Lights Out

Photo by Jay Clark on Unsplash

The lens recoiled into the body of the camera. The cameraman snapped the cap back on before the interview had a chance to begin. The reporter gazed through her subject, his persona a vacuous shell she realized wasn’t worth the attention she was just a moment before willing to shower upon him.

The word had come down from above ‘We’re turning the lights out tonight and going home early.’ For today, and maybe tomorrow, coverage of the man would cease. For the reporter, a forty year old woman named Rebecca, it meant she had the next couple days to herself.

The man, leader of a nation who fancied himself a king, felt beads of sweat line his skin under his custom tailored merino wool suit, 24 carat gold cuff-links and Italian leather loafers. In that moment, when the eyes of world were taken from him, all he felt was old.

“Get back here, we aren’t done!” he shouted. But Rebecca was already halfway out the door. The cameraman gave him a shrug and followed her.

One of his assistants screamed into his cell phone. “What do you mean it’s cancelled? This is bullshit Garett and you know it. Your head is gonna roll buddy.” He paused for half a second. “Fuck me? No fuck you!”

The assistant squeezed the phone between his white knuckles. In that moment he saw through his boss.  The man he worked for looked at him with a pair of small beady eyes. Behind them was the white plaster of the far wall. The assistant slid his cell phone into the breast pocket of his boss’ suit and left.

All alone, the man looked at the media feed on the home screen of the phone and could not find his name. Cold air flowed in and out of the folds in his clothes. His labored breathing was all that broke the silence.

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