A VULGAR DISPLAY OF POWER
A stream burbles. A bird chirps. Clouds pass silently by overhead. The sun is warm. The breeze is cool. The Earth is on fire with hatred and violence.
Deep within the Garden of Serenity, Bernie Sanders, John McCain, Joe Kennedy, hosted by Barack and Michelle Obama, gather in a circle and sip tea. Barack’s head has become so swollen with human wisdom that he now has to wear an enormous brace of his own invention. Getting through doors is almost impossible and there are no pillows that are up to the challenge of cushioning his marvelous dome so he sleeps outside, in the dirt, staring up at the stars.
Currently, Barack floats inches above the grassy meadow, meditating on their next moves. He wears wireless headphones and listens to brain entrainment signals playing at 15Hz to help regulate the serotonin levels in his mind. Happiness was a garden that needed constant tending.
His head was still throbbing but it was a pain he was growing accustomed to, like an ingrown toe nail. He had accepted it.
“We have gathered here today under unfortunate circumstances,” Barack begins, feeling the old sense of excitement in giving a speech. He loved to lead – to guide the people to greater places, to bring them out of their caves and into the light. Look, he wanted to shout at them, look at yourselves! You are full of hate and stupidity and ignorance! Every one of you! You are short-sighted and idiotic. Your noisy arguments serve no purpose but to act as cotton in your own ears. Please give me silence for one moment and try to listen.
But he couldn’t say that.
That wasn’t very patriotic. That wasn’t very hopeful.
McCain cuts in. “Let’s cut the political bullshit. I want this mother fucker’s head on a spit. We are calling for justice, Barack. This is America!”
“Are you calling for justice or are you calling for blood?”
Bernie watches the match play out between the two seasoned pros. “Gentlemen, if I may-“ Bernie tries to lighten the mood.
“I want his blood!” McCain screams over the gentle breeze and green grass. “I want to watch his empire crumble and I want to be the man that removes the cornerstone! Does that answer your question? Do I want justice or blood? I want his blood, Barack. I want it running down my face. I want to wear his ears on a necklace. I want to burn his body and laugh.”
Joe was new to the world but thought that McCain’s attitude seemed a little aggressive.
“When good men do nothing, evil prevails.” This was Joe. He was programmed to say smart things that other men had manufactured but not create any of his own thoughts. He rings his hands together and his Adam’s apple bobs apologetically.
Michelle stands behind Barack and begins to rub his throbbing temples, the size of dinner plates.
A silence falls over the group as they each become lost in their own thoughts. How many silences do we have left? Barack thinks to himself. How many sunsets? God, where are you in all this?
“Nowhere,” God answers plainly.
Barack assumed as much already.
Bernie and McCain exchange stories about their roots – their war histories, their war protests, their jail time and their time as prisoners.
“The words are all wrong, aren’t they?” Bernie stands up and gazes out at the breath-taking meadow.
“No borders out here, huh?”
Joe begins to say something wrought with patriotism and earnest. In a voice that sounds like he’s on the verge of passionate tears, he says, “Gentlemen. On this day we look upon our fellow man –“
Bernie cuts in. “Not now, Joe. There will be time later.” He turns to John, “He’s very excited to get going. I have very high hopes for him.”
Joe smiles respectfully. “I truly thank you, sir. Your personal endorsement for me is an absolute honor.”
“My pleasure, Joe.”
McCain throws a rock. It doesn’t go very far. His body is crumbling under the weight of time. Everything was working against him. He was just a hamster in a wheel.
“It’s the end, Bern. This is it. Democrat. Republican. Brain tumor – no brain tumor. This is it. We won’t be remembered because there won’t be anyone to remember us.”
Bernie begins shaking his head, “We need to hope. We need to believe. We need to strive for-“
“I know the messaging. I’ve been doing this for as long as you. Look at us! Old hound dogs. We’ve done this our whole lives and this is what it amounts to. I got into politics to help people. How’d it – how’d it get like this?”
“Gentlemen, if I may take a moment to interject my own subtle thoughts into the conversation? If I may,” Joe smoothly butters out. “Perhaps man’s own worst enemy is man himself. Perhaps.”
Bernie and John wait for him to say more but he doesn’t. Bernie encourages him. “That was real good, Joe. We’ll tweak you a bit but I’m proud of you. Really great try.”
Barack opens his eyes. He speaks slowly and under great intellectual labor to formulate simple enough words for his team to understand. “Michelle. Please give us a status update on our armies.”
Michelle takes the stage. She was born to lead. Her eyes and her smile shine. She walks with the posture of a warm war general.
“On-point. The LGBT arm is moving along the country back roads now and Atheists United has already begun circling around Mar a Lago after disguising themselves as Christians to get in the door. The Muslim and Immigrant battalions are already poised and ready to strike. The US military teams that have turned Rebel are also ready to publicly turn once given the signal.”
“It’s all about to happen, isn’t it? I am so saddened that it has come to this.” Barack’s voice cracks and he pauses. Shuts his eyes. A tear runs down his cheek.
Michelle’s phone bings. She glances down at it. “Trump is trying to face time me. Why is Trump trying to face time me?”
Barack: I don’t have a phone.
McCain: My phone doesn’t receive videos.
Bernie: My phone is full.
Joe: I was just invented. I don’t yet have a phone but would like to someday.
Everyone gathers around Michelle and watches in stunned silence. It was even worse than they thought.
On the other end of the line, Donald Trump, in his human form, speaks to them. Spittle, slobber, mucus and phlegm drizzle down his scabbed and irritated chin skin. His eyes are blood shot and red. Dried boogers crust his nostrils and his posture seems worse than usual. He’s wearing his skin-suit. He does that from time to time but it was starting to look like a pair of old and holey jeans. The thing they were looking at was very clearly not human. It looked like a monster in a fleshy sock with eye-holes punched out.
The video opens with the camera facing Trump, he holding the camera in his left hand. He hits the record button with his right hand pointer finger and then leaves the pointer finger fully extended and hanging in front of the camera lens for just a moment too long.
“Is it going? Yes. Okay. Men. We have some – issues. Happening. But. Together. We also have some other issues. Happening. Right now. I need to show this to you. This will. This will speak for itself. I think.”
He turns his phone towards a second phone and hits play.
“Sorry – Trump. What is this?”
“I can’t send the file because it’s too large so I have to film the screen on Paul’s phone and stream it to you like this. Can you see it okay?”
“It isn’t great.”
“Can you hear it?”
“I’m going to hit play.”
There is silence. Then a slender and beautiful finger enters frame and hovers above play. “Are you ready?”
Sanders shouts, “Yes. Please. Go.”
The video is of Kim Jong Un. “Mister President. Allow me to make this short and to the point as I am certain that that is all the time you have.” Kim lets out a little giggle that sounds strangely like a pig squeezing out an SBD. “I have launched my secret project, nicknamed Power House. What is Power House? Power House is a planet-ending missile. And it’s heading your way right now.”
“Maniac.” Bernie slams his fist into the palm of his hand. McCain puckers his lips and breaks a stick in half.
Kim continues, “You’ll all be dead before daybreak. All of you. All of you.” He turns the phone around and gives them a quick tour of the spaceship. “You see, I’m on a spaceship. I’m up in outer space. And I have enough food and supplies to last until the end of my life. Good luck, Mister Trump. It looks like the Rocket Man took your advice. Have fun, Earthling.”
That last word hurt Donald more than any other word he’d ever had thrown at him. Earthling. This was his fault. This was all his fault. He was right. He really didn’t know what he was doing. He really wasn’t very good at this. He really was hopeless. Wells was right. Everybody was right.
But maybe there was still time. After all, a Kardashian always saves themselves. Perhaps if he could steal one of the D.I.s from The Oval Office, he would be able to run to another dimension and hide there until… well, until forever. He would have to be a runaway for the rest of his life. A rebel. Faceless. Nameless.
Non-sense. King Donald Trump, God of men and ruler of Earth could not become a beggar. There was only one way. And that was straight through. There was no running.
McCain grabs the phone and begins screaming into it, “What have you done?! What have you done, you absent-minded lunatic!”
“Men. This. Is your problem now. You have very little time to solve it. Good luck.” And with that, he clicks off his phone. He wanted to get one more round of golf in before annihilation.
“Soft pecker.” McCain wishes he could pour himself a drink.
The sun sets, leaving them all in the dark. The lightning bugs make it magical. The mosquitos make the magic unbearable.
McCain’s eyes begin to get watery. “I did many terrible things to people in Vietnam. At the time, I thought those things were right and I thought I was hurting bad people. But I don’t know anymore. I don’t know who’s bad. Or who’s good. Or if there even is such a thing.”
Joe turns on the men with quivering hands. “We need a plan.”
McCain throws another rock. “Like hell we do.” It soars across the field. There was still some bite left in the dog after all. “We’ve already got one.”
The group gathers round. “Bernie, can you raise enough money to rent a private jet in the next few hours?”
“Not only can I but I will. And that is a promise to the America people. And most of them will probably donate in increments no larger than $20 and most of them will just be regular people. And we will use social media as our platform!”
McCain turns his attention to Michelle, “Are you still making C4 in the bathtub?” She nods. “Good. We’ll need as much as we can fit onto a plane.”