Monday, May 17, 2010



Warning: If you are easily shocked with regard to contrary
points of view, conspiracy theories, offensive language, political
correctness, sex, or anything else that may offend your
sensibilities or lack of open-mindedness, or if you're a minor
(but by no means limited to the aforementioned), please do
not read this novel. It's not for you...

Note: This is a work of fiction. The events described here are
imaginary: the settings, events and characters are fictitious,
and/or are the product of the author's imagination or used
fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual events or locales
or persons (living or dead) is entirely coincidental.

Copyright (C) 2007 By F. Scott Sinclair. All Rights Reserved.

Scene 21 of the Walls Have Ears: A Novel of America

President Adolf S. Steinhart

As the propane gas eked its way out to my eternal flame
of power, hidden in the make-believe ashes in the fireplace,
it almost smothered the glowing white flame that appeared
contemptuous of my presence. The fake log began to feel
like a personal mood icon that had its heart set on choking
me to death to redeem all the ghosts and souls I’ve
vanquished in the last six years. With everyone trying
their best to place me on their proverbial couch, my failed
conscience was interrupted by my secretary’s knock at thy
emperor’s gate, and says, “Mr. President, you have a couple
of uninvited guests in my office.”

My secretary has a habit of not buzzing me on the
intercom. She fears my responses will be overheard, or
her own comments might be unappreciated. Good point,
I thought. Her tone of irritation rubbed off on me. “May I ask—“

Before I could utter a word, she answered, “Ms. Jennifer
Berg, and Mr. Ramsey are here to see you.”

I was in the mood to share the good news with my
underlings, and said, “Welcome them in, my dear. Yes,
I need a breather and the scent of fresh air. By all means,
bring them in.”

Anyway, having just been advised that the likelihood
of impeachment proceedings being forwarded from the
Judiciary Committee was almost nil, I felt vindicated. If
there’s one thing I know for certain, eavesdropping is the
one thing that’s paid off political debts, and provided similar
dividends. Some call it political blackmail. I call it: political
clout. The eye of the beholder is my take on the matter.
And my take is what matters. They call me the decider,
and so it goes…

Moments later, my national security advisor came through
the door with the head of the Secret Service White House
detail in tow. Jennifer Berg says curtly, “I’m sure you know,
Mr. Ramsey, here.”

“By all means…! How’s everything these days?”

His eyes were like piercing arrows, stabbing his
penetrating gaze into the Persian rug’s Seal of the
President of the United States: me. He hesitated,
parted his lips, then fell silent.

I asked, thrusting my hand forward jovially, “It can’t
be all that bad, Mr. Ramsey. Now can it?”

Jennifer blurts out, “That’s what I told him, Mr.
President. Exactly that, didn’t I?”

“That’s correct, Mr. President. But with all the lies—“

Ms. Berg jumped in with all fours to save the day,
and says, “Excuse me, Mr. President. What he
meant to say was—“

“That’s alright now. When the Secret Service has
something to say, they’ve got the right and authority to
spell it out. No matter how it hurts… Is that understood,
Mr. Ramsey?”

“Yes, Mr. President. Anything you say, sir.”

Jennifer backed off and pointed for Mr. Ramsey to have
a seat on the couch. I in turn, pressed the intercom and
requested some coffee and refreshments. As I returned to
the black leather couch opposite my desk, I said, “Be forthright
and yah won’t have a dang thing to worry about. Do you
hear me?”

It seemed like an eternity, those few mute moments
before he replied, and says, “Something is fishy, sir. Real
fishy if you ask me.”

I puckered my thin lips in anticipation, and said,
“How’s that, Randy? Do you mind if I call you by your first

With a hint of a grin, he replies, “Sure enough, Mr. President.
How about if I call you, Adolf? That would certainly reduce
my anxiety a lot, Mr. President.”

“Does my first name ring any bells? That’s in history, I mean.”

“Hitler. Sure, I get it. You were named after him, huh?”

With a sly quip, I said, “You’re a real crowd pleaser, I bet.
Call me whatever you like. Now, out with it…!”

Startled by my last remark, he stutters, and says
apprehensively, “I just got off the phone with one of my
agents. Apparently, you’ve approved another detail to guard
former Supreme Court justice, Theodore Marsh. Is that
correct, sir?”

With a whimsical glance, I said, “I’m glad you addressed
me as: sir. Otherwise, I’d think you was trying to put one over
on me. You know what I’m sayin’?”

I’d never seen a Secret Service agent cower to anyone
but me. And I like it that way. He says with gritted teeth,
“Did you countermand my orders, Mr. President?”

My left foot began twitching somewhat, twisting and
turning in place, as I said, “If you mean by that: Did I sign
documents to that effect? Yes, I did. What of it?”

I could see the head of the White House detail trembling,
but not out of fright. His shaking was due to outrage, and
rightly so. But I wasn’t going to give him the pleasure of
knowing that little morsel of information. I took a deep breath,
and said in an even tone, “Ms. Berg here, provided me with
those countermanding orders. And I signed them. Any
further questions?”

He turned to Jennifer, and shouts, “Why? Why in the
hell did you do that? Our business is to protect you—people.”

He appeared to want to say something less kind. But,
thankfully, he restrained himself. At times, I should follow
his example, but ask anybody—I’m not noted for my
diplomatic ways.

“Now…now…now, let’s not get our nuts in a wringer,
shall we, partner?” I said.

He stood up defensively, and says, “That’s all I wanted
to know. I thought there’d been a mistake, Mr. President.
But I was wrong. I told the agent the orders were legit.
And now I know that I was right, sir. Thank you for your
time, Adolf. I mean, Mr. President. Good day.”

I looked at Jennifer, and winced. My thin lips tightened,
as I said, “Very well, my friend. Thanks for checking with
me. Wouldn’t want anythin’ foolish to interfere with yah
all’s security plans. Needless to say, I’m the last person
who’d deliberately sabotage his own White House detail,
or any other. Yah got that?”

With his feet firm and heels locked together, he shook
my hand, and says, “Thank you, Mr. President.”

He turned to his left and walked around the couch,
letting himself out of the Oval Office.

I immediately turned to Ms. Berg, and hissed, “Now,
what in the hell’s that shit all about?”

With a hint of deceit on her face, she says, “Care to
know about things, or would you rather not know? Remember,
what you don’t know, you can’t honestly attest to. You’ve
asked me to take certain unmentionable activities and take
care of things, my way. Care to change things, at this late
date? You’re certainly welcome to join in, Mr. President.

The intimidation was working. All I could say was,
“Carry-on, partner. The bull’s shit is in the wind. Cut the
smell—anyway you can. Is that understood?”

“Thanks for backing me up, sir. Talk to you tomorrow,
Mr. President.”

“Till tomorrow,” I said, shaking hands, hoping that
my right sweaty palm wasn’t noticeable.

Life’s a bitch and then you die, I thought, as I closed
the Oval Office door behind her. The good news I'd wanted
to share with them was short-lived. Other pressing issues
always seem to come to the forefront and take charge:
usurping an otherwise delightful afternoon in the Oval
Office. Such is life...