The scene in the kitchen was grim. Tony Blair had evidently been shot at close range, right through the centre of his forehead. There wasn’t an exit wound, as such, as most of the back of his head was now artfully arranged on the kitchen wall. A horrified Steve was rigid at the back door, still clutching a platter of beautifully bronzed sausages from the barbecue. Mumsie was already up to her arms in rubber gloves and detergent, tutting furiously and concentrating her efforts on the brain splatter furthest from the scene. Making an awkward attempt to comfort her was Cabinet Secretary Sir Edd Evans-Morley, concerned that she was not handling the situation too well. The triumvirate of peace-makers – Prime Minister Lucy Wastell, Boris King of Oxford and travelling duster salesman Nigel Farage – were the last to arrive, embroiled as they were in negotiations. Clearly arriving with great haste, Lucy was wearing Boris’ shirt, Boris was wearing Nigel’s trousers and Nigel wasn’t wearing anything at all. Lucy was interested to note that Boris’ long-suffering butler Snetterton had arrived before them. But I suppose he had the advantage of being fully clothed at the time.
The front door was open and through it came the familiar irritated yowl that heralds the arrival of Deputy Prime Minister, Terry the cat. Relieved to have an alternative focus of attention, the room turned as one to watch as the spectacularly disinterested feline performed his usual routine of rubbing himself against Mumsie’s leg, thereby announcing his desire to be fed.
“I’m speechless,” said Lucy, seemingly having mastered the great political art of contradicting oneself.
“Yes, me too” Boris nodded.
“I can’t think of anything to say,” added Nigel. “Except that it’s a bit nippy in here, isn’t it.”
“Someone close the door,” snapped Lucy. Sir Edd duly obliged. “Who found him?”
“It was me,” croaked Steve, from the back door. He stepped uneasily over the threshold and inched his way towards the sideboard, trying not to look at what remained of Tony Blair. With shaking hands he placed the platter of sausages on the side, visibly forcing his own hands to release their tenure. “I was just bringing these through and… he was… like this-“
Steve’s voice collapsed into a ragged sigh. Sir Edd eyed the sausages. They certainly looked much more appetising than the chicken wings he had been offered earlier.
“You didn’t hear a shot? Nothing?” asked Lucy.
“No, I didn’t hear a thing.”
“Did you see anyone coming in or out of the kitchen?” Lucy continued.
“Mumsie came in through the front door, soon after” replied Steve.
Mumsie looked up from her duties at the cat bowl.
“I was getting this one outside,” she nodded at Terry, who was eyebrow-deep in his food bowl already. “He was trying to do a poo by the coat stand again.”
“Prime Minister, what shall we do?” asked Sir Edd. “Shall I contact the Militia?”
“No,” Lucy replied, quickly. “No no. Let me think. I’ve seen Poirot, what would Poirot do? Aha! Right – absolutely no one is to leave Number Ten, for starters. Right?”
This seemed like a good place to start. The killer could still be present, although the open front door was quite discouraging on that front. Even so. To access the private areas of Number Ten and murder an ex-Prime Minister would require some degree of inside information and even assistance. Everybody stays.
Lucy turned to Sir Edd.
“Bring me Dr Martens and Hugh. Say absolutely nothing about this to anyone. We don’t want to cause alarm.”
“You’d better take these up, if you’re going,” Steve piped up, proffering the platter of sausages.
Sir Edd sniffed. He had never served food in his life, but now didn’t seem the time to quibble. He simply nodded and went on his way.
As Minister for Good Ideas & Gin, this very much fell within Dr Martens remit. Which meant that Hugh Roberts, Secretary of State for Unlikely Events, was absolutely up to his neck in it. It dawned on Lucy that this recent development put her in quite the precarious political situation. Blair was to be not only her main bargaining tool with Oxford, but also her ticket to becoming a bone fide world stateswoman by bringing the shameless war-monger to justice. The peace treaty with King Boris had been signed, of course, but the implementation of Oxford Law had been interrupted by Sir Edd’s announcement. Had the mercifully brief scrimmage been enough to seal the deal? It was difficult for her to judge and now was probably not the best time to bring it up.
The door to the hallway opened and Lucy expected to see Sir Edd returning with the two Ministers, but it was not to be. Striding into the kitchen with practiced swagger was Wing Commander Tom. And he was holding a gun.
“Relax, Prime Minister, I’m here now” the corner of a smile was just visible beneath his low-slung fedora. “I”ll take care of everything. But I’m not doing another bloody thing until Nigel Farage puts some clothes on.”