The Kingmaker

Baron Luxon had campaigned long and hard.

It had been a long and winding road

Towards the Castle of State that lay beyond the Vale of Tears.

He had toiled behind the deep fryer in a low tavern.

He had wandered in strange lands selling cleaning products.

He had been put in charge of the national hot air balloon fleet.

He had signed up to a weird cult of chanting mystics

And he also signed up to the Most Secret Order

Of the Upper Room.

Now he was close – very close.

But the closer he came towards his destination,

Difficulties seemed to mount up and confound him.

Firstly, a magenta Toad had climbed into his backpack.

Its name was Seymour and the Baron couldn’t get rid of it.

The Toad was heavy and it kept making critical comments.

“You are a bit soft, Lux,” it told him. “Harden up, ya blouse!”

Next he reached the boundary of the Royal Estate.

A border guard adjusted his tie under the studio lights

And demanded The Details from him.

The Baron found himself repeating his words mindlessly

In a dull, trance-like state.

He began to perspire under the hot and fiery sun

And the silent watchful gaze of a crowd of bottom feeders

Who gathered by the roadside with their petitions and pleas.

“Tax cuts for everyone!” shouted the Baron with forced cheer

As he tried to escape through the throng of odorous peasants.

He edged around a giant hole in the road.

“Help,” he heard a voice cry from the bottomless pit,

“I fell down here looking for The Details.”

The Baron pretended not to hear Lady Nicola,

For there before him was the Magnificent Castle of State.

He cast off his backpack and the heavy Toad.

He pushed through the vast and rusted gates

And strode across the cool and venerable flagstones.

Finally he came to the Great Banquet Hall.

He had arrived!

But just as he strides towards the Golden Throne,

There at the shadowed head of the Great Table,

He discerns an eldritch figure

Lit with an eerie and unnatural light.

The Ghost of Coalition’s Past!

The Baron falls in horror to his knees.

Lord Winston the Undead rises in spectral glory!

“No one comes to the Throne,” saith Winston,

“Except through me.”

And there waiting on the table

With a quill and a pot of ink

Is a contract for the Baron’s soul.

Victor Billot has previously felt moved to write Odes for such luminaries as David Seymour, Nicola Willis, Michael Wood, and Chris Hipkins.

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