Chapter 30. The ‘live stream’.
Marianne and Orla had worked out a system. They could see Ada, the same way that everyone else could. Then if they had a message, they would text Ada who would keep her phone hidden from view. Marianne was responsible for making notes and Orla doing the texts. What the audience couldn’t see, was that Ada had put her phone where they thought she had a crystal ball. So in the set up shot you could see Ada and the crystal ball, then Ada moved closer to the camera, pushed the ball to one side and moved her phone there instead. The trickery of modern technology.
Ada was a great performer. It looked so professional. She had been right about the candle light. The room was pitch black, her crystal ball was in the middle of the table. Between the ball and Ada, hidden from the camera, there were three tea light candles which made the ball seem to glow. As the candles flickered the ball appeared to pulse with light. Ada was in full make-up with dark deep purple eyeshadow flecked with gold, kohl eyeliner and gold earrings. She had gone for muted but dramatic purple lipstick.
She started with the TV presenter style,
“Good-evening and welcome. We are gathered here tonight for a special purpose. As you know I have been receiving messages from the other side.”
Ada had wanted some music in the background but Orla had pointed out that if a spirit appeared they needed to be able to hear them. Instead Ada had landed on a sound she could make somewhere in between keening and crooning which came out like a melodic moan, she explained to the audience that this was to call the spirit world, a bit like knocking at the door.
“We are looking for some help. We have a lost child in the woods. Can you help?”
Ada had also told her audience to send love and messages of support to help call the spirit, “together we will be so much more powerful.”
Marianne found herself completely drawn into the performance and had tears in her eyes when she saw all the hearts flowing across the screen.
Orla had turned to Maeve, “Who’s that?”
Marianne answered, “It’s Ada of course, isn’t she amazing, I have never seen her like this before.”
“No, no, not Ada, the other woman in the summer dress.” Maeve had seen her too.
“Text Ada, ‘there is a woman behind you. We can’t hear what she is saying. Be quiet for a bit.”
Ada didn’t react directly to the information, but got the message. She swayed side to side, then stopped.
“I feel someone coming to talk to us. It is a woman. Shhhh we need some quiet.”
Incredibly Ada who was apparently in a trance was also managing to text them back, ‘give me details, anything.’
As Ada went quiet with her, newly invented, very low level hum, Maeve and Orla began to hear the woman, who was speaking very quickly, without taking a break, like a stream of consciousness.
“I dunno what I am doing here…..It was such a lovely day out, wasn’t it? Mind you, that pub, that garden out back, is far too close to the river, I mean a body could fall in, someone could come to harm there. We was lucky, just far enough away, perfect spot, delicious food. I’d recommend it to anyone I would, The George and Dragon, you know they bake all their own pies on site, that’s why they’re so tasty….” She carried on as if she was talking to a friend.
They were having difficulty figuring what to text Ada, and how to get her to answer a question. So Ada was just repeating the bits they managed to get across to her,
“Lovely day….The sunshine….. Summer breeze...The George and Dragon, a good place…hmmmm….”
As a result, the woman put her hand to one side of her mouth away from Ada and leant in towards the camera as if she was sharing a secret.
“I dun think she can hear very well, do you? Poor old sod. Never mind you can hear me and that’s all that matters isn’t it? I shan’t pay her any more attention…”
She seemed to know that Maeve and Orla could see and hear her so she went on with her story. Ada was still floundering repeating the bits Orla managed to text her but for Marianne and anyone else who couldn’t see the spirit Ada was doing fine,
“This young woman, ….has blond hair, ...and she says she has two children one is with her and one is not.” Ada does a bit more of the crooning.
Without managing to ask any specific questions the woman was giving them a blow by blow account of a particular afternoon. Maeve guessed that this was the critical day, and she was reliving it.
“....So anyways, as I was saying, Kimberly was right by me holding my hand and little Jessica kept wandering off the track and then come running back to us. You know the way it is with little ones, let them free, I always say. And the woods was beautiful, green, hot in the sunshine and just the right amount of shady under the trees…..”
Ada was trying to keep up, mainly concentrating on keeping her audience engaged, so when anything or anywhere was mentioned that she knew, she was filling in her own details.
“...Anyways, they were getting a bit tired, and Kimberly wanted to go to the toilet, you know what kids are like, as soon as they want something they have to have it now…”
The woman was moving around behind Ada, still taking at great speed as though she had been wanting to tell her side of this story but this was the first time anyone was listening.
“..so she kept saying ‘I want to be a good girl’, well of course that was our code for I need to go to the toilet. She got more and more upset….I mean to say, what do you do when you are caught like that?....”
She turned shrugging her shoulders with her hands out to illustrate that she had no choice.
“..I says to her, Kimberly love, just go behind that tree over there, me ‘n’ Jess, we’ll keep watch. Off she goes, like the good girls she is, an we waited.”
She had resumed her pacing behind Ada, now she turned to the camera.
“She didn’t come back right away.” She stopped talking for this first time since she had appeared. Put her hands on the table and looked straight at Maeve.
“I dunno what she’s been telling you. But she is a good girl. She finished her business, but what none of us had seen was,... there was some bloke behind the tree watching her.”
She was having difficulty getting the words out now. She looked down at the table and when she looked back up at the camera there were tears streaming down her cheeks.
“My Kimberly, she’d tried to get away, she’d lost her shoe and was looking on the ground for it, telling me she was a good girl.”
She broke down into sobs and took a few minutes to get herself together enough to talk before going on.
“I saw the man before she did.” Again she shrugged with a ‘what was I supposed to do’ gesture.
“As soon as I saw him, I knew something was wrong. I wanted to get away from him right away.” She was breathing heavily now.
“I told Jess to run, run home I’ll get Kimmy.”
Her voice had dropped to a whisper.
“Jess ran, she’s a good girl. I didn’t make it to Kim in time.”
Silent tears ran down her cheeks.
“She was such a good girl. Always helping others.”
They heard a sigh, and she was gone.