“I do not for one minute” ranted Jones, his face quite beetroot in complexion ” believe that all people are created Equal”. A large vein throbbed above his right temple. “And I will tell you another thing while I’m at it” he continued, jutting out a sausage like finger and spitting as he spoke “there is no way we are taking in any more of those confounded Illegals!”
He seemed rather convinced of his point. Out of breath he plopped his portly frame back into his chair and folded his arms defiantly. As usual though, he failed to acknowledge that these were not solely his decisions to make.
“Now come on Arthur, you know full well this is a decision for the council and not for you alone” Alastair Brown reminded him. Alastair was the local milkman and had known Arthur for as long as he could remember and was quite adept at calming him down. He was in most aspects larger than life and with a will that was seldom swayed.
Arthur let out what sounded like ‘harumph’ and attempted to fold his arms even tighter in defiance, but this simply served to push up his chest until it looked like he had a rather full pair of breasts.
Alastair surveyed the room, and all the other council members eyes were fixed firmly upon him. Anderson, Smith, Wesley and Carpenter were going to let him deal with this one. They backed him, but they weren’t going to let Jones know that.
“All I’m saying Arthur, is that we can take more. We have room. We have resources.”
Arthur didn’t respond.
“The world has changed Arthur, we cannot keep resisting. They need our help, we need to show compassion” Alastair pleaded.
Arthur unwrapped his arms and stood slowly, heaving his considerable frame out of the chair. He had always been a bully, from very young, and being bigger than the other children he learnt from an early age how to use his size to his advantage.
“I will not, and cannot, tolerate one more of those ‘things’ in our village!” He drew himself to his full height and puffed out his chest. He continued, now ignoring Jones and addressing the room “the world may have changed but we are not for changing gentleman. We belong to this village and this village belongs to us!”
Alastair tried to speak but Arthur was not for listening.
“When the rifts opened and those things came through, feasting and destroying and ruining our flower beds they didn’t show us any compassion. They didn’t show us any kindness!”
“Now come on Arthur”, Alastair exclaimed, “That was nearly 20 years ago. They need us, they have nowhere to go.”
“That is not true, they can go home!”
“Their home is dying, you know that. That’s why they’re here”.
Carpenter was about to speak, and noticing Arthur immediately pointed a finger at him “Giles, you surely don’t expect us to take in anymore given what happened to your Mary.”
Giles fell silent. No one spoke until Alastair broke the silence.
“That was low Arthur. You really didn’t need to bring that up.”
Alastair felt he was losing the battle. They had all suffered when the rift opened, they had all lost someone and they had all fought so hard to rebuild their village. The others were too afraid of Arthur to stand up to him, and he felt rather isolated.
Arthur didn’t care how Giles felt. He didn’t care how anyone felt. “So that’s decided then, we don’t take in any more of those confounded blue furred creatures. Let them rot I say!”
The other said nothing.
Arthur sat slowly, savouring the moment. He took a slow drink of water from the glass in front of him. “Moving on to point 2 on the Agenda then, Donations for the summer fete raffle…Giles, I believe that was one for you.”