Musings

By Adrian Tullberg.

***

I want you to imagine, for a moment.

The blonde man sat down at the massive desk, in the Oval Office. The dark-haired man in the spandex uniform and red cape noted that Pete Ross looked very comfortable there.

"It's been an interesting few days, hasn't it, Superman?"

"You're a master of understatement, President Ross."

An aw-shucks smile, thrown at precisely the right angle. "Not until I'm sworn in. Until then I'm ... what's the constitutional position on that?"

One of the aides gave a nervous glace at the Kryptonian. "To let Superman say whatever he wants?"

A light chuckle reverberated around the room.

I want you to imagine a man who lost his one chance at life.

Ross leaned back. "Sounds good to me. Superman ... I want you to take full charge of ... Mister Luthor's incarceration. I've already drafted an executive order guaranteeing you funding, and clearing you on all security levels to that effect. Do you accept?"

The President-Elect noticed the sheer pleasure radiating from Superman. "An honour and a pleasure, Mister President."

Ross got up, escorting Superman to the windows, from the office. "I just want to thank you again for your efforts in this perilous occasion in this nation's history."

But while this man wasted his talents in a little hick town in Kansas...

Superman nodded, and took off. Ross watched him leave, then dismissed the staff.

After he was sure he was alone, he touched a button, opening a door.

... and an ungrateful wife pined for his best friend ...

The woman known only as Hope walked ... strolled in. "Congratulations, Mister ..."

She didn't say anything else, as Ross grabbed her by the arms, hauled her close, and kissed her, a savage, brutal act.

... a tremendous opportunity came to him.

Hope broke it off, flustered, but her eyes betraying she enjoyed the clinch. "Hail to the Chief…"

Ross touched her lips with his index finger, eyes gleaming with triumph. "We did it …"

Clark ... imagine.

Imagine a man who had it all ... money, power, influence ... offered you a chance to rise out of purgatory, and rise to the top.

I knew he was dirty beyond comprehension. You think I didn't listened to you, Martha or Jonathan when you were endlessly whining about what was wrong with the world? That I didn't hear gossip on the Hill?

In fact, that's why I accepted.

Hear me out.

A man who was not only dirty, but made a personal enemy out of the most physically powerful man in the world.

And he wanted me as arm candy. To win the midwest as well as being seen as a stable, family man with a full head of hair. It's not enough to buy the Presidency.

Now when you're in the number two seat, riding on the world's richest man's coat tails, it's easy to be categorised as a pretty boy, and filed away.

Dismissed.

Ignored.

Luthor gave me nothing but contempt, and made a point of ignoring me once it was certain he'd won.

Luthor ignored me when I found the one person on his personal staff who had enough of being second best as well.

Ignored me as I found evidence, documents, files, the works, gave them to Hope, who passed them to you and your wife. Then you flew in and saved the day, as you always do.

What, you think I was that stupid? Not resembling either Jonathan or Martha, suddenly wearing glasses when Superman showed up? Your debut article being the first interview of Superman?

Why I asked you, of all people, to find that ungrateful whore of a wife when the entire Secret Service failed? It wasn't because you had a whole lot of free time ...

Sorry, getting carried away.

Imagine a man who had an opportunity to be seen as nothing but a showpiece, but one step away from the highest position on Earth.

Not needing to make allegiances. No concessions, no promises.

Now he's in the Oval Office.

And I'll make sure Luthor knows what I've done.

For when he's released ... sorry, he escapes, he'll go straight for my 'loving wife'. Luthor prefers to express his vindictiveness physically. And Hope will be placed in charge of Lana's security.

If my calculations are correct, you'll see him remove his hands from Lana's neck, while cyanosis blue tinges her cheeks.

After all, I've got to win another election, with two major parties gunning for my seat. Nobody would vote against a widower.

After all, I've got a country to run.

***

Please send any and all feedback to adriantull@urban.net.au