A nightmare on Downing Street ...

Share
Related Topics
The publishing success of the last few months has been `Ghost Bumps', RL Stine's short modern ghost stories for children which give them a delicious scare without shocking them. At the end of each chapter, for instance, there is a sort of cliff-hanging horror which is gently defused at the start of the next chapter.

But why is there nothing for adults which cashes in on the same desire to have a skin-creeping fright, which mixes the uncanny with the familiar?

Well, there are now. Because today I am kicking off a new series of goose- pimple political tales called `Westminster Wobblies', and the first flesh- crawling tale is called:

Little Ken at Number Ten

CHAPTER ONE

John had been Prime Minister for a number of years, and quite enjoyed the job. What he had to do in this job was run the country and make sure that everyone was better off than before. Very soon he realised that this was not possible, so instead he tried to make sure that everyone was under the impression that they were better off, even if they weren't. This worked for a while, but after a bit everyone realised that the only ones who were getting any better off were the ones who were already well off, and everyone started grumbling again. It was about this time that John realised that the country was going to grumble no matter what happened, and indeed that they quite enjoyed grumbling, so he gave up worrying and just got on with life at Number 10.

Number 10 was a big old house where all the previous prime ministers had lived, and he was sitting in front of the fire in the old sitting- room one night when suddenly his blood froze. He could hear voices! He thought he could hear a voice saying: "John! You're a jackass!" What could it be?

CHAPTER TWO

Very slowly the door opened. His blood ran even colder. Then, round the door, came his wife, Norma. "Phew, you gave me a shock, Norma," he said. "I thought you were a ghost."

She smiled and said she was not.

"Did you say something about a jackass?" he enquired.

"No," she said, "you must have misheard. I was talking about Chequers."

"You want to play a game of chequers before we go to bed?" said John. "That would be fun!"

"No," said Norma. "I said I would like to read you a chapter from my book about Chequers."

"That would be fun too in its own way," said John, holding on to his smile. "I'll be up in a moment."

His wife left him and he sighed. His gaze fell on the portrait of Disraeli on the far wall. He wondered if Disraeli ever insisted on reading his wife parts of his novels. He yawned and then, halfway through his yawn, he had the shock of his life! The figure of Disraeli was moving! It was coming towards him! "Who are you?" said John, fearfully.

"I am the ghost of Disraeli," said the figure. "and I have come to warn you!"

"Warn me? Of what?"

"Do not trust Kenneth! He is after your job!"

CHAPTER THREE

"You mean Kenneth Clarke?" quavered John.

"Well, I don't mean Kenneth Branagh!" said the ghost suavely. "Surely there's only one Kenneth you need to fear?"

And before John's very eyes the figure of Disraeli took off its wig and make-up and revealed itself as John's next-door neighbour, Chancellor of the Exchequer Kenneth!

"Surely you haven't forgotten that I'm playing Disraeli in the Tory end- of-term panto?" chuckled Kenneth. "I thought I'd bring the costume round and see how effective it was. I have to say it worked pretty well!"

"I wasn't scared at all," said John stiffly. "I was half-asleep, that's all. So you're after my job, are you?"

"Not really," said Ken, sitting down. "That's just what Disraeli thinks."

And Ken started chuckling again in a most annoying manner.

"Look, John," he said, "everyone is after someone else's job. It wouldn't be natural if they weren't. There are people after my job. There are people after Michael Howard's job."

"Who wants mine?" whispered John.

"Someone with the same initials as Michael Howard," whispered Ken." He would do ANYTHING to get it from you ..."

"You mean, Michael Hes ..."

As John spoke, an explosion went off and there was the sound of breaking glass. As the two chums dropped to the floor, Ken whispered: "Gosh! I never thought he'd go that far!"

Want to know what happens next? Buy `Little Ken at Number Ten' in the new scary `Westminster Wobblies' series!

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Retail Buyer / Ecommerce Buyer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working closely with the market...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - CAD Software Solutions Sales

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A reputable company, famed for ...

Ashdown Group: Client Accountant Team Manager - Reading

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letter from the Education Editor: This shocking abuse of teachers should be taken seriously

Richard Garner
Brand loyalty: businessmen Stuart Rose (pictured with David Cameron at the Conservative conference in 2010) was among the signatories  

So, the people who always support the Tories... are supporting the Tories? Has the world gone mad?

Mark Steel
War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?