speaker

There was an occasional bright light and crackle.

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Copyright © 2019, Michael M Wayman

It hummed and there was an occasional bright light and crackle. The transformers were a dull dark green colour, the insulators a glossy brown and there were lots of thick cables all over. The electricity switching yard was at the end of a lane used only by farmers – most people did not know that it existed.

Two orange trucks full of orange men arrived – one of the trucks was connected by lots of cables with the transformers – probably a maintenance routine. A long metal pole grew out of and upwards from the truck – probably an antenna.

At precisely eleven o’clock there was a large bang, like the sonic boom from a military aircraft; but the sky was empty. The truck exploded, the antenna fell across the switching yard: great arcs of light, repeated explosions and clouds of smoke.


She stood at the railings, the metal fence around the residence. It had been easy to persuade the two men to carry the speaker boxes. She could not see the two, there were too many reporters, but she could feel that the two men were on the lawn.

She looked at her watch: at precisely eleven o’clock there was a large bang, like the sonic boom from a military aircraft; but the sky was empty. Good, she said.


The president, followed by the vice-president, walked up to the lectern. He put the box on the lectern and started to speak. “Hello, everybody. No one has been detailed to introduce me – you all know who I am. It’s also written on the front of this lectern.”

At precisely eleven o’clock there was a large bang, like the sonic boom from a military aircraft; but the sky was empty. The president continued to speak – the usual long-winded, say-nothing sort of speech that he usually gave.

He was speaking, everybody could hear that, but his lips were not moving, he was not moving, he appeared to be leaning forwards onto the lectern.

After five minutes of verbal dribble he fell over like a tree trunk. He continued to speak.

The vice-president fell over like a tree trunk. He was holding a box. He started to speak – the usual long-winded, say-nothing sort of speech that he usually gave.


There was a large bang, the speaker banged down the gavel. Three very important-looking men had arrived to speak to the speaker. “I have an important announce­ment to make. The president and the vice-president have been declared dead at 11:16 this morning at the military hospital. The cause of death is unknown. I am handing the gavel to my deputy.” The three very important-looking men and the speaker walked down to the floor of the house.

Bang! “The speaker will now take the oath of allegiance as the next president of this wonderful country.”

She took the holy book in one hand and raised her other hand...



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