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West Wing

Friday, 22 March 2019

Dear Mr President,

Two AM in the West Wing. The president, alone in bed, is dreaming – of roaring crowds, of humbled senators, of walls.

The scene darkens. There is an eerie light in the doorway. A child, ragged and emaciated, enters. “Soy Jakelin Caal. Tengo sed.” Her eyes bore into him, searching for a soul.

“Not my fault,” he whimpers. “Your parents did it. They should have kept you in Guatemala. I thought you would become a gang member.”

“Not my fault,” he whimpers. “Your parents did it. They should have kept you in Guatemala. I thought you would become a gang member.”

“Tengo sed.”

The president shrinks back, terrified. He pulls the covers over his head.

* * *

Four AM. The light glimmers again. A young woman is visible. She is bleeding from the head. “I am Heather Heyer. I was an advocate for the people who have been forgotten. The man who ran over me was a Neo-Nazi.”

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The president peeps over the blanket. “I didn’t know,” he whines. “I thought he was a very fine person.”

“A Neo-Nazi. They hate foreigners like your wife and Jews like your daughter.”

The president trembles. He sticks his thumb into his mouth.

* * *

Six AM. Again a light is faintly glowing. Again the doorway darkens. There stands a Navy pilot in his flight suit. “I am John McCain. I flew 23 combat missions. I was captured. I was a prisoner for 65 months. I was tortured.”

The president sobs. “I can’t stand pain. I was afraid.”

“We were all afraid.”

* * *

A dim light in the east. The president awakes. He is on his knees in the middle of the room. His pajama top is soaked with sweat, the bottoms with urine. He laughs. “Oh, it was just a dream. None of it is true.”

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Dan Embree