by Eric Z Fox
I wrote this in 1997 before Bush was even chosen as Republican nominee
| The Last President
“ Could this be true?” He thinks, as he looks at his ordinary self. He was of average build and look. His only unaverage thing was his height. He was a few inches smaller than average. Then in the mirror he notices his eyes are wild; almost two alien orbs set strangely on a terrored face. He could see large beads of sweat on his forehead through days of grime on his bathroom mirror. But that was when he first noticed it.
He was flipping through channels, just like most nights. It was nothing special just a normal Wednesday evening. Till he got to CNN and noticed it immediately. It was the last second of a story about the republican candidate. He saw him for just a second; unfortunately it was enough to see its eyes, eye’s that were from hell. The intelligent looking anchorman said something about his latest ranking in the polls. Sadly though he missed the details. His brain was discombobulated from the information it received from his eyes.
He sat there for ten minutes, trying to decipher if it was a hallucination, or fact. He than began to think about when he was a teenager, those few times on mushrooms or acid that he had hallucinated. The images though were always ghostly or sort of hazy. Like the grade school projector playing over reality yet still unreal.
He knew in his heart that this was true. The fact of the eyes was some sort of light effect. Well that’s what he thought until…
“ Now we join the republican candidate on the campaign trail.” The camera moved slowly through an office converted from a train car. He saw the dead tan leather couches and the expensive desk. Then he noticed the candidate who was sitting behind a computer. He noticed his hair was dark and thick. He could just make out the forehead, which did not look real. Sure it looked real enough but he already knew. The reporter, went on about George, ah yes, now he remembers its name is George, was ahead by 35 percent and Election Day was less than a week away.
Then the reporters voice began to trail away, he saw the strong dark-haired head slowly rise. The strange thing was that he could hear it breathing. Its skin wasn’t skin but some sort of makeup covering. It was thick and cracking. It reminded him of a snake shedding. And its eyes were the most terrible of all; they were red, orange, and maroon changing before him.
It’s mouth was full of jagged pearly peaks and the nose was also a fake and as rubbery as a 70’s plastic arm.
It opened its mouth, which was like a cavern with a flickering forked tongue running through its depths.
“ Cunt face, “ it said sounding as if it was sitting next to him. Then it looked at him, truly at him, like it had some sort of secret knowledge.
His heart fluttered and then missed one beat, two beats, three… He switched the power button on the remote that he had forgotten in his hand. The screen died, and that familiar fading blue dot appeared in the spot where that fake demons nose had just been.
He took a deep breath and his heart began to beat in the rhythm he was accustomed to.
He didn’t know what to do. Tomorrow was Election Day. His dreams had been plagued by dreams of the apocalypse, and a demon that hunted him indiscriminately. Ripping and tearing, that’s what haunted him; the sounds of horror rang repeatedly through his waking mind. He could hear the dull thumping of the lifeless corpses, instead of the peaceful sounds of a Vermont autumn.
His TV hasn’t been on for days. His house smelled like armpits and stale pizza. Fortunately he still did have two more packs of cigarettes, because he hasn’t been outside since he got the republican flyer. Normally it should have been full of the local elections as well as the nationals, but it wasn’t.
‘ It’s’ face was on the cover, leering. Grafted with a goatee and a mustache, and even though the picture was black and white, he could still see the colors of its eyes.
It was a double flip, three-sided flyer. He opened it with trembling hands, whose nails were long and dirty. They were caked with the resin, which too much smoking leaves.
The flyer had a printing press sent to it and the folds were stiff, almost starchy. He opens it… Than drops it, slowly placing his weeping face in his hands.
He had read only one thing typed in bold letters at the top, ‘ Hey cunt face, ‘ it said.
His brain was boiling. Not only did he know about it, he had the stinking feeling it knew about him.
He had to stop it; the world was being fooled. How could only he know it was impossible, yet unfortunately it was fact. He knew what he had to do. The Election Day rally was in the New Hampshire, only two counties away.
He slowly turned his head to the locked wooden box on the bookshelf between Stephen King and his DSM4. It held his 38 snub nose special that he picked up about 10 years ago, when a rash of late night robberies were happening throughout the neighborhood. He’s had the pleasure of firing it about only 5 or 6 times at the range. Even though his lack of practice, he thinks he can save the world.
He begins to get that relaxed adrenaline rush we get while planning. His eyes no longer looked alien. They looked obsessed. He would have noticed this also, if he would have gotten up and went to the bathroom. But he grabbed his remote and hit the power button. The screen came to life followed shortly by the sound, which was much to loud. A commercial about 1-800 collect; he never could believe that Damon Waynes and Al Bundy could make such a dull pair but as anyone who’s seen the commercial knows they do.
Then he heard a powerful song. It was either Chopin or Mozart, but he wasn’t quite sure the classics were not his forte. Then an image of a flag flowing in the wind with tiny little letters at the bottom materialized on his TV. “ The proceeding commercial was paid for by the committee to elect George Pine as the president of the United States.”
His breath became heavy but small. Sweat covered his palms and face. He grabbed the arm of his lazy boy tight. So tight in fact, that his knuckles were the intense color of white marble.
“ If you believe in America for Americans. An honest American, who holds the same ideals.” Than a calm relaxing voice triumphantly rang out. “That man is George Pine.” Then it showed him playing football with some kids. Suddenly it looked up. He knew again that it was looking at him. Suddenly, all but George faded from the electronic screen. Its eyes were glowing, like searchlights on a moonless sea. Its makeup was completely gone. It had an inverted half moon ridge on its forehead. Where a nose should have been, were two tiny holes. Again, on the lower half of his face was another ridge. Its chin was the exact shape of a fu man chew mustache. The thing brought its right claw to its lips and made the familiar sshhhh gesture.
Now he was in a panic. Like a deer caught in the high beams of some monstrous semi. Unfortunately, he could feel it bearing down on him and he knew he didn’t have much time.
“Now cunt face, I got something to show you and your weak little heart. “
After he finished, he noticed he wasn’t in his dirty, smelly little home. He was in a void of darkness. Standing so close to it, he could smell its stink. It was a pungent aroma. Which was a mixture of urine, stinking flesh, and melting plastic.
He thought; even hoped he would faint. But it held him with its eyes. Then images began to rise and fall. And suddenly, he realized to his horror where he was. The TV…
The world around him was desolate. The buildings, which at one time were beautiful testaments to our technological achievements, were now grim martyrs laid to waste by a mass of unimaginable destruction.
There were shadows of human beings burned into the brick and concrete walls. Rusty cars were scattered in a jumble. Reminding him of the hot wheel sets he had as a child.
Then suddenly, realization struck like a bolt of lightning. He had seen these scenes before. On TV, like A&E and the History channel programs about Hiroshima.
His head began to spin, but not from horror. From the scenes changing so quickly. He knew that ‘it’ must have changed the station.
Now the world was familiar. The air was polluted, children were playing, and the streets were cleaner. He saw he was in a gigantic room. He looks left, and then he looks right. Although the room is familiar, he can’t quite place it. Until he looks down and sees he’s standing on the great seal of the White House. “ Dear God,” is all he can manage to say.
“No”, came from nowhere yet from everywhere in a gentle voice. “ He doesn’t have the nerve. So we are bringing the end to the mortal world. And with it will fall the barriers of eternity.”
“No,” he snarled at no one. “ You could never pull it off. NEVER… People will see you.”
“ Oh, that is true. They might. But by then it will be too late.” Came in that same smooth and calm voice.
“No, no, I’ve seen you. “
“Yes you have,’ came drifting to his ears,’ because I allowed you to. You see, I am here to show you…”
Then the image came to full light. It was George (in guise) and he was behind the Presidents desk.
And to this average mans horror ‘it’ was the President.
“Charles, if we don’t stop it, the entire world will fall. Just ask the three before me.” It said.
“I’m sorry,” a little scrawny spectacled man said. He must have been the Secretary of State. “But, I can not authorize the firing of nuclear weapons, sir.”
“You can and you will.” George said and again he could hear the monsters voice. “ Because if you don’t, I’ll steal back the life that I gave your son.” It said smiling showing the tips of its razor sharp teeth.
Then again, it was like the channels were changing.
It was clearly a military installation. But the writing was foreign. He thought it looked Slavic. There were three men in shirt uniforms and one was in full garb. The average man was within earshot of the men and again like he watching TV, they were speaking in foreign language. It was a heavy language and the translation was flashing across his mind’s eye.
“Sir, this is not a drill and our satellite early warning system, informed us that a preempted nuclear strike is on the way. And Sir; we have had confirmation the auto system has been primed and is moving through final sequences.”
Then a flash enveloped the entire world.
The shock hit his brain. Immediately surging pain throughout his body. The light must have been too much because he was out for a short period.
When he came to, he was lying on his couch and it was sitting on his lazy boy.
Conversation with a Devil
He woke and saw it. For the first time he almost believed that he was hallucinating. But he could see it was as real as that old loved lazy boy it was sitting on. It was in guise and being there, so close to him he could see how inhuman its makeup really was.
“Well, cunt face,” it said. He noticed; besides the supernatural eyes; its movements flowed like water but were still very mundane. “Finally, we get to talk.”
Suddenly, he felt what he should have felt long ago, fear and panic. His eyes darted to the gun.
“No,” it said casually as it flung its arms towards him. His heart gave two flutters and his eyes widened full of panic, horror, and understanding.
“ You primitive monkeys were never meant to wheel the powers you possess, and He knows it.” It said pointing up. “Ah, but He lacks the courage to do it, so I will fill the world with death.”
Then it looked at him with burning eyes, and tipped the lazy boy. “Don’t you know who you are cunt face? You will be the last soul to enter the gates of heaven.” Then with a talon that looked as tough as stone, he reached and touched his forehead. With that, it dimmed the lights of his consciousness.
He awoke. His arms and back felt that he had went on a twenty- mile hike. Even though he ached and his heart paddled along weakly, he jumped to his feet. He heard the morning birds singing. And the morning newscasters lame jokes and he knew that he had barely enough time. Even though it was only two counties, it was about a ten- hour trek. He jumped in the shower and flowed into a suit. Then grabbing his gun, he darted to his 1989 Honda.
Conventions, and Death
He easily saw the demon, for which anyone should be able to recognize. Even though its eyes were angelic and hinted of knowledge beyond human expanse.
Ah, but he knew what that knowledge was. It was of the purest evil and torture. Thoughts and ideas that normal man could never conceive.
Its face was charming from a distance. Yet he could see it was beyond charming. It was magnificent, a roman god, with the soul of tar, darkness, and the deepest pits of hell.
For the first time he saw that it was tall. Easily 6 feet, more likely 6’4”, he thinks. Its teeth were straight and pearly, but he can see the fangs.
He looks about the hundreds of people surrounding him and he wonders, ‘ Why can’t they see?’ He can feel his sickly heart pounding within his chest.
Then he notices that the dark suit is gone. Its dark blue Armony shirt is rolled to below its elbows, and yet no one else can see its talons. Claws used to rip souls from their host.
They were all chanting its name over and over. They were worshiping it. “ George, George…” He couldn’t stand it anymore. He was going for the 38 strapped to his pelvis with a pounding heart. When pain shot through his arm.
Next he knew, he was falling…
“No.” Was all he could scream, but it was a dead scream. That no one heard. Well maybe someone. Because George heard him as he raised his arms and thanked America for electing him as president. And secretly in his mind it thanked him, for filling the gates of heaven. And allowing the domination.
By Eric Fox