The voting came, and the voting went, and the election was over. The incumbent mayor had lost.
The round man stared at himself in the mirror. “Oh, god…”
He washed his hands, and exited the bathroom, stepping out into the dark, wooden hallway of city hall.
“FUCK!” he shrieked. The curse echoed over the walls, fuck… fuck… fuck… fuck…
A woman carrying a stack of paper jumped, without dropping the copies.
The mayor held up his hands to her in apology. “Sorry,” he mumbled. “Sorry.”
She stepped closer to him. “It’s okay, Mayor. It’s okay to lose.” The woman placed her hand on his shoulder. He really is a fat one, she found herself thinking.
The mayor felt tears streaking down and over his cheeks, and at that, he let out a moan and a yelp. Then, he cried, fully. The woman rubbed his shoulder.
“It’s really okay,” she said, again, although, she felt remarkably uncomfortable to see a fat man cry, so.
“Yeah!” the mayor sobbed. “Easy for you to say!”
She supposed he was right.
“I DIE!” he screamed. Once again, the echo, I die… I die… I die… I die…
The woman sighed, nodded. “Well… yes…” It’s not as if she could lie to him.
The mayor shoved the papers from her hands. They hit the floor, flying away in every direction. He threw his hefty weight into the woman’s arms, and proceeded to cry and cry.
“Please, hold me,” he whimpered. “I don’t want to die.”
“Oh, boy,” she said, patting his bulbous back.
A sound emanated from within the mayor. The cry, the wail of pain of a dying wolf. He almost toppled the woman over. “Don’t let them kill me!”
Patted his back, patted his back. “There, there, Mayor… but, there’s nothing I can do.” She was hoping he’d remove himself from her body, soon. The woman was sure her knees were going to snap.
“Come January eighteenth, I’m dead!” Another guttural wail from inside of the Mayor’s gullet.
Her hand upon his back, all she could do was pat, pat, pat, and repeat, “There, there, Mayor… There, there…”
Finally, the mayor pulled himself away from the woman, straightening his suit, pushing back his sweat-drenched hair. “I’m sorry, so sorry,” he stuttered. “I should go home. I’m sorry about your papers.”
He walked away without helping her pick up the scattered pages.
The woman crouched, glaring at him as he wiggled down the hallway, and out of the door. “This is why you didn’t get re-elected, you idiot.”
Outside, the wind hit the mayor’s red face, sending chills down his legs. Walking across the parking lot, he paused and turned. Looked back at city hall, and behind it. Back there, a makeshift mass grave waited. Another chill ran through his thighs, calves, feet.
He trekked his way over to the grave. Up the small incline, he began fighting for breaths. He thought about going on yet another diet, but then, remembered his own mortality hanging over his head. The mayor reached the top, and there he was, standing on the edge of the mass grave. There were no proper grave markers, nothing made of granite. Only long, plywood sticks, with campaign signs attached at the tops. Most were badly weathered and falling to pieces. Below each, laid the decomposing remains of incumbent mayors, those who lost re-election. Beaten with blunt objects by the city’s residents until their faces resembled ground meat. Then, buried alive. Mouths and eyes and noses filled with dirt.
The mayor felt tears welling in his eyes, again. A bumbling mess, he ran from the mass grave, back down the incline, rushing for his car.
He drove out of the parking lot, speeding past the monument he had erected to himself.
Our strength comes from our people, read the quote at the bottom of the statue, a much slimmer version of the mayor.
In two months’ time, the round, weeping man would learn more than he cared to know about that strength.