[Warning, this is pretty gruesome.]
“I am goose.”
She said it like she meant it, like it was the truth. But it wasn’t. I could see that it wasn’t.
“I am goose” she said again, and then, “goose am me.”
I feel that perhaps I came away from my interview with Theresa May rather less open minded than I could have. While I have always found myself leaning more towards the labour point of view, I thought I could give the conservatives the benefit of the doubt, and really listen to what they had to say. I think I did do that, I think I really did listen, but… She wasn’t a goose. She wasn’t.
Theresa went on to tell me about how she got to her meeting today. “I thought I’d take a walk” she explained, “rather than hopping in the car. These legs of mine need extended use before they feel as familiar as I’d like. So yes, as I was walking to this little Café of yours something rather interesting happened which I’d love to tell you about. I’d love to. I’d love to. I’d love to. I’d love-”
“Then please do” I said, pulling her out from her loop.
“Well you see there was this homeless man.” She let out what I assume must have been a smile as she said this. “He was asleep under a doorway, wrapped up in this disgustingly tattered sleeping bag. He had a rucksack beneath his head, using it like a pillow. The bag was zipped up tight, and the man looked restless and cold. There was no doubt he was asleep, but even so he twisted and turned uncomfortably, shivered and shook beneath the morning chill. His chin was dusted lightly with a dirty, unkempt beard. I considered the form at my feet, curled up in that half circle of foetal vulnerability. I felt many things as I watched him. I felt sadness, at the state of the world. Anger at the way the world treats people like him. Disgust that it had been left to me, right there and then, to put an end to the problem.
I knelt down beside the man and watched his eyelids flicker. What was he dreaming of? A house to live in, a family to care for? Or was he dreaming of tomorrow, and how unbearably hard it might be? I didn’t know, but hopefully his dreams would keep him occupied while I did my work.
I unzipped his bag, slowly, quietly. I reached inside, felt around for anything that might be of worth. My hand closed around something small, cold. I pulled on it, but it was caught on something inside. I pulled harder, and harder, until the photo, still in its frame, was torn free. A woman and a little boy were standing there in the picture, waving at the cameraman. They looked happy, and warm, and like they enjoyed their simple lives. I studied their lips and tried to mimic them. My face stung and itched as I curled my mouth into that peculiar, toothy dip. My heart began to thunder in my chest and I had to stop, for the pain was too much. I tucked the photo into my pocket and turned my attention back towards the man.
I took his hand in my own. His skin was rough and uneven, he clearly hadn’t moisturized enough. His nails were sharp and overgrown. He clearly didn’t cut them with the correct frequency. His arm, held up in my own two hands, was weak and thin, and the bone snapped with little resistance as I twisted it back.
The man howled into the night, but I placed a hand over his mouth to quiet him. I took his other arm and put pressure on the elbow. With a loud crack it bent backwards too. His limbs dragged loosely against the ground, and he writhed around as though he might escape. Be quiet I told him, reaching into my pocket for the knife. Hush now, let me do my work. I realised then that I had left the knife at home. No matter, I could silence him without it.
With the fingers holding his mouth closed, I pried open his lips. With my knees I pressed him down, to stop him struggling so much, and with the other hand I reached inside his mouth and took hold of his tongue. It felt wet and cold against my skin. It was slick, and I had to dig my nails in to get proper purchase. With a tug I began to pull, stretching his tongue out form his mouth. It stretched and stretched until his throat started filling up with blood. He coughed and spluttered, sending thick red splashes down onto the pavement. I pulled and pulled, until finally, with a gargled cry, I ripped the tongue free.
Stop crying I said. His eyes were flushed with water, and his cries were quieter and sloppier without his tongue. I don’t want you crying I explained. If you keep it up, I’ll have to take your eyes aswell. He pushed down the sobs as best he could. I remembered that woman and child in the photo, smiling, and tried to copy their faces once again. It hurt, but I think I just about managed it. I expected the man to understand, once he saw me smiling. I expected him to realise that I was doing my duty, that I was doing what all good politicians had to do. Alas, all I saw in his eyes was pain, and fear.
This upset me, so I took his eyes anyway. They popped with barely any pressure at all. I left him there in the alley to die in peace. I’m not cruel, I believe all beings should get some quiet in their last few moments. And then I came here, to talk with you.”
She placed upon the table, then, a small photograph. A woman and child looked up at me, smiling, waving. The child’s face was smothered by a bloody thumbprint.
“Now” Theresa said, looking straight into my eyes, “Jeremy Corbyn wouldn’t even bomb a terrorist. Can he really be trusted to keep this country safe? I think I’ve proven that I can do what it takes. Has he?”
I watched her with a suspicious gaze. I wasn’t sure what to make of her story. It showed strength, I couldn’t deny, but was it even true? She wasn’t a goose, after all. I could see that clear as day. But was she a strong leader? I’ll leave that up to you to decide.