The Wrong Side

She was happy.

Everything was going her way. Britain left the EU, finally, finally!!! Immigrants and refugees were being deported, all the remoaners and libtards either eliminated or too broken to ever dare so much as speak again. Extinction Rebellion has been designated a terrorist organisation. You get arrested if you only breathe the words “climate change”. And not only that, any political correctness has been banned by law. No more talks of diversity, no more LGBTQ pride marches, no more feminism. Same sex marriage was illegal again, the welfare state completely dismantled.

The snowflakes were melting and she was living for that.

After the new Government imprisoned the members of the royal family, they seized their wealth and redistributed it amongst themselves. This meant the palaces and other royal residences were converted into flats, which were then granted to the new Powers That Be and their most faithful servants, in order of importance. And she, for her tireless and constant media campaigning in favour of the new regime, was given a flat in what used to be Kensington Palace. Life was wonderful.

She was dancing around her spacious living room, brimming with happiness. Just that day, another new law was passed (or more precisely, was declared by the Home Secretary, as Parliament no longer existed and the Government did what they pleased). Speaking, writing or otherwise communicating in a language other than English became a criminal offense. Fantastic, she punched the air with her fist. Out of all the new laws, this was her favourite. She wondered what took them so long to declare it—she thought it should have been one of the first ones—but as the saying goes, better late than never. She could now look forward to catching people who speak foreign and report them to the authorities.

She preferred not to think about the newly independent Scotland (she hated them anyway) or the reunified Ireland (never in her life had she cared about Northern Ireland so it didn’t matter), both supported by the EU. Britain was now smaller than it used to be, only England and Wales. Neither did she prefer to think about all the snowflakey lefties and remoaners that managed to get out before the new regime kicked in properly; mostly across the channel to France, Belgium, the Netherlands, some northwards to the independent Scotland. She couldn’t say why this fact bothered her so much, since she despised them. Perhaps she would have liked to see these pesky individuals arrested and charged for treason so that she could enjoy watching their televised trials, but there were still plenty of people being arrested and charged for treason so there were still many televised trials to devour. She loved being on the right side and now more than ever when that side was in power.

The media station she used to work for folded some time ago but it’s not like she needed a job. She would never have to worry about the money again, both she and her husband were firmly established with the new Government. She spent her time tweeting and working from home on her own broadcasting channel. And this time if anyone tried to argue with her or oppose her, she could call the authorities. But that rarely happened anymore, it was all praise, praise, praise. You rule, you’re the best was all she saw these days. We love you! She basked in it.

But she had to admit something was missing.

It was as if all these good things made life a bit… well, boring. Back in the day, nothing used to set her heart racing like a good online argument with a socialist loser or two. She would always emerge victorious which made it all better. Of course, being showered with praise was beautiful, but it would be more fun if she could take part in kicking some dissenters. She’ll tell her husband to ask the big boss tomorrow…

She reached for her phone to check Twitter. And—she couldn’t. There was no connection. Testing the other devices confirmed the internet was down. She tried to call her husband but the mobile network was down too. This was not right. She looked out of the window, but there didn’t seem to be any panic. Why wasn’t her network working?

She switched on the TV and flicked to the news channel. Another new law was announced. As of today, all females are forbidden from working, owning property or using the internet… Yes, she knew that already, so what. This law wouldn’t apply to the likes of her, why should she care? The news channel was devoting quite a lot of time to discussing this piece of legislation; (she only just noticed that all the people in the newsroom were men) she rolled her eyes wishing they’d shut up about it and move on to the real news, like what was wrong with the internet connection? Because surely it couldn’t just be their household that had this problem.

That’s it, she would ask the neighbours. She stepped out of her flat into the corridor and found herself face to face with one of their usual security guards. “Hello John, what’s up, you’re not usually here on our floor?”

“Ma’am, you should stay in your flat.”

“Why, what’s going on? I just wanted to ask the neighbours if their internet is working.”

“I don’t know anything about that, ma’am, but you need to go back inside.”

“But why?”

“I’ve been ordered to tell you to stay inside your flat. I don’t have any further information. Please if you could go back in…”

She stamped her foot. “Now I won’t stand for this. I want to speak to your manager.”

“Ma’am, you cannot speak to my manager. Make your way back into your flat immediately.”

“Listen to me, you cockroach—“

John grabbed her arm. “Ma’am, I will not be spoken to in such way. Get back inside.” He pushed her towards the door to her flat. She was about to slap him, when she was interrupted by a sharp ding followed by the sound of opening lift doors. Her husband appeared in the corridor. “What’s this?”

“Sir, I was just telling your wife she needs to go back into the flat,” John said.

“Clearly there’s been some misunderstanding,” she said.

“It’s alright, John, let me handle it,” her husband said. “Come in,” he put his arm on her shoulder and led her back inside. He closed the door, took his coat off and hung it on the hook, acting as it was just another Tuesday.

It was a Tuesday.

“What is happening?” she cried out. “The internet’s down, my mobile network is down… are we being attacked?”

“No, we are most certainly not being attacked.”

“So what is it? That idiot told me to stay inside the flat!”

“He’s not an idiot. He was simply following orders.”

“Whose orders?”

“Mine.”

“Are you fucking kidding me?”

“Now now, darling, swearing doesn’t suit such a fine lady like you.”

“What are you talking about?”

He laughed. “Haven’t you heard? Women are banned from using the internet, or going out without their male guardian’s permission.”

“But surely that’s only for the—“

“The unwashed masses?” He laughed again. “Wrong. It applies to everyone, including you.”

“But—but that’s not right.”

He shrugged. “What did you expect? It was always going to end up this way.”

“But no. No, no, no, no!” Her hands were shaking. “They need to change it. They need to change it back to how it was before, listen to me, you need to talk to the Prime Minister.”

“They will not change it and I cannot question the Prime Minister. You have to deal with it.”

“But—“

“But nothing. I forbid you from using the internet or going out. You will stay here until I tell you otherwise.”

“You… you,” she felt the rage rising in her. “You would have been nothing without me! It was my work that got us here!”

“Maybe, but who cares? You channel has been deactivated and your Twitter account and its history deleted. All those articles you’ve written are now showing in my name. You no longer exist.”

He stopped her hand flying midway to his cheek. He grabbed both of her hands roughly. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you. You don’t want to land yourself in prison, among those leftie losers, do you? I hear you’re not exactly popular with them.”

She started kicking but it was no use, he was stronger than her. He dragged her to the bedroom, slammed the door and locked it from outside. She didn’t even know there was a key. “Now you stay there and be a good girl,” she heard his voice through the door. “If you behave yourself, who knows, I may even be allow you out one day.”

Slowly her veins filled with icy cold dread as she fell to her knees. It was always going to end up this way. She screamed. Her hands clutched into fists as she banged at the door. “Let me out! Let me out!!!”

Fool. She should have known it was pointless.

And it was then, sinking to the floor, her body shaking with convulsions, her mind seeing the whole truth bare, staring into her face, laughing the evil laugh of villains, muhahahahaha, it was then that she at last realised that she backed the wrong side.


Author’s Note: For those who don’t know “remoaner” is what Brexit supporters call remainers, i.e. people who support UK remaining in the EU. I also want to make it clear that Extinction Rebellion are good guys. This story was inspired by some nasty women I’ve come across on Twitter and Serena Joy from the TV show The Handmaid’s Tale.

Love / Amor

You met him in the deep of the winter. Beast of the East, they called it, when the snows piled up, the icy winds blew and the temperature fell down below zero. He’s not bad, you thought, at first, but even then you had to admit you found him attractive. Then you got to know him better. You bonded over music. Latin American music, the old and the new, popular or obscure, it didn’t matter, you both liked it all. It was the music of his lands.

And then, as the spring arrived and days got longer, it became harder and harder to stop thinking about him. Then you found out he felt the same.

It was a long, hot, passionate summer.

People couldn’t believe it; four months without a single raindrop? Continuous sunshine? What miracle! The two of you just laughed. It was no miracle. Of course it was that way, because it made sense. It was the summer made for you, hot like those faraway lands.

You danced, always. Salsa, merengue, or just swaying from side to side with no rules. You ate melons at midnight. Sunday afternoons you spent lying in bed playing old love songs. Te quiero. And Buena Vista Social Club.

It was a long summer.

When it started getting colder, it only meant you wrapped yourselves under a blanket. Autumn leaves crunched under your feet when you went for a walk in the park. Once you shared the same scarf. People laughed at that.

They had no idea.

You looked forward to the long winter nights. Te quiero…

But it turned out it wasn’t just the year that was running out. His visa too.

No big deal, he’d just get it renewed, you thought. But he couldn’t. Home Office rejected it.

That Halloween monster was real. You were going to lose him. He had to go back to his country.

It shouldn’t have surprised you, you’d heard all about the “hostile environment”. Never had it occurred to you to apply it to your own situation but here it was. There was nothing to be done.

On a rainy November day, you said your goodbyes. I’ll do what I can, he said. He was devastated. It wasn’t just you, he didn’t want to leave UK.

We’ll be alright, you assured him. What will be, will be. Que sera, sera.

Months have passed since then, winter came and went, nowhere near as cold as the one year before, followed by weak spring and rainy summer. Once again the old order was restored.

If you’re lucky, you don’t get all soaking wet.

Amazingly, you’re still in touch with him. You message each other regularly and video call as much as you can from one hemisphere to another. Attempts to obtain new visa were unsuccessful so far, but he’s not losing hope.

You don’t talk about him to anyone much. People get uncomfortable any time immigration is brought up. Some mumble something about hoping you two will be reunited soon and change the subject. Other try to lecture you on long distance. Like you asked… You secretly laugh at them. They have no fucking idea.

You play Buena Vista Social Club and dance around your flat. They have no idea how good it feels.

Out on the busy streets, you put your headphones on to block out the noise. Chan Chan. It’s your signature tune.

You look up at the sky in daytime and at moon at night, the same sky and the same moon he’s looking at. “Hey, we’re still on the same planet!”

He might try Spain, he says. He seems to be more optimistic about that.

You’re not worried. You know you’ll meet again.

And so another day comes by and you look at the sky again and he’s on your mind and you’re on his mind and you listen to the same songs at the same time.

“But don’t you feel lonely?” some boring person asks you. “No, why would I?” you answer. They gasp. You shrug and put your headphones back on.

They don’t get it and never will.

But you do.

Because you have known love.