The Yorkshire Ripper

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
The story told here is true and set in rural England in the 1980's.

Submitted: September 04, 2016

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Submitted: September 04, 2016

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The Yorkshire Ripper

 

Rural England 1980

 

I was 19, living a good life in England and did not know Evil yet. I was leading the retired and recluse life of a foreigner gentleman residing in a 15th century English Abbey that was nettled among rolling farmland, ancient forest, and ponds and weir and inhabited by gentle and simple country folk. With dear Ron and Margaret, the hamlet’s the Inn keepers, being among the finest.

 

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My life at the Abbey was a simple affair. Breakfast at first light, followed by an invigorating stroll to survey the grounds and livestock, and then it was off to library to research a triviality or to nap among the learned solitude of library. The only real inconvenience or perhaps a disruption to my daily constitutions was the persistent reporting by the local newspapers of the macabre actions of a serial killer known as the Yorkshire Ripper.

 

The Yorkshire Ripper, as he was called by newspapers, was mutilating young women in the district not 20 kilometers from were I was living. I can no longer recall exactly how many poor and unfortunate souls had lost their lives to the Jack the Ripper copy-cat. Maybe it had been sixteen or perhaps seventeen. However many was of no importance to the women living in Yorkshire when the police issued a warning that another letter from the Yorkshire Ripper had been received and authenticated.

 

That night I was returning home rather late from one of Ron and Margaret’s infamous after-hours party. It was well beyond midnight and the simple inhabitants of this tranquil hamlet had long since boarded their windows and bedded for the night. I always enjoyed the stroll home this time of night.  With everyone well asleep and their homes darkened, the solitude was absolute and complete. I loved walking through the Abbey's large iron gates and down the long private drive lined with ancient pines that gave way to expansive rolling knolls on either side. Turning the corner I would always hope that I would be greeted by the wind, fog and pines engaging in their most delightful and caring play. Aimed by the wind the fog would dip, swirl and caress the pines. The pines too aided by the wind would bend, fold and gently nip at the fog as it swirled through its branches. While their play was illuminated as darkened shadows moving against the sky and stars, the swooshing and swaying sounds offered the most compelling view. Occasionally, the drama was accented by the distant and solitary 25 watt light bulb burning at the entrance to the Abbey. But tonight the air was different, much different.

 

The night air took on an isolating crushing feel as I approached the entrance to the Abbey grounds. The once familiar surrounding exuded an eerie chilling quality that was best shared with someone else and while in doors. I quicken my pace. Passing through the gates and entering the grounds I was unable to make out the light to Abbey through the mist and swirling fog that slithered down from the knolls and oozed through the ancient pines.

 

I did not belong here. And I was not welcomed in the game the looming pines, snaking fog, and hissing gravel were playing. Nor did I care to play. I felt the elements were entwined in some type of inexplicable ghoulish ritual; one that was too old and too forgotten. I hesitated momentarily, not really sure about whether to commit to crossing the 300 meter path to the Abbey or return to my friends’ Inn and the warm coal fire and brandy. Still contemplating about going back, I heard a branch sighed off my right, then cracked, followed by moist thump as if something hit the ground and started to move along the ground toward me. Instinctively I began moving forward, very slowly, straining to hear the next sound. The fog seems to carry a faint inhuman moan within its whispering swirls. Then I heard it again, something was moving slowly, cautiously along the ground, towards me.  I froze in mid-step to look at the spot under the tree trying to figure out what it was. At first I thought it was some type of large animal like a wild cat or small bear. My whole being was transfixed on that single spot hidden within utter blackness. My eyes began to tear under the strain and my ears began to hear my blood pump. I heard it again, this time however, the branches moved as the thing scrapped along the ground. I was scared - there were no large animals in England and none that stood the two meters needed to touch the ground and branches at the same time. 

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I began to move toward the Abbey lights again, very slow and quietly. Without warning it came hard and fast, sensing I was moving again. Branches parted and snapped as this Thing came running at me. I was being pursued by something gigantic, hungry, and terrifying. In that moment of potentially immobilizing fright my body was propelled by the warning cries given off by the trees, ground and mist. I started to run too late. I could feel the Thing's damp breath through the back of my shirt. I continued my sprint forward waiting for its claws to clutch the back of my neck, piercing my spine. I could feel it suck the scent of terror I left behind. I ran faster almost gliding along the gravel path toward the Abbey's single dim light. The Thing touched the back of my hair. The Abbey lights grew near, but I was kilometers away. Then I hit the damp 400 year old covered entrance stones and leapt to the heavy solid oak door in a single stride. It gave way and I squeezed through the crack. I collapsed back against the panel and the latch clicked. I braced against the door and waited for the Thing to slam into it. The Abbey’s security guard materialized in the dimly lit hallway. Oblivious to the peril, he gave me a look of disapproval. I waited for the Thing to splinter the door and rip his soul out.

Despite his promise the Yorkshire Ripper never struck that night. Nor was he known to slay in the future. I am not sure what chased me that night, but it was my first foray with Pure Evil and still gives me the creep some 20 years later.

 

The End


© Copyright 2017 Richard Columbia, PhD.. All rights reserved.

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