A Gothic Horror Election Total Pisstake
From dawn onwards, huge swirling leaden hued clouds hung suspended over the topmost towers of Larkhall, trapping one and all into a humid claustrophobic atmosphere. It seemed as if the armies of nature were slowly gathering their forces before the onslaught as sweat dripped from the brows of one and all.
"It ain't half hot, mate." Julie Saunders stated the obvious, echoing the title of a long gone sitcom of the seventies.
"You're telling me, Ju."
"Just once in my life, I really don't fancy stretching my legs for association. If it started pissing down with rain, bet you anything Bodybag wouldn't open the bleeding doors and let us back in."
"Too busy sitting on her arse and scoffing cakes. Bitch." Denny gloomily agreed.
At three in the afternoon, a fierce hot blast of wind smote the castle like walls of G Wing and then the heavens suddenly opened. The sound of the blast of wind could be heard from outside. Rivulets of water streamed down the jailhouse walls accompanied by a concentrated blast of sound as the furies raged outside.
"Hey, what about our bleeding cells? Everything in it will be drowned." Yvonne's stentorian voice echoed across the wing.
Karen Betts, the wing governor, stubbed out her cigarette as the very same thought crossed her mind. This was no ordinary storm. Suddenly the wind stopped dead as if a candle was blown out and the rain suddenly sheeted down vertically. She gloomily asked herself if her soft-top MG Sports car was particularly rainproof. Sighing in exasperation, she called in all the prison officers to keep their eyes open for any flooding. She was told that there was flooding in the segregation cell about one foot deep and gradually rising. Ken had reported that it was so far so good from his lodge gate though the yard was starting to collect water. She got onto the contactor straight away.
All of a sudden as darkness set in, a jagged lighting bolt cast its blinding light in a split second on all around as it zig zagged its way down to earth and at the same second, came an enormous clap of thunder more like an explosion than anything else.
"Bloody hell." The Julies said in shocked unison for once in time and they grabbed each other in shock.
This set off was the first of the most apocalyptic fusillade of thunder and lightning that caused anxious looks and Karen started to worry that the lightning conductor was in place and working order.
On the stroke of eight, there was a sudden hush and Ken heard a rap on the door.
"What pillock would be out on a night like this?" Ken cursed under his breath. He was going to get his feet wet.
As he swung open the door while ran stung his face, he saw a man of curious appearance. He was of medium height and wore a long calf length overcloak of a distinctly old fashioned cut but, despite the rain, his clothes were dry. His face was of an unnatural pallor and his smile was curiously tight and his lips immobile. His eyes swiveled in different directions from underneath his gold-rimmed spectacle and his head was balding but every hair was in place. More curious still was the large agricultural implement, which he had seen in a children's book years ago as a way of cutting grass in the old days.
"Might I come in? I was due here on a government inspection as Home Office Minister but I fear I have mislaid my appointment book. I have made every effort to attend and I have this letter of confirmation."
"You can come in out of the rain but I must ask you to surrender what looks to me like an offensive weapon." Ken pronounced, looking at the sharpness of the long, wide blade. That could take my head off if my back were turned.
In the dim light, he could see the last words of the crumpled up yellowing letter in smudged print "Yours sincerely, Mr M Howa ., Home Secretary dated June 4th 1991."
"Ere, you're the man that stuck my poll tax up, I was dead happy paying my rates. You cost me a fortune, you did."
"Ah, but you are talking of my past incarnation which walked the earth. I died fourteen years ago unknown to the press and I am now known as the Grim Reaper."
The second the grim sepulchral tones faded in the air, a crack of thunder and a bolt of lightning split the air and Ken was horror struck to see something inhuman, inanimate in the expression of whom he took to be a man as an evil smile split his face. Only a few seconds later, came the whinnying sound of a large horse as it pushed aside the open door. It reared up in the air, his front legs resplendent, silhouetted by a second blast from the heavens which made the ground shake.
"Blimey, the governor will have my guts for garters. Bang goes my pension." Ken gulped in horror. He really ought to be more careful in opening the door. He thought about grabbing for the phone but he was nervous about what these visitors from the Other Side might do. He'd seen all these Hammer Horror films when he was a kid and somehow, it seemed different in the tenth row of the local Odeon, sucking on his orange squash.
His next move was to work out what this other creature was up to.
To his surprise, a tall man dressed in an immaculate smart suit and with unexpectedly boyish features came into view. His hair was medium length and brushed upwards and his features split into a wide smile with gleaming white teeth. The only discordant note struck was his greedy, restless blue eyes, which flitted everywhere.
"Hi there, I'm Tony as I'm sure you know." His public school voice simultaneously offered familiarity and oozing insincerity. His handshake was limp, unconvincing.
"The Prime Minister, of course, the man from whom all power and authority flows, if you want to get on and know what's good for you."
Ken was suddenly struck much more by an aura of evil from the fresh-faced features of this man than his obviously undead accomplice. They made a scary double act.
"Oh well, if you sign the visitor's book and I'll overlook your scythe this one time." Ken muttered as he took refuge in rules and regulations, well sort of.
As they splashed over to the entrance and Ken asked the Grim Reaper while the other man was busy tying up his horse to the railings, "So he's alive and you're dead?"
A faint cynical smile twisted the other man's lips as he replied.
"He only thinks he is. Looks are deceptive, as you know. He's one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse."
"The other three got lost. Didn't send the road maps out on time." He said with an evil leer of contempt.
It was getting late on the wing and ready for lock up when the squelching sounds from Ken heralded another call on her attention.
"Beg your pardon, ma'am but I have two visitors for you."
As the letter was thrust into Karen's hands, she overlooked the date and took in the magic words 'Home Secretary' and an impulse in Karen broke surface to enlighten the man as to the shocking state of one of Her Majesty's Prisons.
"I'm glad you came here, Mr whoever you are. The state of this place has to be believed. It's just bucketing down with rain and I'm really worried that the place will flood out. I've tried to get onto the contractor and all I got was their sodding answerphone for ages. When I did get through, I found them to be the most useless outfit I've ever come across in my life. When I catch up with them I'll give them a piece of my mind "
"And my wardrobe is getting soaked by the rain coming through the poxy open windows that don't shut properly." yelled out Yvonne.
"It's a disgrace the state of this dump. It needs knocking down and rebuilding from scratch."
The other man posed as if he were a particularly limp version of Superman coming to save the day and he switched on his brilliant smile, correct to autocue.
"Of course, my right honourable friend .."
"Right honourable friend, my arse." Chimed in Nikki as she lounged contemptuously against the wall.
" .is a thing of the past. You may not have noticed but under New Labour, there is a new minister in power "
"Once you've seen one politician, you've seen 'em all." Muttered Karen not too much under her breath.
The fixed china cat smile assumed a manic, evil sinister manner until he assumed speechmaking mode and carried on, prattling on about the radical modernization, rationalization, and harmonization plan, the most ambitious programme under which more money had been put in than ever before and that all prisons had exceeded their targets for which he felt justly proud .
"I tell you, he could have sent my Rhiannon off to sleep dead easy." Whispered Julie Johnson as her boredom climbed to the pinnacle heights of terminal crushing mental agony.
Just then, the main light on the wing flickered and died. Only a couple of lights in the entrance cast a dim glow on the crowd.
"Shit." Exclaimed Karen.
"We have something of an emergency." The Grim Reaper said quite unnecessarily.
"Of course, seventeen previous years of Tory neglect." The Horseman flared in irritation.
A petty squabble broke out until Nikki's bored exasperated voice squeezed its way through the hubbub.
"Isn't there a spare bulb in this dump?"
"You look after everyone, Colin." Karen snapped. If you want anything doing, you might as well do it yourself, her thoughts blazed. "I'll fetch it."
In a fury, she stomped over to the locker room and was delighted to see that the contractor had left a screwdriver lying about. Normally, she would have cursed the idle git in leaving a dangerous tool out but this time, she expertly levered the latch apart, using the screwdriver as the basic burglar's jemmy. With a smile of satisfaction, she laid her hands on the bulb, heaved a set of stepladders onto her shoulder and arrived back on the wing.
"If you please, I must insist on proving my usefulness." Grim Reaper insisted.
Karen sighed. A would be Sir Galahad was the last thing she wanted but she did not feel confident to tell the half witted creature to sod off. She could have fixed this in seconds but she watched helplessly as the idiot fumbled around with the light bulb.
"You should be turning the bulb to the left and then give it a darn good push."
"And break the bloody bulb. What do you bet that this is the only bulb on the wing?" Nikki sighed.
"Next week's spends?"
"You're on." The sporting flutter in Yvonne was instantly aroused.
"It's my turn." Came the childish remark from the Horseman, smiling fatuously.
The equally incompetent Horseman tried next, fiddling the bulb from the opposite direction and a feeling of irritation could be felt in waves coming off everyone except Tweedledum and Tweedledee whose battles with each other were becoming futile, tedious, time wasting and benefiting noone.
"I vote," exclaimed Nikki "that Karen changes the lightbulb. All those in favour raise your hands."
A forest of hands shot up and the Horseman wobbled on the stepladders and the bulb shot out of his hands. With a sideways leap, Karen reached out and clasped the bulb safe in her hand.
"That's not fair," burst out Horseman and Grim Reaper in tones of spoilt childishness.
"That's democracy for you. Sometimes you both lose." retorted Nikki at her most cutting and contemptuous.
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