So, I’m dead.
I’ve read the obituaries, watched the funereal ceremony and pomp.
They said nice things.
I wasn’t nice.
My legacy was tabloid trash, bin and bird cage liners. I amassed millions. I ran campaigns of fear and hatred, invaded the famous and the suffering, hacked phones, photographed private moments. Exploited secrets and tragedies and made shit up. Ran campaigns of fear and hate. Annihilated lefty bleeding heart political opponents with enough mud, innuendo and gossip to smother a continent.
I made and unmade politicians.
Controlled the voting masses. Played their fears, ignited their hatred, a virtuoso conducting an orchestra to play music of mayhem and discord against their own interests.
I went to church, not because I believed that hocus pocus black robed bullshit but because I was aware of its value for forging connections and bending the masses.
I’ve left sons behind with a sense of privilege and nastiness they’ve inherited from me along with my empire and money. They know about pay back. I taught them.
Politicians on both sides bowed and scraped before me. When I said shit. They asked for toilet paper.
Fuck science, fuck the environment, follow the money.
* * *
Power demands a trophy wife. Carla, my fourth and last, married for money. They all did. Prenuptials were in place. She would be well looked after. But I wasn’t dying quickly enough for her. She hired that damned personal assistant. Carla knew me well. Knew I’d hang around like a bad smell. I was old but I wasn’t dead. She oozed sex like ice-cream melting in a sauna, the snow white mounds of her breast, the scent of oranges and cinnamon, the poetry of her voice.
Who wouldn’t want a few crumbs off that crumpet? She knew the advantages of being seduced by money and power. I prepared. A line of cocaine. Viagra.
She fucked me comatose. Literally. Massive thrombosis. Hooked up to life support. Frozen, motionless, speechless.
In the stillness of my paralysis I could hear voices during their obligatory visits to hospital pretending to give a shit.
Carla congratulating her personal assistant.
Two sons haggling over who would manage my empire.
The doctor pulled my life support. Wails and crocodile tears.
* * *
So, now I’m dead.
No one listens. Money and power mean nothing.
I sit in on séances, try to move the planchette on Ouija boards, rattle windows and make doors slam. Damned if I can get the hang of it. Nothing works.
Alpheus Williams: writer, curmudgeon, eco-activist, pissed off with humanity, loves nature, his wife, their dog and good whisky. He lives and writes in Australia.
His works have appeared in Storgy Magazine, The Molotov Cocktail, Barren Magazine, Phantom Drift, Bristol Noir, Shotgun Honey, Carcosa Magazine, Fabulist Words and Art, The Write Launch, Bath Flash Fiction, Micro, et al. Alpheus Williams currently has two stories nominated for the 2021 Pushcart Prize.
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