“Dear God, please have mercy, help us Lord in London Town, please remove the horrid black shadow cast over us all. Amen.”
Mary Cooper, a modest housewife rose from her prayer. Her eyes solemn and on the bring of tears. Thoughts racing, fearing the worst, like a rabbit caught in a trap awaiting death, she stumbled towards the kitchen knowing that any day soon she would lose her frail daughter to the plague. Mary entered the kitchen and began preparing breakfast, trying to get one with her day, ignoring the despair and horror welling up in her heart.
Wandering from room to room, busying herself with washing and cooking, Mary dared not think of her daughter’s fate. As the fading light seeped through a shuttered window, Mary entered her bedroom and slid open a drawer. Silently she selected a neatly folded handkerchief tying it over her face for protection. Slowly, and filled with fear she pulled the handle of her daughter’s room, dreading the sorrow she would find within. From the doorway Mary glimpsed her child’s face, pale and lifeless; at that moment she knew that her only child, her beloved daughter was dead. An immense wave of emotion washed over her, engulfing her soul. Consumed by grief, she rushed to the crib, threw her arms around the child and unable to hold back the tears any longer, cried her heart out.
Wendy Peters woke early on Sunday morning. Springing from her bed she dressed in her best Sunday pinafore, combed her long hazelnut hair and tied it in a neat bow.
“Mummy I’m ready for church”, she bubbled cheerily.
“We’re not going today Wendy”, her mother replied, her voice slow and cheerless.
“Why mummy?” Wendy questioned, taken aback by the news.
“I want to see Sarah!”
“When will I see her, mummy?”
“When you go to heaven, darling.”
“Why, where is she?”
“In heaven, with Jesus!”
Wendy’s usual merry face was torn away by a cloud of disbelief; her friend, her lifetime playmate was lost to the plague. Quick footsteps echoed down the hall, the only sound heard as she dashed to the front door. Silent tears cascading down her rose red cheeks as she saw the weath of white lilies adorned upon the gate of the house across the cobbles and the small white bundle lying ahead of the polished wooden door.
“Why do I have this blasted job?” Dave Locket asked himself as he staggered out the door of his London home. It was 5:00 am and he was preparing to behind his death round. For many gloomy months he’d wondering why he had this awful job in spite of the fact that he hated it so much, but although the job was horrible his family’s suffering was an even more devastating issue. Mounting his old wooden wagon Dave began his round. Arriving at his first stop he bellowed, “Put out your dead, put out your dead”. His booming voice concealing his horror.
Dave watched as a miserable mother ambled down the cobbled road placing a limp, motionless body in his outstretched arms. The woman looked into Dave’s eyes, trying desperately to hold back the eruption of sadness that had recently unleashed inside her, she softly whisper, “Good-bye Sarah, my love”, Her face drained of happiness, engulfed by despair.
Absorbing her grief, Dave gently placed the corpse of a young girl onto the cart. He continued on his round accumulating a mountainous pile of bodies. The stench was nauseating, worse than anything imaginable.
Finally Dave reached the gravesite where he was joined by other gravediggers; all crowded around an enormous pit. Dave silently staggered to the back of the cart, trapped in this real life horror story, he emptied the bodies into the put. “The stench of the bodies will soon die out”, muttered Dave, “But the sadness and horror surrounding them will live forever.