Worlds apart –
Jane handed her cousin, Babs, the old Flemish sword. She’d found it under the ancient floor boards of her home, a converted pub, during painstaking renovations. The Old Swan had been a flourishing inn and had been extended more than once in the three or four hundred years it had stood beside a country road winding between London and Newmarket.
Babs ran her fingers delicately along the flat sides of the sword. They were rough with a light patina of rust. The blade was surprisingly thin and about elbow to finger tips in length, with the handle and guard beyond that. There was the faintest tingle from it. Nothing much.
Jane told Babs she had found the book there too, close by, but not with the sword. It was also old. Pilgrims Progress, and a well read copy at that.
Babs turned the pages gently fearing the stitching would come away. It seemed to have been given in seventeen hundred and something but they couldn’t quite make out the scratches of the thick quill. Babs told her cousin she couldn’t really pick up any vibes.
As Jane excitedly recounted how and where the discovery had been made, and by which of them, and what ideas different people had about the discovery, Babs listened as she mused on people’s expectations. She lived in a family that had one or two members a little more conscious of different kinds of ‘energy’ in things than others tended to pick up on. Like in the film ‘Vibes’ where the psychic curator of a museum has his hand slapped onto a plate of a co-workers food because the person wants to know if the fish is fresh, people expect you to know. And sometimes she did. Just occasionally.
Jane and her husband had kept so much of the charm and fascination of the old building and yet managed to incorporate all the modern comforts into their lovely home. Jane had told Babs that she felt the place was haunted, but in a nice way. Sometimes the dining room, that had been the main bar, smelled of beer for no reason at all. At other times it smelled of shepherd’s pie, again with no obvious cause.
Babs had enjoyed her stay with Jane and her husband. She was also glad she’d resisted telling Jane her impressions about the sword. The images that had come to her were of an accidental death, and of frightened lad that had hidden the sword. It would have ruined Jane’s pleasure, and the sword would no longer have graced the small mantel of the fireplace in the dining room.
Babs was sure the book had been the lad’s too. A loved book, but he could no longer read of the Pilgrims journey when his own had gone so astray. He could not bring himself to throw it away, so it seemed fitting to him that he hide it under the same floor.
No, saying there had been no vibes had been the best thing.