There was a noticeable chill in the air and the ocean didn’t seem that inviting; but that didn’t stop people from visiting the popular sea-side resort of Preschester-On-Sea, home to the longest pier in the world.
Among the people visiting the iconic pier, were Dave and Sarah Peterson and Terome and Esmeralda Lancaster, Sarah’s parents; who were celebrating Terome’s 75th birthday.
This was the first time Dave had met his parents-in-law since his father died in August, and Terome was very keen to discuss the matter with him; particularly the next steps.
“Now, I believe enough time has past since the funeral that you’re beginning to consider consulting a medium.” Terome said to Dave over lunch at the Restaurant At the End of the Pier, the restaurant owned by celebrity chef Michael Abbott.
“No.” Dave said. “Why would I consider that?”
“Because you’re beginning to come to terms with the fact that your father is no longer here but are not ready to go at life alone so you want to at least talk to him one last time at a seance.” Terome said.
“I didn’t realise that you were into that kind of stuff.” Sarah said.
“There’s a lot of stuff you don’t know,” Terome said, “but yes, I am interested in Spiritualism.”
“His mother contacted a medium when her husband died.” Esmeralda said. “He’s been very interested in contacting the dead since he attended that seance.”
“When my mother died, I knew I would speak to her again at a seance.” Terome said. “So I did, several weeks after the funeral.”
“Did you… actually speak to your mum?” Dave asked.
“Yes. Just as my father spoke to us at my first seance.” Terome said.
“What did she say to you?” Dave asked.
Terome paused for a moment, trying to recall what his mother said at the seance.
“I do not remember,” Terome eventually said, “it was a long time ago.”
“It clearly wasn’t that eventful if you can’t remember something as crucial as that.” Dave said.
“I already told you, it was a long time ago.” Terome said. “Anyway, we’re moving off topic. I was originally asking you if you were planning to hold a seance in order to contact your father.”
“No.” Dave said. “It contradicts my Christian beliefs.”
“How?” Terome said. “You believe in life after death.”
“Yes, but we believe that that life and this are completely separate and that you can’t contact one from another.”
“I’m sure Cliff Richard hired a medium to talk to his father and he’s a Christian.” Terome said.
“He became Christian because a friend told him that God would disapprove of him trying to contact his father.” Dave said.
Terome did not respond. He knew when he had lost an argument.
“I assume you won’t be contact me or your mother at a seance when we die, Sarah?” Terome asked.
“I wasn’t planning on it.” Sarah said. “I didn’t even know you were so into it. Where was I when you had these seance’s?”
“Either in bed or in Lower Strangling with your Christian husband.” Terome said.
“Also quite possibly in bed.” Dave said.
The rest of the meal was had in silence, no one really knowing how to continue the conversation after the revelations so far.
“You know, why don’t I bring an Ouija Board to yours when we come over for Christmas?” Terome suggested. “We could talk to your father then.”
“You can bring it all you like,” Dave said, “but it will not be used. At least not by me and Sarah.”
“He’s made his decision, dear,” Esmeralda said. “It’s best to accept that not everyone is as obsessed as contacting the dead as you.”
“Fine, fine.” Terome said, looking out over the sea.
He was disapproving of Sarah’s choice of husband ever since he first met him.
He’d blessed the union for his daughter’s sake, but now he wondered if it was really worth it.