Fiction: “Sarcophagy at Mar-a-Lago” by Derick Dupre

You’ve never seen a colder bunker. Of course I got this rigged with a.c., naturally the best and coldest, ice cold as the backseat of your grandma’s cadillac. There’s nothing fresher than what’s here I guarantee it. This is one of the finest examples of civil defense on the entire globe and that’s including Antarctica, which may even be warmer than it is here. I’m kidding. Of course I’m being sarcastic about Antarctica. But in terms of degrees, we’re talking a nice and icy and successful sixty-six.

So back up there, I was showing them what groveling was. What of it. You hit me I hit back. That’s life. You stab me I’ll blow you back to the Bronze Age. Away. Blow you away. Back to the Bronze Age. With immense firepower. For the record, I’ve never blown anybody believe me. But if you hand me a lesson, I’ll do everything I can to unhand myself, that’s all I’m saying.

I don’t know who that is but he looks like he works for us. They said it’d be a guy named Udo Kier, German guy, one of the good ones. So Udo Kier is here. They tell me he’s been in some softcore stuff. You know the one. Where he crashes the Fiat into an empty swimming pool? Classic. Not that I have any experience with that believe me. But that’s what they say.

So I could’ve settled but didn’t out of principle. It’s like we say to the hirelings on the first day: There’s room to grow if you just show up. I know what it’s like to be marginalized. You think it was easy for me? I tell people, you just don’t know what it was like in those days. Horrible, absolutely, whole days like nightmares. You just can’t imagine the discrimination we faced in 1997. But we won, and the flag is as old and high-flying as the song says. That’s the American Dream isn’t it. Very American. Grand.

I actually had a dream recently. Maybe Udo Kier wants to hear. I was walking through some back streets in a very bad place. There were Americans on one side and Germans on another. A clear divide, just like in the forties. One of the Germans, a middle-aged man, blond guy, tough guy, in a green polo and khaki shorts, which is something I actually wear, he came to the front. He says, in German, which I don’t speak much of, he says we’re a lot alike. He pointed to a long line of stalls with all sorts of goods: candy, toys, that kind of commodity that, historically, and I know the history of markets, that Germans actually aren’t known for.  He goes, See, we’re not so different after all. The Germans cheered him on. Then I saluted him. As he walked away, I noticed that he had a big gun, huge, a real nasty Luger with a wooden grip, it was tucked in the back of his khakis. He turned around and shot me in the face.

I walked over to German guy and he handed me a silver ring he was wearing, I guess as a sorry for shooting me in the face. Serves him right. He’s lucky I didn’t sue. I put the ring in a silk handkerchief the color of burgundy, which I actually use when I wear the green polo and khakis. You’ll see, or you won’t. I’ll let you feel a little suspense regarding the use of the handkerchief. Then I woke up.

But here’s the thing Udo. I like that name by the way, Udo Kier, sounds like one of Jean-Georges’s cocktails. Here’s the thing. I didn’t die and I didn’t wake up. I’ve had shooting dreams before and I always wake up. I didn’t wake up this time.

I was dreaming in the dream. You ever do that? Very strange. Makes you think. So I hadn’t been shot but I wasn’t awake. But I still had the ring. And I was in this bad place, and I had no idea, absolutely no idea what to do next. That is very unlike me. Nothing like me. And that made me think. Maga.

Later on there were a lot of women in white bikinis dancing on a beach. But that’s normal for me, whenever I remember a dream, that’s always the last thing I remember dreaming.

My wife, my wonderful wife, where is she, she doesn’t like to hear my dreams. She’ll tell me to tell it to a therapist. Dream therapy? Are you kidding? I’m kidding. I love my wife. But she’s probably just mad about the women in the bikinis. Most of whom appear to resemble my beautiful daughter, my daughter, where is she?

I mean let’s not have a debate on who’s the cuter tycoon. We all know who’s winning that one. And it’s not my son, one of the legitimates at least, where are they now, I mean see that’s the problem with sons Udo, it’s like drinking, have one too many and next thing the media’s all over you for things you did or didn’t say.

It’s like they say, damned if Udo, damned if Udon’t. I’m kidding. They don’t say that. But I am quick like that sometimes. You never know with me. Unpredictable. That’s why we’re here.

Now there’s more than just one of these. We have three. We have three of the best bomb shelters, highest-rated by the top security firms. Unbustable. I want to call them bunkers but some of the contractors shied away from the German, said it went off-brand, said let’s keep it American. I said great. I said American. I said let’s just tell it like it is then. People love that. People need be told how like it it really is.

Mrs. Post couldn’t have dreamed of these underground rooms. She wouldn’t have dreamed of constructing some of the top civil defense structures in the history of civil defense structures. I did, Udo. I dreamed of them, and within a month I had legitimate, actual, big-time blueprints in my hands. That’s what dreams get you in this country. An orientation to quality results. Tell that to my wife who won’t listen to my dreams, wherever she is. I went to Wharton.

But if I were a Post, I’d be proud of how the business is doing, how extremely well the business is outperforming its competition. Forget Golden Valley. Forget Battle Creek. It’s Post country in here. That’s why, in honor of the Posts, one of the country’s finest, smartest families, all we have down here is Crispy Critters. The ones with orange moose naturally. I had one of my guys, one of my toughest negotiators buy up a lot at Christie’s. We hardly paid a cent. Once upon a time it was the one and only cereal that came in the shape of animals. Now there are thousands. It’s incredible. It’s terrific how many hard-working people have made money on cereal in the shape of animals.

Although maybe you don’t remember Crispy Critters, Udo. I bet you were busy eating muesli. I never had a taste for it. But I have amazing, immense respect for exotic foods like that. Nobody respects muesli more than I do. I love it. It’s one of the few things I love about the Swiss. And I’ve seen the Alps and believe me, they’ve got nothing on our mountain ranges.

Speaking of America, it’s like I always say, less slowdowns, more startups. I mean just take a look at the cloud, back when we still had a cloud. It’s incredible, how fast it became so cloudy, how much money went into and out of the cloud. And a lot of those startups were family-run, mom-and-pop, racially-pure businesses that were going gangbusters in record time. Victory. It’s inspiring.

Maga.

And now here we are. I think it’s time to bust open some Crispy Critters. A toast to Post. The boxes are still sealed, so you know it’s gonna be fresh, the freshest cereal in the shape of animals you’ve ever had, Udo. These things age like a French wine and I know a thing or two about French wines. One of my sons is into wine and another is into cereal, so I think I’m qualified to make that assessment believe me.

But wait Udo, this is bad, bad news, the fucking things have turned to dust. I should have my buyer, where is he, wherever he is I should have a word with him, he’s as good as fired if you really want to know the truth. I don’t even want to think about the lot of Post Size 8 we got for the other shelters.

Now I know I should probably wait a few days, but I’m gonna need to eat your face off. I guarantee you won’t feel a thing. It’s in the rule-book, Udo, not even in the fine print, the face-eating clause is right there in big English, and they told me you were bilingual. I had some of the best lawyers draft this up and it’s one hundred percent legal in a situation like ours. It’s constitutional and I love the constitution. If you didn’t read the rule-book, well I didn’t either to be honest with you, but it’s right there plain as the nose on your face, which I’m about to eat off. A nice and icy sixty-six is what my chef, my personal chef, smart guy, Greystone guy, he said sixty-six is the ideal temperature for tartare. Now just smile and hold still.

***
Derick Dupre is the author of Frail Shrines (Shotgun House). His work has appeared in publications including Hobart, Spork, Fanzine, and Sleepingfish.

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