A Task



  • Paloma Faith sat at the top of her ivory (glass and steel beam) tower in the middle of Saint Regina, and read through the letters she had received.

    'Bill, bill, bill, Taylor's skin graft payment instalment, bill, bill, bill, Trympov libel suit, bill, bill, bill, ooh what's this' Paloma said, shifting through her letters quickly and precisely with calculation. She picked up the letter, the return address was one she had never seen before. It appeared to relate somehow to the Queen herself. Though she had not always got on well with Her Majesty, she appreciated the fact that someone, in this day of computers, would send such a nicely crafted letter. 'It even has a wax seal' she said to herself. She recalled the time when she bumped into the queen after the horrifying defeat in the Eurovoice that never happened. There, she sneered and sniggered at her. And, she appeared to blame her for this disgusting failure of Nicoleizian foreign stature. Paloma, however, knew that she had not fully purged the leadership, and established herself as the true leader of the Minister of Eurovoice. So, she knew that this mistake would never happen again after she radically purged the p̶a̶r̶t̶y̶ organisation of all who stood against her program of choosing actually decent songs for the competition. After snapping herself out from her thoughts, she opened the letter.

    She considered the offer for a while whilst she looked out of her large window. She gathered her colleagues and asked for their opinions - something very rare for her.

    'Well,' said Hozier, taking a bubble from his bong, whilst Mary Lambert strenuously kept the marijuana lit, 'I think it's a stupid idea. I hate the royal family, they derive their 'power' from 'God' and as I hate 'God' because I'm a 'God' hating communist, I therefore' he takes a hit again from the bong, but Mary Lambert manages to burn herself on the lighter's flame... 'You fucking idiot' he said, contrasting completely with his prior demure, stoner tone.

    'It was your fault, you fucking addict - you didn't have to fucking take a hit during the meeting' Mary Lambert said, in her usual obnoxious voice.

    'Guys, let's not fight' Taylor said, very sheepishly. Knowing she would be next to hit the flame if anything else were to go wrong. 'We need to form a united front against Trympov.'

    'Do you realise I hate you all, and your opinions are invalid to me?' Paloma said, though really she felt the opposite. 'You're all dismissed. Get out.'

    The rowdy crew left the ovular office, and made their way back to their normal lives. Except one. Hozier decided to stay.

    'Hey, Paloma, are you really thinking of doing this?'

    'Of course, Anastasia is my friend.'

    'Goddamnit is she? She's treated you like dirt since the day you lost the Eurovoice that shall not be named.'

    'Hozier, please, don't remind me.'

    'Then why the fuck are you doing this? What the fuck has got into you?!'

    'I respect the Monarchy, okay?'

    Hozier cackled, like a witch who just snorted a line of candy corn off of her broomstick.

    'There's... a lot of money involved. She couldn't include it in the main letter, but she gave me a ring on the most secure line in the country, the EU, the world. And damnit, we need it.'

    'We're not sell-outs Paloma. I'd rather win of our own accords. Remember when Icholasen was good at bloody Eurovoice? Do you remember those golden days. We didn't even field a candidate this time.'

    'Of course I miss the golden days, Hozier. Our golden days. Where we came second within tasting distance of that sweet sweet gold. But that's not possible without the money Anya is offering.'

    'Anya?! Are you fucking joking? You're not her friend, you're her lap dog. Stop this right now, Paloma. End it all.'

    'I've missed this fire in you. Recently you've been as dull as Eilidh Whiteford's onion farm.'

    'I can't be who I was back then, back when I came second...'

    'Goddamnit we'll come second again, even fucking first if we get this cash... We can even send Taylor to space with that money. Though we couldn't get her back down again - she'd be like that dog they sent up there... The dog never came down. How sad...'

    'Shut up about that fucking dog... We have more pressing issues.'

    Paloma took a pause, turned around and looked out on the cityscape. Lights in skyscrapers were turning on as the radiating sun set over the peninsula, leaving it in total and complete darkness. She loved this time of day. No longer would it be bright and irritating in a natural way, it would be bright and irritating in a completely fake way. A little bit like Taylor Swift since the skin graft. Paloma turned around.

    'I've come to a conclusion.' She said.