The Scion, the Wheat and the Cabinet – Chapter II

The times are still dire, so here is the second chapter of Malcolm B Duncan’s satire based on The Narnia Chronicles for your delectation.

(Image Credit: Inkcinct)

The Chronicles of Nadir
As told from the grave by Tom Lewis

Tale the First

The Scion, the Wheat and the Cabinet

Chapter II

The first rays of the dawning sun began to flood the eastern window of the upstairs bedroom at Kirribilli House, spreading a magnificent kaleidoscope of colour above the bed on the opposite wall and highlighting in gold the manacles which hung from the bedhead. Little Johnnie had, of course, been out for his morning walk and his presence in the room carried the stale smell of protective services officers and liniment.

Jeanette awoke with a start.

“Good morning, dear,” said little Johnnie plucking his morning press-conference teeth from the bedside glass.

“What, where … oh Johnnie, I’ve just had the strangest dream,” said Jeanette shivering slightly and pulling her bedgown close around her shoulders. (It had been a present from Sir Robert Cotton many years before but that need not bother us in this story.) “You know how it is in dreams, when you know who you’re dreaming about but it doesn’t actually look like the person you know it really is?”

“Like having conferences with the French?” asked little Johnnie.

“Yes, something like that, but in this one, everything was all covered in snow and icicles and…”

“Oh, like talking to Margaret Guilfoyle,” little Johnnie interrupted.

“Johnnie,” said Jeanette severely, “listen to me: this is serious. I dreamt I was tall, very tall and all dressed in white.”

“And so you were, dear, just like Cherie Blair the other night,” he said dreamily.

“Yes, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that, you runt. Pawing her like she had no clothes on or you were trying to strip a seal for blubber – if it happens again, I’m cutting it off.”

Little Johnnie shifted on his feet uneasily and stole a quick look at the nutcracker on the bedside table. “But Jeanette, dear, it was just that European kissing on both cheeks thing.”

“French kissing more like and I tell you, I won’t have it – I’m not going back in for another of those treatments. Anyway, listen to what I’m saying: this dream disturbs me.”

“There, there, dear,” said little Johnnie remembering he knew what was in the safety deposit box she had but he didn’t know where it was and neither ASIO, ASIS the CIA or Mossad had been able to find out or, if they had, they weren’t telling. He stole a quick glance at the DVD player on the bookshelf and wondered for the umpteenth time why Jeanette kept a copy of the House of Cards trilogy on top of it.

“What was this dream about, then?”

“Well,” she said, “As I was trying to tell you before I was so rudely reminded of certain people’s medical conditions, I was very, very tall and dressed all in white and you were beside me in a sleigh and you were a dwarf with a long beard and a red hat with a bobble on top.”

“What, like Cardinal Pell?” asked little Johnnie.

“He’s not a dwarf, you fool, he’s a man’s man. He could be the next Pope.”

“I could send Abbott to Rome,” said little Johnnie.

“Will you pay attention? The weirdest part of this dream was that Ruddock appeared in the form of a wolf – it was terribly frightening.”

“Oh,” said little Johnnie, “We’ve nothing to worry about there. He’s so desperate to stay in the Cabinet that he’d shag Downer if I told him I was going to sack him if he didn’t.”

“Johnnie, don’t be disgusting. We want him in the cabinet not coming out of the closet. We’ve got enough trouble keeping Baird in check and as for the NSW lesbians…”

“Yes dear,” said little Johnnie feeling like he needed a shower more than he ever had in his life but hadn’t decided whether it should be hot or cold. “So what was the rest of the dream?”

“Well that’s just it, I’m not sure that there was a rest of it. It was just this terrible foreboding like the beginning of a recession or the Opposition electing a leader or that Turnbull creature becoming Treasurer or something.”

“There’s no chance of that, dear,” little Johnnie was about to go on when Jeanette said, “Look, you may have nine lives but you know what that bastard does to cats. Anyway, in the dream, I felt the presence of a force and the name Alfred Deakin kept coming into my mind.”

“Never mind, dear, I’m sure it was just the gazpacho. I’ve told them about that before. Now, we have work to do and I need to freshen up. Remember it’s the lunch for the Victorian backbenchers today.”

“That nest of cretins and vipers. If you let THAT WOMAN anywhere near that spineless Greek apology for a bastard, Georgiou’s seat, I’ll have all your legs off this time.”

“Yes dear, but that’s a matter for the local branches.”

“Oh, for god’s sake Johnnie, go and put the Santa suit on again and I’ll pretend I’m married to Beazley. I will decide who holds office in this country, and when – do you understand?”

“Yes dear,” said little Johnnie just as his mobile rang. There was the faint sound of a deep and seductive woman’s voice on the other end as little Johnnie quickly said, “Yes Air-Vice Marshal, the joint Chiefs of Staff at 10. So kind of you to call personally. Much more efficient than going through the office. Yes, 10, yes, I know where it is.” As he pushed the end button he turned to Jeanette and said: “Chief of Defence, just reminding me about a meeting. Better have a shower. See you at lunch, dear.” He hurried into the bathroom but not without noticing Jeanette’s face locked in a rictus as her hand squeezed the nutcracker while her gaze was fixed on his groin.

As the sound of the shower at full tilt and an enormous cloud of steam erupted from the ensuite, Jeanette put down the nutcracker, reached for the red bedside phone and said, “Corder, once the runt has left, come and see me immediately. You needn’t dress.” She lay back on the ample pillows and watched as the rapidly growing sunlight filtered and diffracted through the steam.

Another normal day had dawned in the land of Nadir.

Suddenly, she reached for the red phone again and said: “Oh, and Corder, bring the Wheat File.”


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