A DINNER PARTY FOR MRS ICHIBO
OR SEBASTIANS TAKE ON A DAHL THEME
“I often find people like yourself so……hmmm….what is the word? Odious. I often find people like you Mrs. Matilda Ichibo of insert address here odious.” My son’s voice scoffs at me. This is not my son though. The room is swirling with scents; having been raised proper and with certain advantages you learn to focus little qualities of yourself. To make yourself invaluable to another; upper society in many ways is a never ending bartering system of both ancient monies, ideas and genes. Everyone whom is participating is mixing and matching trading off to fetch the most resilient lineage. I myself while from an already well to do family was of course expected to find my betrothed on the dance floor of any one of a number of charity banquets all our respective patriarchs had thrown. Old money, old ideas, the boys were already there and, for their part that was expected to be good enough. Never mind if they were pleasant, or funny or could carry a conversation beyond the topic of themselves. No, they simply existed; statuesque and prim and perfect. Each and every one ready to drop their own name not two breaths into their introduction as if that was a majick spell that could render us fair damsels weak kneed and awash like someone left the faucet on in our panties. Deplorable.
My particular idiosyncrasy in this life is a finely developed sense of smell. Boorish acquaintances would laugh and make Lector jokes. I cast them aside, humorous or not but I could for certain and with frightening clarity sniff out anything. My husband and I met at a European Cancer Research Center’s charity gala dinner and fashion show in 1996. The princess was there at the time; you know the one no one talks about anymore because they very quietly killed her but you know who I mean. She was there and, of course she was wearing a pink off the shoulder number by Zandra Rhodes and, of course she was breathtaking. They had to kill her didn’t they? Never the less, I was wearing a piece by Arnold Scaasi looking every bit predatory. These routine events had become droll and time consuming but he stood out from everyone else almost right away. Each introduction and each handshake the same several seconds of unimpressive titles and second hand accomplishments mounting a surname and on to the next splashed with Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio and entitlement. Lexington though approached unassumingly, the heir to the Ichibo Holding, major cigarette makers, death dealers every one of them. Couldn’t be helped I suppose it runs in the family, tonight’s events not withstanding seem to further the point. When Lexington took my hand though it was a sort of fire usually one reserves for their loins only it was all consuming. He carried on him a dusty mixture of fine tobacco and whiskey accented with what most certainly was cocaine. Undercut hair like a marine but skin that shined like it had never seen a day’s labor with eyes that smoldered like cigarettes. We inevitably talked the night away and once I had convinced him I could sniff out any truth by finding the bullet dispenser in his inner coat pocket we talked hours longer.
Lunch dates would lead to dinner dates which would lead to wild all nighters. We had found each other and we had arrived and everything was the better for it. We would fulfill our roles and marry to continue the never ending baton passing of finances our forbearers had started. Trouble started though for a very brief time when we could not find ourselves with children. Lexington was never cruel or judgmental of me, though it would later be discovered it was his cocaine abuse that had almost diminished his sperm count. Summers to winters and enough fertility doctors to make a stable we eventually found ourselves finally bearing the ever desired fruit of our loins. A precious shining little thing we would name Sebastian. Raising that child tore the very light from my eyes, but I would do it again. He always a rather fair child with light hair, his eyes a radiant green that echoed your own when you looked at them. A more beautiful child you will never have seen. As he grew his proclivity to men and finer things could barely be hidden. Still he was a radiant being; this person who is my son here and now before me is most certainly not my son. Of this I am very sure. A mother should know.
His mannerisms are all wrong. When he speaks to me it’s the inflection in each word that gives him away. Though he stands there every bit the beautiful child I raised on the outside; on the inside he is something else. Every word that comes out sounds older than myself three times over. One does not just acquire verbiage of that nature, it is fashioned. Worked at and studied for entire lifetimes to sound overly important. He says he is Sebastian but I know better and it makes whatever this is all the more easier knowing he is not him.
“Oh mother, what have we become?” he snarls. He is dancing now in between steps. The other guests will soon notice I am not present and they will look for me. “I wouldn’t count on it on mother. Someone might have tipped security to allow us some alone time. Whoever did that should be thanked. Time together is important you know, lest we forget each other and then who knows what might happen!” a silence stretches across the room. “You are not my son, whatever suit you wear you are not him!” she screams.
He pauses momentarily and adjust his suit cuffs. He releases a brief laugh and then a sigh. His eyes shimmering jade feathers light the room as he lifts his head and smiles. “Oh dear poor tired old Tilly. You see right through me don’t you? You see past the face and into the man don’t you? Tell me Tilly when you look into your sons eyes what do you see in me?” She stares into his eyes long enough to understand. She sees something in his eyes that no mother should ever see in her sons eyes. It is entirely terrifying and devoid of sense but it is not her son. For this she is thankful. “You’re not him you pathetic thing. You are empty inside and angry for sure but you are not my Sebastian. I pity you as much as to look at you when this is over. Fuck all if I’m dead but they’ll find you. They will fucking find you and you will beg for them to fucking end you. You will rue the moment you trespassed here. So fuck what I see in you and fuck this entire vulgar display. If you had any balls of your own you would be done with it like a man and gone.” He pulls back as if offended by her words. Struggling to situate himself an uneasiness washes across his face.
“Look at you! Like a boy all dressed up with no idea what to do with his things. You really are fucked aren’t you? Can’t decide whether to rape me or kill me first can you? You sanctimonious sack of shit. You’ve done screwed the whole thing up and you can’t even finish it can you?! CAN YOU!?” the air in the room smells of fear and uncertainty. The room begins to fill with the sort of malice reserved for higher end psychopaths. The look of fear and nervousness across Sebastian’s face that was ever present mere moments ago is now twisted into an almost gallows smile his right hand cradling his face like it were a spider. He stares piercingly through her for what seems like hours than to the left and then to the right. The only sound now in the room is a low chuckle.
“Ohhhhhh Tilly. I am certainly glad you got that out of your system. Repressed rage is such a nasty thing it can destroy your body. Trust me I should know, ha, I digress though. To be honest the reason I originally chose this body was merely an aesthetic option. Fancy that; I picked a fancy suit. Hahahahaha.” His laughter drips down the walls. “It was when I got in though and saw what poor old Sebastian had seen, what dear old Lexington had been up to that made this all the more rewarding for me really.”
“What…what are you talking about? When did you meet Sebastian? What did Lexington do?
“Oh you were there when Sebastian and I met that weekend in Guam near a flower peddler’s stand. I wore darker hair and tanner skin than, not one of my favorite suits but it was acquired in a rush and it made do. Sebastian liked it though. He liked it so much that I gave him this idea that he could live forever in it. Admittedly he was confused but I would explain how growing up native to those beautiful islands brought with it a certain knowledge of witchcraft. We could switch bodies I told him, honestly it wasn’t a very clever lie. I am a little ashamed of it.” Tillie’s face becomes flush with terror and confusion. “Don’t let me lose you yet mom this is far from over.” He slaps her across the cheek bringing her back to attention. Back to this macabre show.
“I……I don’t understand, why are you doing this? What are you even doing?” she squeals with contentious catechism.
“You see Tilly much like yourself I come from something old. Though where you come from old money, I come from old ideas. Any idea can spread, their communicable of course. You get enough ideas in enough men’s heads and that idea becomes a thing, well when that idea becomes a thing it in so many ways became well….me.”
“You’re absolutely bat shit crazy. That’s what this is, I’m going to be killed by a crazy person who looks like my son. I would have done more cocaine had I known this is where my night was headed.”
“Oh! Where are my manners?” he splashes several small hills of cocaine along his thumb and brings it to Tilly. “Don’t be shy now.” She inhales every speck while trying to bite a finger anything, something to draw blood.
“Well that was rude Tilly. I let you have first ad you try to bite me?” he says in a most wounded way.
“I had to try. Can’t let you leave unscarred can I? Did I ruin your suit?” she mocks
“Not particularly no you did not though it very much still is Sebastian as I have no intention of staying here once the authorities arrive. No I already gave some other beautiful idiot the idea of a peacock in a person suit so once I am done you can have your baby back. I am saddened it had to be this way but in the end we are creatures of habit and what must be done must be done am I right? So as I was saying before I had given Sebastian this idea about switching bodies. I told him some old Scandinavian tale of a peacock in a person suit and how we could make it real and he just jumped on it. No sooner after we had been all carnal had I flown in and laid a clutch inside his thoughts. I always try to cohabitate but everyone usually gets rather aggressive and in their hurry to get me out kills themselves. Leaving me alone and in control; but not Sebastian he was scared of me so he tried to hide and, when he hid it would make his own memories spike up like little bottle rockets to catch my attention. Its how I found out about Lexington’s child prostitutes, how I learned how Sebastian had learned when Lexington had molested him. Terrible business, just awful. That would have been enough to instigate what I was already planning to do but then while he ran and he hid he shot more and more little rockets of knowledge my direction. Poor boy could never have known he was doing it but none of that matters. You see I had felt bad for poor Sebastian, growing up so confused and isolated by his dope addict mother and her pedophile husband how could I not? Well one of those little rockets showed me how Sebastian spends his time before I had met him and frankly he would make dear old mom and dad proud I think.”
It is now that I recognize the scents that have been spinning around in the room. Had he been spinning them the entire time keeping me from noticing? He finally turns my seat around and pushes me into the table. It is set for a dinner. I am its only guest but I won’t be its only victim; I can smell the equal parts bleach and ammonia now thick in the air. The mixture is lethal and will melt the lungs of those it comes in contact with. There are strings on the doors that lead to makeshift duct system running round the room’s entirety. They hold what separates the chemicals. There are over a hundred guest in our house if he mixes those chemicals there will be over a hundred corpses in their places. I still smell cigarettes and whiskey and hope that somehow Lexington can stop this madness.
“So here we are…..mom. In our final glorious moments together. Is there anything you would like to say before the final curtain?”
“You’re dead too so fuck you and fuck all those nobodies out there none of them matter! They are all far too busy tripping over each other to see who can suck the most dick at these stupid events to even notice they’re dying do fuck it. Do it.”
“That’s the spirit Tilly. Ok well than I need to be other places so let’s finish this up.” He pulls out a 9mm pistol and plants one hard into his left kidney. This madness knows no end. He smiles and dials the police and tells them everything. Than he looks at me and says.
“Ok Tilly I must leave, you can have Sebastian back now for the next few minutes. Make your peace and all that good shit. This whole thing you had going here though let me tell you was a real bad fucking idea. If you ever get the chance to do it again.” He pauses there and it hangs for an eternity. I stare into his eyes like before I see the Jade bird and he finishes. “Don’t.” It is than that his eyes like whirlpools dilate as if they were flushing something out of themselves. I look again and I no longer see any jade bird no anger all I see is fear. I see Sebastian again for what is certainly the last time. I hear him call me mother in a way that a mother knows her son would call to her.
It is at that moment the doors fly open the police arrive the strings break and the chemicals mix the ducts kick on ventilating so much mustard gas throughout our once stately home. I am fairly sure I can hear screaming and coughing. In the ensuing chaos that is my release, my execution and my last caress I notice the covers have been removed from the dinner courses. There you are Lexington gutted and stuffed the words “DAHL WAS RIGHT ABOUT YOU!” carved into your ass. Fitted as pigs we were. What do you think he thought of that? Was it all his idea? The last thing I feel is my lungs tearing inside me as my knees surrender. Our entire family ended here. Old money, old names, old ideas.