Thursday 10 August 2023

A fairytale that has nothing to do with Scotland. Part 18

Part 17

Once upon a time former Queen Nancy had a dream and in that dream, she saw herself in prison a martyr to the true faith and she thought of all the other great writers who had written from within prison and how she would emulate their greatness.

There was Boethius who wrote The Consolation of VIP travel.

There was Oscar Wilde who wrote The Ballad of Reading Women Hold Up Half the Sky by Mao Zedong.

But within her dream there was still another dream about her own progress from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City. Wasn’t that after all her whole life story and the fitting topic for her memoir. In the Celestial City there would be the Promised Land where everyone would be free and independent, and we could build a new Jerusalem in…. sorry wrong song.

In chapter one Nancy wrote about her childhood and how the evil Torry and Cults conspired against Mastrick to impoverish poor Nancy and her family. But unfortunately, she remembered that although Torry made roofs out of straw, she also gave Nancy’s father the chance to buy their house from the local council and to make rather a large profit from it.

Although it was easy indeed to write in a dream and the dream prison provided all the time necessary, the editing was a problem. Clearly chapter one had to go.

In chapter 2 Nancy described how long before it had become fashionable, she had transitioned to being a boy. There was a school photograph that demonstrated the transition at its peak. But in that case was she in a dream men’s prison or a dream women’s prison? Nancy looked down to check, but then realised that her gender had absolutely nothing to do with her anatomy. So where was she supposed to be? Chapter 2 had to go as well. This was harder than she/he thought.

The whole point of her progress was to lose her burden of sin, but each time Nancy found she was unable to tell the truth in her memoir she found that her burden got larger. Perhaps it would lighten in chapter 3.

In chapter 3 she described how she became the favourite of King Alan and how Alan mentored her and enabled her to complete her succession to Queen. But she had rather fallen out with former King Alan, which made it difficult to tell the truth about how once they had been such close and even intimate friends. Had she loved Alan? Had Alan loved her? Was this all going on after she had married Paul? And then there was Alan’s wife Queen Mary. But there were so many unfortunate photographs from this period, with Nancy embracing Alan and with kisses and these were the photographs taken in public, what if the photographs taken in private still survived. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my what if Alan still had them?

By chapter 4 Nancy had still made no progress. Everything had been redacted, expletives had been deleted like the accounts Nixon gave to the accountant of the costs of a certain break in. But now she was at her most glorious moment. Except it had been Alan’s glorious moment. It had been him that had led the charge to the Celestial City, and it had been him that had almost made it only to fail because of Faithless putting the cross in the wrong box.

Nancy remembered what she had seen and heard in King Alan’s palace. But she also remembered how she had said not one word about what she knew when it had seemed they might reach the Celestial City. No one else said a word either. So, everything in that chapter had to be discarded too.

In chapter 5 Nancy wrote about the romance of her marriage to King Paul and about what a wonderful consort he was and how he ran the finances of the kingdom with such Prudence. But then she remembered the Iron. The supper. The Inn and the busy Junction that it was necessary to cross to get there. Le chat à la Français was quite delicious. But she couldn’t possibly write about that. It was almost as bad as Le chien à la Coréenne. Once you go down that route you end up eating horses. And then what Paul’s love of Le coq à la bouche.

Nancy felt her burden getting heavier as she dropped another chapter in the waste basket.

But in chapter 6 she could tell the story about how she too had helped gather the witnesses against former King Alan taking part in a worldwide movement of rectifying injustice. Of course, she had known all about what he had done during his charge towards the Celestial City, but now he was a nuisance and wouldn’t go away and let her get on with things. Then Nancy remembered how her kingdom had been forced to settle with Alan for half a million ducats and despite her memories and despite all of the witnesses that she had gathered, he had was free while she was dreaming about writing in a prison.

What had Nancy known about King Alan’s behaviour? When had she known it? Were the witnesses encouraged, threatened, tempted or bribed? Had Nancy told the truth about her lack of memory at various points when there was the investigation? Nancy felt her burden getting heavier still.

But surely there was something she could write about?

What about her victories? What about her attempts to make it easier for le coq to become le chat?

But the only thing left for chapter 7 was her abdication. This was supposed to involve her job with the Partitioned Nations, but there had been no job offers.

Why had she abdicated so suddenly? Nancy wondered what she could write about that. She repeated what she had said at the time, but she found her burden getting heavier still with each evasion of the truth.

Then she could write something about her love of shopping. Her love of reading. Her desire to travel in the most ecological way by camping. Campers after all had the lowest possible carbon footprint. But then she remembered the campsite at her mother in law’s house. Then she remembered who had paid for the shopping. Then she remembered she hadn’t actually read the books she had claimed to have read, with one of her ladies in waiting instead providing summaries and crib notes. 

There was nothing she could write at all in her deeply personal and revealing memoir, because every time she tried to reveal anything she realised she couldn’t because her burden just kept getting heavier with the lies she had told.

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come who she had employed to actually write the memoir showed Nancy the Slough of Despond and pointed out quite accurately that unfortunately her inability to tell the truth had added so much to her burden that she was going to sink in it and by the way the dream about prison wasn’t a dream. Nancy woke up. 

If she were a pilgrim, she had made no progress.