Short Story: 'Leader' Part 2

One week has passed since the beginning of his new life, but no one had spoken to him. He had a dream that his new home might be the place from where the new revolution could begin; the place that could help him to overthrow the new traitorous government. “If I was the leader outside, I can be the leader here as well”, he thought to himself. The Leader tried to spark a conversation with fellow convicts; at the canteen, gym, shower room. The results were all the same – people just stared at him for a second before turning away. For a person whose life consisted of giving speeches in front of excited crowds, it was the worst kind of insult.

But one day, while he was lifting weights at the gym, he noticed a man coming his way. He had recently become paranoid about potential plots for his assassination. During his last days as Leader of the Nation, everyone was quiet too. He immediately threw down the barbell and faced the stranger. He saw that the man was carrying a newspaper under his armpit. Without approaching the Leader too closely, the man dropped the newspaper on the ground and left.

It was The Truth, the biggest out of the two newspapers in the country. Actually, he preferred the smaller one, called Stolichnaya because it consisted solely of pieces that praised his actions; he even wrote some articles for it. He tried to cut the budget of  The Truth and redirect it to Stolichnaya, but the Minister of Defense was against it. At the time, The Truth was about successful military campaigns of annexing small countries territories so, he agreed with him.

He picked up the paper and saw the headline that read: “Renegade wife of ex-Leader has escaped to the West Empire. She shall not be forgiven!!!”. He couldn’t believe his eyes.

Photo by Denny Müller on Unsplash

He had lost the ability to sleep well in the sixth month of his life in prison. Even when he could fall asleep, his dreams were so terrible that he preferred not to sleep at all. He napped from time to time because he knew that sleeping was very important for his health. Being a walking zombie would prevent him from starting a riot to take the power back. During one of his insomnious nights, he was lying on the bed, thinking about how his wife ended up dating his favorite rapper. What distracted him, was the rat in the corner. He definitely saw it yesterday, and a week ago too. There was something odd about it. When he approached it, a light shock went through his body. The rat had the eyes of the Minister of Foreign Affairs - no doubt about it. Those were the eyes of  the only person he had ever killed with his own hands. It happened after the minister’s confession, that he, in fact, was spying for the Western Empire. But how could it be? The remarkable scientists of the Eastern Empire were probably able to transfer the consciousness of the dead man to the rodent. That was the only reasonable explanation he could think of. Feeling proud of the great scientists he fostered, the Leader went back to sleep.

To be continued...