The People’s Corrector grunted as he swung the plump, squalling royal baby in his right hand before the assembled crowd of eager, enthusiastic Londoners. He was sweating under the leather hood with all the effort which he had to undertake, and he had to do things properly under the keen gaze of the Lord Protector.

So he took a firm grip on both ankles of the royal baby and swung it in a long arc, over his head backwards  and then violently downwards to strike its skull against the granite block which, before the Revolution, had been part of a celebratory monument of the Old Regime’s power to drive the people to their deaths, called the Cenotaph for some reason. The baby, however, was of aristocratic stock, and so its skull was extraordinary thick, so its head did not fly apart as the People’s Corrector had planned. For a moment he trembled, thinking that the Lord Protector might imagine him a secret regiphile.

The New Model Peacekeeper on the scaffold beside him saved the day by silently handing him the twenty-four-pound sledgehammer normally used for smashing the femurs of former journalists. The People’s Corrector laid the comatose royal baby on the block, took two steps back in military style, and swung the sledgehammer with all his force accurately down on the royal baby’s skull, which shattered like an exploding hand-grenade, spraying royal blood, royal brains and bits of royal bone in all directions so that some of the people in the front row, delighted as they were (or were expected to be, anyhow) had to wipe gory fragments or droplets off their overalls. (The NMPs would make sure that no fragments were retained as relics — or, to be precise, would ensure that those who retained fragments as relics all ended up, being themselves relics of the old regime, in the Correction Camps jointly run by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Provision.)

That was more or less the end of the show, since the royal baby’s mother had already had the head struck from her body (by special permission of the Lord Protector, in the interests of women’s rights, the usual execution protocols had been waived), and the day before the royal baby’s father had been hanged, let down, disembowelled while still alive, and then torn in four pieces using the immense steam-driven winches and cables which stood proudly at the foot of the scaffold. The fragments adorned the Revolutionary Remembrance Wall, although the head was on a stick before People’s Correctional Centre no. 79 (formerly the Tower of London). The leading lights of the Windsor family, of course, were the ones dangling in chains high above the scaffold, making themselves manifest only by the stench and the occasional careless maggot which dropped from their rotting frames.

To the well-orchestrated applause of the crowd, the Lord Protector, Tariq Galloway, stepped down from his dais towards the People’s Transport, a two-wheeler drawn by three beasts of burden named David Cameron, George Brown and Anthony Blair, all shivering in the loin-cloths which they were forced to wear so as to expose the chancres caused by the syphilis with which they had been infected. Cameron and Brown were especially inconvenienced because Blair had had his eyes burned out with a red-hot poker, so that he was constantly trying to run in the wrong direction. As the People’s Transport moved off, the driver (mindful of his duties as an official of the Ministry of Education) thrashed their bloody backs with a razor-wire cat-o’-nine-tails. “Holla, ye pampered jades of Bullingdon!” he jeered. “What, can ye draw but twenty klicks an hour?”

They were on their way to the People’s Assembly in the Westminster Facility — formerly Westminster Abbey before all religious institutions had been abolished, and the site of the People’s Assembly while all vestiges of royalty were removed from the old People’s Assembly Building (formerly the Houses of Parliament) with its National Digital Readout (formerly Big Ben). The Lord Protector, in his infinite wisdom, had brought religion under the Ministry of Education and insisted that the worship of imaginary deities was a purely personal affair which could not be undertaken collectively. (Numerous former bishops, as well as Muslim clerics, had objected; their heads adorned various People’s Centres throughout the city. Their bodies had mainly been ground up and used to bulk out the Peoples Provisions fed to inmates of Correction Camps by the Ministry of Provision, although the Islamists had been fed to pigs, by special dispensation of the Minister of Provision, as a gesture in support of organic nutrition.)

As they rolled past the areas where Correction Camp inmates, under the supervision of small teams of heavily-armed New Model Peacekeepers, were demolishing symbols of the old order such as fast-food outlets and fashion boutiques, the NMPs ensured that a cheer went up, although it was feeble. Many of the inmates had A, B or C tattooed in red on their foreheads, indicating that before the revolution they had been advertisers, bankers or consultants, and since they had thus not worked for a living they were not eligible for food supplements such as slices of bread or sugar in their acorn coffee. At least, however, they were not monarchists, who normally did not live long enough to make it into Correction Camps. (In fairness, the Minister of Provision, Arthur Skargleton, had allowed repentant monarchists and members of former political parties to seek gainful employment in the newly-opened coal mines — by bailing out the old coal mines with buckets and opening up seams using repossessed car jacks, so that relatively few of them had survived, but their sacrifices had been noted with approval by the People’s Assembly and the Lord Protector who appointed it.)

And now that there was no more aristocracy, and now that the last Archbishop had been suffocated in the tumbling guts of the last member of the Royal Family, a better life for all was virtually assured.



  1. Jack Claxton says:

    I intuit a lot of ressentiment, here.

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