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Photo by Dave Lowe on Unsplash

Mitch pushed his achy body up from the prison cot and tossed the small paperback he’d been reading on the nightstand between the cell’s two beds. Over his wire-frame spectacles, slightly askew on his turtle nose, he stared in resignation at his president. Donald sat on his well-worn cot, squeezing the last bit of bronzer from a tube he’d purchased a month ago at the prison commissary.

“Donald, I found another one for your list.” Mitch said, gesturing at the dog-eared book.

Busy applying a dab to the fold between his first and second chin, Donald answered, “My MILF list? Gazelle is on that list. Lovely Gazelle, I wish her well. Ivanka is . . .”

“No, Mr. President. It’s another writer you want to sue for libel.”

“My libel list. Got it.” Donald smeared the precious last bit of bronzer across his plump cheek and reached for a clipboard, thick with legal paper. “Shoot.”

“It’s by Ann James.”

“Is that with an “e”?

“No, no “e”.

“A-n-n J-a-m-s.”

“No, Donald, no “e” in Ann.”

“You said no “e”.

“It’s A-n-n J-a-m-e-s.”

“Got it.” Number 342 of the people I’m gonna sue for libel. Right after Allan Ishaac, Jew boy writing terrible articles about me. Every day while I was in office. Fake News!”

Her book is “Dust Devil: Tales from the High Desert.”

Donald proceeded to write: “Dust Devil Tails from the Hi Dessert.”

Mitch peered over his wire-framed glasses. “No, it’s. . . ” he paused, then shrugged. “Never mind. Close enough. It’s fiction. Published in 2017. She doesn’t use a name, but insinuates she’s writing about you — a short-term precedent, impeached, imprisoned, and imploded.”

“Imploded? What the hell?”

After a “not-long-enough prison term”, precedent retires to Nuevo Panadero, Nevada.”

“Is that in Mexico? I’m not going to live in Mexico. It’s full of drug cartels, criminals and rapists.”

“Nevada, Mr. President. A utopia for the über wealthy near Baker, Nevada, in the high desert, where you are on the maiden voyage of the world’s first working Holodek when it implodes.”

“Implodes?”

“Implodes. Like, you know, kaboom!”

“But I survive it, right?”

“Initially.”

Her writing muse lurks in the volcanic hills amidst mustangs, marmots and jackalopes. While hiking with her dogs, Ann stumbles upon stories of dark humor.

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