Goose? Again?!”

Elizabeth coughed up a slop of phlegm and stubbed out her cigarette in the gravy, lit a new cigarette and stubbed it out on the cook. Lighting another cigarette, she smiled at the weeping cook, chinned him and told his broken mess of a body to “pull his balls out his chuff and roast a fucking pig.” Philip just laughed. Since the war began, since the sea had gotten awfully big, all Prince Philip ever seemed to do was laugh.

A shrill series of shrieks from a klaxon overhead. A jet of steam from the ceiling pipes. The lights went red. They were near. The Chinese had sunk all of the regal decoys. It was only a matter of time. A scratchy, warped recording of ‘God Save The Queen’ spluttered into action over the tannoy.

God save our gracious Queen long live our noble Queen

Young Harry tried to navigate a spoonful of veg to his mouth, but his hands had taken a quiver and what followed was an embarrassment of peas. Elizabeth leaned across the grim iron table, and whispered to the nervous youth:

“I despise fear.”

The young man began to stutter an apology, before the old lady caught him with a bony right hook.

“Now pull your balls out your chuff and fetch me a vodka tonic.”

send her victorious happy and glorious

An explosion shook the room, plates shattering on the floor, gravy splattering again the walls, and Harry let out a little wail.

“What part of get me a vodka tonic would you like me to write down and staple to your fucking head?!” bellowed the monarch, kicking the lad in the seat of his pants as he scrambled out of the room.

“Mother,” chirruped Charles, happy as a smackhead. “Is it all coming to an end?”

“You’d like that, wouldn’t you, you badger’s twat” she snarled.

Another explosion. Bolts shot from the walls, chased by thin jets of water. The recording deteriorated.

l-loooong ma-may she reign, may s-s-s-she defeeeeend ourrrr laws

Baby George was screeching. The Duchess of Cambridge sat still, smiling, waiting for someone to tell her to stop. William and Charles were playing slap-a-penis, giggling like pink idiots, ignoring the water that was starting to burst through the metal walls with each new crash of torpedoes.

The Queen thought back to a simpler time, before the Chinese water wars, the swelling of the oceans, the lost continents. She was still a young woman.

She had woken early. The cool mist was still hanging over the castle gardens. The grass was glistening with dew buds, the crisp morning air only broken by the odd call of a pheasant. Overnight, her 26th year had secretively slipped into her 27th. Her second birthday as the figurehead of the great British people.

“Good morning, kitten.”

Philip wrapped his arms around her from behind, his pipe sitting contentedly on her left shoulder.

“Will this be the year,” she asked him, soaking in his smoky embrace. “Will it all happen this year?”

“What do you mean, squirrel?”

“Oh I don’t know. Something’s coming. Something to make it all make sense. Perhaps I’ll know it when I see it.”

“You know what I do when I worry about this sort of thing,” grinned her hairy-chested husband, the hint of an erection prodding against the small of her back. “I fuck the leader of the commonwealth.”

She smiled, but looked once more into the shapeless mass of morning mist, getting closer and closer. Then a sharp dash of cold water and a drowning melody.

may pea-c-c-ce her poooooower extendd, foe be tr-tr-transformed to f-friend

Her ankles were drenched. The water was rising fast now. A few more hits and the submarine would break apart. Her cigarette had been drenched. She scanned a derisive eye across her family, and took a quick final look back across her many years, a dim parade of moments united by one thing: vague, nagging apprehension. She lit one final stick, sucked a drag and blew it in a lazy arc into the flashing red air and knew she’d soon be waiting no more.

Prince Philip was roaring with laughter now, clapping his hands together, gums bleeding. He laughed and screeched and howled.


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