Clenching the leather settee nervously, was the Secretary of State, Kelis. It was six o'clock in the morning. She had been up all night writing her opening speech to the Royal Chambre des Délégués and hadn't slept since. She asked the Housekeeper to "Bring some milk and quickly.... please." the maid - looking quite shocked yet complied. She laughed "I need to wake up." "Forgive me - madam - are you trying to repeal that legislation that bans said dairy products? Because if so I must dissapprove." "Listen sweetie if you want a job, I'd shut up. I am too tired for this I'm afraid. Please just get the milk." The milk tasted orgasmic - like a summer on the beaches of South Romain. For she knew she couldn't indulge in this every day she knew this would have to be a habit that would relax her before big speeches such as today's. The phone rang after half an hour of waiting. "Hello?" Kelis said. "It's me, your secretary Elaine, Madam Secretary. I'm waiting for you in your office. We have a... visitor it seems." "Mildred keep that milk, it was very hard to get. She said packing her satchel. As she was making her way downtown, walking fast, faces passed and she was office-bound. Kelis was born in Portland to working class parents and when the steel mills shut down they had to resort to dairy dealing. They were arrested many times but luckily it was legalised in Portland in 2014 and they now run a dairy shop. However it is subject to some rude graffitti sometimes - as whenever fast progress is made in a backwards society there is backlash. Additionally if it was after the fall of Communism in West Icholasen in 1990 it wouldn't have been as bad as if it was then. However now she controls a fairly large party but with large power. A coalition with the Party of June made for a large boost in power and prestige. Her title was Secretary of Government, or Vice Prime Minister. Delphine was in talks with the United Kingdom and Miraco and so wasn't at the first cabinet meeting. So Kelis would take over that. A busy day for Madam Secredairy.
Kelis rode the lift up to her office in central Saint Regina. It looked over Regina Square that was next to the Royal Mall. In the centre of the square was a roundabout but that was shut on Saturdays for the weekly market. Underneath the office was a lovely coffee shop - no milky brews, just coffee - black unfortunately for her - a milk lover. Also in the Square was a Brasserie that even the Queen herself is rumoured to pop into every so often. She was anxious about who it might be. It could be anyone... Damn Elaine the pain can be so vague. "Oh, gee Elaine thanks for being so clear as to is waiting for me." Kelis said sarcastically. "She's in there - Madam Secretary." "Who??" She asked. "Damnit Elaine. Can you please get me some goddamn caffeine or God help me." Kelis sighed - shutting her eyes and making an angered expression. “Oh hello Jacques.” She smiled. “What can I do for you today?” “I have very serious business to discuss with you, Kelis.” He said, in full seriousness. “Sure, what?” Kelis replied, invested. “Do you want to go out for dinner tonight?” He asked, smiling. “Sure I will.” She said, beaming. “I do hope you know that cabinet members can’t see each other romantically. Cabinet Rules are Cabinet Rules” She assured him. “Of course, Madam Secretary.” He said in an overly formal manner. “I’ll see you in an hour.” Kelis said. “What’s in an hour?” Jacques asked. “The cabinet meeting!” Kelis said, arms out looking like the personification of the word “duh”. Jacques left Kelis alone in her office, the rain pouring down the leaky drain calmed her spirit.
Just as Kelis was relaxing she realised she was need in the Royal Chambre des Délégués. She quickly applied extra makeup and did her hair. And then she went down to the Chambre. When there she was introduced by the Speaker and she was cleared to make her speech. “Good Morning Members of Parliament. It is great to be here, having formed a government with the Party of June. My goal here is to represent the citizens of South Saint Florence. A thriving community within the beautiful city of Saint Florence. I believe I will serve them well and I will serve all of the constituents with the MILF Party representing them. Icholasen will certainly prosper when dairy is legalised across this great nation, not just in Portland.” Boos were heard from DILF Party members and some Socialist Members of Parliament. Kelis swallowed and carried on. “My Party and the Party of June have created the new Parliaments, and their autonomy is of course respected, but I still feel there is a need for nationwide reform. And I will not rest until that is delivered.” The booing carried on, Kelis looked visibly distressed by this. “You don't have to love me. You don't even have to like me. But you will respect me. You know why? Because I'm the deputy Prime Minister.” Kelis said defiantly. The booing stopped and she had the full attention of the Parliament. “I will further my cause, and if you don’t like that, may God help you.” Kelis left to applause and booing, however the applause now outweighed the booing this time. She left the Chambre and turned her back against the large oak door and sobbed. A security guard, who looked very large came up to her and bend down to her level. “Do you need some help? Can I take you to your office and we can discuss what’s up over a nice brew?” The security guard said, much too sensitive for his looks. Though first impressions may deceive. “Yes.” Kelis barely made out through the onslaught of tears.
By the time Kelis had redone her make up and her hair she was due for the meeting of the cabinet. She packed her satchel and was off again. “Hello Ladies and Gentlemen” Delphine announced starting off the cabinet meeting. “Today I’d like to congratulate you all on the creation of the new Parliaments and Assemblies today. Especially Haze Hancock for overseeing the whole process.” “Thank you Prime Minister, I believe it’s a major step forward.” Said the Minister of Internal Affairs. “You’re very welcome Haze. Kitty how is the budget coming on?” The Prime Minister asked. “Very well Prime Minister. Denationalisation of the irrelevant things will definitely be put through.” Ms Spears - Chancellor of the Exchequer proclaimed. “Good, I look forward to reading it and hopefully approving it.” Delphine said approvingly. “Prime Minister I hope a spending increase for the military will be in that bill” The Minister of Defence, John Prescott said. “Of course it will be. And a shift from industry to other more needed public services will be made, you will of course enjoy that Mrs Mountain.” Said the Prime Minister. “Indeed Prime Minister.” Tina Mountain, Minister for Pensions responded. “Now to finish off I will be assigning work for you all to see to. We need to get moving on this whole reforming the economy malarkey, so Eugenia, Jacques, Kitty and Haze will all form a team to see to bills regarding these reforms we need to pass through the Chambre and the Conseil. The rest of you are due to send your monthly reports for July to me promptly.” The Prime Minister ended. She stood up and packed away all the notes she had been taking. Then the Cabinet had adjourned. “Kelis can I speak to you?” The Prime Minister ordered. “Yes Prime Minister.” Kelis said, smiling still. “That was a very good speech, Kelis. You’re going to get backlash for being in what party you believe in, Kelis. And the Party of June is always behind you.” The Prime Minister said comfortingly. “Thank you Prime Minister though I must go. I’ve got dinner plans.” Kelis smirked. “Have a good time Kelis.” The Prime Minister said in her Romain French accent.
Kelis left the Cabinet meeting room and went to her office. She grabbed her coat and her stuff and headed out. “Bye Elaine, I’ll see you tomorrow!” She waved. “See you later Kelis.” Said Elaine, less than impressed. She grabbed her car and drove into Little Lancashire. It looked sketchy but yet she persisted. She saw such restaurants titled as “Greggs”. She parked her car and found Jacques. “Hey Kelis” Jacques greeted her, with the Nicoleizian greeting of a hug with heads sticking out of the other’s shoulder. “Heya Jacques. You’re looking rather fancy tonight aren’t you!” Kelis proclaimed. Jacques was wearing a Vintade suit, and Kelis was wearing an A-Line short red dress from RK Fashions. “Aww thanks Kel.” Jacques said. “So where are we headed?” Kelis asked - curious. “Well there’s this lovely restaurant called the King’s Head” Jacques replied. “You know what they say, ‘When in Little Lancashire’” Kelis laughed. “It’s just up the Boulevard, to the left.” Jacques directed. "Near the Common" Luckily by then it had stopped raining so she could enjoy the slightly pleasant summer evening. However it was not an evening for sitting outside. They walked along Manchester Boulevard, enjoying the sights and sounds of Little Lancashire. Eventually they reached the restaurant. They asked for their table reservation and were seated near the window. The table overlooked the bustling street to the right and Saint Regina Common to the left. Puddles lined the streets and the paths in the Common. The waiter came and greeted them at their table. The two ordered their traditional Lancaster Cuisine, exotic and nouveau. When their food arrived they were perplexed but eventually ended up enjoying the lovely cuisine of Lancaster. Conversation passed as the pair talked about work and how they would just drop down dead if they were seen in Teutonic State town. The food there is ghastly - apparently. Their dinners came and they dug in cautiously, then savouring their fanciful and exotic food. Dinner conversation was spurred from the cuisine as they talked about how complex and difficult the cuisine must be to make. The evening went on, they laughed, they had DMCs (deep meaningful conversations) and overall had a nice time. “Kiss me.” Jacques said, yearning for Kelis’ lips. “Jacques you know we can’t do that. I will follow the rules to the last goddamn letter.” Kelis said. “I’m just going to go, because you said you didn’t see us that way. What a goddamn pleasant evening it was too up to there.” Kelis shouted, then lowered her tone in order to not make a scene. She then stormed out, leaving 80 Shillings for him to pay and tip the rest.
Life’s never easy for Madam Secredairy.
Delphine had just woken up to the news of the Portland Election. “Oh, merde.” She muttered to herself, whilst putting on her Hillary Clinton brand Pantsuit.
It was the first day in which the Governor of Portland would be present at the National Cabinet meeting. Madam Secredairy and the Prime Minister were about to meet again. But before that, Prime Minister Cormier was to meet with her Deputy and Chancellor, Kitty Spears and Tina Mountain.
“Is my driver here?” Delphine asked the Housekeeper.
“Yes ma’am, he’s just outside. In a rush are we?” The Housekeeper, Jade, asked.
“As always.” Delphine smiled.
The car sped across Saint Regina. From the North-Western Hills where her residence is, to the centre where the Royal Chambre des Délégués is. The skyline pierced the grey and miserable sky. Winter was coming. And it was at the unfortunate stage where the trees were now even losing their orange, yellow, and brown leaves: Leaving them empty shells of what was, and providing no relief from the greyscape that would occupy the city.
“Thank you Fergus.” Delphine said, whilst exiting the car in the proper way. Both feet on the ground before getting out.
Delphine climbed the stairs up into the Party of June’s Delegate’s offices and into her office with two chairs set out for the Deputy PM, and the Chancellor. Also there were biscuits and Nicoleizian Apple Tea. Delphine sat down, poured herself some tea, took a biscuit and awaited the arrival of her colleagues.
“Hi Delphine.” Tina Mountain said.
“Hello Prime Minister.” Kitty followed.
They put down their briefcases and poured themselves some tea. Tina made noises of discontent when Kitty took more than her fair share of the tea.
“I wouldn’t worry too much about Kitty taking all the tea, Tina. There’ll be plenty of tea when Kelis gets here.” Delphine said, rolling her eyes.
“Delphine, I’m sure it won’t be too bad.” Tina said, trying to calm the angered PM.
Delphine tried to respond, but the phone started ringing. She put it on speaker.
“Hello, Delphine?” The phone voice said, crackling.
“Yes it’s me.” She replied.
“Umm… Mario Lopez has taken over as Governor of South Regina. Is it wise to keep him and Kelis in the same room?” The phone voice continued.
“Of course, it’ll make a great Celestial Body cover, if anything happens. Bring your camera.” Delphine replied and hung up. “Good God.” She continued.
“If I may, Prime Minister, we should really talk about our fiscal responsibility targets.” Mrs Mountain went on.
“I don’t care, Mountain. I want to tear that woman limb from limb. I just know she’s going to cause a right issue in my cabinet.” Delphine said, fanning her face with her hand.
“We’re never going to get anything done, are we?” Kitty asked Tina.
“No… It seems we’re not. I was going to ask about de-nationalising the Rare Earth Mines, to anger Kelis. She has no power there.”
Delphine’s face lit up. “That’s perfect. Blackmail. Just what we need.”
“Hello all.” Delphine said to her cabinet, and the rather unwelcome Governors of the independent assemblies. “We’re gathered here today to brief you on our Government Policy, that you will of course have limited power to stop. Of course we know about the Dairy Referendum results…” She said, ogling Kelis. “And we will all comply with the people’s choice. Please, raise your hand if you do not wish to comply with the democratic process.”
A soul hand wavered in the space. The room turned cold and silent, as Kelis kept her hand raised like a defiant milkshake.
“Kelis. Why am I not surprised?” Delphine asked.
“Oh. I’m very sorry. Did my back hurt your knife?” Kelis.
Delphine’s eyes became watery. “Don’t you DARE use Mean Girls quotes against me, Kelis.”
“You are a MEAN GIRL.” Kelis replied.
“You’re testing me Kelis. That’s ill-advised.” Delphine responded.
“I’m going to legalise dairy in Portland. And you can’t stop me, Delphine.” Kelis continued throwing the logs into the raging fire.
At this point, Mario Lopez, deemed ‘his kaukkw’ in South Regina stood up and said: “Now you should really listen to the people, Kelis. Delphine is right.”
“I’m sorry I don’t like to brown nose people, Mario. Can you please return to the Mushroom Kingdom and save that blonde bimbo from the clutches of a large reptillian.” Kelis replied.
“Leave my dear Courtney Laine Mazzaout of this, Kelis.” Mario said.
“I was talking about Delphine and Tina Mountain.” Kelis chuckled
“There’s no need, Kelis. And, if you do legalise it in Portland, the Rare Earth mines will be de-nationalised and you will lose partial funding to your government. Kapeesh.” Delphine said, folding her arms.
“If you really wish to blackmail the Portlandish people then so be it. But be advised that I will not let partial defunding and de-nationalisation be blamed on me. It’ll be VERY public who allowed this to happen. I can see it now. Planes flying across the Portland skies reading ‘Delphine took you jobs and your health care. Free Portland. Vive la Revolución!'” Kelis continued.
“Fine, we will consider renegotiations in my office after the meeting.” Delphine conceded.
“If that’s all we have to hear about milk, then we shall get onto the important matters of state.” Delphine said.
The cabinet meeting went on. Kelis gave the evils to everyone in the room. Often making eyes at people. An overall uncomfortable meeting for everyone involved.
“What the fuck was that, Kelis?” Delphine asked, when they had relocated to the PM’s office.
“I do what I need to do to get what I want.” Kelis replied.
“This is exactly the thing you DON’T do to get what you want. I will not permit you to legalise it in Portland. It was a national consensus.” Delphine said.
“Bull-fucking-shit.” Kelis said. And kicked Delphine under the desk.
“What the fuck was that?” Delphine said, grabbing Kelis from across the desk.
Kelis flung a smack onto Delphine. Delphine hit straight back with deadly poignancy. A fight broke out in the office, glasses were smashed, vases broken, Party of June mugs decimated. It raged until they were both pulling each other’s hair. And when one pulled the other followed suit.
“Just…” Delphine started, breathless. “Stop this.”
“Urrrrrrrrrrrgh…” Kelis groaned. “Sure.” She said sighing and defeated.
“I’ve missed you.” Delphine admitted.
“I’ve missed you too.” Kelis said, sobbing.
The two shared a long hug.
“I’ve got an idea.” Delphine said. “We should have a Portland referndum to determine the legality of Dairy in Portland”
Kelis’ eyes lit up. “That’d be… agreeable”
“Oh come on Kelis. You want that.” Delphine said.
“Perhaps I do…” Said Kelis.
“But… you must promise to not to legalise it before the Referendum is started.” Delphine asked.
“It’ll be our little secret.” Kelis replied, laughing.
“No more Mean Girl quotes!” Delphine said, in mock pain. Inside of course she was relieved.
Kelis went down the stairs, and left via the VIP secret exit and met her fiancée, Jacques Barker.
“Sup Jacques.” She said, fiddling with the buttons on his coat. “We’re going back to Saint Pierre.” Kelis said, with a beaming smile.
“So you got what you wanted?” Jacques asked.
“Not exactly. I’ll tell you about it on the train.” She replied, still smiling cheek to cheek.
“Of course. Let’s go.” Jacques replied. “Back to the bleeding arctic circle.”
“It’s hardly better here!” Kelis replied, laughing.
Little did they know that Delphine was looking out of the window of her office, sobbing. Sobbing for the loss you can’t describe. Someone snatched from you. Delphine may have been the Prime Minister, but had no meaningful relationships anymore. Kelis, despite losing the referendum, had Jacques and a large network of friends. She’d go home to the companionship of Jacques. Delphine would go home to a house too large for her.
Life’s sometimes easy for Madam Secredairy.