The Art of the Deal


Found at NBC News – image credit not listed

Cass was a nightmare in white silk and pearls. Unfortunately, the mysterious figure was also the only way out.

“Are you bitches in or not?”

“You know we’re in, Cass. You don’t have to act so hostile just because you’re the only one to be able to speak to the Strundrun.” I was never sure if Cass was a man, a woman, or something else, and it was murder trying to constantly construct sentences without using personal pronouns.

“Then your group is the last, Carter. I never thought so many Idahoans, or is that Ida-hoes, would buy a ticket.”

Oh yeah, Cass was flirting with me, and right on the floor of the state senate. I’m supposed to call Cass “they,” and just then, I felt like “they” wanted to put me on the floor and do something to me that involved lubricant and swim fins.

“Believe it or not, most people are sane in Idaho, too.”

“Roughly 200 million of you are coast to coast. The rest, it seems, would rather fight it out, reducing your nation to ruins and dragging the rest of the world down along with them.”

“I forgot you’re Canadian.” I let sarcasm leak into my pronunciation of the last word.

“Oh, I’m leaving, too. Trudeau may not be the maniac your President Trump is, but he’s still an incompetent, and the world the Strundrun are promising to take us to will be so much better than what humanity has done to the Earth.”

“When do we leave?”

“6 a.m. tomorrow, local time. Everyone who voted “yes” will be automatically translated into the megaship in orbit above us. Then we’ll all take a little trip to paradise while the alt-right fanatics destroy your nation.”

“It’s not just the extremists on the right.”

“Too true. Antifa and those other bomb throwing leftists are just as violent. If it were just a matter of one side being right and the other wrong, even I might decide to stay and see how it all plays out, sugar.”

Cass placed the tip of an index finger on my throat, slowly moved it up under my chin, and then pulled my lower lip as if the act was a prelude to a seduction.

“6 a.m. I’ll go on television this evening and make the announcement.”

“Good. Then I’ll see you and your’s on the megaship tomorrow morning, Governor.”

“Tomorrow, Cass. I can’t wait.” Actually, if I never saw Cass again in my life, I certainly wouldn’t miss the experience. The white, silk gown rustled as Cass took a few steps backward. They fingered their pearl necklace as they shimmered and then vanished.

“I hope I’m doing the right thing,” I said to no one there. I’d dissolved the state senate in preparation for this moment. The will of the people had spoken. Abandon what was left of America and the world before it was too late. I suspected that similar votes had been taken in every province of every nation after Cass had relayed the offer of the Strundrun for relocation. 200 million out of nearly 326 million Americans had decided another planet was a better offer than the one we have now, and God only knows how many others on Earth had made the same decision.

Everybody is blaming Donald Trump for this, and I suppose they might have a point, but the reality of the matter is that even fanatics have free will, and the 125 million in this nation who chose to stay and try to kill each other could have chosen another path. They just didn’t want to, whether their slogan was “MAGA” or “punch a Nazi in the face.”

I wrote this for First Line Friday hosted at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The idea is to use the phrase presented in the challenge as the first line in a poem, short story, or other creative work.

Given the name “Cass,” the first person I thought of was the late Cass Elliot (Ellen Naomi Cohen) and for some bizarre reason, the next person I thought of was the late Divine (originally born Harris Glen Milstead), so I styled my Cass accordingly, exaggerating Cass’s personality to wholly unreasonable lengths. No, I’m not taking a swing at the LBGTQ+ population. I just needed an outrageous character for the role, so that’s how Cass emerged from my imagination.

Given the recent various bomb threats with the left blaming Trump and the GOP, and Trump and the GOP blaming the left, I figured the only reasonable response would be to let all of the fanatics duke it out, while the sane majority of the Earth’s population took a permanent vacation elsewhere.

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