The morning after hit like a lingering hangover from too much drinking the night before. George Williamson did drink, however, he wasn’t hung over when he awoke. Rather, he was still drunk and insisted that he would continue drinking. The unspeakable horror from the night before was surely a contributor as was the terrible and overwhelming feeling of dread and depression that sat over him like a looming shadow that never seemed to go away. He knew that it was entirely possible that he could be arrested for public intoxication, but the thought, while it certainly had crossed his mind, was not a major concern for he knew that the end result would be the same regardless. He tried to warn others about his predicted other-worldly horrors, but like people do, they shoved him aside and chose to, not only damn themselves, but everyone else as well. It’s tragic story, really, but not entirely an unexpected one.

The sun hid behind the clouds almost as if it were ashamed to grace them with its presence and the air that lingered in the air was fogy and smelled of burning trash. George gazed up, getting lost in the overly gloomy sky. The expression of bitter despaired was stretched across his face like a mask that seemed as if it would never come off and he muttered “lord, help my poor soul” before taking another swig of the quickly emptying bottle of Jack Daniels that he opened that morning. He closed his eyes and shivered, as the pleasurable burn slithered down his throat and subsequently swept over his entire body. He didn’t consider the joyous booze a cure for the cause of his terrible depression. He did, however, consider it to be a solution for the symptoms of the dreaded illness. It acted like a dose of medicine that didn’t cure the pain from the scars on his soul, but it did manage to numb it just enough.

The taste that seemed to have set up camp in the cavity of his mouth was a mixture of whiskey and bile with the now subtle hint of the fried chicken strips he had for dinner as he waited for the results. Now, however, what he tasted the most was the whiskey for that’s what mostly sat in his upset stomach. Occasionally a feeling would come over him—a dreaded feeling that would force him to sat down the glass whiskey bottle on the park bench that he sat on and take a series of deep and refreshing breaths. What happened next was that he either once again crouch over, his torso pressed against his thighs, and vomit onto the ground in front of him or rumbling in his stomach would settle and he would sit back at take another sip of the delicious booze. He couldn’t help but laugh—as silly as it may seem—on the mess that quickly became his life, but it was a joke of sorts. They all said that he was crazy and they laughed at him, dismissing him and his words of wisdom as nothing more than the ramblings of a mad man.

His vision was clearly blurred but when the raven landed on the piece of sidewalk to examine the grotesque mangled corpse of the vermin that laid in front of him, his attention turned to it at once. His first impression of the bird was that it was watching him. The black eyes of the terrible creature gazed into what imagined to be his soul—that terrible chilling stare that made him feel as if the breath inside of him had been stripped away. After a few seconds of studying one another, the raven (deciding that George was no threat) turned his attention to dead rodent in front of him. The corpse of the mammal was mangled and unidentifiable. The body of the rodent was flattened as if it had been run over. The blood that once ran through the creature’s veins as well as the creatures intestates were splattered onto the sidewalk forming a light brown colored substance.Despite all of this, George imagined it to be some type of large rat that escaped the darkness of the damp sewers that lie beneath the city only to meet and unexpected and untimely demise. George watched as the bird’s beak reached down to grab some of the flesh of the vermin, ripped it away from the rest of body, and tilted its head back to allow the sliver of meat to slither down his gullet. The overwhelming feeling of dread and terror came over George and raised the bottle to his lips once more to take another drink. That’s when he heard it. It began as a whisper that was just soft enough for him to make out those terrible words: “Trump 2016”. George quickly raised his head and stared into the eyes of the flying beast of a bird. It tilted its head as if studying him, watching his every move.

“What?” George dared to ask. A soft but deep sadistic laughter insulted his eardrums like an unwanted intruder. He sat up in the bench and quickly looked around to find someone—anyone. However, just as he felt inside, the area surrounded him was empty. The only exception, of course, being the raven.

“Trump 2016! Trump 2016! Trump 2016!” The raven belched, each time increasing in volume. This was followed by a series of sadistic and maniacal laughs that chilled George to the core. It was entirely possible that the raven was saying nothing at all and that it was just studying him, watching his every move. Likewise, it was easily as plausible that the sounds that he heard were all within the imagination of the drunken mad man. Regardless of the origin of these terrible words, the bird was still mocking him with its constant chants of “TRUMP 2016!”

George sat down the whiskey bottle and covered his ears but the terrible chants of the bird somehow bled through the cracks between his fingers. “Stop it! Stop it! You demonic beast! This isn’t my fault! I voted for Bernie Sanders!” The chanting from the bird ceased. George reopened his eyes and uncovered his ears to find the raven still standing on the sidewalk studying him closely. After a split second of silence, the deep and evil laughter of the bird returned.

“And that was your first mistake, wasn’t it? To actually believe that he even stood a chance. That we would even allow him to win.” George stared at the bird questioningly. “Think about it. We back Hillary in 2008, too. But we allowed Obama to win because, all along, we knew that he was really one of us. Bernie Sanders was never one of us. He was never going to be one of us. And while he may not look like it or act like it, Donald Trump is certainly one of us. Clinton, Carson, Trump, Obama…did you really believe that there was ever a difference between them? We’re all two sides of the same coin and we will rule for eternity!” The grotesque and sinister bird uttered followed by a series of terrible and eerie shrieks of laughter.

For the first time in his short life, it all made sense. It was merely capitalism at its greatest. George grabbed the bottle once more and took the final sip. He closed his eyes, leaned his head back, and with his final breath he muttered: “Nevermore.”