Campaign – Chapter 1
Chapter One – Nebraska
“Well, I think that’s just great,” Senator Marcia Brute remarks, in response to a farmer pointing at a cow.
Campaign manager Katrina Kindling is checking her phone when she walks into another cow’s rear end. The cow grunts and shuffles along the pasture as Kate wipes down her slacks.
“Madame Senator?” Kate gives Sen. Brute the look and the Senator nods, turning to the collected group of local farmers and national media.
“Nebraska is truly one of our nation’s finest states. And agriculture is the backbone of Nebraska, and therefore America. When elected President, I will make it my mission to ensure the nation knows this and the world knows this.”
The Senator leaves to tepid applause and lights a cigarette as they turn a barn’s corner.
“Making agriculture one of your growing list of platforms now, Senator?” Kate asks, nose buried in her phone.
“Oh, who fucking cares.” Sen. Brute exhales a cloud of smoke as a pig stares at the women from a distance. “What’s next?”
Kate brings up the itinerary on her phone. “A photo op at Clemp’s Diner.”
“Clemp?” Sen. Brute tosses her cigarette and it bonks off a passing chicken, emitting a startled cluck.
“You have to eat their Sloppy Clemp.”
“Not a fucking chance.”
“Just one bite, Senator.”
“What’s up with all the wet sandwiches in this part of the country? You could wring ’em out like a sponge.”
Secret Service agent Sam Spewack turns the corner and Sen. Brute stuffs the cigarette pack she’s been tunking into Kate’s hand.
“Madame Senator, we can’t leave just yet.”
“And why is that, agent?”
“A body has been found.”
“A what has been what?”
Kate steps backwards into a fresh cow patty. Sen. Brute heads for the campaign bus and Kate follows before Agent Spewack grabs her arm, looking down at the cigarette pack.
“You really shouldn’t smoke in front of the Senator.”
Sen. Brute is on the campaign bus talking on her phone to Kate standing directly outside the bus, trying to scrape off the bullshit. Flashing police lights reflect off the shiny sparkling new bus in the afternoon sunlight.
“You don’t think it’s one of mine, do you?”
“Excuse me, ma’am?”
“You don’t think someone on my staff is a murderer, do you?”
“No ma’am, I don’t think someone on your staff is a murderer.”
“I’d poke my head out the window and talk to you face to face, but if someone snapped a photo that wouldn’t be a good look.”
“I understand, ma’am.”
“So phones it is.”
Kate scrapes the bottom of her shoe on the side of the bus. “Yes, ma’am.”
Agent Spewack approaches Kate and she spins around, one shoe on her foot, one shitty shoe in her hand.
“We got a beat on the body, ma’am.”
Sen. Brute sticks her head out the bus window, “You what?” A thousand flash bulbs go off and the Senator ducks back inside, hollering out the cellphone at Kate’s side. “Put me on speaker!”
Kate holds the phone up between her and Agent Spewack.
“Ma’am, it appears the farmer murdered his wife this morning and disposed of the body under a pile of hay in a nearby barn. It was discovered by a wandering reporter during your speech.”
“So not only did I shake hands with a mass murderer, but my speech wasn’t even interesting enough to hold some jackass reporter’s attention.”
“It appears to be just the one body, ma’am.”
“You said you shook hands with a mass murderer, but he appears to have only murdered the one.”
“Well we’ve only been here an hour. Is this gonna be bad, Kate?”
“For the farmer’s wife? Well, it would seem the worst is ove–“
“For my campaign.”
“Oh. Yes. Very bad, ma’am.”
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