On the 8th day

Written by Simon Renfrew

And so it came to pass that the people hailed a new messiah. He cameth from the political desert (whence his master languished, having there been banished for an unfortunate incident with a slave girl). His NHS framed spectacles glinting in the morning sun, he looked down at his subjects. ‘Praise him’ said the unwashed throng ‘for he will rescue us from the apostles of doom and shower us with silver borrowed from the temple of Germanicus’

‘Verily’ said Hollandé (as he was so named) ‘thou hast suffered under the yoke of the evil priest Sarko and his bewitching concubine’ (here he pausethed to de-mist his glasses & adjust his robes) ‘but no more! - we live in a land of plenty - and I should knoweth having spent two score years counting it all – and we deserve better. No matter that the temple laws forbid us (by us, I mean you) working when we wish and that thy bars of salt buyeth less than ever. Thy shall retire ever earlier – indeed I shall not rest until every citizen of our fair realm can putith up his feet as soon as they have finished school. And thy minimum wage shall spiral ever upwards. And to pay for it all, the rich merchants shall be docked 9 talents for every 10 they earn’

And to the sound of said merchants mounting their camels and heading north, the crowd did roar and kiss the messiah’s feet (though amongst them there were those who swiftly did consult their abacuses & thence scratch their heads in wonderment at this financial magic). Yea, even in the dark forests of Germaincus did they hear Hollandé’s words and their mighty queen was much ire’d, not leasteth as she had news of ill tidings from the Ioanians that same day.

But this worried not the messiah for, blinded by the flashlights of a thousand scribes, he saweth not the precipice ahead.

Here endeth the first lesson.

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