Nicola’s knees started to become sore as she knelt over the bathtub. Despite how short her hair was, dying it at home always took a long time. It was so difficult to know if the ginger dye was still washing out of her hair when she’d replaced her shower water with Irn Bru. Water was so English.
It was particularly important that her hair be the perfect shade of red for her upcoming press conference. It was a constant source of embarrassment to Nicola that she was not a natural redhead. She was so Scottish, her blood was tartan and her tears were whisky, but there was no ginger strand on her head. At least dying her hair calmed her nerves. Nicola wasn’t sure why she was so anxious. As First Minister, she’d done a lot of things that required guts with ease. She’d stared down pig-headed David Cameron. She’d demolished Theresa May in a dance-off. Nicola had even crouched on the floor so she could look Rishi Sunak in the eyes when she told him to stick his transphobic policies where the sun doesn’t shine. Unfortunately, Rishi took one look at the weather and consented heartily. Still, it took courage to look the devil in the eyes, and Nicola had done it. So why was she so nervous about this press conference?
Nicola jumped as she heard bagpipes blast out from the bathroom counter. She picked up her phone and answered the call.
“Hi Nicola, I just wanted to reach out, former female stateswoman to former female stateswoman-” Liz Truss’s voice droned over the speaker. Nicola hung up immediately. The best thing to do with Liz was to ignore her. She was such an attention-seeker.
Before she could put her phone down, a text came through from Keir Starmer.
Hey Nicola, you stole my limelight. This was supposed to be my week on the front pages!
Nicola responded honestly:
Who are you?
She turned off the shower. Nicola walked over to the mirror to admire her new hair. As she did, her husband called up from downstairs.
“Nicola? Another leaving gift has been delivered. This one’s got a card.”
“Read it out then!” Presents had been arriving non-stop since Nicola had announced her resignation. It was proof the Scottish people and parliament loved her and that she was right when she said there was a majority for independence.
As a thank you for your service, we’ve included a voucher for Maths tuition. Please learn to count.”
She looked in the mirror, sighed and repeated what she’d said all week, “You are not the woman to lead Scotland…”
Later, at the Scottish Border…
“I am not the woman to lead Scotland… I am the woman to RULE it! Here, I declare my reign as Nicola, Queen of the Scots. Fight with me! Aye, fight and you may die. Run and you’ll live, at least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!”
Silence. Nicola was sure this was a good sign.
Someone spoke up from behind her.
“… Ma’am? This is a McDonald’s.”