A Vulgar Display of Power

Rain was pounding the windscreen hard. The wipers were going so fast, Jodie thought they were going to snap and fly off somewhere.  She hadn’t realized how drunk she actually was until she got into the car. The tequila shooters had been a bad idea. A real bad idea. Her pick-up was swerving recklessly between lanes on the road, some drivers sounding their frustration with their horn. Fortunately, the traffic was fairly light and there wasn’t a cop car in sight.

Her French husband, Jacques, had been continually harassing her when she was in the bar, bombarding her with text messages and phone calls. She’d ignored them for a couple of hours, but as the alcohol took hold, she figured she’d let him stew for long enough. I mean, what kind of douche bag tells Jodie what to do? She’s the type of girl that can do whatever the fuck she likes. She takes no orders from anyone, at least that’s what she told her best friend, Christine, as the two of them licked salt from their clenched fists.

‘Yeah, he actually told me that I need to clean up after Muffin. That’s a man’s job. I don’t want to clean up Muffin’s doo-doos. They stink!’ Jodie said, throwing her head back as the tequila nosedived into her willing mouth.

‘Like OMG Jodie.  Who does he think he is?’ Christine replied in her Californian airhead accent. ‘What a total dick.’

Jodie pictured Muffin; her pedigree Chihuahua and her pride and joy. She liked to dress him up in different clothes, sometimes to match what she was wearing. She smiled warmly as the bartender refilled their shot glasses. ‘Yeah, you’re right. He is a total dick. That’s why I’ve been screwing around on him.’

‘What? Ohh Emmm Geee. Who with?’ Christine asked her.

‘You know his friend Phil? The guy he works with?’

Christine nodded her head slowly, her jaw agape. Jodie smiled naughtily at her. ‘Yeah, him.’

‘Like, I’m so jealous. He’s such a hottie.’

‘I know, he has a body to absolutely die for. He puts Jacques to shame in the bedroom. We nearly got caught last week.’ Christine’s eyes widened as Jodie continued.

‘Jacques was meant to be staying late for some business meeting, so I called Phil and he came over. Then, later on when we were doing it for like, the fifth time, Phil heard the door opening downstairs. Thank God he heard it over all of my screaming,’ Jodie said, stifling a laugh. ‘It was Jacques. He came up to the bedroom and I was lying on the bed naked, and had to pretend I was doing it for him. Waiting for him to come home. Phil rolled out from under the bed and blew me a kiss while Jacques was standing there unaware.’

The girls continued drinking for a few hours. Jacques was still texting Jodie, in hope that she would come home and forgive him. After all, it was her 30th birthday.

A few hours passed. Jodie and Christine were well and truly drunk. They were sitting in a booth opposite the bar and were deciding on what song to put on the jukebox next, when Jodie received yet another text message.

I’m so sorry. Please come home. It’s your birthday and I’ve made a nice meal for you. Jac xoxo

‘Ugh. Jacques just text me again. I’m gonna have to go home; he’s made me a romantic meal for my birthday – woo-hooooo!’, Jodie said, sarcasm oozing from her words. Christine was so wasted she didn’t even argue, instead she sat on a stool, her short skirt not keeping much from the imagination, chatting to a cute guy working at the bar.

Jodie stumbled out to her car after saying her goodbyes, annoyed that Jacques had ruined her evening.

The rain started to calm as she neared the house. She stopped the pick-up truck at the momentous gates to their beautiful mansion, and clicked the button connected to her key chain. After they opened, she drove up and parked beside the garage.

She made her way inside the house, trying to get in from the drizzly rain, stumbling a few times in the process.

Something was different. The house was dark – very dark. Jodie felt the walls, searching for a light switch, but unable to find one. She staggered through the corridor, eventually making it to the dining room.

There were candles scattered all around the large table, the flames standing still and bright. Jodie noticed there was a large, silver display tray sitting peacefully behind the candles. The lid was still firmly on top of it, beautifully reflecting the candlelight around the entire room. A bottle of Cristal champagne sat beside the silver tray, hundreds of little droplets of condensation

‘Hello, my dear,’ whispered Jacques, walking from behind her. She jumped with fright and let out a little shriek.  He leant in and kissed her gently on the neck. He was carrying two plates, one in each hand. He placed them gently on the wonderfully decorated table, as he took his place.

‘Please, sit down’, he said to her, beckoning with his eyes. It smelled delicious, she thought, inhaling deeply into her nostrils. She did as she was told, for once, and sat down at the table.

Jacques had made her favourite meal; sautéed garlic potatoes, creamed cabbage, and venison with a red wine jus. The champagne opened with a pop, some of its contents leaking down the sides of the bottle. Jacques’ willing tongue licked up the expensive dregs.

He sat for a moment and watched his wife pick up the small slithers of venison with her fork and place them gently into her mouth.

The meat was mind blowing; Jodie’s eyes had closed with the pure ecstasy of the flavour. It was so juicy and tender, literally melting in her mouth.

The married couple didn’t exchange words throughout dinner. In her drunken state, Jodie quickly finished what was on her plate, stopping only a few times to gulp some of the Cristal champagne from her glass.  ‘I take it you enjoyed your meal?’ Jacques asked her, tilting his champagne glass slightly.

‘Yes. It was delicious’, she replied, wiping her mouth with the linen napkin. ‘That’s probably the only thing you’re good at; cooking.’ She grinned at him, her eyes fixated on his. He returned the smile, maintaining eye contact.

‘Where’s my little baby Muffin?’ Jodie asked him, breaking the awkward silence.

With this, Jacques let out a cackle. She glanced at him as he lowered his glass to the table. He grinned like a Cheshire cat, his perfect teeth glinting in the candlelight. ‘You tell me, my dear. How did he taste?’

‘WHAT?!’ Jodie shouted, quickly awakening from her drunken stupor. Jacques was now laughing uncontrollably. ‘I got you back, whore!’, he said unable to wipe the grin from his face. ‘Muffin?’ Jodie whispered, gradually realising what Jacques had told her. She glanced down at her empty plate. This is some kind of sick joke, she thought. It must be.

‘And now,’ Jacques said, standing from the table, ‘the pièce de résistance!’ He placed his hand on the silver tray.

Jodie leaned forward and saw her misshapen face in the reflection, feeling the alcohol turn against her. As she did so, Jacques swiftly lifted the lid, exposing Muffin’s boiled and hacked cadaver. The smell was what made the contents of Jodie’s stomach explode from her lipstick smudged lips. Vomit spilled over the table, little pieces of dinner floating around, dripping from the table onto her lap, spoiling her expensive skirt. When the heaving ceased, Jodie wiped tears from her eyes and picked up a piece of Muffin’s acid soaked flesh. ‘You bastard!’ she screamed, throwing it toward Jacques.

Only, he wasn’t there.

Where is he, she thought, turning her head around in confusion.

Jacques allowed her to turn her beautiful face toward him, giving her enough time to see the hammer as it smashed into the side of her head, caving it in marvellously.

By Conor Mckee

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