Christmas at Whitechapel

Edward was sat at his desk, hunched over, pen in his hand scribbling down on a roll of paper, a letter to somebody. Beside him, were several other pieces of paper, all of them addressed to the same person, all of them torn and scrunched into balls. Edward had spent along time writing this letter, for it was important to him. Strangely enough, he found writing this letter more important than work, so much so, that when he entered his shop ten hours ago, he had not opened it. Instead he sat down and tried to finish this letter.

He continued to writ the letter and so far he was happy with it. After writing a paragraph, he checked it thoroughly before continuing. He didn't want to mess it up. He was so immersed in his writing that when the back door of his shop creaked open he did not hear it.

However, he did hear footsteps moving closer to him. He spun around.

"Who's there?" he called out into the darkness. "Show yourself! I warn you, I am armed!"

But that was a lie. True, Edward did have a fine collection of swords in the back of his shop as well as three pistols and a rifle at home. None of these however, were reachable, for the sound had come from the back of the shop and Edward's house was several streets away.

The footsteps grew in pace and soon they reached the door between the front and the back of the shop. Edward felt a strong surge of fear engulf him like a raging fire.

He picked up the nearest thing to him that would come in useful in a fight. Unfortunately the closest thing to him was a sharp fountain pen that would not come in very useful if the criminal had a knife, or maybe a pistol.

Nevertheless, Edward inhaled deeply and quiet as a mouse, he crept across the room so that he was next to the door. When the criminal entered, if they had a weapon, he would stab the quill into their jugular, if not; he would try and knock them out. Since he drew in his breath, he had still not exhaled.

There was a clicking noise as the door knob was turned and slowly the door opened. Obviously the intruder thought he still had the element of surprise. Once the door opened wider, Edward saw a flash of silver and assuming it was a knife he lunged at the intruder, the pen held firmly in his hand he aimed for the jugular with all his might.

The intruder put up his hand to block him and pushed him towards his desk. For a moment, Edward caught a glimpse of his attacker. He recognised them immediately; he also saw that it was not a knife the intruder was carrying, but one of the swords on display in the back of the shop. Edward did not have time to respond, for the intruder charged forward, the sword held in front of him.

Edward yelled as there was a slice in his chest. He fell back onto his desk and he looked up to see the face of his killer. The next thing he knew he was gone. Edward's eyes were wide open and were looking blindly at the ceiling. His face was contorted in a mixture of pain and shear terror. Edward was dead…

"Inspector Lawrence can I have a word?"

"What is it Carl?"

"What else. A Man was found dead this morning in Whitechapel."

The Inspector sighed. Another murder in Whitechapel; did anything else happen in that cursed place. It had been a year and still the citizens of London regarded the police force as a laughing stock. Especially in Whitechapel for that was where it happened. The place where Jack the Ripper had killed, butchered, and terrified five prostitutes, the last of them a young woman named Mary Jane Kelly. This had been the only murder that the detective had been involved in. He had been there at the crime scene and the sight of what he saw scarred his life forever.

Mary Jane Kelly lay on her bed; her face was mutilated beyond any form of recognition. Her neck had been viciously severed and her organs had been ripped out and put on display around the poor girl's body. Her clothing had been completely removed so all of the wounds were in plain sight. The position she lay in made it seem as though the ripper had deliberately made her look like this as his twisted work of art.

The vision of Mary Jane Kelly's body had left such a horrific image in the detective's mind that he, according to conversations with his wife had been writhed in terror in his sleep. But it had been a year since and he had more or less overcome the goriness of Mary Jane Kelly's body, more or less.

"So then," said the Inspector in a low gruff tone. If it were not for the look his wife would give him if he returned home unemployed, Lawrence would have given up his job there and then. "We'd better get moving hadn't we?"