“Rick Perry Prays For The Assassination Games” (Story)
When you look at American politics these days, what do you see?
Land of the extreme, home of the crazy? The Democrats are keeping their loonies under wraps. But the Republicans? Man, they’re out of control.
“Rick Perry Prays for the Assassination Games” is a political ‘what if’ story. What if you take the current principles of the Republican Party to their natural conclusion? What if those values reign supreme?
What if it really is every man for himself? What if you destroy all those meddlesome laws and regulations? What if it is kill or be killed?
Imagine the Republican Primaries as the Hunger Games. In a derelict shopping mall. With lots of security cameras. So there’s no place to hide.
No more dull speeches, no more boring debates, Republican contenders now face each other in a thrilling three-day death match that’s broadcast to the world. A fight to the death where the winner will lead the party to the next election. You can even bet on it if you like.
Rick Perry is the odds-on favorite. He has the love of his God and his sponsors. So why does he doubt himself?
‘Where did the idea come from? Probably from watching one of the early Republican debates when the audience cheered at Rick Perry’s record number of executions. I guess if you live by the death penalty you better be ready to die by it.’ Stefano Boscutti
‘Brilliant, cruelly funny satire of American politics and television programming.’ Mark LaPorte
‘Damning reflection on the reality of American democracy.’ David Tarallo
‘Sharp and acerbic.’ Matt Kelland
Rated R / ISBN 9780980712582 / 3,000 words / 12 minutes of keen reading pleasure / Buy Amazon / Buy Barnes & Noble / Buy Smashwords
Prefer to read free online? Scroll on to read the entire story.
‘Damning reflection on the reality of American democracy.’ David Tarallo
RICK PERRY PRAYS FOR THE ASSASSINATION GAMES
Copyright 2010 Stefano Boscutti
All Rights Reserved ISBN 9780980712506
Discover new stories, screenplays, novels and more by Stefano Boscutti at boscutti.com
Rick Perry is on his knees, praying before his God.
‘Ten minutes, Governor Perry. Ten minutes before you’re on.’
It’s not God talking. It’s the intercom in his dressing room. Crystal clear. The country may be broken but Fox News studio is all class. The television corporation has set up a giant production facility outside the derelict Mall of America for the latest Assassination Games.
In the spirit of free markets and no longer hamstrung by Government regulations, the Republican Party Presidential Primaries have evolved into the most watched television phenomena in the world. Everyone watches the games.
For three days everyone is glued to their phones and pads and screens. Local Governments dip into their meager budgets to project the games onto highrise buildings so everyone in poverty zones can take part. Ridiculous given the underclass no longer has the right to vote.
But everyone gets into the spirit of the games. For the Federal Government it’s a major revenue stream. The Assassination Lottery generates more money than the Internal Revenue Service. For voters, there are so many ways to win. You can choose race, height, weight, gender or age. You can choose outfits, weapons, official time of death. You can even choose hair color. Policies? People don’t really bother with policies. They’re too hard to print on the little scratch tickets.
Perry has been fasting all day. He spots the silver platter overflowing with ripe apples, sweet oranges. But he won’t yield to temptation. He won’t let down his God.
He rolls out his smile. He’s been practicing that smile his whole life.
Perry is a good looking man. Six foot and more, broad shouldered, could have played professional football if he was a little more intelligent.
Hair and makeup will be coming in next. Probably that damn stylist too. The one who wants him to wear the silver Stetson. Perry always feels comfortable in his chinos and blue shirt. The boots he likes. And the belt with the big brass buckle. But the hat makes his head look too big. He’ll carry it in his hand, wave it high to the crowd as he enters the mall. The cheers will make him feel good.
Perry hasn’t felt good for some time. Entering the race he felt great. He felt his God was with him every step of the way. That’s what Reverend Wildmond had told him.
Wildmond and the other pastors had sat with Perry in the Governor’s mansion and told him he was a prophet. Yes, a prophet anointed by his Lord to lead the United States into revival and Godly government.
They had joined hands and prayed over him that day. They had prayed mightily that Texas was to be the prophet state. Perry was to lead an army of God over the seven mountains of the world. Perry was to lead the way.
In the two short weeks since he had entered the Republican race, Perry had shot to the top of the lottery polls and is already odds on favorite. Everyone has been eating up his speeches and declarations.
Accountability and fiscal responsibility will not come from places like Washington, it will come from places like Texas. Throughout history, in good times and in bad, Texans have endured. This is our time. This is our place in history. We must seize the moment. We must show the world the endless opportunities of freedom and free enterprise.
Luckily none of the networks ever talked about the numbers. The unemployment rate in Texas is the highest in the United States. One in four Texans have no health insurance, one in ten earn the minimum wage or less.
Numbers, just numbers. Sure Perry had taken billions from President Obama to fix his state’s deficit mess. But that didn’t stop Perry from making savage budget cuts. Tens of thousand of teachers lost their jobs in the last round while his slush fund rewards cronies with millions of tax dollars. People say the line between public duty and private investment are blurred. People say the darnedest things.
Perry can’t understand why people still love President Obama. The way he sees it, President Obama has been talking everything down. Talking the economy down, talking jobs down. Hell, the only job he worries about is his own.
Obama had called Perry an incompetent narcissist. What the hell does that even mean?
Revered Wildmon had told Perry that President Obama nurtures a hatred for the United States of America, a hatred for the white man. It’s in his blood, in his nature. There ain’t nothing he can do about it.
Perry loves America with all his heart. In his dreams he wraps himself in the American flag and carries a bright, shining cross.
At one of the television debates a moderator had tried to question his record of state executions. Texas has hundreds more people on death row than any other state. The audience cheered. Not just the party faithful, not just the plants, everyone.
That’s how we do business in Texas.
Waste and fraud in government? Don’t believe a word of it. Newt Ginrich, damn him. He’d been a friend and a mentor to Perry. He’d even written the introduction to Perry’s first book. Perry was going to enjoy taking him out.
Perry had never lost an election, including an elementary school contest to be king of the Paint Creek School Carnival. He secured that win by handing out pennies for votes. Nothing’s changed but the price.
He had become Governor when George W. Bush resigned in late 2000 to head to the White House. Since then, Perry has won three four-year terms. He’s the longest serving governor Texas has ever had.
He’s also doubled the debt since he became governor. But who’s counting.
Perry looks up at the monitor glistening in the corner of his dressing room. Jon Huntsman is being interviewed. Sound is off but Perry knows what he’s saying. He’ll be a throw over. People think he’s mysterious and holding something back. He’s got good hair, ain’t no denying that. But he’s liable to do something stupid.
You need more than good hair to win the Assassination Games. Perry had been in training for six months before he announced he’d enter the race, enter the game. It’s odd they still call it a Presidential race.
Nothing but protein and steroids for six months. The twinge in his knee had mainly gone. But his spirit was lacking. He felt weak in his heart.
Perry knew the strategy. He’d been over it a thousand times. Preserve energy, maintain the kill.
‘Five minutes, Governor Perry. Five minutes to go.’
There’s going to be dangers aplenty in the mall. Power outages, electrical surges, gas leaks, poisoned water. The mall spans almost a hundred acres over four levels. The four major department stores had long been gutted. You couldn’t tell your Nordstrom from your Macy’s. The theme park is rotting, rusting.
Used to be the largest indoor theme park in the United States. Now the two roller coasters lay silent, the rides and attraction broken beyond repair.
The rainforest at one end of the mall had grown wild. A shallow, putrid lake had formed in a corner where the skylight had collapsed. Nothing lived there except snakes and rats.
Perry had always liked hunting. Even as a boy roaming the fields with his black lab. His father wouldn’t buy him a gun, so he had to save his own money. His father had been a lifelong Democrat. Share cropper his whole life. Never owned his own land. Always helping people, never helping himself.
One summer, Perry sold bibles door to door. Who the hell doesn’t want to buy salvation? Who the hell would turn their back on the Lord?
So why wasn’t his Lord listening now? Why wasn’t his Lord giving him a sign?
He’d been over the strategy a thousand times. Stay in the shadows, play it close, lay low. Choose the bowie knife for a closer kill, because a closer kill means a better close-up. There are more than three thousand cameras in the abandoned mall. You had to play to all of them.
Sure he would prefer to choose a gun. Who wouldn’t? What he wouldn’t give to strap on his favorite .380 Ruger loaded with hollow-point bullets?
But the producers limit the weapons to close range fighting, to hand-to-hand combat because it makes better television. Each candidate chooses their own weapon. Swords are popular. So are axes and hatchets. You keep the weapon of each candidate you kill.
Huntsman will almost certainly choose a knife too. Perry had a plan to tempt him up to the fourth level of the mall. A knife fight would get bloody and Huntsman may just get the jump on him. Best thing would be to tackle him over the balustrade and let him fall into the ruined theme park below. Let the others pick him off.
A quick kill early in the game sets the pace. Perry knows he’ll have to be careful.
Michelle Bachmann will go for a hatchet for sure. She’s still popular with the crowds and having a man kill a woman, well, that just won’t do. It don’t look good on television. It don’t look manly.
Newt Ginrich will almost certainly select an axe. He’ll be after Bachmann with a vengeance. Maybe they’ll kill each other.
Ron Paul is going to pick a bayonet. Perry knows he’ll be relentless. But so will Herman Cain.
Rick Santorum has got youth on his side but he’s not hungry enough. Perry wouldn’t be surprised if Bachmann takes him out first.
Mitt Romney will go for a sword. It’s a noble weapon but it’s tough to handle. In the last Assassination Games, John McCain almost took off his own right leg.
Perry knows Romney will go for a sword because that’s what they agreed on. The plan is to appear to fight bitterly against each other over the three days until they are the last two remaining candidates. Then they are to lay their weapons down before the cameras and refuse to fight. Instead they will join together to lead one nation under one God.
That’s the agreement. But this is politics. He can’t trust Romney. He can’t trust anyone.
If only his God will tell him what to do. Show him the way.
He knows there will be more complications. At the end of the second day, Sarah Palin will be dropped into the mall as the surprise candidate. She’ll be lowered down in front of the three-story American flag. Audiences will love the fanfare.
Teaming up with Romney to eliminate Palin might work as a prelude to joining forces. A sign of things to come.
But when it comes right down to it, Perry isn’t really worried about Palin. Hell, all the candidates want her dead. What Perry is worried about is the Chosen One.
With every Assassination Games the producers pick one unknown candidate from the poverty zones. It’s usually a young man, moderately good looking. A young man with nothing to lose.
In America anyone can become the President, right.
‘One minute, Governor Perry. One minute.’
The producers keep the identity of the Chosen One secret until the very start of the games. It’s a federal felony to release his name or likeness before broadcasting begins. Perry has called on almost every favor to find out who it is.
Not even his God has told him.
The Chosen One is almost always the crowd favorite. But he’ll have no strategy, no savagery. He’ll have no political skills or clout. He won’t be used to the kill. He won’t have a taste for blood.
Usually the Chosen One becomes the sacrificial lamb. Everyone hopes for the Chosen One to be the savior, but it never works out like that.
So why is Perry worried? Why won’t his God settle his heart and guide his spirit?
Why won’t his God answer his prayers?
Stefano Boscutti is a freelance creative director and award-winning writer based in Melbourne, Australia.
© Stefano Boscutti All Rights Reserved