The Incel Stratagem

The Incel Stratagem

Carly Wallace could feel their eyes falling on her back like sparks from a bonfire, burning the skin of her neck. She could hear the damp rustle of tongues over lips, the clack of yellow, crooked teeth, the slippery scrape of wet palms slithering over thighs. Carly took a deep breath and kept her eyes trained on the broad back of her escort. Overhead, the lights flickered, throwing quivering
shadows over the endless yellow flags that littered the walls of the long, grey corridor.

It was with some relief that Carly found herself outside a wooden door, guarded by two skinny men, dressed in the same grey uniform as her escort. One of these guards rapped his thin knuckles against the door and, at once, Carly heard a high, cold voice, bursting through the wood: ‘Send her in!’

The escort mumbled something under his breath and shoved open the door. Carly thanked him and slid past the large, sweaty brute- doing her best to ignore his puffy, bloodshot eyes as they crawled up past her plain, skin-coloured tights, swooping over the metallic grey of her modest, office-style skirt, before coming to a seedy rest, just below her chest. Carly squeezed past the brute and, as quickly as she could, shut the door behind her.

She found herself in a large, oval-shaped office. A sheen of grey light billowed in through the vast window that occupied the very back of the room. In front of this window sat a large, ornate desk, over which the party’s yellow flag
dangled. The desk was covered in a large pile of hardback books, as well as about half a dozen pale-brown folders, and an open laptop. Behind this laptop, sprawled across a huge, leather chair, was Eric Slater, the Head of the British Incel Party.

Slater lowered his long, pointed chin onto his long, slender fingers. He smiled at Carly, and his teeth flashed against the faint copper of his beard. A long, red strand of hair flopped against the smooth crescent of his forehead. ‘Ms Wallace,’ said Slater, in a voice as gentle as a summer breeze. He motioned with one hand, pointing his long, polished fingernails towards a second chair that squatted in front of the desk. ‘It’s very good to meet you. Please, take a seat.’

Six months ago, when the British Incel Party first reared its ugly head, Carly Wallace would never have expected to end up interviewing its founder. The party’s arrival was as sudden as it was unexpected. It began with a rally that had crawled, like an overgrown worm, through the city of London. Carly had seen the footage of the rally and she, like everyone else, had laughed. There had been about two hundred of them, stunted, shuffling, pitiable examples of the male specimen. They had lowered their eyes, recoiling in horror as jeering members of the public thrust phones in their direction. They had waved crudely assembled placards above their scraggly, sweaty heads, and draped thin, yellow flags across their sloped shoulders. For days afterwards, the whole nation had laughed at this spectacle.

With an election only two months away, the chattering classes to which Carly belonged had more or less written the BIP off as a sort of amalgamation between the Monster Raving Loony Party and UKIP: ridiculous and unelectable in equal measure.

Then, Eric Slater had emerged, from the cacophony of derisive laughter, well-groomed, charismatic and impeccably dressed. His charismatic style of leadership had Channel 4 News invited him on, most likely to rub some salt in the gaping wound that was the public perception of the BIP. The interview, far from being the killing blow to this absurd gaggle of loners and losers, soon
metamorphosed into a stunning piece of pro-Incel propaganda. Perhaps the interviewer had simply been off his ball-game but the interviewee, Slater, ended up running rings around Channel 4. Slater had fluttered his long, magnificent eyelashes, laced with tears and demanded, in quivering tones, that the Feminist establishment cease in its endless denigration and demonisation of single men. He lampooned, in a voice that made the whole studio rattle with its righteous indignation, the ultra-capitalist, Darwinian and utterly demoralising state of the dating industry, of marriage, of Tinder, of hook-up culture, all of which, Slater declared, had been brought about by a sinister, cynical alliance between Radical Feminism and Big Business. In Slater’s polished, gentle tones, these perverse, absurd propositions sounded not only plausible, but reasonable too!

In the aftermath of this interview, the Party’s standing began to ascend. They exploded across social media, creeping into every corner of the internet, mainstream and alternative. Support, at first tentative, then determined, then provocative, was offered towards this fledgling organisation.

About The Author

Rhys Clark

I am an English and Theatre Studies student at the University of Warwick. I particularly enjoy dystopian literature and political satire. My influences as a writer are George Orwell, Christopher Hitchens, Kurt Vonnegut and Harold Pinter.

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