So..there it is….you know how I work now. I saved Andy. We are friends. He has no idea it was my sweet self who saved him. How was the Ben and Jerry’s? I forgot to tell you that I am prone to the odd piece of bad language….but it’s only when I’m angry. I do so heartily apologise if I made you splutter on your ice-cream.
Now…my second case was perhaps a little more complex…because I had TWO people to rescue. Two lovers. Love is the strongest of emotions….I doubt that anyone with any sense would argue with that….and because of my intelligence I learned this from an early age.
Come hither…come and see what I had to do 168 years ago….1843. Medway. Kent
At this stage…though…I hand you over to my trusted overseer and chronicler…the Scruffy Duck. Aha…I bet you were wondering where the Scruffy Duck came in? xxx
They were seated on a pile of boxes not far from the water’s edge. The young girl was crying. The well-dressed man held her hands and looked into her eyes. They were in earnest conversation. A cricket ‘sang’ in the long grass behind them. It was June. The girl’s tears trickled over her man’s clasping hands
‘Excuse me’ came the interrupting voice from behind them…startling the pair of lovers enough to drag them from their serious conversation. They stared at the new arrival. ..this strange thing…person…resembling a girl…a strange-looking girl indeed.
‘Please listen to me’ the new girl said
‘Now…I know you’re going to wonder what’s happening here…and I know it will be pretty damn hard for you to understand…so let me just kick in…and try to explain’
The man…William…raised himself up to ask a question.
‘Who in God’s name are you?’ he asked…waving a roll of white tape in his wet hands
‘I’m Italix the Scruffy Duck….I know what you are going through and I would like to help’
‘Italix the Scruffy Duck? What kind of name is that?’
‘It’s a long story…but I am here to rescue you’
‘From what?’ asked William
‘From yourselves….I’m from the future’
‘Like a ghost?’ asked the girl
‘No Ann…a ghost is from the past…I am from the future…and I know what you want to do. I’m here to convince you it’s not what you want to do’
‘How could you possibly know what we are going through? asked William
‘Just bear with me…both of you…I am trying to help…to be a friend’
‘We will listen to you…but we won’t be fooled by whatever is happening here. I’m confused….I know that Ann is confused. Just say your piece’
‘Thank you….I’m called Italix…and I’m definitely from the future….trust me on that. I found out about your plight through a poem by a man who lives in MY time.Listen…and I will tell you about the first person I saved like this. His name was Andy. I saved Andy and he went on to be my friend. I could show you pictures…but I don’t have my iPhone’
‘Your eye phone?’
‘It doesn’t matter….Andy went on to have a long life. He’s still living now…in 2011. I had to save him twice. Once in 1991 and once in 2010. His wife…Rio…died in 2010…very young. She was my friend too. Andy almost went the same way. The thing is…we have all lost people who are close to us and we have to make our decisions based on fact….and on what we know has to happen. When a grandparent dies it is very sad…of course…but you kind of accept it because they have lived long and they are close to rest. You know that they would be angry at you for morphing into an ever-lasting mourner.’
‘How old are you?’ asked the man
‘You are very wise’
‘I am super-intelligent’
They sat in silence for a while
Italix was happy for them to sit and think.
The man was happy to do the talking…when they did talk
His girlfriend was happy to listen
‘Do you both like music? asked Italix
‘Well….yes….we both do’ said the man. ‘The compositions of Mendelssohn and Chopin are particular favourites of ours…and when Mozart died last year I had to take a week off work’
‘That’s lovely. Let me tell you how things are in MY time. Music is done rather differently. Local youth create local bands of musicians….maybe 2,3,4,5 people in a band. They play different instruments and they play in pubs around the Medway Towns of Rochester, Gillingham, Chatham and Strood’
‘Ann’s father has a pub in Rochester’
‘The Silver Oare Inn….Rochester High Street’
‘Ah…it’s called The Bull…in my time….18 High Street, Rochester’
‘How do you know that…so instantly?’
‘I’m super- intelligent…and what does YOUR father do?’
‘Oh….he’s a carpenter’
‘Richard or Karen?’
‘Nothing….a modern joke’
‘So….how did you find out about us…if you really have come back to save us.?’
‘Ah….as I told you earlier… I read a poem by a Medway writer called Andrew Day.
Here….let me read it to you.’
You’ll never know how they rowed on the water
A widower and the innkeeper’s daughter
A bad match to make, a harsh cross to bear
His kissed her cold lips, his hands in her hair
He got so tired, fighting the tide
Weighed down with shame, trapped by his pride
Her ivory skin, her bright hazel eyes
He opened his mouth and he let in the tide
You’ll never know how the river, it held them
Like babes in arms, like love’s drowning children
Her mother, she said if you see him again
Don’t you darken my door with your face again
She got so tired, fighting the tide
Love turned to pain, a thorn in her side
Her vale of tears filled the sea and the sky
She opened her mouth and she let the tide
You’ll never know how the priest he heard
Their soft marriage vows, their last parting words
Til death did they part, their fingers entwined
United in death by the pull of the tide
They got so tired, fighting the tide
They both took their vows, they both took their lives
For better or worse til the day that they died
They opened their mouths and they let in the tide
The girl looked at the ground
The man looked at the girl
The girl looked scared….she was still crying.
The man looked confused
‘It’s nice to know we are remembered…even all those years later’
‘Well…don’t die now…and Andrew Day’s poem will never exist’
‘Ah…so we’ll die another day and nobody will remember us? Maybe we need to be synonymous with suicide-Medway.?’
‘That’s crazy. Think of your family’
‘They are all against us’
‘Look…..don’t be such an arsehole….maybe you wanna take your life. Does she?’
The girl looked up….almost begging for a non-suicidal resolution
The man pulled her close and screwed his eyes up.
‘ Whatever will be will be….now leave us alone’
Italix turned and walked away. She stood on the cricket. It didn’t kill it….it just pushed it into the soil a bit. She kicked the roll of white tape towards the man.
‘Do what you feel you need to, man. Just rot in fucking Hell if you take that girl with you’
Italix hoped she had said enough to save them
Hiya people. It’s me….Italix…back in my own time. Oh…look…here’s an item from The Times in 1843. No fucking phone-hacking in those days. Have a read
Yesterday morning some considerable sensation was created in Rochester, owing to a young man and a young girl of respectable appearance, having been found drowned about 6 o’clock this morning, clasped in each others arms, lying on the mud of the River Medway, opposite a place called Phillips Wall. It appears that the bodies were picked up by a fisherman, and upon his examination of them, he found that they were tied together with tape round their arms. The bodies were immediatly conveyed to an out-house at Ladbury’s Quay. The names of the unfortunate couple are William Edward Henderey, aged about 30 years, and Ann Hannah Saneto, about 16 years old. The former, it is reported, is a widower with two children, and the latter is a daughter of a Publican living in Strood. It appears that the two persons had been asked in church, and were to have been married at St. Margaret’s Church on Sunday last, but owing to some cause it was put off. Last night a couple, answering the description of the deceased persons, were seen walking together and going towards the river about 10 o’clock and it is supposed that they took a boat belonging to Mr Weekenden, that had been moored at the stage of the floating bathing establishment, and having unfastened it, they rowed to the place where the bodies were picked up. The parents of the parties are very respectable: The young man’s father is a Master Carpenter, residing in Troy Town. An inquest is to be held at the Silver Oar Inn, High Street, Rochester, before Mr James Lewis, the city Coroner, and a respectable Jury.
So…there you have it. I failed
I am happy to have tried my best…but sometimes our best is just not good enough. These towns will live on. Medway….Maidstone….Gravesend. A lot of the buildings will live on. The people will change….that’s all.