Sunday 2nd September 1888
The streets of the East End are unforgiving, emotionless even. The divide between the wealthy and the penniless has spun wildly out of control. Here, the rich enjoy their wealth within the security of their lavish interiors. The poverty-stricken remain as such. And where do I belong in this rift?
I am a ghost in society. I am neither here nor there. I am neither rich nor poor, though that depends on how you perceive wealth and poverty. For me, food on the table and a half-stable roof over my head are more than enough, particularly compared to others in my community.
I work as a blacksmith though I began my career as a locksmith. As the days cloud over and mould into one sheet of obscurity, I begin to wonder what’s left for me here.
I am a watcher. As a blacksmith, I have come across a small variety of dispositions during my profession, each with dark secrets that hide behind watery eyes and dry spirits. Though I have been exposed to a handful of regrets on behalf of those who visit, my lips are sewn tightly shut in a half-hearted attempt to forget and move on. Click here for the capitals most chilling Jack the Ripper tour
Whitechapel has grown perilous, though I am not talking about diseases. The cobbled streets of the East End and the air of the district are disturbed by a hostile presence that haunts every doorstep and crack in the wall. An unnerving chill has settled over the town, and the usual bustle of my community has drawn to an inevitable, but nonetheless alarming end.
A killer walks among us, unnamed and sinister. No one dares look their neighbour in the eye; in fear their fate may be the same as the victim. They lurk in the shadows, using the cover of night as their most powerful weapon.
As we walk, Jack the Ripper survives in the past and present. As for the future? All we can do is wait.
The apt surroundings we live in, from the fog produced by coal fires to the pungent odour that seeps through the walls, bear down on us like crashing waves. Like victims of the sea, we plunge into the depths of the underworld, destined to live our lives in fear.
I am a griever. On the 31st August, my daughter, Mary Ann Nichols, was brutally murdered in a vicious attack. Though my sorrows cannot be accounted for, unlike many families in Whitechapel, who carry the heavy burden of poverty, I have my chance to say goodbye.
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