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Archive for the category “You Tell Me”

Game Over

The Comment:
Here is an idea: have an Avatar from a video game come to life and you spend the day with him/her

Finally, an entire Saturday all to myself.

Already did my laundry and worked out a little bit, the fridge is fully stocked and I’ve got no obligations for the next 24 hours. The weather’s even a little bit crappy out! If there was any remaining doubt it is now gone; I am justified.

Time to strap in for a video game marathon. Dis gon’ be goooood!

It took me a little bit of searching, but I finally found and dusted off my old first generation Playstation…and holy shit, it still works!!

Ohhhh mama, where should I start?! Maybe a fighting game to get going…then when I get tired of that I can switch to something more relaxed like FFVII. It’s gaming done right. Let’s see…

IMG_20150805_214123874

Yes!

My afternoon had begun…but little did I know that my greatest (or at least, my most insane) adventure was just hours ahead of me. I resolved to beat the MK Trilogy on Easy difficulty once with each character; this should take somewhere in the neighborhood of two hours. The first hour flew.

“Shao Kahn, get the FUCK out of my house with that shit! That’s right, walk right into my uppercut you idiot! Maybe next time I’ll play you on Medium so that I actually have to use two hands! What’s that? You want another uppercut? Well come get one! TOOOASTYYYYY!!!

TOASTYYYY!!

I was really getting into it.

“Man, this is awesome. Alright let’s see, that’s Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Raiden, Baraka, Liu Kang, Reptile, Kung Lao…Ugh, I guess I’ll have to use Johnny ‘I’m an asshole’ Cage sooner or later. Alright, let’s do this…”

As I selected my least favorite kombatant I grew bored of the load screen, and I’m not quite sure how to explain what happened next. Maybe something from the section of my old school video game subconscious kicked into gear. Maybe deep down I was testing reality itself, challenging it, daring it to wow me. Maybe I was just bored.

I knew that it wouldn’t, shouldn’t, couldn’t do anything, but my hands diddled that ancient video game secret right into the Playstation controller anyway. And what happened next changed history.

Up, Up   my eyes widened

Down, Down   my toes tapped

Left, Right, Left, Right   I adjusted my pants

B, A, B, A*    sweat dripped from my brow

Select,Start!!!   OW!! I accidentally bit my tongue!

“Ahhh, FUCK!” I yelled, tossing the controller onto the couch next to me to hold my face.

“Hey bro. Watch where you’re throwing stuff.”

WHAT?!? 

Ugh

Johnny Cage was sitting next to me on my couch chugging my beer. My controller had hit him in the lap.

Whathefuckisgoingon?!?!

“Relax bro, buurrrrp! You summoned me here to Earthrealm with the Contra code – pretty sweet right? We get to spend an entire day together now! You got any Bud heavies?”

“…Johnny…Cage??”

“Yeah. Well? I’m thirsty bro. They don’t have beer in Outworld.”

I rolled with it.

“Of…course not. I don’t have any of that shit! Bud heavy is disgusting.”

What did you just say? You insult my favorite beer bro?”

“Dude, it’s gross.” I stood up over him. I knew from playing the MK games that Johnny Cage could be sort of an asshole. True, he may be Johnny Cage but this was my house. If I didn’t assert myself right off the bat there was a great chance I’d end up carting his ass to the store to purchase disgusting Budweiser for him. Man, why couldn’t I have summoned Kitana instead?

versus_full

“Is that so?” he said, standing up as well. Yikes. In the game he was one of the less intimidating characters but standing in front of me in my living room it was a different story. He was easily a foot taller and 50 pounds of solid muscle heavier than me. A handgun was holstered at his hip. I flinched.

He saw it.

“How about we take a trip to the liquor store before I shadow kick your ass through the wall?”

Stupid shadow kick

“Okay, but can you at least leave the gun so we don’t get arrested? What are you even doing with that – you don’t even get a gun until MK X.”

“I’m the essence of all things Johnny Cage, broseph. All his mannerisms, all his outfits, all his moves…and all his fatalities. Wanna see one?”

The car ride to the liquor store was mostly quiet. Even though I’d just made history and was driving around with a video game avatar come alive in the real world, I couldn’t help but feel a little frustrated. Of all the characters out there, why’d I have to get Johnny Cage? Why not Scorpion – well, he’d probably just kill me on sight – but why not Mega Man or Sonic the Hedgehog? Rictor Belmont the vampire slayer or Alucard, son of Dracula? Bayonetta? Samus? Freaking anyone but Johnny Cage!

He shifted in his seat and farted, breaking the silence in the worst possible way.

“Beeeef. Dude – seriously?”

“You know it brosama!”

Even though I offered to jump into the packy and grab a 30 of Bud myself, Johnny refused to wait in the car. “I don’t want you pussing out on me” he said. Charming.

I slammed the 30 rack onto the counter and reached for my wallet.

“IDs.”

Ohhhhh shit

Johnny Cage was a video game character. He wouldn’t have been coded to have a wallet, much less a license.

“Nah, I don’t need one bro.”

“Johnny, cool it. Let’s just go somewhere else and you can wait in the car.”

“No fuckin’ way. We’re getting these beers and we’re getting them now.” His voice was rising. “And what are you gonna do about it, guy??” He jabbed a finger at the man behind the counter, then backed up a step and crossed his arms over his chest like the defiant, cocky douchebag that he was coded to be. He smirked.

“Get out of here right now!” the man had his phone in his hand. “Or I call the cops!”

“Johnny, for the love of Christ can we please just-”

“Make us, fat man!” God, he was such a fucking child.

That must have hit a nerve, because the clerk slid over the counter with surprising agility, (he was a little hefty), but not before he reached behind the counter and produced a wooden Louisville Slugger. Johnny just stood there with his arms crossed, arrogant smirk and all.

The man ran in, winding up to take a swing; Johnny held his pose for the last possible second, and then

SPLAT

The bat dropped to the floor with a clunk as the man bent low, cradling his blasted balls. “YYYyyyooooouuuu sonofa-” he began, his voice barely more than a pathetic whimper, but then he crumpled face first to the floor and writhed. Johnny was already back on his feet after performing his nut-punch-split. It was his favorite move. Figures.

“C’mon bro.” He hoisted the 30 rack of Bud heavy up onto his shoulder like a frat boy, stepping around the shopkeeper who was still embracing his crotch with both hands. “Let’s…split.”

“You are such an ass.”

The second we got back to my apartment we began drinking Bud heavies ferociously. Me to try and alleviate the constant stress that accompanied accompanying Johnny Cage anywhere, and Johnny Cage because they didn’t have beer on Outworld and also because he was an uncultured swine. We didn’t talk much; I had nothing to say to the man. I knew his backstory from the games and truthfully it wasn’t that impressive. He was a movie star/stunt double who knew how to fight. I’d have been more interested in literally any other character from Mortal Kombat. In real life he was just as abrasive as his character was in the game, if not more so.

“So uh, when do you like, have to go back to Outworld?”

“I get to spend a whole day here bro, unless I get a Game Over. But let’s be real, that ain’t gonna happen! Beer me!”

Just then, an idea sliced its way right through my brain like a plasma sword. Oh. My. Christ. It was beautiful, poetic even. It was perfect.

“Sure thing Johnny.”

I just needed to distract him for five minutes, maybe less. He was a tool but not a complete idiot; if he saw what I was up to he’d probably hand me a shadow uppercut. I would need backup.

“Hey bro!” I yelled. I would get on his good side. “Hey man, you want me to call some friends over? We could throw a party!”

“What, they wanna meet the legend? Sure! You know any bitches?”

He was repulsive.

I picked up the phone and got to work; I didn’t even have to embellish. “Yes, the Johnny Cage. The video game character. Yes!! No I’m not insane. No! Yes. I – I don’t fucking know how, ask him!! Well to be honest he’s exactly the same as he is in the video ga-”

“You mean fuckin’ awesome?!”

“That’s exactly what I was about to say, Johnny.”

“Right on.”

Within an hour my apartment was brimming with friends and acquaintances. The cocky son of a bitch was reveling in it all, rocking the beer pong table and handing out autographs left and right.

There were lots of questions about how he ended up here in Earthrealm but he mostly just brushed them off. “Ask the Outworlders man, they made the rules. Yo, who’s up next?!

After the initial amazement wore off it didn’t take long for tensions to mount and for everyone to basically realize that they were drinking with a manchild. I went into the kitchen just for a second and heard yelling, followed by another crash. Ugh, what was that stupid son of a bitch up to now.

Then I heard some squealing.

Goddamnit Johnny.

I came storming out of the kitchen to find one of my closest friends crouched over on the ground, clutching his crotch.

“Johnny you asshole! You can’t just punch people in the dick anytime you feel like it! This is Earthrealm, there are rules here!”

“Sure I can bro.” He was still maintaining his signature split on the floor, having  just punched my friend in the penis. “I’m Johnny Cage” he grinned. “What are you gonna do, call the police?”

I didn’t know it until about 20 minutes later, but someone already had. By that point everyone had cleared out and it was just me and Cage; he was shotgunning a Budweiser in my kitchen, spilling everywhere when the doorbell rang. I went to get it and Johnny followed me down the steps. “Want me to fireball his ass?”

“Dude, you’ll get shot.”

I opened the door slowly.

“What seems to be the problem officer?” I recited. This was not part of my plan.

“I’ve received a noise complaint and also a report of assault; apparently one of your guests was punched in the uhm…crotch…by a man…”

“Get lost guy, we were just having a good time.”

I stammered “Uhhhh” as the officer pushed the door open a bit wider. He got a clear view of Johnny Cage and his eyes widened, recognizing the person who so perfectly fit the description in his report.

“Sir, I’m gonna need you to step outside.”

“I told you man, beat it. Unless you want an uppercut.”

“That’s assault sir. Outside. Now.” The officer took a step back, his hand on his gun.

I backed away quietly. This was not part of the plan.

“You want me to come outside? Here I come.”

A green blur buzzed by me as Johnny Cage shadow kicked the police officer in the chest, sending him flying. He sauntered outside and cracked his knuckles. “Finally! Believe it or not I was actually gettin’ tired of punchin’ junk!”

The officer drew, but Johnny lobbed one of his stupid green fireballs at him, knocking the gun from his hands. Then he closed the distance with another shadow kick and commenced an epic beat down. This was getting ugly. I ran inside, the ugly sounds of the fantastical fist fight on my front lawn following me up the stairs.

If the cop was any good, I’d have maybe three minutes tops.

I ran to the Playstation, frantic. Where was it where was it, it had to be here somewh – YES!

I ripped MK Trilogy out of the Playstation and threw my new game in. C’mon, load, load you bastard. I looked out the window; the poor cop was on his last legs.

Bruised and bloodied, he stood there in a daze, knees weak and arms flailing. He was just a normal man; simply no match for the superhuman video game avatar, the very essence of the shittiest Mortal Kombat kombatant, Johnny fucking Cage.

Johnny wound up and I knew what was coming.

“HEEEEERRRRREEEE’S JOHNNY!!” He yelled.

To this day I still can’t explain why the cop was wearing Scorpion’s yellow ninja outfit. Just roll with it.

Oh God he’s a murderer and an asshole, please load please load please load – finally!!

I booted up Tekken 3 and finger-sprinted through the menus. Campaign mode, 1 player – ah! Character select!

I heard Johnny’s dumb footsteps coming up the stairs slowly; he was in no rush. “Hey where’d you go bro?! Did you see my sweet fatality out there? Talk about ripping a new one!!”

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, B, A, Select, START!

Yabu yabu yabu yabu yabu!!

Yoshimitsu_(T3)

Yoshimitsu came spinning into being like a tornado of awesomeness, his green energy sword humming and sparkling.

3594472-2337346967-streeJohnny stood at the top of the steps, dumbfounded. He looked at me.

Really bro?”

“Yoshimitsu! Cut that guy in half!”

He didn’t need to be told twice. Maybe there was some sort of ancient rivalry between Tekken and Mortal Kombat characters that I didn’t know about. Maybe Yoshimitsu had literally just met Johnny Cage for the first time and already hated him. It could be that he was honor-bound to follow my commands without question; I’ll never know. Whatever the case Yoshimitsu wasted no time.

Johnny Cage saw Yoshimitsu winding up with his sword for his super thrust, and he held block. I grinned. Yoshimitsu was my favorite; I knew this move was unblockable.

Sure enough the plasma sword dove right through the block and through Johnny as well. There was no blood. He looked up and yelled “Game ooooooverrrrrr….” and then just sort of disintegrated into bits which reverted into code and then disappeared, like Agent Smith getting blown apart at the end of the first Matrix (spoiler!)

Yoshimitsu spun his sword in a celebratory figure eight pattern in front of him, cutting chunks out of my walls in the process. I was so elated I didn’t even care.

“Yoshimitsu, oh my god, thank you! That guy was such a fucking tool, you have no idea.”

The cyborg space pirate samurai bowed low; I returned the bow. Then he sat down and began meditating.

yoshimitsu_desktop_background_by_razkurdt-d50cyrp“You’re a strange bird, Yoshimitsu. Wanna chill out with me for a little bit, maybe play some video games?”

Yabuuuu.

“Sweet. Now let’s play something safe, like Dead Island.”

zombie

Art by Peter Nohrbacher

FOOTER
*Author’s Note: I substituted X and O, as PS controllers have neither A nor B

That’s all for now folks, but you know the drill – give me another weekly writing assignment by Commenting on this post!

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The Transition

Hi Readers!

About a week ago, I published a sweet post about my turning over a new leaf. In it I implored you, the public, to dump suggestions for writing topics on me. The rules are highlighted in that post – check ’em out if you’re interested!

I’ll cage these beastly entries in the newly created You Tell Me Category of my blog – this will be the first!

The Comment:
“I’m not sure how the hell I ended up here… Let’s hear your thoughts on leaving the country, becoming a mexican and sneaking back over the border.”

Art by Christopher Rush

Art by Christopher Rush

It had been a long time since Mike had eaten a good taco.

He used to love tacos, but that was the last thing on his mind as he prepared himself for yet another dull day in the office. He sighed and farted, feeling old, hearing his knees groan as he bent down to lace up his shiny black Oxfords. “Another day another…” he began, then, realizing what he was saying he stopped, suddenly disgusted with himself. “Ugh, fuck that“.

Standing back up, he straightened his posture with some effort and his tie subconsciously. The knot was perfect as usual but for once, it wasn’t what caught his attention in the mirror today. It had also been a long time since Mike had really looked in the mirror with anything more than a passing glance. But now for some reason, he focused that same intensive gaze that he normally held over his clothes and external appearance to just himself. His actual self.

Slowly and intentionally, Mike started with his feet and worked his way up. He applied the same scrutiny usually reserved for his outer appearance to his actual being.

The gaze was unforgiving.

As he looked, he gradually came to see, and then to understand, how little of his appearance was actually a reflection of anything that he’d ever truly wanted for himself. His shiny black shoes and tailored, relaxed-waist tan dockers. The black Italian leather belt, entirely for show. His crisp Armani shirt, a perfect fit, and the sleek indigo tie, knotted into a perfect Balthus classic. Well put together. Professional and very impressive. But was all this really Mike?

He hesitated for a moment, summoning his nerve. Then, feeling braver than he’d ever felt before, he directed his stare directly at the mirror in front of him. Mike looked dead on, straight into his own eyes…and he saw himself.

He saw the reasons why he’d become who he was – what he was – over time. Then he saw the direction that he was headed in. The face in the mirror crinkled in repugnance but he was so lost, staring so deeply into his own eyes, that he didn’t notice. Finally, finally, Mike saw the person who he really was, underneath the facade that he had spent years building up around himself. He spoke without thinking.

“No bueno.”

He wasn’t who he wanted to be. He wasn’t what he wanted to be. In a near trance, Mike had a beautiful vision. It was as though a clear, incontestable path was being laid out in front of him, brick by golden brick – and he himself was the brick layer. It was then that Mike knew what he had to do.

He would quit his job, sell his belongings and travel to Mexico; it was there he would fulfill his new dream and begin his new life as a Mexican.

mexico flag map

It didn’t cross Mike’s mind that shifting from one race to another wasn’t possible at a physical, genetic, social or even cultural level, or that merely broaching this topic with most other people could likely only lead to contentious outcomes.

It didn’t matter to him that his primary language was of course, English, and that whatever Spanish he’d learned in school had been buried under decades of mental neglect. Nor did it occur to Mike that he knew little, if any, actual Mexican culture or history. He remembered the Alamo and he loved tacos; that was about it.

But, guided by his random, undiagnosed and utterly complete mental breakdown, these largely irrelevant details would prove to be more than enough to ensure that his transition became a reality, to him if to no one else.

By the time he should have been in the office indulging in his second cup of coffee, Mike had confounded his bosses by severing ties with his company with no explanation beyond “I quit – no me gusta!!” followed by a stream of random, broken Spanish. He set some clothes aside – some old polo shirts, undershirts, socks and undergarments, some solid work boots and a pair of Dickies from when he’d gone to a Halloween party as a construction worker – and heaped the rest of his expensive suits, ties and shoes into the back of his 2013 BMW. They barely fit.

Powered by righteous mania he sped to the nearest used car dealership, offering the entire bundle for $15,000 but with the stipulation that the dealer pay in cash. Paydays like this didn’t come often; the owner practically tripped over himself power walking to the petty cash safe.

Had he still been employed at his company the 15k would have constituted about two months’ salary, but Mike had never felt richer holding the three stacks of cash, 50 $100 bills apiece. He jammed the cash into his pockets and caught a bus home, his mind racing.

Once there, he collected his passport and a few other personal belongings, tossing those items and his remaining clothes into an old sturdy backpack he’d found in the back of his closet from his backpacking days.

And so began Mike’s trek to Guadaloupe.

It was largely uneventful, consisting mostly of bus and train rides with the odd hitchhiking segment here and there. Mike tried to limit himself to speaking only in Spanish for the trip, but found this to be more difficult than he’d anticipated. Unperturbed, he resorted to pointing and grunting when verbal communication failed. He felt more Mexican already.

Getting through customs was much easier than he had anticipated, and in a few short hours, Mike had arrived in his new home.

His smartphone indicated that the cheapest hotel rate in the area could be found at HOTEL LE-GAR, so he hailed a cab. Thankfully the driver knew of the hotel already and further communication wasn’t needed. Approaching the main lobby, Mike did some quick math. He’d need a month or two, he reasoned, in order to fully acclimate himself to the local customs, experience the local diet, become fluent in the language and change his outlook on life. In other words – in order to become Mexican.

Mike casually peeled 22 $100 bills off a stack and laid them out on the counter. “Dos meses, por favor”. The clerk’s eyes widened, clearly confused. “Sir” he began, but Mike would hear no part of it and reiterated. “Dose meses. POR. FAVOR.”

With a shrug the clerk scooped up the cash, not bothering with the standard paperwork. “Your key, sir. Room 213. Take the stairs to the second floor, make a left, and you’ll see it.”

“Gracias.”

The clerk shuddered at the terrible pronunciation as the man, who had so clearly understood his perfect English but had chosen not to reply for some reason, turned and walked away.

Mike settled into his new digs quickly. He still had a little over $11k left over and was feeling pretty invincible. He was doing it, he was actually doing it!! Soon he’d be Mexican – he had no doubt – but first he had to finalize this stage of his metamorphosis. So late that night, he left the hotel and walked until he found a dumpster in a quiet alley. There, Mike torched his passport, driver’s license and credit cards. At last, he was free.

The next six weeks were rough.

The hotel room was reasonably well furnished with a sink and microwave, but there was no stove. Mike sought to quicken his transition by eating as much ‘Mexican’ food as he could, but since he had no knowledge whatsoever as to what constituted actual traditional or contemporary Mexican fare, he had to trust in his gut. And despite getting larger, it was often very wrong.

He tried supplementing his diet of canned beans and frozen chalupas at local eateries [surely this must be authentic!] but, while delicious, this approach was starting to get expensive.

His difficulties weren’t limited to food. After over a month’s worth of attempts Mike had netted just a single day of employment; menial physical labor at a construction site, all under the table of course. His broken, incomplete Spanish was immediately noticeable and acted as a natural repellent to recruiters. This also prevented him from creating, much less maintaining, any sort of interpersonal relationship with anyone else.

Days passed as Mike sat alone in his hotel room. He was virtually surrounded by empty cans of beans and futbol en vivo blared on the tv in the background. Cases’ worth of spent Corona bottles had collected flies, now dust, and though tequila had always disgusted him he pulled his head back for yet another shot. Another shot of medicine, he told himself. One more shot, one more medicinal step closer.

He persisted, but his thoughts kept nagging him: He was trying everything he could think of; why was this taking so long? Why wasn’t he Mexican yet?

What was it to be Mexican? Fluency in a language? A particular diet, or set of religious beliefs? A general outlook on life? Was it his skin color? What was wrong, could it be his DNA? He slammed another tequila shot as he scoured his brain for the hidden essence of cultural identity, his frustration mounting. He could feel himself getting noticeably drunker but was too angry to process his thoughts.

Mike stumbled to the bathroom to peer into the room’s only mirror, half-stumbling, half barging through the refuse which was scattered about the room. He arrived at the portal to his inner self and summoned his courage once more. What was he doing wrong? 

“Que pasa, MIKE?!?!” But this time, the mirror yielded no answers.

Suddenly furious he slammed his fist into the wall, accidentally dislodging the ornate metal frame which bordered the bathroom mirror. It fell away from the wall, bashing Mike’s temple. Black, red and white lights splashed through his vision as he fell backwards, cracking the back of his head against the porcelain bathroom tub on his way down. By the time he hit the ground he was unconscious.

He came to nine hours later, sitting on the toilet and cradling his aching head in his hands. Where was he?

What was he doing here?

Mike searched his surroundings, not understanding. Was this a hotel room? Cans of beans? Tequila? Corona? Mike muted Telemundo. He hated soccer.

trashedhotelroom

He opened the drapes and looked outside; there were store signs visible from his window but they were all in Spanish. Was he in…Mexico?

His phone yielded no clues whatsoever. He searched the room and found just a single backpack and a few pairs of his worst clothes, most of which were filthy. Mike felt horror pass through him as he realized that both his driver’s license and passport were nowhere to be found. A small pile of US dollars and pesos were the only currency Mike could find, about $50.

Uh oh.

What had come over him – what had he done?? Then he glanced at the bathroom mirror again and it hit his brain like a double chili cheese burrito to the colon. He remembered everything. Getting ready for work, his vision quest in the mirror, hawking his belongings, burning his identification. He’d done this to himself, to change, to liberate himself from his job and from his old life. And to become Mexican.

What the fuck had he been thinking?

He had to get back to the U.S., but how? He’d have to figure that out later, but first things first. He bought the next available bus ticket to the nearest border town, packed up his few possessions and headed back to the border.

The clerk watched him sprint out the lobby but made no attempt to stop him, technically the room was still his for over another week. “Adios.”

Mike arrived at the border within a few hours, where he promptly engaged in a shouting match with the nearest member of the U.S. Border Patrol.

“But I’m a U.S. citizen!!” he yelled, but the border patrol guard wasn’t convinced, or even concerned.

“Sir, you’ll need to go to the embassy to re-apply for a new passport. Just bring your driver’s license or some other form of-”

“But I told you already, I burned them!!”

“Sir, you’ll need to resolve this there. Without the proper documentation I just simply can’t let you pass.”

“But I don’t have enough bus money to-”

“Sir! There’s nothing more I can do for you here. Please move along.”

“You won’t let me in?”

“I can’t let you in. I’m losing my patience, now move along.”

Mike stepped out of line, flabbergasted, confused, broke and most of all, afraid. He had to get back home, but how? He walked down the block, searching for a bar. He had to think.

Eight Coronas later he knew exactly what to do. It was so simple. He’d have to pull some strings and call in some major favors, but it was just crazy enough to work. He grabbed his phone and got to work, drunken dialing like he’d never drunk dialed before.

The sleek black helicopter touched down at midnight in the designated location, the middle of a deserted patch of open land a few miles deep into Mexico. Laying on his stomach concealed beneath some shrubbery, Mike watched it land, then made a break for it.

blackhelicopter

The door slid open and he hurled his backpack and body inside, frantic. Once he pulled himself in he was surprised to find that the chopper was empty save for the pilot.

“Quick, let’s get the fuck outta here!”

“Relax junior! There’s no way they’ll be able to detect us, not with their inferior radar! This helicopter is state of the art!”

With that they touched off, slowly hovering up and away. Out of Mexico and back towards the good ol’ US of A. Mike watched as the border fence disappeared behind them, feeling his fears shrink proportionately. At last his sphincters loosened and he allowed himself to breathe out, relaxing a little bit.

It was over, his nightmare was over.

He’d need months of therapy to recover from the existential shock of dipping into, then snapping out of a weeks-long state of delusion, he knew that much for certain. Then there was the matter of getting his job back and getting new identification and credit cards. Maybe he’d explore whatever areas of his psyche were responsible for his hilariously limited views on cultural and racial identity.

He’d definitely stay away from mirrors from the time being.

But his plan had worked after all, which was evidence that things were looking good on the job front at least. He’d been an outstanding campaign manager, after all.

“Hey, pilot! Thank you man, you saved me! I gotta say though, I sort of can’t believe that your boss went for this!”

“What do you mean?” the pilot shot back immediately. His visor was down and his voice was muffled, but commanding. It reeked of authority. Mike could have sworn he knew it from somewhere…but he couldn’t place it.

“Well it’s just that for the past few months, sure, I’ve raised millions of dollars for his campaign, and always privately, just like he asked! I’ve exceeded all the goals that he set for my branch, so I can see why he sprung the money to have you pick me up out here…but still, I was worried he might be too much of a cheapskate! I mean hasn’t the guy ever struck you as a greedy asshat?”

The pilot didn’t reply, but Mike thought he noticed the gloved hands tighten on the controls.

“I mean I’m grateful and all, but between me and you I never wanted him to win! I mean seriously, can you imagine him as president? The guy may be rich but he’s a fucking moron!”

The door next to Mike slid open silently, automatically, and then the pilot stood up, backing away from the controls.

“H-hhey, what the hell are you doing?! We’ll crash!”

“No we won’t junior. I told you, it’s the best money can buy. My money.”

With that he took a step closer; Mike had to move back in order to maintain his personal space. Then the pilot reached up and, like the Predator, slowly removed his helmet.

As absurd orange hair exploded into Mike’s vision he felt his knees weaken. Oh, shit.

LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 28:  Chairman and President of the Trump Organization Donald Trump yells 'you're fired' after speaking to several GOP women's group at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino April 28, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Trump has been testing the waters with stops across the nation in recent weeks and has created media waves by questioning whether President Barack Obama was born in the United States.  (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

The Donald glared at Mike through beady eyes, then suddenly jumped forward and shoved him hard, in both shoulders. Mike felt himself flying back back back, past the point where he should have collided with the closed helicopter door.

But the door wasn’t there. Mike was flying down down down, down to the ground hundreds of feet below him, the air whistling past his head.

He looked upward as he plummeted; The Donald was looming above him in the open doorway of the chopper, glaring at him through those intense little eyes. The image got smaller and smaller, but somehow Mike managed to hear him yell over the sound of the wind.

You’re fired!

A week later, a member of Texas border patrol was munching on the most delicious taco while he walked his route. He noticed a group of coyotes and vultures in the distance, and gulped down the last bite as he picked up his pace to a jog. Ugh, probably another illegal fence-jumper who succumbed to the elements, he thought.

Dreadful as it was finding bodies in this region of desert wasn’t terribly uncommon, and he radioed it in. No identification of any kind, just another undocumented immigrant.

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