“Are you up for another challenge?” Frances asked.
Lizzie’s magnificent eyebrows practically hit her hairline. “Oh yes, darling...anything.”
Frances stood and wandered to the doorway checking no one was outside listening. “I think we need to see if we can drive a wedge between Brian and some of the lambs.” Frances held up her hand to silence her mother as Lizzie opened her mouth, her expression rapturous. “We need to be subtle mother, pick out targets. Sew quiet seeds of discontent. Get them to switch alliances. With everyone permanently baked, it shouldn’t be that difficult. What do you think?”
Lizzie beamed and said, “It’s like The Secret Army” and then in a loud stage whisper, “Viva la revolution.”
Frances rolled her eyes. They were hardly trying to smuggle British airmen out of Nazi-occupied France. “I’ve been working on Orion and Jenny, and Ken’s already a fan but I reckon we could get Sonny on our side, what do you think?”
“Oh yes,” Lizzie agreed readily. “He’s the most amiable man I’ve ever met.”
“Good,” Frances murmured. “You two seem to have developed a bit of rapport so do you want to have a crack at him?”
Lizzie’s smile dried up. Des even raised his head as the petting was abruptly cut off. “Frances Sutcliffe are you suggesting what I think you’re suggesting?”
Frances blinked at the shrillness of her mother’s tone. Again with the melodrama. “Relax, Mother, I’m not asking you to sleep with him.”
“I should hope not, young lady. Subjugating myself to a patriarchal oppressor - ”
Frances’s splutter interrupted Lizzie mid flow. “You just said he was amiable.”
“Goes against all my feminist principles,” Lizzie continued undeterred. “Did Emmeline Pankhurst do time in prison so I would have to prostitute myself for my freedom?”
“No,” Frances said belatedly when she realised the question had not been rhetorical.
“No she did not,” Lizzie agreed. “I refuse to use my body to bedazzle a man. I will not use my sexuality as a weapon even though my libido has been awakened with the roar of a thousand lions.”
Frances screwed up her face. “Oh, eww, mother, too much information.”
Lizzie gave her daughter a patient smile. “You young people think that everything shrivels and dies as you get on in years. Oh Frances,” she smiled dreamily, “It gets better.”
She sighed and took up stroking Des again who looked a lot happier than Frances to hear about Lizzie’s awakened sexuality.
“It’s like the power of the great earth mother pulses inside you and you become this insatiable, flowering, ripe,” she petted Des long furry belly more quickly with each adjective, “deliciously juicy vessel with this voracious craving for gratification.”
Frances gaped at her mother and for the first time in her life wished she’d been born deaf. And the way Lizzie was rubbing Des, blind may also have been advantageous.
“I just meant be nice to him,” she said lamely. “Not,” Frances said quickly as her mother opened her mouth again, “Like that. Just you know...interact like a human being with him, laugh with him, talk about his interests, what he did before becoming a lamb. You know...normal stuff.”
Not warped Wicca, Earth Mother, juicy vessel mumbo jumbo.
“Oh...of course,” Lizzie agreed. “Leave it to me.”
Frances nodded and smiled ignoring the ominous Jaws music playing in her head.