Candy

Reese was placed on a big ugly desk by the supple hands of a woman. He knew he was in grave danger. For days Reese had been living in a dark cabinet with dozens of other Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. One by one they had all been grabbed by the supple hands of the same woman. None had ever returned.

Reese considered his existence to be a cruel one. From the moment of his conception in a factory in Hershey, Pennsylvania he had only experienced confusion and pain. He couldn’t see the light of day for more than a second before being packaged, boxed and shipped to an unknown location against his will with hundreds of others like him. But even in such a dire situation, he was able to strike up friendships with the other peanut butter cups in his box. But one by one they had all been taken away. And he remained in the dark cabinet, helpless.

He had begun to think that perhaps he was put on this earth to suffer.

A large white man walked past Reese and sat down behind the desk. Reese didn’t know who this man was, but he had a feeling he was an enemy. He needed to think of an escape. Suddenly, the room got very bright. Reese could see lots of video cameras all around him and people standing behind them. Reese started to consider escape routes. Immediately in his surroundings was a stack of papers and a coffee mug. Below the desk was a garbage can. Perhaps if Reese could fall off the desk into the garbage can the large white man would forget about him and he would be safe.

Unprompted, the man behind the desk began to talk: “The O’Reilly Factor is on,” he said. “Hello folks, I’m Bill O’Reilly and you have entered the no spin zone.”

Reese had no idea what any of that meant, but he felt that he was part of some kind of performance. Perhaps the large white man intended to execute him in front of all these cameras. That would be so very wicked. Reese thought harder about how he could get himself into the garbage can. The fact that he was born inanimate was proving to be a challenge.

The large white man continued: “President Trump’s missile attack on Syria sent a new message to the world that the US is going to hold war criminals accountable. The previous president Barack Obama would not do that. Instead, he used negotiations which often failed.”

Reese spotted the woman off to the side of the stage. She was pacing back and forth and looking very uncomfortable. If only Reese could get her attention in some way. She had put him in this situation, maybe she could take him out of it. The bright lights were making Reese sweat.

Another large white man was now talking to the first large white man through a monitor. He said “Trump is an impulsive man. That’s why he tweets the way he does, that’s why he responds to criticism the way he does. Acting impulsively, while satisfying, is not a substitute for well thought out foreign policy.”

The first large white man responded: “I think you’re being unfair. Trump is now in a position where he can stop war crimes and I think he exercised strong judgment in striking against Assad. It is easy for you to come on my show and bloviate and be a theorist when you don’t have to make the same tough calls that our commander and chief does.”

The large white man on the monitor started to speak but was quickly cut off by the first large white man: “Directly ahead, a horrifying story in Idaho involving child refugees attacking a 5-year-old girl.”

The lights in the studio shut off. The woman started walking towards the desk. Now was Reese’s chance. He thought vigorously of how he could get the woman’s attention. It was no use. She walked right past him and approached the large white man.

“Here are the notes you asked for on the health care bill,” she told the large white man.

“Thanks sugar,” the large white man said. He leaned forward and rested his head in his palm. “What say after the show you and I go get dinner at Morton’s.”

“60 seconds” a voice shouted from somewhere in the studio.

“Mr. O’Reilly, I just want to do my job,” the woman said.

“We can talk about your job. We can talk about a lot of things.” As he said this, the large white man reached out his hand and grasped the woman’s thigh.

The woman stood straight up, startled.

“30 seconds” the voice said.

“I would prefer if you don’t do that Mr. O’Reilly.”

“Call me Bill,” O’Reilly said. “And you’ve got to learn to get along if you want to move along hun.”

He reached out again to grab another handful. She swatted his hand down.

“I don’t need to put up with this shit. You are a disgusting man. I quit.”

“10 seconds.”

She reached back and slapped the large white man hard across the face. Then she stormed off the stage.

As she walked past Reese he did everything in his power to get her attention. But it was no use, she moved past him as if he was not even there.

The lights came back up on O’Reilly rubbing the red mark on his face where he had just been slapped. For a moment he couldn’t recall his line. Then he began: “Our Fox News correspondent in Idaho has learned of a truly awful story involving an innocent five-year-old girl…” His voice trailed off. He leaned back in his chair and exhaled.

“Excuse me folks, 20 years behind this desk can sometimes wear on you.”

The large white man reached out his hand and grabs Reese. Horrified, Reese considers what he can do to escape the clutches of his captor. He knows time is running out. The large white man pinches Reese’s packaging with two fingers and tears it off. Reese is now naked for the cameras but still determined to escape. He looks to the coffee mug. He looks at the stack of papers and the garbage can on the floor. The lights are so bright.

The large white man opens his mouth and drops Reese inside. The last thing Reese sees is the woman heading for the door. Then the large white man closes his mouth and Reese is gone.

“That’s better,” the large white man says. “Sometimes all I need is a little piece of candy.”

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