By Mark Tentarelli
On the Sea Lion Press Forums, we run a monthly Vignette Challenge. Contributors are invited to write vignettes on a specific theme (changed monthly).
The theme for the Seventeenth Challenge was "Different Lives"
He could see them all. Laughing. Donald Trump slumped a fraction lower against the desk.
“Mr. President?” Kate, right on cue.
“And what can I do for you today, Madam Vice President?”
“Oh, I’m just looking around the place. Lovely.” She stared at the décor for a few seconds. “You didn’t do it. Did you?”
“You’re going to have to be more specific here.”
Kate frowned. “The – you were on his list – you know.” She gestured vaguely.
“That Epstein thing?” He laughed. “That was the Russians, I thought I told you.”
“The same Russians that are tampering with the election polling?”
“And sending the paparazzi after you?”
“And trying to impeach you?”
“Yes - that one’s more of a team effort actually, the Republicans are doing it, but you can see a bit of slight Russian involvement as well.”
“They really do seem to have it out for you, don’t they, Mr. President?”
“Never should have taken that submarine.” He shrugged. “But what can you do? At least Democrats are standing by me. Complete, total loyalty.”
“On that note, sir – leadership was wondering if you could stop, uh, you know-”
“Throwing them under the bus?”
“When have I ever done that?”
“Well. Nancy Pe-”
“Yes, she wishes you would stop doing that. The caucus feels you have a certain tendency to, ah, deflect blame. Onto them.”
“Ridiculous. I didn’t expel Al Franken, did I?”
“No, Mr. President, the Republican super-majority did that. And Kirsten Gillibrand.”
“It’s because of my time as mayor, isn’t it? She resents everything I got to do for New York City-”
“Everyone resents that, Mr. President.”
“-and she thinks I’m unqualified.”
“Everyone thinks that.”
“These people have some nerve. I’ve done more for the Democratic Party than any actor since John Wilkes Booth, and just because I come at criticism in this, this pugilistic kind of way, I kind of want to fight a bit – you’d think I assaulted someone.”
“You have assaulted someone.”
“Right. And you’d think that. But what about the – what about the issues that matter, huh? Take Jeb – he’s still complaining that the electrical college got it wrong, or whatever, wants a second go-around, but you know what – I’ve done more for Florida than he ever has. Look at climate change, look at immigration, look at the issue that matters most of all.”
“Most of all?”
“Most of all. Just once, I wish the press would take the time away from Epstein this, impeachment that, and say, you know what, President Baldwin? Thank you, deeply, for everything you’ve done for the manatees.” Trump grinned. “And Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!”