What if you were born an ogre?
Ogres once made a decent living in the forests of Germany, right up until the nineteenth century. Then rapid industrialization and de-forestation made much of their homeland untenable. Most went down fighting, eating the children of the new bourgeoisie until lynch mobs caught up with them, but a few travelled to the New World. Here, unexpectedly, they did well. Ogres have a natural gift for business, having none of the moral scruples of humanity.
Donald (or Djibragozke in ogreish, which was never used after the death of his father) was the grandson and the son of an ogre, but they were successful ogres and that made him popular at the military academy to which his father sent him. What life was like for the working class of his kind he did not know nor did he care. He was good at sports, at least those that involved brute strength and barging into people and did better in exams than ogres are generally expected to do, possibly a gift from his mother, a Scottish banshee. Sadly a genetic flat foot prevented him from following a military career.
So Donald became a playboy, indulging in the large appetites of an ogre with an iron constitution but all the while keeping an eye on his father’s business on which his future depended. He learnt that an ogre can shout louder and bang the table with more ferocity than any of his business competitors. This was at the heart of the deal.
It is in the nature of an ogre to both loathe his father and to be greatly in awe of him. It is not in the ogre parental guidelines to hug. When his father died Donald felt a great burden lifted from him. His first act, once installed in his father’s imperial office, was to have a life size oil painting of the old ogre hung on the wall behind the very large desk. It was his intention that every time he did something clever, made a better deal than his father could possibly have done, he would turn around and honour the dead in spit.
Life did not turn out exactly as he had planned. Business life was much more difficult than in his father’s day. The former ways by which the old monster would deal with competitors, so that they would eventually give him no more trouble, apart from a possible attack of gas, were now frowned upon. The business world had gone soft and not conducive to ogres. Before long he had halved his father’s fortune.
Fortunately ogres are not shy, introvert types given to meditating on what they have done wrong. Disasters just made him shout louder. For some reason this was attractive to T.V. producers (there is quite a lot of ogre blood in show business moguls) and he was offered a show where he could shout at cowering business aspirants to his heart’s content.
But it was not as much fun as he had been assured. With celebrity there were limited opportunities to feast on human flesh and his business empire was still crumbling. For some reason his celebrity made his business competitors view him as a figure of fun rather than with the awe he expected.
It is a positive trait of ogres that, when pitchforks and lighted torches are on their way, they come out fighting. Sitting at his large desk with the picture of his father gazing balefully at his back, chewing mournfully on some raw horse meat (like everyone else in his employ, his racehorses were expected to be winners), he thought big, so big that even his father would have been shocked.
As he expected the news went viral instantly. Everyone was talking about him. Now at last he had reason to toast his father with choicest green saliva. Ogres might traditionally have lived in lonely swamps and wildernesses but their egos are large and they like to think that the world holds them in the forefront of their minds, preferably with fear and disgust.
Ogres do not play safe or play nicely. They know that people who follow the rules are also those who want to be forgotten. Ogres live in a world of anger and, having little empathy, they expect others to live there as well. In that this ogre, for this time, was right. People were angry; they were not sure what they were angry about, if asked they would say everything. Watching this ferocious creature on their televisions, his anger fed into their anger and they determined to vote for him, for those who get no joy in the system want to see it torn down.
His rivals, appealing to reason and sense, had no chance, for many voters had an ogre inside them shouting, “Tear! Smash! Destroy!
So an ogre entered the White House and, unfortunately, an ogre is a creature of its word. He had promised walls, he had promised expulsions and that is exactly what the people got. “Hang on a minute,” they said. “We do not expect politicians to keep their word.” Perhaps there is a reason why ogres despise human beings and regard them as weak, mindless creatures.
While the economy was crashing much expenditure was spent on turning the White House into a proper palace, with turrets, somewhere that a proper king could live. Because Donald did actually care about his cultural heritage, the natural swamps around Washington were un-drained, encouraging mosquitoes and moss.
Ogres like order, so he gave special powers to the police so this could be achieved and, when that failed, to the army and then, on one unpleasant occasion in Montana, to the air force.
Against expectations Donald had enjoyed the adulation of the masses and he noticed when this started dropping off. Naturally he did not care about opinion polls, these being too abstract for the ogre brain, but he did notice when, at his public appearances, there were empty seats and too many of those who were there listened to him in silence. Fortunately his rise had brought other ogres out of the shadows of car dealerships and insurance selling where they had been hiding and, as he rewarded the state capitals that had voted for him by personal visits, they were able to drag enough people off the streets and encourage them to hoot and cheer. So that, watching the playbacks afterwards, he could feed his hunger.
He had promised himself not to get too involved in international relations; there were no easy wins there. But he did find he got on well with the leader of Russia. Ogres and vampires make up, with werewolves, the rock, paper, scissors of special people and he enjoyed their sparring over the telephone. It meant nothing to him if he had agreed that the new Tzar could extend Greater Russia to its 1945 boundaries. He could not remember doing so but he saw no reason why it should affect him.
In truth, after a few years of what might be called disruption, the world was a much more peaceful place with an ogre as President. Russia and right wing governments in France and a newly invigorated Scotland kept Europe in check , China had free rein in Asia and as for Africa, well, what did it matter what went on there? South American countries mostly fell into line and became useful sources for the drugs that kept potential dissidents too zonked out to cause any trouble. The wall was never built. Who needed it when jeeps with machine guns could do the job much more cheaply? The Canadian economy collapsed under the pressure of refugees.
What Donald did not like was djinn who refused to keep their promises and get back in the bottle. That was easily solved with a few discrete missiles. After that the Middle East was too busy dealing with the radioactive fallout and zombie plagues to be any trouble to him.
The army, not being needed abroad, could return home and set about making America great again. Women found new joy in becoming home makers. The young found new joy in pretending they were living in the fifties. Donald re-captured his old joy in sitting behind a very big desk and shouting at people. Many jobs were created in the newly expanded prison industry. Informers might be on zero hours contracts but it could, with a bit of imagination, be steady work. If you made money, that was good, no need to ask too many questions. If you did not make lots of money, that was suspect.
There was some annoyance that taxes did not fall, given that the welfare budget had virtually become non-existent and people had to pay for their own bullets before being executed but, since everything was going so well, only Fox News was needed to tell the people just how great things were getting.
Donald was not interested in physics. All he remembered from his classes was that, if you hit something, it either screamed or made a loud noise that made people jump. If he had been taught Newton’s Third Law, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, he had forgotten it, which would prove to be unfortunate.
Canadians did not take to their new position easily. They did not forgive Donald for allowing them to become the fifty first to fifty sixth states. In the northern reaches of Ontario, away from the usual flight paths of Trump Corp. drones, meetings were held, ironies were planned.
Donald, like any medieval monarch, was tireless in his progresses through his conquered lands. In the Fall of the year three of his reign he visited Toronto. The itinerary was as usual, Air Force One landing at a convenient military airfield, then carried in a big black beast of an humvee with grenade launching capability to a hanger where a large group of lucky flag wavers chosen by lottery got to listen to two hours of inspirational musings. Security was tight but had forgotten (if you choose not to believe the conspiracy theories) that 3D printers could produce plastic guns that could not be spotted by metal detectors.
Harper Cory, the lone gunman, had, by arriving early, managed to pick a prime spot in front of the podium. During one of Donald’s famous digressions, this one about why French cheeses were an affront to civilization and would be taxed out of existence, and, possibly, some of the guards had become a little sluggish, sixty five million viewers saw the look of surprise on his face when a red dot appeared on his forehead and he slumped backwards onto the stage.
Mr Cory got off much lighter than he must have expected. Admittedly he was badly beaten up at the hanger and then again on the way to the police station, but, after a couple of days, all charges were dropped. With the death of the ogre it was as if a magic spell had been lifted from the land. The sense of Freedom was so strong that it could almost be breathed in. People realised that they had lived in darkness and now looked to the light.
Ogres are not good at planning their succession. Nothing had been planned so the one per cent who wanted another ogre were in a state of chaos. Donald’s children were in the south of France and easily persuaded that it would not be healthy for them to return.
Someone revived the slogan from the last election, “Build Bridges, Not Walls.” All people wanted to do was to find ways of building communities together.
Donald was buried in the Hudson River, under a substantial amount of concrete, unaware that his gift to the world was to herald in a new age of co-operation and prosperity. The double life size statues of him in every state capital were not destroyed. They remain, not, as he intended, to awe with his magnificence, but as a warning, that we must protect the future.
What if you were born an ogre?