Flash Fiction: The Coup


The ticking of the pendulum…the Honourable Minister calls it the ‘sagging sac of an old chronometer’; at least even the clock has balls…the dull geometric wallpapers standing behind the Presidential desk… his own Machiavellian smirk in that Presidential photo… the thick silence, broken by the crack of the door, and the resulting stampede of picketers’ cacophony.

“Shut the damn door,” His Excellency gaze shifted from his own photo onto his aide, glaring at his ineptness. “What do they want? The hoodlums?” He could taste his sweat. They were dropping copiously now. His cellular device was visibly shaking his groin area. He checked. It was that Chinese escort, Miss Shé. He ignored her call.

“I think this protest was organized by the opposition. They are demanding you don’t sign the Chinese deal”, the aide said with much uneasiness as the Chinese delegation from Zhongnanhai were seated across His Excellency with subtle coercion; the way they held their retractable pens, their thumbs on the push-buttons.

Related: Don’t Touch My Hair: The One-Year China Experience

The Minister for Special Deals turned to flash an olive smile at the Chinese delegation. “Don’t worry,” he assured. “These nation wreckers are just salty because we denied the Americans and the French this concession. You know how they love the West.” The peals of laughter which followed was forced.

“You’re Excellency, you alright?” Ambassador T?nx?n was genuinely worried about the 83-year-old African Head of State, whose shirt was now drenched completely in sweat, his arms and neck all clammy.


Few Hours Before Election Day

Gunshots rang in the Presidential compound. The police had arrived.

“Make sure no one gets [cough]…shot [cough]. Tomorrow is elections and we [a cough]…we do not want a situation on our hands”, His Excellency whispered to the Minister for Discombobulation who scurried out to calm parties down.

“Your Excellency, better you sign this deal now,” Ambassador T?nx?n did not want the furore to stall His Excellency’s largesse. “It is a good message for your campaign, considering all the benefits of this deal to your people.”

His Excellency scanned through the last three sheets of the stack on his desk. He thought he felt a fist in his chest. His sweat was profuse, and his phone won’t stop vibrating. He reached for it. It was Miss Shé again. He had met Miss Shé at a function all orchestrated by Ambassador T?nx?n. She had the crinkum crankum of a professional strumpet, hooking the very elite to her venom then killing them slowly with insatiable demands. His Excellency shook his head at his own mistake. She had once threatened to go to the media with photos and video footages of their little monkeyshines.

Related: Personal Struggles: Reaching Beyond The Self

The last sheet had a map of the Northern State where the mineral site earmarked for the Chinese sat. His Excellency remembered their last visit to the concession using a little ferry on the mercury-laden river which once snaked through lush vegetation and cocoa farms. He recalled waving at a disgruntled crowd of displaced local farmers who had lined up on the river banks to watch His Excellency and the State Propaganda Incubation Television- SPIT- eager to hear something about their burnt farmlands and abandoned Chinese babies fathered by illegal Chinese miners. “We are now going to make this legal,” was all he said and waved goodbye.

Thunder in Paradise (Coup)

The dailies, sir. His aide dropped several newspapers on the President’s desk and disappeared before His Excellency could read the headlines: “Scandal: Footage of President in Bed with Chinese Escort”.

The gunfire rung wild again. While it was yet raining, the aide pours in again, followed closely by the Minister for Discombobulation who was wearing a very troubled face, his white shirt turned crimson; a bullet wound visible on his right shoulder. “It’s a coup! Turn on the television, Your Excellency. The unpatriotic Army Generals are broadcasting on SPIT.”

The dispersion was swifter than a cobra’s dart. His Excellency’s sight got blurry, as he sunk while trying to gasp for breath; reaching out to the fleeing silhouettes headed towards the Presidential panic room.

“I think he’s having a heart attack. Your Excellency…Your Excellency.”

Coup Post By Michael N.M Thompson

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