Dinner Party

Dinner Party by David Macfie

Alice Denneghy was busy in her kitchen. And the Irish stew wasn’t the only thing that was simmering. But her rage was contained inside. Nothing showed on her calm outward demeanor.

Her husband had arranged to have his work colleagues over for dinner and had instructed Alice to cook and serve them for the evening. He hadn’t given her extra housekeeping money for the meal’s ingredients nor for the alcohol that would be guzzled during the evening. Trapped in a loveless marriage, with an abusive husband, Alice resented everything about her non-relationship. And this was the last straw.

She absently stirred the stew, thinking about how she could escape from the hurt and degradation and abuse. She still had purple bruises everywhere from the last time. And tonight she would certainly get more from her ever-loving spouse, who would take everything she gave and still treat her like a slave.

“Instructed,” she thought, with fury in her heart. “Not asked…. instructed.”

She was trembling with growing frustration and the volcanic eruption that was building inside. She…would…get…even…and…he…would…pay. Her plans for his untimely demise were coming to a conclusion.  

Now she put the basmati rice in to cook and turned the heat down under the stew.

She’d already set the table and put out glasses for beer and wine, and the inevitable shots that would follow. The wine bottles were in a small rack on the sideboard and she’d placed plenty of beer in a zinc basin full of ice. The shots were in the freezer. Then, she returned to the kitchen to clean up.

With no emotion, she wrapped the baby’s meatless bones in newspaper, put them in the incinerator and pressed the ‘on’ button.

She’d never wanted it anyway.