The red cloth that draped over the table made of glass that had white and blue tinsel-fringed along the rim was also embroidered with the words 2032 Presidential Election. The cloth was covering a glass table. The old people of the United States Congress had determined this would look the best on stage; it would also keep the presidential candidates from having to look themselves in the eyes.
What a beautiful time to be alive!? The United States Congress of Interior Decoration.
In the center of the tinsel-fringed glass table was a gun. A revolver to be exact. The revolver was made of bone fragments. The blood and the sweat and the tears and the last vestige of the American dream held the fragments of the gun together. Even a former president’s metatarsal was used to make the hammer spur on the revolver.
The glass table separated Senator Greene Carter from the former secretary of defense Madison Delano. Their names are superfluous. They are ideas – at best. One of them was running as the democratic elect and the other was running as the republican elect. The only idea they shared was that they both were running toward the presidency of the United States of America. And neither of them ran very fast.
This was the benefit of a two-party system. The two-party system eliminated the mysticism of choice. The either-or of the American citizen was their only fundamental right. The black and white and no shades of gray-you versus me-which tribe do you belong to was a gift to the voters from the politicians upon high.
The wide legged stance of Senator Carter made his body look sturdy like a tree trunk. He had a cup of hot chocolate for hair – with dashes of marshmallows mixed in. Those artistic swirls of brown and white pushed backwards over the crown of his tree trunk crown. Senator Carter had old gangly limbs orbiting his body. His limbs were really old. He had limbs from the two thousand years; limbs from before the nuclear war on drugs.
On the other side, Madison Delano nested next to the glass table. She looked like a pearl; a tight round object that glimmered in the glitz and the pageantry of the American presidential campaign. She had deep friend hair that made a man want to suck on his fingers just to taste grease.
There was a narrator, also. There was always a narrator. This narrator was a man and he worked for one of the three lettered networks. He had a bobblehead neck that yanked upward and downward as if gravity was having too much of an effect on the bones and the skin of his body. His head talked and his head told people how important this night was. No one could decipher the importance of things on their own anymore.
That’s why they had narrators.
However, the night was important. And people did need to be told how important the night was. That night – that night, the president of the United States was going to be elected under the official rules of the electorate body.
That’s your body.
The gun made of bones was part of the official rules of the electorate body. That’s what the gun was for – the electorate body.
That’s what the gun was always for.
The rules and regulations of the electorate stated that if presidential candidates engaged in a formal, and an informal, tie in votes, there would need to be a method of deciding a winner. Originally a coin flip decided the winner. However, your electorate body and the bodies of all the other electors found this system antiquated. It was no longer the gold standard. Instead, the last relic of the Cro-Magnon man showed its leathery resolve. The electors and the electorate and the candidates all agreed on the new method of deciding the president in case of a tie; a gun was to be loaded and placed on a table. The candidates would take turns pointing the guns at themselves and pulling the metacarpal trigger.
This process would force presidential candidates to determine how important the position was to them. What would they be willing to give for the power? The electors believed that in these moments, the true carnal urges of the politician would bubble to their surface like a fresh burn that was attempting to stitch over singed skin.
In the true comedy of the American dream, the moderator man with the elastic and boneless neck had decided who would handle the gun first by flipping a coin.
Everyone smiled at the ethereal paradox.
It was decided that Senator Carter was to take the bone revolver first. And he did. He wrapped his hands around the sleek and slippery handle of the bone gun; he thought the gun felt like our insides. His teeth were talking and the people watching – all the bodies were chattering.
The collective conscience held their breath in feeble anticipation.
People imagine open wounds are like a pinhole in the base of a water balloon – it’s a slow bloodletting.
The gun oscillated around the senator’s head; the smooth ridges of the revolver’s barrel demurred inches from his temple.
People imagine open wounds are fixed by some gauze and a band-aid. That this will help treat the infection of the wound from the inside out.
Senator Carter clasped his bones around the bones of the gun’s trigger and pulled.
There was a hungry want in the clicking of the gun’s chamber that everyone acknowledged as the sound of our hope for predestination.
People saw an open wound form on the side of the senator’s tea cup head. They didn’t see blood leaking slowly or a hole that could be clothed over. No. People saw a sharp wound. They saw a balloon popping from flying too close to the heat of the sun.
His head was like a popcorn kernel in the microwave.
The narrator laughed and pointed at the gun.
There was a bullet in every chamber! Every chamber!” The talking head with elastic bones screamed at the universe. “Every chamber!
Mathew Serback can eat two hotdogs in one sitting. Impressive – when all things are considered. He has stories coming out The Flexible Persona, Scissors & Spackle, and Yellow Chair Review. You can find his work is other publications as well. He’s the recipient of the Gypsy Sachet Award from Fiction Fix.
Photo by: Ana Prundaru