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 have that too. Please do not alarm yourself. You will enjoy a mirrored life, perhaps, that you would have preferred in your schooldays.”

At breakfast, the conversation turned to Esme’s leisure time. Constance poured a steaming cup of tea and offered it to her daughter. ‘Please add your milk darling. By the way, I see you are friendly with that young boy at Sandy Ridge. Frank and Hilda Hepworth’s Son. I think his name is Charles. Is that so?’ Her mother’s look was warm and without any real concern. ‘What I know of the family, he seems a nice boy. Have you been friends very long.’

‘Mother. He is just a school friend. A very kind and considerate person to be with.’ Esme blushed a little, her cheeks blossomed, her mother smiled.

‘I’m sure you are both responsible people.’ her mother added.

‘Then you have nothing to concern you.’ Esme spoke gently. Her hand touched her Mother’s across the white linen table cloth.

Emily came into the dinning room to clear things away and announced that Mr. Dobbs pony and trap was outside and ready to take Esme to school. Emily was very fond of Esme and they would often talk together in secret, of distant faraway lands of a rich and a handsome young Prince who would carry them off. It was fairy-tale and fun, and their imaginings would fill the hearts of two young romantic girls.

Mr. Dobbs was a kindly old man, perhaps near the same age as his faithful and hard working horse, it did seemed to Esme. They neared the school gates and Esme stepped down and was greeted by her two dearest school friends. Celia and Bridget!

‘Miss Dyson has said we may go on a Nature Trail this morning if we wish and by ourselves because the weather is so nice.’ Began an excited Celia.  ‘She does not want us inside the classrooms, only the leisure areas. She also said we were old enough to be responsible. But we have to be back for Lunch. Isn’t that wonderful!’

‘Well, said Esme, rather taken by surprise. ‘That sounds super.’ Something in the far distant of her thoughts gave her a moment of apprehension, then was gone.

‘I say we go and explore the woods. Got to be a nature trail there.’ cried Bridget. All three linked arms and smiling in their good fortune, set off in the direction of a new adventure.



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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