The Circus

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

The president walked into the oval office, his council already there. All the men looked at him and saluted. The president waved it off.

“What’s going on?” the president said.

One of the men, a general, spoke. “Today, approximately at 600 hours, a nuclear explosion destroyed most of Los Angeles, California.”

“Oh god,” the president said.

His council looked at each other, not having expected the president to react this way.

“I loved LA. They made good movies. Especially that one,” the president looked at the vice president. “You know, the one with the big explosions.”

The vice president shook his head. “I don’t know, maybe something by Michael Bay?”

“No, that guy makes movies for children. Do I look like a child? No, I’m talking about the one with the bigger explosions. Oh, I remember. Something about depending on the day. The one about aliens. Where the white house goes boom!” the president laughed and motioned the explosion with his hands.

“Independence Day, sir,” said the press secretary.

“No, you idiot. I told you. It’s depending on the day,” the president said and took out his phone. “I’m going to have to tweet my condolences to Holly Wood. Does she have a twitter?”

The press secretary waved historically. “We can do this a little later. First, we need to know who bombed the city.”

“I thought we agreed it was aliens,” the president said.

“Not in the movie. In LA,” the press secretary said.

“Okay. And… sent. Tweeted my thoughts. So what’s next on the agenda? Did we ever get that video from Russia?”

The general stepped out from the group and spoke again. “Sir, our information says that we were attacked by North Korea. What should we do about it?”

“Call me surprised. I didn’t think that rocket man had it in him. Well, I’ll have to congratulate him for having the courage of attacking us.” The president took out his phone, typed something, and then smiled. “Okay, I sent him a message on Twitter.”

The press secretary teared up and took a seat. “I’m feeling light-headed.”

“What should we tell the people?” the vice president said. “They will want us to have a speech.”

“Oh, I love speeches,” the president said. “Tell my writer to make it extra tough on rocketman. Oh, and tell him to mention my hands.” He looked at the entire council. “And you know what they say about people with big hands.” He winked at them.

The vice president picked up his phone and called the speech maker, who agreed and got to work immediately.

“Shouldn’t we make sure it was North Korea?” the press secretary said, his voice shaking.

“Hmm, I guess you’re right,” the president said. “It could’ve been aliens like in that movie. Which reminds me. General, when am I getting the ‘President’s Book of Secrets’?” the president said.

The general raised an eyebrow. “There is no such thing, sir. I’ve told you before.”

“Oh come on, if we’re going to fight aliens, we need to do as that guy from world war two said when he read the book about the other guy: Know thy enemy. How are we going to beat them if we don’t know who they are?”

“Sir, that’s not the quote,” the press secretary said.

The president set down his phone. “I love quoting on twitter.”

The general sighed, but before he could talk, another man stepped into the office, holding some paperwork. “I’m sorry to interrupt, but we have new information,” the man said, handing the paperwork to the general.

The general read it, then turned to the president. “Seems we were mistaken. It was not North Korea. Our sources say that it was Russia.”

The press secretary slid down into the couch and held his hand over his head. “Don’t you guys think it’s really hot in here? I feel like it’s really hot here. We should turn on the A/C.”

“What?” the president said in shock. “Wrong! There’s no way. Fake news. I must tell people before they get misconceptions. Okay, done.”

“Mr. President,” the press secretary said through clenched teeth. “I would advise that you didn’t use twitter for the rest of the day. I’m sure,”

“Ridiculous! The people of this world depend on me. I didn’t become president to lead in silence. I ain’t a pussy like those Illuminati.”

“Why would you be so sure it’s not Russia,” the General interrupted.

The president winked. “Oh, you know. Friends.”

“Should I inform the speech writer?” the vice president said.

“Yes, and I’m kinda hungry. Can you go get us a sandwich or something?”

The vice president nodded. “Yes sir, I will return momentarily.”

“So what will be the course of action?” the general said. “Should we retaliate?”

“But we haven’t put the virus into their system. Our attacks won’t make any damage,” the president said.

“Excuse me, sir?”

“Did you not watch the movie? I told you. If we’re fighting aliens, we must be able to hit them. What are the reports? Do they have powerful bulletproof energy shields?”

The general sighed. “We’re not fighting aliens, sir.”

“Then who the fuck are we fighting? I thought you said aliens bombed the white house.”

“No, you said that. I said that LA was attacked today, approximately at 600 hours. We believe it might be Russia or North Korea.”

“I see the confusion,” the president said. “You need to fix your time. There’s only 24 hours a day. How the hell do you expect me to make math calculations about when things happen if you’re counting from who knows when?”

“Mr. President, I think that’s beside the point,” the general said. “My advice would be that we attack as soon as possible.”

Before the president responded, another man entered the room, holding more paperwork. “We have new information,” he said.

 The general took the papers. “This is such a headache. New sources say that it was neither Russia or North Korea. It says it was… Oh my god.” The general went silent and took a seat.

The vice president came in, holding a plate with a sandwich. “I remove the edges and cut it diagonally just like you like it, sir. I also brought you an orange juice.”

“Good. Took you long enough.” The president took the sandwich, bit it, then spit it out. “What the hell is this?”

“Peanut butter and jelly. You said it was your favorite type on Twitter.”

“I lie on twitter all the time, idiot. I was just saying it because I was paid by Jiffy. Ugh, my day is ruined.”

“I also have your speech ready. The speechwriter was very proud of this one,” the vice president said, handing the president some papers.

“Yes! Yes! This is the best job he’s ever done. Make sure to give him a promotion, but don’t pay him more. Just give them a nicer title.”

The press secretary rolled his eyes to the vice president and whispered to him, “when are you going to tell him it’s not a he, and it’s a she?”

The vice president shrugged. “He would never read something by a she. It’s better this way.”

The general took a deep breath, then announced. “Hold the speech. It was aliens all along.”

“I fucking knew it,” the president said.