Code Red River | Chapter 6: The President's Daughter

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Written By: Kevin Gatti

SHORT SERIAL FICTION

Genre: Horror | Thriller | Suspense

STORY MODE: DARK | LIGHT

Controlling the narrative and the minds of as many as possible was a clear objective. Well, looking back I can say that was clear. At the time, I was completely entrenched into the illusion Mick was creating. The fraud that Mick was committing was absolutely unprecedent for anything I had seen. Almost all the profit that the Love Thy Self People were receiving was from some of sort of scam. It still bothers me greatly that I couldn’t see it as I marched on as the loyal solider I was expected to be.

I remember shortly after the Code Mute Confusion incident with the expose, Mick released a book. It was supposed to be Mick’s coming out to the world. Mick was going on a world tour, and everyone was going to know who Mick was. He was going to become world famous. Of course, we were told there was a prophecy about this too, so of course we believed that it had to be true.

When Mick’s book came out every member of the organization was required to purchase at least ten copies and give them to people who were not already members. Everyone was required to provide a list of names, phone numbers, and addresses of everyone they gave a copy to. The organization itself also purchased thousands of copies. They all ended up in a warehouse untouched. I know this because I saw them. The reason for all of this was to get Mick’s book on the bestseller lists. This did occur, but not without the massive help of us all buying his book in huge bulk. It was ultimately about power, which is what it’s always about with Mick. The bragging rights and acknowledgement that comes with being a “best seller” was exactly what Mick’s ego desired.

We kicked off Mick’s world tour in New York City. Immediately, we realized that we were going to have trouble getting people to show up. Behind Mick’s back, Gloria started handing us large stashes of cash. She told us to start paying random people on the street to come in and act excited for the book. To my surprise, it worked. People took the cash and actually showed up enthusiastic about the book. The event appeared to be a huge success if you didn’t know we paid people to be there. I was disappointed though. I didn’t understand why more people weren’t into Mick’s tour. To me, Mick was everything. I felt like he was saving me, but in reality, he was slowly killing me.

We continued in other cities doing exactly the same thing. Paying people and creating the illusion of a hugely successful event. Then in Washington D.C., something very strange happened. I was backstage at the venue Mick was about to speak at when Gloria came rushing in. She was alarmed and I had never seen her like this before. It made me concerned.

“Gloria, is everything okay?” I asked.

She walked over to me and whispered so no one around could hear, “The daughter of the President of the United States is here.”

My face lit up with excitement. “That’s great!”

Gloria was clearly nervous. “Maybe. I don’t know why she’s really here, but she asked to meet with Mick.”

I was confused. “Isn’t that good?” I asked.

“It depends on what her motives are.” Gloria said back.

I immediately thought that she was overreacting. “I think this could be a really good thing. I think you’re overthinking it.” I said to Gloria.

“Yeah, we’ll see what Mick thinks.” Gloria replied right as Mick walked into the room.

“What will I think?” Mick asked from behind Gloria.

Gloria was startled and quickly turned towards Mick. “April Richfield, the daughter of the President of the United States is here. She asked to meet you.”

Mick paused for a moment without saying a word or showing any emotion. Then suddenly he said with a big smile, “Great! Bring her back! I would love to meet her.”

Gloria quickly walked away without saying another word. A couple minutes later she walked back into the room with a younger woman in her late twenties. She was thin and had bombshell blonde hair. She looked like she just walked off a magazine cover.

“HI! You must be Mick!” She said loudly and with lots of excitement as she walked towards him.

Mick looked equally as excited as they gave each other a hug and greeted each other.

I thought the encounter was great. I believed she could be a great ally to the organization. Clearly, Gloria didn’t agree. Even then, at their first encounter, Gloria hated her and felt strongly that she couldn’t be trusted. She was convinced that April was up to no good, possibly even a spy.

The encounter with April was quickly forgotten as we continued with the tour. A couple month later we finally returned to the ranch exhausted with the tour now behind up. We told everyone that it was a huge success, even though the people we paid to show up probably didn’t even remember it. 

About a month after our return, Gloria approached me in a panic in a random hallway.

“Thank god I found you!” She said to me.

“What? What’s going on?” I asked.

“Do you remember when April Richfield wanted to meet Mick in D.C.?” She asked.

“Yeah, I remember.” I replied.

“Well, she’s here. She’s at orientation. SHE’S MOVING HERE!” Gloria stated with obvious concern in her voice.

I was stunned. “WHAT?!”

Gloria nodded back. “I know. No one told me. I don’t think Mick has any idea.”

The idea of Mick not knowing was alarming to me. “Well, someone has to tell him.” I said to her.

Gloria started to panic even more. “You think? I knew it! I just knew it! That girl is up to no good. She’s a spy or something. You know she has the capabilities to pull this whole place down? She can destroy everything we’ve worked for and everything we’re working towards. This is a nightmare! I don’t know how he’s going to react, but I must tell him. I have to tell him right now!”

I tried to calm Gloria down. “It’s okay. It’s all going to work it’s self out. Go relax for a moment and then go tell him. I’ll go with you.”

“NO! I’ll tell him myself. I don’t know how he’s going to react.” She quickly said back to me.

I just nodded and accepted how she wanted to do things. I knew well enough by then that it was best not to go against her.

Later that same day, I saw Gloria again and asked if she told Mick.

“He’s fine with it. Proceed as normal.” She quickly stated as she continued to walk pass me.

I couldn’t tell if she really meant that, or if she was being passive aggressive about the situation because she didn’t like that Mick was okay with it. It didn’t take long for me to find out more of where Gloria stood with the situation. She started to pull me aside regularly to give me updates on everything April was doing, including who she was talking to and what she was eating for lunch. Gloria was clearly stalking her and was coming to me to vent about it. I did believe she was coming to me because Mick didn’t want to hear about it. I would repeatedly tell her to calm down and that the things she was pointing out about April were nothing.

Then things changed very quickly when a news story broke that April had joined us at the ranch in Wyoming. This was apparently enough to get Mick to join in Gloria’s paranoia. Mick called an emergency meeting between him, Gloria, and I. Gloria was freaking out and was barely keeping it all together. She was running down all the worst-case scenarios to Mick. Meanwhile, I felt I was trying to be the voice of reason in it all, trying to find the positive aspects of the situation. I remember Mick sat there as Gloria and I went back and forth. Then suddenly he interrupted us, “STOP! I know what we’ll do. Bring her to me and I’ll talk to her.”

We called for her to come to Mick’s quarters that evening. As she entered the room Mick asked Gloria and I to stay. Gloria and I stood by the door like guards as Mick had April take a seat in his lounge.

As Mick sat in a seat across from April he asked, “So, what made you decide to join us here at the ranch?”

April started to chuckle. “Honestly… If you want to know the truth, it’s because I adore you Mick. I want to be close to you. I have had a crush on you ever since the first time I saw you on TV. You have this way about you and the way you speak is so powerful. You’re so attractive and you make me so weak. I love it.”

Mick was loving this for his ego. He smiled back and said, “Is that so? You like me?”

April smiled and stood up to move closer to Mick. “Yes. I love you. I’ve studied you. I’ve looked in your window at night while sleep. I watched you eat. I watched you work. I believe everything you say. You are so wise. You are exactly the kind of man I want. You are also exactly the man that this country needs. Not my father. I think you should run against my father next year. I will help you win.”

It was in this moment that I realized that while I was worried about Gloria stalking April, it was actually April who was taking stalking to a whole another level with Mick.

I don’t think Mick knew whether to be flattered or creeped out. I’m sure Mick’s ego was loving this obsession she had with him, but I also believe there was a part of him that was freaked out by her behavior. He laid back in his seat and said nothing.

She continued to speak as she started to lay on top of him in his seat. “I will be your most loyal member. I am willing to do anything for you want. You can tell me all your secrets…”

For some strange reason, Mick suddenly became triggered and he threw April off him. She landed on the floor as she moaned dramatically. Mick got up and started yelling, “SECRETS? I don’t have any secrets! What makes you think I have secrets? Why are you really here? Did your father send you? That son of bitch!”

April cried out, “Honey, everyone has secrets. I love you. If you love me too then you’ll tell me. You’ll trust me. That’s what lovers do!”

Mick picked April up with both his hands by her neck. “We are not lovers, I have no secrets, and you are no longer welcomed here.” I looked over and could see the fire of rage in Mick’s eyes as he started to strangle her. I could hear struggling as she was trying to gasp for air. Gloria and I did nothing. We both stood in complete fear of Mick as he was putting his rage onto April.

About a minute later, I could her April take her last gasp of breath, and as Mick dropped her lifeless body onto the floor. She was dead.

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