Tag Archives: voiceofthemute

Letters from Davey — Two —

Your right. I will call you niave. I shouldn’t even be replying to you. Not really. But you’re the only person I can talk to who isn’t involved.
You shouldn’t trust me. You really shouldn’t. You don’t know me and, if I were you, I wouldn’t want to. It’s nice that you do and everything and it’s really sweet that you want me to trust you but I can’t.
Your twelve? That’s really young. What are you doing writing about what you do? Where do you get your ideas from?
I love music too. I was at university taking music when I did what I did. Never give up on your dream. Never. I love the steel pan. They always sound so happy. Did you know they’re from the Carrabien? When you play them in the sun they’re so hot you can burn yourself. The drumming sounds like it’s samba. Have you ever heard it at the Brazillian carnivals? It sounds amazing.
Crime isn’t cool, Bethonie. It really isn’t. Going into crime was the worst mistake I ever made in my life. It hurts people, even those so called victimless crimes. Please don’t tell me you’re involved in crime. Never do it. Don’t succum to peer pressure or anything like that. Please.
I probably did underestimate you a little. You do seem to know about friendship and you know about how important it is.
You have a wise head on your shoulders. What you said about ignoring the problem is true. The thing is, if you’re going to try and solve a problem then you need to be listened to. I wasn’t listened to. Speaking to politicians doesn’t work, Bethonie.
You’re so clever, but so niave at the same time. You’re innocent and I like that. Don’t change.

Yours sincerly,
Davey Hertz

Letters to Davey — One —

Dear Davey,

Call me niave or stupid, but I do trust you. If I didn’t then I wouldn’t bother writing to you. And, if I didn’t trust you, then I wouldn’t try so hard to get you to trust me. I don’t know how to make you trust me. I make up lies for fun. If I were you, I wouldn’t trust me. If I tell you more about me, will that help?
I’m twelve years old and I like reading and writing. I like making music, too. I’m in a band called Drumestra. We play steel pan and different types of drums from Brazil. It’s really fun. I can’t remember the name. Something beginning with S. I want to know about crime because it’s cool, isn’t?
Looking after friends is important. I don’t have many, just one really good one. We stick together because, without each other, we’d be alone.
I don’t know why you hate yourself. Killing people is really bad but you could have done something worse. It was a quick death, wasn’t it? It wasn’t as if you tourtured them for hours and anyway, ignoring the problem is worse than trying to solve it, even if you get it wrong.
You said you can’t risk going to prison. I’m not tryinv to make you feel bad or anything but surely the Feu was as big a risk as you can get. Why did you do it? Why not just speak to them?

Yours sincerly

Bethonie Waring.

Letters from Davey — One —

Bethonie,

Trust is always an issue I have. You must try to understand. Being a teenager, you’ve probably had all the warnings about trusting people you’ve met online and everything, incase they’re some perverted old man who wants to use you. I know I can never just expect you to trust me. I don’t expect you to and I wouldn’t be suprised if you never did. Trust works both ways though. How do I know I can trust you? What I did was awful and I feel the guilt every second of my life. All I want to do is hand myself in, and I know I should have done that a long time ago, but I have other responsibilities now. I have people I need to look after and keep safe. I don’t expect you to understand it. You didn’t see him, my friend. You didn’t see what a state he got himself into when I wasn’t there. The point is, he relies on me, so I can’t just hand myself in. If I go to prison, I don’t know what he’ll do. It’s awful and I know I should but I don’t trust you. I can’t. I don’t know you. You could be anyome. I can’t risk going to prison, not now. When he’s settled and safe and ok, I’ll hand myself in. It’s not that I like being free. I don’t. It rips me apart every morning, every day and every night. I’m not even free, not really.

Yours sincerly,
Davey Hertz

Going back and facing up – told by Davey Hertz

Im not sure what I had been expecting. I was hoping dad had changed. People get better, don’t they, when you take away the problem. The thing was, I was never dad’s problem, not really. I probably didn’t help but I was never the problem. No, dad was dad’s problem and no one could change that, definatly not me. They put up a front, obviously, when I first came back. All smiley and happy like there never was a problem. Mum was the weak link. She always let her guard down when she thought I wasn’t there, and I could see the tears behind her smile. Eventually, we were back to the same old routine. Dad was angry and blaiming everyone but himself and mainly me. I was suprised mum had lasted this long, the beatings he gave her. It must have been worse when I wasn’t there. They’d had another kid, a normal kid, and that had helped a bit, but he was gone now.
It was just us. Like it was before…

Interview with Davey Hertz

Taking a step back from the story line now to how I started to talk to Davey, online of course. This took place in August 2009, when I was doing research about Carlus Seenus. This does do a lot of explaining though, so,

07/08/09

Age 27

BETHONIE WARING: Hello, wow, hello. Erm, thank you… for, erm, logging on, Mr Hertz.

DAVEY HERTZ: Your welcome. Thank you for listening.

BW: I’m sorry for distracting you from whatever it was you was doing before. Just out of curiosity, what were you doing before?

DH: Oh, I’ve not been busy lately. It’s been quiet. And when it’s quiet, it’s boring. I’m quite glad of the distraction, actually.

BW: Glad to be some help. So, as you know, I’ve been doing a little bit of research on the Underground. I never knew you were in the Underground, until the other day.

DH: You’re not supposed to now. That’s the idea.

BW: I like researching. Anyway… I wanted to ask what it’s like to be in the Underground.

DH: The Underground is strange and I’m not sure how much you know, so I don’t know how much I can say.

BW: Erm, maybe I should rephrase the question. How, would you say, you feel about the Underground? Would you say that was a good enough question?

DH: I would say it’s a question I can answer… if I step very carefully. Stepping carefully is a huge part of the Underground. It often feels like you’re always being watched, which, I’m pretty sure, is what happens. Sometimes you can feel really stressed, because everything happens at once, or at least very close after each other. It can be exciting – your running on adrenaline and nothing else. At other times, it can be boring, like I say, and that’s the scary time.

BW: Why?

DH: Because someone’s always doing something, and if you’re not doing something then there’s a chance that someone’s coming after you.

BW: That makes sense.

DH: Could I ask a question, quickly, please?

BW: Sure.

DH: What exactly are you researching?

BW: Well, the Underground, and Mr Seenus.

DH: And that’s how you found out about me?

BW: Well, yes.

DH: Oh, Carlus will be please.

BW: Well, I’m sorry. I… I just completely lost my train of thought. So, Davey, sorry. Got it! How did you get into the Underground?

DH: Getting into the Underground wasn’t a choice. At least, I didn’t know I was making the choice. I was living on the streets and a man… who I’m not going to name… a man took me in. He happened to be a member of the Underground. I had to get involved in his crime so I could stay with him.

BW: So is that how most people get into the Underground or… or what? Is there… I dunno…

DH: That’s one way in, I suppose. There are different ways. Of course, a lot of kids are brought into it from family members and friends of family members who are already involved in the Underground. And then there’s scouting.

BW: Scouting?

DH: Well… there’s different types of scouting. There’s gang scouting. You get gangs all the time in cities. Sometimes an Underground member will stroll over and see a gang and they see a bunch of thugs. They offer them some money and they have a gang.

BW: And that’s scouting?

DH: That’s one kind of scouting. And then there’s the individual scouting, where, for example, a poor, starving, kid wonders into an Underground shop and, unknowing the consequences, nicks some food. They’re almost always caught, of course. If they’re good, they’re taken on.

BW: It’s a lot more complicated than you would think.

DH: Yeah. A lot of people don’t see how big the Underground is. I wouldn’t know, but I saw one side of things and Carlus saw the other.

BW: So you were scouted and Carlus was inherited.

DH: Through family, yeah.

BW: Carlus… Carlus Seenus, isn’t it?

DH: Because you don’t know, right? Yeah, Carlus is a Seenus. His dad was Innot Seenus.

BW: Innot was high in the Underground, then? And that’s how he found his way in.

DH: See, I don’t know why we’re even doing this. You know everything already.

BW: I know the facts. I don’t know the feelings. Was it weird, coming from two different backgrounds, between you and Carlus?

DH: Well, yes. It always was going to be weird between us. People were always pulling us, him, in different directions. I never really knew where I stood with Carlus. In knew I was below him. I was pretty stupid as a kid, but I knew this. Carlus never really made me feel like that, though. He never made anyone feel like that. Not until I was a teenager and he finally found his guts. He was ignorant to the social differences in the Underground. He didn’t care who I was. I was his charge, his friend, his carer, however you would have it. I was his and he looked after me

BW: And you, on the other hand…

DH: And me, on the other hand, exactly. I was ignorant to pretty much anything but social differences and political wrong doings. I had almost no awareness of anything right up until it happened.

BW: And is that how friendships usually work in the Underground?

DH: No. There aren’t usually many friendships in the Underground. If there are friendships they’re always split by the Underground. Look at Mr Seenus and Mr Hennison.

BW: What happened with…

DH: You don’t need to know, I’m sure. How much more do you need to know? I’m kind of busy.

BW: I thought… oh, never mind. Thank you for your time

The Big One and the Scary One

A normal alleyway in a quiet little town in Northern France. It was a fairly normal afternoon. The weather was nothing to comment about but, being English, I shall. There were no clouds in the crisp, blue sky, but the sun did not shine exceptionally brightly and it was a cool, almost cold, day. The alley way was as normal as any other alleyway and ran between the stone back gardens of the terrace houses. The alleyway had an almost murky smell to it on this particular afternoon. It was the second week of the new year, and the bin bags that had lined the walls only a few days before had been removed, but the pungent aroma had not. The walls were high, so as to stop burglars easy entry, and tooo keep the houses hiddenn from the school children that usually came this way to and from the schools only a few streets away.

To young Davey Hertz, the walls seemed forbidding and almost another enemy, for the walls knew. The walls knew exactly what happened almost every afternoon at half four, as he made his way home for St Mary’s School for the Physically Disadvantaged. But the walls never told. they were faithful to the enemy and kept his pain silent.

It was almost half four now, and Davey rushed down the alleyway, cautiously glancing behing him to see if they were coming. Most of the kids in his class were picked up by their parents from the school gates, but Davey’s father had said that he didn’t need it. He wasn’t disadvantaged, as such. He could walk home himself without falling down in a fit like some of the students at St. Mary’s. It wasn’t really a disadvantage, his father said, he was just stupid.

His father said it was his own stupidiy and the boys said it was his weakness, because they could use it against him. And then oftern did.

But not today, Davey thought as he practically ran down the alley. Today he had been prepared. He had money, and people liked money. He had taken it from the jar his mum kept on the top shelf. The jar was huge and full of money, and Davey was sure no one would notice the few franc notes he had taken out. His father had enough money anyway.

He got to the tall, wooden gate to number twenty five before he heard the shound of another’s footsteps. Another two pairs of feet pounded on the cobbles a little way behind him. Not far away. Not risking a glance behind, Davey broke into a run and sprinted towards the end of the alleyway. But it was not use. It just wasted energy.

The tallest boy, the Big One grabbed the back of Davey’s St Mary’s sweater and dragged him back, lifting his feet a few inches off of the floor. The other boy, the scary One, laughed and came around to look at their catch. Davey didn’t squirm, knowing it just made the Big One angry. Instead, wriggled a little, so that he could reach into his front pocket, and pulled out the money. The Scary One saw the money and grinned.

“Look wht he has for us today,” he laughed, “How much is it, ver?”

Davey offered the money to the Scary One. He didn’t take it, but stepped forward,, and evil grin painted on his pale face.

“I said, how much is it?” the Scary One repeated, spitting out the words.

Davey, unsure what to do and unable to do much else, offered the Scary One the money again. He just knocked it out of the way and grabbed Davey by the neak. Davey could feel the movement as his weight was shifted from the Big One’s powerful grip to the Scary One’s thin, spike like fingers.

“We don’t do this for the money, ver,” he said, “We do it for the pleasure, and as our survice to the state getting rid of monstres like you.”

Davey felt pain in his stomach, the pain he had been waiting for, and was dropped to the floor. His thin legs bucked under his weight and he fell to the floor. The Big One and the Scary One stood over him. The Big One spat down, but the Scary One held out a thin, spider-like hand. Davey didn’t take it. The Scary One laughed, and then crouched down to speak with Davey.

“Go on then, ver,” he spat, “Call for help.”

The Big One laughed at the Scary One’s joke, byt the Scary One remained silent. He stood again, threw in a well aimed kick for good measure, and let the Big One get on with the rest.

The start…

The start would be when Davey Hertz was born. This was how Amy Frish, the Hertz’s next door neighbour, recalls the first time she met baby Hertz.

April 1982

I didn’t know straight away that the baby had arrived. John knew where pubicity wasn’t needed and, even though he usually ignored this, he’d decided to leave the press at the hospital when Lucy came home. It was strange without the cameras outside the house, but nice. The silence was nice too, for a while at least. They had been home an hour or so when it finally clicked. I had known there was something wrong, but it had taken a long time to work it out. The silence…

I liked Lucy, and we talked a lot, so I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be flapped away from the baby. When she opened the door, Lucy looked relieved to see me. She looked tired, but what could be expected this soon after she’d given birth. It hadn’t been a complicated birth, as far as I was awear, but there was definatly something wrong.

The house was in pristien condition. John had always liked things neat and tidy and I didn’t expect the baby would change that. When I came in, he was sat on the old arm chair in the corner, staring out of the window at nothing. Lucy past me, not looking at John, and sat on the sofa. The tension was so thick I don’t think a knife could have cut it. I would have to make do with my voice, John’s personal weapon of choice.

“Well then,” I smiled, rubbing my hands together, “Where is he then?”

Lucy looked up t me and glanced at John. He didn’t even move. Niether of them said a word.

“Lucy?”

She jumped up with a forced smile when I called her name. She laughed weakly and pulled me with her to the baby basket behind John.

“Here he is then,” she said, picking him up. The way she held him was strange. All new parents are cautious, I could understand that, but Lucy was hiding him. She glanced nervously between me and John, and then eventually handed him to me.

“He’s so clever,” Lucy boasted, “He opened his eyes. They said he wouldn’t do that for a while, but he did!”

“They also said he wouldn’t breath by himself but he did that and all,” John grunted from his chair, “But then, most kids can breath by themselves.”

I had thought he was asleep. I had never heard a baby so quiet when it was awake, so I hadn’t expected huge, blue-grey eyes staring up at me. I ignored John, because I hadn’t understood what he meant, and smiled at the baby’s grinning face.

“What’s his name?” I asked quietly.

“Davey,” Lucy answered, “It means ‘beloved’.”

“That’s lovely,” I said, because I felt I had to. Lucy was clearly so proud of the baby. John couldn’t be more uninterested. I passed Davey back to Lucy, and she went back to her protective pose, holding him close. We sat back down and, by this time, John had looked away from the window.

“Go on then,” he snapped, “Ask the question. I know you want to.”

“John I don’t know…” And I didn’t. I looked at Lucy, but she was watching Davey and wouldn’t look up. The baby’s face screwed up, and I readied myself for the screaming, but it didn’t come. There was a gasp for breath, and tears, but no shouts. Lucy was crying, and I assumed it was something to do with the ‘question’, but I knew how to handle John.

“Go on then,” I said, “I can see you’re so desperate to tell me.”

But it was Lucy who, in a shaky, tear chocked voice, told me.

“He’s different,” she whispered, “Special.”

“It’s a freak!” John burst in, “He’s a freak, Lucy.”

“He’s just different, John,” Lucy cried.

“He’s got no voice box, Lucy,” John snapped, “That’s different alright! Freaky different.”

Lucy cradled the baby. He calmed down, yawning and closing his huge eyes. Lucy smiled, sadly. John glared at him.

“No voice box?” I asked, quietly, “What does that mean?”

“There is no voice box.” John said, bluntly, “It’s as simple as that. It can’t make a noise. It’s a freak.”

“John.” Lucy snapped, “He’s not a freak.”

It hurt her, that word, but if ‘freak’ had been as bad as it got, then it probably wouldn’t have ended up quite the same way…