The lighting rig creaked as Ted Cruz kneeled atop the metal trusses. Thousands of people rustled beneath him, mumbling to each other about thugs and ISIS and welfare between mouthfuls of popcorn and soda. These were Ted’s kind of people. He used to fill town halls and lecture halls full of wide eyed, white skinned, blue collared Americans like these. They would come for miles to hear him preach the American truth. About how his family heard the sweet song of Lady Liberty and pierced through the iron curtain to fall into the warm embrace of her bosom. About how, with nothing but sticktoitiveness and and the grace of God Almighty, he overcame adversity to seize his dream, one which is shared with all young patriotic boys; becoming a Junior Senator from Texas.
But they weren’t here for Ted. Ted couldn’t fill a minivan these days because of him. That’s why he had to die.
Ted flung the canvas bag off of his shoulder and unzipped it, pulling out an old mahogany box. He flicked up the rusted latch and pulled open the lid. Inside were three pieces, the barrel, scope, and body of a sniper rifle, each resting in their own molded foam inlay. The scuffed black metal of the pieces faded into a cloudy silver. The stock of the weapon was simple, a light walnut worn from decades of use, but the marks of age along its side formed words. La paz es la sangre de los tiranos, the weapon read above a dozen tally marks.
Ted knew those words well. Every time a world leader or public official would die, Ted’s father would sit him in front of the TV and tell him to watch. He would say that phrase and nothing more. Then they would sit in silence until the news was over. At first he was confused and for many years he was scared, but he eventually understood what his father meant, although he refused to accept it. Blood didn’t have to be spilled to make change. Words were more powerful than bullets.
How naive he was. It took him 15 years of grovelling and clawing his way up the political ladder before he realised it, but his father was right. He tried to sway the will of the people, to help them see the light, but he was made the nation’s laughing stock. One man, no matter how noble his intentions or unwavering his conviction, cannot make a difference with words alone. Change is paid for with blood.
The crowd erupted, rattling the auditorium. There he was, stepping up to the podium. Donald J. Trump. Ted grabbed the body of the rifle from the case and slid the barrel into place with a sharp click. He snapped the scope on top of the weapon and trained his aim toward the stage. All he could see was a dull orange fuzz, but every crease and flap of Donald’s face came into focus as Ted adjusted the scope knobs.
Ted’s hand sweated. His finger trembled as it clung loosely to the trigger. He took a deep breath. His pulse slowed. Ted’s finger hugged the cold metal tighter as he pulled the trigger.