Pulling out the Purple: Election Day flash fiction


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(Image from: www.katiehatz.com)


Listen to
political ads long enough and you start to see politics in everything. As I was
working on putting together a glossary for the Alex Crocker Seer series to post
on my website, it occurred to me I had assigned blue to the Rectinatti and red
to the Vengatti. Although I know this wasn’t a conscious political statement (I
don’t think any of my Republican friends have considered sucking out my
conscience lately), it got me to thinking more about where my main character
Alex might stand. I have plenty in book two about her views on the two covens,
but little on her views of issues in the human world. So in keeping with my
NaNoWriMo (Nap No, Write Mo) pledge for November, I decided to have a little
fun last night and this morning before school. This scene is not from any longer piece.
It was just a fun writing exercise for me, and hopefully a fun way for you to
pass the time until the polls close. Besides, after a contentious election, we
can all use a little purple in our lives!

 

It’s
Not as Simple as Red or Blue

 

“They
still going on about that crap? It seems like one just ends and they start
talking about the next.” Darian had paused on his way to refill his coffee mug
for what had to be the third time this evening. He stared at the small screen
of the t.v. in the kitchen which Alex had been watching while picking at a bowl
of granola topped yogurt.

As
she watched his expression, she tried to determine if it were early evenings or
democracy that disagreed with the Rectinatti’s Regan most.

“That
crap, which we call an election, is going to determine the next leader of the
free world.”

The
Regan looked skeptically at the smiling headshots of the two candidates
flashing across the screen. “Is that what they tell themselves? Maybe I should
warn them it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.”

Alex
shook her head and pointed to the television with a yogurt-covered spoon. “That
guy’s been president––of the entire country––for four years. I’m pretty sure
he’s figured it out.”

Darian
scowled at the insinuation that running a country of humans was somehow harder
than ruling a coven of vampires. Alex didn’t apologize, but she didn’t argue
either. She was glad to leave both jobs to others older, if not wiser, than
her.

“And
the other one? Is he optimistic, naïve, or just plain stupid?”

Sliding
the now clean spoon from her mouth, Alex grinned. “Are you implying anyone who
chooses to lead is one of the three? Which are you, Regan?”

The
coffee mug being slammed on the counter rendered his answer redundant, but it
didn’t stop him from giving it to her.

“Annoyed.
And considering this is not
a
democracy and you do not
have
freedom to speak to me that way, you ought to zip it.”

She
shrugged. “You were the one asking questions.” She pretended to ignore his
glare as she turned back to the evening news. His mood was more related to the
time of day than her teasing.

Rather
than return to his office, Darian was once again sucked in by the commentators.
As a Seer, Alex could sense he had another question, but was too proud to ask
it after telling her to shut up just seconds earlier.

“The
red states are those projected to win the Republican vote. Blue usually go
Democratic. And the white are contested,” she explained, since it was the
appearance of the electoral map that had spurned the curiosity she sensed.

He
mumbled something she couldn’t quite hear with her measly human hearing.
Catching her name and Sage, the Knower’s, she could guess the gist. It annoyed
the Regan to no end to be living with a mind reader and emotion detector. She
didn’t bother to tell him it was no picnic for them, either. Stick your fingers
in the cage too many times and you’re bound to get bit, so she bit her tongue
instead.

“Massachusetts
is blue, huh? Too bad nobody told the Vengatti.” Darian’s expression was as acidic
as the strong black coffee he drank.

The
Rectinatti used sapphire and silver to symbolize their pure heritage, while the
Vengatti chose blood red ruby to signify their willingness to drink from
humans. Darian was equating an all blue state on the map to a Vengatti-free
Bristol.

“I
don’t think our politics are as simple as yours.”

Darian
refilled his mug from the carafe and leaned against the heavy butcher-block
table. He eyes strayed from the screen to linger on her engagement ring with
the two sapphires on either side of her diamond. Sapphires which represented
her new place in their coven.

“And
whose blue is that?”

Alex
nudged his pant leg with her bare foot. “You know what I mean.”

“No.”
Darian shook his head. “I don’t think I do. To me, someone’s wrong and
someone’s right. Black and white, or red and blue in this case. You’re
the one who keeps telling me otherwise.”

“Covens
are different. You’re born into them. You don’t get to choose whose ideology
you think is ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’ Assuming every Vengatti is evil would be as
foolish as assuming everyone in a red state is a Republican, or every
Republican believes the same thing.” Alex paused. Darian wasn’t comprehending
the references to human politics. Perhaps tax codes and foreign policy didn’t
compare well to the issue of whether or not to slaughter innocents or drain
someone of their very soul. She was pushing her luck to spell it out for him,
but she was in a mood to be pushy with him lately. “It’d be as naïve as
believing every Rectinatti’s goal was to serve the greater good of the coven
and to protect the humans.”

Darian
ran his hands though his hair, a habit he had when he was angry. Alex’s sense
confirmed, however, that his anger wasn’t with her, but rather with the truth of her
statement. He was well aware that there were as many self-serving families in
the coven as selflessly serving warriors. She wanted to think that maybe he
was also starting to believe the Vengatti members had as many shades of gray. But perhaps she was the one being 
naïve now.

“So
what would you have me do, Miss Independent, emulate your
fine leaders’ acts of bipartisanship?”

Alex
startled at his smirk and his correct use of human political terminology.

“I
watch the news, too, and have been reading about this country’s government
since it was formed, remember?”

She didn’t miss a beat. “Sorry, you’re just so hip that it’s hard to remember
sometimes that you’re older than dirt.”

“Would
it be easier to remember from the cell in basement?”

“Probably
not, but way to embrace the democratic attitude of Election Day. Answering your
question about what I’d have you do, though, is easy.” Alex stood so he could
see she was no longer joking. “Offer them a choice, Darian, and not between the lesser of
two evils, which is all we are if we continue to kill them without providing
them another way out. You told me when I was first taken in that the name
Rectinatti came from rectitude or righteousness. Being righteous isn’t
necessarily the same as being ‘right.’”

Alex
dropped her bowl in the sink and headed out of the kitchen.

“Did
you vote yet?”

At
the bottom of the stairs, she turned back to him. “Yes. Rocky took me earlier.”

“When
it came down to it, how’d you vote?”

He
motioned back towards the television, but Alex sensed he was asking her more
than the names of the candidates whose circle she colored in. She smiled.

“Well,
shockingly your name was left off the ballot, so I went with the other ‘blue’
guy––for president, anyway.”

“Meaning?”
Darian was too accustomed to this type of response from her not to recognize
there was more to it.

“I
look good in purple. You should try it some time; it’s very regal.”

With
that she padded up the stairs, so that she hardly heard the Regan’s snort, or. . .chuckle?

*

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