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weekly humor and satire - g. xavier robillard
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The Thin Veil - A Political Thriller

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A subterranean meeting occurs. Faces are hidden by cloaks. Caviar and Champagne are consumed, and there is considerable laughing, but not the laughter of a child's birthday party, but rather the icy cackle of a sinister syndicate. This group of celebrities represents the highest echelon of the Homelessness Industry. Their hidden lair is deep underneath Washington, directly below the Lincoln Memorial, in the city that would least suspect such a secret and evil group that would be anathema to our first Republican president.

"Hey Ronno, you wealthy Irish rock star who represents our Cause," says Carl Mope, the leader of international group Brownpeace, "What will you do with the proceeds from our benefit concert that in reality will benefit the participants?"

"I plan to bribe the Swedes and buy me a fecking Nobel Prize."

"What a grand idea."

"It's fecking brilliant."

"Down to business. What are our orders?" asks Congressman Bilk of Massachusetts.

The genius Mope looks at the group. All of these powerful men and women look to him for answers. Because he invented the homelessness industry, all of these people owe their careers to him.

"Go out on the talkshows. Write your protest songs. The holidays are over, but you must keep the homelessness myth in the public eye.

"There are those who wish to expose and destroy us. Time and again, we've made them look like fools. But eventually, one of them will discover the truth. That there is no such thing as homelessness, and that all of the people that are seen on the streets are unemployed actors, and that we raise money and pass legislation for our own benefit."

"Someone has," says Ronno.

There is a gasp that reverberates around the stone walls of the underground cavern, much like the perfect sound system of a Puerto Rican muscle car.

"But who?" asks Congressman Bilk.

"A young, truth-seeking, beautiful social worker. But the drummer from my band, who is a paid assassin, and also a member of the IRA, will find and kill her."

The meeting breaks up. Celebrities return to their mansions, leaders of NGOs return to their front offices, and the congressional leaders return to their home districts, those districts whose citizens are so morally depraved that they happily elect shills.

None of these deceitful power brokers know that their movements are monitored. Lawyer Mike Rawlins, a former DA, who looks much like Tom Cruise, if Tom Cruise were to stop bathing and grow a beard, has been slowly, steadily building up a case. But no one believes him, and he was fired from the DA office for his politically incorrect views. He sits in his apartment at night, drinks, and grows facial hair, and looks at all of the framed newspaper clippings of the famous cases he won in the past. By day he is a street cleaner, and he witnesses the injustice perpetrated by the Homelessness industry.

If only he could find another true believer.

Her name is Mary Snowden. She is beautiful and loves hunting, and she is clever, but not so smart that she can always avoid dangerous situations. She has perfect round breasts, which if revealed in a movie adaptation, would resemble those pertaining to Kate Winslet. Mary is a disenchanted social worker, whose father was killed by one of the so-called homeless. She has reams of evidence about the homelessness industry, which she plans to present to a major newspaper. Her plan will fail, because of the evil killer mentioned earlier.

As Mike and Mary move closer to the dramatic epicenter, they meet. Mary is accosted by a panhandler, she will not help him, because she knows that homelessness is fake. The panhandler becomes belligerent, and Mike steps in to diffuse an uncomfortable situation. They enjoy coffee, then a long walk, then a heartfelt conversation walking amidst the horses of a disabled carousel that reminds Mary of her youth, and she breaks Mike's heart.

"I can never love you, for you remind me of my father, who died in the line of duty. He was a clean cop in a corrupt town. Goodbye. I have to return to the dark and underutilized research library alone at this late hour to finish my damning documents that will finally expose the homelessness industry."

Mike returns to his home to drink. But as he pours a drink, he looks down at a photo album, which is conveniently open to a photo of Mary's father, back when he was a young cop. Mike makes himself some coffee, and prepares to fight the battle which he formerly considered lost.

Mary works diligently at the research library. She drinks coffee and is so absorbed in her work that she chews her glasses' frame, and her desk is positioned directly in front of a window.

Irish assassin Barry Mullen sets the site of his rifle scope on the attractive woman, who is almost ready to deliver her important evidence to the newspaper. He is ready to pull the trigger, but in a brief comic interlude that plays off the moment's tension, he is distracted by her shapely legs. He whistles, then shakes his head, and gets back to the business of murder. He lights up a cigarette, a gift from his friends in the tobacco lobby, and aims the gun once more.

"To the glory of a united Ireland. And to the corrupting influence of rock and roll!" Barry Mullen slowly squeezes the trigger.

"No! I will rock you!" says Mike Rawlins, who has shaved, revealing an innocent but world weary face that is much more attractive. His beard is gone, washed away, much like his dependence on alcohol, and his ambivalence toward doing the right thing. They scuffle, and in the melee, Barry Mullen gains the upper hand, and chokes the former DA.

Far below, in the library, Mary watches and frets.

With only precious few minutes to live, Mike pulls out a flask of whiskey, one that he promised to flush, but he hasn't. The Irish assassin is momentarily distracted by the fumes of alcohol, and loosens his death grip. Mike pours it on his enemy and sets him on fire, using the lighter he was given long ago by Mary's father. Mike crawls out of the charnel house, and Mary runs to him.

"You saved me. Why aren't you in my arms right now?"

"You said you could never love me."

"That was then. Before, before you saved me."

"I will save you anytime, baby."

They kiss, and the bedroom door closes, and we hear strains of guitar music from someone like the patriotic Garth Brooks.


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