The Sins of a Politician
Skipping SchoolIt was the Wednesday morning after election day, and Governor Jameson Pierce had been re-elected for the third time in a row. His son, Anthony Pierce had been heavily involved in the campaign. Being a junior in High School, he could not do much in the way of campaign events during the day, but he did create a few campaign events at the school. The entire family was having a party for the re-elected governor.
“What a happy day for you,” said Governor Pierce’s wife, Julie Pierce.
“I really thought that I was going to lose,” said Governor Pierce. “But I nevertheless pulled ahead as I have been able to do every election since I got out of high school.”
“Dad, you did it again,” said Anthony, then he peeked out the front door. “I have arranged a little surprise for you tonight ahead of time in case of a victory.” Then he opened the door and a flood of Pierce supporters rushed inside cheering and chanting “We win again! We win again!”
Governor Pierce seemed almost a little flustered by this, but Anthony could tell that his father was pleasantly surprised. Jameson got up on a chair from the kitchen table and began to speak. “Thank you, thank you,” he said as the crowd in his rather large house quieted down. “Friends, supporters, you know more than I how hard of an election this has been, and you know how hard me and my opponent Former US House Representative Charlie Baker tried to tear each other down, and how we blamed each other for our problems and made excuses for our failures. Well, let me tell you that I will not be a Governor of excuses!” With that, he raised his voice to a victorious majestic tone and the crowd went wild.
After the crowd settled down, Jameson continued. “Now, this will be my third term as governor, and that is quite a long time to be running a state, or anything, for that matter. So, after this term is over, I am stepping down as governor.” With this, there were upset sighs, and even a few boos from the crowd. Nevertheless, Jameson continued. “That being said, I am not done with public office. Once I am through being governor of this good state, I will seek higher office! Yes, I am talking about the presidency!” The crowd roared once again, and then Jameson decided to step down and get in the crowd. Anthony went up to him to tell him something.
“Listen, dad, I organized a party over at campaign headquarters,” said Anthony. “I can see that all of this is making you somewhat uncomfortable. “I can postpone it if you’d like.”
“Thank you, Anthony,” said Jameson. “I would say Friday would probably be the best time for a victory part, in case they recount the votes and find out that we didn’t win.”
“Understood,” said Anthony, but he did walk off in a somewhat hesitant way. He then
proceeded to stand on the chair that his father had just stood on. “Friends, supporters of my father, if I could have your attention for a moment, please,” said Anthony. “We will not be having the victory party at HQ tonight. It will be postponed until Friday, since it is so early right now, and my father would really rather enjoy the morning with his family.” The crowd then began murmuring and dispersing in an obviously somewhat upset tone.
Once they left, Jameson, Julie, and Anthony sat down to their table, and had a nice big plate of eggs and bacon. “You know, Jameson, I am always nervous around elections,” said Julie.
“That’s very understandable, dear,” replied Jameson as he swallowed a bite of eggs. “You are always afraid that I will lose. Trust me, it is only going to get worse when I throw my name in the hat for a presidential election.”
“It isn’t the possibility of you losing,” she replied looking at him nervously. “It’s just that you do present some radical ideas in your administration for this state, and I am just afraid that someone is really wanting your neck on a platter.”
“You're saying that someone wants me dead,” said Jameson, staring at her blankly.
“Dad, mom does have a point,” said Anthony. “I have heard what people say about you at school, and that is teens talking. Some of the things they say are bone-chilling.”
“Listen, I think you two are worrying over nothing,” said Jameson. “I knew the dangers when I went into politics. When you are a career politician in the public eye, there is always someone who wants you dead, and there is always someone who wants your neck on a platter, but if you worry about that every day, you will be crippled and unable to really accomplish anything as a politician. I have learned to accept the fact that there are crazies who want me dead, and that it can happen to any politician any time.”
Jameson, Anthony, and Julie sat in silence for the rest of breakfast, and tried to not talk about politics anymore. It is true that they had discussed the possibilities of a presidential run, but it was only natural to feel a little nervous about such an enormous task. Julie tried to take her mind off of the whole situation by changing the subject to Anthony’s schooling and soccer.
“So, Anthony, I hear you have an undefeated season this year,” said Julie calmly.
“Ya,” said Anthony Proudly. “Coach Southland has been a great coach this year. I attribute the winning record of our team to his coaching.”
“That is a good idea,” said Jameson. “The leader has a lot of pressure put on him, and when something goes wrong, it is always his fault. But the good part about it is that most of the time, when something goes right, the leader gets the credit. It’s the same thing in the political world. Take the president for example. When something goes wrong, the president for the most part gets the blame in the mind of the people. Yet when something goes right in our good country, he gets the credit for the most part.”
“Stop talking about politics!” said Julie forcefully as she slammed her silverware down. “Can’t you see that I am tired about politics and worried for you? Why do you keep on with this? I am trying to have a peaceful breakfast, and you keeping on with politics is just hurting!”
With that, she stormed out of the room and apparently went upstairs to her bedroom. Jameson and Anthony kind of sat there motionless for a few moments, completely stunned. Then they looked at each other kind of nervously but didn’t speak at this point. Anthony took his plate to the kitchen sink and proceeded to wash it off.
“Well, that was a little uncalled for, don’t you think?” said an exasperated Jameson. Anthony did not reply, but acted like he did not hear him. “Anthony, don’t you think?” He repeated, then Anthony answered.
“Dad, let me be frank with you,” said Anthony as he turned around and set his dishes down. “The way she did it was certainly uncalled for. I was stunned. But she had a point. It can get kind of annoying when a person steers everything back to their own lives when something entirely different is being discussed.”
Jameson stood up at this. “Listen, son, I am sorry that I am glad that I won the election last night, and I know for a fact that you are too. Why are we arguing with me about what we can talk about?”
“Father, I am sorry that we are arguing about this now,” said Anthony. “I do think mom, however messed up her delivery was, did have a point.”
“Fine,” huffed Jameson. “I have a meeting with my campaign manager in a half hour. I might as well just get there early.” Jameson then himself stormed out the front door, leaving Anthony alone.
Anthony had to get to school himself, and was going to be late as it was. He hated mornings like that, and they happened all too frequently. He was really frustrated as he went out the door carrying his backpack to go to school. As he left the property of his parents, he came to a decision. He had always been the good boy and good person because of his fear that his parents would be upset if he did anything wrong. He didn’t right then care what his parents thought. He wasn’t going to go to school at all. He would show his parents what a fight like that could cause him to do.
When he left the neighborhood, instead of going right to the school, he decided to turn left and go to the movies. He had enough money to see the classic film Lawrence of Arabia, and that would easily take up half the day. But as he got closer, he decided that he didn’t really want to see Lawrence of Arabia. He was on a bad boy streak, and he wanted it to stay that way. He wasn’t necessarily going to go to an adult theatre, but he was, however, going to see a more racy movie. He looked at what was showing at the Theatre, and saw that the Quentin Tarantino classic Pulp Fiction was playing there. He decided he wanted to see that instead of some old, long, boring movie that his grandfather had been watching. Unfortunately for him, he remembered that a rated R film would mean he would have to show his ID to get in, and it would reveal that he should be at school.
Then, he looked up as an elderly gentleman was walking toward him and looking at him curiously. “Shouldn’t you be at school, boy?” asked the man.
“I graduated last year, sir,” said Anthony politely but nervously. “May I ask your name?”
“What is it to you?” asked the man.
“Just curious,” replied Anthony even more nervously. “I am taking a survey for school about what is the most common names in the town.” He then shut his mouth, realizing that he had just lied about something that contradicted his first lie that he had graduated.
“I thought you said you graduated,” said the man. “For your information, my name is Hans Riecherdstein.”
“Mr. Riecherdstein, please don’t tell anyone that I should be at school,” said Anthony.
The old man smiled as he said, “Hans, please. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.” Anthony only then realized how old the man actually was. He was somewhat hunched over and his skin was wrinkled with his almost white hair showing his age. “I skipped school myself once. I would not tell on someone about a fellow skipper.”
“Well thank you, Hans,” said Anthony.
“Wait a minute, you’re the governor’s son, aren’t you?” said the old man as he carefully looked at Anthony. “I actually have someone I would like you to meet.”
“Really?” said Anthony thankfully.
“Yep,” said Hans. “If you would follow me to my house please, that would be great.”
Anthony really didn’t have any idea who this Hans was, or what he was taking him to. Anthony figured that he had nothing better to do during the day, so why not just let curiosity get the better of him. He did think that Hans was a little bit of a creepy old man, but it seemed like he meant well enough. Hans took him to what looked like an old and shabby apartment building, and then stopped. Anthony noticed that the windows and any other openings were boarded up.
“It’s not much, but it’s home,” said Hans. Anthony looked at him in a somewhat nervous way.
“This is where you live?” asked Anthony nervously.
“All my life,” said Hans. “When my mother died, she left me this old shack that I had lived in as a child. Mind you, I had been out of the house for two years when I moved back in here, but it was still home to me.”
“Don’t you have enough money to get a different house?” asked Anthony in a somewhat sympathetic tone this time.
“I have always been a poor man,” said Hans, as he opened the door. “You will notice that the house windows are boarded up, sonny. Well, don’t mind that. My friend here just doesn’t like the sunlight.”
“Well isn’t that funny,” said Anthony in an almost hysterical tone. “I am no fan of it either. Now where is this friend you want me to meet?”
“Right this way,” motioned Hans as he walked towards a staircase that led to a lower level.
“May I ask where this leads?” asked Anthony.
“You may,” said Hans. “This simply leads to my friends living quarters.”
“He lives in the basement?” asked Anthony curiously.
“That’s right,” said Hans. “He loves the dark and damp feel of the basement. I have never understood why, but it suits him well enough I suppose.”
Anthony walked carefully down the flight of stairs that led to a hardly lit basement. He was starting to be a little creeped out. He didn’t want to just run, because if this stranger, Hans, was up to no good, at that point he had the advantage. When they got to the bottom of the very dimly lit stairway, there was a man which Anthony recognized as his father’s opponent’s top campaign manager Jack Russell.
“Well hello, Anthony,” said Jack in a fairly sarcastic tone. “I wonder what you are doing out of school.”
“Long story,” said Anthony fearfully at this point. “I actually think that I should be getting back to school now. If I miss the last half of the day I actually could fail one of my classes.”
With that, Anthony sprinted up the stairs and only looked back once to see Hans begin to go after Anthony and Jack stop him. Anthony didn’t stop sprinting until he got to the street that his house was on. Then he made his way towards the school building. When he went up to the school building, he saw that there was a crowd of people standing around the television right by the office immediately inside.
When he went in, he went to see what everybody was staring at. “Today, a tragic event has happened,” the male news host said. “Former Senator Charlie Baker, who recently lost the gubernatorial election to current governor Jameson Pierce has been found in his house today, with his head decapitated and his body mutilated. Police are baffled as to who would do this and why.”