[Election ‘016 025] Love, Like a Ghazi in the Wind

[Election ‘016 025] Love, Like a Ghazi in the Wind

“-lary Clinton will go on trial tomorrow in front of a military tribunal for her involvement in 2012 attacks on th-”

“-not believe what she did! If she really didn’t do those terrible things then she should turn over whoever really di-”

“-osby has been exonerated of all of his crimes because at least he isn’t Hil-”

Hillary chucked the remote at the television, drilling a hole in the screen and sending sparks shooting through the shattered glass. She wasn’t even that mad about the reports, to be honest. She just really did not feel like going through all the trouble of pressing the power button. Hillary couldn’t be bothered by whatever Gate she was currently involved in; being embroiled in a nationwide controversy was just like breathing for her. Whitewatergate, Lewinskigate, and now… uhhh…

She could barely remember what they were mad at her for. Was it the thing with those orphans in Serbia? No, that was last time. Did she change her opinion about the gays again? No no no, the gays are pretty popular right now, so there is no reason to hate them. Was… oh… of course it was tha-

DUH DUH DUN DUH DUN. Who the hell would be knocking on her door at this hour? She was staying under a fake name at a Super 8 twenty miles from D.C., it’s not like she was fishing for some filthy plebe to come tell her how inspiring she was. Sometimes she just wished that her subjects would calm down and wait until after her coronation to lavish her with praise. But hey, you can’t look a gift acolyte with an undying devotion to you in the mouth.  

“Who is it?” Hillary asked with the high pitched voice of a British socialite. “There is no presidential candidate here, just a lowly commoner on vacation. Maybe check the Hilton if you are looking for that marvelous Hillary Clinton!”

“Hillary just open up the god damn door,” a voice from the other side said. Hillary opened the door and there he was. The man of her dreams.

“Jesus, get inside before someone sees and tells Bill!” Hillary said, dragging in man into her room and flinging him on the queen size bed beneath a painting of a beach scene.

The man was tall and handsome, with flowing black hair and olive skin that wrapped around his chiseled biceps. He was like someone gave life to a brass statue of some Greek hero or demigod.

“Ben, what the hell are you doing here?! I told you that now was not the time!” Hillary hissed at the man. He was unfazed. Hillary was not. She felt disarmed by his reaction. She wasn’t used to people who didn’t melt into a sniveling as a result of her incessant yelling. The only other was the usurper Sanders, and Hillary dealt with his insubordination the same way a slaughterhouse deals with a cow. But Ben? Ben wasn’t like the rest. Not like that spineless whelp she was roped into marrying or the hundreds of political opponents she had crushed beneath her iron fist. “Just… Okay, fine. Were you followed? Did anyone see you come here?”

“Hills, you know I’m careful. I took three buses here, got off three stops down the road, and took the back alleys to get here just like we discussed.” Ben looked through her with his shimmering green eyes. She had to trust him.

“Alright alright. It’s just…” Hillary sat on the foot of the bed next to Ben. He put his arm around her and cradled her closely. “I don’t want this to end up like… you know…”

“Hillary, look at me.” Ben cradled Hillary’s cheek in his hand. She laid into the warmth of his palm and turned to face him. “This is different. This isn’t some steamy quickie in a truckstop bathroom. This is real.”

“But if they find you they’ll… it doesn’t matter how real this is if we’re stuck behind bars for the rest of our lives.” Hillary pulled Ben’s hand from her face. He wrapped his arm around her and held her closely. His heartbeat filled her head, ticking softly  and steadily like a metronome.

“Shhhhhh. They’ll never find us. We’ll leave here. Move to a different country, assume different identities. Then our kids can live-”

“Ben. I can’t leave the campaign trail now. I’m so close to ascending to… uhm I mean elected to the office of president. This country needs me.”

“Hillary, forget about your throne. Forget about the country. Forget about those people trying to tear us apart. Tonight is for you and me.”

“I… I love you, Ben Ghazi.”

The two embraced. The soft yellow lamplight scurried away into the night and didn’t return until morning.

* * *

“Hillary, you-”

Hillary grimaced at the judge.

“…The Honorable Mrs. Clinton, I mean. You stand accused of being an accomplice to the attack that was carried out on the US consulate in Libya on the night of September 11th and the morning of September 12th, 2012. How do you plea?”

“Not guilty, your honor. I was simply on vacation in Libya at the time of the attack, working on my tan and drinking some strawberry daiquiris. It is a mere coincidence that I happened to be staying in a hotel near the consulate at the time of the attack,” Hillary stated matter of factly. She had a facade of confidence, but beneath that veneer was a core of uncertainty. This controversy wasn’t like the others where the worst case solution was that she got a slap on the wrist and had to give a “heartfelt” apology on CNN. The consequences were much more dire.

“Then how, Hil-… uhm, Madame Clinton, do you explain these pictures?” The judge beckoned to the bailiff, who wheeled over a projector. The lights dimmed as images were cast on the screen dangling over the jury box. The images were blurry, black and white stills from a security camera, but a female shape and a male shape could clearly be distinguished. The female was helping the male through an open window. Another shows the male sitting behind a desk, the female presumably right out of frame.

“Explain what?”

“What do you mean explain what?” The judge snapped back. “We have photographic evidence of you helping some unknown element into this highly secure compound the night before the attack!”

“That could be anyone.” Hillary crossed her arms and twisted away from the judge, nose turned to the sky.

“We have first hand reports from several sources that you were at the consulate and in this very room in which these photos were taken during the window of time indicated. That is about as incriminating as it gets.”

“I have the right to consult with my attorney before answering this question, probably!” Hillary jumped from her seat and pointed her finger at the judge.

“You don’t have a lawyer because, and I quote, ‘acting as your own attorney worked well enough for Ted Bundy.’”

“Uhm… then I need to go use the restroom!”

“Alright, then. Make it quick so we can get this conviction out of the way.”

* * *

Hillary lay in a fetal position inside the handicapped stall.

“Wh-why are they doing th-this to m-m-meeeeee?!” Hillary bawled. “I wo-would be a great president! Th-they just don’t want me to w-win the election!”

Hillary festered on the grime caked tile for a good 15 minutes, crying and wailing about her “coronation” and “divine right to the throne”, before the guard outside beat on the door with his knuckles.

“Come on, Mrs. Clinton, you’re time is up.”

“Shut up y-y-you f-filthy peasant!” Hillary took off her shoe and threw it at the door. “My blood is th-that of the gooooooods!”

“What’s taking so long?” The bailiff asked the bathroom guard. “Judge Gingrich is getting antsy.”

“She’s been crying and talking to herself. I don’t think she’s coming out anytime soon.”

“Jesus Christ, again? I’ll be right back.”

A few minutes of wailing and pouting passed before the bailiff returned. “Mrs. Clinton, Judge Gingrich got upset and went home. The hearings will reconvene in the morning.”

“I am the daughter of Athena and a noble stag!” Hillary threw her other shoe at the door.

* * *

Hillary knocked on the window of her hotel room. “Ben. Ben, are you in there?”

Nobody replied.

Hillary slid her keycard into the lock and entered the dark room. She flipped the lightswitch and the fluorescents in the ceiling flickered into a blinding white light. The room was empty, the queen sized bed neatly made. Hillary looked at the outside doorknob, where the “Do Not Disturb” sign was still dangling. Again she called out to Ben with no reply. The bathroom, closet, and space beneath the sink were all empty. Hillary walked to the nightstand and picked up the receiver but, just as she was about to dial Ben’s number, she noticed a small, rose colored envelope underneath the phone. She frantically tore through the pink paper and unfolded the message inside.

Dear Hillary,

I am sorry that it had to be like this. I couldn’t bear to see the look on your face, knowing that I had abandoned you. I could come up with some flowery euphemism to call what I did, but the fact is I’m leaving you. Don’t you dare think that what we had wasn’t real. Our love was as raw and pure and beautiful. But as much as I wanted to, I had to go. I realize now that a life on the run is no life at all for a woman like you. Every second you are on the campaign trail, I can see it in your eyes; you need a home. A palace. And the people need a ruler. Attached to this letter is a written confession and an address. This is your ticket out of the hell you are living and toward the throne of your dreams. They will find me and I will go away for a long time, but that will be a small price to pay for the knowledge that you are happy.

You will always be my queen,

Ben Ghazi

* * *

“Okay, let’s try this again.” Gingrich cracked his knuckles and plopped down at the bench. “So, Mrs. Clinton. How do you plead, on these counts of espionage, conspiracy to commit an act of terror, and four counts of murder?”

Hillary stared out into the gallery. A thousand faces looked back, but none of them were his. To the far left she could see Bill chatting with some 20-something year old law student. He winked at Hillary and gave her a thumbs up. She didn’t reciprocate.

“You know, Mrs. Clinton, that your sentence would be much more lenient if you would give us the name of the person you were with on that day. You may even get out with enough time to run in 2044.” Gingrich grinned. Hillary kept looking ahead.

“We have this information. We know that someone by the name of ‘Ben Ghazi’ was the one who planned those attacks, we just need a face to match the name. Is that the young man you were with? Did he win your heart over? Are you just trying to get back at Bill? I mean, I wouldn’t commit international terrorist attacks over some one night stand, but love is strange.”

Hillary looked up at Gingrich and cleared her throat. He sat there, expecting an answer or at least a snide remark.

“I’ll take that as a no, then. Well, I guess we’ll have to convict you now and find your little boyfriend later.” Gingrich lifted his gavel. “This court find the defendant g-”

“Wait!” Hillary slammed her hands on the table. She stood up in her seat, one foot on the chair and the other on the desk in front of her. “I… I am Ben Ghazi.”

The crowd besides Bill let out a collective gasp. Bill sat there and chuckled to himself, likely remembering a good knock knock joke or something.

“Ben Ghazi is my code name. That man had nothing to do with the attack. I thought of it. I planned it. I carried it out.”

“And why would you admit this now? You knew you were getting life anyway.”

“Well, Newt, it’s life in prison or the chair. I would prefer to die sitting down.”

“Very well. This court finds the defendant, one Hillary ‘Ben Ghazi’ Clinton, guilty of all charges. The sentence is death by electrocution.” The gavel fell and Hillary sat back down in her chair. The chatter and flashes of the rabble of a thousand journalists surrounded her. She pulled out a crumpled piece of paper from her pantsuit and tossed it into the wastebasket.

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