Gunshots ring across the city square.

Bread is tossed in the air.

A pickle flops from its jar onto the ground like a foundering fish.

They’re down; and covered in brains; and bleeding for their lives.

Out of the dust steps a woman wearing crosshairs and pointing, not at the dead and dying, but at herself — as the fouled object of derision and disrespect — and she’s unfathomably angry not at the shooter, but at the rest of the world.

A gasping globe mocks her continued lack of a human harmonic as she spins wailing tales into a vendetta victory of the dead.

She quits and claims leadership.

She claims she’s been blood libeled in the still-wet blood of fallen others.

Will she ever wipe the blood from her jaw?

Or will she continue to bite her lip to smear false libel across her teeth?


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