Bleed American


Flecks of red, white, and blue ticker tape covered his well-worn leather loafers. His stomach rumbled, a reminder that he hadn’t eaten in sixteen hours. He pulled his phone from the left front pocket of his gray slacks. A text message made him smile.

“The world’s going to end in three days.”

A classic rock song, Styx or Journey; something he hated, thundered through the crowd. He walked from the throng of revelers and typed a response.

“Zara, your hyperbole is sexy. Can I see you?”

He reached the large steel double doors. Before he could return the text, a large, liver-spotted hand grabbed his left shoulder. The man’s shout was audible over the crowd.

“Brandon! I need you to organize a party at the hotel!”

Brandon walked into the corridor. The two men let the steel doors slam shut muting the noise. They faced each other and Brandon crossed his arms.

“Sir, with all respect, I’m a speechwriter and consultant, not a party planner. I was hoping I could have the rest of the night off. I mean, we’re up by nine points with the election less than three days away.”

The man, tall and barrel-chested in an expensive brown suit. He was well into his fifties with a ruddy complexion. He pursed his pencil-thin lips and stepped toward Brandon.

“The Senator trusts you. His family is flying out after his speech, so he’ll be, you know. Track down those girl lobbyists from the drug company. The Senator likes the blonde and the redhead.”

Brandon’s stomach churned again, but in a different way. He shook his head in agreement. The older man opened the doors and disappeared into the celebration. Brandon walked down the corridor and dialed his phone. Zara answered.

“Having fun Brando? Partying it up with Senator Serpent?”

He swallowed, looked out the windows of the building and counted several stars with his eyes.

“I’d rather be with you, hearing about what a real American is supposed to be.”

****blogger’s note****

This is a piece of stand alone (for now) flash fiction for Trifecta Writing weekend prompt “the world will end in three days”.

Today’s song is asomething I’ve wanted to use in a political sense. The irony and deep thought fit Brandon’s mindset. Here’s Jimmy Eat World’s Bleed American.


25 thoughts on “Bleed American

  1. hahahah… I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE “Senator Serpent” as a moniker. This is a good start, you know, I bet you don’t leave it alone… something about it just screams to grow! 🙂

  2. L.M. Stull

    Guess who is commenting?? Are you proud? 🙂 LOVE the characters, voice, and overall feel of this, Lance. I, too, agree that I would be surprised if you don’t revisit these characters again. And… yes…. Senator Serpent…HAHA. I work with a Senator and I’ll just say…. very accurate 😉

      • L.M. Stull

        Please do! I stalk your site quite regularly.. however up till now I’ve been a quiet stalker. I shall change this 😀

  3. I loved that you stepped out of the box and gave us something a little different, a different side of the edge. And I absolutely loved your creative use of the prompt. Which outcome ends his life in three days? Victory or defeat?
    Thanks for playing with us again this week. Please come on back and see us for the new challenge on Monday.

  4. Jennifer Worrell

    “Senator Serpent” describes so many politicians these days–fitting story, and I loved your take on the prompt. I also like Jimmy Eat World:)

  5. TheKirCorner

    I read this early this morning, late last night (Whatever) but I thought about it all day. I love this! If your readers have any say (and I know I have even less since I’m knew and lousy) but of all your stories, I like this one the most. I really do. (my major in government, my Law and Order addiction..I’m not sure but this piece felt like the beginning of something amazing)

    I love stories about politics, scandal, sexy talk, crooked senators and god a guy in loafers trying to keep it all together…The dialouge was perfect, (I”ve worked on campaigns) the rush of those evenings and last minute details were so true. I really hope you keep writing this.

    (and I’m sorry for gushing)

    • thank you…the truth is, this was an organic response to the prompt. The song helped me work out the political angle. I volunteered on two state senatorial campaigns in my 20s. plus I worked as a reporter from 1988 to 1995. thanks for liking me doing something different and of course the gushing.

    • yeah, I’m a middle of the road libertarian type, for the most part. I tried to not make this all one side is bad. if i expand it, you have my word I’ll keep it that way. thank you jes.

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