A Local Fable (a cautionary tale)

In the small Staffordshire village where I live there once lived a local conservative politician named Tarquin Seabag-Anatole. The villagers were already highly suspicious of him because he had various physical deformities –  specifically, one leg shorter than the other, a hump on his back and only one eye – all as a result of upper-crust in-breeding, and not suffered during military service to his country, as he always tried to uphold.


His political oratories were infused with what the townsfolk knew were absolute blatant lies. He would often suggest they’d never had it so good, when in reality many of them struggled to even put food on their tables. It was for this reason they laughingly nicknamed him “Too True Tarquin” and often pelted the gargoyle with rotten eggs, shouting “bastard” whenever he showed his gnarled features in public. The simple fact was the local people didn’t accept him as their representative because the iniquitous bastard didn’t even live amongst them. He lived on an enormous, country estate nestled amongst trees on the edge of town. His grand house sat on a hillside overlooking the town’s market-place with great pomposity.


Too True Tarquin was also an aspiring author. But so bad were his literary dribblings it was never expected that his works would see the light of day. No publisher wanted to know. In fact, the abysmal offering he attempted to pass off as a novel was so poor, unbeknownst to Tarquin Seabag-Anatole; it relegated his standing in the community to that of the village idiot.  However, with the advent of the internet his writings were suddenly given an international platform. Many of the locals noted that a marked number of internet trolls around the world were beginning to eagerly look forward to the serialised blog version of his novel that his nasty little fingers were industriously tapping out each week.


The locals were extremely concerned and formed a committee forthwith. The committee met at the local pub one evening where it was decided something had to be done before a greedy major publisher were to notice the seven-hundred and fifty-thousand visitors to his blog.  After all, quality didn’t matter to them, they were only interested in the sound of the cash register; and the last thing the townsfolk needed was this scumbag being given a soapbox for his bullshit.


The following evening a group of men from the village waited until nightfall before lighting torches and marching up the hill, through the trees, and surrounding the hated politician’s mansion. They shouted for him to come out like a man and when he refused they set fire to the house, sending the coward screaming from his back door like a little girl. It was here that another division of the peoples’ committee lay in wait and seized upon his spineless being.  From here it was that they dragged him kicking and screaming back down the hill and all the way to the town square. Ignoring his pleas for mercy and empty promises of bread and fish-a-plenty for everyone they held him aloft and tossed him down the well.


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