There Will Come Soft Political Careers

by

7 o’clock: “America the Beautiful” plays as the shudders in the Frankfort, Kentucky mansion rise and let in the fresh-faced sun, beaming through the lone cloud in the sky. RISE AND SHINE. TIME TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.THE DAY IS NOVEMBER 3rd, 2020, screams the bedside clock to the empty room while downstairs and down the baby-blue hall lined with portraits of old white men wearing increasingly tackier shirts, the oven pops out a fried egg and a piece of slightly underdone toast, just like the owner likes.

Half past 7: Unhalted, “America the Beautiful” continues throughout the house as the cold toast and uneaten are thrown directly into the pond by the house. A pile of bread and egg is starting to form. AMERICA WILL NOT WAIT FOR YOU TO BECOME GREAT!, the loudspeaker continues as the sound of marching in the distance makes the master bed rattle.

8 o’clock: The remaining “-EVIN” on the mailbox out front start to fall off and coalesce around the already fallen and ashen “B” that lays on what was once the front lawn. On the side of the house, the silhouette of a man on a podium raising his hand in salute of the also silhouetted crowd. His other hand disappears into that of a woman. Next door, the tree branch falls onto the ruins of the neighbor’s house. Not as lucky.

9 o’clock: An eagle flies into the window of the house, and cracks its beak with the cry of symbolism rattling throughout the wasteland. It hobbles in a nearby window and slumps on the floor and passes out, reeling from pain. A half hour later, the heart stops and the eagle dies. Small, automaton eagles escape from the woodwork and pick apart the decaying bird and take their scavenge to the furnace. Smoke escapes the chimney.

10 o’clock: A press conference airs on the broken television. A man in military regalia with medals adorning his left breast speaks to a crowd dressed head to toe in blue. Their fists in the air they scream “WASH-ING-TON… WASH-ING-TON…” Behind them, a white building is engulfed in flames. The man with the medals yells “FREEDOM AND SAFETY FROM TYRANNY” before the tv shorts. THE TELEVISION HAS BROKEN, ANOTHER WILL BE ORDERED, says the house as the eagles pick apart the shattered glass and plastic and the chimney erupts yet again. CONNECTION TO THE INTERNET LOST.

11 o’clock: The sun beams through the shell of the house, unencumbered by the unnecessary roof. The air conditioning kicks on but escapes instantly. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE FOR LUNCH, MR. GOVERNOR?, the house says to nobody. HEARING NO PREFERENCE, YOUR FAVORITE WILL BE MADE. The oven whirred to life, making collard greens and cornbread with moldy yeast and old kale and haphazardly throwing it onto a table that was no longer there, shattering the plate. Eagles. Chimney smoke. And it was done.

12, noon: The sound of marching gets closer and closer to the home and then fades away soon thereafter. A burned, tricolor white-blue-red flag falls onto the lawn.

1 o’clock: Clouds have rolled in. A jacket and rain boots are ejected from a hole in the wall leading to the garage which was no longer there. The jacket is printed with the seal of Kentucky on the left breast and on the right, a portrait of the former president with “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN” printed around the outside.

2 o’clock: Rain drips onto the study onto the fax machine. In the tray, with smudged ink is a paper reading “SEEK REFUGE, COUP IN PROGRESS.” More rain, the paper is now unreadable. The fax machine catches on fire but is quickly snuffed by the rain.

3 o’clock: YOUR COPY OF THE COMMONWEALTH JOURNAL?, says the house as it spits blank paper onto the soaking surface of the desk.

4, 5, 6 o’clock: The machines whirr in the kitchen, making the Tuesday dinner: a biscuit and gravy and a ton of french fries. On the floor sits the food amongst broken plate, becoming colder and colder, wetter and wetter, runnier and runnier. The clock ticks by as the vacuum picks up each plate and each piece of uneaten food.

At 7 o’clock, the house began to die. The shorted television sparked to life in the rain and showed a man adorned with medals and holding abreast a flag and a microphone mouthing something inaudible. The television fell from the wall. Two mechanical eagles hit one another on the way out of their perches. An electrical fire started. It was soon too big for the rain to even consider putting out. More eagles flew out of coops only to immediately explode. The oven shot biscuits like baseballs in a batting cage. Lightning crashed into the house starting a wild, uncontrollable, unquenchable fire.

At 10 o’clock, the house was nothing but ash. The speaker lay in the center of the empty plot of land among the rubble. RISEANDSHINEITSTIMETOMAKEAMERICAGREATAGAIN!!

-Connor Rigney, Senior Staff Member