Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Thesis

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. Johnny Wink

Second Advisor

Dr. Amy Sonheim

Third Advisor

Dr. Matt Douglass

Abstract

Charlotte Crow was killed on her eighth birthday.

Or perhaps Charlotte never existed, and the whole tale was a product of a few children’s fevered imaginations.

Perhaps those children were themselves driven to murder by their imaginations.

Perhaps Charlotte’s dream world outlived her. Or perhaps it was her father’s dream.

I cannot judge the truth or presume to understand this story. I can only present the testimony of a few witnesses, to judges more knowledgeable than I.

I went to immense lengths to compile these diaries. My search began a few months ago when my grandfather, Robert Lamb, passed away. I found in his possession a memoir of his life at Limbgate Orphanage, but there were numerous gaps in the narrative. So I traveled to Limbgate, which is now the home of a close friend of mine, Clara Candlewright. Together we searched the house for clues, and succeeded in finding a number of diaries. A few of the names mentioned by my grandfather, though, were still unaccounted for, so we continued our search. We found that a handful of the orphans remained alive, and visited each in turn. They gladly provided us with the missing diaries.

We did our best to arrange the diary entries in chronological order. Just when we thought we had completed our project, Clara found a package on her doorstep. Within, to her astonishment, was Charlotte’s diary. The entries were sparse, but helped shed some light on the mysterious girl. After adding the new diary, we congratulated ourselves with a glass of wine and a good night’s rest. We hope that this chronicle will prove useful to any who may read it.

-E. Lamb, December 21, 2012

Included in

Fiction Commons

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