon as Amber said 'Sherlock' the man dropped all his 'weapons' to the ground and embraced the two.
'Why you should've said so. That man is a work of art. I won't be suprised if one day, someone writes a book on him.I'm too busy to write one about Sherlock. Right now that twisted 'Oliver Copperfield' needs my help, if he's ever gonna escape that artful dodger!' He said whilst rubbing his hands with eagerness. 'You two... Are you part of his (network)'he whispered whilst peering round each corner of his eye.' so to speak?' His eyes now dilating with excitement. 'I just cannot contain my elation. Sherlock always said he'd would let me help him investigate one day,and that was more than two decades ago in the playground of our highschool! Can you believe it! Me! Ooh don't tell me. A murder that looks like a suicide. Or. Or. A suicide that looks like a murder huh?' he said then hesitated as he saw Amber and Mitchell's eyes drop in solitude. 'He's dead isn't he?... Well don't just stand there amazed at how I know that. I'm a genius,' he said sorrowfully and arogantly as he ushered them into his miniscule abode.
'It is truly Hard Times,' said Amber trying to lighten the dampened spirtits of the room.
'There's a spare room upstairs, Mitchell you'll have to sleep on the floor, I hope you dont mind sharing a room.' Charles said whilst swallowing another gulp of beer. His head oscillating horizontally with drunkenness. The man looked overwhelmed with such pensive it looked like the skin on his face had shrivveled and all that was showing was his overcast bones beneath. The two children scuttled upstairs and into the last door to the right.
'I'm alright, sleeping on the floor. Infact it's become second nature to me.' said Mitchell when he saw that Amber looked worriedly at him.
'We could always share, this bed,' said Amber sarcastically. Mitchell did not pick up on the joke and replied
'Yeah, why not?' as he bought himself to his feet.
'It was a joke Mitchell?' said Amber annoyed.
'I was thinking about what Sherlock wrote, about death,' said Mitchell desperatley tring to avoid an awkard silence whilst laying back down on the floor.
'Yeah and?'
'I guess everyone is totured in thier own way, everyone has their own special anguish,' he said as he picked up his diary and began reflecting on the days events. Amber fell asleep.
'Amber what are you doing?' said Mitchell gaining conciousness as he sat up from his sleep. The daylight poured into the room.
'Oh nothing,' she said as she quickly slid the diary underneath the bed covers.
'Let's get going hey?,'
'Why? I mean we still haven't come across your stepmother's trackers or even the Bedlam men?' she said realizing the gravity of what she had just said.
'Yeah, you're right. We still need a place to live though,'
'My home no longer exists, my father couldn't afford the mortgage anymore and I don't want to live with my grandmother,'
'Then we need to get to Brighton, we'd better not leave it too late,' said Mitchell still wary.
'Do you want to tell me something, Mitchell?' asked Amber.
'Nope,' replied Mitchell completly forgetting about wanting to tell Amber that he loved her.
'Right then, let's eat breakfast and say a proper goodbye to Mr Dickens,' said Amber assertivley.
'Remember, he's probably still in grief over my uncle's death,' said Mitchell warningly.
Breakfast was a quiet affair. Sombre were the song of the birds of the morning. Charles gave them both one of his newly printed books and gave Amber a rose he'd picked from his garden 'A token of my gratitude.Since I don't get many visitors, that are friends of Sherlock, or visitors full stop.' Charles said .Also he gave Mitchell a rucksack of his own 'Not right making a lady carry all the wieght is it boy?' along with an army knife. 'Make sure she's safe, lad,' he said whilst waving goodbye as they walked off towards Brighton.They had only walked for five minutes when they heard a brigade of stomping horse hooves.
'We are looking for Mitchell Warne. Mitchell Warne reveal yourself at once,' bellowed a stocky man riding the horse cart almost as if he were a Roman chariot racer. The voice was originating from two streets away.
The two children crept into a dark alley, hidden from sight. A door opened from inside the alley. It was an old woman. She was wearing large glasses that enveloped each cheek. Her eyes were devious slits. She took a step towards the two children, revealing her metal cane that was wrapped in barbed wire. Her clothes were patterned like a scottish kilt. Her skilled hands held the top of the cane wihtout care. Her eyes darted to Mitchell. Mitchell retreated cautiously. Her zelousy could be seen. She steadied her old feet and vertically flourished her cane at the two children. She missed.
'Mitchell, do something!' said Amber knowing they were cornered. If they returned to the street they would surely be spotted by the Bedlam men. If they stayed in the alley they would have to fight or compromise with the old woman.
'I can't, she's my step-mum,' said Mitchell whilst throwing the army knife to Amber. She caught the knife unharmed at it's handle.
'What's she doing here?' Amber asked.
'It's where she lives' he replied
'So why didn't you say so?' she asked.
'It's been a year, I must've forgot' he asked.
'That's no excuse!' she exclaimed as she finally managed to kick the cane out of the woman's grasp. The woman pushed Amber away.
'Stop arguing like an old married couple,' said the woman as she grabbed Mitchell at his waist, bringing him down like a rugby attacker. 'Nice to see you again, Mitchell, my son.' She bagan strangling Mitchell with her weak,wrinkled and old hands.
'You too, you're quite old now. All the money's made you age at thrice the rate,' Mitchell chokeded as he regained his balance he pushed her away with ease. The old woman tried standing again but Amber bruttaly kicked her in the shins leaving her knelt. Amber passed the knife back to Mitchell. She whispered
'Do the honours.'
'Mitchell don't,' she begged as she knelt with her face to the ground. All the memories of begging his tortureres to stop, came flooding into the forefront of his mind. He thought for a moment then decided that the old woman deserved everything she got. He dived in for the strike. The sound of the search chariot whisked past the alley.
Chapter 4
April 16th 1846
The pair had arrived at South Downs untracked. The two were conclusive that they were now safe. The rolling landscape and the freshness of air complemented each other like the colours of a battenburg cake.
'I just remembered something Mitchell. When we met Jack the Ripper he said that he wanted me. You replied that I was already taken,' said Amber calmly. It was followed by an unsettling silence.
'Amber I want to tell you something,'
'I know,'
'You do?'
'Tell me then,'
'I think. I mean, I know that I -' he began, but was distracted by the figure in the disctance. 'Who's that?' It was a beautiful young girl with long, untame redhair. Mitchell recognised her and gulped for air as he realized for certain it was his first crush and girlfriend. Amber was in disbelief. She had read Mitchell's diary and knew that he loved her. So whoever distracted the beautiful moment was going to recieve a lot of abuse from Amber.
'Yes indeed, Mitchell who is it?' she interrogated.
'Felicity Cullen' he said as he smiled unearnestly and greeted the red haired girl with a cold hug.
'Mitchell Warne, what the hell happened to you?' she said observing every scar on the boy's face.'Oh hello -' she said as she spied Amber.
'Amber Redleaf, meet Felicity Cullen. Felicity Cullen meet Amber Redleaf,' he said like the secretary of defence. The two girls exchanged frigid glares, as if to say hello. ' A lot has happened to me in the last two years. Hoping to start again at Brighton,' he said.
'What a coincidence. Fate must really want us to keep together. My father got a new job as a hotel manager in Brighton. So now I'm here. The countryside is so much better for one's esteem than that hole that they call London. Don't you agree?'
'Yes. Now we really are in a hurry to get to our new home in Brighton,' said Mitchell dismissevly.
'Wait. Are you two like a couple or summin',' she incinuated.
'No. that's be seriously wierd,' snapped Amber.
'You still haven't moved on from me have you Mitchell? The first is always the most difficult is it not?' she said with a cunning glint in her eye.
'No. No I have.I have moved on. Certainley. 110% moved on. I have. I have.' Mitchell surrendered by sighing.
'I'm always here for you. We both made our mistakes but now we're older. We're 18, both of us. Both ready for adulthood. Here's my address, if you need me?'
'I'm sure I will,' he said as he swiped the card out of her hand and walked away.
Amber and Mitchell now out of hearing capability began a great war.
'Who was she?' asked Amber.
'Felicity was my first crush and girlfriend, we broke up just before I went to Bedlam.'
'Did you love her?'
' I was 15 and niave. I proposed to her, if you're so eager to know.'
'I'm not but you were about to tell me something important before she interrupted,'
'It doesn't matter anymore what I was going to say,'
'Do you still love her?'
'Perhaps I do. No-one gets over their first love so easily.'
'I know,' she said sadly. Mitchell was the first boy she had feelings for and he was destroying her heart.
When they reached their home there was a plaque on the door. 'Welcome to Holme's cottage.' It said. Their journey was now at a close. Mitchell gave Amber the keys.
'I want you to start our future,' he said as he looked at her picturess eyes. She turned the key and the door breathed open. They were at the cross roads of the end of one era and the beggining of an even better one. The whining of a gun shot rung past their ears and into the door. They turned immediatley and ran to the stable at the cottages rear. Two horses, both golden stallions for the ready. The pair sped off into the sunset. Both knowing that they would never escape the Bedlam men.
'We do not require you boy. We have many other patients as interesting as you. We just need pay. Along with interest for keeping the payment off for too long.' said the two stocky men simultaneously.
'I turned 18 only two days ago. I recieve my inheritance as soon you sign that I am no longer insane. I will pay you all of the money. My father is the second richest man in the country, he is deceased because he dicovered Australia and caught a foriegn disease,' explained Mitchell.
'Your dad's Christopher Colombus?'
'Yes, if you have any doubts you can personally see to my death and hers' said Mitchell without hesitance.
'Well sir, that'll be nine hundred and seventy six pounds and a shilling.'
'You'll have your pay by the end of this month.' said Mitchell confidently as the two stock men rolled away for the last time.
'Do you think my step mothers men know that she's dead?'
'I don't know. Lets see our house first!' she said with an excited relief.
April 21st 1846
The atmosphere was not calm. Though, the sunset had sent the sky into a purple haze and, the rush of the waves was harmonious like an orchestra fading from a mighty crusendo. The breeze whipped past her hair and into the pale cliffs behind, making a whistling sound at each crag. There was a silence between the repetetive floods of emotion. She looked at him almost angrily.
"I could've left you there," she said piercingly.
"I don't understand what I've done wrong, I'm about to undo all the wrongs I have done by ending my life for your survival," he replied shyly.
"You're meant to thank someone whose saved you, not fall in love with them!" she protested prudently.
"You kissed me remember!"
"I was scared - I told you already it was a mistake!"
"So you believe that me falling in love with you is also a mistake? I assure you it was fate. Who wouldn't fall in love with you? You're amazing, intelligent, funny and beautiful. I mean, no wonder you're angry - I'm nothing but rubbish!" he said, slashing through each word simultaneously holding back from becoming teary.
She sighed.
"You're not rubbish," she whispered.
"Why did you read my diary anyway?" he asked politely.
She blushed.
"No reason but curiosity, now I'm sorry I ever did," she said as she winced at him.
He fashioned his diary from the rucksack.
"Let us see" he said.
He read a highlighted section from his diary.
'I hate love, it haunts me like my fathers death. Never ceasing it's revengeful fire. Why? Why did Felicity have to show up the moment I wanted Amber the most.'
'I have always loved you. Even when I didn't know you existed.' Mitchell explained.
'That's impossible,' she moaned.
'Love is impossible.'
'If it were not for the circumstances-'
'Then I would not have to commit suicide right now, if only we could let my step-mother's men know that she is dead, before they kill me.' he sighed as he realised there really was not any hope. A large vessel bouncing towards them.
'But they were payed to murder you, they will continue the orders no matter if she's alive or dead. It's really kind of you saying that'll you'll drown yourself so that they never find you. Ensuring my safety at the same time. But I really don't think you'll be able to do it -' she said with a conforting tone.
'Are saying I'm a coward.'
'If you do commit suicide. You're not a coward, just plain stupid. If you face the infinite hoard of your step-mum's men you're just the same 'bravely stupid'.
'We'll will you look at that fine ship!'
'No way! That is Sir Raliegh's ship. We're saved.' she said as she saw her father waving at them gleefully.
'Sherlock must've known we'd never escape the viscous grip of my step-mum.'
'Come aboard lubbers,' said Walter Raliegh. 'We'll if it isn't old Chriss's son. Come on lads we have true navy blood with us now!' he exclaimed like a true pirate.
The two now began the next adventure. Which probably is so exciting and extensive the author won't have any feeling in the end of his fingers by the time he's finished. However, here's the epilogue to keep you on edge!
Epilogue
'Aye, me lovely lady,' roared Mitchell. Amber had just spotted land.
'Wonder what'll be this time, Captain?' she shouted back.
'A sun kissed island decended from heaven. A mere token from Zues himself , for the most beautiful lady in the universe,' he replied as he swung past her from sail to sail.
'12 years on and we've still got the heats,' she laughed with joy. Mitchell smiled back with happiness. He achieved what he'd always wanted. To explore, to love and to share, and to laugh every day. He cut the rope and returned to his cabin and opened the map. 'You still haven't learnt to read a map have you,' she said whilst rolling her eyes.
'I use it as an excuse to get you into my cabin,' he said as they smiled spontaneously. Mitchell grabbed Amber by the waist and kissed her passionatley. The wind was calm. The waves were restful. Life could not have been any sweeter.




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