A Say in Politics/Pressure

And now, a randomly generated scene …

The first, in fact, not generated by random words, but by actual events. Yesterday was weird.

I feel a disclaimer might be in order for those who know something about Australian politics:  I like the outgoing PM; I like the incoming PM. I don’t really know how to feel about the situation, apart from the mildly nauseating anger as to certain issues that were involved, however distantly (some might claim) in the outgoing PM’s departure. This scene did not spring directly from their drama. Rather, it developed from the general focus on politics.

I’ve definitely gone with a certain style here and made a few grammatical choices; I’m not sure how it’ll come across. Suggestions always welcome.

And before vanishing below the picture, I’d like to throw out a bit of admiration and respect to two incredible political women:  the one in Canberra and the one in Texas.

Phone

‘Are you going to do something? You have to!’

The numbers counted up, skewing to the right – far too much skew. The pie charts and bar graphs grew more and more complicated, the experts more excited. The ticker was in a frenzy trying to keep up; results from across the state poured into election offices to be frantically compiled and conveyed to stressed news producers. Supporters chanted and waved on respective screen quarters, cheering whenever another seat was snatched. And MacGyver’s deceitful smile on the right grew steadily more smug. On the left was Tellman, unwavering in her values and as stoic as a wronged rhinoceros, defiant to the end.

‘You are going to do something, aren’t you?’

Shannon asked again, thinking Casey too absorbed to have heard; Casey’s chair was pulled close to the screen, the volume turned high. But Casey had heard.

‘What can I do? I’ve had my say. We all have.’

For all it had been worth.

‘We are not smart enough to weed twisted creeds and falsehoods from pretty speeches. Either that or we benefit from and fund the lies. And you can do something.’

Raucous applause and self-righteous screams from five thousand voices and ten thousand hands to the right. Another seat was theirs.

‘Come on,’ Shannon urged. Shannon’s knuckles were white and cold as though touched by winter. Shannon gripped a phone tight, encouraging Tellman’s troops and firing barbed messages through the fray at MacGyver’s. It was war across the state. ‘You could take control of this. You must have thought about it.’

‘Not my call.’

‘He’ll make that same call on a million people if you don’t do it to him.’

Casey repeated listlessly. ‘Not my call.’

Shannon tried to reason with Casey. ‘It’s not like it’d take an explosion. Just one little aneurysm. No one will ever know. He deserves it.’

Casey had thought about it, of course. It was impossible not to when Casey wanted so badly to act. But what would an aneurysm solve? Tellman was still losing; she would lose. If Casey stepped up on MacGyver’s imminent victory, though the mourning period would be long, the right-hand successor would step in before MacGyver was even in the ground. Those millions souls would still suffer.

It was too late.

‘No one will know,’ Shannon was still saying, the screen focused on pasty faces at Tellman’s community headquarters, their shoulders slumped, signs dangling by their sides and lips long-since drooped and morose. ‘People will think the pressure got to him.’

The pressure. That would certainly be what got to him, if Casey had a real say.

The numbers were now skewed so far it was a wonder the television studio hadn’t toppled.

‘She’s going to congratulate him!’ Tellman took up a phone even as Shannon and a million more sent message after useless message imploring she stop. ‘Casey, please!’

But it was too late. Too late to solve this mess. Too late to save a million souls from the man who had campaigned for and by their fate.

No, not a man. It was evil who sat to the right of the television screen, whose phone now rang.

Casey’s eyes blurred with pixels, so near the television. Casey’s gut wrenched, stomach acids boiled, lungs blew cyclones into being. Casey’s heart burned.

Even as he lifted the phone to his ear and greeted his opponent with courtesy so insincere, MacGyver’s eyes widened. He winced, and touched two tentative fingers to his left temple.

He wasn’t the only one feeling the pressure.

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