Thursday, 28 January 2010

Telling Stories--Kurt Chambers

Telling Stories--Kurt Chambers

What being a writer means to me, is being someone who tells interesting stories. That's what we do, right? Whatever shape these stories take, fact or fiction, it doesn't matter, they are stories told by us the authors. So, this week I decided that's what I will do for my blog. Why not tell you folks a story. Not just any old story, but one that's true. We all love a true story don't we? Well, tough if you don't, because I'm going to tell you one anyway It's a true story about me (obviously) and it's one of my favorites. Let's give it a name.

The Curse of the Twelfth Century Monk

When I was seventeen years old, I worked as a labourer on a building site in the very quaint old town of Hitchin, south east England. The building was called Hitchin Priory, and dated back to the twelfth century (1100s) when originally built. It was owned by loads of famous people including King Henry Vlll, Stubbs the painter and many others over its long history. I was asked to dig a hole in the cellar to find the water table, as the building was slowly sinking. I was right at the back of this massive cellar that contained many bricked up passages. They led underground to all the major buildings that existed in the time of the priory. They were bolt holes for the monks when King Henry Vlll decided to persecute them many hundreds of years ago. Lots of these tunnels still remain unexplored due to their dangerous condition. It was a creepy place to work, but massively interesting.

We started digging until we reached a depth of about neck level. The ground was made of pure grey clay which was easy to dig. It started to get wet inside the hole as we came closer to the water table. Being as I was wearing wellies that day, I was the one in the hole digging. A dark stain began to appear right in the middle of this hole. I picked at it, and pulled out what looked like a tiny piece of cloth, like a dark brown hessian sacking. I said to my mate, "Check this out. It looks like cloth." We only had a lightbulb on the end of a lead so it was hard to tell. He dismissed it and suggested I carried on digging. It was nearly tea time and we didn’t have much further to go before we finished.
I kept digging and the brown patch started getting bigger. I pulled out a massive piece of cloth. I started joking that we might have dug up some treasure or something. So I carried on digging with avengance. Then I hit something hard. I scraped around it with the shovel. It looked like a piece of beading you get on the top of a coffin. I tugged at this so-called piece of beading until it came free in my hand. To my surprise, I was holding a human tibia (the front bone in your lower leg, the shin bone).

Now, please bear in mind I was just seventeen years old. My stupid gene was in full force. I was an idiot like most boys of that age.

"We've found a body! Let's dig him up!”

The words just slipped out of me. I was imagining this dead person wearing a priceless medallion or some piece of valuable jewellery. Like I said, I was seventeen!

So that's what I did. I tried to dig him up. I was delving in the realms of grave robbing. Unfortunately, as I continued digging up against the far wall of the cellar, it turned out this body was buried under the wall. It was just his legs sticking out. I gave up and went to tell the site agent about my find.

I had my tea break and went back down into the cellar. There was some bloke taking photos. Cool! I thought. He must be from the local paper. I grabbed my shovel and made claim to being the one who dug him up. He wrote my name in a notebook and started asking me questions. It turned out he was from the police. He told me they had to do tests on the remains, and if they were less than seventy years old, there would have to be an investigation. Great!

Well, they must have done those tests, because the story came on the local news on the TV, saying that builders had dug up the body of a twelfth century monk at Hitchin Priory. I didn't get a mention, I was just a builder. I shortly got the sack from that job and things went seriously downhill from then on. My life has been insane. I'm not kidding, seriously insane! I'm convinced I have been cursed. The curse of the twelfth century monk.

There is a moral to my story. Grave robbing is seriously hazardous to your wellbeing. If you ever get that urge, take it from an experienced wanna-be grave robber, don't do it!

Shameless plug

Truth Teller by Kurt Chambers is free to all readers

How can ten-year-old Charlotte ever envisage that magic really exists? The place for other realms belongs in a child’s fairy tale. Or so she thinks, until she discovers the strange shopkeeper and begins an adventure that changes her life forever.
Discovered alone in a far away forest, Charlotte embarks on a journey encountering heart-stopping dangers and real life monsters, but a far greater threat shadows her every move. Even the strength and skill of her new companions cannot protect her against a ruthless druid assassin.
But in this realm, Charlotte is not the vulnerable little girl she thought she was.

Download a free copy in any format for any device:



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Author’s Web page


  1. ah, Kurt, that is just too funny! Love it. You should have gotten more credit for that.

    Oh, I tagged you on my blog!

  2. Oh that's soo cool! I don't know which is more cool, the 500 year old monk or the fact that you Brits really do take tea breaks. You have to make that into a novel!

    Poor man-dying down there because of his faith. I love it!

  3. Hi mate!! How awesome to see you here :) Thanks for stopping by. You forgot to click the follow button! haha!!

  4. You're an awesome story teller Kurt... perfect story for a morning start:)

    1. Awww, thanks, Tania :) I'm glad I made your morning.