The journey to Barnard Castle: a seasonal Ghost story
Hearken ye, and, on the Christmas when mixing and mingling is largely frowned on, listen to the tale that shocked the nation and became a morality play.
It is said that St Dominic stood on a lofty perch, and held himself in the highest esteem. His words were feared, even when understood. His hinterland was mysterious, and he was thought to have made a thousand and one enemies. His countenance was fierce and his trademark garments belied his taste for power.
When the terrifying demon COVID struck, his counsel was much sought. He summoned the oracles that once led the British people to a place they had never imagined, and wove his magic with the Cabinet of supine vassals. He urged them to listen to SAGE, but he was the sage he had in mind. With Lockdown lurking, he led the line; when COVID struck the king, he watched the minions flounder. And all this was before his ghostly transformation.
It started when he caught the virus himself. His invincibility betrayed; his self-assurance shattered; his pallor now grey and his demeanour choleric. The highest in the land banished him to serve his isolation away from the seat of Government. In tremulous torpor, he fled the capital, made for the north – his vision of levelling-up.