60 - Psychedelic Dancing
“Come on, let’s go.” She said standing up. Unconcerned her low-cut top was undone to her navel, blue silky bra and white flesh hanging out. Her warm, soft hand small in his great big mitt, the slight squeeze encouraging, the sudden determined tug betraying an overpowering need. Kissing, proper kissing. They had been kissing and fondling in the dark corner. Behind the door. Chaos all around. Hectic. The noise. The thumping base-up beat. The toxic smell of enjoyment.
Rick is knocked back surprised how sharp the edge of a door could be as it slammed against his head. That was Jimbo coming in, with exuberance, the usual flamboyant entrance. The big, “I’ve arrived” and late as usual. Wearing his trademark wrap around shades. Looking cool, well at least he thought so. But most importantly, so did the girls.
Suzie, impatient, pulled again, “Come on Rick...nowww Rick.”
Into the hall passing Jimbo, Rick says, “Hi Jimbo thanks for the lump.”
Jimbo replies with a slur, “Nice to see you Rick... Suzie.” Watches them staggering into the dining room and the food table.
Huge and white but covered in debris. Three types of cheese ground into the pale blue carpet looking impressionistic. Probably wool. Definitely ruined. With crackers and French bread and something strangely brown, a sauce perhaps, and a load of other stuff. The sheet almost touching the ground, tent like. The makeshift table cloth soiled beyond redemption.
“Here, under here.” Tugging, now urgent, “Come on will you.”
Fumbling hands, frantic, belt, zipper.
Mickey Mouse and blue leather. Only Charlie wears Mickey Mouse shoes. Standing next to the giggling red high heels.
“Hey Rick.” This is Charlie lifting the sheet. Grinning. “Suzie. You look…. well dishevelled.”
“Piss off Charlie.” Is all he gets. And he leaves them to it.
May is standing in her red heels pulling at Charlie’s arm. “I want a drink Charlie.”
But Charlie sits down next to Bobby and in a blink they are immersed in conversation drinking Vodka and Coke from a plastic Coke bottle so she drifts off following the red drip, drip trail with Jimbo on the end clutching Merlot from Argentina in a box. He is swaying in the sitting room, left hand on the shoulder of a girl he does not know. Slowly moving to fast music. Michelle, tres magnifique, her mother is French. Michelle loving the association with his reputation.
Vodka shots at Jack’s and Jimbo was well on the way when he arrived at the Farmhouse at eleven-thirty. Jack’s place: a second floor flat he shares with two others, both out, both in love. He took the Vodka. Cheap Vodka. What else? Jack opened the door standing in faded jeans and bright yellow tank-top with a giant red star. Brown espadrilles. Empty milk bottles lined up like parade soldiers, standing to attention, two by two along the balcony walkway and to the stairs. Tomorrow they will head on down. An ongoing dispute resulting in the milkman delivering but not collecting.
“Hey Jimbo…. Come in, the girls are out.” Lots of happy exuberance from Jack.
“The Old Farmhouse tonight. You coming? Should be good.” Jimbo said, taking off the glasses, handing over the Vodka and all hunkered up against the cold.
“Will do but later. Things to do, people to see first.”
“Do the people have blonde hair by chance?” said Jimbo with a smirking smile.
A bit later, well at least an hour, Lisa, in a frilly yellow dressing gown, soft and smooth and still bath pink, long blonde hair damp and going wavy, opens the door, Jack leaning against the porch post smiling, wrapped up in a thick coat and long loose knit scarf, breath in white puffs and with that Vodka glow. No espadrilles. Black biker boots all scuffed up.
“Hey Lisa you coming out tonight? There’s a party on.”
“Not tonight, staying in. You want to stay?”
“For a bit, then I’m off to the do," said Jack and he slipped inside nestling close.
Rick and Suzie have emerged and are in the kitchen, a large space and awash. Rick with a beer bottle needing the nowhere to be found opener. He tries clipping the top off with a sharp bash on the edge of the back door step. Then the fridge door latch which snaps, so wanders off in the direction of the rapidly deteriorating scene in the sitting room where a Tamala session is in progress. The room is dark, psychedelic patterns on the wall from the oil wheel in the 1960’s projector. A relic from a parent’s past. Silhouettes smooching. The sofas cuddling. A smoky haze with a sweet, sweet smell. Jimbo is still sway dancing with Michelle now mostly propping him up.
Rick is side-tracked to the stairs. Attracted by some squealing noises. Up the top and the bedrooms are sealed off, signs outside the master and the two kids rooms. “Keep out”. Nice bold red letters. The master door is slightly open, the bed occupied. The covers giggling and thrashing.
“Hey, can’t you read. Up and out. Now. This is a no go area. Out please. You know the rules.”
The two girls, blonde and brunette, skimpy frilly underwear, nudging each other playfully, scuttle past stepping into clothes as they go. “Sorry Rick.” And giggling and laughing down the stairs. Trying not to trip as shoes go on. Hopping on one leg. Tugging at a trainer’s heel. A designer trainer and the leg of a well to do.
Rick checks the other rooms then back to the dancing. He sees Bobby who has wandered from the sofa and hands him the bottle. Bobby snaps the cap between his teeth. Rick nods a thanks and back to Suzie who is giving Charlie a verbal beating concerning inappropriate sheet lifting.
Charlie had met May in the pub, The Fox, a tranquil, ancient thatched place about a thirty-minute brisk walk from The Old Farmhouse. He was with Bobby stopping on route to fill their tanks so to speak and standing near the bar. Pint of something cold in a straight glass and a second double Vodka shot in hand. Neat. Pretty with long dark hair and the pile of plates May was carrying, or dropping, smashed on the flag stone floor, shards erupting in a fountain like spray. May mouthing, “Shit”, and wiping gravy and mashed potato and other soft bits from her, might have been, white apron. Charlie and Bobby both grinning as they stoop to help. Old Fred, probably as old as the pub, appears with the long-handled brush and pan, pot belly wobbling and permanent roll-up stuck to his bottom lip and coughing, Bright red flabby face. “Lucky it’s the end of your shift. Were those the last?” he wheezes.
“Yes. And sorry. Just the tables to wipe.” May on her knees and cleaning the floor.
“Well, that’s the washing up done,” says Old Fred philosophically. But no smile. Just a coughing fit.
“Hi, I’m Charlie.” The smile still there but with an undercurrent of chuckling. “This big boy’s Bobby. We’re off to a party. Want to come?”
“Sure, just give me five minutes and I’ll be with you…. nice shoes.”
Ten minutes, a bit of slap and she appears in red high heels and short red skirt. Charlie picked up a carry out. The bottles chinking in the jute carrier. “You look.... Red,” he said, “but nice, proper nice.” And stuck his arm around her shoulder as they walked out the door.
They arrive and see Rick and Suzie disappear under the table. Bobby sits on the sofa in the dining room and pours Vodka into the Coke bottle while Charlie inspects the table for anything edible and of course other things. May is amused but drifts off leaving Charlie and Bobby and grabs the Merlot box from Jimbo just before he crashes to be helped up by Michelle. May changes the music to Tamala, her favourite dance music, and moves rhythmically to the beat. Her red skirt looking surreal in the multi coloured glow. A sexy picture and no mistake.
A bit later Jack leaves a radiant Lisa and is walking down the lane towards the farmhouse, the police car with lights flashing comes up behind and whizzes past.
Speed dials. “Hey Rick it’s Jack, there’s a Police car on route. Might be coming to you.”
“Thanks Jack. How long?” Rick is unconcerned. There is always a contingency plan.
“Maybe ten minutes but could be less.”
“OK we’ll clear out, it’s getting on anyway.”
Rick grabs Suzie, Bobby and Charlie and Charlie grabs May who is firmly gripping Merlot. Rick picks up his projector and music. The word is passed and the house empties and within five minutes about sixty people are heading in all directions. In all sorts of condition. No vehicles and no running, just casually strolling, perhaps staggering, too many and too spread out for one police car to do anything. Jimbo walking straight backed and upright, leaning on Michelle, not too bothered. He was incognito after all hiding behind his dark eyes.
Rick and Suzie are the organisers. Paula works in the Travel Agents and had fed her brother the information when the holiday had been booked three weeks before. “Mr and Mrs Taylor and kids, The Old Farmhouse away for five nights in Paris,” the note had said which was ripped up and chucked in the black metal bin by the off-licence with “rubbish” stencilled on the front. Two weeks later the word went out. An informal “bush” type telegraph. But secret.
Two days later a distraught Mrs Taylor with designer suitcases piled in the hallway is talking to the police woman, gesticulating frantically. Italian style. Animatedly speaking. Uncharacteristically swearing. Understandably furious. In one hand she is holding a smart red, plastic coated and professional looking flyer that had been circulated to all the surrounding houses a week ago. It read, in large blue letters, “Suzie’s Specialist Cleaning Service. All Types of Cleaning Undertaken. Fast, Efficient and Reliable Service.” In the other hand she held her phone ready to dial and knowing the cost would be huge.