Reginald places his hands against his forehead and stares wide eyed at the ground, the overwhelming stress of the situation finally taking its toll on him.
“You could always lead those who are not sick back through the city. No one will care about the fact you originally led everyone on this suicidal journey,” Lincoln says as he takes a bite out of an apple, before pulling a face and spitting it out onto the floor.
“You know I can’t do that.”
Lincoln looks over to him, his face twisted with disgust. “W-W-Why the fuck not? You could save everyone who’s not yet sick. You could still be the hero you believe yourself to be, this mythical leader of the free world.”
“I am that LEADER! I am all that and more, but I can’t stop an invisible enemy, not with just my eyes. I have all these tools,” He says holding out his hands and gesturing to the open space before him. “I have all these tools and yet I still can’t stop it, I still can’t ensure my safety, let alone the people beneath me. When it was decided that we separate the untainted from the diseased, you all assured me this would stall the spread. But all it did was bring the death toll higher.”
“We recommended you isolate all the sick, and encourage those that tested negative to isolate elsewhere, no one said to gather everyone up and try and ignore what was happening. You need to accept YOUR failures. You need to own YOUR mistakes. Be the leader you think you were born to be and do the right thing for your people!”
Reginald thrusts a foot to the ground defiantly and shoves his hands in his pockets. “I have not done anything wrong! I have led my people towards a grander tomorrow, any who thinks differently will suffer for their words of insubordination!”
“Don’t you think that is already happening? Can’t you see, all your people are suffering because you are too stubborn to do what must be done! If you wait any longer, there will be no one left to save.”
“We are like the hydra, you chop off a head, three grow back. We are the mighty! We are the strong! I know what is right for my people, while you, you and your diplomas are but a pawn in my play. Now go, keep working on the cure I have told our people you have coming. Keep doing what I have promised the people you will do, and leave the running of all things to me.”
Lincoln tightens his hands into fists and stares towards Reginald with hateful eyes. “Have you ever heard of the Dunning–Kruger Effect?”
Reginald squeezes his lips together as if he was puckering up for a kiss. “Should I care to know?”
“In my expert opinion, you would do well to read all about it. But as there is no longer any internet, or power to run the possibility of there being an internet, you’ll just have to take my enriched version of it.” He says as he takes a step towards Reginald, who looks away and holds his hands up, commanding him to stop.
“I am the supreme leader of the free world, and you are a man who cannot keep his promises of a vaccine. A vaccine that would save my people from dying. Now Lincoln,” He says as he proudly looks down his perfectly tanned nose at him. “Do you want to be a foot note in my story, or do you want to be the man who brought this nation back from the brink? For there are a million more like you out there, screaming for my money to fund their cause.”
Lincoln stares in silence as his up turned lip slowly flattens and his hands unclench. “You are a madman, and a dimwit. The people deserve someone better than you, you incompetent CHILD!”
“I may be all those things, but at least I’ll still be here tomorrow, unlike you,” Reginald says with a piercing snap, as a bullet explodes from behind Lincoln and tears through his skull.
Follow the below link to purchase 2020 Book Five to read all 20 five minute short stories.
Before you lies a piece of a puzzle far grander than you could ever know or imagine. For scrawled in blood upon the pages hidden within the above tome is stories twisted twenty in all, soaked in the embers of my insanity. Five minutes to glimpse inside the eyes of someone new, five minutes to answer, five minutes to sin, five minutes to do almost anything. A god, a demon, a harlot, a whore. A fascist, a killer, a sinner, a door. Death and division, humanity askew. A belfry of bats, a sea of black cats, so many moments out there to see, so many things you could see with me. So take a seat beside me and call it voodoo, because now you ride with me too…
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