Thought I’d present a weekly story feature, for Sunday entertainment during lockdown…. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, business, events and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Chapter One; in which we meet our intrepid hero and his trusty sidekick Briggs in the enlisted men’s quarters at Miltshire County Hall.
The wooden door splintered off its hinges and the clammer reverberated through the galleries of County Hall on Bythesea Road. Which, incidentally isn’t actually by the sea at all, given Miltshire is landlocked.
It was however, of slight relevance to this tale, that during the week-long monsoon season Englishmen refer to as “spring,” the county’s low marshland looked akin to a coastal resort at high tide. It is also of average importance to note, the setting for this story begins at the headquarters of a county council duly responsible for over-filling the obligation to build umpteen affordable housing estates, but tends to build them on said floodplains. Why is only a matter for their attention, and to fathom reason, is merely speculation, but the general ethos portrayed in this wholly fictional fable by aforementioned councillors might provide a clue…. I said might.
“Stand by your beds, you yellow-bellied imbeciles!” roared the broad-breasted fellow, the volume of which twitching his full moustache. He paraded the surprised junior councillors as they hurried to attention, each at the foot of their cots, and he allowed what remained of the door to collapse onto the deck.
With sharp efficiency he snapped his pace stick under his left arm, flush with the limb, and paced ardently through the aisle. He abruptly extended it to prod the nearest enlisted man to him, in the belly. It wobbled, but only slightly.
“And, why is your vest not tucked into your briefs, you scruffy oaf?!”
“Sorry, sir,” the youngster stumbled on his words, at least he was young compared to Yellowhead, at about forty-three.
“Do I have a name, cadet?” Yellowhead bellowed.
“Would you care to address me with it, or do I have to insert this brass baton into the anal region of your brain? It’s not a task I take lightly, but feel it’s critical to add to this week’s agenda.”
“No, thank you, Councillor Yellowbeard, sir!”
Chief Councillor Yellowhead projected his face so close to the enlisted man’s, he could feel the whiskers of his moustache niggling his cheek. Yellowhead snarled at the boy. “Then, pray tell me,” he whispered, “why is your vest not tucked into your briefs, as is the compulsory unform requirement for all junior councillors?”
“I, erm, just woke, sir…” he fumbled the words.
“Woke? Woke, young man?” Yellowhead questioned, “are you woke, cadet?”
“Am I, sorry, what?” the cadet muttered in confusion.
“Woke,” Yellowhead repeated, “I know you know I know what it means in your youthful street slang, cadet, do not play the innocent with me! You mean to suggest you’re a leftie extremist, Corbyn’s vest-licking snowflake dissent and unpatriotic partisan, don’t you?!”
“Oh, right; no sir, just that I literally just woke up.”
Yellowhead scanned his expression with his beady eyes, in an attempt to detect any signals of traitorship. But all he perceived was an indoctrinated devotion to the cause, equal to those icons he admired the most, Churchill, Thatcher and the contemporary Boris Johnson. Aching to note a sign of reformist tenet, so he could take his stress out on the individual, he sighed, and turned on his foot. “Good, cadet; you know the penalty for treason.” Unsaid, the punishment was suspected by the enlisted men to be to kiss the aging backside of Theresa May, right in the crack. The cadet shuddered at the thought, a true test to his dedication, should it not prove to be hearsay.
Meanwhile Councillor Yellowhead marched on down the aisle, scorning each man standing to attention by their cots. His Nokia 3310 rang and the councillor fumbled his pocket to locate it. He frowned and answered, “Yes, what now, MacFurryson, I’m really rather busy?!”
Some inaudible but apparently irate chatter flowed out of the phone’s speaker; Yellowhead listened and responded, “….and what, you want another medal, police crime commissioner? May I just enquire what your men were doing at Swan Meadow in order to cap……”
Yellowhead hesitated, and huffed his anger. Steam from his ears reduced the redness surrounding his pus-face. “Look, Fungus, or whatever your name is, I expressly told you to order your men to guard the King Alfred statue in Poosea, and now you tell me they’re gallivanting the council estates, arresting a known rapist? What if Black, or even Nordic Lives Matter scum try to tear the statue down? Is the 878AD Battle of Edlington, and Alfred the Great’s honour sacred no more; would you not care one iota if EU militia invaded, bringing their croissants, French onion soup and filth like that? Fungus? Huh?”
The line fell silent.
“Yes,” Yellowhead huffed, “I thought as much. Now, quit conforming to woke-obsessed leftie philanthropists; historically sexual attacks have always occurred, yes, they’re sad, but unfortunately the problem will never go away, whereas if we lose the statues our pride in England is lost, FOREVER!” The chief councillor let out a heavy sigh and addressed his phone once again, “we’ve had several meetings about this, MacFurryson, where you confirmed your allegiance to conservatism, now let’s hear some it coming through, okay?!”
Whimpering could be heard from the phone’s speaker.
Out of character, Yellowhead was sympathetic. “I’m on your side,” he snivelled, “honestly, Fungas, except when you allowed silliness, like adding rainbow colours to the Miltshire police Facebook page logo. Look, you’ve only got till May and you can retire; remember the condo we promised, eh, remember the conservatory, the chocolate-box cottage? Well, then, listen, there, there; I’ve got to dash old friend, talk soon.” With that the chief councillor threw the phone into his pocket.
“I need someone I can trust,” he asserted his dominance over the enlisted men, “for an imperative mission behind enemy lines.”
The men gasped in horror. “You mean,” one dared to utter, “outside? Out there?”
“Yes, cadet!” the chief councillor snarled, snapping his head around to see who muttered. His head was, as his name suggested, one giant, pus-filled zit, ready to detonate if just one of these imbecilic straight-out-of college plebes squeezed his patience too far. “I’m fully aware due to the pandemic you have not been allowed out since last year, but I’m old enough to have been vaccinated, twice, so it matters not that you will accompany me on this mission, you have to come to terms with your expendability. Outside contractors are clenching the budget, and complaints have been raised by,” Yellowhead shuddered with mere mention of them, “by, by the general public.”
He turned to face a randomly selected skinny fellow and launched his baton outwards towards him, “You!”
“Yes, you boy! State your name and rank!”
“Briggs, sir, Grant; trainee liaison officer!”
“Liaison eh? Perfect, you will be adequate. Report to supplies immediately, request some traffic cones and yellow spray paint,” Yellowhead announced, “and call your wife, tell her you may not be home until after teatime, if at all!” He then turned and pouted at an imaginary camera, “there’s a savage world out there, wrought with danger and perilous unknown, erm, things, and we have to face it with a sense of hope once more……”
“Really?” mumbled Briggs in jest.
“…. Think Calne,” Yellowhead acutely juddered, “but worse….”
For the first time, mild-mannered Briggs was afraid.
“You should be grateful, Briggs, you’ve been selected to brave the fresh Miltshire air, if this bunker had windows, you’d note it is spring. But you should also note, it will test every section of your training here at Bythesea Road.”
“One question, sir,” Briggs inquired, “if I may?”
“If you must, cadet,” annoying muttered Yellowhead.
“Why do they call it Bythesea Road, then, sir, when, you know….?”
“Did training meetings not cover this?” Yellowhead tousled, “perhaps it’s top secret, but seeing as you’re coming on this mission, there’s some details you need to know…” He leaned in close to Briggs, his foul breath whisked up Brigg’s nostrils, and Briggs winced. Ensuring no other enlisted man could hear, Yellowhead whispered, “all part of an experiment, to see if the, the damn public of Miltshire are intelligent enough to detect our lies. Create a bleeding obvious one, see if they notice Trow Vegas is landlocked and the road cannot possibly be by the sea at all, and if not, which I’m pleased to inform you was hugely efficacious, it gives us license to propagate and spread as much bullshit and fabrications as we see fit; we can fib till our hearts content, they buy it every time.”
“Genius!” Briggs sparked.
“Precisely,” Yellowhead grimaced for the first time, the closest he came to smiling. “This is why we flush out any leftie terrorists infiltrating our council, their schmaltz compassion and nauseating morality is treacherous, they’ll whine-hole health and safety regulations like biblical passages. Be warned, Briggs, insiders lurk in these corridors, tell no one of your mission, fetch the cones and spray paint, take out anyone who might be wearing a charity shop brown suit, and return with your life; clear?”
“Crystal, Sir!” replied Briggs, but as he started on his journey, the sound of machine-gun fire reverberated around the quarters. In a murky haze few of the enlisted men noted the scant figure standing heroically in the doorway, clasping a smoking machine gun, dropping a cigar end to the floor, and extinguishing it with a hefty boot. Most of the men hit the deck, else cowered behind their cots, but all of them quivered in fear, as Councillor Yellowhead turned to face the mysterious intruder.
Who is the mysterious gunman? Will Yellowhead and Briggs escape with their lives, if not for the reason stated, why the hell is it really called Bythesea Road, when it’s about as far away from the sea as possible? All might yet be revealed next week, in The Adventures of Councillor Yellowhead……