I see the tilt of your head, age bowing your proud brow rather than submission. I see your mouth, always slightly open, as if you’re prepared at any given moment to dislocate your jaw and swallow an ostrich egg whole. I see the glint in your eyes, your mind as sharp and your tongue as impossibly blunt as they ever were. Nothing’s bumping you off, is it? Not the passage of time, not a hospital visit, not flipping your Land Rover at high speed. It’s a wonder Samuel L Jackson hasn’t yet turned up in a purple suit to ask you to fight James McAvoy’s acting showreel.
You’ve already bounced back, haven’t you? Nothing’s going to slow you down, least of all a seatbelt or an insurance claim. Your premiums are through the roof but they have been since you were found liable in 1997 and you weren’t even driving for that accident. Some poor pleb’s broken wrist and endangered baby aren’t going to keep you out of the driver’s seat, not when you’ve got to get the practice in. You’ve lived too long to back down, not when you know what’s coming.
As for seat belts? Where we’re going, you won’t need seat belts.
I see you, Prince Philip, a tiny shadow emerging on a sandstone cliff high above the crowd. I feel the blazing sun and I smell the stench of the amassed hordes, the stink of sweat and filth filling the dusty air. I hear them roar their approval as you raise your arm, drums booming through the valley, your chosen Warboys hammering at them with the femurs of your vanquished enemies. Up on the cliffs they live, hundreds of feet among the scum. Duke of Edinburgh Award winners all, the finest and sharpest minds, gathered to your side when the bombs dropped.
They scurry and they fawn and they bleed and die, Prince Philip. They surrender their blood, their livers, their hearts. All so you can live and reave and gouge your terrible legacy out of the flesh of the wasteland.
I hear the great pipes clunking and shuddering, water rushing up from the wellspring far below the ground. I see it cascade downwards, the crowd rushing forwards with their skins and pans, desperate to collect as much of it as they can.
I hear the drums thrashing now, the beat filling the valley like a thunderstorm. I see the rusty chains lowering the platform and I hear the revving of the engines. I hear you laugh, Prince Philip, a muffled sound in the plastic mask that covers your vulture’s face. I see the Warboys rushing to clip your armour around your alabaster chest, a bondage harness of human leather and teeth.
You’re off on a jolly, aren’t you, Prince Philip? You and the Warboys, roaring around the ravaged desert now known as Sandringhell. None shall stand in your way and none shall live. For in the shrieking, homicidal glee there is only undying loyalty among them, unwavering commitment to the last of the Old Gods. You, Prince Philip, standing tall among the dust.
They bleed and they die for you, Prince Philip. All because they got their country back.
I see you, Prince Philip. I fucking see you.