Free sample of Raise the Gipper, up through a bit over halfway through Chapter 2. If you notice you're enjoying it, you can buy a complete copy:
Anyway, have a look:
You can't fool a cat
"M'kay, you're the best, baby, the best, I love you too. I'll just wire you some money home." The line went dead on the other side.
Someone had walked up close enough to hear Nathaniel, so he'd pretended to be on the phone to his wife.
"Oh, I make lots more pathetic noises than that."
"Cats need guarding?"
"The one we have whenever we see each other at demonstrations. She yells fascist and I yell witch."
The intersection of the theoretical and the practical happened on the internet, where everything does now. Delegates had found each other via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and email lists, and dozens more places, and some unknown number of them claimed to have talked with others who were organizing, or proposing, or maybe just contemplating, the Mitt Mutiny: breaking the convention's own rules in whatever way was necessary to give the nomination to someone else. Some much larger number of people weren't advocating the Mitt Mutiny but were hinting that they might like to be invited, an even bigger group wanted to know about it but didn't want to be identified with it, and because of the effect the American president has on the rest of the world, absolutely everyone wanted to know what happened as soon as it did.
In short, worldwide conversation about the Mitt Mutiny, just before the convention, was in about the same state as high‑school‑wide conversation about a rumored group‑sex after prom party just before the prom: nobody was admitting to planning to attend, but everyone wanted to know who would, and what they would do.
She knew they were here; every practitioner of the Craft had been feeling them around the Republican Party for a decade or more, and ever since this Mitt Mutiny thing had started, the Undying Faceless had been practically swarming.
The pendulum had audibly thumped against that one particular obscure door. Dowsing the clock dial had similarly given her a time: 11:55, and the crystal had first pointed to the exact time, and then swiftly, without hesitation, touched one, one, center, five, five as precisely as if it had been guided there on rails. Aura had been working the Craft since seventh grade, and she'd never seen a clearer indication.
Now, though, she just wasn't confident about how she had persuaded OTES to picket the next big, impressive entrance north of the obscure door, so as to be able to run to the side door at 11:53 and pounce on whatever Repugnagoon tried to come in or out.
Caleb, and Jay's American, are two of the nicest things about Tampa, Joe thought. He needed things like that to keep his spirits up. Not that he regretted having come here; it had been a calculated gamble that still might pay off. Back in January, his cheap‑ass by‑the‑month dump had been a well‑located home base for his make‑or‑break campaign to go full pro as a commentator.
He'd thanked her with dinner at a pizza joint; two pitchers of her preferred sludgy‑brown‑mud‑beer and three of his Coors, plus five hours of screaming argument, later, they were friends, and as the manager threw them out he said, "The mean, nasty, vicious way you people fight, you should fucking get married," which both of them were drunk enough to find hilarious.
The lesser evil
Schar'hukk C'desto'dha had relished the signals of suffering under thousands of different suns, via hundreds of different senses, from the odor given off by a mother Sppppt when her mind‑linked, ready‑to‑hatch egg is crushed and force‑fed to her while still conscious, to the radio pulse of a Quorft when it is pinned on its back and its tusuira set on fire. He had witnessed every moment of the thousand‑year progression in which a Ferxmhane Overmind succumbed to addictively manipulating hesherm's blood‑chlorine level until hesherm became a screaming, hapless, stupid infant, bitterly aware of all it could no longer grasp, able only to loathe itself and scream to be assuaged with another breath of chlorine. He had spent a hundred thousand years in the subtle seduction of the Pringyoth, who spent a century preparing for just one mate with whom their emotional bond would last fifty centuries. The Undying Faceless had reshaped Pringyoth arts and culture to value fickleness and spite so much that the last pathetic survivors had taken thousands of years to die of loneliness within sound and scent of each other, unable to offer sincere comfort or express real gratitude. Finally consuming their scrumptiously spoiled souls had been a feast of feasts.
Something Or Other was his truthful phrase for their meaningless words that existed only to conceal the issue they were all blathering on about: this room contained the people who could make the Mitt Mutiny work, and nobody wanted Mitt Romney, but no other possible candidate could excite them enough to run the risks of the Mitt Mutiny. When you strike at a king, you must kill him, of course, but after that, you must also have a king in the wings.
That question had finally frightened them enough, Schar'hukk C'desto'dha judged, now, at twenty minutes past the scheduled adjournment. The consultant from LA was late for her hairdresser, the Speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly was late for the all you can eat shrimp special, and the Governor of Ohio was late for an outcall (for which a Supreme Court justice had pledged him an immense tip). They wanted an answer now.
They fell silent and looked to him with desperate hope. Good monkeys. "Perhaps I can be of some assistance at this point." Oh, yes, now you're willing to try anything, aren't you?
The only Bachmann fan in the room blushed violently but kept silent. The brains in the room, Schar'hukk C'desto'dha thought. Blushing and shutting up are two more good decisions than most of them have ever made.
lean meat and drippings.
Stop that, stop that, concentrate! he chided himself, we almost have them!
"—that is, they separate into, ahh, three categories:
"One, 'Mitt Romney Without the Guts to Even Try In the First Place,'
"Three, 'oh, dear god, Sarah Palin.'
"Now we are admittedly in quite a bad spot here, and that is the classic situation for choosing the lesser evil, but ladies, gentlemen, we must stop thinking in the small, petty, loserish way that is implied in that silly, mingey, whining‑to‑be‑forgiven phrase 'the lesser evil.' Right here, right now, it is time to make up our minds to stop seeking the lesser evil.
"So embrace the alternative." He had them. They were loathing themselves for their own despair, and would leap like crabs in a bucket grasping at the spatula, that moves them into the boiling pot.
The three serious political junkies in OTES gasped simultaneously, recognizing a who's who of the very top Republican campaign consultants, leaders, and fat cats. Everyone else, as agreed, roared as one, "GOP! You can't hide! We know you're on the rich man's side!"
As she sang the last syllable, something squeezed her throat like a vise. Everything around her froze. The rose petals vanishing in puffs of dirty black smoke. The only thing moving besides Aura was an obese man with a gray goatee, shaved head, and shaggy brows glared at her over his thick‑as‑they‑were‑wide reading glasses. She felt it knowing who she was in her bowels.
He undid two buttons on his shirt and showed the hot, blistered brand just left of his sternum. "Notice it was only the gold that heated up; the outline of the rose is unburned, and that's inlaid mother of pearl. But that cross was so hot that most of the figure of Christ—which was fully three‑dimensional just a couple hours ago, and as finely detailed as the crown of thorns still is—melted right into it. And the pain from that hot piece of metal against my skin seems to have kept me from slipping into the trance, and even though he told us not to, I remember most of what that man said." He pulled out a bit of charred shirt.
"I am choosing you because you're known to write what you believe – at least when you write under your own name, and we were told, by this ... being, who is masquerading as one of us: no journalists, no reporters, no historians, no one who might make a record, and it's always good to defy these beings. Also you were the first person I saw, after the incident, that I wanted to see, and signs like that are important."
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