Disclaimer: 'And Then There Were None' is not mine nor is 'Macbeth' which I briefly reference, blah, blah, blah; ironically enough, the idea for this fanfic came to me while writing another fanfic!


December 26, 1934

Dear Diary,

Well, Christmas has come and passed. My elder sister, Evelyn, is getting married on New Year's Day; the following celebration will take place on New Year's Eve. She's marrying this rather nice man named Richard Barclay. Although I am happy for her, I can't help but feel just a bit envious. I've had two boyfriends in the past, but they were just the type of silly, meaningless high school boyfriends all high school girls have. No, I long for real love; someone whom I'll want to spend the rest of my life with, someone whom I'll be willing to die for. When I told my Mother this the other day, she just laughed and said, "Well, be careful what you wish for, because you just might get your wish!" I don't see why having this wish come true would be so bad.

-Vera Claythorne

January 1, 1935

Dear Diary,

Happy New Year! Evelyn Claythorne is now Evelyn Barclay! Can you believe it? It still seems like it was only yesterday we were little girls playing outside in the rain! I was one of the bride's maids at Evelyn's wedding. While I stood there as the minister wed them, I saw this handsome young man who looked to be around my age staring at me! Before I could look away, I found myself staring right back at him and for a minute, I felt something between us. I was so caught up in the moment, I almost forgot to go back down the aisle after Richard and Evelyn said "I do"!

The man later on introduced himself as Hugo Hamilton when we met at the wedding reception. He's close to the same age as me, but we're off by three years (he'll be twenty-four in July; I'll be twenty-one in March). He was so nice to me. He was even willing to have a dance with me! What's more, I'll get to see a lot more of him; his sister has a son who's turning eight tomorrow. Unfortunately, the boy's father died while his mother was still pregnant with him, so she (the boy's mother) has been raising him with Hugo's help. Recently, she's been requesting a governess for her son to educate him and play with him—and Hugo said he's going to tell her about ME! This is fantastic! I love children and I've been trying to get a job as a teacher, but this will do! Evelyn warned me not to take Hugo's word for it because, as she puts it, "some men will say anything to get in your skirt", but Hugo doesn't seem like that at all. I do hope he keeps his word! I rather like him.

-Vera Claythorne

January 2, 1935

Dear Diary,

Hugo kept his word! His sister (who prefers to go by either Amelia or Mrs. Hamilton; she absolutely refuses to drop the Mrs.) called me today and is willing to take me in as her son's governess! I'm to arrive on the sixth. What's more, she mentioned that Hugo has been unable to talk about me! I can hardly wait! As much as I appreciate living with my parents, it will be nice to get out on my own.

-Vera Claythorne

January 6, 1935

Dear Diary,

Well, here I am at the Hamilton manor. When I entered it, the first person who was there to greet me was Hugo. He said it was a real pleasure to see me again and explained why he had been at Evelyn's wedding: He's a friend of Richard's and had been invited by him. He admitted that he had been reluctant at first, but was glad he came. We smiled—and a loud "BOO!" interrupted us! We turned and saw a little boy running away, giggling. Out came the boy's Mother, who introduced herself as Mrs. Hamilton, and explained that was her son, Cyril. She said, "I hope he's not bothering you?"

I laughed and said, "Oh, no, that's just children. You know how they are."

Mrs. Hamilton and I talked about what my job would be like, along with miscellaneous things like my experience with children in the past, her previous marriage, etc. At the end, she told me to just go off and teach Cyril. Nothing too exciting happened today; after all, this is only my first day on the job! Cyril is rather good at mathematics and average with almost everything else; it's Latin that has him stuck. Hugo says he'll help me with Cyril some days.

--Vera Claythorne

January 25, 1935

Dear Diary,

I like Hugo more and more each day. In fact, I think I'm beginning to develop one of those childish crushes! But it doesn't feel childish at all. It feels wonderful! I wonder if Hugo feels the same way towards me?

He might, for today Cyril wanted to have a snowball fight, so Hugo and I played with him. During the fight, Hugo took more than a few snowballs for me and pretended to be mortally wounded. He might have just been playing along; it might not mean anything.

-Vera Claythorne

February 14, 1935

Dear Diary,

This year's Valentines Day will always be my favourite one! During Cyril's music lesson, Hugo showed up and gave me a box of chocolates! Then he said, "Wait, I think I'm forgetting something." And then he slid his arm around my waist, drew me in, and kissed me! It felt like no other kiss I'd ever received before; no, this was my first real kiss. It felt as soft and as sweet as honey. It only lasted for about a few seconds, but for me, it felt like eternity. I barely even heard Cyril's taunting—something about me being Hugo's 'lady friend'? When we finally tore apart, I felt absolute euphoria. I don't think I shall ever forget this day!

-Vera Claythorne

February 26, 1935

Dear Diary,

Not much to say, but I think this is it—I think I'm in love! I've never felt such a way towards a person. Words can't describe just how I feel about Hugo! I swear I'll die if I can't have him!

-Vera Claythorne

March 15, 1935

Dear Diary,

I'm twenty-one now! My entire family came over to the Hamilton manor to celebrate. It was such a wonderful day! I can't help but feel that something quite eventful will happen very soon, something that will have an impact on me for the rest of my life. Perhaps Hugo will finally propose!

-Vera Claythorne

April 6, 1935

Dear Diary,

As much as I like being Cyril's governess, I'm jealous of him. Jealous of what, exactly? Well, there's the fact that Hugo's always willing to play with him, even when we're about to go somewhere, like the park. Apparently, that spoiled brat comes first and I, the love of Hugo's life, come second! I know that sounds harsh and I usually don't call children 'spoiled brats', but it's just not fair! I brought this up with Hugo a today and he says his playing time with Cyril will be shorter from now on, which is an improvement, I guess.

-Vera Claythorne

July 13, 1935

Dear Diary,

Today is Hugo's twenty-fourth birthday! After the celebration was over and Cyril was in bed, Hugo took me down to the beach and explained that although he loves me, he can't marry me because Cyril was born three months after his father died and if Cyril had been a girl, Hugo would've come into everything and be able to marry me and support a family, but because Cyril was a boy, we'll just have to wait until Cyril's death before we can get married. He says he's okay with it, but I'm not! My God, this is torture! I love Hugo with all my heart and want to marry him so badly, but because of that horrid, whiny, spoiled brat, I can't! Well, Cyril is a puny child, one who might not live to grow up, so—wait.

I just remembered an idea I got on the beach but pushed into the back of my head because I deemed it 'too evil'. If love is involved, nothing is too evil! The Hamilton's have a vacation home at St. Tredennick. They go there every summer shortly after Hugo's birthday and come back towards the end of August. I remember Hugo telling me a while back that although Cyril asks every year if he can swim out to the rock, he and his sister keep telling him no because it's too far out and he'd surely drown before he even got there. Since I'm going, preventing Cyril from going to the rock is part of my responsibility. Wouldn't it be a real shame if my attention got distracted for a second and Cyril swam out too far and by the time I realized what was happening and got out there, it was too late?

Of course, it won't be as simple as that. What if Hugo or Mrs. Hamilton got suspicious? I'm too tired to think out the rest of the plan now; I'll write the rest of it out tomorrow after Cyril's lessons are over.

-Vera Claythorne

July 14, 1935

Dear Diary,

Now that I'm more awake, I've thought out the plan more clearly: During supper, Hugo announced that he wouldn't be with us at St. Tredennick on the eleventh of August because he was going to Newquay to get a job with decent pay so he'd earn enough money to marry me. Now I have a convenient date to carry out my plan: The eleventh day of August. I have to remember that: August 11.

I've more details to my plan, too: Before that date, whenever Cyril asks if he can swim out to the rock, I'll say no, but the night before Cyril's Doom Day, I'll tell him he can swim out to the rock tomorrow but tell him that it must be our little secret so he can surprise his Mother, who won't be able to come to interrupt my plan because two pieces of veronal will conveniently find themselves in her morning tea. The morning will be a convenient time because hardly anyone comes to the beach in the morning. Yes, that will be when I take Cyril out for his morning swim and allow him to swim out to the rock. Meanwhile, I'll lie on the beach and read a few passages of my diary up to this point. Cyril should be far out enough by then to be in distress. If he isn't, I'll just sit there and wait until he's far out enough for me to 'realize' he's in danger and swim out after him. But, thanks to slow strokes I'll need to practice until they don't look suspicious, I won't get there in time. Because there'll be no one there but me and Cyril, no one will have anything to prove against me. They'll assume it was just a tragic accident and will have no choice but to take my word when I say I really did try to rescue Cyril. I'll be acquitted of all blame, Hugo will inherit the family fortune, and we'll be able to get married!

It seems like such a perfect plan, nothing can possibly go wrong! I just need to practice swimming slowly from now on.

-Vera Claythorne

July 18, 1935

Dear Diary,

We're leaving for St. Tredennick tomorrow. I just realized there might be a flaw in my plan: What if something goes wrong at the last second and Cyril is rescued in time by, say, a nearby fisherman? Then he'll say, "Miss Claythorne said I could." Well, what of it? One must take some risk! If the worst happens, I'll just brazen it out: "How can you tell such a wicked lie, Cyril? Of course I never said any such thing!" They'll believe me, all right. Cyril would know, of course, but he's an untruthful child and often tells tale tales, so no one would believe him. Not only that, but I'd have to come up with a new plan to do away with Cyril: I could just simply wait for him to get sick and withhold his medicine—what am I worrying for, anyway? Nothing will go wrong! I'm almost certain of it. If I have to kill Cyril in another way, I'll worry about that if the time comes. And anyway, the worst thing that can happen right now is if Cyril or anyone else stumbles across this diary. Fortunately, I have it locked away underneath one of the loose floorboards in my bedroom and when we get to St. Tredennick, it'll be in my suitcase underneath all my clothes. I have to go and pack now and when I'm finished, I think I'll take more practiced strokes.

-Vera Claythorne

August 10, 1935

Dear Diary,

The day is almost here and my plan is going off without a hitch! Tonight, Cyril asked me the same, redundant question why he can't swim out to the rock. Then, a voice I didn't quite recognize as my own, said, "Of course you can, Cyril, really. I know that."

Cyril's face brightened up as he said, "Can I go then, Miss Claythorne?"

I then explained to him that his mother gets so worried about him and that tomorrow, I'll distract her on the beach and when she looks up, there he'll be, waving to her from the rock! Cyril laughed and said, "Oh good egg, Miss Claythorne! That'll be a lark!"

Part of me felt just a bit guilty for deceiving him like this, but I've pushed this guilt out of my head. I just know Hugo is the one and I've got to do whatever it takes to be with him. So what if Cyril dies? It's a small price to pay for the person you love. I'm sure I'll forget about it when Hugo and I get married and have children. Besides, it's too late to turn back now; I've got to go through with this plan or Hugo and I will never be together!

-Vera Claythorne

August 11, 1935

Dear Diary,

It worked! Every last detail of my plan worked! Mrs. Hamilton fell asleep after I slipped the veronal in her morning tea, Cyril swam out far when I told him he could, I swam after him at the precise time I knew he wouldn't make it, and his head disappeared long before I even got there! I was nearly carried out to sea and got rescued just in time by a nearby fisherman. I gave my prepared hysterical sobs about how Cyril disappeared and how I should've swam faster and the fisherman took me back to shore, assuring me he'd rescue Cyril, but I know full well Cyril will be drowned by the time he's found. Mrs. Hamilton actually believed my story! I can't believe it! She kept sobbing, "My baby—my poor baby—oh, it's not your fault dear, but—" She ran to her room and locked herself inside and hasn't come out.

I still can't believe that the plan actually worked—or that I actually did what I just did. I love children, I really do. But I guess there comes a time in our life where we have to contradict our moral codes for the people we love. Cyril's mother may be grieving over her son's death, but grief passes. I'm sure of it. I mean, I'd be unable to get out of bed if anyone in my family died, but—but that's different! And anyway, why should I feel guilty? Hugo will be able to marry me now! I'll eventually get over this—right?

-Vera Claythorne (soon to be Vera Hamilton!)

August 15, 1935

Dear Diary,

The Coroner's inquest was today—and I've been acquitted of all blame! The Coroner went so far as to actually praise me for my courage and sang-froid! What's more, Cyril's mother was nothing but kindness to me. I should be happy about this—except during the inquest, I turned to look at Hugo. The expression on his face was normal, at first—and then he looked at me in a queer, far-off way. After the inquest, he ran off rather quickly. I tried to catch up to him and talk to him, but by the time I got out, he was gone. Just like that. What's more, I could've sworn I saw him drop something (a ring?) on the ground. Did Hugo guess? Does Hugo know? Well, this doesn't necessarily spell the end of our relationship. I'm sure he's just sad over Cyril's death. He probably just needs some time to grieve. I'll write to him in a few weeks about it; he might get over it by then. In the mean time, I've used the money I earned to buy myself a small but livable house, so I'll just get cozy there.

-Vera Claythorne (might or might not be Vera Hamilton?)

December 16, 1935

Dear Diary,

Well...I wrote Hugo a letter about the incident, explaining my side of the story, and asked for his forgiveness and to marry me. I left a return address on the envelope so he'd know where I am and just show up. But it's been five months now and he still hasn't replied, nor has he shown up on my doorstep. I don't think I'm ever going to see Hugo again. He just walked out of my life. I feel as though my heart is breaking into a thousand pieces. To think, I actually took the life of an innocent child even though I love children for nothing. I'm crying as I write this and haven't been able to stop crying. Will I ever fall in love again? Should I fall in love again or should I wait for Hugo to show up on my doorstep and forgive me and ask me to marry him?

-Vera Claythorne (will NEVER be Vera Hamilton)

July 25, 1936

Dear Diary,

I am not fine or okay in the slightest. I've been unable to sleep without dreaming about Cyril's drowning. I have nights where I'm able to sleep quite soundly, but still, it's hell. I've been trying to find a decent teaching position but am failing because of the Coroner's inquest, even though I was acquitted of all blame. My Mother visited me recently and noticed that I've been feeling depressed and offered for me to come live with her and Father for a little while, but I insisted that I'll be fine, even though I'm not. Today, Evelyn offered to cheer me up by taking me out shopping and it did cheer me up—until I heard the laughing of a little boy who looked like Cyril from the back.

I thought the boy actually was Cyril and started screaming for Cyril to come back. Evelyn kept pulling me back and telling me I was making a public fool of myself, but I pushed her off and ran up to the boy, grabbed him by the shoulders, spun him around to face me and gave him a hug, saying that I was glad he didn't drown after all and just got lost at sea. The boy's father snatched the boy off of me and it was only then did I realize the boy was not Cyril. Not even my meek apology could erase the embarrassment I felt. I could feel everyone staring at me. Evelyn took me home and comforted me for a good, long cry. I mentioned to her that I sometimes feel I'd be better off dead, so she firmly said to never think like that ever again and that when I get to the end of my rope, I should make a knot and hold on. She said I can talk to her about Cyril's drowning, so I guess I will, but I'm not telling her the full details. I don't think even she would understand. I can't bear the thought of anyone in my family knowing the truth. My parents and Evelyn are proud to associate themselves with me, and I prefer it to stay that way.

I miss Hugo like crazy. Not a single day goes by where I don't think about him and wish I'd just waited for Cyril to die a natural death. He wouldn't have lived to grow up anyway; why did I speed this up?

-Vera Claythorne

September 3, 1938

Dear Diary,

Evelyn had her baby today; it's a baby boy named Derek Richard Barclay. I love him, but I felt envious when I saw Evelyn and Richard taking turns holding him and making funny faces at him. I keep wondering if that's where Hugo and I would be now if I'd waited for Cyril to die a natural death. Would we be married with a child of our own? I must get this out of head, I must! That was a long time ago! To quote Macbeth: What's done is done.

In other news, I got a job as a games mistress at a third-class all-girls school a couple months ago! The pay is little, but it's better than nothing at all.

-Vera Claythorne

July 20, 1939

Dear Diary,

Guess what? I went to get the mail today—and I got a telegram from someone named Mrs. Owen who wanted me to be her secretary for the holidays! I'm to take the 12:40 from Paddington on the eighth of August and from there, I'll be met at the Oakbridge station. What's more, the job will be at Indian Island! There's been a lot of talk about in the papers. I wonder what the Owens will be like?

I re-read my old entries recently and the entries where I'm planning Cyril's murder leave me nauseated. As soon as I am done with this entry, I am ripping out the pages I've already written on and tossing them straight into the fireplace! I am leaving who I was in the past behind and looking towards the future. Above all else, I will not think of Hugo or Cyril's drowning if I can help it! That was four years ago; this is now! I secretly hope to, perhaps, find a new romance while working for the Owens (not with Mr. Owen, of course, but perhaps with one of his single colleagues?), but I mustn't get my hopes up; after all, how exciting could working for these Owens on Indian Island be?

-Vera Claythorne

End