The PartySubmitted by redskieslookfake at 2017-01-16 16:11:00 EST
Rating: 1.6 on 10 ratings (19 reviews) (Review this item) (V)
The party had soured as the evening wound up. Every year, Packme Meats held their Christmas do for all the sales managers. It was an opportunity for execs to brag about their bonuses and show off their partners. The lighting was too bright, the music too loud and the catering was everything you’d expect from a company who measured their profit margin in the amount of tissue they could reclaim from the carcasses of the BGH stuffed animals that overfilled the fields of various miserable farmers.
John had been getting progressively louder as the night went on. After finger blasting Eleanor, his downtrodden wife, in the bathroom at the start of the night; he was now shoving his hand under the noses of Winston and Mary who were frozen in horror while he extorted them to “take a big sniff of real American pussy”. Mary grabbed Winston by the arm and pulled him toward the buffet while John’s laughter rang out, making every partygoer wince. John was always the loudest man in any room. And the reddest faced.
Nicky was already stood by buffet, picking morosely at a bowl of crisps while Tam, her husband continued necking the spirits, complaining that all the good stuff had been kept for the human resources party the following night. Nicky took another sip of her beer and grimaced. Tam was getting utterly shitfaced and it would be her that would have to put him to bed with a bucket and a bottle of flat soda. Inevitably he’d get up, shout at God down the ceramic telephone during the night, waking her up, before collapsing face up on the bed, with the snore she’d grown to know and hate over the years.
Mary pushed past to get at the sausage rolls, studiously not making eye contact with Nicky. They’d not spoken since the argument in the summer, and working in neighbouring territories had driven them both to distraction. Technically Mary was Nicky’s supervisor, but the hard-faced woman wasn’t the easiest person to manage. She had the annoying habit of doing whatever she wanted without checking first. That independent streak had got her into trouble in the past, but she got results, so the upper echelon tied Mary’s hands on disciplinary measures, and Nicky knew it. The half smirk as she put another cheese and onion crisp in her mouth was the only acknowledgement her boss got before she turned away to admonish Tam over his drinking.
Eleanor waddled over to the buffet as well, the rings on her fingers cutting the circulation, but not stopping her from loading her paper plate for the fourth time that evening. Cheese, pigs in blankets and an artful arrangement of meats, pressed down into the plate with a hammy hand. Mary couldn’t meet Eleanor’s eyes as she began to pop the sausages into her mouth two at a time. Eleanor’s bovine features and slight underbite concealed little beyond a fascination with shiny things and respect bordering on awe of her blowhard husband. John had married her when Eleanor was way younger, had more sparkle in her eyes and hadn’t yet discovered that cheese could be sprayed from a can. Since then, the pair had grown fatter, more rubicund in the face, and both inflicted John’s opinions on anyone they met. She was the ideal reclaimed meat salesman’s wife, and if she’d fallen into one of the grinders at the factories you’d have got three hundred and fifty pounds of mince, albeit with a higher fat content than the pigs that were rammed into the maw night and day.
Mary suppressed a shudder as Eleanor’s jaws mimicked the grinders, breaking down protein, fat and the meal they padded the sausages with into globules that could easily sink down the New Yorker’s gullet.
Dot and Willy were by the beer kegs, refilling their glasses and talking quietly about how soon could they leave and not be seen as rude. Mary walked over to the Germans, leaving poor Winston to stare in fascination at Eleanor’s continued one woman assault on the spread.
“Are you having a good evening Dot?” Mary asked, her thin lips pressed into an approximation of a smile.
“Perfectly fine thank you Mary. It is a shame that Gerald and Francis had to leave so early to get the train to Paris, but it is always good to see you all at these gatherings,” Dot straight batted back. Willy, her partner of thirty years swallowed a mouthful of the beer and held Dot’s hand loosely.
Mary pursed her mouth and delivered the line she’d been saving all evening. “This will be my last Christmas with Packme. I’ve decided to go freelance in the new year. I’m tired of having to put up with Gerald and Peter’s directives on how to do my job.”
Dot gaped for a moment before regaining her control. “I am sure the company will miss your contribution. I do hope it all works out for the best”. She turned on her heel and pulled Willy with her towards the door. It was a few degrees below outside, but right then she needed some air. Willy trailed in her wake, holding his plastic glass to avoid being jostled by the party goers on the dance floor who were now gyrating to euro pop played by the disinterested company hired DJ. Mary stood there, handbag held loosely. She’d expected fireworks and begging.
John ambled over. “Your boy Winston was telling me you’ve put your notice in. Good for you girl! You go out there and grab yourself some real money, not the chickenshit they’ve been paying you the last ten years.”
Mary kept her expression carefully neutral. She’d joined a few years after Peter, Gerry and Dot, and as a result hadn’t got as big a share of the loyalty bonuses as the others, plus they’d always watched out for one another, while she had to contend with Nicky constantly putting her down and making snide comments at every meeting. John had joined after her, but she knew he’d secured himself a bumper deal. He’d been bellicose and mocking, and for some reason, Peter had taken a shine to him. “Some balls that guy has. He doesn’t listen to criticism from any guy, and that makes him ok in my book”. Gerry and Dot’s reactions had been far more subdued, but Peter had provided a lot of capital for the startup and had got his way.
John squeezed her bum tightly and grinned, the corncob he’d been eating earlier showing itself in the gaps between his teeth. “You’ve always had balls Mary, it’s why I’ve always wanted to fuck ya.”
Mary froze and looked over John’s shoulder at Winston. He gaped helplessly. Winston was thin, greying, and never been one for confrontation. Eleanor continued to masticate, wilfully oblivious to John’s groping of another woman.
“You gonna say anything Mary? There’s room at the back. I could show you right now.” John leant closer, his podgy fingers moving towards the cleft of Mary’s ass.
Enrique rescued her at that moment by stepping into John’s eye line. The questing fingers were withdrawn as John balled his fists, his face incarnadine. “What the fuck are you doing here beaner? I thought they’d shitcanned your ass”.
The darker man smiled, “I’m afraid that’s presumptuous of you John, all that’s happened is that they’re investigating some rather nasty accusations from an unnamed source. You wouldn’t happen to know anything about that would you?”
John’s pulse could be taken from the other side of the room as the veins stood out on his neck and forehead, and his bellowing drew everyone’s attention. “I’ll beat the shit outta ya if you accuse me of anything, you no good spic. Everyone knows you’ve been cheating your quotas for years and stealing sales from my territory.”
Enrique rocked back at the noise, but stayed calm enough. “Sales are sales, Peter knows that as well as you do”. John drew back his fist in rage but stopped when Maria joined her husband. A sneer spread across John’s torpid face. “And you brought your señorita. Who’s watching all your chitlins?” Maria turned away in disgust, and pulled her husband with her for the door.
Dot and Willy were coming back in and fidgeted uncomfortably as the Mexican couple walked out. Dot had heard the raised voice and could tell what had happened, but John had important contacts and Peter would never let it go if she pissed their star salesman off.
Winston had gravitated back to Mary, who’d used the commotion to scuttle back into a corner away from the reach of the pawing New Yorker and his ever expanding sow wife. He offered a wordless apology which she pointedly ignored. Dot and Willy had grabbed their coats at this point and were heading for the door at the stroke of 11pm.
John wasn’t drinking, he was teetotal, something that always astonished the clients, but that didn’t stop him loving excess. He’d faced down his Mexican adversary, got a handful of ass and was thinking about going out and finding a hooker while his wife waited in their hotel room. The frigid English bitch had escaped him for now, and he was damned if he was going to chase skirt at his age. It was then that Asiya caught his attention. The slim and demure girl had been practically dragged in by Omar and was nursing what looked like the beginnings of a black eye. John’s face broke into a grin as Omar stalked past, Asiya pulled behind him.
“Omar you crafty bastard. How are you doing? I’ve not seen you all night!”.
Omar stared, “I have been busy teaching my wife a lesson she should have understood a long time ago.”
John laughed “You tell that bitch who’s boss! You sandniggers know how to run a woman I have always said it.”
Asiya slipped Omar’s grip and made it three steps before he’d turned and grabbed her again. She struggled weakly, but made no sound as he pulled her back towards the door. John followed along sniggering as Omar cursed under his breath.
In the car park the first kidney punch was administered while still holding Asiya up. Two more followed before she was allowed to crumple to the icy ground. John leaned against the doorway laughing as Omar kicked the woman twice in the gut.
“What’d she do buddy?” he called out, a warm feeling in his own paunchy stomach watching a woman getting what she clearly deserved. Omar paused the assault to spit on the girl and turn to John.
“The bitch whore talked about leaving me. I told her that that would be the last mistake she’d make.” Omar returned to Asiya and gave her another crunching kick to her crumpled up form, her quiet weeping and wheezing the only sounds at the back of the venue.
Mary and Nicky had come to the exit to see what was going on, and had both turned pale at the violence. John shooed the women away and grinned as the pair backed away. “Ain’t none of your business how a man disciplines his women, you hear?” he sneered.
“Hitting a wee slip of a girl like that, that’s how you prove you’re a man is it Omar?” Nicky said accusingly. Omar lurched forward and put his finger right in her face.
“You shut your filthy whore mouth. If your men folk want to say something, then beg them to come here. This is my wife and I treat her as I please.”
Winston was stood six paces inside the entranceway. He held his hands up and shrugged helplessly. “Pathetic” Nicky spat. Tam lurched along past Winston and they all heard the intestinal symphony as he slammed open the toilet doors and blew chunks all over the floor, not even making it to the bowl.
The women exchanged an uneasy, defeated glance and headed back indoors to grab their coats and husbands. As the door closed behind them the last sounds they heard was a bone breaking and John laughing. “You sure showed her Omar, you sure showed her.”