Day One

If you have not read Before the War (part 1) and The Signal (part 2), please do so before reading Day One (part 3).

“That was easier than I thought,” Dom said, looking out the oval office’s windows. “Any reports from the state?”

“No, sir,” Nash said, looking through his notes. “But, our agents have found an increase in searches relating to election results and fraud within the other camp.”

Dom inhaled deeply, strategizing. “Let them have the camp, we don’t need them anymore.”

“But?” Nash was confused. “Didn’t we agree to protect them if they helped us?”

“True,” Dom donned his trademark grin, “but I didn’t say ‘when’ I would protect them.”

The two men laughed.

“From now on, Nash, if our plan is going to work, we must be very careful in the words we choose.”

Nash shook his head, making notes in his file.

“Contact our press. Shift focus to the other camp and how well things are going for our supporters. Toss them a bone now and then and they’ll keep coming back for more.” Dom laughed.

“Leave me.”

“Yes, sir.” Nash admired this man and would follow him into hell, but he often wondered who the man actually served. Dom may be smart, but not this smart.

Closing the curtains to the oval office to ensure he was not seen, Dom removed a cell phone from within the breast pocket of his suit and pressed ‘3’.

“Thank you,” he said, sitting at his desk. “The people believe they have elected their next savior.” He chuckled. “The plan is going smoothly, but are you sure about the next move? That seems quite reckless at this point in time. Shouldn’t we—”

He sat, shaking his head. “Yes. Yes, I understand.”

Going pale, his eyes grew wide, increasing his breathing. “Are you sure? Is that really necessary?”

The voice on the phone began echoing around the oval office.

“I will get it done.” Dom cleared this throat. “Of course, it will work.”

Hanging up the phone and returning it to the safety of his jacket, he opened the curtains and let the evening Washington sun cast new shadows on the walls. He called for his secretary and asked her to find Nash and the press secretary. He needed to talk to them about the press conference in the morning.

“Nash, Sandy,” Dom said, looking at his two closest advisors sitting across from him. “We begin our next move in the morning.”

“Yes, sir.” Sandy said.

“Isn’t it too soon, sir?” Nash asked. “Hadn’t we better wait until the nation calms down after the election?”

“Are you questioning me?” He scowled.

“N-n-no, sir. Sorry, sir.” Nash stammered.

“Sandy,” Dom began giving his next order. “You are to shift all focus away from me and this administration. Right now, focus on the other camp…who knew what, who paid whom, that sort of thing. Get with Sam if you need any official documents drafted. Call out anyone not on my list of affiliates as liars. We need to create more distrust of the media.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Nash, I need you to start working on dismantling the social networks those fools cling to as a lifeline. Rip it from their bleeding hands if necessary. Sew more seeds of discontent within the masses. I need them ready. I need them begging in the streets for help. I need them willing to accept anything at any price.”

“Yes, sir.”

Nash and Sandy left the oval office to begin phase three.

To be continued

© Teresa Grabs, 2018. You can find me on Twitter @TeresaGrabs.

If you would like to support the creation of more stories, you can leave a tip here:

Remember, you can read more stories by me on your kindle: Tales From the Haunted Wordsmith


Best Dad Ever

Jack Gittoes pexels-photo-761543 Concert

Standing in the crowd, Ben waited for the concert to start with his fifteen-year-old daughter and her three friends. Fifty dollars for pre-concert dinner, twenty for parking, and nearly a thousand for the five tickets was going to ensure he became ‘Dad of the Year’. Suddenly the band came on stage blinding him with the glow from the stage and his ear drums were nearly obliterated with the first chord.

“Good lord,” he said. “What happened to actually being able to see and hear the group you paid good money to see?”

No one could hear him over the sound the band and roar of the crowd. He looked at his daughter and her ear-to-ear grin. That makes this nightmare worth it, he thought.

His daughter turns to him and her smile instantly fades into the scowl he has come to know this year. “Why are you still standing there? I don’t want anyone to know we’re together.”

Best Dad Ever.

This 165-word story was written for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner Week #23

Just Suggestions

“I am who I am,” the writer said, looking in the mirror getting dressed. “And I’m fine with that.”

Like the incoming tide before a storm, the ‘suggestions’ come rolling in.

Nice short story — write a novel.

Funny piece — write another just like it.

Oh, scary — be like King now.

You should write a book about me.

Why did you use that word? This one would have been much better.

Why did you use that cover? Go here next time.

Why did you only write short stories? Next time use longer works, or just write a novel.

Why are you a writer? You don’t make any money at it.

You’re great, but why would I pay you for something I can get from someone else for free?

At the end of the day, the writer looks in the mirror. Shirt crooked, hair frazzled. Sighing, the writer turns on the computer and smiles as kings and queens bow low and star ships zoom around the sky forming a smile. “I am who I am, and I’m fine with that.”

Sell Out

The little bistro table was made smaller by slow service that night. Three plates, glasses, and other items piled neatly in the center of the table signaling the trio was done eating went ignored.

“I don’t care what reviewers say,” the poet said. “I write for the beauty of the word.”

“Agreed,” the artist said. “I paint what is inside my soul, not theirs.”

“Well,” the blogger began, “I write for me of course, but it is nice when you get a new follower.”

Both the poet and artist shook their heads. “Even nicer when you get a new patron,” added the artist.

“That’s better than Christmas,” the poet said. All three laughed in agreement.

“I’d never be one of those sell outs who write for others,” the poet said. “Not for all the money in the world.”

“Yeah, and I’d never paint what someone else wanted unless I wanted it too.”

“I would love to get a commissioned piece,” the blogger said, playing with the empty drink glass.

“Me too,” the poet and artist said together, frowning.

“But, I would never sell out for anything,” the poet said.

“Excuse me,” a stranger in a black tailored suit with red trim said, walking up to the table, “but I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation. Would any of you be interested in negotiating a contract?”

The poet, the artist, and the blogger instantly raised their hand.

The stranger just laughed. So, easy nowadays, he thought to himself, pulling up a seat.

This was written for Tales from the Mind of Kristian’s prompt: negotiate.

© Teresa Grabs, 2018. You can find me on Twitter @TeresaGrabs.

If you would like to support the creation of more stories, you can leave a tip here:

Remember, you can read more stories by me on your kindle: Tales From the Haunted Wordsmith