helmikuuta 04, 2008

Murder in the forest

This morning the snow was there. More snow than ever before this winter. It actually looked quite beautiful: that rosy hue to the cloudy morning sky that cities sometimes have, trees covered with a layer of snow and a lonely little bird singing plaintively in the branches. Not bad at all.

Today was quite a good day. I had a nice lunch with M and some others and we decided to go and play some squash later this week. I rather enjoy that game. I went through the complaints of the year 1800 to see what kind of references to law they had there and then - during the afternoon hours - I wrote the case for the drama course we will be teaching in a few weeks time.

That was surprisingly much fun. I wasn't sure what the case was going to be, but in the end I had three people on the bench of the accused. The year is 1750 and a maid is accused of killing her newborn. Her name is Susanna and I think she is only fifteen years old. Her friend Helena probably confessed the whole story, because she could not bear the guilt anymore. She helped, you see. In covering up the pregnancy, in the delivery and then she hid the corpse of the baby, which she said Susanna had killed. But she could not take it and spilled the whole grisly tale.

But she is the only one ridden with guilt. Susanna claims that the baby was stillborn. She only hid the pregnancy, because she was afraid, ashamed, and she never saw the baby after it was born. Helena told her it was dead and took it away. She is innocent, completely innocent of everything but fear and thoughtlessness.

And then there is the third culprit. Their master, the farmer Matti with a poor suffering wife somewhere. The girls claim that he is the father of the child, that he knew. Helena even swears that he tried to convince them both; that it would be best if the child would end up dead after it was born. Matti - of course - denies everything. Absolutely everything, even if he has been convicted of adultery before and is something of a known womaniser.

I am not sure which one of the stories is true. Well, in my mind Matti is lying, at least about his fatherhood, even though the students are of course free to choose otherwise. And I do think Susanna killed the child, but I am not sure whether she is a victim or a villain. A slightly hapless young girl, who perhaps got abused and does not really know what she is doing. Or a conniving, ambitious woman, who is trying to push the blame of her crime on the shoulders of her trusting friend.

None of that is important for the case, but, well, it could be turned into a story. Quite a number of those real cases that I have could be turned into stories, too. That's one of the best things I am going to get out of this dissy-project. Potential plot lines. Yummy.

Ei kommentteja: