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I'm Not Bitter
by Aaron Troye-White

I“I love the sound of woodpeckers.”

“Mr. President, we're 15 feet underground.”

“It's a fantasy, for my sanity.” He rubbed the fingers of his right hand through what was left of his grey hair, even less than when he'd entered office three years prior. “How much time do we have?”

“It depends on what tools they have, but they're already chipping away at the concrete. They'll use explosives if necessary.”

“I'd better keep going then.” He traced his index finger along the barrel of the revolver on his desk. “Take this down...I gave you everything I'd promised. Free health care, education. We've never been more equal. Sure, we lost Bezos to Luxembourg, but we don't need him. This country is built on us, together, not the few. They said my ideas were impossible, I'd be bad for business, but we've never seen more business. The streets, they have stores, stores like in the past, stores where you know the owner, cause he's there behind the counter...Surely one of the generals will protect me. It's their job.”

“Sir, you've gutted the military. Every general joined the coup.”

“And the people. Where are the people? The people love me!”

“You know how the people are. Willing to die for the cause, then after two weeks, they got bored and went home.”

“I shouldn't have legalized marijuana!”

“Let's be honest, the billionaires' smear campaign was pretty good.”

The bunker shook, throwing the president off his chair. He grabbed the edge of his desk and pulled himself up. “Take this down!...I am not, nor have ever been a communist. I'm a Keynesian! And I never went back on what I believe. I love this country and I never let the oligarchs take me!” He picked up the pistol and brought to his temple, let out a long exhale from his nose, and pulled the trigger.



“You banned handguns, remember?”

“What is this, then?”

“It's a lighter. A joke gift from the NRA.”

He tossed it across the bunker. “They're hopeless, aren't they? Fuck 'em. Take this down....I'm not bitter, but you don't deserve this great country anymore. If you prefer morally bankrupt billionaires over your own best interests, then let me show the world they'll give you.” He removed his glasses, used the back of his palm to wipe the concrete dust from his brow, then placed the glasses on his desk. “Bring me the football!”

“Sir, you dismantled the nuclear problem last year.”