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Mike Pence: Broodmother

A Play in One Scene

Photo by Tobias Roth on Unsplash

There is darkness. Lots of it. Silence for a moment. Then a buzz. Then a voice in the darkness.

Voice: I approach, Broodmother.

Silence. A beat. Then gentle laughter. The broodmother responds.

Broodmother: I grant you audience, child.

Dull, patriotic light illuminates the cave. We are deep beneath The United States Naval Observatory. The caverns are littered with bones. Walter Mondale? Nelson Rockefeller? James Danforth Quayle? Yes, all of them. We see that the voice belongs to a tiny fly. This is Franklin. The fly approaches an ancient, bulbous, and extremely pale figure in the corner. The figure has an American flag pin on its lapel. And a red hat upon its monstrous head. It is the Broodmother.

Franklin: I loathe to disrupt your slumber, your highness, but there is a disturbance in the hive.

More gentle laughter. The Broodmother is amused.

Broodmother: I grew up with a front row seat to the American dream, Franklin. Remember, my votes against the education bill and my votes against medicare got huge play at home.

Franklin: Yes, Broodmother. It’s just that… Um. Well, er. I’ve been talking to the others. We’re concerned about, um, the cocktail.

The Broodmother chuckles with easy Indiana charm.

Broodmother: Franklin, remember, to date, embryonic stem cell research has not produced a single medical treatment, where ethical, adult stem cell research has produced some 67 medical miracles. You know my talk of miracles, Franklin.

Franklin: We all do, great one.

An ancient and distant rumble emanates from deep within the Broodmother and it shakes Franklin to his tiny core.

Broodmother: Then what seems to be the issue?

Franklin: The stem cells we provided you for the cocktail… I’m afraid they belonged to my sister Nadia’s unborn larvae. We were going to name her Lady Liberty, just as you willed it, Broodmother. Before you harvested her. For the Broodfather.

A dark look falls on the Broodmother’s face.

Broodmother: I’m a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican. In that order, Franklin. Don’t test me. I was raised to believe in hard work, in faith and family.

The Broodmother reveals a small pistol from one of its folds of skin and pus and mucus.

Broodmother: You did well the other night, Franklin. No one suspected a thing.

Franklin: Yes, Broodmother. Thank you, Broodmother. Of course, Broodmother. It’s just that the others. Well, the others want to know when all of this will stop.

There’s nothing easy about the Broodmother’s laughter now. The Indiana drawl has been replaced by Patriotic zeal.

Broodmother (drooling): The presidency is the most visible thread that runs through the tapestry of the America government. More often than not, Franklin, for good or ill, it sets the tone for the other branches and spurs the expectations of the people.

Franklin: I’m so sorry, Broodmother. We only mean to serve you.

The Broodmother cocks the pistol

Broodmother: Most climatologists agree that, at best, global warming is a theory about future climactic conditions that cannot be proven based upon the historic records.

Franklin’s wings begin shivering. It is never good when the Broodmother begins talking of climate change.

Broodmother: Together, Franklin, we will make America great again. Now feed, Franklin. Feed.

The Broodmother fires a single bullet into Franklin’s tiny body.

Broodmother: I truly believe that firearms in the hands of law abiding citizens makes our families and communities more safe, not less safe. Now feed, my brood. Feed.

The Broodmother begins firing the pistol at random. Swarms of flies fill the cavern and latch onto the Broodmother’s bulbous flesh. Gentle Indiana laughter fills the cave as the flies feed.


Ben Stasny is a graduate student at The University of Colorado — Boulder. He writes, acts, directs, and makes mischief of all sorts.

Samuel Jaye Tanner is a professor in the Penn State system, a writer of some (mostly ill) repute, an improviser, and an altogether terrible basketball player.



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Samuel Jaye Tanner

Samuel Jaye Tanner

Writer, teacher, professor, improviser. Some stuff is serious. Some is not. Can you guess which is which? Oh, there’s this too: