The room is sterile, white, corner to corner, floor and ceiling, except black drapes covering one window. The only furniture are two chairs by the window, turned at forty-five degree angles toward each other. In contrast to the stark room, they are plush and inviting. No life stirs the room and no sound escapes.
A crack pierces the previously seamless wall opposite the window, folding inward allowing a man to enter the room. His hair is cropped short, perhaps for ease of maintenance, particularly when viewed against his well manicured beard that draws to a slight point at his chin. He is wearing a grey sport coat over a black t-shirt, complementing the small threads of black that run through his gray pants.
The man sits in the chair on the right and removes a small recording device from the inner pocket of the jacket, placing it on the arm of the chair. He does not look at a watch, but at the blank wall where he entered, where there was a door, but now again an unbroken sea of white. Bringing a finger to his lips he strokes the hairs below the lower, as if in contemplation.
The wall breaks again, the first man leaping to his feet in fluid movement, crossing the room quickly to greet a man whose skin tone and facial structure identify him of Asian heredity. The new man is slight of stature, a foot shorter than the first man. The bearded man bows crisply until his head is lower than the other, then follows as the Asian makes his way to the chair, where he sits with little flourish.
Crossing the room beyond the chairs, the bearded man begins a mime routine as if he is taking things out of a cupboard or cabinet, setting a few things on an invisible counter. He makes motions as if pouring, while the Asian's lips move without sound. Head nodding the bearded man replies silently, then turns carrying what one can only assume are cups, though empty air fills his clasped hands, offering one to the seated man. Taking what is offered, the Asian brings it to his lips, then offers a faint smile, before placing it in the empty air between the chairs.
The bearded man stands a few feet in front of the seated Asian unmoving as their eyes lock. Neither of them move for thirty two seconds, when the bearded man's head explodes, wet crimson spatter covers spreads outward finding ceiling, walls and floor, while the body remains standing briefly, then sinks rapidly to the floor, a marionette whose strings have been cut.
Removing a handkerchief from his pocket the Asian dabs at his face, calmly and meticulously removing any trace of the bearded man from his flesh, though his suit is beyond repair. He stands, looking down at the body as he removes his coat, fingers working the buttons of his shirt. He drops these in the chair behind him. Slipping his feet from the shoes, he next drops his pants and they join the pile. Standing in nothing but his underwear and socks he carefully steps around the body on the floor, but is unable to navigate the pooling blood, leaving footprints in measured stops until he stands before the opposing wall.
The wall peels back once more and the Asian leaves the room and it closes behind him. The only movement the ever expanding pool of crimson, flowing from the crumpled body.
The screen flickers black, signaling the end of the video clip, then bursts into vivid color and sound. A woman in a suit, well manicured and make-upped sits behind a desk, in the background screens fill with the words Breaking News, then the face of the bearded man.
"The body of Senator Hal MacRae of Ohio was found among the rubble where earlier this week Muslim extremists, believed to be part of an infiltration cell from Afghanistan, blew up the Washington Monument. Senator MacRae had been there speaking with a group of middle school children, when the deadly blast occurred. Senator MacRae is most well known for his stance against our growing debt to China. The President will be giving a national address shortly, updating the country on our military response."
Once more the screen goes black, bodies shift uncomfortably in chairs.
"What do you plan on doing with this?" the voice is cool, even tempered.
"We are not here to threaten you. This went live on the internet this morning at 3:14 AM, eastern standard time. At 3:17, our scrubbers crashed the site and a team was dispatched to handle the insurrectionist that created the site."
The Asian man sits in his tall backed chair behind an imposing desk. His eyes bore into the suited men before him. He may have been twenty years younger in the video, but everyone would recognize him, everyone that saw the video.
"We can address this Mr. President, if you can help us understand," one of the suited men starts, but is dismissed with a raised hand of the first Asian President of the United States.
The President stands slowly, turning to face a suit of armor that stands in the corner. Crossing to it, he admires the craftsmanship achieved by such a primitive people. It was once worn by an ancestor of his wife that fought as a Samurai. A gruesome mask tops the helmet, sneering. Two swords hang from a gold trimmed red ribbon at the side, he fingers their handles and contemplates his next moves.
Seppuku. Seppuku. Seppuku, whispers the wind on the window, in time with the thudding of his heart.
Eyes open, slowly adjusting to the shadow of night, the ceiling's texture is waves on a stucco ocean. Sweat bursts from the pores of Sam Nyugen's
Rising, Sam moves quietly through the room, entering the adjoining bathroom, closing the door behind him. Flipping the wall switch, the room explodes into light and Sam pinches his eyes tight, gently opening them to allow time to adjust. Locking eyes with himself in the mirror, he runs his hands over his face massaging his hollow cheeks.
This is the third night this week he has been awakened in the middle of the night. It must be stress, he consoles himself.
Surely Li, his wife, must know of his affair with Barbara from work. So many times she had nearly caught him in the web of stories he had created to protect his illicit love. Even his dreams were turning on him. This one was move vivid. The layers upon layers of meaning. The betrayal, stripping of honor from his family, the exposure.
His hand trembles, he feels the divot on his finger that longs to hold a cigarette. His wife would never allow that in the home. Li never allowed much, robbing him of his masculine place. Barbara on the other hand, a smile turns at the corner of his lips, she knew just how to make him feel like a man.
A nervous chuckle escapes his lips at the thought of him as President of the United States. Stuck in mid-level management for Fukizawa Technologies, he has hunger for more power, but the President, he is not so sure. If he was, he would not have to worry about his lies unraveling.
Filling a small glass with water, he leans against the bathroom counter allowing the thoughts of Barbara to steal away the fears generated by the dream. He will make plans tomorrow for an afternoon rendezvous to work off the remaining tension in an altogether more pleasurable way.
Returning the bathroom to darkness, Sam exits, crossing the room to his side of the bed. Pausing before climbing in, he surveys his wife's back, covered by her night clothes. Perhaps she does not know, he muses, what could she do any way? He smiles as he lifts the covers.
Feeling the weight of Sam's body settle once more in the bed, Li slowly withdraws a hand from beneath her pillow. She turns the Wugu doll in her fingers feeling its appendages until finding the stubby head. Bringing it to her mouth begins again to chew on it, her husband once more tossing and turning at the abyss of sleep.
This was written for 10DOM.
It has been a while since I posted a story this long at the waystation, I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it. I won't post anything new until Sunday, so have a good weekend and I will see you out on the trail. ~Brian