Cruel Fate – Descent to The Tower


They descended flight after flight, and it seemed their footsteps would go on forever. It seemed as though they were coiling down to the centre of the earth. He wondered how his loathsome captors were able to see ahead of them in the bleak gloom. It smelt of damp, and ancient rot, and he distinctly heard the sound of dripping water, as though the Thames itself were preparing to tear through the ceilings and engulf them all in its murky, dingy substance.

He stared with semi glazed eyes into the pitch blackness, his mouth frozen into fixed resigned semi smile as they descended further and further, to meet his grizzly end.

No matter should his story be written out a thousand times, and read by everyone in the world, no one would ever believe the true fates of those who fall on the wrong side of the establishment in England, no one would believe it, not in a thousand years, even if he escaped. If he escaped, he would be bound to keep it a secret, or he may as well, the good it would do him, trying to convince anyone. Even his own grandmother, were she alive, would pronounce him to be babbling (hatching falsehooods) were he to attempt to relate to her the true nature of what was happening to him.

‘Unhand me you swine’, he cried at his captors, who replied nothing. And he reflected to himself that it was extremely unlikely that they would suddenly stop, set him down, and say, ‘off you go now’.

His head lolled uselessly as they trudged down the interminable stone steps.

He began to reflect that perhaps it would’ve been better if he had never written the book, just lived a simple life: a little T.V. Trying to keep abreast with the latest fashions, or those he liked; just trying to make his life a little bearable, not worrying himself about the lives of thousands of people compromised, in his eyes, consciously prevented from living up to their potential, from being free.

If this was his reward, (…) his own body destroyed and condemned to the grave, having even prepared his ludicrous tombstone, which no one would ever come to see, since no one ever comes to look at tomb stones in Westminster Abbey – was that where he was to be buried? He didn’t care. He didn’t care if his remains were used as fertiliser for the trees in the houses of Parliament.

He tried for the moment his ropes, but felt very much like one of the trussed up pheasants he had earlier compared himself to.

Doubtless the world would tick on as it was before, the rich enjoying their parties, and the poor enjoying slightly different parties, and struggling that bit more. Of course, the worst of it was, that some how it was crazilly justified by a number of logics, 1, now that he had the time to work it out, a notion that to be immoral, and succumb to vice is no enviable thing, and therefore to be praised in the poor who don’t even have first refusal, or any right of refusal, that B, such hardship cannot be real, since it cannot be logical, that material questions can really have an impact on people – what was that, some crazy hang-over from some Christion ethics? In any case, yes, the material question undoubtedly does affect these mortals, it undoubtedly does…

Jesus, he reflected, what was happening to him, can this really be happening to him, really, to be dragged down and tortured like so many saints and treasonists, he had read about, to actually suffer the same fate, in 2015 ? Was it possible? Was it all coming to this? Had he any inkling of this scenario, during his earliest years, when he was born? Was this unkind twist of fate written into him, perhaps into his DNA, just as much as the shape of his eyebrows, or his… Was it really his fate to die anonymously, and secretly, surrounded by feckless, privileged yobs, who’ve never had to suffer indignities?

Could he not struggle out? Could not he, Robert Lispcombe, loosen these ropes with sheer determination and fortitude, somehow escape, resurface, resume where he left off, revolutionise London, and England, and live in a Green and Pleasant lands, where folk lived in more harmony with one another and one huge section of society was not cruely used by, in effect, a minority.

Again, he wrenched at his hands, straining the ropes, felt them dig into his aching wrists, kept pulling, but felt, any kind of give in them to be superficial, and backed up by innumerable multiples of the initial resistance he felt impeding him.

He strained and strained, and pulled and pulled. But the ropes budged not one iota, and he continued to be hoisted down this interminable flight…

For three hours his company bore him along, marching him off to his murky destination. And after three hours they stopped, and a dank, and particularly smelly dungeon, and laid him out on top of a particularly smelly sepulchre.

liscombe wept quietly into the damp tombstone.

Can it really have come to this? he inwardly reflected.

He was punched badly in the face, and he banged the back of his head on the sepulchre. ‘was he to die a worse fate than Jesus?’, to actually live life, and all it’s armies of suffering, and then to die alone anonymously, without even the comforting knowledge that your death would bring inspiration to others for millennia? He was disparate, his eyes casting around in the subterranean gloom, straining at his ropes.

He could not even see his captors, only silhouettes, and he wondered what they were doing, lingering there; he thought perhaps if he could drive himself into a frenzy, he could perhaps prevent himself from suffering, a least to a degree. He did this by shaking his head from side to side, and wailing softly; a technique tried, he reflected, by anyone in a similar condition, say in the inquisition, or any situation of torture; but then he stopped, reverted back to glazed, slightly bemused stare, could he see it as cruel joke, and somehow be on the audience’s side?

He thought he could feel blood in his face, from the cruel blow he had received.

He strained and strained, and fell back into a stupified exhaustion on the sepulchre.

Three, four more punches, and his head fell back.

Who are you, you cowards, he bellowed, the figured seemed to have lost their human qualities, seemed more like mute grey spirits, hovering around him, curious, reproachful.

He felt with his fingers the surface of the sepulchre, and discerned words, carved into the surface. He could not be sure who’s grave he lay upon. The blood was flowing freely down his face.


And so it was that Lipscombe found himself lashed to small stone table, and again sighed, wondering what possible chance there could be of ever escaping this.

In all his wild intuitions, he had never thought of this, that the Tower of London could be up and running; that while groups of gangley limbed back pack clutching tourists were being led around, that in other, unexplored parts of the building all this was going on.

He heard dreadful screams echoing round the corner.  ‘Am I to be tortured?’ He thought.

He was becoming increasingly nervous, and was beginning to wish he had never have got involved in the affair.  If he had perhaps chosen subtler means, though the effect might have been slower, perhaps gentler, at least it would have had some effect, rather than his life being brought to an abrupt, and gruesome end, in this God-forsaken dungeon.

He felt significantly ill-at-ease, and loosened his collar.

How could he be so stupid, he reflected to himself, to imagine that Corbyn was anything other than a paid up member of the Conservative party, employed to act as a foil to them, in order ultimately to ensure their longevity and presence.

He felt like vomiting with rage, but only a little bit came out, dribbling a little down his face and sorely paining the back of his throat.

He cursed his luck and gazed into the soft focus mandalas of the archetraving, upon which he could not properly focus, being unable to discern its distance, ascending endlessly above him.