He was about to slumber, alone in the White House on this winter's Christmas Eve. Melania and the boys were in Mar-A-Lago. Congress and a quarter of the Federal workforce was shut down. The few advisers that he still listened to had suggested he not go to Florida with the rest of the family. With so many Fed employees not working and not having extra money for the holidays, they felt that it would look bad for him to take a vacation at this time. Better to go later, after the whole shut-down thing had blown over, and no one would be paying attention. He had to stay in D.C., and stew in the juices of the soup he, himself, had made.
Wearily, he prepared himself for bed. As usual, comments from the press, criticizing him, ran unchecked through his head. He was unable to control or stop them. He lay down in bed and, knowing sleep would not be soon in coming, began his nightly barrage of tweets, mostly focusing on the very disturbances going through his mind.
Thirty minutes later, the tweets did their magic, and together with the sleeping pill he took, he meandered into that realm between waking thoughts and the peace of slumber.
It was this in this dark purgatory of repose that the first apparition appeared. It came first as a disembodied voice - “Ebeneezer......ooops!.......I mean 'Donald'!......Donald!........why do you not understand?”
Trump raised his head, looked around for the source of the voice that sounded strangely familiar to him. He could see no one there, no evidence of the odd uttering that had disturbed him. Dismissing it as a phantasm of his weary nerves, he approached the doors of sleep again, hoping for entrance.
“No, Donald, I am real. As real as you are.”
Trump sat straight up at this. “Who's there?” he said in alarm. “How did you get in here?” His hand started to reach for the call button that would summon his Secret Service human-attack dogs.
“I know all too well about that secret response button, Mr. Trump. Please don't press it; it won't do you any good. It would only make you look like a fool as they would not find me.”
The voice became more familiar to him. Who was it?
“I was once in your position, Mr. President. In fact, I slept in that same bed. Fortunately, I never had to use that call button, as I hope you won't, either.” A figure began to take form at the foot of his bed, one that he recognized.
Trump was astounded. “Ron....Ronald Reagan! I thought you were dead!”
The now fully-formed ghost laughed to himself. “I am, Mr. Trump. Or you might just say, I am alive in another way. But that is besides the point. I am here to give you a little talking-to. What in this world and the next are you doing playing patty-cake with the Ruskies? Have you not been paying attention the last 60 years of your life? The Soviets ARE OUR ENEMIES!!!! What do you think I spent half my career doing, having drinking bouts with Brezhnev? No, I did as I was told by my Corporate and military handlers, and put tons of taxpayer money into slapping their hands anytime they put it anylwhere near another country, especially in the Americas. Didn't you notice the amount of aid I threw into South and Central American countries, funding underground contras to keep the Americas free for Capitalism and exploitation?”
“If you are going to build a wall anywhere, Mr. Trump, do it across eastern Europe to keep the Soviets from grabbing back the countries they lost control of during the break-up of the Soviet Union! And how could you even think about doing business with a man who had a Dutch airliner shot out of the sky, who took over Crimea, who initiated a war to take the Ukraine back and constantly sends subs, planes and ships into other countries air and water space? Do you really think you could trust that slimeball?”
Trump, now fully awake, as usually happened when someone is dissing him, refuted back “Hey Bub, you ain't the President anymore. I AM! So you can just butt out. You had your chance, now it is mine, and I don't need any help. Besides that, didn't you have Alzheimer's when you died? I am not going to be dictated to by a half-vegetable!”
The apparition stared back in astonishment. “My, so you are what passes for a President in modern times! Well, I will leave you. I can see that I will have no influence upon you. But I will not be the last visitation you get tonight. And by the way, at least I was truly, legally elected!” he stated as he disappeared into a vapor.
“Get out! Get out, you cretin!” Trump yelled at the wisps left behind. He put his head back down, and covered his face with the pillow to try to find his way back to dreamland.
He had just begun to dream of younger, well-formed, blond Slovakian girls, when he felt a strange presence in the room. He opened his eyes to find an intense pair of eyes glaring at him from a balding, 40ish-year-old man.
“What?” Trump exclaimed, as he sat bolt upright in his bed. He reached again for the alarm button.
“It won't work," the apparition uttered in a slightly Midwestern accent. “Ronald warned me you would try to use it. It ain't gonna happen.”
“Who.....who are you?” Trump asked hiding behind his blankets.
“I am Joseph McCarthy, former U.S. Senator, fellow Republican, and, as you might know already, despite your scanty knowledge of American history, an ardent anti-communist.”
“Yes, yes I do,” whimpered Trump, his fear-frozen brain trying to sort through the slender amount of knowledge he had concerning the man.
“You can probably guess why I am here." (His voice got louder as he leaned in toward the bedded figure) “What the Hell do you think you are doing??? What kind of torture and humiliation do you think I went through trying to get communists in our system exposed and jailed? How much do you think that cost me career-wise and in my personal life? A lot, if you can't figure it out.”
“But it was all bullshit!” intoned Trump, finding a bit of nerve, despite the circumstances.
McCarthy was only slightly set back by this remark. “That is true, but you see my point. And how is that any different than the sort of politics you play?”
“Touché," answered Trump, uncharacteristically humbled.
"All the same,” continued McCarthy, “whereas my crusade was a sham from the start, you are truly playing footsie with the Reds! Putin was a KGB agent, for God's sakes! A KGB agent! Haven't you ever seen a James Bond movie in your life? Putin is the Dr. No of Russian Presidents. He is the real Bad Hombre, except not Mexican - worse!”
“If you had done this while I was on my witch hunt, I would have had you socially eviscerated! I and my minions would have had you economically driven into bankruptcy! I would have so hounded you, that you would have gone mad or committed suicide! In other words, much the same sort of things that you do politically!”
Trump had gotten his moxie back by this time. He sat up and spit out his vehemence. “ I don't need to listen to you! Not only are you dead, but you are a loser, too! Only a loser would get caught like you did, and get ousted! Just like McCain. And he's dead too.”
McCarthy stared at the arrogant figure before him in amazement. “Maybe I should bring him here to speak to you. I am sure he would have a few well-founded things to say. But no, there is someone better to try to talk some sense into you. Merry Christmas, you fool!” All that there was left to remind Trump of the former Senator's presence was a slight, disturbing oily smell.
“This is all very bizarre,” thought Trump to himself. “I am going to have to dip into the White House funds to improve the security system here.” Exhausted by the encounter, he soon passed back into rest.
But not for long.
A large, rough hand grabbed his ankle and pulled him and his blankets off the bed with a harsh bump onto the floor. Surprised, embarrassed and angry, Trump pulled the covers off of himself to find himself looking up into a rugged face only inches away from his.
“Well, pilgrim, nappy time is at an end!” uttered the mouth within that face. “I hear tell you was rude to the other two spirits come to visit ya. You would be wise not to try to pull that with me!”
“John Wayne!!!!” mouthed Trump in astonishment.
“Speaking! And you are darn tootin' wrong if ya think you are going to get away with any crap here. I don't care if you are the God Almighty President!”
“Um.....OK......” muttered a humbled Trump.
The huge man backed up a pace, and observed the man below him. He was decked out in complete cowboy gear complete with dust.
“What's this I hear about you getting' kissy-faced with the Commies?”
“Um, that is a matter of national security!” Trump managed to spit out.
“National security, my sweet behind! You are doin' backroom deals with them jokers or my mother is still a virgin! Now don't be try none of this cock-a-meme horse manure with me. I won't stand for it. What you are doin' is double dealin' in this here political game you play, but it all comes down to one simple thing - American sawbucks. That is the only thing you are patriotic to! That and rubles apparently.”
“You better straighten up and fly right, or I personally will pull your feathers out one by one. You'll be so sore you won't be able to touch Melania or a Playboy bunny for a month.”
“But...” interjected Trump.
“I ain't finished!” shouted Wayne in a voice that could weld steel. “I didn't spend most of my life fightin' them Russkies on the screen just to have a two-bit hot-shot president come along and want to play grab ass with them! As long as I can get back to earth, you are either going to show some true respect for the flag and what it stands for, or I will hang you with it. Remember that scene in True Grit where they hang a whole line of guys all at once? Think about it....”
“Um,yes, sir!” muttered Trump, not looking up to meet his gaze.
“That is more like it. If you spent more time actually doing something and not just flapping your gums around and campaigning and doing whatever this Tweety stuff is, you might get something real done.”
“Now, I am going to be ambling on here, little britches, but remember - I got my eye on you, and I don't mean my Rooster Cogburn eye with the patch over it. Just watch yourself!”
The big man then faded out, the inky darkness filling in where he had been.
Trembling, the Donald picked himself and his bedding up off the floor and crawled back into bed.
“Man! That was strange! I am going to have to stop eating anchovies so late at night!” and fell fast asleep.