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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
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‘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…

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 54… Consolidation

Those words of Charles that were said downstairs revolved around in Esme’s head. She sat on the edge of the bed in their little room and pondered. “Surely, Charles did not really mean what he was saying. This was not him. It couldn’t be him. She knew him. He would never offer those sort of views and yet now, he was saying goodnight to the Porrit’s downstairs and would be here soon. She would say nothing, that was decided in her mind. His footsteps were heard now on the narrow staircase leading to their room, he would be here in moments, loving and always protective for her as ever. There should be no reason to doubt him…Non at all!”

He quietly entered the room making sure his entry would not disturb her and was slightly surprised to find her awake. He moved over to her and gently kissed her on the check. ‘Do you mind if we stay a little longer here with the Porrit’s?’ he asked softly.'

Somehow her eyes were suddenly full of warmth and her smile did not po…

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 53… A Concerning Time

‘That’s truly incredible.’ stated Bill. He looked quite astonished at Charles. ‘Are you telling me that your friend e’r… Tobias is behind all of this. I just really can’t believe it. Because this Rebecca Haigh business and visions nonsense has been going on for years in village gossip.’

‘No Bill. I’m not saying that. Somehow, we have all become part of this, and that, somehow Tobias can tune into this fantasy world in such ways that can effect our thoughts and what we think we see. I’m scared for all of us and for what we now are beginning to understand and for where it will take us. I just don’t feel there is a way out. There can be no running away. This strange world will inhibit each and every one of us. I’m certain of it!’

‘What you are saying Charles. declared Esme. Tobias is really here and that these are tricks he can play in our minds?’ she looked at him for some reassurance.

‘Maybe, I just don’t know. If he is here, he could be just tuning into l…

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 52… Plain truth

With Charles insistence on just a darkened room. Bill suggested the old stone smoke house at the back of the cottage. ‘We’ve not used it since we moved here and there are no windows, so it may suit your purpose Charlie.’ With thought of having brought most he needed with him, he returned to the car for those items that would be useful. Once his photographs became stable from the dim light of his occasional striking match, the pictures seem to be taking on very different images from those he had seen at the ruins. Through Esme’s mind set, he could see the those fine green laws, those beautiful dancing ladies. This magnificent house of true splendour. A place of dreams. A place of hope and love abounded in its every crevice, every fragment of its brick and stone. Now it was there, alive and in those pictures.

‘Look, this is the plain truth. Look at the photographs.’ All of you. ‘This is what Esme saw. For some reason, I was not part of the vision. Somehow, Rebecc…

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 51… Charles visits the ruins

The heavy camera and its tripod were no match for Charles enthusiasm to reach the ruins. In good measure he reached the headland and stood in front of this ruined Manor House. In his eyes, it was as Esme had first seen it. Crumbling structures of forgotten walls, of forgotten rooms, of forgotten lives, overgrown and left to the winds of time. Nothing would enter this dark place, he thought, and yet there was a compelling feeling to it’s strange hypnotism. He felt that love and death dwelt both within its presence and it brought about a chill that could muster only the heart of a living soul.

He began walking through what must have been beautiful gardens skilfully managed by loving hands, now only tall unkempt shrubbery, dark and thorn like, stood where ugly weeds grew upon this dismal soil. He felt no change as he approached. No voice in his head, as Esme had described in her encounter. He stopped some yards from the ruins. This will be ok for a …

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 50…Gossip and fantasy

There was much relief as she reached the cottage, others had been busy with their morning pleasures and by now it was midday. Margarita greeted Esme with a warming smile and a recommendation for lunch. ‘Bill and Charles will be here soon… They are still discussing Bill’s work, that I’m sure is something of a formality as Charles has always loved anything Bill has put a brush too.’

‘Margarita’ Can…Look can I ask you…’ Esme stumbled over her words thinking this was foolish. She tried again with some reluctance. ‘Can you tell me about the old house on the headland, it’s a ruin I know, but you must know something about it?’ ‘You’ve been there, well of course. Some folk here think of it as a magical place, a place where certain thoughts, good thoughts, can become a reality. If you spend any little time within its ruins thoughts can become real and touchable, I think true, perhaps? If you are there and have ghosts to exorcize, then you will.’ ‘Margarita, maybe …

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 49… Face to Face

‘You have followed me. That’s good.’ He smiled perhaps a little weakly, then stood up and looked at her directly.

‘I thought you were in London. Why are you here and how did you get here so fast? You’re supposed to be looking after the business for Charles.’ Her demand was met with indifference.

‘Oh Charles won’t mind.’ he replied quietly.

‘How do you know that! You haven’t spoken to him.’ She tried dispelling the sudden strange dream like feeling inside her head. It would not go. The stir of a feathered wing outstretched on a standing perch caught her eye.

‘So he’s here too.’ The Parrot lifted its head a little and closed both eyes, then sunk back unconcerned.

‘He may not be a He’, could be a Her’. How do you know Esme. Do you have the gift. Then of course, you know of Rebecca Haig. Is she inside your head Esme. Does she speak to your thoughts.’ The cynicism of his words was self evident.

‘I don’t know what rubbish you’re talking about. If there is any though…