STORY: President Herod

A few days before Epiphany, I wanted to put the Christmas story into a modern context. None of the characters are meant to reflect current public personas.


The three Saudi princes stood in the Oval office, oil stock bonds worth billions hanging in their hands. When the US President had heard the net worth of these three businessmen from the East he quickly gave them audience. However now they withheld the gifts from the outreaching hand of the president.


"You mean, you have not heard of the new candidate?" said the most serious and eldest of the princes, the shimmer of silver in his beard.


The President and his cabinet looked at each other. The president responded gruffly. "He's a democrat? You know we're neck deep in winning an election, don't you?"


The same prince slowly dropped his hand and replied, "We aren't so familiar with political parties. Our sources say he has ancient royalty in his blood, and that is what is important to us. And for any man with his credentials, history of service, and international following, we assumed the nation would be eager to embrace a president like him. We meant for this to be a congratulations. We're sorry for the confusion."


The moment the princes left, the president shot out his hand. The aid hesitantly handed him a phone as he said, "It appears he's not on social media." His name keeps popping up in little local papers across Texas, and some major headlines in Brussels, but I can't really find much else about him. All I can tell, Mr. President, is that he comes from a blue collar Mexican immigrant family, last living in a suburb of El Paso. People keep suggesting him for president."


***


The next night in a small dark shack, a sun-aged man in a baggy denim shirt picked up his ringing cell phone with work-hardened hands. "Bueno? . . . Digame . . . Ahora? . . . Andale." He looked to his old, gray-haired wife and then said something in Spanish to his 25 year old son."


The young man responded. "ICE? 50,000 people in just El Paso today?"


"Si. Y mas viene. The president said we need some new papers. Even you, my son would not be able to stay."


Less than an hour later they escaped yet again into the night.


Raw Spoon, 12-29-19

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