In His fourth reign, He had His hands cast in gold and sent to every municipality in the Union. We gathered in lines miles long to lay our hands upon His, to have those hands measured.
This is how you lost your high school crush; her hands strong and broad, the soldiers shackled her. Exile. In the crowd, watching as men with rifles butted her into a waiting truck, you cried. She never even knew your name.
The earth turns sour. Long-promised walls are erected around every border. He is concerned for us all, He says. He doesn’t want us leaving His good graces. You watch Him on television; He is the only thing on television. Daily, He surrounds himself with men who take after His image: Wispy hair slicked in vain against the wind, skin as orange as fruits you ate as a child, white circles under their eyes like warpaint.
“See what I’ve done for these men,” He says. “These are the best men, the very best men. They eat my steaks, they stay in my resort, they drink my water. Join me," He says, "and I’ll be sure to give you a subscription to my magazine. It’s a beautiful magazine. Just look at it.”
He holds the magazine up. On the cover, there is a picture of Him in a newly minted suit of robot armor, put together by men who were the very best in their field, or so He said. The paper is glossy, enticing. “I tell you, you won’t get a deal like this anywhere in America,” He says. “I would know. I wrote the book on deals.”
It’s true, He did. It is the only book in your house. It is the only book in many houses, since owning books that aren’t The Art of the Deal is a crime reportable to the Orangemen, and the Orangemen would do to you for having too many books what they did to your high school crush for having hands larger than His hands.
Sometimes you think about joining Him, and when you do you remember her and are overcome by shame. You remember her in fragments, mostly: the way she smiled, the way her hair was cut. You wonder if you’d remember her at all if she hadn’t been exiled, but she was, and your high school crush has the tinge of tragedy.
When you and your friends get together at the automated Hardee’s to whisper about how things used to be, you can’t bring yourself to mention her. Your friends poke and they prod, they want to know about high school. Wasn’t America great? They ask. If it’s like that, won’t it be great again?
Years pass. Our inability to grow crops in the long-poisoned heartlands drives us to those cities where His plazas and towers have long dominated the sky. We stand at the foot of these citadels and beg for sustenance. Sometimes, He hears us. Sometimes, we eat.
On the anniversary of His inauguration, He celebrates by laying out a challenge to anybody brave enough to take it: a fight to the death within the confines of Thunderdome. He does this to celebrate the means by which He became the Republican nominee for President, which some claim was a fluke though it hardly matters now.
On a video screen draped down the side of a tower, you watch as He flexes, showing off the pneumatic power of his robot armor. He asks for his opponent to step up, and it’s her, your high school crush, as perfect as you remember her being despite the dried blood in her hair and the grime on her skin. There is no particular drama to this moment–you are the only one who knows who she is. He, however, has noticed the size of her hands and gesticulates to the referee for the occasion. It’s too late, though: The doors are closed now; only one person leaves.
Your high school crush circles the cage. She is the only chance we have to stop Him. He maneuvers around, too, positioning Himself to take up as much of the cage as He can. Your high school crush is eyeing the weapons hanging from the dome. She rolls forward, through the robot legs of His armor, breaking, as anyone would, for the chainsaw.
He turns quickly, however, and catches your high school crush in the back of the head with a piston right. She falls to the ground in a heap.
He lifts her up into a gorilla press and tries to hurl her into a cage, but your high school crush is lithe and athletic. Moreover, she is a warrior. She twists herself and starts climbing to the top of the dome. The weapon nearest your high school crush is a pipe; this is what she selects. Your high school crush drops to the ground and readies herself, pipe cocked like a softball bat. At this, he laughs. He points to his chin with one robot finger and offers up a free shot. Your high school crush considers the situation and makes a lightning fast change of stance, jamming the pipe into the gearbox on His chest.
As He spasms within the confines of Thunderdome, a roar goes up around the base of the citadel.You watch as your high school crush readies herself for a killing blow. She hip-checks him into the mess of wire mesh and razorwire that encircles them, screaming as she does.
Your high school crush climbs His robot armor, meeting Him face to face. She punches Him. She punches Him again. Your high school crush cannot be stopped; she is an engine, and engines only stop when there is nothing left for them to run on. Her engine is fueled by spite. For Him, it is endless.
The crowd around you is roaring so loudly the ground shakes, and your high school crush continues His beating. The Orangemen move against the crowd you’ve found yourself in, but the crowd moves back. They push. They kick. They throw punches like they’re rocks from a slingshot purposed with finding the windpipe of a giant. An Orangeman grabs you from behind, but you elbow him in the stomach.
You look to the screen against the citadel. Your high school crush stands over Him, chainsaw lifted in the air. The screen goes blank, the violence continues. You can picture her, your high school crush, liberating us with one final blow, but you never see it happen.
You never see her again. You live a long life. She never learns your name.
Could Your High School Crush Be The Only Chance To Stop Trump?
— Thinkpiece Bot (@thinkpiecebot) March 23, 2016
You can learn more about ThinkPieceBot and Nora Reed here.