“They’ve called Pennsylvania.” Meadows clicked off the remote. “Who’s going to tell him?” “Not me,” Kushner said.
“Maybe no one. Maybe we play it off as fake news.”
Meadows looked out the window where the lawnmower kid was toiling. “Hey, I know.”
Putin and the hound returned from a jog. The black phone’s red switch blinked. And blinked. Karina set a dish of poached quail eggs on the desk. She looked at the phone. “Him again?”
Shirtless now, Putin grinned like a bear. The strobing light bloodied his teeth.
WH SUPPLY CLOSET
“Who’d win? Rudy G or Miller?”
*a cigarette lighter snicked*
“Dunno. Rudy has a LOT of experience. All I’m gonna say.”
“Yeah, but the NSA sends Miller in to liquidate militia cells.”
“Shh! You hear that?”
*nails scraped metal; then a wheeze*
Trudeau gazed into the mirror. “I am ugly.”
“Oh, no,” his mistress said. “You are beautiful.”
“Outside. But inside…”
“No,” Mistress 2 stroked his brow. “Even Jared wants a piece—”
“Jared!” Trudeau flexed his bicep and smiled at himself. “Yes, yes. I am beautiful.”
“We lost the minx in Ottawa.”
“Not a concern.”
“Isn’t she ours? The intel stream is so good…”
Putin flashed to a memory of he and 45 reclined naked upon a bearskin rug, sharing a bottle of Curious Elixir. “No,” he said wistfully. “He always told me everything.”
“Fuck me running,” Kayleigh said. “POTUS is tweeting.”
Murtaugh coughed. “KC is counter-tweeting.”
“Cheer up. At least it aint ancient times. He can’t bury us with him.”
“Ha. Think he’ll actually rest in state?”
“On Rikers Island,” Murtaugh said. And coughed.
Murtaugh pointed down. “He’s dragging a corpse around the sublevels.”
“All week. Those blood trails are freaking custodial the fuck out.”
“Any Body. Ha, nice. Nope. SS ignores him as long as he doesn’t breach level D.”
Stormy sat in the gloomy kitchen, cheered by the light of her phone. Rain slapped the windows. The moon, a yellow, pitted skull, had sunk behind midnight clouds. It pulled at her blood. A premonition bloomed.
The phone chimed.
“Ms. Gregory, thank you for taking my call.”
“THANK me by getting to it,” Stormy said. “How are you out of jail?”
“Covid release,” Cohen said. “Non-violent offenders are—”
“What do you want.”
“To say I’m sorry.”
“That was me in the lot who threatened you.”
“With my baby in the car. Creep.”
“I didn’t recognize you.”
“Prosthetics. You’re in danger.”
“From fatso? Ill Douche is history. America kicked him to the curb.”
“Cornered animal, etc.” Cohen waited. Then, “Operation Blood Groove is underway.”
A gust shook the house. Stormy said, “You’re scaring me.”
“Pack a bag. Leave the kid with Mom.”
“You only think you know what he’s like. Find a hole and get in it.” *click*
She decided 911 made the most sense.
Glass broke somewhere.
*SS agents watch CNN feed*
“Will Ill Douche die in his bunker with Eva?”
“The 1st Lady isn’t that committed. Her marriage is a contract job.”
“What are his options?”
“All bad. SDNY is building cases. He’ll flee the country. Guaranteed.”
“Thus, begins the sweepstakes to snag Exec Numbnuts.”
“Saudi Arabia; China; Russia…”
“Odessa wants his hide.”
“Putin has the muscle to protect 45. Snub the US and pump him for secrets. No downside.”
“Secrets? DoD replaced the Black Guide inside the Nuclear Football with a picture book.”
Paula White, spiritual advisor to 45, turned off the Satanically bad news. She inhaled, shifting her consciousness to DS—Divine Space.
“Angels! Angels! Angels! Angels! Angola! Antioch! Appalachia–!”
The intercom blatted. “Welcome to Chick fil-A. May I take your order?”
Pence smoothed his shock of grave-white hair.
CAREFUL, FUCKO! Beelzebub buzzed in his ear.
Pence shuddered. “I didn’t realize you were here.”
“I didn’t realize, Master.”
I AM ALWAYS HERE, SLUT!
U RACE BANNON COSPLAYING BITCH!
SO, WORM. WHAT ARE YOU DOING? PLAYING SOLITAIRE? POCKET POOL?
“Actually, I’m prepping for an important visitor.”
YOU ARE USELESS AS TEATS ON A BOAR. NO ONE OF IMPORTANCE VISITS. NAME THIS MORTAL WRETCH.
“Uh, Paula White. Or glorious leader’s spiritual—”
“We’re going to discuss divine intervention as a means to affect the recount in Georgia.”
DIVINE WHAT? A lamp flared.
FUCK PISS SHIT! BOOB! INGRATE! CUCK!
“Just a talk. Master.”
“Me too,” Pence said glumly. “Me too.”
Paula White strode into the office and seated herself without asking. She stared at Pence for a few seconds. “Dude. There’s a fly crawling around in your hair.” He smiled paternally while casually brushing at his head. “Oh, I don’t think so.”
Rudy G lay in his sarcophagus in utter blackness, waiting for the stars to shift and the crystalline hymn of the outer spheres to boil his cells. His strength ebbed and crested with the tidal surge of the cosmos. He listened to dust motes colliding. Mites fucking.
Bored, he projected his astral self. He haunted the corridors of the White House. He tasted a rich bouquet of fear and misery as staffers huddled, counting losses. America had spoken. Their lord was done for; all that remained was the weeping and assignment of blame.
Paula White whispered to the VP, “Where’s Rudy? He’ll know what to do.”
Planets aligned and Rudy G stirred. His gnarled hands spread wide and hurled aside the stone lid of his tomb. He was rebirthed into the subterranean labyrinth he called home since moving to DC.
A temp staffer regarded his Hot Pockets. The few employees present were listless. Some coughed into handkerchiefs. He noted that nobody else wore a mask. Awkward.
Making small talk with a cubicle-buddy, he said, “Where’s that organ music coming from anyway?”
“Your bidding?” Rudy G said.
“We’re in phase 2 of Poach the Polls,” Meadows said. “Gonna sue everybody everywhere.
“Yeah! It’s a big job and we need a man with a big-league appetite for destruction. You’re the face, Rudy. In charge of campaign lawsuits.”
“I’m not the man for this job. Trust me. My glory days are done.”
“Rudy, you singlehandedly brought down the NY Mob!”
“I had help—”
“You’ll have help. Scaringi is on the team.”
“Who? The radio jock?”
Meadows nodded, coughing into his fist. “Not a request, old son.”
“Straight from the big Cheeto himself.”
“So be it. I live to serve. You understand my difficulties with direct sunlight and running water?”
“We got you.”
“And I’ll need snacks.”
“We’re sending interns.”
Rudy G shivered. “OK. OK.”
Kim Jong-un reclined within his luxury bunker. He peered through binoculars across a field where an officer in full uniform was strapped to a post.
CIA attaché, Tom M, smoked a Virginia Slim. Slick hair; black glasses; white suit. “What’s the poor bastard’s crime?”
Kim shrugged. “I can’t even recognize the potato-licker from here. General?”
“A traitor, sir.” General Park handed the Supreme Leader the controls to the antipersonnel gun battery. “He didn’t clap when you were announced at that brunch.”
Kim fondled the joystick.
General Park’s phone rang. He listened, then muttered to Kim. Kim’s bland expression cracked. He tittered. He guffawed. Tears streamed down his cheeks.
Tom M lit another cigarette, well aware of the news. The pale white sun wavered in his lenses. Twin death’s heads.
“Ahahahaha!” Kim wiped his eyes. “Oh, Tom. Your president. Can’t even rig his own reelection. What a DOTARD!”
“The execution?” General Park said.
“Never mind.” Kim tossed aside the controller. “C’mon, boys. Back to the pad for some Call of Duty. I just got the new Xbox!”
Pence and his wife Karen enjoyed a quiet supper.
She said, “I hear you were alone with a woman.”
NO WORRIES, I CHAPARONED THIS LITTLE INCEL, said the fly.
“I’m never alone,” Pence said. “The Lord is with me.”
MASTER MASTER MASTER!
“Hmm,” Karen said.
NO NEED TO SWEAT THE COMPETITION WHEN YOU GOT HIS BALLS IN YOUR PURSE, LADY!
She said, “You know how it makes me feel. Women like her are the Devil.”
A tear formed in Pence’s eye. His hand shook.
C’MON! HE’S BASICALLY A EUNUCH–
Pence slapped. The crushed fly landed on Karen’s salad. She skewered it and crunched it up like a savory crouton.
Pink and purple fog cleared. His surroundings were familiar.
“What in blazes?”
A fly popped out of Pence’s ear and ran into his hair. NOT SO FAST, BITCH!
Don Jr. wiped his raw nose and waited for his heart to calm. He stared at the pamphlet produced by Dr. Atlas: You Have Covid-19. Now What?
“I’m going on a vision quest,” he said to Eric.
“A what?” said Ivanka. She’d just returned from a long weekend in parts unknown.
“A vision quest, like that 80s movie with Modine.”
“Where will you go?” Ivanka said, interest waning.
“Someplace cool. Death Valley. Get crunked and find my spirit wolf.”
“Um, yeah,” Eric said. “Dad’s not gonna be down with that.”
“As if I care what Mr. One-Termer thinks.”
“JFC!” Eric said. “The walls have ears!”
Ivanka smirked and freshened her lip gloss.
An SS agent stuck his head into the room. “Sir, we’ll have to clear that agenda with POTUS.”
“JFC!” Eric said.
“Strike that,” the agent said, consulting his radio. “You’re cleared.”
“Welcome home, Mel,” the aide said. “Did you have a nice weekend?”
Melania slumped on the couch near a pile of designer luggage. “Thanksgiving is in three days and I heard an Xmas commercial on the radio.”
“Worse, TMZ says that I have a body double.”
“Um, rumors started after that shot of you in the chopper. You looked happy.
PR convinced them it was a deep fake. A double! So ridiculous. As if we could keep actors from blabbing.”
Melania peeled off her wig and face combo. Slime dripped. The aide scuttled over.
PRIVATE JET STRIP
SS Agent 1: “Er, I thought Lil Cheeto wanted to go on a vision quest.”
SS agent 2: “Epeen convinced him to do a safari instead. He hasn’t murdered any hookers lately…”
“A canned hunt. Geez.”
“Two months til 46, bro.”
SS agent 2 stroked his Taser.
“They’re tame.” The proprietor gestured toward pens where wildcats padded, bumping each other affectionately. “Pick any two. We’ll ship them to a rendezvous site and release. I’ll monitor your hunt by drone. Guaranteed kill.”
Eric and Don Jr. high-fived.
Don Jr. regarded a pair of big cats in a separate enclosure. Jet black and powerful. “Whoa—I wanna shoot them!”
“Double the price, I fear,” said the proprietor.
“Bill us, we’re good for it!”
“Our dad’s the president!”
“Certainly. Your family’s credit is the gold standard.”
The brothers, dressed head to toe in camo, were elated.
“Keep your distance, jagoffs” Eric warned the security detail as everyone loaded into halftracks. They roared away.
“Uh, boss…Grace & Will haven’t been broken,” the assistant said.
The proprietor smiled. “Oops.”
WILDS OF UTAH
A jeep-load of agents clattered over rocky fields, calling into the darkness. Two choppers swept searchlights over copses of maple and willow.
“Gonna be hell to pay.”
“Not the time for jokes, kid. We’re hosed.”
“Not as hosed as Dumb & Dumber.”
They passed an abandoned halftrack. There were signs of a struggle and diverging blood trails. The team split—headed east and north. The north squad soon encountered a hideously mangled form.
The lead agent made a cursory inspection. “Hoo-boy. We’ve sighted Epeen.”
The response from HQ: “Copy. Is he alive?”
“Uh, kinda?” the agent said. He listened to the shape mewl.
Meanwhile, the second team recovered a sock, boot, torn pants, and a camo MAGA hat with DT JR. stitched inside. The trail went cold.
Worse, the safari owner vanished.
In a cave, Grace and Will desultorily batted around Don Jr. like a ball of yarn. The cats wanted to feast upon him, but obeyed their command to abstain.
Will padded outside to sniff for enemies or prey. He pissed on the aluminum monolith that blazed in the moonlight.