The Inspiration For May Elizabeth Trump
When I first came up with the idea for Dead Medium I was sitting in the living room of a stranger. The television had been switched on just for my own amusement and I had been left to sit there alone. Well not alone exactly, there was an elderly woman sitting in an armchair in the corner knitting. She said not a word to me but looked up at me and smiled on a few occasions before returning her attention to her task at hand.It was the only time I can remember agreeing to take my mother to see a clairvoyant. She was upstairs in an unseen room with a woman in a baggy tracksuit, whom I saw only fleetingly on my arrival. The television had failed to grab my attention so I started to imagine what mystical events were occurring above my head. I could envision my mother sitting at one end of a small table in a dimly lit room. The psychic jogger was sat opposite her surrounded by ghosts all of which were jostling for position around her. Pushing and shoving each other, even overlapping in places as they all tried to grab the attention of the athletic medium.I began to realize that if a living person needed the aid of a clairvoyant to contact the dead then surely it was likewise on the flip side of the coin. If ghosts were freely capable of speaking with the living then we would hear them far more often than we reportedly do. Even if they were merely talking among themselves, wouldn’t we occasionally overhear them as we quietly crept down the stairs in the small hours to fetch a glass of water. A further thought occurred to me: if ghosts also needed the aid of a gifted individual, why did it necessarily mean that they had to still be alive. Was there no such thing as a dead medium? Eventually my mother reappeared from the depths of mystical re-enlightenment with a wide grin, an old cassette tape and an empty purse. I bade farewell to the old woman in the corner who looked up at me and smiled again. The square of wool between her knitting needles seemed no bigger than it had been when I arrived; it was as if she had been merely rubbing two sticks together the whole time I was there. On the journey home I listened to my mother’s rendition of what she referred to as a reading. I couldn’t help analysing her every word and compiling far less fantastical reasons than she, for that which she experienced in the unseen room. It was at that exact moment May Elizabeth Trump appeared in my mind, wagging a bony finger and complaining about how gullible some people could be. I consider myself an open minded cynic. I believe that there is something more beyond the curtain of death but I find it hard to accept the validity of the vague or circumstantial evidence that some people claim to be undeniable proof of life after death. May Elizabeth Trump on the other hand had a firmer view on things; she didn’t believe in anything that she couldn’t poke her umbrella at. She was a hard nosed cynic and the perfect candidate to become the main character in my début novel: Dead Medium.