Election 2016: ORIGINS

The President sat in his leather chair in the Oval Office. A withered gentleman with ruddy cheeks sat across the desk, running a wrinkled hand over his hairless scalp. A small pile of orange fur sat in the bald man's lap. It purred.

"You're our best agent. Please say you'll do this," said President Obama.

"I'm old, Obie," said the bald man, "And I'm retired. I'm done. I'm out of the game. Get someone else."

"There is no one else," said the President. "Please. One last mission, that's all I ask. The country needs you, Don. *I* need you."

The bald man slumped in his seat, and he pet the purring lump of hair pensively.

"One last job, you say?"

The President nodded.

The bald man sighed, then nodded. He grunted as he labored to his feet, holding the orange tabby in one hand and bracing himself on the chair's arm with the other. The President likewise stood up. He saluted the bald man.

"For America, Don. For America," said President Obama.

The bald man took the cat in both hands and slid it over his scalp. The cat curled in a ball and thrust its claws into the bald man's skull. Small lines of red trickled down the back of the man's head. Once secure, the cat fell back asleep. It purred more loudly than before. With the cat secured, the bald man's face suddenly transformed: no longer a tired old agent, but a shifty-eyed, fiery businessman. The President had never seen the transformation up close before. It frightened him.

The cat-wearing man thrust a finger at the President.

"You're sitting in my seat!" he shouted, his voice just loud enough to mask the cat's purring.

"There he is," said the President. "Go get 'em."

The cat-wearing man strode over to the great mahogany door that lead out of the Oval Office and pounded it twice with a balled fist. The Secret Service agent on the other side opened the door and nodded.

"Don," called President Obama.

The cat-wearing man turned. He was scowling.

"Say it just once. For me."

The agent leaned back and drew a deep, dramatic breath, as if though he were about to spit out a hurricane.

"Mister President," he shouted, wildly jabbing the air with his pointer finger.