Sunday, 1 April 2007
02:38:41 PM (GMT)
It started as an ordinary day for Tatiana Bourke. She awoke to find heaps of soiled
clothes in baskets outside her London apartment. That was her daytime occupation, a
cover for her nightly activities.
"Cor! Who gathers so much filth during the day?"
She raised a grubby petticoat from one of the baskets, mildly disgusted. Fortunately,
a cauldron of hot water was already waiting inside. She lugged one of the baskets
inside, dumping its contents in her cauldron and slamming her door. Grudgingly, she
stuck a wooden paddle into the steaming cauldron. There was already a layer of dirt
that had floated to the surface of the water as she began to stir the laundry.
"Disgusting. And I only get paid two pence per load. What's that about?"
Indeed, her feigned poverty was for her gossipy neighbours, who always hid behind a
curtain as she worked.
"Miserable fishwives. Do they have anything better to do?"
Tatiana raised her head to the the wrinkled face of Mrs. Prunell dash behind a
yellowed linen curtain. Mrs. Prunell, or Pruny, as Tatiana so called her, was
possibly the worst gossip on Hartlington Street. She was a widow, whose husband had
left her with nothing but their old apartment, instead leaving what little money they
had to one of his friends. To Tatiana, it seemed fitting for Pruny. Since she could
practically make a living off the lies she told about Tatiana. Her personal favourite
was that she was truly a witch, and she soaked all her laundry in a poison, slowly
killing her clients. But that didn't seem to stop the garments from pouring in. Every
morning, several basketloads could be found at her door. No one bothered to bring it
in to her home, neither would she deliver to them. There were few people who wanted
to steal a poor woman's tattered skirts or a man's ratty trousers. So laundry was
always sitting outside the Bourke home, dirty in the morning, clean by dusk. In fact,
the mysterious vacancy of Tatiana's home after sunset was either unnoticed by her day
clients, or merely shrugged off.
Last edited: 1 April 2007