Thursday, September 1, 2016

Flash fiction #5

Flash Fiction Challenge: Behold The Idiomatic!
I love it. It basically mashes up a couple-few idioms into something new and very possibly inane, and very possibly wise. (Example: “God shouldn’t cross the bridge till you come to it.” What does that mean? I don’t know! But damnit, I like it.) It forms the backbone of today’s fiction challenge.
Click it. Get a fake mash-up idiom you like.
Then use it in a story.
That’s it. 

Secrets of the Service

For a year the candidates fought, yelled, bullied and debated each other. At first there were over a dozen to choose from and it was my job to guard the worst of the bunch. His name was Todd Daniels and every time he got up in front of an audience he shouted horrible things. Words that no normal human being with a heart and conscience would even think to say. No one in the country thought he was a real threat to the nation so they laughed at him and I stood by to his left and watched.

I had protected many men, women and children over my career and for the most part I had no problem putting my life on the line for any of them but Mr. Daniels was different, he wasn’t like anyone I had ever had the privage to serve. He seemed to have no soul and when he won the state by state primaries I couldn’t believe I had to continue protecting him. Now anyone else would have tone down the hatred of the country and others by the time they become their party’s nominee for president but Todd  (everyone called him by his first name) didn’t back down, he doubled down. He stood behind a podium in front of a large crowd and although he had a mic he yelled, he shouted out lies to his followers and they cheered him on. He screamed about illegals and building a wall and they cheered louder. If the lying wasn’t bad enough his spouting off fear was worse. Not even the media could stop him as he told anyone who would listen that if we didn’t take our country back murderers would be free to roam the streets.

He was not an easy man to like (and there were many who opposed him) making it harder to want to protect him. I woke up and went to sleep everyday knowing that I did my job but at times I wondered if I was doing the right thing. In 15 years of watching out for the famous, powerful and important I had only used my gun three times. Only once did I kill someone. A man I didn’t know walked towards a celebrity I was assigned to, I was younger and had only been on the job for two years. The man was in his mid-20s, dark long hair and blue eyes. When I saw the gun in his hand it was as if time had frozen. I pushed my client out of harm’s way and took a shot. The man did the same. We were both hit. I received a scratch on the arm, he a hole through the heart. His name was John William Brooks and I killed him. There was an investigation. Mr. Brooks was mentally ill and had spent most of his life in and out of hospitals. According to doctors and friends he was a fan of my client and had all of her movies memorized. He had written her letters, although none were threatening. He was born in Boston and the only child of two teachers and died by my hand at 27. I have never forgotten John William Brooks and since his death worked even harder to do my job and only use my gun when I had no other choice.

Now I have been on the road and travelled the country with another man. Wherever we went I silently watched and made new choices as Mr. Daniels spoke. Although those who came out to hear what he had to say felt as strongly on the issues as he did his life was never in danger. I was there rally after rally. At times the crowd acted out and a protester was removed but the candidate kept the show going and he was enjoying every minute. Todd loved the attention and flourished in the love of all those fans and campaign workers who surrounded and believed in him.

I on the other hand wasn’t buying what he was selling. I stayed impartial and on the rare occasion that he would talk to me I smiled and nodded. I knew if I said anything against him he would insult me and have me removed from his charge making me look bad in the eyes of my superiors. I remember there was one day where this was harder to do then the others. The candidate was doing an interview for a show on one of those 24 hour news networks. The interviewer asked him a question and when he answered it all I wanted was for the interviewer to call him out on the lie he had repeated many times on the campaign trail. She didn’t and the interview ended with a smile by both. It was the worst job at reporting and getting the truth and facts out to the public so that they could make a better decision while choosing who to vote for that I have ever seen in my lifetime.

I will never forget that day. It was the last campaign rally before the general election and I woke ready to do my job, a job I had done many times before. I wasn’t expecting that day to be any different than any before. When we got to the venue everything was in its place. Presidential candidate Todd Daniels walked towards the podium. There I was to his left as usual. Mr. Daniels spoke for ten minutes before the shot was heard. The candidate for President fell to the ground. I quickly knelt by his side, I held his head in my lap as blood poured from his chest wound.

I leaned in and whispered into his right ear "I'm sorry sir, I saw the shooter but I couldn't do it, I could not in good conscience take the bullet for you, for no man is next to godliness. Your death will make this country safe and great.”

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