Commission for a short story, 300 – 400 words, an interior monologue, from the point of view of Ivanka Trump, as she attends a meeting with her father and Xi Jinping, and contemplates who she is and what she’s become.
Jared Kushner is also in the room. He sits across the table from her.
Story must contain the line of dialogue: ‘But would the clothing still sell?’
‘When in the course of human events,’ I said to Jared this morning.
‘Don’t start,’ Jared said.
My husband has no respect for history.
Now it’s later and we’re in another foreign-leader meeting and I’m sending psychic messages to Xi, or is it Jinping? I can’t find out because they took my phone and laptop and now it’s all Women Who Work blah blah life-work balance keeping the Sabbath sacred what a joke. Jared says the rituals are because we’re Orthodox, and I’m like, really? Where in the Talmud does it stipulate that Jews have to spend the Sabbath FaceTiming with Julian Assange and his weird Russian friends?
Daddy is bragging about his historical victory which is A, inaccurate, he semi-lost, and B, incorrect, it’s historic not historical, and 3, not translatable because China I don’t think has elections, and I can’t ask because they canceled my Speak Mandarin in 30 Days app and now all I know are simple phrases. “The man with the orange face hurt my hand,” Xi is saying, “Are those things under his comb-over horns?”
‘Fourscore and seven years ago,’ I said to Jared this morning. ‘Our forefathers, our forepersons.’
‘Take your pills,’ Jared said.
‘No, really,’ I said. We hold these truths to be self-evident, but would the clothes still sell if people knew about Daddy’s cloven-hoof footwear line? Would it kill you and him to change the address on your building? Make it 668 Fifth Ave.? 664 ½? You might as well advertise on Instagram: “At 6:66 on June 6 filming begins on The Omen 66 in Suite 666.”
‘Don’t think the public is unaware,’ I continued, ‘that if you discard some of the letters in Jared Kushner and use the K twice it spells Kraken.’
‘Give it a rest,’ said Jared, slithering from the tub.
It’s hard to communicate with Xi, since I can’t move my face, but, if I get asylum, me and the kids can work in a Chinese factory. Luckily they still have child labor, and I can mass-produce sweaters for lizards and other small non-occult reptiles who suffer from the cold. Help, I’m saying telepathically, help I’m a huddled mass yearning to be free help yes help.
But Xi is looking at Barron, who is in the corner making sacrificial altars out of Lego.
‘He has his father’s eyes,’ Xi says.