Monday, April 08, 2013

Installment 18 of F. Scott Sinclair's Novel "The Walls Have Ears: A Novel of America"


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 @ 2007 by F. Scott Sinclair. All Rights Reserved.

Scene Eighteen of the Serialization of “The Walls Have Ears: A Novel of America”

By F. Scott Sinclair

Vice Presidential Candidate: Former Supreme Court Justice Theodore Marsh

I hadn’t been to Seattle’s Space Needle in a number of years,
so having the chance to be interviewed by the Daily Show was
a delight. Former senator Lester Hampton and I were old friends
and foes of the Establishment both philosophically and literally.

As the cameramen and women set the stage for the morning
TV interview, I sat back on the studio couch that overlooked
Union Bay. As the Space Needle continued on its once hourly
revolution of the restaurant, I could see sailboats and small
pleasure boats preparing to enter the locks. Their white
fiberglass hulls and mahogany decks bristled proudly as
the sun reflected its awesome magnificence off the polished
surfaces. The morning dew sparkled off those glossy
mahogany decks providing an aura of warmth in the
midst of man-made chaos.

Before I could capture the full breadth of the breathtaking
view from hundreds of feet above planet earth, I was
interrupted by the director, who said, “We’re about to
go on the air, Judge Marsh.”

Presidential candidate Lester Hampton had been unusually
silent, and said, “Please, leave us alone for a moment. We’ll
be over in a minute.”

“You have 5 minutes, sir,” the director said with tight
lips of concern.

“We understand...”

As the director left us to ourselves, I asked, “What’s
the matter, Lester?’

With an unsettled expression, he says, “You’re about
to join me in an adventure that may lead to disaster,
my friend.”

“You’re worried about me, huh?”

“Both of us, I’m afraid.”

Seeing his trembling hands and pale face caused a pang
of anxiety to pierce the pit of my
stomach, as I stated, “Is this a life and death affair...?”

Not wanting to hear his answer, I turned my head
outward upon the Olympic Mountain Range, as Lester
says, “You might say that...”

“In what way?”

The spoon he was stirring his coffee with shook almost
uncontrollably. I reached over to steady his hand before 
he spilled the entire contents of the coffee cup on the fine 
linen tablecloth. He smiled, embarrassed. He retrieved his
shaking hand, and says, “I’ve a repetitious dream,
Theodore. I don’t know what the symbols mean. It’s
bizarre... But the bottom line is: the death...of us both,
my friend.”

Knowing the integrity of my friend, I knew he was
signaling for me to take a bow, then to exit out of
the picture through the side door. I nodded my
understanding, toying with the napkin in my lap,
and said, “I’ve been threatened before, Lester. I’m
an old man, so time on planet earth is immaterial at
this point. If our boys and girls can give their young
and tender lives for no reason in Iraq, then this old
Black man can give his life up for something he’s
always striven for...”

With his fingers intertwined beneath his chin and
braced by his forearms, Lester said with a demeanor
that had abruptly changed, “And what’s that, Theodore?”

Feeling a pain of nostalgia from my Black past, I said
with a slight tear developing in the corner of my right
eye, “Does the name, Martin Luther King, ring any bells?”

“Sure... It’s been a long time hasn’t it? But one never
forgets how many sacrifices have been made in the
past for freedom.”

“I swore on my mother’s grave that I’d never give up
the good fight against discrimination, injustice...and all
the rights and privileges that both white and black
soldiers gave their lives for. My life is a small sacrifice
for regaining our freedom, liberty and restoring the
Bill of Rights...among other things.”

I saw Lester’s brow furrow, almost grief stricken as
his eyes trailed off in the direction of the director who
was making his way back to our table. “Looks like it’s
showtime, partner.”

“Thanks for the warning.”


“Sorry for the pun. And as to your personal warning,
don’t fret. I’m climbing onboard of my own freewill,

Before he could open his mouth, the director stood
over us, and said, “This way, gentlemen. One minute
to go...”

Lester followed the arrow of his arm with uncertainty,
and says, “Age before beauty, my friend.”

“Follow the leader...,” I replied.

“Everyone says stupid things when they’re uptight.”

“Yeah, especially this old goat. Well, it’s off to the

He got my drift...as this old duffer walked towards
the executioner: the interviewer.

“Welcome to the show, Judge Marsh,” the executioner
said, raising his right hand limply.

“Thanks,” is all I could manage to say. His less than
strong handshake meant trouble on the horizon,
sooner or later.

The director interrupted again. “Ten seconds to
showtime, gentlemen.”

As my black skin turned white, I stared incoherently
at the boom operator controlling the mike overheard.
Apparently, they weren’t going to trust the cordless
microphone strapped to the small of my back.

The interviewer, Raymond Sikes, says, “Is there
something the matter, Judge Marsh.”

“Nothing a couple of beers wouldn’t cure.”

“Nervous...?” Sikes said with almost a gleeful
expression of enjoyment at my expense.

“Two seconds to go...!” the director said.

“Of course not...,” I said without much conviction.

“You’re on the air,” the director said.

As the interviewer prepared the audience and
the home viewers for my appearance, I sat back
on the studio couch: petrified.

“Thanks for coming, Judge Marsh. Is it all right
to call you that? I’ve heard that’s your preference
from friends who know you well.”

“Please do... And you...? What do you like to be called?”

“Feel free to call me, Ray. That’s my preference.”


Ray made himself comfortable, then said, “I hear
you have something important to tell the American
viewers this morning?”

“Thank you for this opportunity to tell the American
people that I am declaring my candidacy for Vice
President of the United States. Yes, I shall share
the independent ticket with the Presidential candidate,
former Senator Lester Hampton.”

“Is Lester Hampton in the studio today?”

“Yes, but he’d prefer that I state my positions and
declare my candidacy with the American people alone.”

Looking at his notes, Sikes says, “You’re sort of
out on a limb...?”

“You could say that.... But I’d rather do that than
become a commercial sound bite for the next couple
of years. They’ll be plenty of time for political ads.
Intimacy is what I’m after these days.”

With a haughty mask of a professional talk show
host, he said, “And straight talk...?”

Seeing the first spear being thrown, I said,
“That’s right. And it’s about time somebody
did. Straight talk has been off the table so long,
it’s a miracle that anyone still remembers what
the expression means.”

“Are you saying that the present administration
is too secretive?”

“And conniving, I might add.”

Ray flipped the yellow pages of his legal notepad
until he found what he was looking for, and says,
“Judge, it’s a sad day when the American people,
and the people of the world, no longer hold our
country up as a model of democracy, decency,
freedom, justice, equality and the dream that
America once was. Is that your position?”

Dumbfounded at having him take the words
right out of my mouth, I said, “I’ll go one step
further. I’m nearly 80 years old, and having been
a Supreme Court justice for a number of years;
I’d say that we have a criminal in the White House.
If the independent ticket of Hampton and Marsh
is elected in November of 2016, I shall personally
see to it that President Adolf S. Steinhart is punished.
My first act will be to ask President Hampton to
declare President Steinhart an enemy combatant.”

Shocked, the executioner quips, “You wouldn’t—“

“I surely would...! And for just cause, Ray. Never
in our history have we had anyone who’s aided
and abetted the enemy more than this president.
By torturing the enemy, taking away the right of
habeas corpus, indefinite confinement without
legal recourse, extraordinary renditions, and the
wholesale sell off of the Constitution of the United
States...that we all hold dear to our hearts, President
Steinhart has fostered our enemy’s cause. He's even
gone so far as to declare American citizens abroad, and
here at home, fair game. That's  right, he feels he can
murder anyone who opposes him.”

“Do you mean President Steinhart has personally
created enemies of the state?”

“More than that... He’s created enemies of the
American people by incarcerating its citizens
without due process, eavesdropped on their
communications in violation of the FISA Act. And
so help me God, he’s going to pay for the damage
done--especially for the wholesale murdering of American
citizens authorized by the National Defense Authorization
Act--if Lester Hampton and I win the 2016 election!
Is that clear enough? He'll have no place to hide!”

Time was running out. Hurriedly, the executioner
says defiantly, “That means you’ve become the
devil’s advocate...and that covers a lot of territory.”

As I wiped my lips in anticipation of answering the
question, I said, “The so-called ‘territory’ you’re
referring to, I presume...is the issue of torture, if
I gather the gist and the context of the word: territority.”

“Very perceptive, Judge Marsh.”

“I’ll leave that to you and your audience to figure
out. Use your imagination... But I can tell you one
thing for sure; we’ll have a signed and sealed
confession when we’re through...one way or another.
Does that answer your question?”

“Indirectly...,” he said, as he gazed at the director
who’d just made a sign as though he’d just broken
a pencil in two.

Before he could say a word, I said, “It’s been nice, Ray.”

Ray “the executioner” locked his eyes upon his yellow
legal pad, and says without looking up, “How time
flies when you’re having a good time! Anyway, thank
you for declaring your candidacy, Judge Marsh. I
trust you’ll accept my invitation to appear on my show
in the near future?”

His eyes rose slowly to meet those insincere and hollow

“Time will tell, Ray. But thanks for having me--,” I
said, as Ray “the executioner” prepared to interview
another guest. Ray didn’t say another word after he
went off the air to a commercial. Perhaps another day...

Lester Hampton was standing in the shadows, and
waived his hand to get my attention, and says
leaning past the TV camera, “Time’s up, partner.
This way...”

I’d said what I wanted to say, and that was that.
Apparently, the executioner had other things on
his mind, or he was upset with my proposal. Never
mind, that’s show business. We’re off camera, so
I’d better get used to the cold-shoulder treatment.
I reacted to Lester’s continued gesturing, by saying,
“Show me the way, master.”

With a hint of sarcasm, Lester says, “The days
of slavery are over and done with, Judge Marsh.”

As we walked out of the studio, I said, “Not really,
I’m afraid. We’ve just traded one slave master for

“A Fascist Police State...?”

“There you go... But this time it’s not just Blacks
who are the slaves. White folks from every nook
and cranny are now slaves: wage slaves...right
along with the Blacks, Mexicans and everybody
else, I’m afraid.”

Lester strode out the front door of the makeshift
television studio, and says, “And as long as there’s
a middle-class, we’ll never have a true democracy.”

I came to an abrupt halt in front of the Space Needle
Restaurant's plexiglas covered exterior elevator,
and stared Lester down, and said, “You’re referring
to the middle-class: the golden handcuffs syndrome?”

“Yup...! They’ve everything to lose. They’ll put up
with anything to justify their need to sample a
piece of the good life. A bunch of gutless wanderers...
It’s only the rich and poor who comprise a true
democracy. But there’s only one catch...”

“Let me think,” I said, pondering the merits of
those words. “You’re referring to the fact that
the poor have no money; hence, no power.”

“Bingo! Need I say more...?”

We both grinned at the truth of those words.


A Book Review by Harrison K. of -- Karmic Rendition: A Novel of Pancho Villa Avenged - 
F. Scott's latest published novel. He hopes you enjoy it as much
as he enjoyed writing it. The following two books are available
at: bangkokbooks.com, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble (Nook),
Sony (& Political Instincts)KoboSmashwords and other fine 
stores & affiliates.

Here are a couple of excellent previews of the following novels for your 
reading pleasure. If you like "The Walls Have Ears: A Novel 
of America"--perhaps you might enjoy these books penned 
by F. Scott. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

Karmic Rendition: A Novel of Pancho Villa Avenged - Scott Sinclair - Google Books. 

Al-Ahram Weekly | People | Limelight: Bourne to be a classic

A tribute to the world's best thriller writer: Robert Ludlum with a
quote or two from novelist F. Scott Sinclair in the process.