Day 40 – This Should Have Been a Decent One, But I Have to Pack

Word count: 839


Backs straight and cutlery awaiting their cue, the three guests rode the lull in the conversational wave by adjusting their seats, smartening their bow ties and curling their rebellious strands of hair behind their ears. Their host was in the kitchen – steam smouldered with smoke crept forth occasionally from the kitchen door, which was slightly ajar. Occasional swearing could be heard over the muffled noises of bubbling pots and sizzling pans.

Suranne was the PA to the local Tory MP and was something of a social-virus. At whatever party – be it dinner or drinks – she’d always be found with a large red in her hand and gabbling to some rich housewife about how fantastic it is to have a second home in the country. Tonight she was in a colour to match the wine bottle, hair tousled as if she’d just been invited off the street.

Michael was the hosts’ mechanic, who’d recently done him a great deal on his MOT. There was not anything superlative about his appearance other than that he wasn’t wearing any overalls. However, if you looked closely, there was a small smudge of motor oil underneath his chin. He swigged back a of bottle of white beer and absorbed the tepid atmosphered with his eyes.

Charlie was the stranger of the group. Whilst everyone in the village knew Michael – and Suranne knew everyone that was worth knowing – Charlie had only last week moved to the small village. He scrolled the rest of the room with his eyes, looking beyond his fellow guests. Objects interested him more than people.

The trough of talking didn’t last long though. As a loud crashing came from the kitchen, Suranne began to make her borderline bitchy remarks.

“Oh dear, has he gone off on one again?”

Michael looked over his shoulder towards the kitchen, “Ach, he’ll be alright.”

“Well I just hope our dinner’s getting along better than he seems to be!”

Charlie smiled bemusedly.

“Would be nice to see our host though… I mean it’s not very good just to leave us all hanging here. Bit rude.”

“Just drink yer wine, Suranne,” Michael sat back and glared at her.

“Excuse me! All I’m saying is that I’d actually like to see Peter!”

“Can’t you see he’s trying his best? You always pick out the worst in people.”

“Er, and what do you mean by that?” she slammed the glass down on the table, sloshing wine over the sides.

Michael shook his head.

“Go on, I’m listening,” she coaxed him.

“What I mean is that you’re a whiny old bitch with too much time on her hands and not enough self reflection to realise that not a single person in this village bar your boss – and he don’t even live here most of the time – actually likes you.”

“Says the mechanic who was invited to Peter’s out of sympathy?”

Peter was the local celebrity, as Suranne might say with elongated vowels and emphatic consonants. Former news reader and big time journalist, coming to Peter’s had made her month. Suranne no longer frequented to London, so being able to dine with the finer folks meant all the more to her.

Charlie barely blinked at their argument. There was an amusing clock he’d just seen.

“Excuse me? Sympathy? How on earth were you invited in, bribery?”

“I’m Peter’s very good friend – what is it that you do, again? Clean cars?”

“Get to feck – where’s my coat?”

Michael stood and started patting his pockets for his wallet.

“That’s it, ruin it for Peter.”

“Ruin it? You’re the one complaining he’s not here when he’s slaving away making you your fine cuisine. Mind, with your company, I don’t blame him for holding himself up in the kitchen.”

“Oh go away, you swine, go away,” she waved Michael away.

Charlie picked up his napkin and placed it on his knees.

“Pfft, it’s no wonder your husband left you… though quite why he married you in the first place…”

Suranne threw him a look that could ferment pure water and poised her wine glass upon her lipstick lips, savouring the allure of the French Bordeaux, before tipping the contents into her mouth until only red dregs remained in the glass.

Peter threw open the kitchen door at this point, plates precariously positioned on his arms.

“Bon appetite!” he began, only to reassess his choice of words upon the scene he had entered.

Suranne threw down her empty glass. Meanwhile Charlie was pulling a bottle of port from the mantelpiece behind him, uncorking it and pouring himself a glass. Suranne eyed him up as he began to recork the bottle.

“I say, do you know the Bishop of Norwich?” she asked.

Charlie for the first time that evening regained participation in the dinner and grinned, “He’s a lovely chap, but always forgets to pass the port.”

Michael slammed the front door. Peter sighed in disbelief and Charlie smiled smugly at his only remaining fellow guest before returning the bottle to its place upon the mantlepiece.

~ by S.G. Mark on November 16, 2011.

One Response to “Day 40 – This Should Have Been a Decent One, But I Have to Pack”

  1. cool

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