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FICTION on the WEB short stories by Charlie Fish

Simeon's Parties
by Lucy Courtenay

Simeon's parties were frightfully gay, renowned for their polish and poise,
Peanuts were absent and twiglets outré, just champers, the girls and the boys.
Invites were more often latish than never, but Simeon showed no compunction,
For only the in and the rich and the clever would feature at any such function.
He handled his guests with the elegant hauteur which only a phoney could feign
(Provided the guest was a New Labour voter and drank only vintage champagne),
And such was the pitch of the elegant chatter that guests would be filled with delight
That their habits and hobbies and feelings should matter to Simeon, host for the night.

It was later than late when she came through the door, her repartee sharpened and burnished,
She took in the marquetry parquetry floor, the quarters so properly furnished,
Unsure of the reason behind her inviting, beyond the potential resumption
Of Simeon's favours and consequent fighting with women who had the presumption
To trespass on territory rightfully hers, by blood and by line and by longing,
She'd murder her personal shopper or worse to resume her most rightful belonging.
With shoulders set straight and her knees on display, she clutched on her Soave with suavity,
And walked in with thoughts in decided array, in purposeful search of depravity.

Gussy the stockbroker offered her punch, and grinned with intential leching,
While lesbian Lilian tried to fix lunch and told her her blouson was fetching,
She elbowed her way past asparagus tips in determined pursuit of her quarry,
She'd offer him languorous kissable lips and tell him how dreadfully sorry
She was on the news of his boardroom defeat - he really deserved all the laurels,
And she'd never accuse him again in the street of favouring brains over morals.
The press of the room would account for the touch - then she'd lean up against him confessing
Her palpable need for a favour, not much, which required him to help her undressing.

They sat, a selection of sizes and styles, the exes all patiently waiting
For Simeon's signals, his summons, his smiles, their appetites anxious for sating,
She eyed them for battle while chewing a nail and arranging her breasts to display them,
Prepared to resort, if bravado should fail, to discourage, disparage or pay them.
But too late! For it seemed that on Simeon's arm, a vision of ravishing beauty
All dripping with diamonds and darlings and charm was fast making off with the booty.
She watched with dismay as they mounted the stair, enrapt in each other's attention,
Her poise disappeared and she clutched at her hair, and bellowed a word I can't mention.

Mutiny! Riot! The party scene ends, in shards of surprising unsorrow,
The exes converse like the closest of friends and arrange to have dinner tomorrow,
The guests laugh out loud in united abhorrence of all that their host has created,
They stop talking Wagner, Derrida and Lawrence, discussing instead how they hated
The primping and preening of cash-rich careers, the choking society rigours,
And wishing for Twister and Scrabble and beers, and pizza to ruin their figures.
Simeon's parties are no longer graced by the guests that he wants to invite,
They are filled with the dull and the square and the chaste, and it serves him bloody well right.

Reproduced with kind permission

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