Character Interview: Robert’s here
Matthew Robert Livingston, the ghostly Earl of Ashford
Today, we are privileged to have with us Matthew (Stone) Robert Livingston, the late Earl of Ashford. The earl was wounded in battle and lost his brother in the Peninsular war.
Once home, he fell in love with the talented sculptor Pauline Blackburn (one of her most famous pieces can be found at the Household Cavalry Museum).
Details are sketchy about what happened after their momentous meeting, but we do know three fascinating if tragic facts about the earl…
[Note: All animals, persons, and newspaper businesses mentioned in this blog post are works of fiction created by Shereen Vedam]
We know that:
He had a child, Elizabeth, who died young.
Sir Livery was hanged for murder.
Poor Pauline perished from heartbreak.
Rumor has it that Robert has been haunting his castle in Ashford. Recently, word has also leaked that he was spotted at the abandoned St. Michael’s church cemetery in Kent, where his family is buried.
Perhaps he can shed some light during this unprecedented interview into those extraordinary events from his past, as well as about a recent murder at St. Michael’s church that is said to have paranormal undertones.
Due to COVID protocols, this interview is being held remotely.
GP: Good morning. Please, call me Godfrey. May I call you Robert?
ROBERT: No. You may address me as Lord Ashford or my lord, Mr. Plowright.
GP: Of course. [frowns since Robert is no longer on the screen’s view] My lord, you must sit in front of the tablet or I will be unable to see you.
ROBERT: [after a moment of silence, he returns to the screen, pulls out a chair, and sits] Good morning.
GP: [Types: He looks like his portrait at Ashford castle. Tall, dark hair, impeccably dressed, and such steely blue eyes. No wonder he was nicknamed Stone.] Thank you for granting me this interview, my lord.
ROBERT: [nods once]
GP: [Types: Ghost of few words.] Why do you limp, my lord? Are you not whole on the other side?
ROBERT: I’m not on the other side.
GP: [Types: unhelpful apparition] Have you been roaming the graveyard? There have been reports of “vibes” coming from that location indicating paranormal activity.
ROBERT: [Looks away as if lost in thought] When I was in the graveyard once, I heard a child’s scream come from the church. I thought it was Lizzy crying out for help.
GP: Lizzy? Do you mean your daughter Elizabeth? How exactly did she die? Did her spirit awaken, too?
ROBERT: [shakes his head] It wasn’t her. I was mistaken.
GP: Did you go into the church when you heard the scream? What did you see? Was there a creature there?
GP: [getting excited] Identifiable as what? Werewolf? Vampire?
ROBERT: [gazes at his hands, clenched into fists] An innocent woman was murdered there that night, Mr. Plowright. Miss Grimshaw and I arrived too late to be of assistance. I protected the victim’s children. A little girl so like my Lizzy. And a little boy.
GP: How did you protect them?
ROBERT: I blocked their view. [Speaks in a hard tone] They didn’t need to see their mother in that state.
“They didn’t need to see their mother in that state.”
GP: Of course. [checks his notes] But that little girl was South Asian. She wouldn’t have looked like your Lizzy, surely? How could you have thought it was her?
ROBERT: [frowns at him] A child is a child. What difference does it make about her skin color? They should all be protected and treasured.
GP: Of course. I just meant…never mind. You’re correct. All children should be protected. Could you not stop the attack?
ROBERT: [he holds GP’s gaze in a long intense gaze] No. Not then. I could today. [glances away] Help eventually arrived. Constable Judith Chan and her partner.
GP: But what happened inside that church, my lord? My readers want to know what was out there that fateful night? And where is it now? Are we all in danger?
GP: My lord? Are you still there? Hello? Hello? Seriously? I could have googled this. Maybe I should have hired a medium to better communicate with him.
GP: [yelps and then gulps] Thank you for returning! [wipes his forehead with his handkerchief.] Sorry, but this is all very exciting. Quite the woo-woo moment.
ROBERT: Woo woo?
GP: You know – you.
ROBERT: Are you touched?
GP: Oh! Is there touching in the ghostly realm? Can you touch dead people? Or the living? How about the delicious Abbie? Hmm?
ROBERT: Your tone and manner are offensive, sir. I see no clear way to continue this conversation.
GP: Your lordship, at least spill some insights, unknown secrets, otherworldly news.
ROBERT: Loose lips sink ships.
GP: You were on a ship?
GP: Gordon Bennet!
ROBERT: [a disembodied voice near GP’s ear says, NOT MY NAME]
GP: Aieeeee! [Screams in high pitch followed by a moment of silence] Fine. Understood. Casper, you’re not. [red faced, types: He’s gone, thank God]
The next installment of Paranormal Walk will be available in July 2021, when I will interview Nica and Jimi Gill, the two South Asian orphans Robert’s so protective about.
Until then, cheerio, Godfrey
Scroll down to the tags at the bottom of this page to return to the Table of Contents and check out Godfrey’s other interviews.