Chapter 27 – Tom and Daisy.

It was less than three hours drive to their home in Kohutu Bay, but Molly had suggested to Will that they stay on at Lake Taupo for a few more days. She could feel that there was at least one more story to write and she wanted to have these taken care of so that she could be undisturbed when they got home. They planned to visit Annabelle for a couple of days before heading north to Cape Reinga and then back south again to Auckland for their next job for Tom and Delilah. The motel room they were staying in had a private mineral spa ensuite, and was perfect for a little rejuvenation for them both, particularly Molly. The hot mineral spa waters came directly from deep beneath the ground and the healing properties where just what she needed now. 

It was just after 11am when they woke, the heavy drapes in the room kept the daylight out, enabling them to sleep undisturbed, until the housekeeping staff had already begun their rounds. After brunch, Will ran the spa bath and they both slid into the delicious sensation of the hot mineral waters. The room quickly filled with steam. Relaxed and at ease with the thoughts of, well…nothing much, her body weightless in the hot water, her mind drifted. Will placed a cold face cloth on her forehead as Molly stuck her feet out of the water onto the edge of the spa bath, it was easy to get overheated. In her peripheral vision Molly saw something move, grabbing her attention and in the floor to ceiling mirror which filled up a whole wall, and she saw an image. Looking at her through the misty room was the impression of an older woman, dressed in 1950’s style attire, her Sunday best – a neat finely knitted Twin Set of powder blue, a pearl necklace and matching earrings, a straight black linen knee length skirt, white hat and gloves,  she was clutching a white hand bag. Her ash blonde hair styled perfectly into a bob with some hair pulled back from her face in a clasp on one side.

“So it is you I need to write about,” Molly said out aloud, disturbing Will.

“Who, me?” Will asked sleepily.

“Not you – her,” Molly pointed at the glass wall.

Startled, Will sat up suddenly, splashing water over the tiled floor, “Holy Shit! Molly, can you see her?!” He gasped, referring to the image of the woman in the mirror.

“Of course I can see her!” Molly laughed at him. “Oh Will, you look like you have seen a ghost!” She teased him. The colour had drained from his face as he sat bolt upright in the bath. “Do you think she can see me too?” He whispered at Molly. Whilst he looked at the woman in the image again, he noticed her wink mischievously. “Ha! Molly, Molly did you see that, she just winked at me!” He said excitedly. What began as a giggle, grew into laughter and then hysterical hiccoughs, as Molly watched Will’s comical expressions. More water flooded the floor which made her laugh even more, as Will, feeling guilty about the mess, jumped out of the bath and started mopping the floor with towels, bending over naked in front of the ghostly impression, who responded by covering her eyes with a hand and peaking playfully though the spaces in between her fingers, a naughty smile on her face. Molly was laughing helplessly at the comical scene playing out just for her. Realising he was naked and that this ghostly woman could actually see him, he grabbed the last dry towel on the bench next to the bath and modestly wrapped it around the lower half of his body. Molly, catching her breath between gasps, pulled the plug in the bath and said to Will, “Oi! Where’s my towel?”

“Oops! Hang on, I think there is one on the single bed…” Will returned with the last dry towel for Molly, and wrapped it around her hot, wet body. Meanwhile the vision in the mirror had disappeared, but they could both hear the sound of her laughter fading. 

Their own laughter having subsided, they sat down at the table and chairs in the other room, to catch their breath. Will was a little more at ease about his ghostly encounter, as they drank some water. Molly felt prompted to contact Annabelle and sent her a text saying they would be home late tomorrow. She was not ready to have a conversation with Anna just yet, knowing that she needed to go to The Attic and meet with this lady who had appeared in the bathroom. Everything else could wait for their return home.

After some lunch, Will sat on the bed and did the final touches to a sketch he was working on for another children’s book and Molly got herself ready to visit The Attic. Slightly nervous, she wriggled in the arm chair, trying to get comfortable. She thought she would be accustomed to these experiences by now, of visiting The Attic through meditation, but what awaited her always took her by surprise. In this visualisation, she walked up the stairs, feeling that all so familiar ‘zap’ of energy before walking through the door into The Attic. Grace was sitting at the kitchen table together with the woman Molly had seen in the mirror of the bathroom. She turned and looked over her shoulder at Molly, shy, quiet and reserved in nature, a twinkle of hope in her violet coloured eyes. Then with more confidence, she addressed Molly, “I know you can help me find my Tom.”

Molly nodded politely at Grace and said, “What is your name, M’am?”

“Oh! I do beg your pardon! My name is Daisy James, and I am so pleased to meet you, again.” Daisy looked down at the floor as she blushed, slightly embarrassed by their encounter from the day before. 

“Please tell us about Tom, Daisy,” Molly encouraged. Daisy’s face lit up and she became quite animated, sitting up and getting comfortable on her chair she began to tell her story…

“When my husband, George, became ill, he said to me, “Daisy, when I am gone, get yourself a dog. Know that he’ll look after you for me.” Well, I had no trouble finding Tom, he found me! Not long after George had passed away, I visited the local Sunday Farmer’s Market where there was a lady selling bitzer puppies, you know the kind, a little bit of this and a little bit of that. This wee fellow called me over with his eyes and that was that! I brought him home, and then he came everywhere with me, this little fluff ball of a pup. He would sit on a cushion in the front seat of the Zephyr and we would travel around the countryside together. He even came into Hotels and Restaurants with me. He had such a personality, was so cute and irresistibly adorable, he won the hearts of everyone we met. Year after year we travelled together, zig-zagging our way around the country. Oh the places we visited, the people we met and the things we saw! Many were amazed, at where we could take that car! But I knew George was sitting in the front seat with Tom in his lap, showing us the safest way. When we revisited our favourite Hotels, the staff would prepare a little bed for Tom, although usually he would sleep on the bed with me, and I know that they knew, but nothing was ever said. We even stayed at Chateau Tongariro several times and each time when I booked ahead, the staff would be waiting for our arrival in the foyer. On one visit, the maid even ran a bath and washed him! On our last visit to The Chateau, I had felt unwell before going to bed. I thought maybe it was something I had eaten at dinner and took a dose of Eno’s, thinking to myself, ‘that will fix it.” That night I dreamt of George. He had come to visit me! When I woke the next morning, Tom was distressed, running around the bed barking and wagging his tail nervously. Beside the bed was George! I didn’t understand how he could be here in the room with us, so vividly, like he had just stepped out of my dream. And then I realised that he was here with me and that I was actually standing next to him, looking at my body lying so peacefully in the bed. Tom’s barking alerted the staff. Little Nancy, poor dear, came in to see what the matter was. Seeing me lying still in the bed and Tom so upset, she knew what had happened. With a tear in her eye, she scooped up Tom  and went to get some help. I knew she would look after him, so I took George’s hand and we walked out the door together.

“So how can we help you Daisy?” Molly asked.

“I know Tom passed into Spirit a long time ago, but I have not been able to find him. Do dogs have a separate Heaven to us?” Daisy enquired.

“Oh no, not at all! He will be around here somewhere. We’ll find him together. Are you ready?” Grace added.

“Oh yes please! Where is that little minx?” Daisy squeals excitedly, looking under the table to see if Tom might be hiding there. Molly took one of Daisy’s hands and Grace the other. “Daisy, we need you to recall a joyful moment with Tom. Where was your most favourite place to visit?” Grace guided her.

“Hmm….oh yes! We loved The Chateau. The chauffeur would take Tom and I up to the lookout at the highest point of the Mountain in the Hotel’s large Chevrolet Saloon, and we would feel like we were sitting on top of the world! I felt so close to George up there, it was like no other place in the country….” Daisy paused, lost in the memory. The look on her face was of pure bliss and the beautiful memory took her back in Time. Lost in the moment, it took her awhile for her to realise that something was snuffling around her feet. Looking down beneath the table she is met by excited yaps and Tom jumped up onto her lap, licking her face and ears, his body shaking with anticipation and tail wagging excitedly.

“Oh Tom,  look at you!  Oh Thank you! Thank you! Thank you girls, you did it!! At last,  you cheeky minx, where have you been?!” As Daisy held Tom close, her cheek against his fur, they both began to glow, the light increasing inside The Attic, illuminating them both from the inside out and with a bright flash, they are gone. This process never ceased to amaze Molly, as she sat down at the table with Grace, a contented smile on both of their faces. “So satisfying!” said Grace. Molly felt her head beginning to spin and the sensation of falling through the floor caused slight nausea. Gently she felt herself landing softly in the arm chair in the motel room at Lake Taupo. Will was asleep on the bed, his sketch pad next to him, oblivious to Molly’s adventure.

Later that evening, after dinner at their favourite Thai restaurant, they walked back to the motel along the lake front, the light of the full moon created silver caps on the small waves lapping against the shoreline rhythmically. Molly loved it here, it was one of her favourite stop-overs. Collapsing into bed, satisfied with what they had achieved over the past few days, actually over the past few weeks as she thought about it, she laid awake for some time, Will snoring quietly beside her. She had only counted to 10 before the snoring began and she smiled contentedly. Eventually sleep embraced her, but her dreams were scattered and she slept restlessly. Before waking, she had a vivid dream, that they were in a taxi being driven home, but when they arrived at the driveway to their home, Molly noticed that the gardens were overgrown and as the car moved slowly around the bend in the drive, she noticed to her horror, that the house was no longer there! Rambling grass covered the space where the house once stood. Getting out of the car she stared stunned at the vacant plot. She felt like she had been hit in the chest, the shock knocking the breath out of her. As her knees buckled beneath her, she felt her body falling, and woke startled lying with her head at the foot of the bed, her arms and legs thrashing about, she had woken Will with her muffled screams. Quite concerned and wanting to soothe her, he wrapped his arms around her and gently stroked her damp hair, Molly’s body was so hot, sweat covered her bare skin. He scooped her up and held her in his arms and rocked her. “W-Will! I-It’s g-gone! The house, it’s g-gone!” She stuttered. Sobbing inconsolably, Molly buried her head in his chest, and he held her tight. “It’s just a dream Babe, it’s ok. Why don’t you ring Annabelle, make sure everything is ok.” 

“But Will, it’s in the middle of the night!” She exclaimed.

“Not quite, its 5.45 am.”

“No… no, it’s ok, I will be alright in a minute. I don’t want to disturb her. Let’s leave a little earlier than we planned.”

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