...And I Feel Fine This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   January 7, 2106 was the coldest day since 1993. New York, the capital city, was bustling with people seeking relief from the 92E winter. The head of the Conservative National Party was in town. He was making a speech at three o'clock to gain more party members.

For some reason, only part of Anthony Barr's speech could be heard. "After 17 years of the United States under the Articles of PseudoDemocracy, the Conservative National Party ... carrying out the last steps of ... to prevent economic whiplash and ... allowing freedom and truth to outlast our lifetimes.

"Keep the Conservative National Party alive and ... PseudoDemocracy keep this country strong and powerful. God bless."

Barr got down from the podium and started back to his chair. Suddenly the humid air was sliced by a bullet's shell. The shell then pierced Barr's chest cavity. He fell to the ground and smashed his head on the sidewalk inducing a traumatic shock.

* * *

January 9, 2106 was another 85E day. The breezy winter was a joy for the descendants of those who destroyed the ozone layer. Snow had become a virtual myth in most of the country and Santa Claus no longer came by sleigh.

Everything was grey in Poughkeepsie , all the important governmental buildings, the American flag was now red, grey, and blue. All the elected officials wore grey. Grey reflected the nation's present attitude.

Congress was now such a trivial branch of the government that many congressional candidates no longer wasted time campaigning. There was only one house of Congress with 108 congresspersons, two for each state.

The Justices of the Supreme Court of Truth all had offices in Poughkeepsie, to be near New York at all times. The Justices had a very important role in the PseudoDemocracy; they interpreted the still young Articles.

The Octagon was the main station for all seven of the U.S. Armed Forces. Most of the U.S. Science Departments were also in the Octagon , the grey Octagon.

* * *

January 12, 2106 was a typical winter day , hot, hazy, humid, high of 102E. Everything in New York City was hot, including President Bergon's temper. The past week had not been a good one. The burial of Anthony Barr had caused a stalemate in Congress between the Conservative Nationals and the Liberal Independents. (His, or one of the abstaining congresspersons' votes would get Congress moving.) Now, however, it was stuck and PseudoDemocracy without a congress was like a child without a toy, unable to play.

"Damn!" yelled the President. "Why did he choose this week to be shot? This country can't run without Congress!"

"President," Mike Steele, the vice president said."Don't get mad at Tony. He didn't decide to die. The Liberal Independents aren't ahead yet, it's fifty-fifty, literally."

Jamie Bergon was the third president with a generally conservative national government . Despite the fact that the Liberal Independent Party was older, the Conservative National Party had always been larger and stronger. Barr's assassination, by a still unfound sniper, had weakened the Conservative National Party and the U.S. government.

The president was a natural leader. She was at the tail end of a glorious two-term reign in office and would be the Conservative National candidate again.

"Okay," she began, "Let's not get hysterical ... what are we going to do now?"

* * *

Despite the president's gripe, the only role of Congress was to vote YES or NO. If the political parties disagreed with the president, Congress voted. If the president disagreed with the Supreme Court of Truth, Congress voted. If the Supreme Court of Truth disagreed with the political parties, Congress voted. They had been the conservative National Party's Congress, until now.

* * *

On January 20, 2106 the Liberal Independents made their move. Their head, Arthur Eastman, delivered this speech.

"I am truly sorry for the tragic loss of Anthony Barr, but I believe his death is a sign that change is to come. An omen. A good omen. I believe that it's time the Liberal Independents run this country the way it was meant to be run 17 years ago by the Founding Mothers and Fathers of PseudoDemocracy.

"So, to a Liberal Independent country, I say, AYes!' to a better run nation, a more fruitful, healthier government, a stronger economy; to all these things, I say, AYes!' I hope you will too."

The crowd cheered. Everyone was happy, everyone was hopeful, everyone loved Art Eastman. Jamie Bergon switched off the TV. She didn't like not being in control of the U.S., New York City, the Grey House, her own destiny.

* * *

There were more speeches. There was more happiness. There was more domestic tranquility. There was more action in Congress , Liberal Independent Action in Congress.

Eastman and the Liberal Independents continued to gain more control of the nation. With a larger party, they had more control of Congress with which to influence the Supreme Courts of Truth. Influence over the Courts of Truth was influence over the interpretation of the Articles. The interpretation of the Articles was law. Law was the nation.

Depression and desperation were now major factors in President Bergon's life. Thinking back, she remembered her triumph. She remembered her time as a congresswoman, as vice-president, her campaign for the presidency, the first successful woman's run for presidency. She remembered the night of November 6, 2098. She remembered her love for the country.

Why did it have to turn into this? Why did she have so much trouble remembering that time in her life?

It would not be much longer before the U.S. was a Liberal Independent nation. It would not be much longer before AConservative National' was a term of the past. It would not be long before the cyanide pill Jamie Bergon took would kill her. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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