Aunt Elspeth & The Ghost of Grace St

Willow has asked me to use my special gifts to conduct the interview with this week’s guest. Let me begin by introducing myself. My name is Elspeth Innocenzi. Some of you may know my niece, Ember. Lovely girl, quite bright, but really needs to get out more. I know some say I am reclusive as well. Pish posh, I’m just a little eccentric, that’s all. What few people know is that our family is gifted, each in their own way. My gift is the ability to converse with those in the spirit realm. I know what you’re thinking (she chuckles)…. but, no. Don’t confuse me with the overly dramatic television versions of mediums. We are not really ghost whisperers. In fact, between you and me, ghost can be quite boisterous, not at all the whispering type in most cases. But back to my purpose today; you see it’s almost All Hallows Eve and the veil between worlds grows thin. The spirits are restless.
There is an old abandoned house in the heart of a historic seaside town, many believe is haunted. I have come to this place today, to speak with the Ghost of Grace Street, Mr Oliver Lawrence, who died here in the late 1930’s. It seems before his untimely death, his former wife placed a curse on him that trapped his spirit here for all eternity. Let’s see if he will tell us what led up to this curse and how he is dealing with his eternity in this lonely old house.
Elspeth- Oliver? Oliver, are you with us?

Oliver (a tall man in simple slacks and an old-fashioned button down, sad, deep-set gray eyes and longish black hair with touches of gray at the temples)- I am present. Who seeks me?
Elspeth- Oliver. May I call you Oliver? Forgive my intrusion. You must know you and this house have become a local legend. People are curious about you and why you have chosen to remain here.

Oliver- My dear, you are a welcome distraction in my home. My existence has become dull of late. People do not come around as they used to. As to why I remain here, it is beyond my control. I was cursed to remain alone through all eternity.
Elspeth- Can you share with us who cursed you and why?

Oliver- That is a long and complicated story.
Elspeth- I have all of the time in the world.

Oliver- (chuckling) Very well. (his eyes take on a far-away look as he remembers) The events that led to this imprisonment started when I saw this beautiful young lady at a ball. She was captivating, with an infectious laugh and a voice that could stop a man’s heart. Her eyes seemed to see into your soul. I was smitten. I had to have her for my own. So I went to see her father and asked for her hand. You see back in those days, at least among the aristocracy, marriages were arranged. We both came from excellent families and the arrangement was made.
Elspeth- But what about love?

Oliver- Marriage wasn’t about love, although I was sure I was in love with my golden dove. She was in love also. Only she was in love with a boy who worked on the docks. Her family would have never allowed her to be with him. He was unsuitable. And I had convinced myself she would grow to love me as I loved her. After we were married and she became pregnant, I had the unfortunate luck of being sent off to fight in the first world war. (pausing, then quietly) It was thoughts of her and our soon to be born child that kept me going. (again pausing) But she was not pining for me the way I was for her. (growing agitated) You see while I was away, she was with the boy. And when I returned, she thought that I would just let her go. Let her take my son and run away with a dock worker. . .
Elspeth- I can understand you not wanting to lose your son. But did you really want a woman who loved another man?

Oliver- SHE WAS MINE NOT HIS! No, I was not about to give her up no matter how she had cuckold me. So I kept her locked in this house and saw to it that her little dock worker disappeared. I did not count on how much she loved him or how much these actions would make her despise me. The more she mourned her lover the more bitter I became and for spite I kept our son from her. But then little William came down with a fever and never recovered. ……. She went a bit mad after that. Although I no longer acted as her jailer, she refused to leave her room, refused to eat until she had wasted away. And she never forgave me… with her dying breath she cursed me to be alone and bound to this house forever.
Elspeth- Can you blame her for her anger, her madness?

Oliver- Of course not. Lord knows I was not a good husband. I was stubborn and spiteful. And when I first heard those words escape her lips, I was remorseful. How had I turned this bright and lively bird into the drab skeleton of a person. But then, I found I couldn’t leave the house. Her chilling words would ring in my ears each time I approached the front door. I began to understand how she felt in the tomb I had turned the house into.

When my body finally gave out, I watched as my family mourned me. Heard them talk of how I had become an unrecognizable and bitter man. I saw them carry out my casket, and yet I could not follow. I was trapped…. In this house. It wasn’t remorse that had kept me here…..IT WAS HER CURSE. She had truly done it. I was trapped. I was utterly alone! I could never leave!
Elspeth- But surely in all these years, others have lived in this house. That must have given you some comfort.

Oliver- (laughing) Oh yes…. When the first family moved in, I was elated. Finally, I wouldn’t be alone. But, I had forgotten one thing…. I was merely a spirit now. I couldn’t be part of their family. All I managed to do was scare them away. Over the years, people moved in and moved on. To pass the time, (grinning) I would even scare some of them on purpose. A sort of validation that I could interact in some small way. But eventually, they just stopped coming all together. Now, my only visitors are the homeless and the…what is it you call them these day?... addicts, druggies, I believe. They have their own demons to fight, they don’t need my interference. I’m not sure they would know the difference.
Elspeth- I am truly sorry. It seems you have all suffered needlessly. If you could go back in time and change it, would you?

Oliver- (again laughing, but this time the laughter has a hollow note) I would like to think knowing what I now know that I would be a different man….. I would like to think I would have let her go, chosen her happiness over what I thought was mine. I would like to think I have learned what that anger and obsession can cause….. but then, would I remember, and would I be strong enough to do things differently? I honestly can not say. And if I changed those parts, would my life end up being less or more tragic?
Elspeth- It sounds to me like you have gained some wisdom during your years of solitude. I would like to think you would do things differently and call me an optimist, but I should think your life would have played out to a happier ending. 
If you could have one wish, what would it be?

Oliver- To see Abigail and little William. So I could apologize for what I did to all of us and I could know that they are together and happy, at peace.
Elspeth- Have you ever tried to contact them?

Oliver- I would not begin to know how. I sometimes talk out loud to them, but I do not think they can hear. (with a grin) At least as a dead man, I can not be accused of being crazy for trying to talk to ghost.
Elspeth- (grinning back) It is good to see even a trapped soul can still have a sense of humor. Oliver, thank you for sharing your story with us. I would like to come back and visit with you. Possibly bring some of my other special friends and try to contact Abigail and William. Would you let us try?

Oliver- My dear lady, you are most welcome in my home anytime. I would welcome you and your friends. I dare not hope that you succeed, (tearing, and becoming moe transparent) but I am grateful you would be willing to try to help me right the wrongs of my past.
Elspeth- Thank you. I will return soon with reinforcements. (gives him a conspiratorial wink)

Oliver- I look forward to it. Until your return…… (with a hint of a bow, he fades from site)

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