Annabelle didn’t care. If there was one thing she’d learned, it was to be open to the ways of others, to their differences. Sometimes, she found Priscilla too much of a boring prude, never able to see past the end of her delicately tipped, upturned snout. On the whole, though, Annabelle preferred to keep quiet and would just change the subject. In fact, this was easily done with a comment deflected towards Priscilla’s latest purchase. She was obsessed with fashion – who was wearing what – and, of course, what she was wearing was of utmost importance. She could consume an entire lunch without the tiniest speck escaping her lizard-like tongue and falling down onto either her cleavage or her lap. Even her lipstick stayed intact.
Against the background din of an angle grinder in operation, Annabelle had been discussing the progress of their building work. Unguarded for a moment, she joked about the number of teas she had made for the builders. She went on to make it worse by remarking that she really didn’t mind because it was nice to have someone to talk to from time to time. It was a little break from the mundane world of the bridge and bowls circuits. Naturally, Priscilla had been horrified and Annabelle, wishing she could erase her comments from the conversation, objected fiercely to such a frank attack of outrageous snobbery.
Annabelle rose from the table to fetch the cafetiere. She lingered with her back to Priscilla to gather her thoughts and to hide her angry flush. She banged on the window and waved a mug around as invitation to the builders to join her for coffee. She heard Pricilla sniff with disdain. With the cupboard door wide open, she shuffled and sorted two selections of biscuits, one for the workmen and one for the two women. Boots discarded at the door, the builders entered the kitchen. Sensing the whiff of repulsion emanating from Priscilla’s direction, they retreated back out onto the patio sharply with their teas and the plate of biscuits.
I hope that you don’t give them anything too delicious, Annabelle.
Annabelle had to make a concious effort to gulp down the mouthful of coffee which was threatening to escape from her lips under high pressure.
Of course, I have a different stock of biscuits for them. Do help yourself, Priscilla, won’t you?
Thank you. Quantity, not quality, they’re into, I imagine.
She took a bite of her first biscuit.
They just wouldn’t appreciate good biscuits.
Ah but Priscilla, that’s where you’re wrong. That biscuit you’ve just eaten? That’s one they rejected earlier this morning. They rather liked the triple chocolate wafers wrapped in gold foil. Don’t worry though, they weren’t sitting on the plate for very long at all. I only saw one fly. Of course, she never actually said that. She just smiled and sipped her coffee. They say that revenge is sweet. Annabelle thinks that it is more complex. She believes that it is both sugary and salty, melting like butter on the tongue in an overwhelming swell of saliva. She swallowed, satisfied.
Are you not having one, Annabelle, darling?
No, I won’t thanks. I’m feeling rather full.