It’s been a while since I achieved any of the top places in writing competitions, not that I enter that many. And okay, so this is a competition run by my writing group, but it was independently judged by historical fiction author, Clare Harvey. I entered two pieces in the letter writing competition, one that was a personal thank you to an inspirational author and another that… well… I decided needed to be a bit DARKER.
What follows is not pleasant. My eldest daughter hated it.
To Mr Jimmy Jameson
25 November 2021
I hope you don’t mind me writing to you – and please excuse the fancy vellum parchment and calligraphy; I am an archivist by trade and thought this would be an appropriate vehicle for correspondence with someone who has made such an impact within the media and some sections of the population. I trust that your accommodation within one of Her Majesty’s establishments is, if not to your liking, at least commensurate with your status as the public’s ‘bête noire’.
I have been fascinated by you ever since your audacious attack in that shopping centre some eighteen months ago. What drives a man to butcher innocent women and children with a machete? Your claims of diminished responsibility were rejected during the trial but part of me wonders whether there is something within you that really does see things in a more simple, child-like way. Mind you, children are such difficult little beasts to understand. They can be totally naïve and trusting, building friendships with anyone and everyone. Or they can fear and dislike anything ‘different’. I think we all know which type of child you were.
It’s no coincidence that almost all of the 27 victims of your assault were ethnic minorities when one learns of your burning hatred of, well, anything you deemed ‘foreign’. And yet you still ate pizza, drove a clapped-out Audi Quattro, jetted off to Spain and enjoyed a hot vindaloo every Friday night. The term ‘cognitive dissonance’ could have been explicitly created just for you: the man who rails against the threat of Islam to the Christian values of this country, but who wouldn’t know the values of Christ if they were tattooed on his chest. And Heaven forbid that anyone points out to you that Jesus was a Jew from the Middle East. However, I fear that such high-brow discourse is not going to engage you, so let me change tack .
My name is David Camm. If that hasn’t got your attention, let me remind you that I was married to Mandip Camm and was the father of Aisha Camm, names that you should recognise from the trial. And before you throw this letter away I’ll also add that I was recently in a relationship with your wife, Shannon. Well, ex-wife now.
I tracked her down, initially with a view to get back at you somehow. But she’d already dumped you before you played out your sick fantasy – talking of sick, she told me that she actually threw up when the police arrested you. Maybe her leaving you was one of the catalysts, turned you into more of a lonely loser than you already were? Who knows – perhaps if you hadn’t shagged her best friend Tina you might still be together and my family would still be alive. Cause and effect, dominos tumbling, lives being destroyed. It makes you think, doesn’t it?
Anyway, back to me and Shannon. She didn’t know who I really was and she fell into my arms after one meticulously planned night in the King’s Head. My initial plan to cause you pain through her petered out when I realised that you both hated each other. I could have posted her ears to you and you wouldn’t have batted an eyelid. More likely, you would have made fun of them, like the charming wit you are. No, it turns out that you’re a completely self-centred individual with no empathy or compassion for anyone else. Or, almost anyone else.
You see, Shannon told me all about Rosie, your precious little sister who you brought up after your dad had gone to prison and your mum died from an overdose. Big Jimmy Jameson, actually looking out for someone other than himself – who’d have thought it? I suppose you being almost twelve years older than her made you fiercely protective and antagonistic to every perceived threat. Or so I tell myself, still trying to rationalise your actions. Well, it didn’t take me too long to track down little Rosie. As I said, I’m an archivist; research comes with the territory.
She’d just turned seventeen, a little young for my taste but needs must, eh? I won her over with effusive charm, gifts and some rather high grade skunk . Soon we were, as the saying goes, ‘an item’. And can I just say at this point that she really was up for it at a surprisingly early stage. There I was, all flustered about how to get to ‘third base’ and before you know it she’s giving me a blowie. I’ll just let that image nestle in your head a moment.
Well, things got really quite steamy after that. She accepted my suggestion of bondage play with a wicked grin and I’m afraid there may have been a few whip marks on both of our buttocks. It was the handcuffs that were the most fun, though, but I think the motif was lost on her. There she was, lying naked before me, chained to the bedposts and it was so easy to sit astride her and take her neck in my hands. The gag worked reasonably well as I started to squeeze and she began to feel her throat closing, her eyes as wide as a startled deer. I shushed her muffled screams and told her that it would soon be over. Shannon had told me that, when Rosie was a little girl, you had apparently had the knack of calming her nightmares by tickling her back and getting her off to sleep again. Well, little Rosie was having quite a nightmare and you weren’t there for her, Jimmy.
But perhaps you can tickle her back now. You’re holding it in your hands. Such a fine piece of beautiful, white skin; it was almost a shame to write on it.
Tickle her, Jimmy, tell her it’s all going to be okay…
One of the things I like about this is the fact that the main aim of the writer, David, is to hurt the recipient, Jimmy. He goes for the one thing that Jimmy cares about (protecting someone precious) and destroys that protection through brutal murder. Or does he? Is this more about just pushing the right buttons to drive Jimmy to anguished despair? Or was David so brutalised by the loss of his wife and child that he really was tipped over the edge? Which of those scenarios do you feel would be true?
Don’t ask me. You decide 🙂