The facts in the case of the departure of Miss Finch by Neil Gaiman
“The facts in the case of the departure of Miss Finch” was familiar to me in the sense that the scenery set was very alike to an old Hammer Horror movie I am very fond of called “The Vampire Circus”; though I am not suggesting that this story is a breach of copy-right, merely that the scenery was similar, for example; the movie was about a vampire count who fell in love with a local school-teacher and got her delivering her young pupils occasionally for his dietary needs, eventually she was discovered by her husband delivering a child and the vampire executed in the usual fashion and the woman outcast from the village. She was told formerly by the count that if they were ever discovered that she could contact a cousin of his on the other side of the country who were a traveling night time circus that advertises mesmerism; during the killing of the count, the count had threatened the lynch mob that if he should die, then so should all the children of the village. Many years past and the traveling night circus came and sought revenge for their cousin in the most innovative ways imaginable.
Some of their first victims were visitors of the circus; they entered a tent where they saw various acts and a hall of mirrors only for them never to return to their families alive. Though primarily the movie was about the circus seeking revenge, most of the other victims were seduced into giving up their lives, it was the burgomaster that died in the tent under suspicious circumstances; but because he was so incredibly fat, people presumed the fun and laughter of the hall of mirrors had caused him to succumb to a heart attack.
Similar acts happened in Neil Gaiman’s story, very captivating in more ways than one and a delight for me to read, particularly as not only was it so very similar to my most favorite Hammer Horror movie, but it was also read within a week of me finishing “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern and “Emerald Star” by Jacqueline Wilson, which oddly enough have mesmerism and circus’s in their themes too – reading all was a fluke.
I do love stories that have carnival and circus themes to them, another story I read months before I read this Neil Gaiman classic was “The man in the picture” by Susan Hill.
There is a new category to my blog from now onwards, as you can see it is called “Cultural Stuff”; mostly this category will contain beliefs around the world in regards to the supernatural and weird, but also superstitions people have believed over the centuries.
We shall start this category off with a Romany and Isle of Man belief that it is extremely bad luck to write, see or even say the word “rat” unless it is written with a dot or dash between each letter to break up the bad luck. Like this r.a.t
It is also bad luck to mention rats whilst aboard a ship, to do so would bring about terrible weather for the rest of the journey.
Rats leaving a ship at the dockyard, was supposed to be a sign that the ship will not make its next journey safely and this is known in most parts of the world.
To dream of a rat, denotes that someone is scheming against you in your waking life.
Rats aren’t considered bad in all cultures though. Rats are considered sacred in India and have a temple dedicated to them by the people of Rajasthan. If a rat is accidentally killed on the premises, you must replace the rat with a statue made of gold to allay bad feeling.
Rats as a totem means that the person will be shrewd in business and can overcome many of life’s obstacles.
It is interesting to point out that the next year of the rat, according to the Chinese calendar is in 2020, previously it was 2008.
A ball of crystal sits upon a dais, smoke fills the room
A haggard gypsy woman sits over it prophesying doom
I sit and look concerned, this prophecy has overturned any joy I had within
She clutches my hand, tells me fortune will be lost
She denies my gift of silver and a blessing she embossed upon my very soul
I find the event, very droll
Confounded I leave her tent, with my fate in mind
Telling me of future dooms, surely was unkind?
Though she denied my silver and did a blessing on me
These thoughts shall never leave me, nor allow me to live free
I walk on home, wondering, how long I’ll have that place?
I wonder if a gypsy fortune has been done to displace, my happiness, my heart, my joys
I sometimes wonder if this gypsy loves to toy with people of high class
Knowing my fate of misery is within God’s hourglass
I have respect for gypsies; now don’t get upset for that
I was just taken unawares, by this future fact
I stumble on, in my life, wondering what will go wrong
Hence why I am stumbling for my words, with this little song
But hopefully nothing will happen of that sordid forecast
Maybe by some luck god will smash that sand glass?
However, I wait all tensed, to see if it will come
The story of my ruin, the future that’s so glum
Will it be soon, or quite far?
She never did let on
But anyways, this has given me, a good idea for a song