A Small Town Election

by Brian D. Morrison


4.  The Demagogue

When the candidate, “unbalanced,” say the elderly business owners, speaks, everyone pays attention. They want to see the “wacko bird” fail. They want the “monster” to say something unredeemable. The monster knows this; they will hear what they want. The town will think the monster is “funny,” a “live comic show.” The body politic will quiver, and the votes will pour in. And of course, the monster will not mean a single thing. Nothing is real here. All of it, magic. All of it, skit. Sculpture shaped and designed for a showing of perfect teeth biting at the air. “Ahh,” they’ll say. “Ooh.” The monster will win, as real monsters do, and will go to church, shark eyes gleaming, twitching wings tight at the back in a blue suit, and the monster will pray that, take them or leave them, the people were already dying anyway. “God,” he says aloud, sneer wide as Ohio, “aren’t we all?”

A Small Town Election, page 5:

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