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 thoughts in my head you would have put them there with your trickery!’ She felt anger of his intrusion and exposure.

Then he said rather calmly: ‘But this is purely a dream Esme. Your dream. I’m merely a player in your thoughts. Come over to this window and look out and you will see many beautiful things.’

Reluctantly and yet instinctively she moved to the window tested by the sudden calmness of his manner, then by his guested hand. She leaned into it’s deep stone wall opening and looked upon a lawn of bright green and felt a warm blue sky above. On the lawn there were seven dancing ladies in white long flowing dresses that spun around and around to the sound of a triumphant flute. Within those moments a large golden coloured dog appeared and raced into the centre of the dancers. It barked and snarled at the beautiful dancers. Then stood quite still. The ladies formed a complete circle around the beast, then began to move in on the creature. Within a few feet of the golden dog they stopped and began to sing with beautiful Celtic harmony thrusting forth a soothing aire. The strong scent of Lavender began to fill Esme’s nostrils and the thrill of the scene below held her spellbound.

She watched and before her eyes the creature began melt away until it was gone. No longer was there any trace. It had simply vanished!

The voice behind her echoed her thoughts. ‘The creature was Edward and the dancing ladies were you Esme.’ This is your dream and for you to enjoy’.

Esme watched the dancing figures until they slowly  faded from view, just as the golden dog. The light from the oil lamp began to fade and she turned around once more to speak to Tobias. He was gone. Her eyes searched every corner of the room, there was no indication of his presence at all. The light in the little room began to fade and suddenly a fear began to grip her. She was all alone. Could she get back down those dark and winding stairs. She was very afraid of tumbling down all the way to the bottom. She moved toward the door hoping once again that she would be able to pull it open. Her thought now was to get back to Charles and the sanctuary of the Porrit’s cottage. The door opened with ease, the moment was passed, she stepped backwards down the stone steps almost walking half crouched, slowly, with each footing being carefully taken. Within a time she had reached the ground level of the tower and pulled herself back, then stood up. She looked around at the dimness. Everything was just as she had seen it the very first time. She now stood within the ruins of some ancient house and grounds. Decay and neglect were all around her. The beautiful house and gardens were gone taken away by the years of ruin and destruction. As time moved on, she found her way, her footsteps taking her ever closer to the solitude of protection and Charles and Bill and Margarita Porrit.

About Patrick

a photographer, writer and blogger, a studio and press photographer since the mid 1960's, first published writings in 1974
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