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Fiction Historical Fiction Thriller

All In Vain The Industrial Revolution had already started in Britain some years before Sarah was born. She, among many other children, was the result of this course that led to an unprecedented increase in population growth. There was a lack of food for everyone. Olivia Elliot, Sarah's mother worked in a textile factory while James Elliot, her father, volunteered for an innovative project by a mechanical engineer who was developing the first steam engine. Sarah was growing up healthily, despite all the challenges that the family's economic situation made them face. And our story begins now, when Sarah is already fifteen years old. Sarah took care of the house while her parents worked hard. In her moments of rest, she shared pleasant moments with her friends and neighbors Abram and Caroline, who were the same age as her. Abram loved to braid Sarah's and Caroline’s hair. We could tell that he was obsessed with women’s hair, which often made Sarah find it a little odd, but so far that strangeness didn't put her in a definitive position on how weird it could be. However, on a rainy day that proceeded a dry summer period, Sarah realized that her best friend Abram was hiding a secret. After cleaning the house and putting her younger siblings to sleep, Sarah went to Abram's house without telling him. She wanted to surprise him with an apple pie she had just baked. When she got there, as usual, Sarah always peeked through the window of Abram's house to see if her friend was home or not. This time she was surprised by what she saw. Abram was another person, the complete opposite of that sweet, delicate boy who used to braid her red hair. He looked insane, gesturing with a large pair of scissors in one hand. He was furiously running the scissors through several dresses, one of which belonged to Sarah and another to Caroline. Not understanding anything, Sarah decided to abort the visit. She felt somehow in danger. But as she turned away from the window, Sarah tripped and fell into a well that Abram's father had started to dig. It wasn't that deep yet, but it was deep enough to keep Sarah there forever, as the rain had turned all the earth to thick, sticky mud. With no choice but to scream, Sarah called for help. Abram didn't hear her at first; it took screaming at the top of her lungs for someone to hear her. This time, not just Abram but other neighbors heard Sarah's scream. One of them was Caroline’s father, a strong and smart man called Sir Webb who, in a quick, sure gesture, grabbed Sarah's arm and pulled her out of that hole that was becoming an unstable puddle made of quick mud. Sarah was taken to her house unconscious. And for a few moments she stayed like that, until she opened her eyes and saw Abram, who was stroking her hair. Abram's look was not the same when he smiled. His gaze was like something from someone who had some bad intention in mind. When Sarah tried to get up, Abram held her tight. He showed her the large scissors he had used to rip the dresses. Sarah tried to scream, but her voice was silenced by the hand of Abram who, at that moment, showed to have much more strength than he seemed to have. But as we already knew, Sarah was healthy and eager to live. Thinking of the marks those scissors could leave on her body was the strength she needed to fight back. At that moment, she found within herself a core of steel that she had never thought of having. She then bit Abram's hand that covered her mouth. She raised her body in fury and head-butted Abram, who fell unconscious to the ground. Now she had the scissors in her hands, lost somewhere between fear and hate. Sir Webb, who had saved her before, heard all the noise and walked into Sarah's house, witnessing a likely crime scene to take place. He held Sarah at the same time as he asked others to call the police, who didn't take long to arrive. Sarah was arrested and Abram, who was thought to be a possible victim of Sarah, was rescued by other neighbors. Years passed and Sarah was released from prison. Around 1888, Sarah was already a grandmother of two and Caroline, who never stopped being her friend, was helping her as a laundress. Sarah and Caroline were inseparable, even though Caroline’s daughter Mary Ann, who was temporally living with them, was only bringing home the chaos with her alcohol problems. But Sarah was very grateful to Caroline for the fact that she had never left her at the time she was imprisoned. It had been years of receiving her visits, during which Caroline always brought her something home-made to eat. Through the years their friendship became much stronger. Caroline’s daughter Mary Ann, who was a troubled woman, was missing for a few weeks. Mary Ann had married a cruel and cold-hearted man, with whom she had five children, but her marriage had been full of betrayals and frustrations since the beginning, which took her to the streets, engaging in prostitution and becoming increasingly addicted to opium and alcoholic drinks. The week Mary Ann disappeared, there were rumors that attacks on women were taking place in the city. There were still no serious incidents, but it was scary enough to know that women were being aggressively approached by someone violent. And it didn't take both Sarah and Caroline long to learn that something terrible had happened to her. The news that a woman had been butchered in the middle of the street in suburban London caught everyone's attention, especially Caroline and Sarah’s. It was when, after seeing the body of Mary Ann all butchered, that Sarah discovered she had the chance to avoid the world meeting Jack the Ripper, one of the most terrible serial killers, if she had killed Abram, his father.

September 16, 2021 12:49

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