Election

Three Minute Fiction Round 9 Prompt: write a story about a president, under 600 words

Election

The metal door opened, and he smelled her, the nice one. She rubbed his left ear. She said, “Good boy,” and snapped the lead to his collar.

Then she walked, and tugged the lead, and he followed her clicking shoes across the bright, slick floor to the table leg.

Her hand came down. It held the brush. It brushed down and down and down, licking, and his ear itched, and he scratched, and she brushed again.

He grumbled.

Then she tugged the lead and clicked her shoes, and he followed, down the long, grey hallway.

And it was new, maybe, but he had been that way before, maybe, had smelled the lemon polish on the floor and met the same white doorway at the end, but when was that?

And the door opened onto a wide, blue carpet. He wasn’t surprised. But he couldn’t remember why.

The same blue carpet, hot buzzing lights all around, above, and the smell of a million people, pets, lunches, buses, perfumes, hair gels, just beyond the noise of the light, just invisible, not talking, but breathing, so loudly. And at opposite ends of the carpet, just as before, two strange men stood before him.

She reached down, the nice one, and unclipped his lead. She patted his head and then his rump, and stepped back behind the white door, and it closed.

So he sat on the bright, blue carpet. He wondered if there would be food.

One of the men crouched down. He snapped his fingers loudly. He sang, “Here, Otis! There’s a good boy. Come here, Otis!”

Otis lifted his head towards the crouching man and sniffed the air across the carpet.

Bacon, faint, and the scent was old. The snapping man had nothing.

Otis turned his nose to the other man, the quiet one, and sniffed.

The quiet one made noise. “Hey, old boy. Come ‘ere! Come on!” He clapped his hands.

Otis shook his ears. Nothing but a waft of cheese, hours old. The clapping man was empty, too.

Otis sat.

The snapping man stood. He leaned forward, patted his knees, said, “Who’s a good boy? Who’s that, Otis? Come here, good boy!”

Otis grumbled, and stood, and took a step towards the snapping man.

“NONONO!” yelled clapping man.

Otis stopped, and looked.

“HERE, Otis! Over here!” said clapping man.

Otis turned toward clapping man.

“Nah-ah, boy! Come on, good boy!” said snapping man, louder.

“Otis! Come!” said clapping man.

Otis sat.

There was something to do. Someone to please. This would end, and he would go back to the nice one and the quiet and the brush, but first the puzzle of the carpet men, and the noise of lights and hair gel and old lunch and breathing.

He wished there were food.

Snapping man snapped and leaned and crooned, and clapping man yelled and clapped, and neither of them had a treat in his pocket.

Otis licked his nose.

“Come on, boy! Come on!”

“COME, Otis! Come here!”

Otis walked.

“No, Otis, come! Come on! Good boy!”

“Here, boy, come!”

“OtisOtisOTIS! COME! Here, OTIS!”

Otis stood before the clapping man.

The empty hand came down, touched his head, and then the man stood and waved his arms.

Otis recoiled.

The lights and the millions grew loud, and clicked and flashed.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the 68th president of the United States of America…”

Otis retreated to the white door. It opened.

The nice one followed him down the hall, to the warm, grey quiet of his cage and a stale biscuit waiting, and the metal door clicked shut.

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