What Happened After His Head
Michael Anthony Dioguardi
I wasn’t surprised
liquefied garbage spewed out from the president’s ears in front of all the
cameras for the world to see. I was disappointed though—disappointed that I
didn’t break the news earlier. My suspicions were confirmed many decades ago,
but nobody paid any attention. Whoever they were—the slime, the ooze-people,
trash-beings—they had successfully infiltrated the brains of the world’s elite.
And it happened right under our noses, or under our sinks—if you were fancy
enough to hide your trash bin.
It all started in New York,
1968. Pops stopped in his tracks on Houston Street and pressed his face against
the storefront glass. “Who’s that man, Pa’?” I asked, but Pops didn’t answer.
He stared at the television screen and slipped his hat from his head. The man
on the TV had a big smile on his face that he loved to show whenever the crowd
cheered for him.
“And it’s time
we bring the
power back to the people!” The man shouted to the crowd, with his finger
pointed at the camera. Pops turned away and walked down the Bowery, shuffling
between the growing heaps of trash bags, without saying a word.
I remember digging through
old filing cabinets at headquarters and finding the case report just one week
into the job. The sanitation workers’ union rep that pontificated about peoples’
rights all those years back? Turns out his body was also found in a pool of
green ooze. He too had been used for their gain.
A trash strike—how
department handled the press well; nobody even had any idea what happened to
him. The strike was the perfect opportunity for them to transition to land. I
imagined they had flourished for at least a century in the East River—though
rumor had it—they started in the Ganges, but underwhelmed by the Indian government,
they needed to shift their focus to a superpower. The Chinese did their best to
cover up their premier’s similar demise, but that’s exactly when suspicions in
the general public started to grow even more.
And now we all saw it. The
had gathered in the White House to watch the president address the nation,
though they did not know it was already too late.
The transition to the president
made perfect sense. I remember explaining it to my partners as they laughed at
my conclusion: the golf courses—how else? There were countless landfills that
were turned into luscious viridescent hills. I had drawn out the pattern on the
board in my office.
“The river to the
(land) to the dumps (golf courses) to the politicians,” the deputy snorted.
“Detective, this is lunacy. I’m putting you in for a section eight.”
The deputy was found dead
shortly after, with the same story—the green puddle, etc.
I lost my job. Even if the
echelons weren’t yet mind-controlled, they still had their wits and deemed it
best that I find another profession.
My investigation didn’t
though. I became a journalist, and as such, I was given access to the press
room briefings. By then I had figured out their progression: first they
infiltrated your brain, then they controlled it. All of your essential
faculties proceeded as intended. Only one thing was altered, or rather brought
into question: your defense of the situation—that everything was fine. They
would use folks for their power to deceive the public, and then promptly
dispose of them in the most revolting way possible.
The reporters swarmed the
president’s oozing body and shrieked in terror. Dark liquid poured out from his
cabinet members’ ears, staining the walls of the press room.
I backed away while the
turned to chaos. The mystery had been solved, but the struggle had just begun.
Don’t forget to look
behind you as
you read this! And make sure your trash bin is closed! You’ll smell it first,
before it slides in through your ears.
It’ll smell like a—
nice and pleasant.
There’s no need for alarm. . . .
And it’s definitely
behind you, too, as you finish this sentence
. . . .