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Author Topic: A Little Black Book- Giles Hawkins  (Read 258 times)

PrimetheGrime

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A Little Black Book- Giles Hawkins
« on: April 09, 2020, 11:21:28 AM »


A Little Black Book




"Wake up boy, it's time for ye to make me money."

The gruff voice rang in Giles' ears, the familiar stench of cheap brandy and an ashtrays worth of cigarettes encompassing the room and suffocating his senses. His eyes opened at the barked order, he'd always been a light sleeper after all. He rolled out of bed, the echoing din of Findley's drunken shouting finding it's way to the other boys in the nearby cots. He could spy several of them already half dressed, tattered slacks, ratty and worn shirts. "All in all, a regular day" he thought to himself, dressing quickly to follow the other boys through the maze that was 'The Foundry', a fancy name for the ugly yet fortified hovel that he and other orphans lived in. Made of rotting wood and rusted metal, the fort itself ran for several miles across and underneath Blackchapel, with entries and exits in almost every street corner, boasting an impressive array of makeshift traps, pitfalls and dead-ends that could spell the end for any soul unlucky enough to be on the Foundry's bad side. Hurrying along the dimly lit passages, pockets of light breaking through the makeshift hovel, marking the time as close to or a little earlier than dawn.

"Oi Giles, ye keep staring at the 'scenery' and Fagin'll beat ye" The boy beside him, Tully remarked in a hushed whisper, shoving his arm to garner his attention. "Right, thanks Tully." The freckle faced boy gave a weary, but toothy grin, hurrying after the mob of boys still rushing down the rickety stairs, Giles in hot pursuit. Tully was right, he thought as he ducked over a loose beam, he couldn't afford to waste time this morning. If he didn't come back with a score, He'd have worse than Fagin, the eldest boy's beatings to look forward to. Findley didn't like excuses, or a lack of goods. Finally, the ever present dim blackness gave way to the intense light of dawn at the end of the tunnel, signifying the end of the Foundry's tunnels. Giles passed the two grunts charged with guarding the entrance, both were broad-set and stocky, thick cudgels resting on their belts. They gave little notice to the boys aside from the odd grunt or barked order, nothing beyond the norm, Giles thought to himself, following Tully and Marcus, the brown haired lad in front as the large group diverted in their paths.

"Remember Cry boy!" He heard the cackled laugh of Fagin in the distance "If ye don't bring anything back, yer all mine for the day!" Giles shuddered. If there was one thing he didn't want, it was to be stuck with Fagin for a day. He'd seen what happened to the boys that were. He wasn't going to be one of those broken sods. He hurried after Tully and Marcus, intent on the job at hand. Picking the right mark was the first lesson that Findley had taught each of them, instructing and explaining the meticulous detail that went into sizing up the right poor sod that would be their target. But putting theory into practice is never that simple. Giles had stumbled and screwed up several jobs and Findley was losing patience with the lad. Giles knew his next mark would make or break his standing in The Foundry. "Oi Giles!" Marcus called over to him, snapping him out of his musing before pointing a sausage-like finger at a hunched over figure, trudging along the street. "That one'll do nicely!" Giles followed the boys pointing, nodding, swallowing. "I need this. I need this" He repeated to himself, much like a mantra as he nodded to Tully, who began running the first phase of the plan.

Tully would grab the mans attention, acting as a paper boy wishing to sell a paper, whilst Marcus would act as the 'hoodlum', knocking the man over, drawing his attention from anything else save the boy that just ran into him. Giles part in the plan was arguably the most risky, having to slip his hands into the mans pockets and loot his wallet, luckily Giles had nimble and dextrous fingers, something Findley had mentioned to him when he had turned up at the Foundry's doorstep. It was likely one of the few reasons Findley decided to employ him as a picker. "Excuse me guv," Giles began, doing his best not to look guilty. "Ye dropped this!" He outstretched the worn wallet to the man who snatched it back quickly in relief "Ah! Thank ye lad, that bastard mongrel from before must have tried to rob me!" The old man stuffed the wallet back into his pockets, Giles staring at him for a moment too long for the mans liking, earning a sharp open palmed smack to the back of the head. "What'dye want, a reward!? Get outta here!" He barked, stomping off. Giles retreated back to the shadows where he saw Tully and Marcus waiting, all smiles. Giles opened his palm, revealing the small pouch of coin, earning a hard smack on the back from Marcus. "Attaboy Giles! That's our first mark of the day, just like that! We'd better grab some more or Findley'll think we're slacking!"

 The two boys nodded, following the chestnut haired boy as he bounded off through the muddy streets. As he hurried after the two lads, Giles couldn't help but think back glumly on how he came to be in this predicament. By no means was he a wealthy boy before, but he wasn't destitute and that was something. It had only been two weeks since his mother died of illness. Giles remembered that horrible day all too well as he slipped through the crowded and messy streets of Blackchapel. It had been early morning when he awoke, searching for his mother in the small pantry he often found her, yet this time there was no sign. He entered the small room beside his own, his mothers room to find her still in bed. Any attempts to rouse her was met with no response. Giles began to grow concerned, calling out her name, still no response. He began to panic, shouting for her to wake up before the light the curtains blocked out revealed her pallid complexion, her eyes open and wide with pain. Giles screamed in shock and horror, prompting folk to enter the house, finding the boy clutching his mothers hand, sobbing. It was mere hours before a representative of the Hanover brothers arrived, offering the young Giles a choice; He could have his mother cremated and likely die of starvation not long after, what with no other guardian capable of raising him, or he could give his mother to the representative, and in return, they'd pay him twenty shillings for the trouble. The Hanover brothers were famous or infamous depending on who you spoke to for their booming business of cadavers, often having their stock shipped to prestigious schools or universities for studying the human body.

It was something so simple really, starvation or food for a week, maybe two if he rationed it. But rationalisation and emotion don't go hand in hand. Giles' mother had never agreed with the Hanover brothers business. "Dark and godless" she'd crow, working in the small pantry as she often did. "No good comes of men willing to sell the dead, Giles" She would say, leaving no debate as to where she stood. But now, she was gone, dead, right in front of him and he knew that the food left in the pantry was good for one day, only if he rationed it. Giles agonised over the question, the Hanover representative making it clear he was trying his patience, demanding an answer, forcing the young boy to make the hardest decision he had ever faced, and in the end, he made his decision.

Giles took the money.


« Last Edit: June 02, 2020, 10:22:05 AM by PrimetheGrime »

PrimetheGrime

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Re: A Little Black Book- Giles Hawkins
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2020, 10:14:58 AM »
« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 11:37:47 AM by PrimetheGrime »

PrimetheGrime

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Re: A Little Black Book- Giles Hawkins
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2020, 12:45:07 PM »



« Last Edit: June 02, 2020, 10:11:12 AM by PrimetheGrime »

PrimetheGrime

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Re: A Little Black Book- Giles Hawkins
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2020, 10:11:18 AM »