The American Book of the Dead: Revelations

Tuesday, August 10


Fast forward to the oval office, two years in.

(Note: The reason I am able to have a bird’s eye into what went on in the oval office during these years is not mere artistic license. In the present, we have mastered time travel, remote viewing, etc. so in a sense I was actually there. If this sounds far fetched, this will all make perfect sense when you get to the end of my story, and you realize, eerily, that I’m watching you now. Every book you read, you are being watched over by the author, even if two people are reading the same book at once.)

Things weren’t going as well as President Winchell had hoped. The world was falling apart and people were blaming him for it. This didn’t match well with his personality. He’d always been a sensitive soul. A single dark look from his wife could send him down for hours. In fact, he was a man for which there wasn’t enough praise in the world. One insult overshadowed everything that came before it, no matter who it came from. So what would such a man do if more than half the country was beginning to hate him. Half, Christ, he had a 73% disapproval rating.

People were just angry about the state of things, he tried to rationalize. They were afraid. He was an easy target. All the same, he didn’t become President to be hated.

Of course, things were going to hell for a reason. It had been planned this way. It had to come to an end. What was the point of discussing health care or another education bill? They didn’t do much good anyway. No, the time had finally come.

Five men sat in the Oval Office. Chief of Staff, Secretary of State, V.P., N.S.A., and the D.S.A. President Winchell started. They listened:

"All right, people, we’ve been here two years and nothing’s happened. Nothing meaningful. It’s time to start history. You ever see a movie about the Presidency? Nixon, Kennedy, Bush, whatever. All that slow camera movement, swelling music, as if every moment is profound, loaded with history. I think I can speak for most of us when I say that that’s not how it feels. Am I right? This place is like working in an office. A big, beautiful office, but sometimes I just don’t feel the romance.

"So here’s what I’m getting at. It’s time to start history. It’s time to feel like we’re part of something. And this something is going to be nothing that any Presidential administration has ever witnessed. We’re going to change the course of the fucking universe."

He paused to make sure that his audience was listening. They were, of course. Not just because they were paid to, not only because he was the President, but because they loved and trusted him. Even though they were a closer witness to his flaws, his temper, his indiscretions, this made them love him further. They saw that he was human--he was one of them. His humanity showed them just how profoundly different he was.

Winchell continued, an expressing somewhere between profound boredom and anger. "For too long, we’ve had to debate tooth and nail to go to war anywhere. Vietnam fucked us up where this is concerned. The peaceniks think Vietnam was the example of how a war could go wrong. What they don’t understand is it was the most peace-loving that could have happened. It stopped America and the world from jumping into another world war. But that’s all behind us.

"We’re all Christians here, am I right? Real Christians who believe in every word of the Bible? Now, I don’t know why any good Christian President has not done this sooner. The answer, of course, is that the world wasn’t ready. Now it is. We all want Jesus here. We all want a thousand years of peace. How is this going to happen? We are going to start a World War. It won’t take much. In a way it’s already been happening for the last fifty years. It’s our job to put the nail in the coffin, so to speak.

"I’m sure this has occurred to most of you. I’ve hinted at it enough. It’s time for us to usher in the second coming of Christ. It says he will only come after a worldwide calamity, an apocalypse. It’s our job to make sure that happens. It seems stupid that it has taken this long. Liberals and the non-religious have kept us from our natural human duty. They can go to hell. All of us will be protected by the rapture. Just in case, we’ll also be protected fifty feet underground. It’s time to test who’s been bad and who’s been good."

There was a dark, calm silence. If there could be music, it would have sounded like the final movement of Shostakovich’s 5th symphony. Or Carl Stalling.

Derek Potter, Chief of Staff, raised his right hand and said, looking meek and fearful, "This has been prophesied in the Book of Revelations."

"That’s right," Winchell said. "We are not doing anything that is not supposed to happen. Revelations is a guidebook for Armageddon. Anything else?"

"Forget health care and taxes. This will be the most important event in the history of mankind," someone said. I don’t know who.

"That’s what I’m saying," the President replied.

The five men were starting to looked pleased now, enticed. A change from the sober gravity that usually took place during these meetings. All involved seemed relaxed, even relieved. They’d had a collective epiphany which felt obvious and inevitable, justified. A kind of dumbfounded joy: "Why hadn’t we thought about this sooner?" Suddenly, their lives had purpose. They would be responsible for everlasting peace. They’d always felt like chosen men--no matter what they did they were a part of history: they belonged to the United States government. But now they were sitting on the throne of God, the only being higher than the President of the United States of America.

I do not know what this could have felt like to them then. Imagine all the pride in the history of America felt in one rush. They suddenly had proof of God, they were the most important men to have ever lived, they had jurisdiction over the Earth, they were absolved of any future struggle, they were free. I don’t know, it must have been fun.

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