“Good evening ladies and Gentlemen!” a charming voice bellowed to the crowd. “I’d say just everyone but as you know I’m not one of those gender neutral types. That’s because if you know me well enough, I fight for a normal world, a common-sense world, the old world we used to know, and being here in Sunderland tonight I’m as close to that world I can get! AND WE’RE GOING TO FIGHT FOR IT!” As he paused, Fulton was met with a roar of applause and cheers in a packed-out upper suite. Melting with the dense heat of the crowd, Sophie found himself squeezing herself through the hoards in a desperate bid to serve ever thirsty mouths, quenching not just for alcohol but the passion of politics and the venting of their anger.
“So do we have any woke warriors here then?”- He continued in a jolly voice, holding up a pint in his hand simultaneously mimicking the crowd. “As I said on GB News last week, these people are eating themselves with self-hatred. They want to erase our history, tear down our statues and make you feel bad about who you are! They might talk of justice and equality, but where is it for people like us?” He continued; his face reddened somewhat with tipsiness. “Let me tell you this, they don’t care about ordinary folk like you and me! They are middle class, metropolitan lefties, they sit posturing in their fancy restaurants eating their lentils and fancy food. They think they’re better than ordinary people and haven’t worked a normal job in their lives!”
“That’s why I am proud to be here in Sunderland, I look upon you all, the sons of miners, shipbuilders, hardworking men who built our country with their bare hands and are now having it taking away from them! Well NOT ANY MORE!”- The crowd roared again in response. “The People’s Democratic Party are here to restore Sunderland to its former glory! Out with the socialists, in with the real people! As Mayor, I will stand up to the gravy train in Westminster and make sure they take us seriously! First of all, no more asylum seekers! The London metropolitan luvies are sending these third world rejects to our town and taking up our housing, driving up prices and bringing crime. Sorry folks, but Sunderland is FULL UP, Britain is FULL UP and it’s time to put our own people first!”
As he raved on, the crowd remained ecstatic and emitted more energy than they seemed capable. Sophie groaned under her breath and continued to push on. Micky on the other hand, was more ecstatic, engulfed by Fulton’s oratory energy he could barely keep his eyes off the event, leading him to work lethargically and with distraction. “Fulton is absolutely class like!” He remarked quietly to one of the men in the crowd as he worked on the cashier at the bar. Sophie glared at him unimpressed as she dashed past, the sweat dripping from her forehead. “Can’t wait until this shit is over” she groaned to herself under her breath.
“So I heard the unfortunate news that many young men in this city have gone missing recently…” Fulton announced suddenly shifting topic. Sophie’s ears twitched attentively and her interest sprang to life. “This may be sad, and we pray for the families of these dear boys but beyond them we must also be honest that Sunderland has a problem with youth disobedience and delinquency. It’s leading our children astray. We have otherwise too many parasites on our society! They’re taking benefits from your taxes, living idle lives and contributing nothing to your area! And so the next thing I will also be pledging to do is to be tough on crime and its causes! We will prevent these tragedies happening again by reinstating school discipline, making young people learn some respect, order, discipline! There will be no more chavs or lost boys on my watch!” Sophie, alarmed, turned to Micky. “I don’t know how you love this bloke, what an insensitive, heartless prick he is.” She snarked. “Aye well… I reckon he just says things how they are, you heard Liam earlier… they’ve been into this new drug going around, he just doesn’t know the other part about it turning people into monsters and that, but who would? Nobody’s perfect, there is too many delinquents in this town” He shrugged.
Sophie’s face only seemed to scrunch in anger. “What are you deein? I thought you wanted to help me. One of these lads is only 16 years old man and you committed to find out what’s going on, but here you are clapping away at this discount Hitler.” She snapped. “Like I said earlier, we need to go and find Matthew James, tonight before it’s too late. As soon as this is over, we’re going down to Foxy Island tonight to see for ourselves what’s going on there, I don’t care how tired you are. How long is it before more disappear?” She added in a quieter voice. “Alreet then North Star, but honestly this is nowt to do with his political views. Save the lads, but don’t bring this into it man” he groaned. Before Sophie could continue, he abruptly moved away to continue his work.
Sophie sighed to herself and likewise continued. As Fulton barked on and the night dragged along, she was startled to notice something different about herself. Whilst her work was strenuous, the atmosphere also hot and stuffy, she was not experiencing fatigue. The constant hussle and bussle of pouring and serving drinks, as well as cleaning up did not seem to phase her as it used to, as if a huge weight had been lifted off her back. “Sophie!” snapped the boss Derek suddenly, catching her by surprise. “Have you improved your fitness or something?”- He remarked, his voice turning positive. She smiled replying “Just long walks you know! But it’s all part of the job!”. “Well, I’ve never seen you work so productively and energetically before. I’m impressed!”- He noted, sticking up his thumb positively before walking off to inspect the rest of the venue.
Sophie looked around, and seeing the bar quiet she called for Micky. “Oi, cover for me I’m just dashing to the loo”- she called over. “Okay”- He replied spiritlessly, seemingly still annoyed about the previous conversation. She then quickly darted into the bathroom and barricaded herself in, quickly drawing her phone from her pocket and hammering her fingers on her contacts. After a few brief moments, a voice sprang out of the device. “Hello? Sophie?” it called. “Millie!” she responded enthusiastically. “Oh hey, what’s up is everything okay?” she asked in a friendly but benignly concerned voice. “Everything’s fine, apart from having to work at this awful William Fulton event. It’s a bloody nightmare!” she moaned into the phone, brushing back her hair with hair hand in frustration. “Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me!” Millie replied shocked “He’s speaking there tonight?” she asked.
“You bet he is, and he’s spewed so much shit it’s unbelievable. What’s worse is that Micky is proper up his arse. Won’t have a bad word said about him.” She groaned. “But listen, there’s something more important than that to discuss. He’s a pain in the tit, but he’s been helping me too.” She added. “Oh god, what is it then?” Millie replied unenthusiastically. “I’ve been busy all day, but I meant to tell you we got a lead on you know, all the weird stuff going on… about those freak things attacking us, north star, blah blah”. She continued “If you seen tonight’s paper, there’s 5 young men in the area gone missing and two disappeared around Foxy Island near Silksworth. We knew one of them and learnt from an old friend there’s some kind of mysterious new drug involved called Lava.” She paused for breath.
“What? Are you saying drugs are turning people into these monsters?” Millie responded with confusion. “Who knows, none of it makes sense. But listen what are you doing tonight? Like 9-10ish, because I’m pushing him to take me there” She replied in an urgent voice. “Umm, I was going to be studying, uni life never stops it doesn’t revolve around a bar. Are you asking me to come with you… and him?”- she added uncomfortably. “Yeah if that would be okay.. look Fulton tonight was slagging those lads off insensitively, he’s exploiting the situation for politics and these muppets lap it up.
We’ve got to find out what’s going on and after all I’m this so-called hero, right?”- She prompted “Okay then… only for you” Millie replied cheerfully “When does it finish? I’ll roll down and meet you outside at 9.” Sophie’s face lit up “great, but take care of yourself on the way!” She added enthusiastically. “Great stuff, see ya!” she ended the call and dashed out of the bathroom, where Fulton was now taking a question-and-answer session from the audience. “Recently a lot of people were angry about claims of a young lady allegedly being raped by a member of a certain community. How do you keep our streets safe for us and our children?”- A man asked with the microphone.
“Well!” Fulton remarked loudly, taking back the Mic “I want Sunderland to be one of the safest and finest places in Britain. How am I going to do it? As I’ve mentioned in my speech, first our no refugees in take policy, we all know that’s a big source of it! Then, I want to limit inbound immigration into the city by creating a social housing quota which favours Sunderland born people first. This means we will stop importing trash from other places and the only people who do move here are people who have money, skills and qualifications and not putting crime on our streets! I am also issuing a planning restriction on any new Mosques! I’m giving you a future, I’m giving your children a future! I’ve made a good friend with the area’s Chief Inspector David Simm, we’ll be coming down on crime with an iron fist!”- He proclaimed triumphantly, again met with an applause from the crowd.
“Oi Micky…” Sophie shouted out again as she returned to the bar. “As soon as this is over you’ve got a date with me and Millie… we’re going to investigate Foxy Island.” She said in a strict voice. “Areet then…” he replied “It’s on. The Barnes Burn, Backhouse Park, now here.. you love your dodgy places like” he remarked “It’s more like someone else does” she replied in a cynical tone. “Well aye… let’s get to the bottom of this good and proper, let’s get back those lost souls.” He laughed. The conversation then fell flat as work took back over. Meanwhile, Fulton continued to entertain and engage the audience, proposing all kinds of seemingly miraculous solutions to Sunderland problems, the crowd hypnotized by his charm, wit and charisma in a trance like fashion.
Eventually, the event drew to a close. “Well thank you very much LADIES and GENTLEMEN. Yes I mean those words, you know there are two genders. It’s very black and white, just not the Newcastle United kind! Make sure you put your X in the People’s Democratic Party box, for a new Sunderland, for a better Sunderland and a city owned by the people and for the people! We’ll keep those buggers honest!” He proclaimed in his closing words, met again with a standing ovation. He quickly stepped off the stage and in the blink of an eye, slipped out of the room. The crowd soon got up and began chatting to each other over their drinks, herding towards the exit. “Thank you everyone! If you can just make your way downstairs everyone! he then turned towards Micky and Sophie “Okay, you two have put in a bloody good afternoon to evening shift I’ve got Liz in for the night job and cleaning so if you can just help put things away and then you’re done for tonight! Chop chop!” he urged; Sophie breathed a sigh of relief to herself as the two scrambled to tidy up the massive litany of glasses. “What an absolutely class event that was!” Micky proclaimed to Derek loudly, much to Sophie’s annoyance who glared at him, but remained mute.
“Yes that was toppa like. Very happy with how it all went!” he replied, dashing around picking up the excess political leaflets left on the tables. “Are you two voting for him? Well, I know you are Micky” he asked suddenly. “I don’t vote.”- Sophie replied cynically. “What’s the point?” she shrugged. “They’re all the same I reckon, and they’re all wankers. No party has ever helped my life. But I’ll keep my lips sealed on this one.” She laughed lightly. Micky quickly gave her a dirty look in response. “Well I just think, personally speaking, this town really needs something new. The energy Fulton brings, it’s amazing. We’ve never had a chance to have a mayor like this.” He replied “but anyhow, let’s get on with this.”
And the night rolled on…