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Inauguration Day: A Short Story

Lizzy woke up with her mouth hanging open, her hand hanging off the couch. Her hand was nudged by something cold and then something wet engulfed it entirely. She cracked open her dry eyes to see her bulldog, Buff, licking her hand incessantly. Beyond him the office was silent, save the ticking of the Slate clock and the low rumbling snores of some of her staff that lay scattered around the office, on the floor, in chairs and, in Benji’s case, on the conference room table. This brought a little smile to Lizzy’s face and she sat up, wiping Buff’s slobber on his back while she welcomed his grunts and snuggled into her lap.

…Bzzzt…Bzzzt…Bzzzt…

Her phone vibrated on the glass table at her side and every app on her phone seemed to light up the screen one after the other with another notification every second. She couldn’t believe that this day had finally come. Her and her staff had worked tirelessly for over 2 years and now it would all pay off when she put her hand on that book and swore her oath. She unplugged her phone and flipped it on its face, no time for outside thoughts and opinions today. She forced herself up and made her way across the room, unsuccessfully dodging the papers and people that were sprawled across the floor in every direction.

“A new report shows that as the year came to a close the number of active duty military withdrawals has skyrocketed to a record 38% since the election. Making this the largest surge of military resignations since the late 1850s.” The TV murmured in her office. Lizzy made her way there, looking for the remote. “In other news, the Capitol is alive with activity inside the beltway on this most historic day!” the TV continued, “although protestors have already begun to take up real estate in key locations nothing has been heard from the several militias that have been growing in numbers and popularity since the-”

Click.

She muted the TV, sighing and scratching her head as she headed into her bathroom, greeted by the sun shining through the floor to ceiling windows on the opposite side of the room.

“Good morning, Slate.” Lizzy said, taking her seat in front of her large vanity.

“Good morning, Ms. Piyon.” Responded Slate as it turned on the mirror lights, revealing to Lizzy the true state of her nearly matted hair and smudged makeup. “You have 700 unheard messages and over 900 unread notifications, would you like to hear them?”

“No.” she said with a yawn reaching for the nearest hairbrush. “What’s the weather like in DC today?”

“Clouds will be coming in during the morning but no rain is expected.”

“Thank you, Slate. Bring down the shades please.” The shades over the windows fell as Lizzy began wiping off her makeup from the day before.

“Incoming call from an unknown number. Should I accept?”

“No, Slate. Block all incoming calls for the next 24 hours.” Lizzy gently rubbed dry shampoo into her hair with one hand while she swiped away at notifications on the Slate display with the other.

“Ms. Piyon,” Slate said as Lizzy walked over to her closet doors.

“Yes, Slate.” She sighed, growing even more annoyed now with the onslaught of notifications that she was sure would plague her for the coming four to eight years.

“Your name was just mentioned on CNN in conjecture with the pres-“

“Slate, please mute all notifications until further notice.” Interrupted Lizzy. She began to undress when a gentle tap came from the bathroom door. “Yes?”

“Hey, Liz, ugh, its Taylor. The president is about to-“

“Yes, I know, Taylor. I heard it from the Slate.” She could hear Taylor talking to someone on the other side of the door in a hushed, rushed tone. “Slate, bring out outfit ‘Dark Horse Victory’ please.” The closet swished on the inside and then the doors slid open and out flung the outfit Lizzy had planned 18 months before. It wasn’t the outfit her team had chosen but Lizzy liked it. She had just gotten into the slim fitting black tuxedo pants when

Knock, Knock, Knock…

A little louder this time, with a sense of urgency with it as well.

“Taylor, I’ll be out in a second!” Lizzy screamed back. “Surely the country can wait until I put on a bra.”

“Lizzy, you need to turn your TV on now.” Taylor said curtly.

“No, no Taylor!” Lizzy said in a half-joking singsong voice. “I told you last night, no media will ruin today for me! Not a-“

BANG! BANG! BANG!

“Elizabeth Judith Piyon, get your ass out here NOW!”

“Jesus, Taylor!” she said swinging open the bathroom door, still buttoning and tucking in her loose white blouse. “What is it?” Taylor stood there frozen for a moment and pointed at her office TV. She read the crawl at the bottom of the screen as the baboon she was destined to replace mouthed without words. “Bloody hell!” She sighed.

She walked out into the open office space where everyone else was beginning to wake up and look at their phones, some looking out at the same broadcasted image on the billboards outside. She went to the conference room and faced the Slate clock.

“Slate, show me what’s going on.” She said trembling. “Go to the beginning.” The live feed rewound and played back.

“Men and women of these great United States,” the President began. “I’m here today not to give details of today’s events,” the loud shutters of the press crescendoed as Lizzy’s office fell more silent than death. “but to say that there will be no Inauguration today.”

The entire office collapsed into a collective audible gasp.

“I am putting my full support and confidence behind the independent civilian militia groups that seek to prevent the absolute hag that is Elizabeth Pee-on from ascending to this most prestigious office. ” Continued the President.

Lizzy stood there, mouth clenched, eyes overflowing, and all the joy of the night before was leeched from her soul as a small explosion ripped open her office doors and armed men entered her offices.


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© 2020 by Andrew Pan.