Blenda knocked once and waited.
From behind the door she could hear people moving, but nobody opened.
She knocked again; sharper this time.
The door opened… Blenda recognized the woman.
“Hello, little one,” Hilda smiled, caressing the little boy appearing by her side.
“I want to see my Robert.”
Hilda smoothed her skirt.
“But why… he’s out-of-wedlock-born.”
“I’m still his mother.”
“No longer here… I sent him to my sister… “
“He died… pertussis.”
Blenda’s eyes welled up.
“Where is he buried? “
Hilda thought of ashes she had mixed with human excrement.
“He’s buried at my sister’s… far far away. “
Hilda Nilsson was a serial killer in Sweden who took care of children born out of wedlock for money and killed them. She could go on for quite some time before a mother wanted to see her little son. The story is terrible in so many ways, and tells of a world that is so different from ours. It was actually quite common that unwanted children were killed through malnutrition and neglect, but Hilda murdered them directly. She was the last woman to be sentenced to death in Sweden, but hanged herself before she was to be pardoned to life in prison.
Friday Fictioneers is a wonderful group of bloggers who write 100 word stories each week to the same picture. Rochelle hosts and set the example, and this week we use her picture.
October 10, 2018
The historical background is interesting.
Interesting and very chilling.
the fiction was dreary and a downer and it was great the way you made the historical connection to Hilda. What a terrible person she was – and in a way – the building in the photo feels like it could fit such a grim occurrence
She really grew up in a terrible time, and she turned out really one of the worst…
ugh – so sickening – glad she was caught and justice was almost served
Yikes! A chilling piece of history you provided here, Björn. You gave a glimpse into the horror of it in your piece, and I appreciated the explanation following that provided more context. It certainly explained why Hilda’s response was so fishy.
She had a terrible history growing up, but she made the worst of choices… but so many other things where terrible at that time…
What a horrifying woman. I’m glad to read that she was eventually stopped from murdering more children.
I think she was a grim person from a grim past…
oh, what a horrid tale.
Horrid indeed… but unwanted children were wasted in so many ways… read Oliver Twist
True…there are many such tales, worldwide.
This is fascinating! I’m so glad you wrote about this, or I never would have known.
This was quite common in the old days, though the more common alternative was to use malnutrition and abuse
I don’t shock easily, but this truly was a shocking tale, and true too. Evil does exist.
For sure evil… and a result of a society that I’m glad we don’t have yet.
Creepy story. I’m not sure we are that removed from such horrors.
I think there are cases where foster “care” is pretty horrid even today.
What a horrid person she was. I like the way you humanized her story. Well done. Thank you for teaching me about someone new.
I think that once she was human… she also lost a number of child herself…. so i guess that the general society was that way…. you just have to read Dickens to find the horrors.
Horrifying story! Now we get rid of “unwanted” children by abortion…any less barbaric?!
Well I think there we would have totally different viewpoints… but I don’t wish to argue about that.
Arguments usually don’t solve anything 🙂
what an evil woman, a truly a scum of the earth.
I think that talking about evil is an easy way out… I prefer to look at the complicated reasons that made her evil….
This is a real diabolical story. How can someone kill children born out of wedlock? Glad she is dead.
I think the practice of foster-care for money means that similar cases still happens, maybe not direct murder, but for sure neglect and abuse.
A very sad story, which took a terrifying turn when I read your historic note. Nice one!
Just google baby-farming and you can see that this has happened over and over…
Thanks for the background. Until that moment I thought I was reading a fairy tale – horrifying to find it’s based on fact.
If you want to find something even worse check out Amelia Dyer…
I loved the story, Bjorn. The back story was interesting but, for me, unnecessary.
Sometimes it feels good to tell that this was actually for real…
What an awful tale, made more so by it being based on fact. Awful, but well told. There is still a bit of a stigma for being born out of wedlock, but thankfully nothing like this any more (at least we hope not!).
I think there are still cases of fostercare that can be close to this…
You have a point.
So very tragic and distressing more so because it is true
And really one of many just as horrid.
I really like the way you create the scene, and the dialogue, starting as ‘normal’ and becoming horrendous with the line : ‘she thought of the ashes mixed with human excrement’. Thanks for the historical info- I knew nothing about this woman.
The details of such horrid tales are chilling… to capture things in dialogue is a good exercise I think… when I started writing I almost never wrote dialogue…
A story that is new to me. Awful. A terrible legacy.
and it was not the only one I found.
Wow what a hideous story that is! Brings a chill and makes me shudder. well told
This is the kind of stories that Dicken’s dug up… there is a reason why we should look forward not back to the past.
Brutal times lead people to brutal deeds. It doesn’t make them right but the human mind can be a fragile place. So sad that the story is true. 😢
Part of it is the time when children had no value born out of wedlock, no contraceptives and people poor enough trying to earn money in whichever way they could… but not every baby farm was as bad as this.
It’s always frightening to acknowledge just what people are capable of. Very unflinchingly told.
I think humans can do this and worse.
So very well done Björn… What a horrible person. To justify what she did for such a reason…
I think she made some very bad choices… not all was forced, but she didn’t have many chances either.
My God, she seems to be someone whom monsters scare their own children with.
You do not need monsters when there are humans.
The back story is equally fascinating. A cold blooded killer indeed, I like how you make her talk in a casual tone bordering indifference.
I think she talked in a way to protect herself… but time had run up.
I once saw the novelist who wrote A Clockwork Orange (Anthony Burgess) interviewed on television and he said words to the effect that some people are just evil. There is no cure, no mentoring, so psychiatric intervention that could change them. Tragically the woman in your piece was not the only one. In my opinion, her suicide was the psychopath’s last act of control and superiority.
Maybe… I usually think that even if that is true, an evil person can function quite well in other circumstances.
no cure, no mentoring, no psychiatric intervention – sorry if the typo confused.
Horrid (shake head) just plain horrid… the killing of innocents sickens me to the very core. Excellently told.
It was a horrid time, a horrid person… a reminder how far humans can go (but far from every human)
Dreadful story well written – and the fact that it’s based in truth makes it even more telling,
I think sometimes we cannot invent the horrors that people are capable of doing for real… (and maybe that’s a good thing)
I appreciate your story, a tale that makes the reader feel and think. Over the years, we have worked with and tried to help “unwanted” children. No matter her upbringing, Hilda is not excused from the horrors she inflicted on innocent ones and I’m so glad she was caught eventually. There are parts of the world where Hilda’s still exist, sadly.
Well-written as always.
I think you find a Hilda of some kind in many places… actually when i researched a bit I found those that were much worse..
What a horrible woman. Well told story Bjorn but it gave me chills
I gave me chills writing.
No, I mostly certainly hope Mary’s birth daughter didn’t come into this area! Chillingly harrowing & very well-written.
Oh what a story! It’s more troubling given it is a true one!
as always, your writing hits hard. but the real world is even more brutal.
Such a scary tale made even more real by the backstory.
Mankind, at its worst, can stoop to all sorts of things. This really shows up how ugly the dark side is.
I’ve heard that happened in England and USA too.