Friday, 22 August 2008

A Random Dwelling Thought & A Girl And Her Governess - Part 2

I am very short of time this morning; I have to get out from home, off to the gym before heading off to Camden Town for a bit of a drink up with some old school chums, so I only had a few minutes to spare but I thought I'd share a few thoughts with you all before posting up the concluding two parts of A Girl And Her Governess (I am still unable to ascertain from which magazine I scanned these pages - I have been looking through my collection though and am still looking).

This has absolutely nothing to do with the scanned pages presented here (click to enlarge and read) but I had to answer an email this morning and it got me to thinking: I always love anything dealing with a reformatory scenario, particularly when described as totally isolated from the outside world. In the latter context any description of high walls, strict security and the Gothic surroundings gets me going - it is that feeling of hopelessness and helplessness that such surroundings are likely to engender in the inmates that I go for. If you've ever read any of my stuff you will have realised that I tend to allow my characters some hope, usually by initially stating relatively short terms of incarceration, and then gradually withdrawing that hope as for one reason or another those terms become extended or indeed repeated (perhaps over and over, who knows).

I read a story once, I can't recall its title nor who it was by, that was set in the Victorian period and wherein a young girl is picked up for some very minor offence and dispatched to the local reformatory - without ever having had the chance to explain the situation or communicate with friends or family (basically as far the outside world is concerned she has just disappeared).
She is sentenced within a closed court by a judge (all perfectly legal, a real judge etc etc) to, I think, two years in the reformatory. It is mentioned in the story that under certain circumstances, repeated offences whilst inside or unacceptable behaviour over the period of the sentence etc, that the miscreant might be re-sentenced on release, possibly to having to endure the entire term all over again from scratch. It then becomes clear that the judge has already signed the necessary documents for her sentence to be repeated in its entirety from the beginning once she has completed her two years. She is not to be told of this of course until the day of, what otherwise would be, her release.
The reason for all of this unfair treatment is simplicity itself: It is in reality merely that she happens to be extremely attractive - the judge and a couple of his acquaintances will be visiting to witness her various punishments from time to time.

I prefer to imagine her being taken as far as the gates on her final day, perhaps even being allowed to change into her day-to-day clothing, before being told of her re-sentencing and being turned back through the various gates and security measures and being put back in the drab reformatory uniform - perhaps as a final gesture her fine day dress and other belongings being cut up before her (I can be so cruel).

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