Claire stared at the golden lumps.
Japanese mackerel. I mean, it’s gonna be smelly. With the hot oil. But the way her friends had grimaced when they arrived. Claire apologised that the food she was cooking smelled of cooking food.
It was Bob, the paralysed-from-the-waist-down comedian who had actually first refused to eat it. “Bit fishy,” he’d said. Claire had tried to explain that it didn’t actually taste that fishy. I mean, it was a fish but…
He wouldn’t even try it. Why have a friendly Come Dine with Me competition if you’re not prepared to even taste it? The Netflix executive tried it. “It’s not actually that bad!” he’d said. As if that was a compliment. He’d only eaten one piece. He’d then left the middle of his steak.
None of them liked coconut so she hadn’t brought the desserts out of the fridge. Nobody noticed because her friends just liked to drink and tell people how great they were doing. If she weren’t sober she might not have noticed.
One would talk about what they were doing and the others would make sounds like they were listening but Claire realised they were just waiting for the opportunity to jump in and speak about what they were doing. Round and round it went.
Netflix was looking for Superhero properties which was interesting because Bob was writing a play about his motorway crash which was interesting because Craig could film it. If he could raise the finance which was a creative art in itself and then Netflix was talking about financing super hero properties.
Over the course of the meal Claire realised she really hated her friends. She hated London. She missed home.
Now they were gone — they’d given her an 8 for her hosting skills — she picked up the plate with the mackerel on it and faux-frisbeed it so the fish flew over her plants.
From down in the alleyway a cat called out.
“Smokey, do you see? It’s raining fish! Hallelujah!”
“Er… yeah, I can see it,” lied Smokey.