The bewildering sights of the London night had left him awestruck. Lonely and all by himself, he sat down next to a cheese shop. The mouth-watering fragrance of the flavoured, soft cheese displayed on the shiny glass case, reminded him of his hunger. He couldn’t help it and even though the strange-looking and fearsome man was watching him, he scoffed a piece of cheese in his mouth. The keeper chased him away into another alleyway. Terrified of being caught and handed over to the police, he kept on running. Exhausted and painfully tired, he found himself in the huge, dark shadows of the Workhouse. Petrified and terrified, he scurried deeper and deeper into the alleyway until he stopped.
He had seen it before. After years he could still remember it. But what was it? Jim opened the creaky, wooden door and cautiously crept inside. Despite it being night, the place was still lively and full of buzz. Jim ducked and dived between the people, while being cautious not to get caught. He made his way through to a quiet lamp-lighten room, where he found two familiar faces lying down on the floor. Who were these people? His thoughts took a leap, back in the past, way back, before the escape, before the Workhouse, before he lost his ma.
He couldn’t believe it, it was them! It was Lizzie and Emily! Suddenly, two confused faces stared at him.
“Lizzie, Emily, finally I found you!” exclaimed Jim, hugging them.
The puzzled girls pushed him away and started thinking he was mad. Suddenly, the floorboards behind him creaked, as a woman wearing a light pink, flowery dress stepped into the room. Who could it have been? He turned around, his legs shaking, and found himself running towards this lady, hugging her.
“Oh Jim, where have you been all these years?”
Lizzie and Emily wondered what Rosie, their carer, was doing with this mad boy. Had she gone mad too? But no, Rosie came over to them and got them up.
“Oh girls, this is Jim, your brother, remember him?” asked Rosie.
“Are you mad Rosie?” questioned Lizzie. “This is a mad house now. I’ll go call the Lordship’s doctor right away so he can cure both of you.”
Rosie held her wrist tight and got her nearer to Jim.
“Don’t you remember me? I’m your brother Jim! Remember ma, the shilling pie, Mr Spink, our little cottage?” he asked, his voice full of hope.
Emily looked surprised.
“Lizzie, he’s right.” “That is our brother!” She ran to him and hugged him tightly.
The girls showered him with love, asking him questions, telling him about their life, when all of a sudden, heavy footsteps entered the room as a loud voice said, “What’s all this noise here Rosie? Emily an Lizzie haven’t got visitors again have they?”
He came face to face with Jim. “Who’s this little chap, eh?”
“He’s their brother your Lordship,” replied Rosie seeing that Lizzie and Emily were too frightened to talk to him.
“Well, why is he here? I don’t remember inviting him here.” questioned the master of the house.
Jim hesitated. Lacking confidence, he replied, “I’ve come to look for a job.”
“Well I am looking for a worker, but before that, ever thought ’bout a bath?”
“Eh?” asked Jim.
“Well Rosie can tell you what it is, but meanwhile, I’ll send Judd down to get you a new pair of clothes so you can start your job straight away,” replied the Lordship, as he gave him a pleasant smile and left the room.
They heard his footsteps fade into the distance and started celebrating.
xxx By Sayna xxx #historical stories