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The Vote: A Ghost Story for the 21st Century

April 27, 2014

Greetings Bastards, tonight I offer up to you the ghastly tale of Jimmy Moore. An Idealist who’s optimism turns his world upside down and inside out in a chilling tale I call: The Vote.

Jimmy Moore was like most that survived in middle class America. He had a house, a decent job, and he had just recently married his high school sweetheart. He could be called a minor success if such a thing required a title. Jimmy was also an idealist and an unwavering optimist. He had gotten the idealism from his father who had believed that the Democratic system wasn’t broken, it just required the right people to make it work.  Jimmy had followed that same belief. He had voted in every election since he was eighteen, a fact he boasted about whenever the opportunity arose. Unfortunately, for Jimmy, he had just spent eight years living under the Bush administration, and his optimism was starting to waver just a bit, at least until Barack Obama crashed the party. Obama was a junior Senator who spoke of hope, change, and a new America, the kind the Greatest Generation would be proud of. He spoke of opportunity, of love, and of freedom from the past eight years of tyranny. To Jimmy, it was like someone had just given voice to the frustrations in his heart. As the days and months passed, Jimmy found himself volunteering for Obama’s hope and change campaign. This was what his father had talked about all those years. This was most certainly the man that would lead America and its oft maligned Democratic system into the promised land.

As Jimmy stood in the voting booth on that first Tuesday in November, he could feel tears well up in his eyes. He had voted for Bush Jr back in 2000 and that turned out to be a big mistake. A mistake he intended to correct with a swift stroke of the pen. Jimmy went down the line of political candidates, marking off both Republicans and Democrats in a perfectly balanced ballot of sound finances and leadership. With a swell of Patriotic pride, Jimmy dropped his ballot in the box and went back to work with head held high. That night, Jimmy had the best night of sleep he’d ever had.

As the months and years passed, the political goodwill that Obama had gained during the election of 2008 had disappeared. To a lot of people, he was starting to look an awful lot like the man he had replaced two and a half years earlier. Jimmy, on the other hand, was not so easily swayed. He was a bit confused as to why thing hadn’t changed, but he chalked it up to the fact that it had only been a few years and these things took time. All but one of the candidates he had voted for had won so it’s not like he had voted for bad people. These were finally the right guys, he had no doubt about it.

As the three year anniversary of Obama’s presidency came upon them, Jimmy started having restless nights. He’d wake up in a cold sweat for seemingly no reason at all. He’d hear voices that couldnt possibly be there. He was beginning to think he was going mad until it finally culminated on January 21st, 2011, exactly three years to the day that Obama had taken office. Jimmy had gone to sleep early that night. He’d had a series of horrible dreams the night before of a world that closely matched that of Orwell’s 1984, and was in desparate need of a good night’s sleep. That sleep, however, was interrupted in the middle of the night as Jimmy bolted upright in bed. Were those voices he had just heard coming from the bathroom? Had someone broken in? Jimmy looked over and saw that his wife was sound asleep. No reason to alarm or wake her. Jimmy grabbed the baseball bat he kept by the side of the bed and slowly crept to the bedroom door. He ever so slowly turned the handle so as not to make any noise. As the door slowly opened he could see a light on in the bathroom down the hall. Sounds were most definitely coming from the soft glow. He slowly crept down the hallway with the bat raised on his shoulder. As he opened the door, he heard a loud hiss before a black shape darted passed him. Jimmy let out a soft laugh. Domino, their tabby cat, had gotten herself locked in the bathroom again. Jimmy silently scolded himself for his cowardly display. He entered the bathroom, set the bat down next to the door, and washed his face in the sink. When he looked up in the mirror he screamed. There staring back at him were the visages of ten children. They appeared to be Middle Eastern and they were soaked in blood. A few of them had large chunks of flesh missing from their faces and bodies. Jimmy closed his eyes and frantically hoped that he was hallucinating. When he opened them, the children had moved from the mirror to the bathroom itself. They had encircled him. Before Jimmy could open his mouth, the children started speaking. One by one they threw bloodied accusations at him.
“Your vote killed us Jimmy” said one. “We’re dead because of you Jimmy” said another. One by one the glaring accusations flew in his face. Jimmy tried to scramble out of the bathroom but slipped on the cold tiles and bounced his head off the sink counter. He hit the floor as the voices rang out in his head. He wanted to plead with the children and tell them it wasn’t his fault, but when he looked up, the childrens faces were morphing and their bodies were elongating. He was no longer faced with the visages of dead children, now he was looking up at every politician he had ever voted for. They started to close in on him as the blood trickled from his forehead
“C’mon Jimmy, 237 years and people are still searching for the ‘right guys’.” Said one. “If you buy the lie you do the time.” said another. As his head swirled and darkness closed in, the last face he saw was Obama’s. “Thanks for the vote Jimmy my man. How do you like that Hope and Change?” The last thing Jimmy heard before being swallowed by darkness was a thunderous chorus of mocking laughter.

                                                    THE AFTERMATH

In the days and months that followed the bathroom incident, Jimmy struggled internally. He could no longer ignore the harsh reality that the system he loved so much was broken and doomed.He had seen Obama as a savior and yet, innocent people in the Middle East were still being bombed for reasons that were still murky, the financial system was still as corrupt and flawed as it had been under Bush Jr, Clinton, Bush Sr, etc..He finally had to face the realization that the more things changed the more they stayed the same. It took him months of depression and agonizing self examination, but Jimmy finally faced up to the fact that corporations made the rules and that his vote truly didn’t count for shit. By the time the election of 2012 rolled around, Jimmy was a self avowed Anarchist. He spent that election day in bed with his wife. If someone was going to get fucked on election day it would most definitely be him and NOT by a voting booth…

– The end

CJ

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