A tall tale from your editor

Urgent Report to the Anti-Colonial Crown
19 October 2015

Making Copies Prohibited
Copy No. 1

Erable Telegramme,
Late tonight, T. Sulcair invited me to come see him. We spoke alone.

He stated that the onslaught of Tory propaganda and the stifling of the CBC was his primary cause of concern.

I was told previous to this private council to remain silent about our meeting place. Sulcair insisted upon my confidentiality.

“Listen, this isn’t about the Cons. Well, it is. Just listen.” His head cast a shadow behind him, crawling all the way up to the ceiling. His frantic arms shifted light from the fireplace, casting strange shadows around the den in which we sat. I asked him to refrain from evasiveness.

“It’s late. I have driven two hours West from God-damn Montreal at this ridiculous hour. Frankly Sulcair, you’re making me nervous. What the hell is going on?”

He leaned in close to me, and grasped my hands too tight. His fingers were yellow from his habitual cigars. All busy men smoke. I am sure this is an anecdote that exists. Sulcair was indeed a busy man.

“It’s the Tories. They’re phonies!”

I accused Sulcair of drunkenness, of dragging me away from my bed.

“Yes, Sulcair. The Tories are phonies.”

I pat him on the shoulder and got up to leave. Sulcair pushed me back onto the velvet chair with surprising strength, his eyes lighting up. He looked scared.

“We had just adjourned a parliamentary debate on the refugee crisis. It was all I could do to keep my cool. I bust out of that cursed hall as soon as I could for some fresh air. I kept thinking to myself, it’s like those damn blue-ties have no souls. And then I saw him.”

Sulcair shuddered, a layer of goosebumps appearing on his clammy skin. He was still wearing his tweed suit. The man hadn’t changed all day.

“I turned onto Slater when I saw Peter MacKay hiding under a pine tree. You know, the kind of pine where the branches hit the ground really low. The kind you used to hide in as a kid! Anyways, I see these smart brown loafers sticking out from under this tree, and take a peak between the branches and… Oh, God.”

Sulcair buried his face in his palms in a devastated fashion. Had someone died? Worse, was Larper in the lead? Sulcair’s hands shook and he took a large swig of scotch. A log in the fireplace cracked loudly, making us both jump.


He stood up, his shadow fully domineering the room.

“They’re not real,” He whispered hoarsely. “H-He…HE DIDN’T HAVE EYES. They’d melted right out of hissockets. He had what seemed like dried wax clumped around his these black holes in his face, just like-!” Sulcair gestured to a beeswax candle on his table. The candle had been burning for hours and wax dripped down the sides in the typical way that candles do.

“They’re sentient wax figures. All of them. I’ve been tracking it for days and it all makes sense now. They’re never at Pride! It’s always sunny at pride. Beevus Larper only speaks in shady parking lots in the middle of nowhere, and we all have to sign these damn waivers promising not to take any photos. NO FLASH CAMERAS? NO SPOTLIGHTS? Have you ever seen Larper break a sweat? He’s never looked quite right, those eyes are too deep set.”

“Wax? What are you on about? They may have empty policies but they’re not fucking museum props Sulcair.”

“Come with me.”

He guided me up a flight of stairs and proceeded to unlock an industrial padlock; T. Sulcair was on edge.

At this point, I made a mental note of every occurrance in order to relay this telegram, as I felt a creeping apprehension. I entered a dim room with Sulcair directly ahead of me. As my eyes adjusted, my ears became aware of muffled grunts and the clink of metal.

Slowly, my eyes travelled around the room.

I began to feel each hair on my body simultaneously rise like that of a spooked cat. I felt my mouth go dry.

“What the hell Sulcair!? Are you insane?”

Men and women huddled against the walls of the room. They were chained to each other and gagged.  I froze in place, looking for something to knock Sulcair out with.  That couldn’t end well, the man could be the next Prime Minister.  

As I planned an exodus,  Sulcair scurried to a small fireplace in the corner. With shaking hands he stoked a small fire. A glow filled the room and the eyes of the captured grew wider with every flickering flame.

I could see my reflection in the back of Sulcair’s head. I stared at myself. How long have these poor people been held captive? When did Sulcair lose it? Jesus fucking Christ.

Sulcair continued to stoke the fire, and it grew healthier. The protests of the captives grew lethargic around me.

A strange sense of quiet overtook the room. I pondered, still burning holes into Sulcair’s shiny scalp with my eyes. I saw a woman reach towards me through the chains that constricted her.  I watched her via Sulcair’s bald head.

As she stretched  towards me, her skin seemed to fold over and envelop the chains wrapped around her. The fire burst brighter, and the groans of the prisoners grew louder and slower like a warbled tape player in reverse.

Bodies began to boil and bubble. Faces drooped and hair fell out in clumps. Fingernails slid off fingertips like egg yolks off plates and jaws gaped wide; teeth escaped mouths like chicklets one by by one. Ear lobes drooped, collarbones caved, and the perceived flesh around me disintegrated.

The captives were all recognizable Tory figures. Please note this. I could not assess faces and names in my  shocked state. A proper investigation into missing peoples must be organized, though I do not recommend this as a priority. We are in a state of National emergency.

Avertissement! Les Conservateurs ne sont pas ceux qu’ils semblent être. Alarme! Urgence! Au secours. Larper ne puisse savoir. J’répète, les Conservateurs ne sont pas ceux qu’ils semblent être. S.O.S.

About Yumna Leghari 59 Articles
I am currently co-editor along with the fabulous Zara Syed. I'm a Peterborough hobbit, and often find myself writing too much poetry and struggling to be a proper adult. Just kidding, there is no such thing as too much poetry. I spent two years as a reporter before being lucky enough to become co-editor of Arthur. I love journalism of all sorts, but generally focus on music journalism and politics. As a History and English major, I tend to over-analyze everything. Luckily, the journalism world is the one place where that is accepted-one would hope. You can probably find me tucked away in a corner of Peterborough somewhere, scribbling in a notebook frantically over my fourth cup of coffee.