Somewhere... in the cosmos...
"You sent for me, sir?
"Yes, Clarence. A man down on Earth needs our help."
"Splendid! Maybe then, sir, maybe then I'll get my wings?"
It was Christmas Eve and President Obama was sitting in the Oval Office brooding. Come the new year, he would be out and a new president would be sworn in, but there was so much left to do.
So much left to do.
Like every president who served before him, he worried about his legacy these last few days in public office. Was he too hard on Israel? Too easy on radical Islam? Should he have secured the border and fixed the ailing economy? Was it wise to bring potential terrorists possibly disguised as political refugees into the country?
Well, it was too late now. History would judge him by the results of his efforts, not by the nobility of his intentions.
"Oh, my," a voice said. "Aren't we sad."
"Who are you?" he yelped. "How did you get in here?"
Obama knew his words were weak, but they were all he had.
"I'm Clarence," the little man said. "Your guardian angel."
"Oh..." Obama said, getting his self-assurance back, "my guardian angel. Why didn't you say so? HELP! HELP! SECURITY!"
"Your secret service cannot hear you."
"Are they frozen in time?"
"No, they're busy watching Little Lupe videos. She reminds them of the good times they used to have at the Hotel Caribe in Cartegena, Columbia."
Obama shrugged in defeat. He knew it was true.
"Well, what do you want? What do you want from the most powerful man in the world?"
"Just a few moments of your time. Come," the rumpled man said. "Come with me to the future."
Obama thought for a second, remembering a conservation he once had with string-theory physicist Dr. Michio Kaku, and then asked, "Is it really our future or just one of many possible futures?"
Clarence closed his eyes, and then spoke sagely.
"Always in motion, is the future," he said. "Difficult to see."
Obama lifted a skeptical eyebrow.
"You're quoting Yoda?"
"Quote Star Wars, I must. Ye-esss, hee-hee-hee-hee-hee-hee."
The rumpled man hobbled over to one section of the office and opened the false wall, a hidden exit in case of emergencies. Obama thought he was the only one who knew about its existence, but apparently not. Beyond the opening it was blurry, hazy. A mist billowed off the ground about three feet. Obama wasn't sure if he should go any further.
"Barry!" came a barking at the door proper. It was his wife, Michelle. "I know you're in there, Barry! Quit crying and come to bed!"
"Hey! Wait for me!" Clarence cried out, as the president ran past him into the unknown.
Obama stood there, on the other side. On the other side of what? he thought to himself. Obama looked around. All he could see were shifting images, moving past and melding into each other. It was a visual whirlpool of displaced perceptions, all of it swirling around him. He was at a focal point, but a focal point of what, exactly?
"Of time," Clarence explained, finally catching up. "Einstein once said that time was created so everything wouldn't happen at once. Well, this is where everything happens at once."
"I understand," Obama said, not understanding.
"Follow me," the little man said, walking in one direction.
"Okay," Obama agreed, walking in the other.
"NO! This way!"
"I am going that way."
"No, you're not."
"Yes, I am."
Frustrated, Clarence followed the president. Ultimately, it led them to one of their destinations. It could have been one of the bombed out European cities during World War Two, or it could have been Ground Zero on 9-11, but it was Israel of the future. Crumbling buildings. rubble on the streets, the smell of death and sewage in the air.
"Where are we?" Obama wanted to know.
"Tel Aviv," Clarence told him. "The Palestinians were finally true to Iran's President Amanindajon's vow to destroy Israel."
"It can't be," the president said, on the verge of an actual emotion.
"But it is," Clarence told him. "Follow me."
"Okay," Obama said, and again moved in the opposite direction.
Clarence sighed, and then ran to catch up. they found themselves in another bombed-out husk of a building. The dead littered the floor. The living cried and screamed for help.
"Where are we now?" Obama asked, but deep down he didn't really want to know.
"Do you really want to know?" Clarence asked, as if reading his mind.
"Not really," Obama told him. "Didn't you read the previous paragraph?"
"Besides," Clarence continued, "I believe in your heart you know where we are. Still, I'll tell you anyway. It's America. One of your sanctuary cities. with your lax immigration policies, open borders, and influx of tens of thousands of refugees from countries sworn to destroy America, this is the result. You can't embrace a belief system that wants to kill you. Now, please, follow me."This time Obama followed, and he saw an America with doctors on street corners holding up "Will Heal For Food" signs. There were Planned Parenthood offices advertising, "Abortions! Two For The Price Of One!" Hospitals were forced to perform free gender-reassignment surgeries.
He saw a vast global government running the world, their IRS agents dressed like Nazi OSS officers, and our American soldiers reduced to sweeping the streets of foreign cities, chanting, "A clean street is a safe street."
Cities were in bankruptcy from supporting the homeless, the jobless, the American citizenship-less. Walmarts were closed, churches shuttered, and unemployment and welfare offices full. It was a society where only the bodyguards of politicians and celebrities were allowed to have guns. Obama saw people lined up to become Democrats, because without the "mark" of the liberal they couldn't conduct business.
"There, Mr. President," Obama's guardian angel spoke, "there's your future. What do you think of your legacy now?"
Obama wiped away a tear.
"It's wonderful," he said.
as published in Desert Exposure Magazine