Lucifer's Last Laugh

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Chapter 6: The President’s Tale

I wait until Orlando Prize is safely ensconced in the Hay-Adams Hotel before possessing him.

Possession is easier than incarnation. I merely discarnate and teleport into the posessee’s body. They never notice a thing. As far as they are concerned, they are in complete charge.

In this instance, I insinuate myself into Orlando Prize’s ganglia and lie quiescent, ruminating on what a self-centered whoreson he is.

Very late in the morning he (and the ensconced me) are whisked off by limo to the White House where fawning guards admit us on sight of the superstar. Thereafter we are met by a series of White House staff minions until ushered into the august presence of J. Whipplenose Presserwesser, president of the United States, lolling comfortably behind his desk in the Oval Office.

Presserwesser is a vaguely good-looking guy, fifty-nine, about five foot ten, slender, with gray, somewhat curly hair and the manners of an Ivy League frat boy circa 1954.

As a Null Three, Presserwesser is an open book to me that I immediately wish had remained closed.

He is not exactly a moron, although intellectuality or even normal curiosity are foreign to his makeup (which I notice is applied liberally to the area under his eyes).

No, Presserwesser is one of those archetypal Americans, confident of his views, ignorant of the world around him and determined to make a good impression.

Very much in the mode of Orlando Prize who heralds from the same state, California.

“Orlando, great to see you,” says Presserwesser.

“And you, Mr. President.”

“Didn’t get to see your last film, though I’ve ordered it for the White House screening room. Press of business, you know.”

“Yes, sir. I understand you are planning on declaring war against most of the rest of the world soon and I know how stressful that must be.”

“Hey, Orlando. Comes with the territory. A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. America will never yield to any country, even when they’re in the right. Maybe especially when they’re in the right. Elitist goddamn Europeans, Asians, even the Africans and especially the Middle Easterners. They really think they know it all. Well I’m here to tell them that it don’t matter what they know. What matters is what the U.S. of A. says matters. Got me?”

“Absolutely, Mr. President. And I’m behind you one million per cent.”

“Well that’s good to know. A star of your magnitude. Helps a lot with the common folk out there. Want a drink?”

Here I insert my own desires and astonish the president by asking for a sextuple Clengarron, a seventeen year old single malt scotch, which I know the White House stewards have on hand.

“Yeah, sure, Orlando.”

The steward peers discreetly into the Oval Office. “And an iced tea for me, Sam.” Presserwesser turns to (us).“So what can I do for you, Orlando? I know you’re big on this reading thing.”

“Yes, Mr. President. I believe that literacy is really important. You know, I didn’t learn to read until I was twenty-seven. Now I’m thirty-five and I’ve read the collected works not only of Franklin Dixon but also Nancy Drew.”

Presserwesser slaps his right knee and howls in glee. “Sure. The Hardy Boys and Nancy. I read ’em all the time. First rate. Some good foreign policy ideas in there, too.”

“Absolutely, sir. I didn’t know what a universe of discourse I was missing until I learned to read those folks.”

Presserwesser has the genial air of a slightly insensate salesman.

I realize at this moment that the president must die.

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