Sunday, 6 October 2013

from "GUILTY PLEASURES" Cover Reveal pending; Launch December 5th!

"Tonight is going to be fun. An Irish socialite is getting divorced, and so she’s holding a wake! That crazy bitch had a coffin delivered with a portrait of the very-much-alive ex-husband painted on the lid. They’ll be delivering wreaths and condolences all day. She’s having a male stripper do the eulogy—dressed as a priest. We are bringing in gallons of green beer, Irish whiskey, and salted almonds, green pretzels, peanuts, and of course, pistachios. We’ll practically be doing nothing but watching the fun. I’m asking Millie to let us tend the bar.”
“A wake for a dead marriage . . . makes a kind of twisted sense.”
“Lots of lovely boozy sense. Except—this I’m not missing—she asked that the waiters be dressed like leprechauns. Can you imagine? Hendricks jingling around in Irish green and shamrocks? Lovely.”
“I suppose you won’t mind jingling yourself?”
“Nope, been there, and done worse. Plus I turn a good leg in green tights.”
“God have mercy.”

Late afternoon found them preparing great green tubs for icing the beers, setting out platters of aperitifs and numerous trays of delicate and colourful little hors d’œuvres.
A large three-tier venom-green cake with a black marzipan electric chair, complete with the condemned prisoner, was delivered.
Horseshoe-shaped floral wreaths and coronets came from supposedly close friends and well-wishers. The banners variously read BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME, I TOLD YOU SO, OOPS YOU DID IT AGAIN, U GOT DA BUCKS—NOW GET NEW BOOBS, YOU’RE TOO OLD FOR THIS SHIT, GET A SCHNAUZER NEXT TIME, and worse.
A costume maker delivered a truckload of green leprechaun outfits, complete with pointy shoes and hats. Hendricks arrived with his usual lugubrious expression, quickly followed by Millie in tasteful and sexy black, and a kiss-me-quick little hat with a deliciously flirty black lace veil.
Millie, Lance, and Serge watched fascinated as Hendricks returned shortly in sartorial magnificence, his scarlet face clashing horribly with his very short green tunic and shimmering emerald hose.

“Miss Deafly, I must object most strenuously.”
“Oh, my dear Hendricks . . . it’s astonishing how your innate elegance and dignity can overcome anything. I’m in awe of you, my dear, dear man. You are a true professional. An example, my dear Hendricks—a shining example. So much so, I will insist both Mr. Moreno and Mr. Pecklise don similar garb in solidarity, and assist you and your staff at the bar.”
The scarlet receded from Hendricks complexion, being replaced by a girlish wash of pink. “I’m honoured, Miss Deafly. We must show a united front in adversity. Yes, dignity and good breeding must overcome, I always say.” He wandered off happily, then called out to his staff to muster and dress up.
Lance stifled a snort of laughter.
Serge was giggling. “You are shameless, Millie, shameless. The man looks like a bilious morris dancer.”
“Serge, a happy, motivated staff is half the battle won. If I have to bend the truth a little . . . oh, all right, a lot, I will. Now, boys run off and get green.”

At nine thirty, the grieving widow arrived, her broken heart very much in evidence, in a very low-cut black dress. She was a voluptuous true redhead in her well-tended and tucked midforties. She was luscious lipped, with a luminous opalescent skin—flawless except for a dusting of freckles accentuating her generous cleavage.
Hendricks gaped at her. Rather, he gaped at her cleavage in lustful fascination. “Madam, allow me to extend my condolences, but also my felicitations, for a woman of such unique beauty must not be chained. Like a butterfly, she must flutter free, blessing countless flowers with her honeyed kiss.”
Millie choked while Hendricks bowed gravely in his green hose.
The ex-Mrs. O’Donnell simpered at him flirtatiously. Her delicate hands fluttered to her bosoms. “Why, sir, a gentleman would be most cautious of taking advantage of my fragile state, my loneliness . . .”
“Madam, my admiration is most sincere and most respectful.”
“Not too respectful, Mr. Hendricks. We are neither that young, nor the night that long.”
Hendricks leaned forward. “Alas, Madam, I confess myself overcome, for you bear upon your right breast the perfect representation of Cygnus, the Constellation of the Swan.” With truly astonishing dignity, he lifted her hand to his lips, while he visually ventured to boldly go where many men had been before.

Millie gasped as she entered the kitchen. “Good God . . . we have a problem. You two have to keep an eye on Hendricks. He and Mrs. O’Donnell are flirting and simpering at each other. I would never have believed it of him.”
“It’s the hose. See, they cut off the blood flow to your brain,” Serge remarked seriously. “I once knew this dancer, bloody Bolshevik ballet pansy, who couldn’t think his way out of a paper bag. All he did was dance. He had class six hours a day plus performance time; the poor man lived in them hose thingies—so constricting. One day, I peeled them off him, quick like, before he could complain. You wouldn’t believe it. He was so gifted. A genius, I tell you.”
Lance grinned.
Millie eyed him suspiciously. “You two go garb up, and I don’t buy that diminished capacity by dint of constricted blood flow to the penis defence, Serge, so watch it.”

Several hours and many barrels of strong drink later, the salon was awash in “mourners” devotedly drowning their grief.
Foremost among them was Mrs. O’Donnell, who availed herself of the comfort of Hendricks’s manly shoulder with distressing frequency. The leprechauns circulated with their trays of food and drink, while Lance and Serge manfully held up the bar and watched the festivities.

Serge served up two stiff drinks and toasted Lance, smirking lasciviously in the general direction of his hose. “Here’s to you, little, or rather not so little, Willie Wanker; here is to hot widows and cold drinks.”
They solemnly toasted each other repeatedly, with a great deal of respect for the dearly departed. By the looks of him, in all the glory of his full-length portrait, the “late” Mr. O’Donnell was a man of good looks, although somewhat florid of complexion. Someone had laid a wreath of garlic in the vicinity of his groin with the caption LEST HE RISE AGAIN.
Obviously rising to the occasion was Hendricks, unaware of the unabashed stare of several sour-mouthed grass widows.

“And himself not even cold yet, and that hussy’s already hoisting her flag on another mast,” a dear friend of Mrs. O’Donnell said.
“My dear, so would I,” mumbled another, downing a shot of vodka.
“His mast wasn’t that high, and I should know . . .” said a blue-eyed brunette with an impressive chest.
“Shame on you, Molly. She’s your best friend.”
“I regretted it—I did, especially as he wasn’t great shakes. Quick off the mark, he was,” Molly confessed, wiping a regretful tear.
Lance and Serge watched in fascination as the evening unfolded, and the guests’ collective grief continued unabated and inconsolable, oblivious to the glaring absence of the chief mourner and the maître d’.

“The wake must go on,” Serge said, solemnly. “Let this be a lesson to you, my boy. The death of love waits for no man.”

Right on cue, a “priest” in a dog collar approached the coffin to conduct the solemnities. “Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today to bid farewell and good riddance to our dear brother, Seamus O’Donnell. We wish him eternal rest, and should he indeed rise again, may he come quickly.”
The “priest” slowly gyrated out of his vestments—keeping only the dog collar—to the delight of the female mourners who hurried to tuck green carnations in his black lace G-string. He served up generous slices of the Execution Cake and drank Irish whiskey from several slippers.

This joyful ceremony was concluded by Millie firmly escorting the “priest” and two nearly nude “mourners” to the front door and forcefully ejecting them.
At three o’clock in the morning, Millie called cabs for the remaining guests, told the very drunk waiters in their green hats and hose to go home, and crossly berated Serge and Lance for their decidedly tipsy state.

“I can’t believe this! My entire staff . . . get a cab and go home, Serge.”
Serge waved happily and staggered outside.
“Will, you better sober up quickly! We have work to do.” Muttering darkly to herself, Millie brewed up a pot of pitch black, powder-keg Turkish coffee. She found Lance in the locker room, shirtless but still in his lurid hose, obviously much the worse for the wear. “Oh, Will, strong drink doesn’t agree with you, does it?”
“I’m fine, better than fine. I’m fan-bloody-tastic.”
“Yes, I can tell.” She pulled him to his feet, where he swayed like a young birch in a high gale. “Come along, then; to the showers with you.”
“No . . . no showers.”
“Come along now.”
He leaned forward and nuzzled at her neck. “I had an Irish grandfather, did you know?”
“No, I didn’t.”
“Oh yes. I went to Ireland with him as a young boy, and got away from my bloody mother for two whole weeks. I saw the Emerald Island from end to end. Kissed the Blarney Stone, you know. Which is why I’m such a good linguist. The Irish are famous for the agility of their tongues. Wannasee?” Lance licked at her ear and staggered.
“Here, Will.” Millie pushed him firmly into the shower and turned on the water. “Nice and cold!”
Gasping and trembling, Lance shook his head under the icy deluge.
“Meet me in the kitchen in ten minutes for coffee, and you’d better be sober.”

Ten minutes later, a contrite and cold Lance shivered his way into the kitchen where Millie served him many tiny cups of truly horrid, scalding coffee.
“What on earth possessed you two to drink like this? Really, I expected better from you,” Millie said crossly.
“It just happened . . .” explained a shamefaced Lance. “We just kept toasting the dead, one after another. We didn’t want to leave anyone out.”
“The dead?”
“Well, if you extrapolate the concept, every ex is a dearly departed. We just kept remembering people. Some of these girls I hadn’t thought about in years. We decided to erect a monument to the unknown soldiers of the War of Love. Some names I never even got, but Serge said—”
“Disgusting. You’re like little boys comparing scabs. Well, Will, I’m going shopping on my own. You are in no condition to walk, let alone drive. Go sleep it off. There is a chaise longue in the small salon. I expect you to be up and about for the afternoon shift.”
“I’m sorry, Millie.”
“No, you’re not. But you will be.

from "Guilty Pleasures - The Food and Fornication Fables"
Manuela Cardiga

1 comment:

  1. Once in a blue moon we stumble on some rare kind of book.This was one for me. The book starts on a note that make stories grow on you, the vivid descriptions giving interesting attention to details ensure this. Very 'unputdownable' and when you unavoidably put it down, you look forward to having it back. Manuela Cardiga has given erotic readers a collector's item. Delightful and sinfully pleasurable. you couldn't help the naughty smile playing on your face as you read through.