She quietly looked over the smoldering rubble of Washington DC. Perhaps the White House hadn’t been a dump before, but there was no arguing about that now. Most of the West Wing had been demolished in the riots following the battle of Charlottesville.
Police action, she reminded herself. They weren’t supposed to say battle.
She lit a second cigarette. What did it matter. Either she or the planet would be dead in a few years anyway. That was a funny thought; she’d tweet it if the electric grid still existed. She was seated in the hollowed out remnants of the state dining room, listening to screams from the angry mob on the other side of the fence. It wasn’t much of a fence anymore, she noted wanly, and it was a moot point since there was no one to guard it anyway. The Secret Service had abandoned their posts, long before the Collapse, when the stress of too many weekend trips to Mar-a-Lago and not enough paychecks became too much.
Collapse. She didn’t know if that was the preferred nomenclature, but she liked it because it reminded her of the book by Jared Diamond, and a time when people cared about being well-read. Now, of course, it mattered more you could run quickly and didn’t hesitate when it came to slaughtering the family pets for dinner.
“Who’s there?” His stupid voice echoed through the empty rooms, and for a moment she considered not answering. What’s the worst that could happen? He’d shoot her? Maybe, but the world was aware now he wasn’t a very good shot.
She stood up, making herself visible. She still looked fairly fetching, she thought. A post-apocalyptic Miss America, if Miss America hadn’t bathed in a week and carried a knife in her boot.
“It’s just… I’m alone,” she explained.
He ambled in, still wearing a suit which was hilarious given the state of the union. She supposed he heard the rioting outside and knew soon they’d make their way into what was left of the executive mansion and thus to him. Of course he wanted to meet them well-dressed. Ironic that he’d spent so much of his short presidency obsessed with crowd size, when it seemed clear his end would come from the mob outside.
“Another criminal looter,” he frowned, surely unable to miss the gun in her belt. “Sad.”
She shrugged, “I’ve always wanted to see the Lincoln Bedroom.”
This wasn’t a lie. Her friends thought she was bananas for still caring about US History at a time like this, but in times like this, what else was there?
“Well I won’t stop you.”
“You couldn’t anyway,” she waved him off like he’d waved off the Paris Agreement.
“You liberals are so smug.”
She laughed sharply. He wasn’t wrong about liberals — it certainly wasn’t much comfort now that she’d been on the right side of history. Though. It was SOME comfort. When there had still been cable news, before the power outages, back when the Right Left was still waging its bombing campaign against Fox, she’d seen a story about Mike Pence paying for a male sex worker in a bathroom near the Jefferson Memorial. It was very amusing; she and her friends had a good laugh. She couldn’t remember laughing like that since, though Don Jr’s indictment for treason had offered her a certain schadenfreude, even if the scandal failed to reach his father.
She frowned. It was better not to think about the past. What she would give right now to have the luxury of a twitter fight, or the pain of paying student loans. Her stomach grumbled and she gnawed on a piece of bark, imagining it was avocado toast.
“I think I still have some food upstairs,” he offered. “It’s not KFC but it’s not bad.”
“I don’t want your food. You and your stupid supporters can bite me.”
He seemed more annoyed than angry. “Just how much do you hate me?”
She laughed, “Your entire presidency was predicated on negating everything the black guy did. And then when the second Civil War came, you dared to blame him for the divisiveness you so keenly exploited. Sure, you aren’t alone to blame for it all, but you sure as fuck didn’t do anything to hold us together, and you didn’t mind those Russian bots dismantling everything we’d built. You’re the anti-Lincoln. You’re an orange dumpster fire covered in hate sauce. And the sad part is you aren’t even smart or savvy enough to know how terrible you’ve been. Like if inside Hitler lived an illiterate toddler,” she paused, smirking. “How much do I hate you? It’s hard to say.”
“I bet I could still change your mind. Bigly.”
She realized then he was actually flirting with her, and that made her want to barf. She fought it, not wanting to give him the satisfaction.
“I’ll pass,” she replied.
The yells from outside were stronger now, and he seemed as worried as he’d been the day his tax returns were finally leaked. She remembered how liberals had stopped relitigating the Bernie/Hillary debate to cheer in that moment, finding themselves vindicated. It didn’t matter the money trail led to Putin, didn’t matter because Paul Ryan was too chickenshit to consider impeachment. Why, when there was a tax cut for the wealthy to be had? The only joy that came from any of this was Kushner’s resignation, and of course how quickly the wealthy were targeted once Collapse came. That wasn’t much consolation at all. She protectively put her hand on her gun.
“Tell ya this though, you are responsible for me fully embracing gun-ownership. Who’d have thought.”
He seemed skeptical, “Have you fired that?”
“I’m still alive, aren’t I?”
“I’ve always liked a nasty woman who can fire a gun.”
“Do you even know the words you say? If I didn’t hate you so much, I’d almost feel bad for you,” she stared at him. It was refreshing to feel anything after weeks on her own, to be perfectly frank. Even if it was hate.
“Come on, before they get in here,” he tried to gesture her closer with his tiny hands. She scoffed.
“I’m good, actually,” she paused. “I guess I’d pee on you if you really needed it but. Only if you promise to hate it.”
She entertained many punishing fantasies where he was concerned, but at the end of the day none of them were worth the horror of being near his microwang.
She chuckled, “We’ve all seen the tape, dude.”
He continued. “I’ve got the best sex though. I promise you’ll be impressed by how good my sex is.”
“Oh?” She raised her eyebrows. “Is it better than your wall? As good as your healthcare bill?”
He frowned, but didn’t admit defeat. She recalled a time when his supporters loved how he never admitted defeat, but after many of them lost loved ones in the Second Korean War, they stopped caring.
He reached for her, and she slapped his hand away, “Don’t you fucking dare.”
“Come on, sweetheart.”
She pushed him back into the chair, her eyes shining. “Give me your tie.”
He did as she asked, and she easily tied his hands behind his back through the chair. He seemed excited, as if he truly thought this would end well. It shouldn’t have surprised her; somehow he still only viewed women as sex objects or entirely useless. When she unbuckled his belt and exposed his Russian nesting doll, he let out a little grunt. It was the worst noise she’d heard since Kid Rock’s acceptance speech. Back when they’d still had elections.
She used her own scarf as a blindfold, tying it around his eyes, then tightened the ropes on the chair. He realized his mistake too late, and she delighted in his grammatically questionable tirade as she shouldered her pack and prepared to head south. The noise of the mob grew louder, and she scurried away before they destroyed what was left of the capital.
His tiny, angry boner waited impatiently for something that would never come.