“Hey, toss me that roll of packing tape, will you?” asked Jake.
“Sure thing. ‘Just a sec while I take this thing down,” replied his fellow presidential aide, hoisting a heavy, framed diploma from the wall.
“I just can’t believe it,” said Jake, “An incredibly successful 2008 campaign, four years in the White House, our guy wins a second term, and
“I know,” said TJ, “It just doesn’t seem right. But, the regime change was mandated, apparently from very high up.”
Both men ruminated in silence for a few minutes as they packed all the papers, books and mementos that represented the last four years' work into
“Well, look at the bright side,” said TJ, at last. We’ll finally get some sleep. The last few months on the campaign trail didn’t do any
favors for that receding hairline of yours.”
“Yeah, I know.” Jake ran his fingers through the remains of his tousled locks. “First, we were way behind in the polls…” He lowered his
voice. “I mean, the real polls, not the public ones.”
His companion shot him a knowing look.
“Then, when we lost Biden, I thought it was all over. You couldn’t have written a more dramatic campaign conclusion in a Hollywood script. I mean,
one week before the debates, the guy just suddenly drops dead from heart failure.”
“Did it seem a little coincidental to you, too?”
Jake shrugged. “At any rate, pulling in Oprah as the President’s running mate was a brilliant stroke. I couldn’t believe the way our numbers
shot up in the last month. I had no idea she was that wildly popular.”
“Yeah, well, what’s really important is the question of whom she’s popular with.
Jake said nothing. His questions were the kind that you just didn't ask.
“Never mind,” said TJ with a dismissive wave. Then, changing the subject to dispel a suddenly awkward air within the room, he asked, “Have you
seen any of her people—our replacements?”
“Yes, I have,” answered Jake. “They’re an odd bunch. It’s like an Amway convention on steroids.”
“And, they all have that weird stamp on their right hands with the OWN logo.”
“Her highest-ranking guys have it on their foreheads. It gives me the creeps. I tried to have a transition discussion with her deputy administrator
the other day. He was a complete robot, with the personality of an ice cube tray. And, his answer to every question was, ‘We’ll have to consult
with Ms. Winfrey.’ It’s like she’s some kind of queen bee, directing her drones’ every move.”
“Well,” said Jake, “They’re a good match, then. The President has his drones, and she has hers.”
Both men chuckled.
“Okay,” said TJ, taping the last of his boxes shut with a sigh, “That’s it for me. ‘You wanna’ shoot over to O’Malley’s for one last
“Sure,” replied Jake, pocketing his cellphone, “‘Sounds like a plan.”
The two men donned their coats and scarves, and traversed the West Wing hallway for the last time. Midway through the corridor, they stood aside for a
tall, dark man carrying two massive boxes.
“Which way to suite 95?” he asked, in a flat voice.
“’Just through there,” directed TJ, “and the second door on the left.”
The man continued down the hallway without offering any thanks or even an acknowledgment. TJ and Jake just stared at each other for a moment, and
watched him head toward their old offices. From their position behind the man, they couldn’t see that his pupils had resumed their normal deep,
blood-red hue and that his expression had transformed from one of blank stupor to utterly malevolent disdain.
As the man turned the corner, Jake raised an eyebrow and clapped his colleague on the shoulder. “Come on. It’s time we got outta’ here.”
The former aides stepped into the chilly DC night, and heard the door click shut behind them as a small monitor on the security guard’s desk
broadcast a breaking news story. “This just in. Marine One, President Obama’s helicopter, has reportedly crashed near Thurmont, Maryland, while en
route to Camp David. Details are unconfirmed, but the initial reports indicate there are no survivors…”
edit on 10/1.2012 by graceunderpressure because: Just tweaking