28 comments

Drama

The television shows a car's flaming wreckage. On screen, the anchorman announces, "This was one of two similar scenes, thirty minutes ago. Both the candidate for president and their running mate were killed by coordinated rocket attacks. The assailants remained unseen. Police are asking anyone..."

You tune out the rest. You know what happened- she did. Your boss took you under her wing seventeen years ago. You know her like you know your own family. Nothing is too low for her. Vipers disown her for being too low a snake. There she comes, into the outer office, her expensive perfume wafting notice before her designer suit and wrinkled, ancient visage appear. You smile, though your heart aches. This is too evil for you to ignore. Ruining people, destroying careers and reputations over the years, was just the price of being in politics. She ignores your pain, like she ignores the pain of everyone else. No one is real, except her.

"When the police get here, come in with them."

"Ma'am." Time to play innocent. "Why are the police coming? Did something go missing?"

"The news is on the screen. They will want to ask if I know anything."

"Yes, ma'am," you say. "Immediate access and follow them in. Anything else."

"That's all." She starts to turn, stops, then says, "Buzz me as soon as you see them. I need to mentally prepare."

You wait, holding yourself together by maintaining the pretense everything is a normal day, with all the minutia of routine tasks. You drift back to the first time you knew she was evil, twelve years ago...


"Come on, just one," Rich said. You didn't want to drink it. Rich always came across as sort of creepy, and even wine hit you hard.

"No thanks. I'm not much of a drinker."

"Celebrate a bit," she says. Back then, she might have passed as a fading cougar. Her power gave her confidence which would have intoxicated certain young men, the sort she preferred. Rich, fifty, balding and tubby, was not her sort. She wasn't his either. You're his type, but you won't touch him with a ten foot pole. She hands you the glass of champagne. "I won. So we all celebrate."

The rest of the night was a blur, but you woke the next morning beside Rich, not your spouse. The obvious happened.


Your reverie ends. A man stands beside your desk, showing an FBI badge. "I need to speak with the congresswoman. If she's available."

"I'll see if she can fit you in." You point to the waiting area chairs. "If you'll take a seat, I'll check if she's busy."

As you step to the door, your memory concludes...


You called her, frantic to report what happened. "Don't tell anyone. I'll cover for you. You spent the night on my couch. You're now my personal secretary. Double your current salary and full medical for you and your family."


"Ma'am, May I interrupt?" You step inside and shut the door. "It's FBI not police. He was on top of me before he pulled a badge. I'll stay until you tell me to go."

"You always take such good care of me." She gives you her best fake smile. "The feeling is reciprocated."

You drift to the good times...


"I'm sorry," the doctor said. "You child didn't make it."

You turned to your spouse and fell into each other's arms, sobbing in pain. Then she was there, a warm hand on your shoulder. "Take off two weeks grief time. I'll make do. You two heal."


"Bring him in."

"Yes, ma'am." The agent rises as soon as you open the door. "The congresswoman will see you now."

He brushes past you, courteous efficiency. She rises from her desk to greet him, but remains behind it, a visible separation from his investigation. "What brings you here agent...?"

"Jones, ma'am." He pulls out his his device, setting it to record. "Have you received any threats lately?"

"No more than typical," she answers. "Is this in response to the horrible attacks our ousted president just launched?"

"Ma'am, I'm asking the questions." He puts the device between them. "I'm recording this for evidence. We currently believe the attacks were politically motivated, but have not ruled out personal enmity and a second strike to create confusion."

"Que bono, who benefits?" she asks. The age old investigative question regarding motive. You can hear her words before she speaks. "The sitting president. He lost the popular vote and now seeks to worm in as the only possible choice remaining."

You're her protege, her successor, and now, her Iago. All the times you shared a laugh or winced as she applied pressure to bend you to her will. All the little intrigues she drew you into. The array of benefits laced into your association. You have so many memories, but this threatens the fabric of society. You refuse to be part of it. And the thing you regret most is the awareness she will know who did it. You can't do it anonymously. You need her to know it is for her own good. For the nation's good. You lost track of the conversation, they're fencing now. You reach into a pocket and draw out the chip. "This is the evidence you want, Agent Jones. It shows all the congresswoman's connections and how she used them to create this-"

"Absurd. I have no motive to attack my own party." She looks at you with pain in her eyes. "Are you working for him? For that fraud of a president? I should have known. I trusted you and you set this up. Kill my party members and frame me. I gave you everything. You would have inherited this position."

Agent Jones draws his gun. He points it at you. "I need you to assume the position."

"Why would I have this evidence if she wasn't to blame? These are her connections."

"Honey, you were always too weak. Jones works for me. This was all a set up to get you as his patsy."

"What do we do now?" Jones asks.

"Just kill her."

You see the spurt of flame when Agent Jones shoots.  



Author's note- although this is inspired by current events, it is not about them.

November 08, 2020 01:50

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28 comments

Thom Brodkin
18:26 Nov 19, 2020

I loved the flow of this story. There was a perfectly unpleasant pace to it as it built both the story and back story. I can honestly say I didn't see the twist or the ending coming at all but after it happened it seemed as if it was the only possible ending. It was really well done and a great interpretation of the prompt. I haven't solicited your feedback in a while as I was working on honing my skills but I would like to know what you think about my latest offering, "Silence." I would be grateful for any advice you could offer.

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Bianka Nova
11:19 Nov 10, 2020

Careful when you write stories inspired by current political events. You might too be getting on FBI's radar. 😉 All joking aside, not a bad story. I didn't see a twist coming actually. I though it was still about making a choice (a really stupid choice, as it turns out, but that's where it gets real). I'm not sure if real politicians speak like that, but they definitely do in books and movies, so well done on the dialogue. A couple of notes: - pretense everything is a normal day - "it is a normal day" sounds more natural - I wou...

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Tom .
02:01 Nov 08, 2020

I don't comment on grammar because mine is bad. You have just posted this, give it a read through, some 'you' s should be your, maybe? There is a on at the end that should be a own. A he that should be a his? Also the ending is too short. But it is there another great tale by you...

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Niveeidha Palani
10:58 Jan 18, 2021

Agreed with Thom. The flow was pretty good. Labelled as a "Critique King", I expected your writing to be good, and of course, it unquestionably was. I'm definitely not good enough, to point out brawny critique points, but I did find a couple of things or places where you could alter some errors. 1. "On screen, the anchorman announces..." This sentence was perfect, but I believe the phrase "On screen" should be hyphenated? It looks better that way. 2. "She ignores your pain, like she ignores the pain of everyone else." I reread this multip...

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Beverly Riddle
19:51 Dec 06, 2020

The ending surprised me. Great job.

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Sam S.
10:31 Dec 04, 2020

Would you mind checking out my latest story and give your thoughtful feedback.

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Sam S.
10:30 Dec 04, 2020

Great story!

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Fplldg Wakdwwdg
05:53 Dec 04, 2020

I want to know a little something, is the book named "beautiful darkness" on Amazon yours?

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22:06 Nov 27, 2020

Wow! Great job. This story is very well written and descriptive. The characters were very vivid and lifelike, I felt as if I knew them my entire life. I like the flashbacks, they added a great element to the story. Also, I was wondering if you would mind checking out my most recent story. I know some people don't like your style of commenting but I personally love it, it gives you honest feedback and helps you to become a better writer. So if you have time I would love it if you could check it out and leave your opinion, thanks!

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Keerththan 😀
10:45 Nov 26, 2020

Woah! An awesome story with a scary ending. The story has a lot of imagery and flows from past to present and fits the prompt. I enjoyed and loved reading this. 1)I'll make do. A doubt. What does this mean? 2)He pulls out his his device I think there is a double 'his' here. Awesome story. Cool write up. Keep writing. Would you mind reading my new story and give some feedback?

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Judith Buskohl
18:13 Nov 20, 2020

I loved your story and I love the ending. I thought the congresswoman was going to blame her as soon as she invited her in when the police came. Keep up the good work on writing.

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20:32 Nov 18, 2020

Love the twists and turns! Brave subject matter.

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B. W.
01:32 Nov 18, 2020

could ya check out 'the search' ?

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Fplldg Wakdwwdg
12:29 Nov 12, 2020

Very well written and timely too. I can see, you are quite busy nowadays and I can guess why. There are some minor grammatical errors and glitches all over the story. The last sentence was quite catchy (but you could have gifted us with more emotion at that point). You've definitely rushed it. But even so, it's an awesome piece.

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B. W.
04:36 Nov 11, 2020

This was a great story, just like all of your other stories that you've done and I don't know what else to really say besides this gets a 10/10 :)

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Regina Perry
14:00 Nov 10, 2020

I like the way this was told, interspersing past-tense flashbacks with present tense present day. During the first flashback, you do switch back and forth between past and present tense a little. The later flashbacks end abruptly; it took me a moment to realise we were back in the present. If you put the flashbacks in italics or something, it should help with that. I really liked this line: "Vipers disown her for being too low a snake." The twist ending was great! Very in character for someone as evil as the boss is made out to be. H...

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Radhika Diksha
14:01 Nov 08, 2020

Would you please check out my other story and give your constructive criticism.

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Echo Sundar
18:21 Nov 23, 2020

Great story!!

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Radhika Diksha
10:54 Nov 08, 2020

I love your storyline, sentence formation, and word concept. I have seen you pointing out grammar mistakes in people's stories. I would love it if you do the same for my recent story. It will be very helpful to me.

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Aisa M
06:40 Nov 08, 2020

This is a good one. And very timely :)

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