Characters Calling: Walpole E. Epstein

They’re jumping on the bandwagon now.

Originally posted June 23rd 2012. Other parts to this tale can be found by clicking on the Storylines menu link above… look for The Road to Meringue…

Sometimes, days are just plain sailing. Up early(ish), breakfasted, dressed, and out and on with the rest of the day, and in what seems like a flash the day is coming to an end once again.

Most days, it could be said, are generally like that.

Some days, however, are so far removed from the truth, they are, well, unbelievable.

The other day started like almost every other. I was about to set out for the day, and, as I was about to open the door, a rapping came from the other side of it.

A strong, vibrant rap… not a simple tap or genteel knock, but a hefty rapping of the knuckles.

As I had to open the door to go out, I had a look to see who was on the other side.

To my surprise, it was a complete stranger. A tall man, possibly aged between thirty and sixty (I’m not very good with ages). And he was wearing a huge hat. Huge!

Before I could utter a word, he spoke.

“Howdy! I’m Walpole E. Epstein. E with a period. I’m from Ayfumuss. Here’s my card.” And he thrust a business card into my hand – I almost dropped my door key receiving the card from him.

On the card were the initials A.I.F.M.S, Walpole’s name (with the period) and a number that was clearly an American telephone number.

“Hi” Walpole smiled, and I cautiously smiled back. “I’m here because I need your help.”

Walpole had a very ‘strong’ American accent. I’m not sure where it was actually from, but I remembered thinking that if anyone had the same accent as him, they too would think he had a strong accent… it was very pronounced.

(I’m not very good at writing in accents, so you’ll have to take my word for it).

“Actually,” Walpole continued, “I can help you as well, Tom.”

I nearly fell through the floor. A complete stranger knowing me wasn’t something I was expecting first thing in the morning.

“I know you wanna know more…” Walpole looked as though he knew something but was hiding it, “But all in good time. First, a bit about li’l ol’ me.”  I looked at my wrist and realised that I didn’t own a watch. I sighed inwardly. “I’m not actually here” he said, subdued.

I thought about closing the door and going back into the Mansion and ignoring him, but I would have had to walk passed him eventually as I had the feeling that he wasn’t going anywhere, so I looked interested instead.

“You’re not here?” I asked, pointedly looking at him – and the business card in my hand.

“Oh, I’m here now alright,” Walpole laughed boisterously, “Only not in body.” He put his hand through one of the stones in the wall around the door.

I was taken aback (and slightly puzzled as to how he rapped on the door so loudly if he could go through things). However, he knew what I was thinking. Typical.

“Your housemate, Dot, was speaking to me the other day and told me the best time to catch you, which is why I’m here now.”

Dot is my friendly ghost who appears every now and then to play with my electrical equipment. She hasn’t appeared to me for a while, so why would she speak to a random stranger?

“Dot hasn’t told me all about you…” Walpole laughed again. “No, I’ve gotten the information I need from your blog, and the blogs you visit.”

Obviously, he had done his homework very well, but unfortunately, not well enough. I had to correct him after almost every blog he quoted incorrectly.

“To prove I know all about you, I know that you visit the Incidental Catchie Mama…”
”Accidental Cootchie Mama”, I corrected.
”Kate Wednesday”
”Lone Adventures”
”Excuse me? Ah, never mind. Susan Shuden Nuden”
”Susan Sheldon Nolen”
”Sue Sleepwalker”

I was starting to get a little tired of correcting him, but still he went on. (And I must apologise to my fellow bloggers who have been so incorrectly named here. Links to all of their blogs are available throughout this site)

“The Hot European Wolf”
”Europa. And Ice Wolf”
”The Laughing Dormouse”
”And all of the other pirates, artists, poets, astrologers, writers, thinkers, dreamers, cooks and storytellers. I could go on… fascinating, the lot of them…”

“Yes, I know” I said, “but what does that have to do with me?”

“Well, nothing really.” Walpole was starting to open a briefcase that I had just realised he was holding. I sighed.

“Nothing,” he went on, “apart from the fact that your mansion may help me to get from this strange zone that I’m trapped in, and back home. I’ve been stuck here for six months now, and desperately need to get back.”

So, he needed help from the Mansion. I know this Mansion is a magical place, but I’m not sure about dragging someone from another dimension.

Walpole had retrieved a handheld computer and was holding it in his left hand. In his right hand was a microphone, and as soon as he switched the computer on it started to squeak and squawk like nobody’s business. In the next instant, he barged passed me and ran up the stairway to the landing. He was heading for the bathroom.

The computer was screeching wildly by the time I’d caught up with him.

“This room” Walpole was very excited, “Is the hub. The central gateway between the many realms. It is my way to freedom.”

A wind suddenly blew by, into the bathroom, and in the centre something appeared. A swirling black and purple mass or something. I knew instantly that it was a black hole.

Walpole E. Epstein had opened a black hole in my bathroom. And it started to draw things into it.

Well, I can now see that these events are going to exceed what should fit into a blog post, especially on this blog, so I think this would be a good place for those immortal words ‘To Be Continued…’ to appear…

I really do wonder what could happen next…

Characters Calling: Lady Salinger-Wallis

Erm… sorry about this.

Originally posted on June 25th 2011:

Lady Salinger-Wallis squealed with delight as she slipped down the artificial ski-slope. She wasn’t standing; she had fallen at the top of the slope trying to attach one of her skis which had become detached from her left foot as she was about to ski for the very first time. She slid head first, from top to bottom, and laughed all the way down.
At the bottom, she stood up, took off the other ski, dusted herself down, and declared to the couple of complete strangers who were milling around, “I think that’s enough skiing for this lifetime!” and hobbled over to the cafe for a hot chocolate. She’d banged her knee in the fall, but the ache had only just been realised.

Still laughing, she ordered her coffee (in the walk, she had changed her mind about the chocolate) and sat in a large leather sofa that looked out onto the slope. A low table was in front of her, and the waitress placed her coffee down on the table.

“Would you like anything else?” the waitress asked, with a kind smile.

“No thank you,” Lady Salinger-Wallis returned the smile, and raised the cup. She burned her lip on the blisteringly hot coffee, and gave out a quick “Ooh”. She laughed again. “I don’t suppose you have any painkillers, dear?” she joked, and tried to take another sip. And she burned her lip again. She rolled her eyes and the waitress returned to her counter.

Edward Hamilton rushed passed the viewing area, and saw Lady Salinger-Wallis dabbing her lip. She tilted her head to one side, and waved with the hand she was using. Edward walked into the coffee shop, and sat on the chair that was next to the sofa the Lady was using.

“Oh, sit here!” Lady Salinger-Wallis patted the empty space beside her, “I won’t bite.” She laughed once more. Lady S loved to laugh.

“Are you alright?” Edward asked, with grave concern. “I saw you fall at the top and couldn’t believe how you fell all of the way down.”

“I’m fine” Lady S replied. “I have a bruised knee. I never realised skiing was so much fun!”

“Maybe I should have suggested something else for today ma’am,” Edward was Lady Salinger-Wallis’ chauffeur, and was slightly concerned for his job. “Maybe someone of your age should have…” He realised he was speaking without thinking, and decided to say no more.

“Nonsense!” Lady S finally had a sip of her coffee. “I asked you to suggest something different for today, and you did. And, I’m only fifty, young man.” She never missed anything.

She delved into her shoulder bag to take out her mirror. When she saw her reflection, she roared with laughter once again. “Look at my hair – it’s all over the place!” Edward noticed that it wasn’t. Lady S noticed the waitress over her shoulder in the reflection in her mirror. Behind the counter, the waitress was standing still, staring, as though she was in a trance.

“Eddie,” Lady S looked at her receipt for her coffee, “Go and get yourself a coffee from Clancy over there, and stop worrying. Today is my birthday. Let’s have some fun!”

Characters Calling: Florence

I did say another would be along shortly, but this is ridiculous!

Originally posted September 30th 2011…

A familiar face appears within my mind’s eye…
An unforgettable face, no matter how I try.
A kind face, a peaceful face, but one without a smile,
A sad face, a lonely face, seemingly lonely for a while.
A confused face, an old face, pleasant all the same,
A lost face, a needy face, a face with just one name.
Florence, I say within, and her eyes glow big and bright
Her elfin looks younger than the age she is tonight.
She’s reaching out for something, and getting through to me,
Although what she needs isn’t clear: try harder, please, for me.
She remembers clearly days gone by, then drifts away again
When you’re stronger, I think to her, please come through again.

Characters Calling: Caitlin

Apologies for this repost, but I couldn’t resist Caitlin’s demands to post this again. She made me write this in the first place, but, if I’m being honest, I rather quite like it myself.
There will be one or two more reposts shortly, I’m being bombarded with requests from the other characters I’ve written about… and who am I to refuse?

Originally posted December 25th 2012.

10th August 1911.
Dear Diary,
I’m so excited for the next year. My brother is getting married to Geraldine, and I’m going to be a bridesmaid. They won’t wed until June 15th, which is ages away, but still. A wedding. In my family. We’ve not had one for years.

2nd September 1911.
Dear Diary,
Geraldine is lovely. She’s a sister I’ve never had. She’s inspired me to go into the services. She works as a maid at a hotel in London, but she has given me the address to write to for a position that is far more exciting than what I currently have.

19th September 1911.
Dear Caitlin,
Mr James would like you to attend a meeting on 21st September, in London, regarding your recent request to join our Premier Service attendants in a brand new enterprise.
Dear Diary,
I had to write that from the letter I received yesterday. Oh, I’m excited. Short notice, I know, but this is how they work, according to Geraldine. Stephen tells me I’m being silly, and should stay with the Co-op, but I have so much more to offer. Geraldine says that with my nature, I’d be ahead in no time.

25th September 1911.
Dear Diary,
I’m so excited. Stephen and Geraldine have congratulated me on me gaining my new job. I can’t believe it myself. I’m confident enough with people who I know, but not with a lot of strangers. Mr James told me that I’d won him over with my smile… which is odd as I never do when I’m nervous. But he must have seen it.

5th October 1911.
Dear Diary,
I’ve not heard from Mr James for a while. Stephen says it’s my fault for taking things to heart, Geraldine says it’s Mr James’ fault as he’s very busy. I think I’m to blame because I’m too nervous.

15th October 1911.
Dear Diary,
Still no news from Mr James. Geraldine has said that she will speak to Mr James’ associate, to see what is happening. Stephen has told me I was rash to leave the Co-op, but I had to.

11th November 1911.
Dear Diary,
I’m so excited. My new uniform has arrived: a lovely white pinafore, black dress, shirt, and lovely hat. I need to buy some new shoes, my current ones are worn.

2nd December 1911.
Dear Diary,
Stephen and Geraldine have bought my new shoes. I’m eternally grateful. I can’t wait to serve them proudly at their wedding… in fact, I’m going to give them the best wedding ever (if I can).

5th December 1911.
Dear Diary,
Stephen has told me Geraldine is very ill with flu. She can hardly breathe. I hope she gets better… I know it’s a few months off her wedding, but we have so much to talk about. I want to do her proud.

15th December 1911.
Dear Diary,
Geraldine just called around with Christmas cards. She’s looking so much better I can’t believe it. Mrs Colmthorpe from round the circle has had the flu for weeks. Doctor Simmons has been out to her twice. Geraldine’s simply magical.

24th December 1911.
Dear Diary,
Stephen has brought the Christmas decorations around. They look lovely. Wreaths and holly, ivy, streamers and berries. He spent four hours decorating the parlour. It feels so Christmassy.

25th December 1911.
Dear Diary,
Geraldine has bought me a good luck trinket. A bracelet to wear – secretly – for when I start my new job. She says we all need something secret when we start something new, to help us along. There’s a place in the trinket for a small photo graph of whomever I want. I may take Stephen and Geraldine with me.

1st January 1912.
Dear Diary,
Oh my goodness. Happy new year.
I’ve met the most incredible person ever. Even Stephen likes him. He’s just started at the Co-op where I used to work, and he’s marvellous. He’s a butcher, but he says he is destined for other things.

5th January 1912.
Dear Diary,
Harold called around again. He’s lovely, I want to be with him all of the time, but I can’t. I have my walk to learn. My talk. My shoulders need to be in the right place.

1st February 1912.
Dear Diary,
I’m so excited. Harold wants me to go to the Spring Dance. I’ve never been asked to any dance before… I blush thinking about it. Stephen and Geraldine goad me. But now I start to wonder if I should continue to see Harold.

22nd February 1912.
Dear Diary,
I don’t know what to do. Harold has discovered my birth date, and now knows that I’m not as old as I said I was. Only a couple of years, but a lie is a lie. But it was Geraldine’s idea, so was I very wrong in saying it in the first place? Harold isn’t very happy.

4th March 1912.
Dear Diary,
Geraldine has fallen out with me. She says she never told me to tell Harold my incorrect age, although she did. Stephen hasn’t said anything about that, but looks at me as though I’ve done something wrong. He told me yesterday that Harold is the next in line to become a supervisor at the Co-op and I could have got my job back if I hadn’t have lied. But Diary, I never lied. I just never said.

8th March 1912.
Dear Diary,
Harold dropped a birthday card off for Geraldine, without speaking to me, although he handed it to me with a slight smile. The postman dropped a letter off for me as well. I’m so excited I can’t write anymore!

10th March 1912.
Dear Diary,
It’s been a couple of days – hectic days. Harold has said that he understands why I caused confusion with my age, as I do look younger than I am anyway. Geraldine has started talking to me again after I apologised for saying that she’d told me to lie about my age. And Stephen has asked if I want to work with Harold at the Co-op. But I can’t. But I can’t say anything either.

20th March 1912.
Dear Caitlin,
You are to report to Southampton on 8th April to ensure you are fully conversant with the current company protocols.
Dear Diary,
I’m so excited. I’m going to be conversant with protocols, whatever that means! I had to tell Geraldine about the letter, and she sat dumbfounded. She couldn’t believe that I’d actually been accepted, although she said that she knew that I would. She told me that she wouldn’t tell Stephen.

30th March 1912.
Dear Diary,
I’m so apprehensive. Have I made the right choice in taking this on? I’ve never worked in services before… and I have to travel miles away to a different town to do it.

31st March 1912.
Dear Diary,
I’m so excited. I’ve thrown my apprehensions away, and I’m going to do it! I need to have some money to get Stephen and Geraldine a lovely present for their wedding – they’ve made me Chief Bridesmaid now. And Stephen has asked Harold to be Best Man.

6th April 1912.
Dear Diary,
I have to go to London again tomorrow so I can start to learn how to do my new job. Harold, Geraldine and Stephen threw a rather nice party for me last night, to send me off. I’m excited, dear Diary, but apprehensive.

9th April 1912.
Dear Diary,
I’m VERY apprehensive. I’ve learned how to do the servicing job, and I’ve learned the correct manner in which to speak to people – I was a natural, the teacher said – but it’s two months off Stephen and Geraldine’s wedding, and I want to be back for it. I don’t want to let them down.

10th April 1912.
Dear Diary,
There are lots of us here, I’m so excited! We all look so good in our new uniforms. I’ve made a new friend in Betty and we both hope we can share a cabin together. Betty’s lovely. She asked to see the photos in the secret trinket that Geraldine gave me, and she said that Geraldine reminded her of her sister. When we get back in a few weeks, I’ll ask Geraldine if Betty can come to the wedding, to see if they are related. Well, stranger things have happened. This ship we’re serving on looks fabulous. Even the name sends shivers down our spines… ‘The Titanic’. Betty’s so excited! She says this is her pathway to a great future! I’ve told her this is just the start of her journey, but now is the important bit. A new adventure. We don’t know where we’re going to end up, but if we continue to feel as good as we do now, we’ll always feel good. We’re both so excited!

The Point of It

It’s the not knowing that confuses me. Not that I don’t know, I hasten to add, only I’ve forgotten. I did know several minutes ago, but now, I simply don’t.

And now, I’ve lost my train of thought as well.

How on Earth can anyone get lost in trying to think about something that they can’t remember but mere seconds ago knew it vividly. Whatever it was. It could have been them. Or her. Or him. It seems like it was it. I’d go with it.

It seems more plausible.

It seems more real, more vivid, more solid.

Although, the point of this post is that I have no idea what it is. So it is just as woolly as him, her and them thinking about it.

And she was more woolly than he was, I believe. Maybe they both were, and it was he and she that were actually them. Or should that be they?

Maybe it was they rather than them, and it had nothing to do with it whatsoever. Him and her whatsoever, I mean.

Oh, I wish I could remember, then at least I’d have a fighting chance at knowing what I was actually writing this post for. And about.

I’m so confused. It’s been one of those weeks… I think…