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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…

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 48… The Tower

Esme watched Tobias until his form had disappeared from view. She thought for a few moments then decided to follow. She would speak to him, ask him why he was here and not in London.

In The Gwyllt there are days and nights when the mild Atlantic winds take on a humidity borne only of the tropics, they can deceive and disrupt human thought, and such was now, for Esme began to feel she was in her own cloying dream. Is this a dream… I always remember my dreams, she thought. She stopped walking for a moment closing her eyes tight shut, then opened them. Everything was the same, nothing had changed. The house and tower were still in view. She continued walking towards the turret.

Her feet found the first steps leading up a steep stone spiral stairway reaching into the gloom beyond. Yes, she would follow him. She was brave enough. She wanted to look for Tobias Westlake.
She had no torch and found her way by touching the curving wall with one hand and balancing a foot a…

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 47… The Gwyllt (Part Two)

The voice in her head laughed with a sallow pleasure and replied; ‘Of course it’s me. I am Rebecca. You know me well’. Then the voice was gone, cried away to the paucity of the ruins. In that moment and one by one, creamy flower heads burst forth all around her and large purple flowers lifted up to feel a warmth of life. Brick by brick began to replace broken debris and steadily the house and turret rose once more and stood triumphant in their wonderment beneath a summer sky. Now, the warming earth of summer love, of seasons lost, of virgin cackle and barking dogs tripped those lovely lawns of ripe red love and pleasant souls.

It was upon a marble seat at the farthest end of a small enclosed Rose garden that she saw Tobias Westlake. He was watching her and smiled in a somewhat odd way. He then stood up and with a raised arm beckoned her. At once, he walked away and in the direction of the Manor house and headed for the tall turret…

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 46… The Gwyllt (Part One)

A narrow path led off to her right, upward and through the thick undergrowth and toward the headland plateau above her. It was a steady and breathless climb and at one point she could just make out the top of some house or building structure. Then suddenly, she had reached the plateau. Her path had opened to a narrow area of what looked like old onyx pillars with ivy covered marble seating and beyond this she saw the house for the first time. It was derelict and crumbling and had not seen use for many years, perhaps the building she had glimpsed earlier.

She walked on. Her footsteps softened within the stillness of the place. Then strange thoughts began to enter her mind. At first she took them to be induced by this odd setting she now found herself. A woman’s gentle voice found favour in her head… “By Gwyllt Pond…A lovers bond…Lay Rebecca Haig’s remains”

She stood in front of the ruins gazing into its hopelessness. One time long ago a profound turre…

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 45… A Sighting

It was that time of the morning when the trivia of the day before was forgotten and the ocean would open itself to the lonely walker. Around the Bay large curios gulls swooped over its soft sands and called out to a gentler Atlantic. She had not noticed him before and now her eyes were fixed on a single figure walking towards her from the far side of the Bay. She thought it odd because Margarita had said that she would not meet anyone. The person seemed to be coming from the direction of the outcropping rocks near where the sea was crashing into the headland. Perhaps there was a path around the head, she told herself.

A burst of sunlight ran into her eyes for several moments and she cupped a hand to her forehead. When the watery eyes began to clear. The figure had gone. Esme took a few steps forward, straining for another glimpse of the stranger. There was none. She thought the figure could have been a man, perhaps a young man. His stride was purposeful and ener…

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 44… Reason

He looked at Charles with open eye. ‘Beats your town living Charlie!’ he remarked.
It was only the second time Esme had ever heard anyone call Charles: Charlie. In her mind he was a Charles not a Charlie. The surprise on her face was self evident.

Charles picked up on it. ‘It’s ok… Bill’s allowed… After all, he’s the finest painter I know… Apart from Picasso!’

‘You know Picasso!’ Bill burst forward with total percussion. ‘You’ve never said!’

Esme suddenly went into a fit of laughter at the expression on Charles face, then Bill fell in with it and laughed loudly showing his great white teeth once more.

After breakfast Bill insisted he wanted to show Charlie his latest work and other works yet to be given a public airing. ‘Tell me what you think in all honesty.’ he asked.

Esme said she would like to take a long walk along the shore line and enjoy the fresh sea breeze. ‘I want to blow London right out of my mind.’ she had said to Margarita, after they had finished the …