Posts

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 71… Rebecca’s Spell… (Part Five)… Sisters of Heaven ‘Are you the Mother Superior?’ began Toby as they left the table. ‘I think you could be.’ ‘No, my young friend’, replied Sister Ann. ‘She is away from us at present, attending to some pressing matters in the North of England.’ ‘Pressing matters?’ inquired Celia. She felt she wanted to lend support to Toby’s opening conversation, and after all, she rather liked this young man. ‘Nothing too serious.’ Sister Ann answered sharply, then gave Celia a gentle smile. ‘Just business at another order that must be attended on.’ Celia blushed with slight embarrassment. Perhaps she had been a little forward, she told herself. Further along the corridor they were ushered into what looked like a small workshop, where several nuns were seated at intervals and busy with their hands in what seemed to be the hand sewing of garments.

‘A number of our Sisters are engaged in reclaiming clothes for the local poor,’ explained Sister Ann, ‘these are d…

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 70… Rebecca’s Spell… (Part Four)… Sisters of Heaven They approached the archway silently, careful their feet made no sound. The archway that would take them to that large oak door. They had all secretly told themselves that they would run if the man seen earlier, opened the door to their knocking. ‘What are we doing,’ whispered Charles, ‘We must be completely mad!’

It was Bridget who knocked loudly on the door. The others took a step back. They waited for what seemed a life-time, and then the door opened slowly to a woman wearing a Nun’s habit. She was a person of small statue, with somewhat rounded features and a very welcoming smile.

She looked upon the six. Then in a moment of recognition, said: ‘Yes, you must be from the school. We know all about your given free time. Your Head Mistress wrote us an interesting letter saying that some of you will want to visit us.’

Heads were turned to Bridget.

‘Come in, you are most welcome. The Sisters have hot porridge for you as a mid m…

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 69… Rebecca’s Spell (Part Three)… The Woods
Memories of a lifestyle in Bayswater had fled from Esme’s mind, as if being mystically replaced by surroundings she now found herself in. She could not imagine any other existent lifestyle. This was where she belonged. This felt very natural to her. Here were her friends and here she was. There was simply nothing else. After twenty minutes they came to a hilltop clearing that overlooked some disused and overgrown workings, long thought by the many locals of Mill Hill to be the ancient diggings of charcoal burners.

‘Disturbances of the ground would have created this vale,’ remarked Charles coldly. ‘They would be digging out trees, large ones.’

‘I don’t like this place,’ added Celia. ‘Please lets move on.’

The boys had introduced themselves firstly as friends of Charles and then gave their names as Barney and Toby. For a strange moment Esme felt they were familiar to her, at least in name only. Then the moment was gone and she shook aw…

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 68… Rebecca’s Spell (Part Two)… Friends
Bridget Moynihan’s Irish parentage had given her the gift of wonderful and imaginative story telling and soon the three of them were plunged into another of her spellbinding tales of mystery and intrigue. They passed the plump butcher’s boy who waved from his delivery bike. ‘Do people really want meat at this time in the morning,’ remarked Celia, with a somewhat narrowed eye. Bridget continued her tale of the secret sisters convent order that existed deep within the woods they were now heading for. ‘There are stories,’ she said: Of ritual sacrifice and other pagan practises.’
‘Come on,’ stated Celia ‘For goodness sake. These are Christian Nuns. ‘They have taken their vows.’
‘Taking to the order, does not mean they don’t have dark and foreboding secrets,’ replied Bridget with some sincere determination.

‘Ok.. Ok’ Celia gave way with a sigh.

Ahead of them and walking quite slowly, almost sauntering purposely were a group of three boys arou…

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 67…Rebecca’s Spell (Part One)…Awakening
Esme awoke that morning to the sound of her mother’s voice calling from downstairs. ‘Esme darling, your breakfast, it’s tea and toast, your favourite. You will be late for school if you don’t hurry. Would you also like some Porridge? Hurry now my sleepy.’ She wiped sleep from her eyes, stretched, and threw the bed covers back. She sat for moments on the edge of the bed, her feet just dangling near to the floor. Somehow, she felt this was unreal, that in her mind, she was looking through a veil that formed a mist inside her head. Her mother called again, the same strange message, to get up and dress. Dress for what she asked herself. Where is Charles. I should not be here, at home with my mother. No, this is all wrong. Something was very amiss. This must be a dream. It can’t be so.’

“It is so, for the present, Esme.” Rebecca’s gentle voice whispered inside her mind. This is my gift to you. I have given my gift to Charles, now you shall ha…

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 66… The Farewell  (Part Two)

‘Father!…Mother!’ Tears began to well up within Charles. He rushed forward and hugged them both as they stood up to greet him. They were just how he remembered them…. Pictured exactly, those long ago years.

‘Son, it’s wonderful to see you again.’ Frank Hepworth stood back, then shook his son’s hand vigorously. He was a slightly rounded man of medium height, nearing his early fifties. A man who sported a magnificent handle-bar moustache.

He looked at his father. It was inside his mind what he would say. He had struggled to recite it to himself, over and over. Now, the words, just would not come. Charles garbled something, then suddenly his confusion was gone. He realised in that moment, he was being supported by Rebecca once more.

He sat beside them on that ornate seat. The feeling of joy was overwhelming. They talked and talked and smiled together, over so much that had been missed.

Finally and apprehensively, Charles said. ‘Will you return with me…

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 65…Rebecca’s Spell… The Farewell (Part One)

The blackness began to clear. He found himself in the park. The green park he had seen from his bedroom window. He felt Rebecca was with him, but could not see her and yet her gentle voice was inside his mind. Sunshine, now spread down upon him and wrapped his body and face with pleasing warmth.

“Just walk Charles, until you reach the Garden of Remembrance, soon to be within your view.” Rebecca’s voice guided his footsteps forward. “You will know, when you have reached it. Your parents will be there. Just waiting for you. Waiting to give you their love. They will listen to your thoughts.”

He walked on, quickening his step. Then, apprehension filled his head. “What would he say to them. How should he greet them. What could he say. “No! He would be himself. That’s how Rebecca would want him to be.”  Her voice now inside his mind. “Yes, he would be himself. That’s what they would expect of him. Yes, of course.”

The path in front of him …