It's a little rough, but it's a beginning! Enjoy!
I was watching Casablanca when the doorbell rang.
I sighed at the annoying sound. It was supposed to be a day off, since all the other politicians and cabinet members were in Kansas at some upscale dinner party in honor of the president's 50th birthday. I rolled my eyes at the thought. A bunch of old pricks laughing and pretending to like each other for the sake of free liquor. At 25 the thought of sitting around with my fellow 'colleagues' was not an exciting one.
When all the congressmen were put together, I was the only one under 40. I wasn't exactly a respected member of congress yet. Which is why I was always the one picked to sit out of any event that included all members of congress. You know that rule of thumb? Just in case there's an attack on all the congress members, there should always be one not there, you know for the country to have something of a backup plan.
I decided that my boxers and wife beater were inappropriate attire to answer the door, so I stayed put in my recliner. Not answering the door was in the plan for a quiet night alone.
My salary allowed me to afford a nice apartment on the upper-east side of Manhattan. I loved its open space, its wood floors, its three bedrooms, and I especially loved the leggy redhead who lived next door.
What I wasn't enjoying was the consistent banging on my door. What the hell?
I turned the TV up louder in an attempt to drown out the obnoxious banging. Probably one of those Jehovah's Witness' that continually harass me about the word of the Lord.
"Jason Ackerman. Open up. This is Jordan Hayer, General of the Army."
That definitely wasn't a Jehovah's Witness.
I nearly knocked over a glass coffee table scrambling out of my recliner to answer the door.
I flung the door open as quickly as I could. I was met with the General of the Army and two armed soldiers.
He eyed my attire with wary eyes. "You're Jason Ackerman?" He sighed, "Lord this is .... May I come in?"
I stepped to the side trying desperately not to feel self-conscious in my rubber duck boxers.
As soon as the door was shut, General Hayer turned to me. You could see the graying of his hair and the stress lines on his forehead. He's been doing his job for 5 years, but it looked like he'd been at it for 15.
"Have you seen the news Mr. Ackerman?" He asked me staring at Casablanca that was still playing on my screen. He raised a brow at me.
"No, sir. I can't say that I have," I admitted sheepishly. I had been on an all-out Netflix binge since about 3 this afternoon, but I didn't want to admit it, "I've been enjoying the classics today."
He gave me a pointed look and the soldiers just gave each other a knowing look. "Mr. Ackerman, are you aware of the president's birthday gala that was to take place today?"
I nodded, "Of course, I was asked to sit out because of that rule, and because I'm younger than half of those people's sons." I joked, hoping to get a smile out of the three Stonehenges in front of me. Nope. Nothing but a sharp sigh of disappointment.
Gee, sorry dad I thought sarcastically.
"Anyway," he started, "there was an... unfortunate tragedy that happened. I'm surprised your classic wasn't stopped and interrupted by the new reports."
I shook my head, "It's an internet program, Netflix. It's not on a channel. What happened? Is the president okay?"
The General's eyes grew sad, "That's why I'm here, Jackson didn't make it."
I gasped, "Well, why are you here for me? Are all congressman in danger? Where's the Vice President? Has Nicholas been sworn in yet? Oh my God, I'm going to die, aren't I? Dammit! I knew, I should've bought that dog last week! Oh God-"
The General gave me a good shake after grabbing my shoulders before speaking, "Get a grip man! No one is after you, they think all the congressmen are dead, because other than you, they are."
My mouth immediately went dry, "What do you mean they're dead?" I spoke softly afraid of the answer.
"The remains are all being identified as we speak."
Oh my God. Someone killed all the congressmen and cabinet members in America along with the president. Who is going to run the country now? All successors are dead, who will -
"NO!" I suddenly exclaimed as it clicked. "No, no, no! Hell NO! A thousand times no!" I shook my head violently while rushing to the kitchen. I grabbed a bottle of Jack Daniels from the liquor cabinet and opened it. I took a swig as the General came over. The burn made me feel a bit better, but I was almost shaking, "I can't do this. I'm sorry, but there has to be someone else."
He patted my back and took the bottle from me, "I'm sorry to tell you this son, but this is the one in a million thing you agreed to do in the event that this happened."
I shook my head, "But there are people who are of higher rank than me! People like you! Hell! You should be doing this! Not me! I can barely find the damn remote for my TV!" I was rambling. I was officially a wreck.
He shook his head at me giving me a sympathetic look, "Our duties are to protect this country."
I snorted, "Good job." I muttered snatching the bottle back.
He narrowed his dark eyes at me, "That building was bombed from the inside. The person who did this, is a traitor to this country, and they are still out there. My job is to find them, and your new job is to give me the means to do it."
I sighed, "I really don't have any choice in this do I?"
"Not a one. This is the duty you signed up for."
I nodded. I can't believe this is happening. I really couldn't. I just wanted to watch Casablanca tonight. I was a simple man with simple demands.
"Alright then," I spoke softly, "when does the official process happen?"
He just smirked at me, "It just did. You my good man are the 60th president of the United States of America."