That Deborah had a decidedly disreputable air no one would deny.
But bring the whole department down?
Few if any of her fellow colleagues would have foreseen such a fate for the team.
That was because they could not decipher the expert tactician within.
For beneath blue hair, layers of tie die and not often washed crushed velvet a genius military general’s mind lay.
She bided time, allowed everyone to think better of her, chide themselves, indeed, for having judged the music festival looks and hippie head shop trademark smell.
For having done her wrong.
In fact she was exactly what they had first suspected her to be.
Except sharper and with malicious purpose.
When the time came to make arrangements for a Christmas office party, lured into a false sense of security, they all acquiesced to Debbie’s ‘kind offer’ to sort out catering.
The mushroom vol au vents were more gritty than creamy, slightly bitter, in truth, they all agreed. But the pastry was light and had a nutty flavour that some vaguely recognised from ‘university’.
The sandwiches were fine, except eyebrows raised at chocolate hazelnut spread between electric white sliced bread by way of a desert.
A few people thought that maybe, amongst the thick savoury dips, the pates and soft cheeses a vegetable or two might have been nice. Or salad even?
The mince pies though were divine, so spicy, sickly sweet, yet peppery almost meaty even.
And the brownies?!? What a novelty. So ‘unctuous’. Is that the word?
Well ‘pleasing’, and so sooo-oooo moreish.
In fact after the first round of brownies all objections to the spread were dead and every offering seemed too-too appealing.
Perhaps it was the bourbon punch, an interesting but ‘fatal’ concoction, that a young man from engineering joked could probably strip rust from metal.
“Chill out!” the chief financial officer exclaimed, at which point you catch a sly smile creep cross Deborah’s face and are seized by dread.
Then Alan from management accounts starts neighing like a horse and trotting round the room at speed.
‘He’ll take the Kentucky Derby’ he squeals repeatedly until red in the face, providing his own a commentary to a one man race.
Miriam from sales is on the floor now searching for a coloured contact lens she is convinced has dropped out of Kevin from fulfilment’s eye. What other reason could there be for his irises being different colours, and come to think of it sizes?
John, reliable John from facilities, is asking Tina from payroll if he can ‘Squeeze her tities’, meanwhile she seems quite happy with the prospect of a little three way slap and tickle sat in the lap William from electricals.
Quiet Andrew from design is on an urgent mission. Dissecting crackers and extracting paper crowns he is adorning them with glitter and making ‘queens’ of all around.
Simon from legal, is beside himself.
They kiss. Then more.
An assistant CEO demands ‘Get a room’.
From somewhere ‘The Boss’ appears, a vision in Sylvia, his secretary. sorry, ‘Executive Assistant’s’ ballet class gear.
Not at the sight but a sudden memory.
“The Shareholders’ Visit”.
A door opens.
Five grey suited men appear.
A flash from Debbie’s camera.
Then she disappears.
Black Afgano by Nasomatto is an addictive, narcotic slice-of-the-low-life perfume.
A scent to make the seamy side seem irresistible, sexual, bordering on the sublime.
Hashish, best incense and honeyed oud attar hijack blue velvet pipe tobacco smoke and tie it with a deep green silk ribbon to a coffee tree.
This is a private joke of a fragrance.
A funny knowing face shared between two students with parents visiting their digs.
Druggy, decadent, and ever so delirious this will drag a polite party down in just the right kind of way.
Beware though, they will be consequences before Christmas.
Mind how you go, bro’
The Perfumed Dandy.