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He calmed himself with a lingering look toward the Tyrrhenian Sea. The horizon heralded heavy weather. Thunderstorms seemed apt, given the circumstances.

The dismissed former Speaker of the House shot another disgusted look at his iPhone. He turned toward his tiny Zoom-studio, nothing more than an olivewood shack alongside the stand of lemon trees terraced behind Artisté Laboratorio, a painting and pottery gallery on Amalfi Coast Road he had run since 2025. He had been part of the Spring Purge and allowed to pursue whatever passions he desired, so long as he left the country, the soon-to-be re-christened Great American States. The 2024 Ukraine vote had sealed his excommunication, but he had been luckier than most.

He shivered when he thought about Liz and Mitt.

He peeled off his polo, slapped on a clean white shirt, and deliberated over the blue vs. red clip-on tie, finally choosing red; no sense in rocking the boat. He didn’t bother changing his shorts, though he knew the backs of his sweaty thighs would peel like ancient duct tape off the faux leather desk chair after he shot his 11-minute segment for CNN. He chose the Appeal to Heaven background, one of three approved for appearances on state media.

The things he had to do to pay for life in Amalfi.

Wolf Blitzer’s head, adorned in the standard issue white shirt and red tie, filled his computer monitor.

“We’re pleased to have former Speaker Johnson to comment on the events of this dark day.”

“Good evening, Wolf, thank you for having me on. The assassination of former Vice President Pence is a sad time for America, but it allows us to move on in celebration of tomorrow’s august occasion: the final inauguration of President-for-Life Trump.”

Dan Farkas

Dr. Daniel H. Farkas is a molecular pathologist who has published extensively and spoken on the topic internationally. Dan Farkas, on the other hand, is an itinerant New Yorker living just outside The D. His joys in life come from creative writing, photography, the music of his youth, his wife and kids, and sometimes the NY Rangers. #LGM

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