Midsummer Nightmare of Yorkshire Ripper’s victims

27 06 2010

The longest night.  I toss and turn.  The clock chimes midnight and I throw back the feather duvet and scuttle to the window to gaze out on to the moonlit garden.  Are there any fairies?  I squint towards the dimly lit lawn.  All is at peace.  There is no sound.  All the shadowy borders seem benign.   The angels in the marshmallowy sky of pinks and sticky hues of whites and blues tuck me back to bed.   A smile soothes me back to dreamland, but I toss and turn.  Toss and turn.  Too hot.    The clock now mocks.  1.45 am.  Throw back and forth the covers until finally, such bliss in sinking sleep.    Awake again!  It’s 3 pm.  I need the loo but an accompanying, mocking voice floats there and back with my senseless mind. 

Will you forgive ME?  Will you forgive MEEEEE…..?”  I shake off my zombie robes and clamber back to bed.  Mikey stirs.  ‘Are you okay?’ He has to be up for 8 to go to London.

 “John Sutcliffe was a murderer wasn’t he?” I whisper stupidly.  He answers loud and clear: 

 “I think his name is ‘Peter’…Known as the Yorkshire Ripper I think, but he’s not dead.”

 “Strange.  I could have sworn he spoke to me!”  The words I’d written in my last blog came back to haunt me: ‘Everybody deserves a second chance!’  (“Will you forgive ME?…” ) In consciousness I tousle with that magic word  FORGIVENESS.  -‘ But ‘my’ murderer’s act was not premeditated!  I must be dreaming.  Go back to sleep. ‘ I jump awake.  ‘Children! He murdered children…..?’

3.40 am: duvet on then off again. I swoop and catch my fleeing midsummer’s nightmare like a moth in a net; careful not to crumble its wings to dust on this Longest of Nights.  I fetch back the woman wandering in etheric space; still sleeping in her earthly body.  She is a journalist and used to telling stories.  She says she is the living  twin of one of Sutcliffe’s victims! 

“I was interviewed by police when my sister went missing.  Only 5, I couldn’t remember anything!  I feel so guilty.  It was my fault!”  

“What happened?”  …(Come dawn, I rush to record into earthly matter her story,  pull still lucid memories from that sticky candyfloss of restless, magic fairy night):  The girls play happily by the brook, lost in a world of their own.  In those days it was perfectly acceptable.  Only 100 yards from home.

“Dad made us fishing nets from mum’s old stockings, cut off from the knee. He twists some wire into a circle and sticks the pointy bit down the neck of a bamboo cane.  That was the dangerous bit.  We help  Mum sew the stockings on: great big stitches looped around the rim; not much space inside for fishing!  Dad says he made the nets especially small for his girls to go fishing.  Down by the brook. Sticklebacks like mermaids. Colours dazzle like jewels!  Chase them. Trap them. They wriggle to get free.  Lift them out of their hiding places.  They try to swim away.  The hoop is hard.  Little hands clumsy.  Some suffer. Others flounder inside the nylon once worn around my Mother’s feet.  They leap for their lives.  Stick to the side.  Chubby hands clumsy. Tip the mermaids into the glass jar.  They swim again.  In crystal clear water.  Such joy!  Such freedom!  Such colour glinting in the sun.”  Smiling faces of little girls.  Proudly running to show their mum:

“Where’s Helen? …”

“Oh she’s coming Mummy….She’s only got one in her jar.  I got three.”

“Wash your hands it’s time for tea.”  It’s 8 pm. …

“What happened Rita?”

 “What do you mean?”  Tears. 

“Don’t force her.”

“Where’s my sister?”

“Down the lane beside the brook…  Interview the slow worms: Daddy says they’re special underground detectives.  Mustn’t be disturbed!’    They found her jar beside the stream.  Lonely.  Still upright.  One mermaid swimming round and round; dreaming of its natural home.  A policeman crouches. 

“Is this the jar?” He dons white gloves. He tips the mermaid gently back into the waters of the bubbling brook.  She swims for her life.  Free again.  Happy again.   Greeted in ecstacy by her family back home. 

“We thought you were a gonner.”   The marshmallow sky hung timelessly in space.  A new dawn broke.  I’d barely slept a wink.

Peter Sutcliffe is known as The Yorkshire Ripper.  A sadistic serial killer, he murdered 13 girls between  1975 and 1981. I search the list; the many articles written.  I find Rita’s twin sister Helen! – Like all the others, ruthlessly murdered by a blow to the head and then mutilated in a frenzy.  Surprisingly her spirit swam home safely at the time, along with the other tragic victims …bar One.  On that magic Midsummer Night, Helen  and her still living twin were on a mission to help the soul of one little mermaid left behind.  A phantom of herself.  Still suffering in those horrific moments of death in 1976.   Emily Jackson  is hooked from the darkest crevices of the brook and reeled into the light....  

Thank God!  Thank you!  Thank you!”  (Desperate for money to pay their debts – her husband had taken her to a public house in Leeds, notorious rendezvous for prostitutes and clients.  He waited a short time after she left with an unseen punter,  but she never returned.  The following morning her mutilated body was found, violently stabbed 50 times.)

John Sutcliffe, father of the murderer still held in Broadmoor, collaborates from the light.   (“Would YOU forgive me?”  his son Peter had asked him, his resting victims and the rest of us, on that Midsummer Night)   Then breaks the dawn of understanding….My special twins were prostitutes.  They worked together.  Looked out for one another.  Made notes of car numbers of punters.  Arranged to meet again exactly 15 mts later, supposedly safe from the notorious Ripper.  On the night of 31 January 1978, Rita begged her sister not to go…” I feel so guilty.  It was my fault!” … Terrified of being arrested for soliciting, she had waited 3 whole days before notifiying police that her sister had never returned:

The girls play happily by the brook, lost in a world of their own.  In those days it was perfectly acceptable.  Only 100 yards from home.

 

“Dad made us fishing nets from mum’s old stockings, cut off from the knee. He twists some wire into a circle and sticks the pointy bit down the neck of a bamboo cane.  That was the dangerous bit.  We helped Mum sew the stockings on: great big stitches looped around the rim; not much space inside for fishing!  Dad said he made specially small ones for his girls to go fishing.  Down by the brook.  Sticklebacks like mermaids. Colours dazzle like jewels!  Chase them. Trap them. They wriggle to get free.  Lift them out of their hiding places.  They try to swim away.  The hoop is hard.  Little hands clumsy.  Some suffer. Others flounder inside the nylon once worn around their mother’s feet.  They leap for their lives.  Stick to the side.  Chubby hands clumsy. Tip the mermaids into the glass jar.  They swim again.  In crystal clear water.  Such joy!  Such freedom!  Such colour glinting in the sun.  Smiling faces of little girls.  Proudly running to show their mum’.


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