The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp…

Episode 60… An Excellent Talk

The three sat around a table in the small dining room of the little photographic shop on Moscow Road in Bayswater. Charles had brought forth a bottle of excellent single malt whisky for them to enjoy. Esme began to sip warmly on her half-full glass tumbler and then looked directly at Toby.

‘What happened to Edward in the end?’ she asked.

Tobias smiled very kindly. ‘Are you really that concerned, or is it just simple curiosity?’

‘Yes, I would like to know,’ she replied. Just to put my mind at rest.’

‘Well, he was simply spirited away, he is a good boy now. I’m sure you would approve.’

While the warming whisky was beginning to reach parts of the mind within all three of them, tiredness lay just around the corner.

‘You mean… He was killed!’ Esme looked shocked.

‘Of course not!  There are gentler ways to reform a person’s character. Edward was introduced to what you might say… a better life… That is, one that would suit his crime more adequately.’

‘Did you torture him.’

‘Lets say, he was persuaded in choosing another character for himself.  Edward is now enjoying his life in quite a different role. Listen Esme, do you remember those hypnotic dancing ladies that you watched so elegantly from the tower room window and do you remember the barking dog that joined them. Now.. Do you understand?’

‘I thought, that was all a dream, you being there in that tower room. It can’t be real, because you were here, here all the time. Do you really have a power to put those images in my mind Tobias. To replace thoughts and visions in my head and to change a person’s image and character. Can you really turn a someone in to something completely different?’

‘Esme, those thoughts and visions are of your own making. I am merely the voyage on which you travel. Barney has this transient  gift too.’ He looked upon her with very bright eyes. ‘It is the way we brothers have been since birth. Charles knows of this, and now, you also share our thoughts.’

‘Then, what of Rebecca… Tobias?’

‘Her spirit won’t be with us for long. We feel this is merely a footprint. There is a purpose in giving herself to us. When we know that purpose… she will leave us.’

Charles listened quietly and very solemnly to things he already understood… then said:  ‘Tonight we had better rest, with the thought that we all now know… We have a common goal.’

It was 6 o’clock the very next morning, when a gentle knocking of the shop door brought Charles from a warm bed and downstairs rather wearily…

About Patrick

a photographer, writer and blogger, a studio and press photographer since the mid 1960's, first published writings in 1974
This entry was posted in Patrick's Words, The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.