This story is by Peter Ntephe (pen name: Peter Chika) and was part of our 2017 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the Summer Writing Contest stories here.
The president died at the traffic lights on a blistering Friday afternoon. Sergeant Yisa shot him through the head when the car stopped at the lights as the president headed for Friday prayers. The car would never have stopped at the lights if the president had not insisted on showing that he was a man of the people who did not disobey traffic lights or ride in armored convoys.
James “Beam” Stones, the cultural attaché, had agreed with Major Musa, the presidential aide-de-camp, that a handpicked assassin would shoot the president in the head. The bullet would put paid to the head that conceived the “Death to America” campaign which whipped the people into a frenzy and led to the attack on the Embassy. The headshot would make sure that the president died and that no other hot heads in the region would get similar ideas as Death to America.
Jim Stones was not a real cultural attaché but a covert operations specialist trained at The Farm where he had picked up a love of bourbon. Major Musa was a real major, trained at the national defense academy and then at West Point where he had acquired the beginnings of an American accent and more than a fondness for bourbon. It was over bourbon and American accents that Major Musa and Jim Stones bonded drunkenly at the Old Colonial Golf Club and the major whispered to the agent a desire to be president sooner rather than later.
When Langley gave the go-ahead for President Akala to be “reclassified,” it was again over bourbon but in a safe house on the American Rubber Plantation that agent and major hatched the plan. Within a week, the self-styled “People’s President of the People” was dead, shot in the head at the traffic lights by Sergeant Yisa, the top marksman of the presidential guard.
Jim Stones was to have been drinking bourbon into the night, looking forward to a deserved promotion and, perhaps, a new posting to somewhere devoid of the infernal mosquitoes that literally drove him up the wall here. Instead, he was in leg irons with the rest of the Embassy staff as the new president, General (formerly Major) Musa, announced that he was severing relations with America “with immediate effect” and nationalizing all American investments including the plantations of American Rubber and the oilfields of ExxonMobil.
“I hereby declare this country free of the cowboy imperialism of the Americans,” intoned the general to flashing cameras. Flanked by Major (formerly Sergeant) Yisa, the new presidential aide-de-camp, the general also announced an important new law called the Very Important Persons (Exclusion from Observance of Traffic Lights) Decree.