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Dear Future, I
do not know if any one will read this in the future but this my attempt at being remembered, even a small boy in a miserable world has dreams.
12th February 1783 All of us sleep in a huddle every night not because the room is small but because we shiver from the cold winter gusts and chilling droplets of rain coming through the small window, which we cannot block as the odour of the soot, mold and the chamber pot will suffocate us. 15th February 1783 Today I will share the story of Oliver. He had been here since he was
5 and all that time the only company he had, was a crumpled photo of his family so we immediately became friends. We shared all our happiest moments with each other and when the days and nights of work were hard the only time we would be happy was when we were together. One day, he suddenly became sick, he coughed uncontrollably to the point of vomiting but the next day he would go straight to work. As he got sicker I expected my master to call in a doctor but he did the opposite, giving him less food so
the healthier children could eat more because, “he’s already dead”. I cried every night and prayed to God to make him better but I guess God knew being dead was better than working as a chimney sweep. Oliver died three weeks after his symptoms started and since then he's been in my dream every night. 21st March 1783 I am lucky to be alive, today I went through the most terrifying experience of my life. This morning I woke up feeling extraordinarily dizzy, we are all used to feeling brittle thus I knew it was not normal. Despite my headache I stood
on the grate, right hand above my head, left hand to my side then pressed my body on one side of the chimney and my arms on the other, and pulled up my knees to secure myself, like this I would climb up the chimney naked. The first breath is always a shock as the first load of soot falls down and sticks to the throat but the more you inhale and exhale, you get a feeling of suffocating familiarity. The tight space in the chimney allows only little movement so as I drag myself up, I feel my skin
scraping against the warm soot. All the soot that I clean comes down on me, the longer I stay there the more I coughed, then I heard whistles in my ear. I looked up and I was about half way done, scrap, scrub, scrap, scrub, bam! I opened my eyes then heard faint shouts from below… I had fallen. Although my entire body was aching at the time, the only injury I obtained was the scraps and cuts spread out along my skin. I wonder if lucky is the right expression to be using, death doesn’t scare me anymore. 1st
March 1783 My ultimate goal was to be able to be rich so I could do everything for my family. I hated when mama skipped meals because she, “wasn't hungry” and that my siblings were crammed into small rooms. Now I realise how much I was taking for granted and how harsh this world could be. I hope that when I am released from this prison I will run to my home, greet my family, have a great feast then fall asleep forever at my happiest moment. George Shaw (Chimney sweep, 1783)
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