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The Petty Party

A morose and disheveled Joseph krapowsckie sat slumped in his chair bathed in flickering white glow cast by the monochromatic images on the projector’s screen. The film clicking in the reel was a piece Joseph had personally directed and painstakingly edited. He had shot the footage at a dozen party rallies over six months.
The quickly cutting shots were a supercut of frenzied crowds, cheering children, weeping women. All of their faces told a story about finding their awakening in words spoken by messiah of an entire nation.  It was a religious testament written in the new language of cinema. Joseph called his masterpiece,
“Courage breaks chains,”
Joseph appeared as well in this film, and there were times the camera operators inadvertently captured candid moments, the fleeting experiences that time reminds us to regard as precious. It wasn’t just Joseph, his wife his children, his friends, and colleagues were all glimpsed as well. For Joseph, one nation’s propaganda was his home movies.
During a scene where he saw himself pass by in a car seated next to the supreme marshall Joseph lost his composure and began to sob.
The door opened a crack. Joseph’s tear-filled eyes were buried in his palms. He could see the sliver of light or hear the wood creak. Helen swiftly slipped in the room with the door closing at her back. Joseph still weeping didn’t seem to notice her.
Helen was a very proper even-tempered woman. Grace and unwavering self-discipline kept her quite attractive even in the latter half of her 40’s. She stood as straight as a soldier on parade and never let worry or sadness wrinkle the skin around her almond colored eyes or lightly rouged heart-shaped lips.
“Joseph, what’s wrong?” She asked softly
“I’m going to be dismissed!” Joseph wailed without any hint of shame at bawling in front of his wife.
In an unusual but perhaps necessary display of affection, Helen perched herself on the arm of her husband’s chair, crossed her legs, and cradled his head against her chest.
“Shh, shh, shh, calm down,” she repeated gently.
“Now tell me, why do you think you’re going to be dismissed?”
Joseph sniveling lifted his head and wiped his eyes with the back of his hand.
“I - I brought my new film party headquarters to show the Supreme Leader,” Joseph started in a shaky voice “and he, he said he already decided to go with Natalia Blatvatski’s film.” Joseph clutched his wife’s dress and broke down again.
“Well maybe if you show him yours the Supreme Leader will change his mind,” Helen suggested.
“I tried, and he only watched maybe ten minutes of it before he said he like her’s better than mine!”
“He-I mean the movement is everything to me! I love hi- the movement with all my heart. I couldn’t live without them,” Joseph wined.
Helen noticed on the other arm of the chair was a small pistol. Before she could ask about it Joseph’s hand grabbed the weapon. “ This is all I know! If I can’t be Information Secretary, then I can’t serve the Supreme Leader or the party, and there’s no reason to even be alive.” Joseph said pressing the barrel against his temple.
Helen calmly reached over and took his trembling hand in her and brought the gun down. She clutched him in her arms.
“You’re a good secretary of information, and the supreme leader knows it. He’s not going to replace you,” she said soothingly.
“But what if she’s better than me?” Joseph’s voice crackled.
“You’re a strong man you can overcome any challenge,” Helen said.
“You’re right, Joseph sniffled. He quickly pulled back. “I got here today because I am good at what I do and the Supreme Leader believes in me!” he declared confidently.
“You need only to believe in the supreme leader’s purpose for you,” Helen said with a small smile.
“I’m going back to the cutting room. I’m going to make a film that will convince the entire world of our party’s cause!”
“There’s the man I married,” Helen said with a smile.
“And I’m going to write to every newspaper editor to tell them Natalia Blatvaski has sex with animals at the zoo! I am after all Secretary of Information!" The new invigorated and confident Joseph declared as he raced from the room.
As Helen watched him go she felt more or less satisfied she held things together for just a little longer.


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