Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 87 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 87 )

  Much as I had expected, Mary paid me a visit at the Infirmary. She had no illness as such, unless you class fear of impending doom as an illness. she apologised profusely for any wrongs that I may have considered she had done me and pleaded with me to forgive her and return to the way things were before she had the abortion.

I told her that as this had come out of the blue, as it were, I would have to carefully consider, as it concerned not only myself, but the other members of my household. she started to cry and pleaded with me that her life was at stake.

But I remained unmoved, ‘Write down your address, and I will call and see you on the night of the eighth to give you my decision!’ She hugged me to her and kissed me on the cheek. At one time it would have meant something, but not now, I am immune to her charms. Especially as I know she only seeks to use me, again.

The eighth was the first number that came in to my head, just long enough for her to be ready to beg, and also for the Police to begin to get a little more relaxed about their duties. The eighth would be a good day to die, and so she must!

Or if not the eighth, she would certainly be dead come the ninth, for her death was my avowed intention, I saw no other option,

(C) Damian Grange 2018


Air Aces of World War One

EEddie rickenbacker
Picture – Courtesy of Pinterest

Captain Edward Vernon Rickenbacker – America’s Top Scoring Ace 1890 / 1973

Edward Rickenbacker ( born Richenbacher ) was born to Swiss German speaking immigrants. From childhood he loved machines and experimenting with them, encouraged by his father’s words, ‘A machine has to have a purpose.’

In what was to become one of the defining characteristics of Rickenbacker’s life, he nearly died many times, in events ranging from an early run- in with an horseless carriage, to a botched tonsillectomy, to Airplane crashes. His first life threatening experience occurred when he was in the ‘Horsehead gang’. He lived near a mine, they decided to ride a cart down the slope, it tipped over and almost crushed them.

Rickenbacker’s schooling ended at age thirteen, after the accidental death of his father. Rickenbacker found work wherever he could to help support the family, but he was always driven by his immense admiration for machines. Rickenbacker taught himself has much as he could, including enrolling in a correspondence course in engineering.

He aggressively pursued any chance of involvement with automobiles. Rickenbacker went to work at the Columbus Buggy Company, eventually becoming a salesman, working in both Dallas, Texas and Tucson, Arizona.

Around this time Rickenbacker became well-known as a racing car driver, competing in the Indianapolis 500 four times before World War One, and earning himself the nickname ‘Fast Eddie’. He joined the Maxwell race team in 1915, after leaving Peugeot. After the Maxwell team disbanded that same year, he joined the Prest-O-Lite team as manager and continued to race improved Maxwells for Prest-O-Lite.

Flying a fighter aircraft in World War One demanded a great affinity between man and machine, to become an Ace or even to survive at all, this affinity had almost to become instinctive. From all over Europe young men with a delight in things mechanical were drawn towards the war in the air. Some very successful pilots like Charles Nungesser and the Belgian Jan Olieslagers had already proved their affinity with speed and power as champion racing drivers.

To Be Continued

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 86 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 86 )

  I am alone and friendless, with no one to turn to, dare I approach Jack. He is good and kind, will he listen and help me in this my moment of need. Or will he treat me in the way that I deserve, turn his back and walk away. I have to get in contact once again, or I will never know the answer, whether yes or no!

Mary Kelly’s diary – October the 2nd 1888

I have decided to write Jack a letter, begging his forgiveness and pleading for his help, for in this my direst of times, I find myself left friendless, that creature, the Ripper has done away with all my friends and may well do away with me. If no one will give me aid to get out of this area, where I seem to be the next in line. To meet my maker or so it would seem. I just hope that Jack realises the urgency of my situation and moves swiftly to save me. He is a kind compassionate man, surely he will help me?

I waited somewhat impatiently for Mary to contact me, for contact me she must, I had left her with no other choices. It was either me, or find another protector, I had helped her before, so why not again. I knew exactly how her mind was working.

Ingratiate myself with poor sad Jack, in a little while move back in with him, he has me and I have my cushy lifestyle back. But unfortunately Mary, that’s not the way I perceive it, my way always ends in your death and my absolution.

With your death, I can begin my life again, while you live you are too much of a distraction. And I detest distractions of any kind, and so you must die!

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 32

Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 32

  Samira, who had held back, fearing that her appearance might lead to some kind of confrontation, now came forward and requested all the Zombie party to get aboard the waiting ‘bus.

She was searching for Dave Knowles, but to her dismay, he didn’t appear to be present. Samira was not a happy bunny, the only reason she had volunteered for this assignment was to get close to Dave Knowles, with a view to seducing him, or rather to let him seduce her. She enquired if anyone knew of his whereabouts?

‘He’ll probably be on his motorbike, him and Joey will probably go straight to the Holiday Camp’ replied one of the Zombie contingent. ‘Who’s Joey?’ asked Samira. ‘He’s Dave’s partner, they are inseparable, didn’t you know Dave was gay?’

Samira took a deep breath, she really wanted to scream at the top of her voice, all her carefully conceived plans for the weekend were in tatters. The man that she had been hero worshipping was a bloody queer. Fate had dealt her the worst possible cards, she had tears in her eyes, she just had to get away, anywhere!

She turned and ran straight in to the Mayor, the Mayor for all his flabby build was solid, Samira with the wind knocked out of her, thought she had run in to a brick wall. The Mayor bent over and helped her to her feet, she was still very tearful.

the Mayor showed concern, because by inadvertently knocking her down, he thought he may have hurt her in some way. He hadn’t paid too much attention to her before, he knew who she was of course, but he had never realised how beautiful she was.

Samira, still slightly winded, leaned against the Mayor for support. The Mayor, never one to miss an opportunity slid his arm around her waist, she made no protest, just snuggled in to his armpit. The Mayor probably for the first time in his life, felt a pang of conscience, she was so young and pretty. But she was Sanjay’s daughter and she was over the age of consent, all’s fair in love and war, thought the Mayor!

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Conor Dillon – Beginnings Excerpt 7

Conor Dillon – Beginnings  Excerpt 7

  I shrugged my shoulders and walked on, now there was a purpose in my steps. It wasn’t about exercise, it was about motivation, I saw the hill as my enemy, I was going to beat it.  At any cost, I increased my stride, I was a man.

Shamus looked up the hill and saw how far I had ascended and smiled. I would attempt to keep that smile on his face, if at all possible.

I reached the top of the hill, caught my breath for  a moment, then began my descent, obviously my descent was a little speedier than my ascent and so I was soon back with Shamus. I was feeling quite pleased with myself until he once again pointed to then top of the hill and said but one word, ‘Run!’

I was expecting praise, not this, I felt devastated, But if that was what it took I would do it. I wasn’t about to give up. Once again, I attacked the hill with all the energy that I could muster, It was hard going, but I fought off the pain and kept moving, My breathing was starting to get a little laboured, so I tried to even out my breathing to match the pace that I was trying to achieve, somehow, I managed to reach the top without collapsing.

Running downhill was a very different discipline, I was having to hold back or go down the hill at speed and run the risk of rolling down it, if I missed my footing. But I managed my descent in one piece and reported back to Shamus.

He pointed to the top of the hill and said, ‘Walk!’ So once again, I walked up the hill, but this time, my breathing seemed more natural, and my legs were not aching as bad, it felt good. I reached the top of the hill in what I considered was a reasonable condition. I was, despite my aches and pains, starting to enjoy it.

I stated to go down the hill, trying my hardest not to break in to a trot, my orders were to walk! I succeeded in walking, although it played havoc with the backs of my legs. I had a feeling Shamus might be pleased with me this time.

(C) Damian Grange 2018



Jack The Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 85 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story  (Excerpt 85)

  The following day, as I sat in Abberline’s Office perusing this report, I could not help but feel a smug sense of self-satisfaction on a job well done. When I had finished perusing the document, Abberline asked, ‘Is this it? or will he kill again?

‘He definitely will kill again! his confidence is at an high, he will not be able to stop himself from killing!’ I stated confidently, and I, of all people should know.

‘What can we do to prevent him, if anything?’ asked Abberline. ‘I’m afraid that my answer would be nothing, your men are so thick on the streets  that they are almost falling over each other, but still he kills, it’s almost as if he were invisible!’

‘But, why nothing? I’m afraid I don’t understand your line of thought?’ queried the Inspector. ‘Let him thank that he is too clever for us, he will get overconfident and start making mistakes, then we will have him, dead to rights!’ I stated confidently.

‘Aha!’ said Abberline, ‘ You had me flummoxed, but I can see your line of reasoning now, it makes perfect sense.’ ‘ When do you think he will kill again?’ queried Abberline. ‘ I think the best answer I can offer, is soon, his confidence is at an all time high, he will want another victim, I would say definitely soon!’ Leaving Abberline to ponder on my answer, I took my leave and returned to the Infirmary, where I had work waiting for my attention.

As I walked, my thoughts turned to Mary, how must she feel now, all of her friends slaughtered by Jack the Ripper. She must be wondering about her own mortality. But who can she turn to for help. She has no one, but poor sad Jack!

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Air Aces of World War One



Picture – Courtesy of Pinterest

Feldwebel Eugen Bonsch – Austro – Hungarian Ace 1897 / 1951

Bonsch was born in Velka Upa, Austro Hungary on the 1st of May 1897. He studied mechanics at the State Trade School. He originally joined the Army in 1915, but after completing basic training transferred to Aviation. His original assignment was as a mechanic with Fliegerersatzkompagnie 6.

He requested flight training in 1917. He completed it at Flek 8 on 22nd of June 1917. His promotion to corporal followed six days later. He was assigned to Flik 51 on the Italian Front. He scored his first victory shortly after on the 1st of September, teamed with Franz Wognar. He became a balloon-buster with his next victory on the 28th of September, it took several firing passes at 700 metres altitude through heavy ground fire, dodging a couple of enemy fighters to finally down the balloon. For his tenacious courage Bonsch was awarded the Gold Medal for Bravery, the highest award for a non-commissioned officer.

The following Day he shared in the destruction of a Nieuport with two other pilots. On the 3rd of December, Bonsch and Fw Istvan Fejes disposed of another balloon, but he was reminded of just what made these sorties so dangerous e4xactly a month later when he was shot down south of Motta by Anti- Aircraft fire.

He returned to action in the New Year, He shared in bringing down Camels on the 21st of February and the 16th of March 1918. April saw Bonsch attack a variety of Italian ground targets, Including a balloon destroyed southwest of San Biaggio on the 3rd of May, although this was not confirmed he was awarded his second Gold Medal for Bravery.

He had better luck on the 16th of June amid the battle of the Piave, although it was only his third pass amid intense AA fire flying at only 50 metres that his target finally exploded in flames near Bred Di Piave. Bonsch downed a Reconnaissance plane on 20th of June. Although the Battle of Piave was an allied victory, for his part in the battle, Bonsch was awarded his third Gold Medal for Bravery, this was an honour he shared with just five other N.C.O’s during the war.

As the fortunes of war turned against Austro – Hungary, Bonsch downed another balloon near Vascon – Carbonera on the 8th of August. On the 5th of October Bonsch burned his fifth balloon, west of Ponto Piave. and on the 27th – the third day of the battle of Vittorio Venero, he bought down an R.E.8 along with another Camel in concert with Rudorffer. On the 29th he claimed an Hanriot for his 16th victory, before being shot down in flames. Bonsch took to his parachute and landed safely west of the Piave. He crossed the river and rejoined his unit.

His final Victory total was 16, this included 5 balloons. After the war, he became an Innkeeper. He re-joined the Air Force on the outset of World War Two and was promoted to Hauptmann.

(C) Damian Grange 2018



Jack The Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 84 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story (Excerpt 84 )

Completion of Post Mortem Report:

I believe the wound on the throat to be the first inflicted. I believe she must have been lying on the ground. The wounds on the face and abdomen prove that they were inflicted by sharp, pointed knife, and that in the abdomen by one, six inches or longer.

I believe the perpetrator of the act must have considerable knowledge of the positions of the organs in the abdominal cavity and the w\ay of removing them. It required a great deal of medical knowledge to have removed the kidney ands know where it was placed. The parts removed would be of no use for any professional purpose.

I think the perpetrator of this act had sufficient time, or he would not have nicked the lower eyelids. It would take at least five minutes.

I cannot assign any reason for the parts being taken away. I feel sure there was no struggle, and I believe it was the act of one person.

The throat had been  so instantly severed that no noise could be emitted, I should not expect much blood to be found on the person who inflicted these wounds. The wounds could not have been self – inflicted.

My attention was called to the apron, particularly the corner of the apron with the string attached. The blood spots were of recent origin. I have seen the portion of apron produced by Dr. Phillips and said to have been found in Goulston Street. It is impossible to say that it is human blood on the apron. I fitted the piece of apron, which had a new piece of material on it ( which had evidently been sewn on to the piece I have ) The seams of the borders of the two actually corresponding. Some blood and apparently faecal matter was found on the piece that was found in Goulston Street.

The following day, as I sat in Inspector Abberline’s Office perusing this report, I could not help but feel a smug sense of self – satisfaction of a job well done!

(C) Damian Grange 2018



Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 31

Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 31

  The Mayor was similarly occupied, but not with planning he had other things to occupy his time. He had once again caught Ethel, his pub landlady coming out of the shower, and never being a man able to risk temptation had snatched away her towel.

The sight of all that squeaky-clean voluptuousness was just too much for him, he had to have her. And in all fairness to the Mayor, Ethel didn’t put up much of a struggle. But then it wasn’t the first time the Mayor had caught her like this.

The Mayor considered he had a little time for pleasure, his plans were made, his cut of the profits was assured and he would scupper Sanjay’s plans to replace him.

It was time now to sit back, relax, and get ready to gloat, when it all went tits up, but my time will come, I’m a survivor, I’m not here for popularity. The weekend hadn’t started yet and the resistance was building, in his capacity as Mayor he would try to hold them in check. But what could he do, when the floodgates burst.

The first contingent of Zombies arrived by train, Samira was at the station to greet them and see them safely on to the ‘bus that her Father had provided. Maude James and her Ladies of the Women’s Institute were already picketing the station, bearing placards that said, ‘ Zombies go home!’ or ‘ Zombies not welcomed here!’, There is nothing vaguely like a warm welcome.

The problem was that without their make-up and ragged clothes, the Zombies looked identical to the ordinary holiday makers, the ones that the town sought to encourage. Maude James took off her hat and scratched her head, this was all getting far too confusing, Damn the Mayor, Sanjay and the rest of the council for organising this fiasco. She put her hat back on and ordered her ladies to disperse immediately!

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Conor Dillon – Beginnings Excerpt 6

Conor Dillon – Beginnings  Excerpt 6

  We walked back to the house, Shamus striding out confidently and me, dragging my feet behind him. He instructed me to go to the kitchen, where he would attend to my hands. He asked the cook for a bowl of salted water and instructed me to let my hands soak in the bowl for a while.

Once I was satisfied that my hands had ceased throbbing, I lifted them out of the bowl and Shamus dried them carefully, trying his best not to hurt me. I had my meal, took my leave and went to my bed. I cried myself to sleep in frustration for letting myself and my tutor down  so.

I awoke the next morning with every bone in my body aching and protesting, If this was progress, I wanted none of it! After we had eaten, Shamus examined my hands and decided there would be no chopping for today. But if I thought I was in for an easy day, I was certainly in for a shock!

We left the house and strolled around the estate until we came to a hill, not the highest around, but quite high for a boy of my age. Shamus gave me my instructions, I was to walk to the top of the hill, then back down to where he stood.

I smiled to myself, thinking in my ignorance that this would be easy, but I soon learned different. Shamus laid down on the grass and said, ‘Right boy, off you go, walk to the top and back to me again’

I started off fine and confident, but by the time I had walked a third of the way up the hill, my ankles were throbbing and my calves aching. But I was determined I wasn’t going to let that hill beat me. I looked up to the top of the hill, and visualised the hill as the giant, The man who had killed my father.

(C) Damian Grange 2018