“Uncle Ted’s been murdered!”
“What! That’s absurd- I saw him just yesterday at the farmers market!”
“No, but it’s true. Mummy sent me a Whatsapp picture of him in his chair. It’s rather gruesome- his head is lolling on one shoulder, there’s drool in a dribble down his sweater, and his eyes are glassy and wide open, like he was shocked to see his killer. The police are all of a dither trying to figure it out- they think he might have been poisoned”
“Why don’t you show the picture to my Aunt Mabel? She’s got this uncanny knack for figuring things out.”
Young Ted turned slowly to the oldish lady sitting in the next pew. She smiled at him serenely, a veritable Downton-dowager Maggie Smith.
She took the phone from him with age-spotted hands along which rope-like blue veins ran like ship’s rigging. With two dainty fingers she zoomed into the picture of the deceased Ted.
“Oh my dear,” she said softly. “I am so sorry for your loss. But your uncle wasn’t killed. The police are right though- he was poisoned. Do you see? No? Let me explain: last night was quite windy. The window opposite your uncle’s desk was open, and you an see how the wind has messed things up. It looks like there is an unfinished note on the blotter. He obviously took a break to get something to eat. Don’t look so uncertain, dear. It says so in his note. When he came back, the wind had blown his papers around, so he sat heavily upon his chair with frustration. He didn’t realise that his silver pen had fallen, nib up, into a gap in the chair. When he sat on it, the nib stabbed him, and the green ink- which is probably an older and possibly highly toxic variety- got into his bloodstream, poisoning him.”
Young Ted stared at Aunt Mabel.
“Grandfather had given Uncle Ted his antique silver pen”, he said slowly “and Uncle Ted recently bought what he claimed was ink from Napoleon’s escritoire-in-exile. We thought someone had ripped him off…”
Aunt Mabel patted young Ted on the arm. “There, there, dear. Go tell the police they ought to do a tox screen for any poisons that might be found in 19th century ink. And tell them to look for a bruise or small discoloration on one of your uncle’s thighs.”
When young Ted had left, Aunt Mabel’s niece turned to her and said “Aunt Mabel, I think you should right a book.”
Aunt Mabel’s face was sphinx-like. “Do you know, my dear- I think I shall.”
Day 71: Write about one religious topic ( but not a controversial one)