Columnist

All the bells clanged in every port, in every steeple of every church. As the somber knell rang out over the entire land, President Trump sat motionless at his window, gazing out over the countryside.

“You know the penalty, my lord.”

He nodded. He knew the penalty. That was why the bells tolled.

All the flags slid all the way to the bottom of the staff. A velvet drapery was placed over every statue, even the good ones he was annoyed the states were trying to replace. Around the neck of every ox, a small bell rang mournfully with every step.

What could the nation do but weep?

In the towns they began to rend their garments. The ploughmen at their plows doffed their soft caps and threw them to the ground and trampled upon them. The valleys were still, and the glens and dells, but if you listened you could hear the faerie folk lamenting, and a mournful tinkling as many tiny bells began to ring out. The oceans halted momentarily in their rise.

All the shoes everywhere were placed into a pile and burned. All the books, too, but that was unrelated.

Limo drivers began weeping and could not continue. Limo passengers unclamped their chains of pearls and let them spill to the ground. In the gas station coffee shops, disgruntled voters telling reporters they felt left behind fell silent.

The city streets were empty. A child whispered a question to his mother and was quickly hushed. All the mannequins in the shop windows were denuded of their Christmas garb and clad in solemn black. Times Square was dark and still.

“It’s time now, sir.”

President Trump did not turn from the window.

She had done it, the one unthinkable crime. Even she, his only daughter (except Tiffany). The most awful crime a person could commit. Indeed, there were no other crimes. The one thing! The one unforgivable thing!

She had sent government emails from her private account.

If justice were to remain in the land, any semblance of justice, she must bear the punishment. They must begin the chanting.

“Couldn’t we just … decide we didn’t actually care about this?” he asked.

“Impossible! We cannot be safe until all such evildoers are eradicated!”

Ivanka waited, surrounded by her handmaids, her head shrouded in a veil, for the sentencing.

He turned with a heavy sigh. “Lock her up.”

Across the nation, from rally to rally, the chant joined the rolling of the bells. He did not watch as they led her away.

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