Tell A Tale in 500 Words

Night Night By richard payne

Night Night by Richard Payne

‘Night Night.’

It wasn’t fair. It just wasn’t. But I had a plan.

‘Oliver! I won’t tell you again. Get to bed!’ he added.

One rule for them, one rule for us. Come the revolution, I thought, watch yourself man, you’ll be the first to lose your head…ssssshhhhhh…kerchunk!

Anyway he looked like he might hit me so I turned and scrambled up the stairs until I was sure he wasn’t getting up. I’m safe, I thought, for now…but not really. It was dark up there. Dark like a scary wood, little angles of shadow here and there, black bar lines cast across the floor in a regular pattern, strange creaking noises all around…

I stopped. Stood. Shallow breathed and hard listened. I could hear him breathing deeper and deeper and the distant whisper of some television programme he wasn’t really watching. I could also hear noises in front of me. I couldn’t move. Then there was a gentle, fragrant breeze that caught me and soft padding footsteps. So I stood very still and pretended I was a fawn in the forest hearing a wolf moving nearby, until she touched me on the shoulder.

‘Are you scared?’ she said.


‘I’ll take you back and make sure you’re okay…come on…’

And she put an arm around me, walked me back and settled me in. So I pleaded something like: ‘Will you stay with me for a while? Please.’

‘Okay.’ She said, ‘Just for a bit. But try not to make him angry. It doesn’t help. You know what Sykes is like.’

I made some excuses like I’m stuck in here, all alone, day after day, can’t you help me? That kind of thing.

‘Look I’ll see what I can do…’ she said, ‘But you know what the aristocracy are like…there’s no reasoning with them in Post-truth times. They are so afraid and fear breeds anger and violence. You can’t change that. Accept. There’s nothing you can do. Now is there anything I can get you?’

I asked her to pass me my book. When you’ve got lots of time you can catch up on reading all those big, big books. She was surprised.

‘What’s this? A Tale of Two Cities? It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…it is a far, far better thing I do now than I have ever done…is that it?’

That was it. She reached for the book and I hit her on the back of the head with a hardback copy of Bleak House. Well, it is the biggest. She went straight out with no sound. I put the pillow over her face and pressed.

So Marley was dead: to begin with. Then I took her gun, sneaked quietly down the hall and aimed at the back of his head…

Concentrated on my breathing and then slowly squeezed the trigger.


And… Night Night…

(Statement describing escape from Fleet Political Prison by Oliver Able Magwitch)

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