Excerpt from “The Finale” (Short Story)

I’m out of the room before Evan can finish kissing my ass. Evan and I have been editing the show together since PARTY CAPTAIN first set sail, splicing and snipping and gawking until the final product is the perfect temple to Dionysus and hedonism and capitalism and all things of excess. Evan and me have watched human beings come out of the darkness of societal norms and into the light of truth for three years, we have seen undeniable truth that god can not exist. We fought tooth and nail with the studio executive to show Dylan shooting up on the back deck in season one, which of course caused the show to gain national attention. We made sure Tiffany was voted off in season two before she could figure out who had sex with her during episode 5. We made sure to blur Ethan’s face when he slipped inside a passed out possibly tripping Tiffany. Together, Evan and me made sure the darkest recesses of human sexuality and addiction to escapism were flaunted, polished, and provided for minimal fees to every household across the nation. You could say we ruined American values, or you could say we destroyed the lingering hand of the old puritan ways and, in showing America how fucking terrible they all are, freed them to be whoever they wanted to be. Being a hero today isn’t about saving babies from burning buildings or shooting Muslims, those are too narrow-minded of goals. True hero’s, like Evan and me, we save 9.8 million viewers a week from homogenized boredom and their own self-loathing.
The hallway outside the editing room is littered with worker bee people, hair dressers and stylists and people whose only job is to hold a boom, people who went to college to make connections to get closer to the magic of lying on a massive scale. I can’t help but admire them, people who kept their dreams small, manageable, people for whom ambition was only the answer to a question they had in middle school. Four doors down, on the left, a five-pointed star dangles precariously from a little nail. They give the contestants wardrobe rooms with stars on them. I would call it a joke, but that would mean that they, the contestants, don’t really know what’s going on here. That would make them somewhat human, that would mean they might actually object to being used like chattel. No, these people are smart, they know what fifteen minutes in the spotlight really is. All the contestants on PARTY CAPTAIN know their whole lives have built up to nothing more than being symbols of idiocy, monuments to viewers secret desires to see how low a person will go to have their life acknowledged. It isn’t so much about holding on to the star on the door, it’s about knowing that at one point there was one.
It’s the 10th door down on the right in the studio hallway that holds my victim. Well, collage of victims. If I wanted to go about firing the right person, I would lose my assistant, Veronica, a tight little dyke who has served me loyally for the past two years. Yes, I put her in charge of finding a charter helicopter company, yes she vetted the company and pilot, but she is too valuable to me to be in danger of anything more than an ass chewing. A screaming thumbs down she can take home and engage in some feminist critic of show business’s phallocentric work environment with her carpet munching wife. And I know if I wanted true justice I would go after the pilot himself, but this fuck up needs to have direct consequences here. So, my list of targets shrinks to something like junior staff, Veronica’s assistant, an intern, the camera man, any will do. The 10th door is a sort of waiting room for these people, the golden retrievers who play constant fetch for more powerful people. I pull my shoulders back outside the door, ruffle my suit shirt, wiggle my jaw, and put on my most Tommy Lee Jones glare. I could throw some Eastwood in there, but there is no point in giving those who survive this onslaught a memory of me looking constipated.
The door flies open as I crash in. I hear the knob punch a hole in the thin wall, and one intern, Jacob or Jason or Jared or who-gives-a-fuck visibly jumps with my appearance. There are three people inside, J-intern, Veronica’s assistant Kylie (a transgender boy, well, a girl who still uses her feminine name but dresses like a dude and is in the process of having a dick grown in a lab. Fucking West coast.) and some new low level producer who is only here because of nepotism. All three. All three are walking out of this building forever today.
“Here’s Johnny, I left my ax with your contracts shitheads, but all of you need to get the fuck off my television show, like yesterday.”
“What the fuck are you talking about James”
I stare at Kylie, who would be the only one with the balls to actually talk like that to me. Intern’s mouth is agape, the producer, (is his name Bart?) looks up from his phone for a second before returning to whatever website or app he’s been jerking off to lately. I try to put on a show of calming down, but my blood is boiling and the joy of anger without repercussions is giving me a semi-chub. I shuffle towards Kylie, keeping my steps as measured and tiny as I can, really dragging out my approach. She’s wearing a white tee and suspenders, this little Justin Beiber knockoff, and backwards ball cap that I can only imagine says something ironic on the front. Leaning in close, so Kylie can smell the cigarettes and four day old sweat that cling to my body, I pull the hat off her head, throw it in the trash (praise Jesus it actually lands in the bin) and put my index finger in my mouth. I suck the shit out of it. I lube it up with the grossest amount of spit I can, I shove it into every corner and crevice that might hold old food and pussy stains, I drag it out as long as I can, long enough for fuckface to remove his nose from his phone and his hand from his micropenis, long enough for intern to get a hold of his jaw and let his fear permeate his eyes, and I put my finger up her lady-dude nose. She stares into my eyes the entire time this happens. What a beast, no wonder she wants to be a man. This cunt would have been a warlord if born in the right place in the right time, and with the right genitals of course. I remove my finger, wipe her snot on her shoulder, and lean back up, with a satisfied smile.
“What the fuck I am talking about?” I’m talking about how mistakes made by you, all of you, will not be tolerated on a program with such influence as PARTY CAPTAIN. I’m talking about incompetence, and my lack of ability to suffer through and put up with a “team effort”. I’m talking about how you are our weakest link, and this is good-bye. No, good bye implies good faith, and that I will see you again. I will never see any of you again, except maybe begging for change on the sidewalk cause you’re too bad at sucking dick to make a living that way. Now pack your shit up, pile into your broken down rusty buckets, and drive away. Todays a fresh start for all of you, a chance to ponder about who you next want to fuck over simply by existing. Now, get the fuck out, go go go go.”

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