Short Story:'Leader' Part 4

Old habits were hard to get rid of; so, the dissident carried on with his smuggling activities in a prison. He still had connections outside and made friends with some of the guards who were happy to help. Just some Western-made cigarettes and chocolate were enough to get them to cooperate.  However, goods and books were not the only products he brought into the prison.

As usual, the Leader and the dissident had lunch together; during which the leader was offered with something that would ease his life in the prison.

“Just put it on your tongue and you will wake up in a different place” said the dissident.

Before, he had only allowed alcohol to affect his consciousness,but his desire to break away from the daily routine was stronger than his convictions. After some hesitation, he did as the dissident said, and closed his eyes.

Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash

The Leader woke up in a meadow so colorful that even unicorns wouldn’t be out of place. He started to explore the place. There was a river nearby that had the color of cafe latte from Starbucks and even had the same taste; the taste that he hadn't been able to forget since his childhood when his father took him on his first and probably the last trip to the Western Empire, during the brief period of a peace between the two counties. This was the time when he fell in love with the Western Empire culture--after seeing Adam Sandler on the TV.

Across the river, there were two mustached men holding hands. They were calling to him,but when he has started to move he fell into a hole that suddenly opened in the ground.

He was sitting in the kitchen behind the table. On the right side of the table, there was a huge pile of comics starring people with all kinds of powers, wearing bright outfits, and fighting bad guys. Although he hated that people of the Eastern Empire were represented in comics as brainless--if represented at all-- he still loved reading it. The TV was showing a Chuck Norris movie, his VHS hero. If he could only meet him, he would kick the actor’s ass using some judo moves. In front of him, a big and juicy burger appeared. Thinking of the process of cooking  reminded him of his decisions. His brain was the burger and his heart was the coal that helped set it aflame. The Leader bit into the burger and drank some vodka, which was so strong that he lost consciousness.

Photo by Joanna Nix on Unsplash

He opened his eyes in a corridor of the hospital where his father died. Room number 309, he still remembered it. The Leader opened the door and saw himself on his knees beside his dying father. That was the moment when his father said his final words. He asked him to make some reforms, not big, just some minor ones to improve the lives of people. There were a lot of young people in the country; they want changes and it would be a big mistake to ignore them. The Leader promised to do it.

It was a promise he hadn’t fulfilled.

To be continued...