Election Season I match the stars in the patriot's eyes with 50 lashes from My belt. The bite of each strike cuts stripes into its bare body. Makes a red, white and blue collage. Cute. It's a workout, but that's OK. Keeps Me fit, looking good. That's important. Image is everything during election season. I motion for My bodyguard to check its restraints and quiet it down. Each of its four limbs keep flexing against the knots. I can't have it breaking free. Or making too much noise. Control is important during election season. My bodyguard understands this control well. He uses both hands so the patriot can't speak or move. Good. I trade the belt for a steel baton. It's made special for Me, with a two-handed grip and spear point. I burrow the point into the patriot's torso like a wiggling parasite. The baton shovels My stress deep inside its creamed insides. A clear mind is essential in election season. I get bored with the baton. My bodyguard hands Me a trench knife. My favorite. Good thing I'm not dressed yet. The patriot does not do well with the trench knife. Not at all. Neither does the wall, the floor and the hotel room beneath me. Even the bodyguard looked away. Doesn't matter. I rented the entire hotel. No one's going to say anything. If they do, I'll tell them I was attacked. Good campaign material for election season. My bodyguard taps his watch and reminds Me of My schedule. I can't play much longer. I lean down next to the patriot's ear and say, "Your country thanks you for your service." I nod to the bodyguard. He nods back. He knows the drill. I soap up in the shower. Knead a few piles of bullshit in my head for the speech. Freedom this. Liberty that. Election season, it's just a formality. The win, that's what I want. They'll hand me hundreds of millions of patriots, not just one. Between "rinse" and "repeat," I hear the crack of a handgun. A good man, that bodyguard. Too good. And just like anything else in politics, you need to trim the tree after you take the fruit. He'll be next. Maybe after the speech. "Ready to go, Mr. President?" it says after I'm dressed. I like when it assumes I’ve got the election in the bag already. I toss a tissue into the trash and avoid eye contact with the dead thing on the bed. Turning to the bodyguard, I say to it, "Ready. Let's get to that speech." BIO: Benjamin Sobieck is the author of the "Cleansing Eden" crime novel, the Maynard Soloman crime humor series and many short works. His website is CrimeFictionBook.com.