Discourse on a Hill

“The country needs you,” the guest implored, short of breath following his lengthy climb. “An entity such as yourself should have no problem bridging the gap between our two parties. Please, accept my offer.”

“I am not the man for whom you search.”

“Why so humble? We both know how perfect you’d be for the job. You’d never break a sweat.”

The man on the hill shrugged his shoulders.

“I admit we once thought you weren’t very special, but a lot of us are changing our minds. Fifty thousand constituents wait at the base of this very hill.”

“Why didn’t they climb up to meet me?”

“Because they didn’t want to dirty their shoes or rip their eveningwear.”


“But we did confer before I made the climb. And they are unanimous in their resolve to get you into Office.”

“I care not for the pleasures of-“

“They’re even willing to elect you retroactively. They can’t go back into the past, but they assume you can. They are right about that, aren’t they?”

“I exist beyond notions of time.”

“Excellent! Just imagine how history will collapse in on itself to accommodate your entry into politics. But here’s the most beautiful thing… your hand shall sweep through recorded history and erase everything the previous holders of this great Office soiled!”

“Wrong already met its end under me.”

“I understand your reluctance to disturb history. But let’s not get too distracted looking at the past. We could just as easily liquidate the present candidates and elect you in their place.”

“Temptation is useless.”

“Perhaps. But I don’t think you fully understand the delights this office provides. Your finger will hover over the Red Button. You’ll be able to melt millions and no one will stop you Your brain will be placed in a vat of saline solution. The scientists looking after it will be ordered – under the penalty of death – to encode enough positive emotions to last a full four years.”

“My worries are memories. For as I am reflected in-“

“And how it tingles! When the scientists drip saline into your vat it feels almost erotic. I know because I’m in one myself. What you see before you is merely a projection of my disembodied will. But don’t think less of me for having no physicality. Most in my line of work subside in saline vats.”

“Your presence has become an anathema to me. In The Name of-“

But the man on the hill lost the magic word as his guest lunged forward. A shriek tore loose from his throat only to be cut short by a salty-tasting hand and the sharp prick of a hypodermic needle. A flash of pain and then nothing – oblivion on all sides.

“Don’t worry,” the guest soothed as the man on the hill’s tongue lolled. “Your brain will only be soup for an hour or two.”

Below, fifty thousand constituents busily carved golden idols as the guest strapped the man to a gurney and rolled him carefully down the hill.

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