Willy, Molly, Mandy, and Brooke.
The morning after the election.
“Can you guys hear me?”, said Nicola, feeling her body shrink into the corner of the sofa.
She moved her head, which for some reason turned incredibly slowly. Her eyes took even longer to follow.
A man was sitting at the far end of the sofa with one foot resting on the seat between them. He had taken his shoe off and his woolly sock had a hole that most of his big toe was visible through. She looked at his toe closely. It was bigger than hers. Then she moved her eyes up to his face. He smiled at her and then laughed, causing his round cheeks to wobble, his eyes twinkled at her.
She thought that’s Shane Jones. Why has he taken his shoe off? Should I take mine off? Is this a protocol I’m supposed to follow?
“You alright girly?”, he said. “The grand KU MA RA of the north brings only the finest kaimoana and puha. Looks like you had too much puha”, he laughed loudly.
He sounded like a monster to Nicola, and she shrank further into the couch.
Someone put a warm clammy hand on her shoulder, she looked up with some effort. Christopher was grinning down at her, “I see you’ve been smoking the peace pipe with New Zealand First, very good, very good. Maybe grab something to eat, the others have just arrived and we’re about to start the policy negotiations.”
He winked at Shane, “guess I owe you a hundred bucks, how’d you get her to say yes?”
“I told her it was purely ceremonial”, he replied, then roared with laughter again.
Nicola moved her tongue around her mouth, it was very dry. She looked around the room. Chris’ wife Amanda was welcoming the ACT representatives. David was wearing an enormous fur coat and a top hat, he looked like Scrooge McDuck had become a pimp. He waved Amanda away saying he’d keep the coat.
Next Brooke entered and embraced Amanda surprisingly affectionately. “Your house is amazing”, said Brooke before making the victory sign in the directions of the others. “Right at this moment I love you all, let’s never lose this feeling.”
David and Brooke had come directly from the viaduct where they’d been celebrating the election results all night. Brooke had partied hard, she figured it’d be the last chance for a while, and right then she could do anything she wanted - Jesus she just won Tamaki for Christ’s sake.
David on the other hand was coked up to the eyeballs, a wee gift from the Taxpayer’s Union. Because you didn’t think anyone could be that much of a jerk unaided, did you?
At this point I should probably say this story is satire. Allegedly. OK, back to our story.
Winston called out to Amanda to bring him an ashtray. She sheepishly replied that it was a non smoking house. So he said, “all right then, pot plant it is. I mean for an ashtray, not Jones’ potty bloody puha.”
He stubbed out his large cigar on the bonsai tree sitting on the coffee table and lit a cigarette.
Across the room Brooke shrieked “Stop! Don’t do that to the poor tree. I can hear it screaming. I used to be a Green you know, and I’m a vegan.”
Winston laughed, and then looked very serious. “Right all the men into the dining room”, he said. “Hang on a minute”, said Christopher, “I’m in charge here, I’ll be setting the agenda, won’t I Nikki?”
“Whose gender?” said Nicola, suddenly realising they were talking to her. God, Winston wasn’t actually serious about all that gender bullshit before the election, was he?
Winston stood up and walked in the direction of the dining room, “c’mon all the men, I’m not negotiating with any women after last time. Shake it up.”
The men followed Winston and Brooke sat down where Shane’s foot had been, next to Nicola. She purred at her “aren’t we fabulous?” and looked Nicola in the eye. “Can I tell you something?” Nicola nodded. “You look like you’re wasted. Are you?”
Nicola thought about it for a moment, she thought Brooke must have meant she was wasted in here while those idiots smoked their cigars and drank their whisky next door deciding the fate of the nation. “Yes, I am, that’s very perceptive, how did you know?”
“Are you kidding? Your eyes are so red you look like one of those photos from the 1980s old people have. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t care. I had a little something too.” She pulled her hand out of her pocket and opened it, revealing a bright assortment of tablets.
“What are they?”