“Populus Lennox is a politician, infamous for his rule. Lennox is a fat man with a face that resembles both a pig and a wolf. On television he is shown wearing a black fitting suit, and a small red tie, barely tucked into his coat. His voice is coarse and monotonous, it is deep, without fault, and is recognized by the people of the country. He used to carry a slogan with him during his campaigning days, and it played on televisions everywhere, on the hour. ‘I AM HERE’, it simply stated in his unrefined voice. It created a godly image of him, as the liberator of the world that has finally arrived. It also intimidated people, as the commercial was only a shot of the top of his head to the end of his small tie, with a black background, making him pop out of the very screen. I am here, he would say. That was many years ago. The only thing left of the slogan is on billboards, and painted on the side of concrete buildings. A heavy fine is placed on anyone that obstructs the self-induced monuments, but it doesn’t stop vigilantes from demeaning, depriving, and diminishing Populus Lennox’s image for the people of the country to admire. He had managed to implode the country’s economy; the worst in decades. He does nothing to stop it, his accumulating wealth built on the pennies, nickels, and dimes scavenged by the people of the country. We are forced to rebel against ourselves, as Populus Lennox thinks it just to reward the left side of the country with the wealth, and lives, of the right. Populus was the start of a new age, or the reverse to another that should have long been removed as an option. It was a time of change; it was a time that passed. It’s been four years, to the day, since Populus Lennox died, from an injury to his large swelled head. People have forgotten his ways, the calamities he has created… Nothing. They have been brainwashed to think that he has done things for the best… I have not. He does not deserve to be remembered, to be celebrated, just for the day off from oiling the gears that run our country, my country. He deserves to rot in the gold encrusted coffin he was buried in, he deserves to be scorned, not mourned. He deserves a far more brutal death, of agony and infinite melancholy, of pain and thirst, hunger, and absolute weakness. He deserves all those things and more. That’s all I know. That’s all I’m going to say. Can I go now?” said the man.
The woman sitting across from him pressed a misshapen red square button, and picked up the papers and pens scattered on the table. She stood up, and told him he couldn’t.
“You can’t do this! This is not just! I demand a lawyer! I demand it!” But he could not be heard, the door slammed quickly shut. The man looked around the room, searching for something in need. He could not find anything; the room was painted grey, and the table was a lighter shade of grey, and the simple colours were reflected on the two walls of the mirrors opposite of each other, carrying the image of the man and the table in an endless lane. The man stared into the reflection, and looked so deeply into his eyes, that he could see different eyes, the eyes of a doctor.
“I know you’re there. I know you can see me. Let me out. I promise you! I will kill you.”
His finger pressed hard on the mirror; the tip of his finger turned white from the prestigious power. It left one dotted fingerprint on the mirror. Guards came into the room. One was large and bald and carried handcuffs; the other was there to calm him down, if needed. The man’s fists clenched as the two thousand guards in the mirror came and restrained him, and led him out of the room, and into another. This room was grander in size than the one before, but grey all the same. They let him loose and locked the door behind him, leaving him in the room alone.
“You’re not going to fill me in? You’re not going to indulge me? You bastards. I’m going to get out of here. I want… My lawyer. I’m tired!”
The man sat down in exhaustion. As he did, a voice came on from a speaker in the ceiling. It told him to get up, and choose. It called him sir. In the room were three grey tables, separated by glass, with openings at each end for the man to enter. The first table had a television placed on it, showing a black and white film, with a lone dancing woman, in a blank canvas. She was wearing a black suit jacket and a bathing suit, with a tilted bowler hat loosely placed on her head. The second table was covered with a mound of gold bars, stacked like a pyramid. The third was an unmarked box, small and wooden cased.
“I know which one you want me to choose!” He shouted, louder than needed. He thought quietly, slowly examining the options. His eyes were drawn to the television numerous times. The lady danced sensually, and aroused the man. He could smell, taste, and hear the gold bars calling him; he could see himself perfectly in its raw reflection. The box called his curiosity, unsure of what he would expect if he decided to choose it. He decided. He went to the first door, and entered. He watched the dancer move elegantly, every step making his heart beat ever so faster. She slowed down, and walked towards the camera. She leaned forward, her eyes calling him, and she whispered softly, “Minya zorvut-“and then she disappeared, and was replaced with the image of Populus Lennox.
“I AM HERE.”
“Wait what- what’s this! Turn that off! Bring her back! Goddammit bring her back!”
The two guards came back into the room. Crying could be heard from the hallway. The guard prepared the handcuffs.
“No! No! No! No! I am not leaving until I finish that film! I am not leaving until… Please-“
He couldn’t finish the sentence. He vomited on the guard’s shoes. They put him in handcuffs. He was thrown into another room. It was the smallest of the rooms, and mirrored on every wall. In the middle of the room was a bed with grey sheets, and an extravagant blanket folded on the side. To the left of the bed was a black oversized suit, with a small red tie, on a single bent hanger.
Photo credits to Zoe Hastings.