Thursday, 12 April 2012

The Drakes Proceed To Supper


“It's not too late to turn back you know.” said Sally,
“For the last time Sally, this is dinner with Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath. You don't just fob them off. We're finally starting to move in the right circles.”
“They're not the right circles...they’re a nightmare! She'll start howling about Nazis and he'll challenge you to a fight.”
“Sally...”
“Or they'll show us their slides of Seamus Heaney. Can we not say I'm sick or something? Or that I'm dead! Say I'm dead!”
“Look we're here now. Have you got the wine?”
“Mmmm. I'll just give it straight to Ted shall I? And then he can hit me over the head with it and call me a whore.”
The door opened, the low light from within silhouetting a delicate American flower.
“Sylvia! Hi!”
“Hi.Ted's not here yet. He's out screwing another of his sluts.”
Sylvia wandered absently back into the house, gesturing vaguely that they should follow.
“..still...” said Sally “..you're looking...well.”
“Oh...have you decorated?” asked Ted
“Mmmm. In faded yellow shreds it hangs like a jaundice shroud.”
“Yeah it's great!” said Sally “Is it that new Kirstie Allsop stuff?”
Sylvia floated into the dining room.
“Please, have a seat. There's soup.”
Two plates dropped onto the table.
“What's the soup?”
“It is the stinking black bile of the broken blood bag lung.”
“Mmmmm.” said Jake, taking an extra large spoonful.
“Any salt?” asked Sally.
“Oozing from the torn eyes of the damned, who weep forever into the dark sombre stygian emptiness.”
“Maybe in the cupboard?” said Sally, going to have a look, “Oh! Could maybe do with a bit of a dust in there Sylv. No wonder it seems stygian!”
Only a polite cough punctured the silence. And then Ted arrived.
“What the buggering fuck are these two doing here?”
“Ted! Hi...” said Jake, standing to greet him, and almost immediately falling back down again having been punched.
“There better be some fucking bile left for me.” said Ted “Or have these two slick, fat backed and bloated toads, slipped their sticky tongues out to catch and snatch away......my tea.”
“Ted, please these are our guests.” said Sylvia, holding her head in her hands.
“Wine Ted...?” said Sally, holding out the bottle she had brought.
“Wine? Wine? Whine! Whine! Like an old wolf at a low, red moon, longing, whining, longing, for the blood of the hunt and the crunch of teeth on bone.”
“No...it’s...it's Lambrusco. “
“I fucking hate Lambrusco!”
Ted grabbed the bottle, brandishing it like a weapon.
“Listen, maybe we should make a move...” said Jake, pulling himself up from the floor.
“No! No don't let him terrorise you.” said Sylvia “Honestly Ted you're like a brownshirt nightmare of longknives and black leather smiles.”
“Good!” said Ted, “Good I'm glad.”
“Right Jake, come on, let’s go.”
“So..we'll be off then...” said Jake.
“Sylvia! Where's my slides of Seamus Heaney?”
All pretence of politeness dropped, Sally and Jake ran for the door. For a moment, there was only silence.
“Have they gone?” asked Sylvia.
“Think so.” said Ted “They should probably stop bothering us now.”
“Let's hope so. Pass the salt please.”
And Ted did. Then he gave her a little kiss and they cracked open the Lambrusco.