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The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 61… Barney

Unlocking the door, Charles had opened it to a slightly built youth with a tousled shock of black hair and a warming grin. ‘Hi.. I’m Barnabas’ he announced, ‘But everyone calls me Barney. I’m Toby’s younger brother. I’ve heard a lot about you from him, all good mind you. Sorry it’s so early, my College friends seem to be early birds too.’

‘Come on in Barney, we have been expecting you. I guess you could do with some breakfast. Just let me change from these pyjamas and I will let the others know you’re here. Bacon and eggs be ok?’
‘I can certainly go for that!’ came a rushed reply. ‘My friends don’t do much in the way of cooking and prefer to eat on campus.’

‘Just go through to the Parlour Barney. I will be with you in around ten minutes.’

As Charles climbed the stairs, he could hear Barney whistling to himself in quite a pleasant way. It settled in his mind that Barney was instantly likeable. “I’m impressed with Toby’s younger brother” he told himself.

By 8 o clock …

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 60… An Excellent Talk

The three sat around a table in the small dining room of the little photographic shop on Moscow Road in Bayswater. Charles had brought forth a bottle of excellent single malt whisky for them to enjoy. Esme began to sip warmly on her half-full glass tumbler and then looked directly at Toby.

‘What happened to Edward in the end?’ she asked.

Tobias smiled very kindly. ‘Are you really that concerned, or is it just simple curiosity?’

‘Yes, I would like to know,’ she replied. Just to put my mind at rest.’

‘Well, he was simply spirited away, he is a good boy now. I’m sure you would approve.’

While the warming whisky was beginning to reach parts of the mind within all three of them, tiredness lay just around the corner.

‘You mean… He was killed!’ Esme looked shocked.

‘Of course not!  There are gentler ways to reform a person’s character. Edward was introduced to what you might say… a better life… That is, one that would suit his crime more adequately.’

‘Did you to…

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 59… Return To Bayswater

On reaching Bayswater Charles drove quickly to his friend Doctor Michael Fellows.
‘Well Charles, I have given her a thorough examination and aside from a little shock’ he concluded, ‘she seems to be in good health. One odd thing though, she hasn’t spoken a word to me. Has she said anything to you about her ordeal.’

‘Nothing very much doctor.’ he replied ‘Just some murmurings, really that’s all.’

‘Well Charles, could be the shock. Take her home and let her rest, that’s just what she needs right now. Please come and see me in the morning, I will need to know a little more about her for my report.’

‘Report!… Dear friend… Please understand. There can’t be any report.’ Charles startled hastily. ‘Rebecca does not exist, at least not in our time. There would be no reckoning of her.’

‘What are you saying. This is nonsense. Of course she must exist. She is flesh and blood.’
‘No Michael. Look… You don’t understand.’

‘I understand, what I see before me Charles. Yo…

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 58… Rescue

The ladder would just reach the window. He drove it hard against the wall and the ground. It felt secure. Within moments he had reached the window and beckoned Rebecca to first stand back then take his arm and climb onto the ladder, he shouted to her that he would hold her firmly and make sure she was safe. He pressed himself further into the ladder in order that his body would help her support. The heat was unbearable and flames licked hungrily from inside the window as Charles smashed the glass with a covered elbow. Rebecca’s form was petite allowing her to grasp the ladder and swing herself out from the rather small aperture of the window frame. Charles held her waist and moved down the ladder a little allowing her room. Then carefully, and very slowly they both edged downwards until Charles was able to lift Rebecca to the ground.

‘This place is a mess, come-on, lets all go.’ he declared ‘Lets get away from this heat.’ The ladder was now well alight, and flames r…

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 57… Rebecca’s Acceptance

Once more, Charles watchful look at the ruined house showed him nothing. No voice entered his mind. Nothing seemed to be out of order to his expectation, and once more, rain began to soak through those overhead clouds. ‘Come-on, lets go.’ He announced reluctantly.  ‘There is nothing more for us here’. He had satisfied himself that this was a waste of their time. ‘Let’s get back to the car.’ he declared.

‘Charles.. Charles, I can see her. Rebecca, she is looking at us from a second floor window. The house is there, yes there, in all its entirety. Can’t you see. It’s as beautiful as before. She is smiling, and yet she is crying. Can’t you see her Charles… Can’t you see this beautiful lady.’

‘Esme, all I see are these old ruins, as I did before, but the images from my camera  allowed me to visualize a little before they faded completely…’

‘Something is wrong.’ Esme interrupted him. ‘I just know it. There is brightness all around her. It’s filling that roo…

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 56… A Change of Mind

‘I don’t know Charlie. I think you are playing with forces that you can’t understand and you are putting Esme in some danger.’

‘Some danger Bill? Danger from what! Forces we don’t understand. Come-on, this is all nonsense. It’s born in the minds of those that…’ he stopped himself further, thinking of Esme feelings.

‘We’ve looked over the old place Bill. No harm has come to us. If Esme can raise thoughts in her mind when she is there. That’s perfectly ok. Look, when a person can tune into what we call an astral plain they are given the courtesy of being respected as a “Medium”. Not labelled as some person of evil. To be that gifted and move within a spirit world. Why not?’

‘Because it’s not right Charlie It’s not normal behaviour.  You know, I did not welcome you both here to become ghost hunters. Perhaps, you both… Should return to London and not cause any further upset’. Bill was clearly very angry, it was there in his eyes.  ‘Charlie, all I want to do… A…

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 55… Disappointment

It was raining very heavily that following morning. Bill said he wanted to finish off a landscape and Margarita felt there was plenty to do in the kitchen, so donning raincoats and weather proof hats the two of them set off in the direction of the old manor house.

‘What are we looking for?’ inquired Esme, as they made their way up a long steep gulley. The wind and rain down drafted along this pathway and progress was slow
.
‘I don’t really know.’ he replied. The rain stung their faces unceasingly, ‘Anything that is not how it should be, I guess.’

At last they arrived. Everything seemed as they had both seen it for the first time. Stonework was crumbling and nature had taken back her heritage in every way. It was possible of course to follow the ruined outlines of the old house and also to determine the structured remains of fallen rooms.

‘There must be cellars’ declared Charles, ‘A house of this size would have cellars. Perhaps, undisturbed for years. I doub…