Mitt Romney always dreams the same dream.
In the dream, he is at his Father’s table. Father is seated at the head of the table. Mitt Romney sits at the end. The table is long and mahogany and filled with raucous family, pushing their teeth and claws into fresh flesh piled high. Their faces are stained dark red and empty goblets litter the floor. The howls of tortured souls filter into the room, subtle and quiet, like soft jazz in an elevator.
Mitt Romney’s hand is always wrapped around a juicy, throbbing, untouched cut of meat.
Father, morning star, does not eat. He never has. He turns his hundred faces to his son and their eyes lock.
Suddenly the room feels too small, the table too long. He can no longer hear his siblings. His father’s eyes are on him, unmoving, and Mitt Romney is no longer afraid. He knows, within him, his father sees purpose.
Mitt Romney wakes up. The bedroom is dark and cold and silent. He is hungry.
He is empty.
He turns and presses his face against ANNBOT, soothed by the cool steel. His human tears strike its chassis and roll off.
The two stand in the kitchen. ANNBOT looks with concern at Mitt Romney as he sips on the coffee, his eyes focused on anything that isn’t ANNBOT.
ANNBOT turns back towards the coffee maker to pour another cup.
ANNBOT: YOUR HAND—
MITT ROMNEY: IT’S NOTHING.
ANNBOT wraps both its steel hands around another mug of coffee, its back to Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney stares out the window at the gryphon in the field.
melt romney is on hiatus as it is melted and reformed into a comic book stay tuned
Mitt Romney held ANNBOT close. They were curled around each other, lying in a nest made of Mitt Romney’s sixteen grandchildren. The grandchildrens’ bodies and limbs were linked together, creating a tight, warm circle. Each grandchild had a series of shallow gashes in their bellies. Blood oozed from the wounds and covered the nest in viscous life.
Mitt Romney was nude. ANNBOT’s chassis was cool against his skin. He loved it, he thought. Sometimes he tried to understand love. He felt love for ANNBOT.
The blood, cool and coagulating, touched his flesh-cursed arm. The bones of his wrist and forearm were exposed. He closed his eyes and sunk into the sensation of the liquid on his disease. It felt healing. He could not know for sure if it was working. The grandchildren shivered and whimpered around him.
He touched his healthy hand to ANNBOT’s cheek. He had a long journey ahead.
Mitt Romney’s office in his campaign headquarters had vaulted ceilings and tall glass windows. It was staffed exclusively by beautiful people— Mitt Romney spent much time suffering with the masses, and preferred to gaze upon the most aesthetically pleasing.
He was wearing black leather gloves despite the heat. He held his hands close to his chest. He knew no one would ask questions. But the flatness of the glove on his left hand was unnerving to humans. He knew this.
He locked the door and sat in front of his computer. He touched his good hand it. The computer was off, but the monitor flickered to life, silhouettes of red and black flashing rapidly over the screen.
“Brother,” Mitt Romney said, leaning back in his leather chair. “Brother, I know you’re there.”
A tinny sigh rattled from the computer speakers. “I’m busy.” Rick Santorum’s face appeared on the monitor, his small lips twisted into a scowl. Only his face and shoulders were visible on the screen, but they appeared to be nude. He was standing against a background of pale, shiny tile. A thin red film covered his skin.
Mitt Romney grimaced. “You partake in the ritual too often.”
Rick Santorum shrugged. “Perhaps you do not partake enough.” His hand appeared on the screen, fingers clenched around small, detached human arm. He pressed his thumb and forefinger to the small hand and then ran it down the arm. The remaining blood dripped from the shoulder. Rick Santorum sighed and rubbed the nub over his cheekbones.
“Your tastes have expanded.”
“The infants were not satisfying,” Rick Santorum said. “I have moved on to slightly older humans. ‘Toddlers,’ I’ve heard them described.”
Mitt Romney shook his head. Rick Santorum was too focused on his appearance to ever successfully run a human election campaign. He did not focus his energies on creating believable “policies,” but hyper-focused on one issue, using shock value to increase his media presence. He would burn out. Mitt Romney was not worried.
“Where are you based now, brother?”
“Pennsylvania,” Rick Santorum said. He looked off screen and Mitt Romney heard the sharp snapping of bones. “It is a beautiful state.”
“I would like to visit you,” Mitt Romney said. “ANNBOT and I. We have some business to discuss.”
“I have spoken to father.”
Rick Santorum looked up abruptly. His eyes were wide and bright white against the painted red of his flesh. “Please,” he said. “I would be happy to accommodate you.”
Mitt Romney nodded sharply and ended the call. He knew his brother was in Pennsylvania. But a warning would make this would be more fun.
“the ecru brings a certain sort of calm to the room, don’t you think?” mitt said to ANNBOT as he gently stroked her antennae. ANNBOT stared at the walls blankly while squeezing an oatmeal creme pie between her fingers. mitt shook his head fondly and wandered off to examine the walls.
ANNBOT clenched and unclenched her fists around the remains of the oatmeal creme pie. her hologram’s elegant fingers were covered in the mess, but ANNBOT did not seem to notice. mitt’s eighth favorite grandchild steadily licked at her fingers while mitt contemplated the walls. “maybe ivory would work better,” he murmured. ANNBOT did not respond.
Mitt Romney’s sixteen grandchildren writhed and shrieked in pain as his father’s presence left their tiny bodies. They collapsed in a pile on the concrete floor of the basement and clawed at their flesh. Their pained howls would last approximately four more hours. The father possession was always a nightmare.
He walked up the stairs, rubbing his skeletal hand thoughtfully. With each touch of his fingers on flesh, more sloughed off, falling behind him like a trail of breadcrumbs.
“ANNBOT,” he said.
In the bedroom, ANNBOT buzzed to life, her glossy eyes suddenly filling with light. “ANNBOT booting,” it said.
Mitt Romney stood in the doorway of the bedroom. ANNBOT’s metal frame was sparking and humming, slowly weaving the protective hologram of a human woman.
“ANNBOT, I spoke to father.”
ANNBOT did not respond. It was lying on the right side of the bed staring towards the ceiling.
“My father believes I am not strong enough. He finds it appropriate to test me. I must eliminate the lesser of fathers children, my unbeloved siblings. I do not have long to complete this task. With each day the flesh-curse grows stronger.”
The hologram solidified around ANNBOT, and it sat up on the bed and turned its head to look at Mitt Romney. “Where shall we begin?” it said.
“Yeqon is a threat,” Mitt Romney said. “He must be destroyed first. I theorize that sapping his strength will ease the effects of the flesh-curse temporarily. I believe in this world he has taken the name Rick.”
Night fell on the Romney ranch.
As the sky darkened, the gryphons returedn to their stables to sleep among the rafters. In their place, the snakechildren emerged, their bellies fat with summer eggs that will soon be laid and harvested. Their soft hisses rolled through the Romney mansion’s open windows as they rose from their dens. Suddenly, a hiss turned to a rattle and a sharp cry— with the snakechildren came the goblins that hunt them. Mitt Romney will have to do a pruning soon.
After a long day of gazing at the gryphons, Mitt Romney was tired. He looked at his skeletal hand. He tried to push it out of his mind, but the strange weight of it and absence of nerve endings was a constant reminder of his slow rotting.
Mitt Romney turned away from the window. The hisses of the snakechildren faded with each step. He went to the basement.
The basement was large and low-ceilinged, the air humid and pungent. Sixteen Romney grandchildren slept fitfully in small bunk beds lining the wall.
“Awaken, oracles,” Mitt Romney boomed.
The children awoke, yawning and stretching, and climbed out of their beds. They were skinny, emaciated, their skin translucent. They wore matching pajamas.
“I would speak to my father,” Mitt Romney said to the grandchildren.
The sixteen grandchildren stood in two rows of eight. They snapped to attention, their spines straightening as if replaced by steel. In unison, they opened their mouths and spoke in a perfect chorus of prepubescent voices. “You finally come to me, Mitt Romney,” they said as their eyes rolled back in their heads.