Thursday 12 July 2018

Frances Eckmann's Poached Phone

Frances Eckman’s Poached Phone: Object Post 39

Source? Presumably bought from a phone shop
Significance? Dropping it in the boiling custard during a row with an ex was the last straw on Christmas Eve
Fate? Dead in the water …um…custard
Author’s inspiration? I’ve dropped my share of phones, though not into custard
First appearance? Fairy on the Christmas Tree

It would have been the perfect punchline for hanging up on, but at that point the custard released a few languid bubbles and thickened abruptly.
Frances leaned forward to make sure it wasn’t catching in the pan.
The long auburn curl slid finally from its clip, fell over her shoulder and dangled dangerously.
Frances jerked her hair out of range of the stove and dropped the phone.
The phone fell into the custard with a hollow plop.
“Aghhh!” yelled Frances as hot custard splattered her…

Frances was quite pleased when her phone rang while she was stirring the pan of custard on Christmas Eve. After all, she was anticipating Christmas Eve dinner with her man and then a luxury cruise. The call put an end to all that, and Frances’s fury and disinclination to use her left hand combined to put an end to the phone as well after it plopped into the simmering custard.
Frances mopped up and applied a cold pack to her offended skin, and then…
…looked ruefully about the kitchen for a few seconds, tabulating what should be done next to clean up the mess of custard, water and...where was her phone, her line to the outside world? Oh God, it‘s in the custard. It is. It’s in the bloody custard.
Clutching the makeshift cold pack to her chest with her elbow, she attempted to manoeuvre the wooden spoon enough to fish out the phone. After several plop-backs, she realised that wasn’t going to work. Her next idea was to pour away the custard, but where? The sink was full of water and—“Aghhh!” yelled Frances in frustration.
She did the only possible thing. She transferred the cold-pack-clutching duties to her indolent and unpractised left hand, and used her major-dominant right hand to fish for the phone.

It’s dead, of course. Comatose, anyway.

Frances dunked the oozing and probably poached phone into the sink and swilled it around. Recalling one of those kitchen hacks she’d read on the internet, she filled a bowl with dry rice and pushed the wet phone out of sight and out of mind.

So, Frances’s phone came to a glutinous end, but she didn’t have long to mourn it, or her erstwhile man. Fate had something much more interesting on its agenda for Frances.

 That's not quite the finish of the poached phone, but to read the rest you'll have to grab a copy of Fairy on the Christmas Tree.


Sally is Sally Odgers; author, anthologist and reader. You can find you way into her maze of websites and blogs via the portal here.(Sally is me, by the way.)

The goal for 2017 was to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. 2017 is well behind us, but I ran out of year before running out of books. As of June 2018 I STILL hadn't run out of books, but many of those still to come are MIA by which I mean I don't have copies and remember little about them. There are more new books in the pipeline, and I'm certainly showcasing those, but in between times, I'm profiling some of my characters, places and objects. Thank you so much to everyone who's come along on this journey so far!

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