The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp…

Episode 79… Rebecca’s Help… Part Four

A sudden panic seemed to grab everyone. Charles raced to the waters edge. ‘Somebody find a lifebuoy.’ he screamed. Others ran to the edge determined to assist Herbert’s rescue.

The muddied edge of the bank made things difficult. Someone found a Lifebuoy that was conveniently secured by a length of rope and this was hastily thrown to the stricken Herby’ With difficulty, one of his arms thrust itself into the ring, and with some ease, he was gently pulled ashore.

‘He’s dead, I’m sure, he’s dead.’

Herbert lay motionless on the muddy bank, he seemed devoid of any form of life.

‘Call a doctor.’ Charles reacted quickly.

‘Wait, Old man, I’ve done first Aid.’ One of the group stepped forward. It was Peter. ‘ Let me try.’

He pressed heavily on Herbert’s chest, lifting his arms each time for several minutes. Grey Lake water began to sprout from Herbert’s mouth and dribble down his neck. He sputtered then coughed, and his eyes opened slowly.

Words now filled his mouth. ‘I thought I wus a gonna.’ he moaned. The group looked on intensely. ‘Then, this women appeared in my mind, a lovely vision she was, beautiful, she came in the darkness, and then, there was a shower of golden light. She spoke and her voice was so lovely, so gentle. She told me her name was Rebecca and she was here to look after me.’

Herbert looked sad. ‘Then she was gone, like a puff of wind and my mind became blank again. Next, I remember, you guy’s, looking down on me!’

‘It’s Ok Herby, it’s a warm summer’s day and you’re back with us.’ Charles framed words inside his mind.  “So, he has touched on Rebecca”  The reflection was not wasted on him.

That night Charles could not sleep. Esme lay beside, quite sound, with just a little gentle breathing. In the faint light she looked much at peace with herself.

“This is how she should always be.” thought Charles, “And not to have gone through those ordeals in her life as she did, and yet, I’m certain she is a stronger person for it”

In the half light of their curtained bedroom, Charles ran thoughts through his mind. Late night revellers could still be heard making their way homewards from The Kings Head, and somehow it settled his mind into the normality of sleep. Perhaps, Rebecca had been some wild imagine of his, perhaps, Esme laying beside him so gently was the only reality in his life. But he was wrong, and he knew it. everything that had gone of before was real enough! Of that, he was quite certain!

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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