“Good enough to eat!” she snickered to herself, adjusting the pieces of raw fish on the platter filled to overflowing with a vast assortment of sushi. Opening her mouth slightly, a thick stream of saliva trickled down her chin landing squarely on top of the two centre pieces.
“My compliments to the chef,” she said in a whisper, wiping her chin with a crisp white napkin and using a corner to remove the blob of white slime on the fish.
Everything had to be perfect for the hungry theatre crowd that would soon descend upon the buffet like a swarming of bees.
She removed the cork from the champagne bottles and inhaled the bouquet, prompting a memory of her favourite beverage at ziggurat. Home seemed like a far off memory, more difficult to access with each passing day but this was no time to fall back on reminiscences. Control and moderation were her guide words since all was in readiness for the next and hopefully final step.
She was feeling quite isolated these days and memories of her former life were the only thing that kept her going. It was becoming increasingly difficult to repress the other side. Back home it would be her day of maturation and a week of celebration, but here there was still work left to be done.
“For heaven’s sake put the champagne in an ice bucket,” a voice behind her ordered. “Haven’t we taught you anything? Honestly – your type…” his voice trailed off as he moved down the table, his white linen serviette slapping away invisible crumbs from the tablecloth. “You call this silverware polished?” he demanded, wiping the fork tines with a napkin. Such a lackadaisical effort but what can one expect coming from…your type? Why we agreed to take you on I’ll never know but only a little while longer, though, thank goodness.”
She felt something building in her chest that slowly moved up to her throat, along with a definite pulsation on the right side of her eye.
“Ignore him,” one of the waiters whispered. “Their kind’ think they’re so smart but they’ll find out otherwise, very soon.”
“Oh he knows exactly what he’s saying and those words are intentional to maximize their effect on me,” she responded, her gaze now focused directly on the source of her growing rage.
“It’s not uncommon for them to address each other in that manner,” the waiter offered, attempting to distract her attention. “I think they call it…sarcasm…”
At that point she had stopped hearing anything and started moving forward slowly at first, picking up speed as she neared her target. He was sampling some of the dishes laid out on the table when she moved directly behind him.
“Can’t any of you do anything right?” he bellowed, spitting liquid back into the soup tureen. “I’ve had it. Tomorrow I’m going to start proceedings to have you all removed. I try and do a good thing and…”
At the point where she was almost on top of him he whirled around, his face contorted in fear with the sudden realization of what was happening. Her trajectory was slightly off that evening having forgotten to regenerate the night before. The head leader had cautioned them to adhere to a daily routine or rapid decline would ensue. The organizer didn’t see the six foot green-grey mass of glowing orange skin and flesh lunge in his direction until it was too late. In fact there wasn’t even enough time for a scream to escape from his throat.
“The sushi could be a little off tonight,” she commented as the features on his face turned into a bloody mass, “and the roast beef is a little overcooked for my taste. Of course I prefer mine more on the very rare side…” she opined. “Now let me ask you something important. Do you think a Chablis or rosé would be better?”
By the time the theatre crowd filed into the room, she had the glasses filled with champagne. The drink fountain was a particular hit and speculation was rife as to the source of the unusual red tint to it.
She removed the white linen serviette from her uniform pocket and folded it neatly, to be added to the rest of her earthly souvenirs.
“Don’t think you’ll be needing this anymore, sweetheart,” she whispered, patting her now bulging stomach.