Esther“In twenty years I’ve never seen that colour blue in someone’s eyes, man or woman,” said the photographer. “She’s a winner. You’d better sign her up before someone else does. Who does she remind you of?”

“Let’s have another look at the long shots,” the agent said.

After studying the close-up photographs of Esther through a jewellery eyeglass, the agent declared, “Yep. Monroe. Esther’s taller and less heavy, though; and more elegant.”

***

Although absent in her prudish mother Joan, the indomitable spirit of previous generations of her family was passed on to Esther, who was born in January 1971, in Margate England. Esther gave the world a preview of her single-mindedness by refusing, although kindly and without any sign of petulance, to be spoon-fed after she was weaned. Virtually ignored thereafter by her mother, Esther is doted on by her father, Terry, who tells her when she is of school age, “Darlin’, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know. It’s for all the mummies and daddies to teach their children what they need to know so that when they grow up they can be happy. I’ll never tell you a lie, and nothing will ever happen to you that you can’t get over.”

Esther becomes best friends with Sheila Watson, a school-chum who lives across the street, and spends most of her time at the Watson’s house during her formative years, even taking meals with the family after school. It is at this point in her life, although she does not know it, that Esther is twice ‘infected’ by mystical forces: the first, an erotic spirit in a splinter she dislodges while dismounting a rocking horse, and the second, a protective force, when involved in her favourite past-time, reading from a book. In time, the first spirit plays havoc with her life, the second saves her life.

The changing habits of British society, becoming ever more secular and self-indulgent, effects Esther to the extent that she enters her teenage years as a beautiful young woman dreaming of a glamorous lifestyle, but ill-equipped to cope with the setbacks of life. Encouraged by her best friend Sheila, Esther agrees to do a photo-shoot. The camera loves her, and she is quickly signed up. Esther becomes a starlet in Hollywood, winning an ‘Oscar’ at the age of 21 for her supporting role in her first movie. Then tragedy strikes.

Unable to remember what has happened to her, Esther decides to take a break from partying, and it is on the flight home that she meets Ricky, the man who will become her true love. Ten years older than she, and toughened, both by divorce and a stint as a taxi driver, Ricky escorts a vulnerable-looking Esther home. He becomes her rock after Sheila, mistaken by CIA agents for Esther, is murdered.

Blaming herself for Sheila’s murder, Esther is hampered by guilt, even after marrying Ricky and having children. Later, they renew their vows in a service conducted by the Reverend Michael Jobson, vicar at Ricky’s church in Birmingham. It is then that an awesome telepathic power leads Esther to her real destiny… a place at the centre of a final battle between the forces of good and evil.

Buy Splinters