There was no sign of Esther when I awoke. I checked the time on my phone next to the bed and saw that I had a text message from Seth, even though it was only 8am, suggesting that he pick me up and take me out for breakfast.
Guiltily, I cried off until later in the day. I knew that I was being woefully neglectful of him, given that he had saved my life just two days ago, but there was only one person that I wanted to see this morning. Gran. If Esther was to be believed, then she was the one with all the answers to what was happening to me.
Besides, Seth knew me too well. If I saw him this morning, he would know that something was up with me straight away. He could read me like a book, and right now I had no explanation to give him. At least, not one that wouldn’t make me sound like a lunatic.
Maybe – hopefully – once I had spoken to Gran, things would make more sense. Until then, I would just have to hope that Seth would forgive my lack of attentiveness.
Downstairs, the kitchen was deserted apart from Mum. I fixed a bowl of cereal and sat down, wishing that someone else was up and about to deflect her attention from me. She sat opposite me across the table and watched me suspiciously over the top of her mug as I ate, forcing down the soggy flakes in an attempt to appear normal.
“What are you up to today then, Mum? Any plans?” I asked, trying for cheery and sounding slightly manic instead. She looked at me intently for a second longer before answering.
“I thought I might pop round to see Jule’s – let her know how grateful I am to her for raising the heroic boy who saved my foolish daughter” she said archly.
Despite her barbed comment, I didn’t retaliate; in fact I was secretly pleased by her tone. At least she sounded more like her normal feisty self – the familiar Mum that I knew and loved. I couldn’t forget the way that she had reacted at the hospital – realising that the lynchpin of our family was as capable of meltdown as the rest of us was nearly an uncomfortable thing. Knowing that I was to blame made it even harder to deal with.
“As for you” she continued “Just remember to take it easy today, you’re still recuperating – so make sure that whatever you and Seth get up to is sedate –oh, and land based if possible. You can head over to theirs with me if you can be ready to leave in half an hour.”
“Actually, I’m not seeing Seth until later”
“Really? I’d have thought you would have been dying to see him”
“Of course I am. But I thought I’d go and see Gran this morning – just so that she can see for herself that I’m still in one piece.” It was kind of the truth, but I still didn’t look at Mum as I spoke.
“She’ll be glad to see you – she was terribly worried. Give her my love” she said warmly.
I knew that Mum loved Gran dearly, even though their relationship was a strange dichotomy of fondness and frustration. It was hard to believe sometimes that they were mother and daughter, when in so many ways they seemed to be the very antithesis of one another. Mum was practical, organised, level headed – mostly.
And then there was Gran. Perinelle De La Croix. Growing up, I always thought that she was as exotic as her name sounded. Gran was what some may describe as, well, eccentric. She was flamboyant and spontaneous and vivacious. She was a one woman encyclopaedia of local folklore and legend and was well known and warmly regarded by many of the natives of our little island.
She was a constant source of mild embarrassment to my Mother.
But they had their similarities too. They shared the same quick wit, intelligence, loyalty to those they loved.
And the same cornflower blue eyes and unruly dark curls that I too had inherited – though Gran’s were threaded with silver now whilst Mum’s were ironed into submission. More so than any of my sisters, it was plain for anyone to see that Gran, Mum and I were all cut from the same cloth.
With Mum’s warning not to let Gran stick poultices made out of squished geranium and slug, or some such concoction on the diminishing lump on my head ringing in my ears, I stepped through the front door and out into the bright morning sunshine.
After two days holed up inside, it felt glorious. There, sitting in the drive way, bumper chrome glinting, was Harold, my 1978 dark metallic green Volkswagen Beetle. Yes, I am aware that is it kind of sad to name your car, but something so important to me seemed to warrant a name.
Harold was important for several reasons. As each of my sisters had reached the legal driving age and had obtained their licenses, the competition for use of the ageing ford fiesta (in an unappealing shade of maroon) provided for our use by Dad had become almost feral at times in its ferocity. That ugly car had become the single biggest source of arguments between my siblings since who got the toy at the end of the cereal packet when we were kids.
And so before my time came to join the queue (of which, as the youngest, I would always inevitably be at the end) I had decided to take evasive action.
Harold was the product of eighteen months of scrimping and saving my earnings from hours of dog walking, babysitting and tutoring. He was also what I had chosen for myself. Another disadvantage of being the youngest was the curse of the hand-me-downs. Clothes, bedrooms, cars – you name it. But Harold was exclusively mine.
And most important was what Harold represented. Freedom. Independence. A valuable commodity when you’re seventeen.
Sure he’d had more than a few rough patches when I became his proud owner, but with Seth’s know how and my elbow grease, we’d turned him into a real beauty.
I rolled the windows down and turned the music up as I navigated the winding leafy lanes to Gran’s house. I felt my spirits lifting despite all the stuff I had on my mind.
Driving down a narrow stretch of road notorious for being an accident black spot, I saw a young boy approaching on a bike, pedalling along aimlessly as if he had all the time in the world, front wheel wobbling along the yellow line at the side of the road, He looked far too young to be meandering by himself, especially with no cycle helmet on – especially on this stretch of road.
I slowed down as I passed him and he smiled shyly when I gave him a little wave. But when I looked in my rearview mirror a split second later, he was gone. There was nothing to see but the empty road. Gripping the wheel with white knuckled fingers, I tried not to think about what that might mean as I continued on my way.
When I arrived at Gran’s cliff top hideaway, she was out in the garden. A floppy straw hat protected her from the sun as she picked cherry tomatoes from their vines and collected them in a basket hanging over her arm. She plonked the basket down on the ground, spilling some of the contents on the ground, and met me at the gate with a hug.
“Darling I’m so relieved to see you” she said, then held me at arm’s length so she could examine me. “That looks sore, Evie” she remarked, squinting her eyes in scrutiny at the lump on my forehead “Now I’m sure that I’ve got some comfrey root somewhere – if I brew it up and soak a cloth in it, you can hold it on like a compress – it will do wonders for the bruising…..”
“Gran” I interrupted before she got too carried away “My head is fine – well the outside of it is anyway. But – I need to talk to you. It’s important.”
Gran didn’t comment on my uncharacteristic abruptness. After raising seven daughters of her own, she was an astute woman – she knew when something was up.
“We’d better go inside then.” She took me by the arm and led me towards the cottage.
Gran’s kitchen, as always, was filled with the combined aromas of patchouli and baking. A huge bowl of bright flowers from her garden sat on the table in the middle of the sunny room. I loved Gran’s cottage – but its homely charm was lost on me today. All I could think of was telling her my crazy news before I lost my nerve.
Setting a jug of iced tea and two glasses down on the table, Gran took a seat opposite me and looked at me expectantly with those piercing eyes that never missed a trick
“Well – I’m all ears and I’ve got all day – so why don’t you tell me what’s got you looking like the weight of the world is on your shoulders.”
That was all the encouragement I needed – the dam burst and out it all poured. I told Gran about everything – what I had seen under the water, the strange glow around Seth, my encounter with Dan Baker in the hospital, my strange conversation with Esther – even the vanishing boy on the bike.
Gran let me talk without interrupting – a couple of times I heard her take a sharp shocked intake of breath – kind of understandable given the topic of conversation – but she never spoke. When the last words came tumbling out, I sat, sweaty palmed and out of breath, and waited nervously for her reaction.
I was expecting perhaps concern (that the blow to the head had sent me round the twist) incredulity (that I would expect her to believe such a fantastic tale) or maybe even amusement (that this was all an elaborate practical joke I had dreamt up).
But instead she gave a deep sigh and closed her eyes, rubbing at the point between her eyebrows as if trying to rub away the frown that had gathered there. For several agonising moments she stayed like that, saying nothing, until I could take it no more and had to break the pregnant silence
“Gran ? Please say something”
She opened her eyes and offered me a wan smile.
“Well – there has been a lot going on in the last couple of days, hasn’t there? Poor girl, your head must be reeling”
I nodded heartfelt agreement to that.
“It has. That’s why I had to tell you – I can’t deal with it on my own, churning around in my brain all the time. You – you don’t think I’m losing it do you?”
“No love, I don’t”
“Gran? What did Esther mean – that you can see them too? Is that true? Can you?”
“Yes. It’s true. I’ve always been able to – ever since I was a child” she sighed.
I was dumbfounded. All these years and I had never known. Never even suspected. But then it’s not exactly something you look for, is it?
“And nobody knows? You never told anyone?”
“Your Grandad knew. And a few – others – but no, as a rule it’s not something I openly share about myself. You can understand that can’t you?”
I thought about how I’d feel if Mum, my sisters, Seth, kids at school knew about what was going on with me and I understood exactly why it was a secret she wasn’t keen to share. In fact, I was ashamed to admit that, if Gran had told me her secret before I’d had my experiences of the last few days, I probably would have worried that she was going a bit senile.
“Does Mum know?” I couldn’t imagine my pragmatic mother giving any credence to such things.
A shadow flitted across Gran’s face. “I never kept it from your Mum and her sisters when they were growing up – after all, it’s part of who I am – and I always raised my girls to be true to themselves, not to hide who they are just to please others. But I’m sure you’re old enough now to realise that things between your Mum and I can be strained at times.” I nodded. “Well, let’s just say it’s my more – unusual – qualities that seem to bother her the most. So for the sake of maintaining the equilibrium, I don’t tell her about it and she doesn’t ask. I might not like it, but it’s the best way.”
“So maybe best I don’t tell Mum about me following in your footsteps then?”
“Evie my love, understand that under any other circumstances I most certainly would not encourage you to keep things from your mum – but for the moment, yes, I think maybe this is best kept between you and me.”
“I just don’t understand Gran – why is this happening to me now? I don’t want to be some kind of freak. Oh –“ I felt my cheeks flush and I bit down hard on my lip at the thoughtlessness of what I’d said.
Gran reached across the table and squeezed my arm, reassuring me that she hadn’t taken offense at my lack of tact.
“Evie – you must never think of yourself that way. Who knows – given time you may even come to consider it a gift”
I grimaced. I couldn’t imagine that happening any time soon.
“Do you think it’s something to do with my accident?” I pressed. “Do you think it will it go away?”
Gran raised her hands, fending off my barrage of questions.
“Right. I’m going to rustle us up some lunch and then I’ll tell you what I can. But I’ve got to warn you though – I don’t have all the answers, so don’t be disappointed.”
Soon the kitchen was filled with mouth-watering smells as Gran pan-fried seabass, caught the previous day by one of Granddad’s old fishing buddies who called in to pass the time of day with Gran whenever he was passing or whenever he had the spoils of a good days fishing to share.
I hovered by her shoulder as she cooked, itching to ask more questions, until she sent me off to the garden to retrieve her basket of tomatoes for the salad to get me out from under her feet.
When Gran put my plate in front of me, I realised I was actually starving.
“So?” I prompted through a mouthful of food. Gran picked at her fish with her fork for a moment, gathering her thoughts.
“Do you remember the imaginary friend you had when you were small?” she asked eventually.
“Hm – vaguely. She was a blue fairy – like the one in Pinocchio?”
“That’s right. You used to call her Star.”
“Yeah – I remember. I used to make Mum set her a place for dinner. She got fed up with me going on about her in the end. I remember her telling me that I was too old for making stuff up and I should play with my sisters if I was lonely.”
“Except you didn’t make her up. She may not have been real as such, but she was most definitely there. You didn’t imagine her”
I began to understand what she was getting at.
“The very same. She’s been around a long time, Evie, just like she told you. I think you called her Star because to your childish ears that’s what the second syllable of her name sounded like – and I guess it suited your idea of a magical fairy friend that nobody else could see.”
I thought of Esther’s soft blue sweater and ethereal quality – is that why I had thought of her as the blue fairy from Pinocchio? (I’d loved that film when I was a kid – after I watched it for the first of many times, I’d spent days scouring the garden in the hope of finding my very own Jiminy Cricket. All I came up with was a sorry looking grasshopper with zero conversation skills.)
“And she wasn’t the only one you saw. I remember one occasion I took you with me for afternoon tea at Mrs Greenaway’s house – she’s passed on too now, poor dear – and the whole time we were sat at the table and Mrs Greenaway was passing around the finger sandwiches and the scones, you kept tugging away at my sleeve and asking me why nobody was asking the old man if he wanted a cup of tea too because he looked sad and it might cheer him up.”
“Who was it?”
“Mrs Greenaway’s husband, Gordon. He’d passed on a couple of years earlier. I could see him too – nobody else could of course – but you were right, he did look sad. Probably missed having a slice of cake. Or maybe he just missed being able to talk to Helen – Mrs Greenaway. He was always there when I went to visit – never tried to talk to me though, just gave me a little nod to – well, acknowledge that I could see him I suppose. She missed him too – I hope their together again now.”
“So you’re telling me what? That I was born this way?”
“It seems likely”
“So where has my ability been all the years between now and then?” I chose my words carefully; curse seemed more appropriate to my mind, but I didn’t want to offend Gran.
“Lying dormant, apparently.”
“So what woke it up?”
“I’m not sure, Evie. I have theories, but that’s all they are”
“Well, I’d still like to hear them”
“What happened under the water – it’s possible that because you were in a life and death situation yourself that the boundaries were blurred and allowed you to see the – what you saw”
She tried to cover it, but I had caught her hesitation.
“What were you going to say? You said see “the” – do you know what – who – they were?”
“I think so. But I’ll get to that later. As I was saying, because you yourself were in that precarious place between life and death it may have – opened the door. Reawakened your sight.”
“There’s no way of closing that door again?” I asked hopefully.
“Not that I know of, love. There have been times over the years where I’ve wished the same thing myself. But mainly I consider it a blessing” she added quickly. “Besides, it may just be coincidence – it may be that your sight would have come back anyway and your accident simply acted as a catalyst. Or it may be that if you lived somewhere else, it wouldn’t have happened at all.”
“Where I live? What – you mean if we moved house it might go away?”
“No, no – not your house. This island. Jersey. It’s a special place.”
“How so? Good beaches? Above average sunshine?” I said flippantly.
“Not quite what I meant.” Gran hesitated, frowning, then continued slowly. “Perhaps the best way to explain it to you is this; when we die, there are many different transient levels between this life and – what comes next. Some people move on immediately and permanently – where to exactly is still a mystery. They tend not to come back to share that with the living. Others seem to come and go between here and – other levels. And others just don’t leave at all. They try and carry on their existence as if they were still alive – sometimes because they just can’t bear to leave their loved ones behind, like Mr Greenaway. Sometimes it’s because they feel they still have unresolved business to take care of. Sometimes it’s because they don’t even realise they’re dead – which sounds like the case with the poor soul you met in the hospital”
“And this is relevant to Jersey why?” I asked, trying not to sound as impatient as I felt.
“There are some places in this world where the walls dividing the levels are – thinner. Permeable. Think of it like this – here, seeing what lies beyond our existence is like looking at it through a net curtain. Other places – it would be like trying to look at it through a – a black out blind.”
“Great analogy, Gran”
“Thanks. I thought so too” she smiled, oblivious to my sarcasm.
“But why here? What makes Jersey that way?”
“Who knows for sure? There are theories – ley lines and geographical points of a pentagram and such – mostly bunkum I expect. But what I do know is that even as far back as the druids, our ancestors realised the significance of this place – their burial grounds and altars are scattered about all over the island”
“Yeah – I’ve seen them on school trips” I didn’t mention that I’d once been to a party at one; Gran might have found the idea of a load of horny, slightly inebriated teenagers dancing round a camp fire amidst an ancient civilisations’ final resting place more than a bit sacreligious. Not that I’d done anything to be ashamed of – getting wasted on cheap vodka, snogging a gimp that I’d then spend the whole of term trying to avoid and throwing up in a bush wasn’t my idea of a good night. I was more of an observe from the sidelines kind of girl.
“Maybe it’s because of our history” Gran mused “We may be a small island but we’ve weathered some dark times; witch trials – do you know some of the first settlers of Salem hailed from Jersey – pirates, invasion, Nazi occupation – a lot of blood has been spilt on these shores over the centuries. Maybe it’s easier to see the spirits here because the place is teeming with them”
“Great. So I’ve suddenly developed sixth sense in ghost central? That’s just fabulous.”
Gran pulled a face. “Unfortunately, love, I’m afraid it’s something you’re going to have to learn to deal with, same as I have. I hope that doesn’t sound too unsympathetic. If it’s any consolation, spirits generally don’t mean you any harm – sometimes they’re just looking for guidance – or company.”
“So those spirits under the water – they didn’t mean me any harm?” I asked incredulously. “They nearly drowned me!”
Gran shook her head. “No – I don’t believe they did. I think they were just – checking you out.”
“How can you know that? Do you know who they are?”
“Yes, I think I do. I believe that what you saw are the Tombelenes. There are many accounts of sightings of them in the annals of local folklore – especially by those who have found themselves in grave danger on the sea and lived to tell the tale.”
“Who is she? The woman? It seemed like she was the leader.”
“Her name was – is – Jeanne de Jourdain. She died when she was nineteen – in 1462. She lived with her family in a small hamlet of cottages on the north coast of the island above the barren cliffs that were known as the Tombelenes. She was renowned as a local beauty and had many suitors, but her heart belonged to Raulin de L’Ecluse, the son a wealthy local farmer to whom she was to be married.”
“She was getting married at nineteen?”
“Times were very different then, love. You were practically on the shelf if you weren’t married by the time you were twenty. Anyway – on with the story. At that time, the north of the island was plagued by invasions of marauders from the Normandy coast of France, who crossed the water in their boats intent on stealing the livestock, molesting the women and generally terrorising the local population. One summer evening, on the eve of their wedding day, the two families held a party for Jeanne and Raulin. In the midst of the celebrations, a band of marauders arrived at the homestead, battering their way through the door, overturning the table where the family were seated . The men at the party, Raulin included, saw them off, but the leader of the bandits, a swarthy brutish man by all accounts, swore vengeance.
Late into the night, the celebrations over, Raulin escorted Jeanne back to her home. Jeanne’s family had gone on ahead, leaving the young lovers to walk alone. Jeanne was still unnerved by the earlier events of the evening and couldn’t shake the feeling that they were being followed.
They bid each other a lingering goodnight at Jeanne’s door, not wanting to part company, but wanting the next day to come when they would be married and begin their lives together. To ease her mind, Jeanne insisted that her dog Fidele accompanied Raulin on the journey home – for protection in case the marauders were still around.
She was in bed, drifting towards sleep, when she heard a pitiful scratching and whimpering at her window. She opened it to find her poor dog Fidele, his fur caked with blood from a knife wound in his flank. Jeanne leapt from her bed and out into the night, urging Fidele to lead her to Raulin.
The night had turned wild and the wind whipped Jeanne’s hair and nightdress about her. Fidele led her away from the hamlet and out onto the cliffs. The sea crashed against the rocks, but over the roar she heard shouting, carried on the wind from the caves below. Fearing for her fiancée, she braved the treacherous cliff paths and made her way down to where the crashing waves met the foot of the Tombelenes. There in a cave, her worst fears were realised. The marauders had her beloved Raulin beaten and bound. With no thought for her own safety, she flung herself between the marauder’s wicked leader and her fiancée, but he easily cast her aside and plunged a dagger into Raulin’s heart, killing him instantly. Insane with grief, Jeanne turned on her attackers, seizing a knife from one and slashing the throat of the man who had killed Raulin, fatally injuring him.
But she was outnumbered by his gang, and as they advanced on her, by the look in their eyes she knew that a much worse fate than instant death awaited her. Fidele fought bravely, but was also killed trying to defend his mistress. Jeanne managed to slip free and bolted from the cave, out onto the rocks, the marauders hot on her heels, determined not to be deprived of their prize.
Jeanne’s screams of anguish and terror echoed through the caves, rebounded off the rock face. A monstrous wave crashed over her as she tried to escape and swept her from the rocks and into the boiling sea.
Her body washed up on the beach the next day, where she was found by a search party of villagers, led by her heartbroken parents. The bodies of Raulin, Fidele and the chief marauder were found in the cave. On what would have been their wedding day, Jeanne and Raulin were buried side by side. The marauder’s corpse was left in the cave for the carrion crows.”
Gran stopped and took a long drink from her now warm iced tea and grimaced slightly. I felt as if I was waking from a dream, so transfixed had I been by Gran’s vivid account of the tragic end to Jeanne Jourdain’s young life. Gran always had been an amazing storyteller, keeping us amused for hours on end when were kids with what, at the time, I had thought were fantastic fictional tales of local legend. I wondered now how many of those tales had been based in truth.
“What about the others that were with her?” I asked, remembering the haunting faces of the bearded man and the child.
“They are believed to be the souls of a Spanish merchant and his young daughter. In the 1600’s he sailed his ship laden with valuable cargo through Jersey waters. He was lured onto the rocks by the lamps of the wreckers on the shore. Wrecking was rife in those days – another of this island’s dark chapters. As he and his young daughter and the crew fought for their lives as the sea dashed them against the rocks, the merchant pleaded with the watching wreckers to save the life of his child, but all they cared about was their loot. The merchant, his daughter and the ship’s crew all perished, the merchant swearing vengeance as the sea took his life. By the end of that year, story has it that each and every one of those wreckers was dead – each died at separate times under different circumstances, but they all died of drowning.”
I pictured the ghostly faces that I had seen in my mind, remembered how Jeanne especially had seemed to be drawing me in, melding my emotions with theirs.
“So let me get this straight – now they’re some kind of ghostly conglomerate hell bent on revenge?”
“It’s not that simple, Evie. Souls are complex, the same as people, which is, after all, what they used to be. The essence of who you are doesn’t change that much, alive or dead. They are a conglomerate of sorts; many drowned souls who have come together in a combined force – a kind of collective consciousness – The Tombelenes”
“Named after the rocks where Jeanne died?”
“That’s right. It is said that on a stormy night her screams can still be heard reverberating around the rocks – Le Creux des Tombelenes. The Cry of the Tombelenes. Together those souls – and they are legion – have become a powerful force, presiding over the fate of those who perish in their domain. Perhaps sometimes even being instrumental in their deaths – or their salvations.”
“So are you saying that she saved me? But it was her who was dragging me down. It was Seth who saved me”
“I think she was just – sensing you somehow, trying to see into your heart and your mind, to determine what course of action to take – but then Seth intervened and her choice was taken from her”
“And what do you think her choice would have been?”
“I think she would have let you go, perhaps even helped you. Jeanne can undoubtedly be a vengeful spirit. She has a lot to be angry about though, don’t you think? Her young life and everything she loved ripped from her in one terrible night?”
I had to agree – I don’t suppose I would have been in the best of moods either had it happened to me.
“But, that said, there are accounts which show her to have helped save people’s lives, guided them out of danger. Jeanne seems to have been a good natured girl when she was alive – perhaps it is only the circumstances of her death that have cast a blight on her character. Like I said – people – and their souls – are complicated.”
Shadows were gathering in the kitchen now, the afternoon sunshine outside fading. Regretfully, I realised I had reneged on my promise to see Seth. I’d have to call him as soon as I got home. But panic fluttered in my stomach like a nervous bird at the thought of leaving the safe confines of Gran’s cottage – her presence was like a balm to my tortured brain – but leaving? Going out into the gathering dark and whatever it may be hiding? I shuddered at the thought.
“Gran, what do I do now? It’s all very well sitting here talking to you about it – but how do I cope when I go home tonight – and tomorrow and the next day and the next? Surrounded by people that I have to keep this secret from and seeing god knows what? What do I do if they try and talk to me, like Esther? Will they hurt me if I can’t give them what they want?”
“Hun, unfortunately a lot of those things are things that you’re going to have to figure out as you go along. What I can tell you is that spirits that will consciously hurt you are few and far between – people that are truly malicious and evil are a minority and so the same goes for spirits. For the most part, you’ll probably find that they’ll leave you alone. Many of them will be as shocked to discover that you can see them as you were to realise that you could see them. Word will get around about you eventually though – that may change things a bit. Some may seek you out”
“Word will get around? What –do they have like the Ghost Gazette or something? Do they gossip?”
Gran laughed. “Not exactly. Some communicate just like we do, some are sort of – tuned into the same frequency”
“That mind meld thing again?”
“Something like that, perhaps. Others are isolated – either by choice or by circumstance” She shook her head sadly clearly pitying those lonely souls.
“Anyhow” she continued “That’s a bridge we’ll just have to cross when we come to it”
I liked the way she said “we” – it made me feel less alone in all this. I knew I could count on Gran.
“You know, Evie, you should listen to Esther, don’t shut her out. She certainly seems to care about you and she could give you a quite unique perspective on things.”
Dragging my heels, and after a flurry of hugs and reassurances that we would come through this smiling, I headed for home. As I drove, I thought about what Gran had said about Esther. I certainly needed all the friends I could get at the moment, so I decided that tonight I would try and rekindle some of the friendship we apparently shared when I was a child.
But perhaps my rebuffal of the previous night had scared her off, because when I finally got past Mum and up to my room, there was no sign of her. Even when, feeling slightly ridiculous, I talked to the empty room, hoping that she was listening to my request to speak to her, my plea remained unanswered.
Click below for Chapter 5 (2) Perenelle