A/N: Hey, everyone, this is a project I did for my AP English class. We were allowed to do different thing, like write a poem, do a powerpoint, make a board game, compile a sound track, or create a theme park, and well, I couldn't settle on any of these, so I decided to do a Retelling of the story in modern times. I'm not sure how feasible this story is, so please don't hit me up on its accuracy in accordance to America's government. I did a little research but ran low on time, so I simply fudged the details I wasn't sure on.
A Modern Retelling
"This makes Nathan Cawdor the first vice president to be impeached in the History of the United States, but the reason behind his impeachment has yet to be made public. Back to you, Duffy." The camera shot switched from the young field reporter over to a middle-aged anchor who was wearing the world's fakest toupee.
"And hopefully, Cawdor will be the last to be impeached," Duffy said gravely as he shuffled his reports. "In other news, a woman in Baltimore disproves the old saying that you can't teach an old dog new tricks."
Banquo turned away from the television in disgust. How anyone could talk about a man's political career bursting into flames one moment and then casually change the subject to an elderly woman and her dogs was beyond Banquo. "Bud, are you planning on grabbing your order or should I save it for the next guy who asks for extra onions?" the cashier groused, pulling Banquo back into reality.
"Uh… yeah… sure," Banquo stumbled over his own words as he grabbed his tray and walked away from the cash register. He had to nudge his way to the back of the diner carefully because of how tightly packed the place was. His seat was at the very back, a small booth with barely enough room for two men.
Banquo sat down on his side and laid the tray down at the center of the table. "Took you long enough," Macbeth grumbled from across the table as he grabbed up his burger.
"Sorry, I got distracted," Banquo apologized, "Cawdor already made the news."
"I noticed," Macbeth said, "I could see Duffy's hair piece from back here."
"They kept your name out of it," Banquo observed as he pulled up his onion-smothered burger.
"They don't know my name yet. The second the media finds out I'm the one who started the bill on his impeachment," Macbeth answered, "Duffy'll be at Dunsinane." Dunsinane was the name of Macbeth's home. Macbeth's wife, Lanie had chosen the name. Banquo still remembered Lanie declaring that a house wasn't a home until it had a name.
"The media doesn't even know why Cawdor was impeached yet," Banquo answered, "but when they find out, it will be on every station until either Cawdor resigns or is removed." Macbeth nodded, but didn't respond. They finished the rest of their meal in silence, both trying to ignore what the next few weeks to possibly months would mean.
Banquo sat in the passenger's seat of Macbeth's SUV as fog passed by his window and rain hit the windshield. He had no idea how close to Washington DC they were, but he could still tell that it was a while a way. The SUV was still going around sixty miles per hour.
"I really don't think the diner was worth it," Macbeth said as he turned the windshield wipers on.
"Oh, I don't know. The burgers were delicious," Banquo replied absently. The combination of a full meal and a long car ride was muddling his brain, making it difficult for him to care about much less listen to Macbeth's attempts at small talk. Currently, he was more interested in making mental bets on which raindrop would make it down his window first.
"The way the weather is, I wouldn't be surprised if we missed our exit," Macbeth muttered. Banquo nodded but said nothing. Macbeth kept talking about menial things. He started with the weather, moved on to wondering where a good exit to find a gas station was, and then went on to something about a strange noise the car was making. "No, seriously, George, I think we have to get out. The car sounds strange, don't you hear it?"
Banquo could hear the sound, a sort of light clicking, like metal on metal. He looked out the window to see where they could stop. The fog obscured most of the surrounding area, leaving only a few feet on all sides of the car visible. "I don't see anywhere to stop," Banquo told Macbeth. Banquo really did not like the idea of stopping in the middle of nowhere surrounded by fog—in the rain. It sounded like the beginning of a horror movie.
"I don't ei-," Macbeth stopped himself midsentence, and Banquo saw why immediately. A few yards ahead of them, two lights on the side of the road became visible, and, within seconds, Banquo could see a small, run-down store with a sign that said:
3 of Seer's Blood
Macbeth looked over at Banquo a questioning look. Banquo shrugged. It wasn't like they had another option. Macbeth pulled the car into the parking lot, and the two of them made a run for the door.
They entered the store and were instantly greeted by one of the strangest places Banquo had ever seen. The Weird Sister's place looked like a conglomerated Beauty Salon/Halloween Store. The waiting area in the front was full of uncomfortable straight-backed chairs and piles of outdated magazines, but the magazines weren't People or Seventeen. Instead, they had titles like Palm Reader Bi-Monthly and Crystal Ball. The other furniture in the room was gothic-styled with dark wood and spindly legs and intricate designs carved into the wood.
Behind the receptionist desk stood a hunchback old-lady, or at least Banquo thought it was a lady. She was wearing a ratty floral patterned dress and a beat-up, leather purse was sitting on the desk next to her, but her face was indistinct, with squinted eyes and a hook nose. Her hair was long, grizzly gray that covered not only the top of her head, but also a little hung under her chin. She looked over at Banquo and Macbeth. "Visitors, Customers," She said in a low, husky voice that left Banquo still unsure about her gender.
"Oh, no, we were just wondering if you had a phone," Banquo informed the woman. She didn't seem to hear him.
"And what dignified guests they are," the old woman croaked.
"No… um… ma'am, our car—it broke down," Banquo tried to explain. The woman kept ignoring him, and Macbeth was no help. He just stood, dazedly staring at the woman like he was under some trance.
"Congress men at that, Senator George Banquo and Representative William Macbeth," the woman said. Even Banquo could not bring himself to make a response, surprised that the woman would know him. "Sisters, come, we owe our illustrious guests a reading."
On the word 'reading,' Banquo regained his tongue, "What? No, we just need a tow. Do you have a phone we could use?"
"All in good time, dear Banquo," said a second woman who appeared with a third from the back of the shop, "first we provide a reading, and then you may call." The second woman looked similar to the first in that her gender was just as difficult to tell. The third was the same. Banquo only thought they were women because of their floral dresses and because of the store's name.
"Now, take a seat," the third woman said. The two men took a seat on uncomfortable waiting room chairs. The three women quickly joined them.
"So what now?" Macbeth asked, speaking for the first time since they left the car, "Will you read our palms, look in a crystal ball, or maybe show us cards?" The tone of Macbeth's voice surprised Banquo. He did not sound sarcastic, but eager.
"We do not use such paltry tricks," the second woman huffed.
"Then how?" Macbeth asked.
"We just need your face," the third woman answered.
"Tell me my future."
The first woman straightened up and said, "Representative of Ohio."
The second woman next said, "Speaker of the House in near time."
The final woman finished, "And President for a remarkable time."
Banquo saw the spark in Macbeth's eyes, and it sent a shiver down his spine. "And me then?" Banquo asked the women.
"Your fate is nowhere as grand, and yet grander," the first women answered.
"While you will be unimportant in the long run," the second women said, "you will be the patriarch to the next great family."
"Greater than the Kennedys," the third women said, "your name—Banquo—will become synonymous with politics."
"Is that all?" Banquo asked, a little disappointed that with his reading because of its terseness, but over all hoping that that was the end, "Because I would like to call a truck before it gets too late." The second woman nodded, pulled an old, antennae-topped cellphone out of her pocket, and passed it over to Banquo.
Banquo doubted this dinosaur of a phone had any more signal than his iPhone did but was pleasantly surprised when the towing company picked up and sent a truck over immediately along with a rental car.
Before long, Macbeth and Banquo were back on the road, but this time Banquo was driving. Macbeth still looked dazed, and Banquo was not going to let him behind the wheel.
"Imagine if what they said was true!" Macbeth awed after they had driven for thirty minutes in silence. Macbeth looked serious, but Banquo was sure it must be a joke, so he tried to pass it off as one.
"Yes, imagine," Banquo laughed, taking one hand off of the steering wheel and waved it through the air wistfully, "My son, Lance, President—I'd fear for the nation."
"Lanie says that he she's shaping up quite nicely. He's working hard in college," Macbeth argued, "I'm sure if you two just spoke…"
"Lance and I do speak," Banquo retorted. In truth, Banquo never spoke to Lance, not for three months. Lance went to college near Dunsinane so he stayed there with Lanie, and, the last time Banquo visited, he and Lance had a falling out.
Macbeth looked over at Banquo skeptically, but he did not say anything. Today was not a day for conversation it seemed.
For the next three weeks, one name was on the tip of everyone's tongue—Cawdor. The news went from conspiracies about why Cawdor was impeached to news on how his family was taking. Banquo still found the entire business sickening. Duffy showed up every day on the news multiple times a day, and, every time Banquo saw that hairpiece, a new knot tightened in his chest. The final piece of news came on the eve of Cawdor's trial, the night when Cawdor's discretion should have been made known.
Banquo did not even bother turning on the news that night. He already knew what Duffy would say. With disappointment, Duffy would announce that Cawdor resigned before Congress revealed his discretion, and as part of the bargain, Congress sealed Cawdor's crimes for ten years. "The American System at its finest," Banquo could almost see Duffy saying this.
Of course, Banquo understood why Cawdor's records were sealed. He had been there. He had the information that Duffy craved. Cawdor's impeachment had been a balancing act of both internal and international affairs. Congress, specifically Speaker of the House Malcolm Donalbain, begged Cawdor to resign, just so that Congress, and the American Government, could save face. Cawdor did resign, but at the aforementioned price. Congress had to make the decisions, closing the gallery so that nothing would leak. After a day like today, Banquo lost hope in any good in America.
As Speaker of The House, Donalbain was next in line to be Vice President.
An impromptu party was being held at the White House tonight to announce all the changes. Every Senator and Representative would be there along with the President, Cabinet members, and many other politicians.
Banquo, though, did not wish to go. Congress was out for a week, and Banquo had considered surprising his son and taking him to a football game… or something. He really didn't know what they would do, but ever since he had that conversation about his and Lance's communication issues with Macbeth, he could not stop thinking about it. Banquo really should talk to Lance—but not this week because this party was necessary.
Banquo garbed up for the party in his tuxedo, and carefully prepared himself. At eight, Banquo heard someone knock on his door.
"Are you ready to go, Banquo?" Macbeth asked, "Lanie is out in the car waiting."
"Lanie's here?" Banquo questioned in surprise. Lanie did not come up to Washington often because Dunsinane was in Ohio, and Lanie got travel sick easily.
"Yes," Macbeth explained that, because their anniversary was coming up soon, they were heading to New York City after the party. Banquo and Macbeth quickly left Banquo's hotel room and went out to Macbeth's repaired SUV.
Sitting in the front seat of the SUV was a woman Banquo had known longer than Macbeth had. Lanie Macbeth smiled up at Banquo and Macbeth as she saw them approach, "Banquo, late as usual." From most people and to most people, a comment like this would be considered curt to the point of rudeness, but from Lanie to Banquo, it was simply their way of speaking. The fact that Lanie referred to Banquo by his surname meant nothing because everyone called Banquo by his last name and had for most of his life.
"I'm sorry, my Lady," Banquo said with a mock-bow as he entered the car.
"We beg your pardon," Macbeth said with fake sincerity, "I just cannot make him move any quicker." They all laughed as Macbeth and Banquo got into the car.
"You mustn't blame yourself, Will," Lanie said, "No one could ever make Banquo do something he did not want to do."
The party was boring. After the basic announcements, nothing more happened. Of course, it had been nice that Macbeth was named the new Speaker of the House, and there was some good food, but, Banquo still was lost in this party. He knew everyone here, of course, but the only people Banquo wished to talk to were the Macbeths. Unfortunately, Banquo did not see the Macbeths.
He searched through the ballroom but did not see them anywhere. Then he branched out to the close by hallways. Banquo did not find them until he searched every nearby hallway and decided to give up. As he passed by a closed door, he heard two voices coming from behind.
"There is only one thing that the psychics could have meant," Banquo knew the first voice right away. It belonged to Lanie. Banquo was about to enter, his hand was on the door handle, when he heard Lanie speak again, "Duncan is on his latter side of his election. Look at today, January 20th! This marks exactly two years into Duncan's presidency. An exceptional term likely means the longest since the term restraints. Will, you could be President for 10 years." Banquo's hand froze on the door handle.
"Could, Lanie," Macbeth responded, "Donalbain would be next in line after Duncan, not me."
"Not if you implicate him in the murder," Lanie said it as if it was obvious. Yes, kill the President and frame the Vice President, simple. "Donalbain won no favor in the Cawdor matter, you told me that. People would willingly believe that he sealed the files, and in return Cawdor would step down, leaving the Vice Presidency open." Banquo thought Lanie must be joking. She could not seriously be planning a murder and a frame job in the White House.
Just then a hand grabbed Banquo's shoulder, "There you are Senator Banquo!" Banquo turned around and saw Malcolm Donalbain staring down at him. "Most of the other Congress Members have left, but I was hoping you were still here. Well, you and Macbeth."
"Why, if I may ask?" Banquo inquired.
"To discuss our media release—Macbeth because he is Speaker of the House and you because you are a media favorite," Donalbain replied, "The President and I wish to cover all angles for this release. He's even offered to let you stay the night at the White House."
Banquo let go of the door. "All due respect, but I was under the impression that Speaker Macbeth and his wife were on their way to New York." Just then Macbeth exited the room.
"I can speak for myself, Banquo," Macbeth said with an uneasy laugh, "Lanie and I will gladly stay if you need us."
"Thank you, William," Donalbain recognized, "Tomorrow, Mr. Macduff and other reporters will be here to take our personal responses on Cawdor." After Donalbain left, Lanie exited the room. She smiled over to Macbeth.
Banquo was escorted to a room and watched by a Secret Serviceman the entire night, but he did not feel safe. Outside his window, the weather went from placid to tempestuous. Rain poured and lightning struck, the White House even lost power for around twenty minutes until the generator kicked in.
The next morning, Banquo woke up to the sound of urgent knocking on his door. Banquo clumsily got off the bed and let the agent open the door for him.
"Duffy is on his way in," Donalbain said as he entered. He sounded frantic, "Get dressed and meet me down stairs immediately."
Banquo did as he was told and met with Donalbain and Macbeth downstairs. "Where is the President?" Banquo asked, looking around.
"He should be down shortly," Donalbain replied, but Duncan was not down shortly. The hall filled with reporters, but the President still did not show.
"I will go up and meet with the President," Donalbain finally said.
"I will come with you," Duffy staunchly replied.
"No, Mr. Macduff," Donalbain negated, but Duffy would not step down.
"You promised me an inside interview and this is it," Duffy confirmed. Donalbain gave in without a fight and let Duffy and his cameraman follow him.
As soon as Donalbain and Duffy left, the hall erupted in questions, "Did Donalbain make a dirty deal?" "Why was Cawdor impeached?" and "How does it feel to be Speaker of the House?" Macbeth and Banquo answered the questions they legally could until they heard a scream echoing all the way down from the President's room.
No one could stop the cascade of reporters who ran towards the scream, and Banquo and Macbeth were caught up in the wave of people. Upstairs, a horrible sight waited for them.
The doors to the Oval Office were open. The inside was ransacked, everything torn and ruined. An intoxicated Secret Serviceman slept on the couch with a glock. Worst of all, blood was splattered across the wall behind the desk and sitting in the desk's chair was the president, crumpled over with a bullet hole through his forehead.
"This… this is horrible," Macbeth faltered, "Our President taken down in his prime." He was truly hamming it up, but no one but Banquo seemed to notice. Suddenly, Lanie appeared in the hall.
"I heard the commotion. What's going on?" Lanie asked. Macbeth stepped in front of Lanie to keep her from seeing the Oval Office.
"Lanie, you don't want to see this," Macbeth told her, but Lanie pushed past Macbeth to look. As soon as Lanie saw Duncan, she fainted. That was when Banquo was sure they were the murderers.
The Secret Service man stirred in his sleep, and woke, raving. "Donalbain, no!" Then, he fainted back onto the chair. All eyes turned to Donalbain. From that point, Banquo knew Macbeth had succeeded. He would be the next President.
After Macbeth's inauguration, Banquo feared for his life, all because of what he said to Macbeth at the inauguration. "I refuse to run as your Vice President in the next election. Even if I'm nominated, I will decline. I don't need you on my conscious." Macbeth had said that this meant Banquo was against him, and Banquo had simply nodded, saying, "I guess so."
He'd made it a month since the inauguration, but with each passing day he became antsier. Banquo was so nervous, he even made plans to make amends with Lance. He did not want to die on bad terms with his own son.
They spent the day at a ball game, in relatively good mood. They had made up, and Banquo tried to act as if he had no cares. He thought he was doing it well, hiding his fears until Lance asked, "What's the matter, Dad? You have been acting weird all day." Banquo passed it off saying he was just excited about getting on better terms with Lance. Then a man came up to them and asked them if he could get through. His seat was on their other side.
Lance and Banquo stood, letting the man through. The man walked by and then turned towards Banquo. "Do you remember my wife?" he asked suspiciously, "Do you remember Melinda?"
Banquo knew what was coming before it did. "Lance, run, and don't look back." Suddenly the man pulled a knife out of his pocket and stabbed Banquo several times. The pain was sharp and piercing, and Banquo fell back as he was surrounded by darkness. Air left his lungs and that was it. His best friend had sent a man to murder him and the man succeeded. Banquo just hoped Lance had enough sense to get out of there.
A/N: So how was it? I'm not really sure how good it is, so if anyone has any suggestions, they are completely welcome. I feel like I rushed the end a little there. Anyways, please review.