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Fast Fiction: Prerogrative

The prime minister in Richard Mallinson's tale is a man with a keen appetite - and not for food.

'Who's that over there?'

'Where, prime minister?'

'Over there, in the corner, talking to Elly Trent.'

'I'll go and find out.'

'Yes, you do that ... Well?'

'His name is Cliff Culp.'

'The former jockey?'

'That's him. Full marks, prime minister.'

'Who invited him?' '

The minister for sport.'

'Ah, tell Elly that I would like a word with her.'

'I'll go at once, prime minister.'

'Yes, you do that ... Oh, hullo, Elly, you look lovely.'

'Thank you, prime minister. It's an honour to serve under you.'

'How very charming of you to say so ... Now, why did you invite Cliff Culp? This is supposed to be a reception for opinion formers.'

'Cliff is the racing tipster of the Daily Blare.'

'Oh, is he? ... Well, I hope he's not taking you for a ride.'

'No, no, prime minister - that's your prerogative.'

'Now, now, Elly ... Tonight, then, usual time?'


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