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A Song of Iron and Wheat

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November, 1987


With a wearied sigh, Maggie sunk back into the bar stool, a double measure of Jack and Coke in hand. With her free hand she smoothed back her perfectly coiffed ginger locks and threw her head back, eyes closed. It had been a challenging day to say the least, and perhaps she should have been celebrating today, on the day of her third re-election. But in all honestly, it felt like a hollow victory. Support of her campaign had been dwindling for months, and she’d expected a loss.

She took a long swig of her Jack and Coke, leaning forward and slamming it down on the bar.

A loss would have been easier to handle, Maggie thought to herself, bitterly. ‘But here I am with another five years of this goddamn shit-show…’

It was fair to say, there would be absolutely nothing Tickety-Boo in store for the coming months ahead.

Fuck it. She needed a good, long drag of a cigarette. She reached into her blazer pocket and pulled out a Richmond Superking, sparking it up, and savouring the smooth rich flavour. She blew a series of impressive smoke rings into the air, watching as they danced around in the light.

Fuck, Maggie, she thought to herself. All this power and prestige and you still end up at this same East-End dive bar that you always do.

She slammed down her empty glass and beat her fist on the table, raising her arm in the air and trying to catch the attention of the nervous young bartender nearby.

‘Garcon!’ she bellowed, holding her empty glass up into the air and clinking the remaining ice cubes within it. ‘Refill!’

The bartender approached with unmasked apprehension, all shaking hands and anxiety riddled, brown-nosing pleasantries.

‘Prime Minister…’ he began, wringing his hands together, something Maggie could only assume was his best attempt at a smile plastered across his face. ‘Forgive me if I am speaking out of turn but…don’t you think you’ve…perhaps…uh…had enough?’

And suddenly, Maggie felt herself overcome with indignant rage. How dare this little peasant speak to her with such disrespect? This jittery little sap who looked to be no older than 19?


‘Of course, of course! My apologies, Prime Minister!’ the bartender stuttered, scuttling off in a fluster to make Maggie’s next drink.

‘God damn asshole, you working class scum are all the same,’ Maggie muttered, shaking her head and taking a long drag of her cigarette.

Just then, the heavy metal music suddenly came to a halt as a new song began to play through the jukebox, and Maggie felt her heart racing as the rhythmic melodies of her favourite song rang out across the air waves.

‘Rule Britannia! Britannia rule the waves!’

Maggie laughed in a mixture of appreciation and satisfaction, necking her entire drink seconds after it was placed down in front of her and turning towards the jukebox in search of the instigator of the beautiful melodies now flooding her senses.

She was shocked, in all honesty, to see the meek, mousy haired girl standing by the music box. She couldn’t have been more than thirty-five, although the blue blazer and skirt combo aged the girl somewhat, in the most tasteful way possible.

The two locked eyes in an instant, and the younger female gave the Prime Minister a coy but telling, almost, dare Maggie say it, vaguely mischievous smile. It was clear from the first glance this mysterious temptress had already been aware of Maggie’s presence, and the song was most definitely for her benefit.

It took little more than seconds to conjure the woman over with a simple raise of her empty glass and a returned, knowing grin.

‘I take it you admire my work,’ Maggie smirked, pulling out the empty bar stool beside her and gesturing for the young woman to sit. ‘And what am I to call you?’

The mousy young woman blushed, adjusting her blazer as she sat. ‘Theresa,’ she giggled. ‘Theresa-May.”



Maggie and Theresa had stayed at the East-End dive bar until kicking out time, and in those few short hours, they’d unveiled precious and delicate truths neither one of them would have previously ever dared to tell a single soul.

Theresa, a life-long fan of the Iron Lady, as it came to knowledge, had been following Maggie’s campaign since the very beginning. It had been her life’s dream to meet her in person, and yet, as they came to converse, in Theresa’s own words, she couldn’t believe how unapologetically human her idol had turned out to be. Bourbon had been drank by the gallon, cigarettes smoked by the carton, and somehow, at 2.30am, the two women had found themselves stood barefoot in their blazers and skirts, bottle of top shelf Bourbon in hand, at the foot of a sprawling wheat field in Essex.

‘This is my favourite thing to do,’ Theresa whispered, taking Maggie’s hand. ‘I know it may be hard to understand, but sometimes I just need the rush, the thrill, I suppose, of breaking a jolly good load of laws all at once. Will you join me, Maggie? Will you…’ she paused to laugh, taking a long exhale of her cigarette before tossing it to the wind, carefree, ‘…will you run through this wheat field with me?’

The wry smile already present on Maggie’s face intensified, as she gripped hold of Theresa’s hand even harder.

‘Well what sort of bloody Pussy would I be if I didn’t?’ Maggie chuckled.

And so they ran.

It was exhilarating, the crisp, countryside air flooding their lungs as they sped through the wheat fields barefoot, suit skirts billowing in the residual wind of the night air, the sting of the grass and crops meaning nothing as it thrashed against their bare legs.

Private property, Maggie thought to herself giddily as they ran, Private property…

They ran, and ran, and ran, for what seemed like an eternity, and then, finally, they tumbled down, tripping on an abandoned rifle left behind from a recent fox hunt. The two women found themselves cascading into the wheat, falling atop of once another, poised in the passionate embrace the pair had been denying themselves of all night, the Iron Lady straddling Theresa, who had quite honestly never looked so ethereal and perfect as she did right now, sprawled out amongst the wheat.

Maggie's heart raced, a surge of passion as she looked into Theresa’s eyes, the stern, sharp blue of the younger woman’s irises intensified by the pale moonlight.

‘You look ravishing,’ Maggie breathed, daring to unhook the top button of Theresa’s blazer.

Theresa sat up just enough to reach the Prime Minister’s face, leaning in for a deep, long and passionate kiss. She made the difficult cut and took her blazer off in order to embrace the Iron Lady in her strong and stable arms, pulling her closer as the two indulged in their passionate embrace. The austerity of their desires had lasted long enough.

A tasteful fade to black set over the wheat fields just then, and after a jolly good rogering, it was very clear to Maggie, as she lay there in the wheat fields with Theresa, suits discarded around them, that she had met someone very special.

Maggie may have ruled Britannia, but Theresa ruled her heart…


All the poor people die.