Emory stands in a clearing surrounded by an ominous opaque white cloud. There is nothing to see between him and it. He looks behind him and it’s an identical view. He stands very still, frightened to move. Looking down he’s standing on the cloud. He stamps his foot; it’s solid. Looking left and right he finds it impossible to tell distance. He shivers in the oppressive, endless whiteness.
Concentrating hard, Emory stares at the dense white cloud. It bursts apart and a small plump blonde puppy runs towards him and jumps into his open arms. The dog licks Emory’s face, as Emory tries to evade the dog’s huge rough pink tongue.
Within moments the puppy is full-grown and the size of a pony. Emory struggles to hold such an enormous creature in his arms but somehow manages to set it down. Seeing its disorderly blonde furry head he says, I seem to know you.
You should, you’re my cabinet secretary.
Why are you a dog?
I can be anything I like. Shall we find pastures new, green hills, pretty gals, foaming pints, and all that? No need to be afraid. I’m loveable and mischievous so hold on tight. Hop up. Emory climbs onto the dog’s back. Teneat aures meas, the dog barks.
The cloud parts and they enter a broad-leaf wood where sunlight flickers through the canopy, warming the path on which they walk. This better? the dog barks.
Yes, Emory, replies. Can I get down?
No, I’m taking you for a ride.
I want to get off.
Not yet, old son.
They canter into a sunlit clearing strewn with dead bodies.
What’s this you’ve brought me to? Emory asks. It’s horrific.
It’s unfortunate, I agree. It could have been worse though; these are mostly old folks and already past it. Bad advice.
Whose bad advice?
The dog leaps forward, its huge paws trampling and scattering the bodies as it gallops out of the clearing.
Stop! Emory shouts. I want to step down. Now!
The dog disappears.
Emory is back inside the dense white cloud. It’s hard to breathe. Men and women push ventilators. Hancock polishes an enormous NHS badge. Hundreds carry coffins. I’m sorry, Emory shouts. Children silently weep carrying begging bowls. Williamson wanders past whispering to a tarantula. Emory shouts, I’m not to blame. Shapps shouts, Toot toot. Suddenly a choir sings, All things bright and beautiful. Jenrick scatters fifty-pound notes. Sirens scream. Gove sits on a toadstool stroking a self-portrait endlessly crooning, my Precious. A chant goes up – Black Lives Matter. Cops watch white thugs hurl rocks at peaceful protestors. Another chant starts, Grenfell! Grenfell! Stop it! Stop it! Emory shouts. Patel screams incomprehensible abuse at a woman carrying a Remember Windrush placard. Cummings, laughing, intones, Out of chaos comes a new disorder. Emory shouts, I want to step down.
Emory awakens as a hand shakes his shoulder and a kindly voice says, You were shouting in your sleep, Sir Emory. The PM and cabinet are waiting.
I hope you enjoyed this story. Remember, I publish a new story every Sunday.
Please feel free to pass them on to others you know who may be interested.
To do this you can either:
- Use the SHARE THIS buttons below or;
- Cut and past the following link into an e-mail…
And remember, you can read previous stories from “Behind the Plague Door”