Loquacious he may be, admiring of his own fancy, certainly; but one cannot deny the accuracy with which the great Bard’s sweeping hand pens the romantic whimsy of youth. His stories are timeless, given. One need never assert one’s favour for His style when asked for recommendations, for it is a universal truth that any person of taste should devour every volume of His work the moment their eyes fall upon His poetic words.
Every person, that is, but my humble self. The class of people I have resigned myself to acquaintance with are hopelessly ignorant of such magnificence. I first perused a stolen copy of Dickens a year prior, and since an insatiable hunger for grandiose literature had awakened within me. I desired – I yearned for – I lusted after the elegant writings of those classical craftsmen of words! Brontë, Austen, Carroll – I lapped them up like liquid gold. My obsession brought some relief to my faithful but hopelessly bewildered companion. He was a member of that class of ignorant people to whom I earlier referred, but he was keen to indulge me when he learned that public libraries were easier to rob than stately homes.
One author – the greatest of them all – had eluded me until a lost, wandering soul stumbled across our makeshift camp in a dale tucked between two tors where the trees are thick and the shrubs are plenty. He was a pretty thing, with vague blue eyes blinking in astonishment at a world which seemed to appear by magic before them; a pair of moustaches, as fair as the gleaming sun; a slight, tall figure, willowy, clothed in robe of simple but high quality. He made a prettier corpse, and a handsome seat. I folded my legs across his breast while I rifled through his erstwhile possessions, plucking from them with triumph a compendium of the great Bard.
Sadly, indulgence in such ecstasies as the tale of Juliet and her Romeo would have to wait until a more propitious time. As he was wont to do for inexplicable reasons, my aforementioned companion had taken himself away from the sight of the dead man, rocking and moaning. How could I, who had awaited this moment for so long, tolerate such an insufferable distraction from the greatest love story of all time? I considered dispatching him, but relented. His dogged faithfulness had proven a true asset over the course of our years together and may still prove him useful yet.
So, if I could not dispose of my companion, I reasoned that the only sensible course of action was to dispose of the corpse. That he and I should do so without older, stronger aid was out of the question. The pretty man was rather weighty. Shuffling along the grass and dragging him along with us would be quite undignified.
I made, I think, quite a spectacular performance instead. Hurrying away from the scene, my precious new tome clutched to my chest, I jogged until rustling branches and cracking twigs indicated the presence of another. Thereupon I bolted, craftily positioning myself to run directly into my new victim. I bounced off the legs and fell backwards onto the floor, my emerald eyes wild. I reached up and clutched my golden hair with white hands, contorting my face as though I were about to burst into tears.
“Dead!” I cried, pointing with a tremoring finger behind me into the trees. “D-dead man!”
I need not point out that I am a consummate actor. The theatrics were complete when I let the threatening tears fall and buried my face into the stranger’s shoes. Being small and slight, as well as possessing a face pinched thin with hunger and ragged clothes made dusty from poverty and weary travel, is an advantage in moments such as these. Being a child does not hurt either. Our sleepy, arrogant society will as soon believe that grass is scarlet, contrary to the evidence of their own eyes, than they would believe a seven year-old capable of such diabolical machinations as murder.