What I Learned At My Second Trump Rally
It was dark and hot. He stood with his face about six inches from the long, black hair of a woman whose own face he hadn’t yet seen. Everyone was very still.
The air was very close inside the compartment. To Marek’s eye there was no apparent way to sense how quickly they were moving, but he nonetheless felt that they were hurtling at impossible velocities.
The only interruption to the monotony of the compartment was the periodic opening of a door behind them. An almost imperceptibly small hum would wind itself down into a lower frequency range, and then stop, and then light would spill over Marek’s shoulders, onto the woman’s hair. The air pressure would drop, slightly. People shuffled in, behind him, and found their markers on the floor of the compartment, and stood still. The doors shut, and the hum began its slow climb through audibility.
After 18 door openings, the front of the compartment swung back in four parts. Brilliant white light flooded the compartment. Marek shielded his eyes. The person behind him walked into his back. Marek assumed the body language of apology and silently moved forward, taking larger than normal steps to catch up to the black-haired woman.
They marched across a featureless field of brown grass for many minutes. At one point, two tones sounded from the mouth-piece of the drone hovering above them. Time to drink water. Marek wasn’t thirsty, but he drank from his pouch just the same.
Soon they entered a marked place. Marek walked until the woman in front of him stopped. He looked down, and saw his mark, and stood on it, and did nothing. The drone exhausted warm propellant and swung a cartwheel in the air, stopping in front of them.
“You are here to dig a pool for Robot Dracula,” the drone announced, “you will then be systematically disposed of, which is a euphemism for execution. Your flesh will be dissolved. One of you will survive, and flee, and join the resistance.”
A voice, from a worker. From the woman in front of him. “When we flee, in which direction will we flee?”
The drone pivoted and gestured with a tentacle. “That way.”
Marek looked in the direction the drone indicated. Hills, forest beyond.
Another voice. A man’s. “Who amongst us will flee? Who will survive disposal… execution?”
The drone pivoted again. “Marek,” it intoned, “will survive.”
Marek’s eyes widened.
“How do you feel about that, Marek?” asked the drone.
Marek thought for a moment before speaking. “Well… it’s great that I’m not going to be killed. I just want to say that first off. Super happy about that. It just… it sucks that everyone else is going to be executed. So…” Marek trailed off.
“Kind of a mix of emotions then?” asked the drone.
“Yes. Two emotions at once. Happiness and sadness. I already feel both guilty and free.”
“That’s great. That’s really interesting,” boomed the drone, “I’m glad you’re handling it well. Anyway before you flee… you know. Tick tock.”
Marek stared. “What?”
The woman in front of him turned around. She was super just kind of plain looking. “We still have to dig the pool before you go, Marek. For Robot Dracula.”
“Oh, right, sorry. Can you get your ugly fuckin’ dead in ten minutes face the fuck out of my grill please? For fuck’s sake.”
Shovels emerged from the bottom of the drone like wooden quills. “Get your shovels folks. Come and get ‘em.”