Donald Freed
International Playwright
and Master Teacher

A TRUE STORY

IT MUST HAVE BEEN THE DARTS

Whilst in London I met a fascinating woman lawyer at a tea party given by a close friend of mine, Genevieve Lyons. Genevieve is a writer of romantic novels set in Ireland, whose publisher Robert Maxwell had mysteriously fallen overboard from his boat leaving his family with enormous debts and huge very public scandals. This, in turn left Genevieve aged 75, along with many other authors to find new publishers for their work.

Sarah and I discussed Genevieve and how worried we were about her. We were not only worried about her financial situation, as she was unable to find a new publisher but also that she had had a nervous breakdown and been hospitalised for months. When she left the hospital she went to stay with friends. The ultimate reason for her breakdown was “noise.” For over a year she had been woken at 6-30am by the continual banging and crashing of builders in the houses not only to her right and left but also in the flat above.

As we chatted Sarah, the lawyer, told me how she was grateful that she had been able to help Genevieve. “How?” I asked. She proceeded to tell me the most seemingly absurd story about helping people with problems so long as they knew exactly what they wanted the outcome to be. In other words, be careful what you pray for, you may get it. "There is no charge for this, and I do it for very few people,” she said. She had successfully used her technique of darts, which I will explain later, to help Genevieve, who by the time she moved back to her home found that the people who lived above her had lost all their money and moved out! The new tenants were charming and thoughtful and came down to introduce themselves, asking her to please tell them if their footsteps above disturbed her. Work had stopped on the buildings either side and she had her peaceful nest back.

Sarah told me another story of a well-known banker that she had helped, who had had seemingly insoluble problems with the Inland Revenue over his taxes. She being a lawyer, though as yet not practicing, realised that the Inland Revenue were at fault. She managed to help him in the same way as she had helped Genevieve, in his case she taped tiny affirmations in the shape of darts, and pointed them towards the tax office where the officer in question had to pass each day to arrive at work. His problem, she told me was soon sorted out and he won his case!

My mind was spinning. I was certainly in need all the help I could get and would do anything to get myself out of the horror story I found myself in. I knew nothing about this woman, should I, or did I feel comfortable divulging personal and private information about myself to her?

What had I to lose? At this point I would have done anything to put all this behind me; even Darts! The idea of a public trial was causing me enormous stress. I would lie awake night after night wondering who the opposition would bring in as witnesses, what lies they would tell and how I would stand up in court. My constantly shaking hands I was sure would count against me.

I finally decided to ask Sarah for help. This was no crazier than stories that my mother tells me of Olga her faith healer, who has the hot line to God whom she calls “PAPA.” While I was locked in a psych ward having had a nervous break down and only allowed to have 2 visitors, my brother Mark and my mother, she arrived to visit me, alone, or so I thought; all of a sudden Olga appeared at my bedside. She had come to heal me she said. How did she get passed the reception? After my release I asked my mother how she had managed this, I knew how strict the rules were. “Oh” She explained as though it were completely normal, she and Olga walked into the clinic, and while she was checking in at the reception desk Olga made herself invisible! Well if Mummy could expect me to believe that what had I to lose by taking a chance on Sarah?

I was leaving in 3 days for Roccamare in Italy to stay with my close friends Veronica and Lorenzo, very near where Keith lives, and where Mo and I had rented a house for over 20 years. Keith is so secretive however, we have never had anything but the address of his girlfriend Letizia’s pharmacy in Florence.

This being the case there was some urgency.

Sarah came to see me the very next day. I explained as briefly as possible my situation telling her that even though I had complete confidence in what she could do, my stepson Keith hated me so much that he would never ever ask for an out of court Settlement. She immediately understood the brief précis I gave her of my story; after all she was a lawyer. She explained to me how she works, and needed to know what my ideal scenario would be calling them affirmations. We would then write each one separately on a sheet of A4 paper with a photocopy on top of each sheet depicting a dart, one end being an effigy of a Buddha and the other, where the feathers of a normal dart would be, the point. I told her exactly what my ideal scenario was. She explained that these affirmations had to be worded with great and sincere kindness saying that I wanted the best for Keith, and that I knew he wanted only the best for me! How could I do that? I disliked him so vehemently and knew that he hated me!

Together we made the list.

  1. Mo would live for the rest of his days in the house he loves looked after by those who love him.
  2. I would be repaid all the money that I am owed.
  3. The Trust and Keith would abide by Mo’s will, which he made before he handed his fortune over to him.
  4. The law suit would be settled before November 29th, the trial date which was fast approaching.

She warned me that these do not happen immediately but to be patient, also that maybe not all of them would come about.

She took the affirmations home, and typed them on the A4 sheets. I sent a courier to collect them and bring them back to me. She lived a good 45 minutes away, the other side of London! They arrived back with instructions to mark each page with my fingerprints, and courier them back to her! She then reduced them to minuscule size strips, which she laminated and sent back to me again; by courier! On these too I had to put my fingerprints. This time she told me that each strip contained 50 or so affirmations, so tiny that the human eye couldn't possibly read them, and that I was to cut each one into tiny squares, and was to stick them with scotch tape to a place where I knew Keith would pass, the point of the dart had to face towards him. Just as though I was going to stab him I thought. No! I could only have kind thoughts about him until the deed was accomplished.

I had hundreds and hundreds of these laminated strips that I divided into 5 separate envelopes; I bought 2 rolls of scotch tape, just in case one got lost, and bought 2 pairs of scissors for the same reason. I put them, except of course the scissors, in my hand baggage just in case my suitcase went astray!

Amusing now but it wasn’t then, I was taking it all very seriously!

As soon as I arrived in Roccamare I explained to Veronica what I needed to do. Understanding what I had been going through and that I was at the end of my rope, she went along with my absurd plan. I could’t wait, I had to put this into action immediately!

We set off at about 4 pm having no idea where Keith’s house was. I wore a large hat and equally large dark glasses in case I was recognised were Keith or his girlfriend Letizia to drive past. We knew that he ate a local Pizzeria; we decided to go there. I would stay in the car and Veronica would go in, order a coffee and casually ask the owner, whom we knew, if he had any idea where Keith’s house was. “Oh Yes, it’s about 2 kilometres up the road, but he is away,” he said indicating the direction. When we finally found the way it was hardly what you would call a road, more a semi paved track!

First Hurdle successfully overcome!

We drove, giggling up the track, me on the edge of the passenger seat in hat and glasses ready to duck down just in case he or Letizia passed by having returned early. On and on we went, it seemed far further than the 2 kilometres we had been told. Finally we came to a firmly locked iron gate beyond which, perched on the side of a hill was a rather ugly orange house. This had to be theirs; horses were grazing in the fields; Letizia had horses. As we drew nearer what sounded like a pack of dogs started to bark. They had dogs too! We'd arrived! By this time the sun was setting and dusk was approaching, it would be difficult to be sure that the darts were facing the right direction in the half-light. If I got this wrong the whole mystical charade might not work! I was afraid that Letizia might not gone with Keith to where ever he was and she would appear and catch us! I decided it was essential that the affirmations should be placed at the bottom of his drive on the pole holding up the entry bell, after all this is a place where he would pass daily. I decided to take a chance.

My instruction to Veronica was that she should stay in the car with the engine running, ready for a quick get away! I jumped out of the car as fast as I could and ran towards the gatepost, affirmations in one hand scotch tape and scissors in the other. In my haste I didn’t notice a deep pot hole half covered by long grasses - in I went. Veronica, saw me struggling to get out, hat and glasses askew, and came to my rescue, tugging me up by my arms while I tried not to drop my precious cargo. Success! The barking of the dogs seemed to get louder and closer as I climbed around in the undergrowth to find a secure foothold from where I could stick these tiny square affirmations. Victorious, I hurried, heart pounding, as I picked my way back through the undergrowth to reach the car, which Veronica had turned around so that it was now facing back down the road. There seemed to be an endless amount of telegraph poles on both sides of the track; how long would this take, it was getting darker and darker! I removed my dark glasses! I then realised that I had no idea what type of car Keith had. Did he have a low sports car or an SUV? This of course would make a difference to the height I would stick the affirmations; they had to hit him directly, the energy had to go through him. I decided to cover all eventualities and stick some on one side of the road sports car height and some on the other at SUV height, making absolutely sure that the pointed end of the darts were facing the road.

Fortunately Sarah had given me over 300 strips. With my heart still pounding, and my hands shaking, it was difficult to stick on these tiny squares. I was sure Keith or Letizia would drive past. Veronica was amazingly patient and long suffering! How many friends do I have who would have put up with this sort of craziness? This was taking much longer than I had anticipated. I leaped in and out of her car as quickly as I could. The faster I tried to work the more often the scotch tape got tangled and stuck together. After well over and hour and a half we arrived at our last stop, the Pizzeria. Darkness had set in.

The plan this time was that Veronica would order a drink for us both and again engage the owner in conversation while I would walk around nonchalantly sticking darts wherever I could, covering every eventuality and at varying heights! By this time I had got the hang of how to manage the scotch tape and was able to do it quickly and discretely. The relief at having accomplished my task was unimaginable, my heart abated, my hands stopped shaking, the fear evaporated, I felt calm; I could now enjoy the rest of my holiday.

The Dart episode took place in August. I returned to London and forgot all about it.

On September 5th I received a letter from the Trustees. Hand trembling and heart pounding, I opened it. What did Keith want now, hadn’t he tortured me enough? To my surprise and relief the letter asked if I would be prepared to consider settling the lawsuit out of court. They, asking me! The hair on my arms stood up, I developed goose bumps! Was this true or another trick? My legs felt as though they would give way! Six years of hell nearly over; never in a million years did I think that Rothschild’s or Keith or whoever actually makes the decisions, would be the ones to ask for a settlement. The reason they explained was that the legal bills were depleting the money left in the trust. I however, have other theories!

It must have been the Darts! I immediately rang Sarah and Veronica!