Sunday, 7 October 2018

Beatrice Florin's Unnecessary Specs

Beatrice Florin's Unnecessary Specs: Object Post 115
Source? Probably picked up from a charity shop
Significance? They helped Beatrice to fit in with the other residents of Summerleigh Grange
Fate? Last seen being pocketed, but Beatrice probably put them back where she got them
Author’s inspiration?  I wish mine were unnecessary

Five people in the front row were alert and twinkling determinedly at them over their spectacles, but many others lay inert in high-tech chairs that were more like beds.

Tab and Josefa took their music act Sunshower to sing at Summerleigh Grange. They had an ulterior motive, but it was a genuine performance. One of the more alert residents asked for a hymn.

…one of the determined twinklers in the front row waved a hand.
“Hello?” Tab smiled at her.
“How about a hymn?”

The request was for Sib, her friend and sister-in-law; one of the residents in the bed-chairs. They gave the tune Slane; Lord of All Hopefulness which satisfied the bespectacled twinkler but which had an effect they hadn’t expected on Sib.
The efficient nursing staff wheeled her away…

“What just happened?” There was a catch in Josefa’s voice.
The twinkler took Josefa’s free hand and patted it. “Sib’s gone, just as I wished for her.”
Tab stiffened.
“That’s it, lad. While she was still talking sense, she told me she wanted to go out to a hymn but not what she called canned syrup. She wanted someone singing as if she meant it.”

Now Sib had died, the twinkler, who gave her name as Beatrice Florin, declared her intention of signing herself out and heading off to look for husband number three.

“I’m in better shape than I appear. I play up the decrepitude so I don’t stick out too much.”

…Beatrice was surprisingly nimble on her feet. She took off her spectacles and tucked them into her cardigan pocket. “Don’t need ‘em. Never did. Just fitting in,” she said in answer to Josefa’s look.

Beatrice was ready to shake the dust of Summerleigh Grange off her sensible shoes, but she did pause to help Tab and Josefa out with their real quest. As she said herself she was …

…“not the most altruistic of folk, but Sib was a good woman…and the least I could do was to keep her company for her last few weeks.”

Beatrice was done with the home and done with the spectacles. Her practical heart wouldn’t want to see them wasted, so she probably donated them to a good cause.


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, objects and themes. Thank you so much to everyone who's come along on this journey so far!

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