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The Branching Path
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. That being said, however, RUN FOR YOUR FREAKING LIVES! GRANT’S ARMY WAS CRUSHED! WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE, SAVE YOURSELVES!
So it is that Abraham Lincoln’s bottled terror did explode a few days after learning of Robert E Lee’s victory at Gettysburg; or, shall I say, so it would have been, I would imagine, had Robert E Lee actually won. Let us delve further, you reader and I writer, and explore the hypothetics (no, it’s not a word) surrounding the potential Confederate victory that may... well, it may have done a lot of things; let’s just get on with the story.
“Mr. President? You need to come out of there eventually; the country is in terrorized chaos at the prospect of an actual rebel victory! They need a leader!”
“Nay, says I!” replied our honest Abe. “Brother, I wish not to come out! You have no might to hold over myself, you hold not the power to eject myself from this most sacred of sanctuaries! Remove thyself, I wish NOT to lead!”
“God he’s useless,” muttered the secretary of war, one of more than 20 men who had tried and failed to ease their leader out of his so called “sanctuary” - his tree-house. “I told Mary not to let him watch that scary play; it serves no purpose beyond freaking him out,” he continued.
“I made it perfectly clear,” Mary Todd Lincoln soon retorted, “that he was not to watch it. It’s the vice president, he’s a bad influence on my Abey!”
“Well then I suppose you won’t have me leading the country, either! Know what, fine, I never wanted to anyway.” Honorable vice president Hannibal Hamlin... was cranky.
All eyes turned toward the secretary of state, William H Seward. “Dude! No! I’m the secretary of state, what makes you think I have any interest in LEADERSHIP?!?!?!?!”
“Well then who will guide us?”
A pregnant pause and much shuffling; no-one wanted the burden of a scared nation afraid of defeat in a bloody civil war. Only one idea was given: “Well... that cat over there in the corner looks pretty calm. Maybe she could handle it?”
Body slams, head butts, high-fives and hootenannies roared to life throughout the Confederate States of America. Lee had struck an intimidating blow to the fragile Union, and the open offensive road to Washington D.C, now paved with the blood of rebel sacrifice, called for the victory-crazed Confederacy. Out of Richmond, Virginia, came a terrifying war cry for the ages: “States rights and slavery, bro, ugh!” Lee marched within the hour.
“Mrs. President, our army is supposedly in disarray; have we any chance of recovery or any sort of continued campaign against this Confederate rebellion?”
“Well sir, I have one thing to say to you: General Grant will lead us to victory; I trust him with my lives and with the sanctity of our Union. He is a strong, confident and charismatic leader; ask any troop and he will tell you of his relief of having a capable leader such as our Ulysses Simpson Grant.” Well, you could tell that’s the message, but the president did not waste time, summarizing the sentence with a single poetic “Meow.”
Grant lived, from then on, only to live up to the president’s promise: upon exiting his tent after some intense aroma-therapy, General Ulysses S Grant surveyed, for the first time, the after-effects of the defeat. Men eating grass, drawing flowers on their horses, screaming and rocking in the fetal position; a single, universal look of disbelief, nay, shock, perpetrated the camp and blanketed the features of every living thing in that camp, with one inspiring exception: the look of determination upon Grant’s face would have sent mighty Zeus scurrying with his lightning between his legs, have sent Satan back to the depths of his kingdom, have sent Aunty Jemima back to her pancakes with not a drop of syrup.
Fate so had it, however, that that look would not last long.
You see, word had reached the ears of Confederates that the new Union president was one of an excessively feline disposition, and the rebels soon had an answer to the new image of the oppressive Union.
“Grant, sir, we have a visitor for you. He claims to be a PI who would like to enlist as a spy. This is to be laced through and through with discretion, sir; he says many close relations would love to turn in their own mother if she were a Union spy.”
“Send him in.”
The most striking feature of him was perfectly prominent on the poor thing, even past the prowess proven with his perfect prancing: he had no freaking left eye. Yeah. Grant instantly saw a thing of potential, of resolve, of stupidity since it hid the unauthorized knife about as well as you might hide a 400-foot tall vacuum cleaner in the middle of New York City. Still, if Grant could get him on his side, then... oh... nevermind... Grant is uh... yikes.
He only maniacally laughed as the guards brought him down and dragged him to a make-shift prison, as he screamed the whole way... “Barkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbark.”
With no general to take control of the Union armies, General Lee soon marched upon Washington D.C. An official surrender was issued by once-more-President Lincoln, and General Lee marched home to a chorus of cheers and applause.