A Ghost In London

Not Far Away Enough

Esme looked up from the blueprints for her latest project as the phone rang. She had been considering remodeling the house for several hours and had unearthed some of her earlier blueprints and was perusing them at the kitchen table. That was when the phone disturbed her train of thought.

"Hello Carlisle." She smiled broadly, warmth filling her body when she heard the voice of the person who she considered her other half.

"Esme, sweetheart, you will not believe what happened today!" He spoke fast as Esme laughed. "Don't tell you rediscovered the gall bladder again."

"Even better! You won't believe your ears." He spoke fast and feverishly. She had rarely heard him this excited.

"Well, what is it?" She asked curiously.

"There is a medical convention in London. It only happens once every twenty years. Do you remember the last time it occurred? We were relocating because Jasper slipped."

"How could I forget? You secretly moped around the house for months," she teased.

"Well, it literally would have been the pinnacle of my existence so far," he said passionately. Then after a moment, "You know I mean besides being with you."

"Of course." Esme smiled in agreement.

"Yes, and we were talking about going away for awhile." They both smiled and Esme let out a little chuckle at that.

"Yes!" Her eyes lit up. "How perfect! When is it?" Through the kitchen window she spotted Emmett covered in car grease heading to the house. Before a second had passed, she had rushed to the kitchen door, flung it open and was standing blocking Emmett's entrance. "Emmett, clean up before you come into this house."

Esme closed the door and turned to see Rosalie come in with a bright blue blouse covered with black car oil. "Esme, Emmett stained my new shirt with his car grease. Can you help me get the stain out?"

"In a moment," Esme answered.

"But it might set in." Rosalie said anxiously.

"In a minute," Esme said firmly. "I am sorry Carlisle. So when is this convention?"

"Esme!" Rosalie complained motioning to the large black spot on her shirt.

"Rosalie, go down to the laundry room. Get the bottle that says soap. Pour it on your shirt. Put it in the washer." Esme said in one breath. Esme tried to return to her conversion with Carlisle again, she then smelled a strong pungent odor coming from the living room. Not to say her family couldn't handle themselves, but she was generally more worried for their possessions, most of which were antiques and heirlooms.

"Jasper, I told you, you would take out the wrong part," Esme heard Alice's voice angrily.

"Hold on a moment." Esme said wearily.

"Well, you didn't tell me which one was the right one." Jasper responded frustrated.

"I can only see what you would do," His wife reminded him as Esme walked into the living room only to stop stunned at the scene.

The floor was strewn television parts, covering every inch of the floor, making a haphazard path which led to a face-down television set with Alice and Jasper, kneeling over it wielding a screwdriver. They turned to see Esme who stood transfixed.

"We are fixing the television," Jasper answered as he quickly calmed her down.

"What was wrong with it?" Esme uttered.

"Well it was going to be broken," Alice explained, "so we decided to fix the problem before it started." She had an expectant smile on her face as if this made the most sense.

"And you did a swell job clearly," Esme responded shocked. "Why didn't you just wait for it to break and call a repair man?"

"Because it would be faster if we fixed it on our own," Jasper started.

"Did any of you know how?" Esme asked.

Alice bit her lip as Jasper said, "I told her it was a bad idea."

"Esme?" Carlisle asked.

"Yes, I'm here." Esme answered holding the telephone back to her ear, shaking her head resignedly as she walked back to the kitchen, only to find the floor smothered in mud.

"So what do you think about London?" Carlisle prompted the stunned vampire.

"Emmett, what did I say about tracking mud through the house?" Esme asked as it became harder to remain calm.

"I washed my hands," Emmett started.

"But you don't have clean shoes, trousers, face, shirt…anything!" Esme pointed out, becoming more high-pitched with each word.

"Right… do you want me to clean this up?" Emmett started looking down at the floor.

"Yes, Emmett, though that is what I meant by clean up before you come in the house!" Esme said exasperated.

"Esme, don't yell at him." Rosalie came running up the stairs to defend him.

"Rose, there is mud all over the kitchen." Esme pointed out.

"Don't worry Rose, she was nice about it. Do you want me to clean myself up before I clean the kitchen?"Emmett repeated.

"Yes, Emmett, thank you." Esme answered quickly returning to the phone. "So tell me more about the medical conversion, Carlisle?"

"It is in London," Carlisle said enthusiastically just as a large CRACK came from the living room.

"Jasper, I told you the screen would break if we lifted it like that?" Alice screeched as Esme rushed back into the living room.

"Now what?" Esme barked, noticing that even more television parts were spread on the floor along with the broken glass of the television screen.

"We were trying to put it back together," Jasper started.

"I don't even want to know. Just stop!" Esme shouted, frustrated. She took a deep breath which she didn't need to steady herself and spoke in a much calmer tone. "Alice… Jasper… don't touch the television; it's beyond even supernatural repairs. Go to Best Buy and get a new one and have them install it for us." She then turned to Emmett and Rosalie. "Emmett, clean the kitchen. Rose, do your own laundry!"

"Esme?" Carlisle called again.

"Carlisle, we are definitely going to London!" Esme answered promptly. "There is only one problem."

"What?" her husband asked in a shocked tone.

"I don't think London is far away enough." Esme answered wryly as Carlisle laughed.