Prompt Images

[The post-climactic desert sun beats mercilessly upon the decrepit border town, bleaching everything gray and barren in the blistering 113-degree heat. Dust swirls in the scorching wind, kicked up by two pairs of boots coming to meet in the middle of the street. Sweat trickles down the deep crevasses of Biden’s face underneath his aviator sunglasses; Trump’s brassy blond mop fans and flops over his hawkish eyes in the hot wind.]

TRUMP: Well, well, Crooked Joe, I didn’t think you’d be brave enough to show up today.

BIDEN: You think I’d back away from a meeting with you, Mr. Trump? Never. Your inflammatory rhetoric, and the extreme ideology it encourages, threaten the health of our country. I show up today to stand for truth, and stop the assault on American democracy.

TRUMP: [scoffs] Is that so, Joe? Some things never change. Which Fake News have you been reading again?

BIDEN: [sighs] There is no such thing as “fake news,” Donald. The American people are tired of the misinformation that you and your followers have endlessly marketed to an innocent and trusting population.

TRUMP: “Misinformation?” The only “misinformation” I’m seeing around here is that you stole a legitimate election. And that you bribed people to certify it, and betray me. Like Liddle Mike Pence, who thinks his britches are big enough to challenge me in this next election. [turns to look behind him, gesturing.] Go back to preschool, Mike!

[The hot wind gusts, carrying a faint smell of smoke. Biden, sweating, widens his stance, hands on hips.]

BIDEN: The election was thoroughly investigated and vetted by our national government, Donald. The results have been certified to be true and accurate. And because of your efforts to undermine and contest the results, and thus the entire United States democratic system, you have been charged, most deservedly, with multiple felonies. Any further protest that the election was not true or fair is a bald-faced lie, and a deliberate attempt to manipulate the public for your own gain.

TRUMP: [smiles and laughs, adjusting his belt, which holds a well-oiled pair of .357’s.] Manipulate the public? There’s no manipulation here, Crooked Joe, only corruption—you’ve used our taxpayer dollars to bribe our elected officials (including Liddle Mike Pence, so sad) and illegally flip the election in your favor.

[Trump turns toward the listing buildings behind him, opening his hands, palms up]

TRUMP: Do you see this? Do you see what he’s doing here?

[Flashes of red baseball caps can be seen nodding from behind the casements of decrepit windows. A faint cry of “Let’s Go, Brandon!” in a vaguely Italian accent carries across the hot, dead air.]

TRUMP: He’s spreading more fake news! Don’t believe his lies!

[Murmuring in Italian rises, carried on the hot wind. Smoke from distant wildfires begins to waft through the crumbling town, intermittently shrouding, then revealing the adversaries.]

BIDEN: [shifts stance, removes a handkerchief from his pocket and wipes brow] I see what you’re doing here, Donald. It’s exactly what so many fascist regimes have done in the past. You’ve surely heard the phrase, ‘history repeats itself’?—you are undermining and obfuscating reality by accusing your adversaries of the same underhanded tactics you yourself are using, in order to obscure the truth and deflect blame from yourself.

TRUMP: [coughing drily in the smoke] Deflect blame? This is all baseless persecution. I have always followed the law and the Constitution. The Biden Crime Family, however, is using tactics similar to Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union to silence legitimate voices and swing the balance of power toward their favor. Am I right, people? [looks around, nodding] Give it up, Joe! You can’t win.

[A cloud of dust grows larger on the horizon as it moves toward them—it is Vladimir Putin, bare-chested astride a lathered horse, shouldering a rocket launcher, which glints in the sun.]

BIDEN:  [licks lips nervously] Uhhh… [looks offscreen to the lower right, towards a seemingly abandoned tank.]

TRUMP: [grinning] That’s right, Joe! We’re coming for you!

BIDEN:  [Continues looking offscreen and listening, as if to instructions. Softly.] Huh? Okay. Yeah. I got it.

BIDEN: [Straightens, fumbles with the .22 at his belt.] You won’t get away with this, Donald. The American people understand now what you’re doing, and it’s not going to work anymore.

TRUMP: [Laughs] Look at that! All he’s brought are a pair of wimpy .22’s to a presidential gunfight! How do you think your little toys will fare against my .357 Magnums, Joey? Maybe you should go and join Liddle Mike Pence in preschool. This fight is for grownups!

[Biden continues to fumble at his belt. Suddenly a drone zips overhead, startling the pair. Biden’s gun discharges unexpectedly, harmlessly, into the ground, causing Trump to duck while Biden yelps. Secret Service agents appear instantly from nowhere and circle both parties protectively, while red caps swarm en masse from an abandoned storefront, shouting and waving signs. Biden allows himself to be quickly ushered offscreen while Trump yells and struggles, the crowd around him swelling and churning.]


TRUMP: [Screaming] What the fuck?!?


SECRET SERVICE: We’ve got you, Mr. Former President, please relax and let us handle things.

TRUMP: [Fumbling for his .357, which falls in the dust] Help! He shot me! Help! He shot me, Rudy! [looks around wildly] Where are you, Rudy? Fix it! Come on, fix it, Rudy, fix it!

[Red caps begin to attack the Secret Service, yelling and chanting. Campaign signs are trampled underfoot. All that can be seen of Trump is pudgy hands waving overhead, diamond cufflinks flashing from his bespoke suit, as the Secret Service and red-hatted mob struggle together. Smoke and dust swirl in the hot wind as the scene zooms out and fades to black.]

Heather Shaff

Heather Shaff is a cyclist, writer, and mom based in Boston. She's fascinated by all things growth, motivation, and learning... and will drop everything for chocolate ice cream.

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