FAITHLESS ELECTORS: “New” Short Story on Wattpad
After (finally) looking into using Wattpad as a vehicle for some of the voluminous unpublished material in my writer’s trunk, I chose to test the waters with an old short story, albeit one that now seems more prescient than musty: a political satire.
Originally written in the early Naughty-Naughts (as the 2000s are called in the story), this bit of absurdist campaign humor was originally called “Fear Itself,” then a later revision became “The Turtlechurch Martyrdom.” The story concerns the presidential campaign of a lifelong media celebrity named Eugene Turtlechurch, attempting in the 2028 race to unseat the “avuncular incumbent” Bertolt Bednap.
As it becomes clear that a third choice, Eugene’s powerful trial lawyer spouse Beatrice, might prove a more formidable candidate than either, hijinks ensue. Far more bitter and pointedly scatalogical in its earlier versions, something about the absurd nature of the 2016 campaign season made me feel like revisiting this piece.
Now retitled “Faithless Electors,” a hot-button phrase that I thought might get the piece some attention as well as suited the material, I did a final polish and sent it out into the aether over on Wattpad. If you’re in the market for a free short story, one provoking a rueful laugh or two, please click through and give it a read.
Here’s a tease of the first few paragraphs.
By the time the primaries, contentious as they might have been, finally offered a conclusive, ironclad result, the campaign year found itself in full, unified swing:
Turtlechurch, the product to be rolled out.
Turtlechurch, the great unifier.
Turtlechurch, the name to be whispered upon the wind between now and November, over and over and over until Turtlechurch became synonymous with the concept of foregone conclusion.
A blessed event. The coming of the savior.
“We’re all relieved to see a frontrunner of such stature and certitude,” as network newsreader Cynthia-Anne Goforth put it. “The choice—which of course is still yours to make—nonetheless seems clear.”
There it was: Eugene Turtlechurch, with his wife Beatrice—as powerful an American couple as could be imagined, known and respected far and wide for their stupendous accomplishments—held the best shot at unseating the incumbent.
James D. McCallister is a South Carolina author of novels, short stories, and creative nonfiction. His latest novel Let the Glory Pass Away releases in January 2017.