General Fiction posted February 3, 2022

Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
The last man standing takes a hike.

Presidential Melee

by Wayne Fowler

The author has placed a warning on this post for violence.

None had the first clue as to how they happened to be gathered. For that matter, none had the first clue where, exactly, they were. A few had faint ideas, somewhere south of the Potomac, across from the Capitol. It was hilly country, great views, but not so much for farming. Abe Lincoln thought he would recognize it had he been on the other side of the river. George Washington was certain he’d been there before, sensing that his home was about a day’s ride to the east. Nevertheless, all forty-five men meandered about in a dither. Unwilling to separate from one another, but at the same time wary, they cautiously avoided direct contact, seeming to circle in confusion. Within the quarter acre space, inside of moments they’d managed to see, yet not see, each one of their order.
Suddenly, one among them stepped onto a rock, shouting a whispered cry that they form an alliance, a league whereby they could acquaint themselves. He was quickly shouted down. “Get down from there, you fool! I paid for that microphone. Teddy, hit ‘im with your stick,” While looking about and wondering who he was, Ronald Reagan gasped, tripping over William Henry Harrison, who’d fallen into him as he died of a heart attack. Reagan gazed at the nearing sundown. Drawing his phaser as he would his Hollywood Peacemaker, Reagan shot Woodrow Wilson dead, accidentally killing William McKinley, the last 18th century president, the one who’d closed the Patent Office claiming everything of worth had already been invented.
Not having been called off, Teddy Roosevelt swung his unlit firebrand grazing Andrew Johnson on its flight to beaning Benjamin Harrison. “He had that coming,” Teddy cried. “He made two states out of Dakota just so he could rush six states into the Union prematurely.  Hah! I shoulda made them every one a national park!” Barely uttered, and Andrew Jackson shot Teddy dead, the bullet slowed only slightly as it zipped into one earhole and out the other, catching James Garfield unawares, and ending his day.
Seizing an opportunity, Richard Nixon throttled John Kennedy, a certain gleam in his eye. Though dead, JFK rose, throat punching Rutherford Hayes, the president notorious for ending Reconstruction. Watching Nixon fall to the ground, a dying Hayes screamed “You crook!” as he squashed Nixon flat. Gerald Ford shouted, “I forgive you!” None within his hearing understood him except Jimmy Carter who forgave him as he was stabbed in the back by Zachary Taylor.
“You should never have trusted Russia,” LBJ said to Dwight Eisenhower as he heaved a Bowie knife into his chest. Turning around, Johnson instantly regretted his violent act, lowering his defenses. It was at that moment that Gerald Ford stumbled, tripping LBJ into George Herbert Walker Bush, LBJ and Bush cracked heads with one another, quietly bleeding out.
FDR, being on the uphill end of the plot, aimed his wheelchair toward Herbert Hoover. Hoover’s death was a certainty, though the collateral damage of the demise of Barrack Obama, Martin Van Buren, and John Tyler he viewed as mixed blessings. Unfortunately, the carom collided him with James Madison, breaking Madison’s neck. Upended, Franklin Roosevelt died of asphyxiation, saddened by the knowledge that he’d killed an honored founding father.
General mayhem, by then, was the order of the day. Fists were flying and elbows were flailing. Head butts and throat punches were the favored among those unarmed. In the chaos, John Adams, unable to check his swing, found that he’d killed his son, John Quincy. Terror struck him mortally at the thought of explaining himself to beloved Abigail. At that same instant Thomas Jefferson fell dead, a device he’d invented backfiring.
George Washington took blows left and right as he wove unentangled through what seemed to be a juggernaut of a gauntlet, zeroing in on Andrew Jackson. Holding Jackson by the throat, squeezing the life from him, Washington preached honor, and dignity, and truth to him long after Jackson hung limp, and long after Washington, himself, succumbed to the errant violence.
Abraham Lincoln, Chester Arthur, and U. S. Grant stood to the side in quiet conversation, attempting to avoid flying fists and feet. One of George W. Bush’s misguided grenades caught them unawares.
“Give ‘em hell, Harry,” Bill Clinton shouted as he witnessed Truman clearing the deck of the unobservant Zachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore. Clinton then turned to his right, seeing James Monroe advance. Making eye contact, they cornered Donald Trump, pummeling him. George W. Bush casually bopped both Clinton and Monroe.
Grover Cleveland courageously stood upon the same rock as had Woodrow Wilson, dodging bullets and rocks as he reloaded time after time, plinking off remaining combatants: James Polk, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanon. He took special delight in popping William Taft, the first president not to wear facial hair.
Silently, Calvin Coolidge snuck up to Warren Harding advising him that what’s good for business is what’s good for America. With the same gun he’d used to slay Harding, Coolidge shot Clinton and the still-attempting-to-remain-upright Gerald Ford.
George W. Bush, Harry Truman and Joe Biden began circling, Good, Bad, and Ugly fashion. Witnesses claimed that they could hear the flute music. All three fell to a lightning strike from a perfectly clear sky. George W., falling near Calvin Coolidge, ended his chance to out-distance FDR’s tenure in office, by pushing him onto an eternal flame.
Grover Cleveland, alone among the presidents, pinched the noses of the unconscious injured, walking off the field into oblivion, refusing to mount the rock for a third non-consecutive term. Congress could …

Battle of the Presidents contest entry

At first I did not want to enter this contest. There were some very fine men among the 45 that I could not conceive of violent behavior unless in self-defense. But finally I succumbed to the temptation of a challenge.

927 words
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Save to Bookcase Promote This Share or Bookmark
Print It View Reviews

You need to login or register to write reviews. It's quick! We only ask four questions to new members.

© Copyright 2023. Wayne Fowler All rights reserved.
Wayne Fowler has granted, its affiliates and its syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.