It was getting on for Dawn and Derek Cameroon had been up all night. But such things were child’s play for him. It was almost 7am and time for Derek Cameroon to visit her royal majesty the queen.
He walked out of Westminster Abbey dusting his hands and went on his merry way. It was good to think of Robert Lipscombe all that way underground lashed to a tombstone howling in misery.
In that moment he looked for all the world like Bilbo Baggins from Tolkien’s famous tale. Could it be because he was at Oxford? And straightening his Anderson and Shepperd Jacket he went on his merry way.
But descending deep down the mandala like windings of the smokey staircases and the ragged forlorn walls, past the rat infested crumbling areas of dampness, and the spiders crawling in the depths, we find Robert Lipscombe’s face trembling in the darkness, wondering what cruel fate lay in store for him.
‘A small nuclear device’ came the fated voice from the adjacent quarters. Yes, yes, that’s it, a small nuclear explosion – wipe him off the face if the earth’
Right, give it here, just give it to me, I want to get this over with. It’s fucking awful down here.’
Robert froze at these words.
A small nuclear device?
Was he to be exploded in a tiny mushroom cloud? Of all the hateful, improbable, impossible ideas.
And here they were, fumbling about with something that looked like an alarm clock with a telephone cable sticking out of it.
Their smooth hands, and actually rather simply defined finger tips, handled it erratically, shaking it, as though they were in a hurry. They set the thing down, set it off, and set off into the next room, obviously extremely impatient to get it over with.
Derek Cameroon was still chortling to himself and rubbing his hands with glee on this fresh winter morning, his breath around him like the milling smoke from battersea power station.
Good morning (…), he said, as he marched in.
The queen (…), said, what about all this Lipscombe business.
No trouble there said Cameroon. He’s going to be blown up with a miniature atomic bomb, he said, as he inspected the contents beneath the silver cake dish.