The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp…

Episode 36…Toby Westlake

In a queer light at the foot of the stairs Toby peered at the two men. The sudden appearance of him startled Edward and he stopped his shouting almost at once. His attention now drew on Tobias.

‘So you’re here as well, are you!’ He had barely finished the sentence before he began to feel his whole body shake from head to toe. Slowly at first, then gaining more frequency, until he could stand no more. He slumped to the floor beside Charles, and the convulsions went on.

‘Plea… Please What’s happening to me, help me?’ The words were feeble, almost unrecognizable, and he began to turn in a continuing circle upon the floor. Then suddenly he stopped. The boy sprang onto the floor like a Gazelle and seated himself beside Edward’s limp body. He grinned impishly and gently stroked Edward’s hair. The poor man could not move a limb, as if pinned to the floor. Toby became still, and his fingers offered no more movement. His hand slid from Edward’s head. A strange darkness filled the room and the scent of Lavender clogged the stale air. Edward groaned, and then was silent.

What had passed in that time, Charles was not certain. His eyes opened and focused lazily on a half opened doorway. He suddenly felt the pain in his head and touched a patch of dried blood somewhere near his forehead. He thought he must have been out for hours. That savage attack from Edward should have finished him, and yet he felt strange, almost unwell in a certain way. Perhaps, just perhaps, he had changed. Was he different now?

‘No…’ he told himself. ‘There would be no pain… If he had reincarnated!

He lifted himself up, half stumbling over something lying on the floor, pushed the shop door shut with his foot, and snapped the light switch on. A yellow blaze flooded the dimness and made him shut his eyes in it’s moment…

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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