Monday, January 24, 2011

two plates

Vera’s sitting room is a refuge for soft toys: a child-sized bunny in pinafore and bonnet collapsed in the corner, mobbed by a hundred smaller rabbits; a teddy bear ghetto crammed into an armchair – from eyeless, older bears through to cheap, foam-filled, fairground bears, Pudsey, Paddington and a fairy bear in wings and tiara, clutching a velvet heart that reads I wuv you; a sofa devoted like a hefty, brown leather ark to every duck in a lab coat, tiger in a flying hat, monkey in a space suit, pig in a tutu or giraffe in pyjamas that had ever been stuffed, stitched and put out for sale – whilst above them all, on a special shelf set high up on the picture wall, Minnie and Mickey Mouse, toy royals waving with fixed enthusiasm to the crowds below.
Vera is sitting slumped over to the left in her own chair, her own stuffing depleted by the high temperature she has been running these past few days.
‘Do you always keep it so hot in here, Vera?’ says Frank, throwing off his jacket. ‘Even Minnie’s got a sweat on.’
Vera smiles.
‘I feel the cold,’ she says. ‘Always have. Would you like something to drink?’
‘No. We’re okay, thanks. But look – I think we need to take you to the hospital. You’ve got a bit of a fever and I don’t think you can cope here on your own.’
‘I don’t think I can, either.’
‘We’ve got a chair here for you.’
‘I’m very heavy.’
‘But look how strong we are.’
‘I can see that.’
‘Come on then.’
We help Vera into our carry chair, the air almost rippling around her.
‘You’re like a little furnace.’
‘I wish someone would put me out.’
‘Don’t be like that.’
I hold the back of the chair whilst Frank gathers her medication together and puts it into a plastic bag. Vera watches him quietly, then says:
‘Can a high temperature make you hallucinate?’
‘I think it can, sometimes. Why? Have you been seeing things?’
‘Last night I woke up, and there was a woman standing at the bottom of the bed, staring at me.’
‘What did she look like, this woman?’
‘She was very tall and elegant, in an old style Empire line dress. And she had long grey hair that went all the way down to her hips.’
‘Did you recognise her from anywhere?’
‘No. I’d never seen her before in my life. I wasn’t frightened. I was just curious. She stood there for a long while, looking at me. Then she held up two plates. Just like that – two, plain white dinner plates. Up in front of her, and smiled at me.’
‘Did she say anything?’

Frank is standing there now with the medication bag.
‘How much for these?’ he says, and places the bag on Vera’s lap.


jacksofbuxton said...

Vera needs to be very careful in hospital.Spence,it might be worth having a word with the ward sister.

The first sign of Yvette Fielding and that bloody "Most Haunted" crew and they should ring for the law.

Spence Kennedy said...

Imagine waking up and finding Yvette Fielding and crew standing at the bottom of your bed... enough to drive any ghost underground. :/

BB said...

I'd be curious to know if she has passed away since this?

Unknown said...

Maybe she should keep the "teddy bear ghetto" closer to her bedside. Such an elegant apparition would avoid her altoghether then.

Spence Kennedy said...

BB - I don't know, unfortunately. I would doubt it, though. In fact I'd guess she'd only be kept in overnight for assessment & treatment. Hope so, anyway.

Do you think the woman with the plates was some kind of warning, then?

Nari - Good idea. They could form a cordon around her (or is that pawdon?)


saffy said...

interesting about the lady.......the place where we grew up was a really old farmhouse . There was a ghost of an old lady who "lived" there but she always used the stairs that had to be taken out when Dad done the house up. The other end had a really bad energy in it ...and there was a reason for that as well... if one believes in paranormal.
Maybe the house had one of its old occupiers there still or it was built on a market ground or something if it was new.
thanks for the blog anyhow

Spence Kennedy said...

I'm in two minds about ghosts, Saffy. On the one hand I can be rational about the whole thing and say there were good organic reasons for the event - Vera's hallucination was a symptom of her fever. But I can't deny that when she told me about it, I had goosebumps!

I can be as objective as anyone, but I still creep myself out from time to time... :/

Liz said...

Like the story Spence but am more curious who "Yvette Fielding and crew" are? Is this a British thing or a personal thing?

Spence Kennedy said...

Yvette Fielding is a TV celeb who leads a team of psychics around UK haunted sites. They have a show called 'Most Haunted' - crashing around in the dark, screaming when a fleck of dust drifts across the lens of their night vision camera. :/

Anonymous said...

When I had a high temp a few months ago I dreamt about small purple giraffes... Freud described dreams as 'the royal road to the unconscious' or some such.
One of my readers was inspired to put pen to paper

Spence Kennedy said...

Hey UHDD. The purple giraffes sound good - but then I'm not sure I'd want them dancing round my bed, pulling faces.

Thanks for the link. I'll check that out when I'm back tonight.

Hope you're well