Diary Entries

  • 3 July 2013

    The following diary entry excerpts were written exclusively for The String Diaries Facebook page, and used as additional content on the lead-up to the UK hardback publication date.


             30th April, 1879.  Győr, Hungary

             Diary of H. Fischer

    This will be my first entry.

    It’s been three days since they killed her. My beautiful wife. I buried her in the place she wanted. Just a simple grave. No time even for a marker, God forgive me. I came back to the house for the boy, packed a bag of our belongings and then we left. We can never return.

    I killed one of them. The leader of their group. The second one fled. I don’t know what happened to Jakab. Hopefully he’s dead.

    I’m writing this diary to preserve her memory for the boy. And, as a record of what happened to us. He will never know his mother now. Not first hand. But perhaps he can come to know her through these words.

    I cannot forgive them for what they did to her. I cannot forgive myself for inviting them upon us. If Jakab is alive, I believe he will come after us.

    I need to find out as much as I can before that happens.

    Lord, help us.


             28th November, 1926. Sopron, Hungary

             Diary of A. Richter

    Saw A. B. today. He came to the house and we sat in the library and drank tea together. I wondered for a while if I’d angered him, if something I’d said - or something I didn’t say - had upset him, but he assured me it wasn’t true.

    I really shouldn’t write more, because if anyone ever reads this I will simply die . . . but it happened again. That’s the fourth time, now. I know, I know. I should tear out this page and throw it in the fire. But it’s just so delicious to think about it!

    Today was different to the other times, though. He was . . . fiercer. I really must stop. My face is burning!  


             5th January 1927. Sopron, Hungary

             Diary of A. Richter

    I don’t know where to start this. I’m almost too terrified to write anything down.

    I confided in Grandpa. It was awful, but I told him everything. What he must think of me. He said nothing for the longest time, then he showed me the diaries he’s been keeping. I’ve spent the last three hours reading them, and what I learned . . . My God.

    He’s convinced that he’s unearthed the truth. If he’s right, well, I don’t know how this will end for us. We’ve thought of a plan but it’s horribly risky. I just want us to leave, to find somewhere safe. But we have to know. Poor A. B.


             19th January, 1927. On the road.

             Diary of A. Richter

    We left this evening.  Both our lives packed into a single case. Mother was crying. Father, too.  We all just stood there and hugged each other. I can’t believe I won’t see them again. A. B. drove us out of the city in his coupe and we found a hotel for the night. I won’t say where. We pretended we were man and wife.  Under any other circumstances, it would have felt like an adventure; a wonderfully illicit liaison. It doesn’t feel like that now.

    It’s all true. Whichever way I look at it, it just doesn’t seem possible – a horrible nightmare. But it’s all true.

    I have the diaries with me. That’s the important thing. A. B is scared, but he’s trying to be brave. Bless him. I’m terrified.


             03 December 1942. Berlin, Germany

             Diary of A. Richter

    The telegram came this morning.

    I knew it would. I suppose I’ve known for weeks. Strange that we’ve spent so long running from this horror stalking us, and then A. B.’s life should be taken by something as mundane and impersonal as a war.

    Stalingrad, the letter said. A sniper’s bullet, clean and quick. I suppose I should be thankful. Some are saying things are so bad over there that our men have resorted to eating each other.

    The telegraph boy knew, I think. Something sickly in the way he smiled at me. He must have delivered hundreds of these telegrams by now. Hundreds of those sickly smiles.

    I’m too numb to feel anything. And I don’t know what to do. Don’t know what will happen to us. I’m the only one left to protect her.

    We have to go. Now.


             13th April 1961. Carcassonne, France

             Diary of A. Dubois

    I decided tonight that I really am going to do this. It’s not him. It’s not Eric. It can’t be.

    I can’t know that, of course. Not for sure. And if I’m wrong, then I will surely burn for what I’m about to do. But I won’t let him have her. Or me.

    He’s inside now, waiting. I’m writing this in the workshop next door.

    If I fail tonight, if you’re reading this and I’m dead, then you must keep these diaries safe. Read them. All of them. They might save your life.

    I love you so much. Always.


             16th October, 1997. Budapest, Hungary

             Diary of C Meredith

    Finally made contact with them tonight. Some god-awful watering hole on Castle Hill. One of the hotel maids entertained H for me while I went to meet them.

    I think they thought I was hosszú élet at first. In fact, for a while there I thought they were intending to kill me. But then things settled down a bit and we talked.

    I told them our story. They listened, and then they told theirs. They’ve given me some reading. I’ve only just started it, but . . . it’s extraordinary.

    If only I’d known. If only I’d believed. When I look at what we could have avoided it makes me weep. The only one who is important now is H. My one goal is to keep her safe. Nobody I met tonight seems to consider that possible.


             4th July, 2013. Crayfield Estate, England.

             Diary of C Meredith

    This may be my last entry. He’s found us. After all this time, he’s found us.

    I’ve sent N to the gunroom. H is packing up. They want me to go with them but I’m going to stay here. See what I can do to cover their escape. It’s the least I owe them.

    This is all my fault. All of it.

    I think I know who it is. I think. I won’t write any more.

    Someone’s outside. 

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