The country gathered and waited for the big reveal. Cameras were at the ready. News people were scattered about straightening their clothes, checking their hair, clearing their throats. Locals and tourists alike shoved and jockeyed for position, for footing, for a chance to see this new moment in history.
It had been quite a long, long time since the folks of this goddamn beautiful fucking country [fuck yeah and a yeehaw] had something truly awe inspiring to look forward to. Considering the devastating amount of malicious incompetence that plagued the place in the past, and really plagued the country, too, with those ratpigs prisoners breaking into the CDC and becoming walking bio-bombs blasting every public toilet in the great Old Atlanta metropolitan area, and also the war of the networks that tore households apart, oh and the tater famines, can’t forget the first and especially the third tater famines, the simple folk these days were looking forward to something a little more wholesome. And hoo wee doggy almighty almighty, did the people get what they needed, and so they gathered.
A reporter straightened her skirt to a couple cat calls from the crowd. Then she adjusted it more with a little ha-cha-cha to it, and that really brought out the whistles then, and within minutes, there was a small crowd of guys and gals alike with their phones out watching this hot young reporter straighten her skirt over and over again and she swerved her hips and swung her hair around and around until her straightening turned into wriggling and writhing, and her hair swinging turned into violent hair whipping. The crowd was slobbering and clapping at the impromptu show and swinging their heads around in the same way, concussing themselves with frequent collisions in the crowd. Finally, the producer put down his sandwich and cracked a bullwhip at the crowd and his reporter. He still held the sandwich firm and steady, that beautiful son of a bitch, as his bullwhip snapped and slashed those dummies in the crowd, Keeyaw! Get! Get! He crack whacked his reporter too to snap her out of her entertainment trance. She straightened her skirt and got ready to report.
The howling wolfwind of the crisp South Dakota morning hardly registered over the din of the crowd, all those giddy fools haphazardly bumping into and talking over one another like a bunch of excited and confused cattle who had just recently received the gift of sentience through some sort of divine blunder. Combined with the coolness on the breeze, the sweat and musk produced a mist, an atmosphere of stupidity rising up and into the open sky. Spontaneous clapping and cheering for no reason whatsoever kept rising and falling from the herd of imbeciles as they awaited the big reveal. Every now and again, that cheering emboldened someone to scream and elbow drop through a table, and when there wasn’t a table, they elbow dropped right into the stone ground or right through someone else pretending to be a table. Why, though? Because Mt Rushmore had been given new faces, a new four cherished contributors to society and its history.
A gargantuan silken red curtain cracked like a bullwhip, delighting the crowd with its power and danger. Whips were much beloved in the Black Hills, and that news producer lovingly stroked his own coiled up bullwhip with every snap. Atop the cliffside stood the greatest carvesman the world, and especially the Greatest Version of The United States of All Americas, had ever seen (and will ever see again, as many scholars would note with utmost confidence). He couldn’t stop laughing. In fact, his non-stop, hideous laughter echoed through the Black Hills, scaring the thousands of cursed Lakotan souls who had been justifiably carrying out acts of gruesome vengeance upon hapless campers and hikers. Even these hardened, ethereal warriors cowered at the dark cackle of the Carvesman for his chisel and dynamite were not just reshaping the granite but reshaping the very meaning of reality and humanity. He laughed and laughed and laughed, standing there, powerfully, insanely peering over the plebian mass that so predictably gathered with such enthusiasm. His massive, vascular forearms folded over one another with their grotesque, bulging and throbbing veins looking like a road map that only those who had truly embraced madness can even begin to comprehend. The stone mask he adorned was eerily smooth with but two barely big enough eye holes and a simple slot at the mouth. Still, his horrible cackling rang out clearly, eerily unabated by that featureless slab.
Gone, now, were the Presidents of the past. Gone were the forefathers who had forged the shapeless, ugly iron chunk that was the original thirteen colonies into the razor-sharp steel sword that was now the Greatest Version of The United States of All Americas. Their deeds were done and memorialized long enough, or so the sitting Grand-President declared some decades or so ago. What this country needed to really put it over the top, to really rub its swagger in the face of Chinese Inter-Asian Empire, was to give the stuffy old white guys of Mt Rushmore a facelift. Those chumps were just bringing everyone down with their dignified stares and questionable, near mythical, history. The Grand-President announced this during his National Ad, unskippable as always, though some conspiracy nuts, truly the insanos crawling around in the underbelly of the Eastern Remnants, thought that it was the Carvesman who whispered such thoughts in the President’s ear.
Truth be told, there wasn’t much information on this mysterious Carvesman. His works mostly spoke for themselves if you were adventurous enough to find them. Some shrimpers said they heard the mischievous tweedling of lute off the coast of Old Arkansas. The music danced over the salty air causing gigglefits among the brave crews shrimping in the Louisiana Bay. As the shanty tale goes, the water was eerily placid around the source of the jaunty melody, but there weren’t a sound recording device on this good, warm Earth that would record it. A captain of one of these ships, a stern, white-bearded fellow with brine in in his bones, the kinda fellow you see in the dream ads howling and hauling in massive nets of crispy fried shrimp, held his radio receiver to the sound, hoping the good shrimp traffic controllers back home in Pine Bluff Cove would hear the madness, but nary a sound but the crackle of static went got through.
Sure enough, after a few shrimp boats never returned to shore, a team of shrimp scientists were sent out to try and suss out the situation. When they heard the lute and laughing rolling over the waves with the sea breeze, they knew they were coming up to the spot. There they were, a dozen or so shrimper trawlers tied together around that calm disc of water. Oh, those drunkards were singing and swaying along with the mysterious music, making merry and so forth. A real gay old time as the cartoon used to say back before the Censorship Board cleared away the 20th century smut. The boats were all tied together, forming a ring above what used to be Bourbon Street of old. Those shrimp scientists wasted no time getting their dive gear on. The pulse of comedy rippled through the water as those brave men swam deeper and deeper. A few struggled to breathe properly in the scuba gear, giggling and gasping as they were, and had to turn around. They didn’t make it back. Shrimp got ‘em. The lone scientist who was finally able to make it to the street floor marveled at what she discovered: a brilliant granite statue of a medieval court jester. The detail work was phenomenal. Every line and crease in that jester’s twisted, exaggerated features told a story. Postured so hilariously mischievously, there was no resisting the comedic charm of this rascal in motley. All we know about what happened after that encounter was from the live broadcast footage of her head mounted camera. She just simply stripped off all his clothes and swam/danced around the jester until she expired and went belly up like an old goldfish, or at the very least, a never fed goldfish.
That footage went live and soon other incredible carvings, statues, base reliefs, monuments and whatever else you call ‘ems were found all over this incredible fucking country. From the strip mine of the Yukon to the sharp cliffs of Patagonia, all in all, twelve culture changing works of art were found. Each one drawing in the crowds and making fat daddy bank for the Carvesman while at the same time feeding these morons what they crave: Something beautiful to be underappreciated and stupid around. His works had a real way with the simple folk, but up until his Mt Rushmore magnum dong opus, they were just independently funded, small time eldritch artifacts with no true purpose or end game. For example, this madmasker carved a silly worm tessellation into the crosswalk in front of a bar in Philly, just outside of Philadelphia, and to this very day, people drop to their squishy bellies and do the worm across that crosswalk. Or how about that one of the accusative finger in Sedona that people pilgrimage from all across the country to come confess their sins to before ritualistically suiciding themselves in whatever way they deem most effective? That one is pretty nuts, but exactly what these sheep deserve in some respect. It’s a metaphor, an allegory for something, or even a simile if someone can define that properly.
For whatever reason, he did get in the ear of the Grand-President and demanded a rework of Mt Rushmore. It took several years and several communes with demons of every ilk, even the wandering Lakotan souls, but the Carvesman chiseled to work and reshaped that lame old cliff face.
Disregarding the true motivations of such a bold, ballsy, and brash decision, the dark deed was done, and today was the big reveal. The Carvesman whacked his attention hammer into the cliff side and sent a lichtenbergian fractal crack propagation down the cliffside which ended with a fine gravel flick right into the stupid faces of all those doughy citizens. “I done dropped m’corny dog!” one dope called out as the ketchup covered corn dog sticky slow-rolled down his ill-fitting compression shirt. Then another dope said the same thing with his corny dog already sad and plopped on the ground. Before the newscasters could turn their cameras, it was an all out bellybrawl free for all with corny dogs flying every which way and how. More than a few people, kids too, took a full corny dog right to the eyehole. Medical science would be able to make them see again, but nothing would wash the mustard from their brains. The Carvesman smacked his attention hammer again and this time it worked. All the mouthbreathers’ eyes were on that swaying cherry curtain. The image evoked that of the super sweet ketchup they guzzled so routinely.
The inhuman laughter of the Carvesman stopped, and with a slight bow, he pulled a rope that dropped the curtain all the way down, unfortunately capturing a few brave Lakotan souls and banishing them to a hellish afterlife they were never meant for. As vagrant ghost riding the chemtrails would theorize in the decades to come, that that silken sheet ghost eraser used on that day was just a government test eraser, and that one day, the Grand-President and the sub-Presidents of their respective territories would wipe out ghosts once and for all. Conspiracy you say? Well, considering a ghost hasn’t been seen in the sprawls in over fifty Cotsworth Calendar years, I’d say those ghosts were on to something.
That curtain slowly drifted to the ground like an elegant jellyfish and landed with a playful little flop. The new faces shone bright in the morning sun.
“Well I’ll be a goshing Gussy…” drawled a balding man, taking off his standard-billed ball cap, “Those are my wife and kids up there!” A tear rolled down his cheek before he received a hard, hamballed fist right to the tear.
“Whatta you stupid or something, bucko? That ain’t no kids! That’s Pro Bowl Center, Jeff Saturday! And Peyton Manning! And uhh, ya know, the other two guys! The best Colts players of all time!” This man too began to cry and ripped off his sleeves to show a faded Colts logo tattoo that began to become more vibrant. He howled on the wolfwind, unknowingly insulting the Lakotan. They’d get him later that night.
“These are the faces of death! Death I tell you!” cried out a woman as she began taking her clothes off with a large bowie knife in hand. She had a hardy thinness to her tanned body with very, very distinct panty line tan lines. “They want us. Can’t you all see?! Can you not all see they crave sacrifice!” And with that she plunged the knife directly into her throat in what was undoubtedly a pretty metal way of going out. Two other older nude ladies around her followed suit because that was just a badass way to go, and several teens got into a shin kicking fight about whether or not those other two girls were posers because they only bowie’d their throats because the first lady did. These were seasoned shin kickers, too. Ya know the fights, heads tucked in each other’s shoulder, hands behind the back, feet flying. Of course, there’d be no winner. There would never be, that wasn’t the point of shin kicking duels, but that didn’t stop people from laying down their lives ruining bets on the outcome.
More and more people argued with what faces they saw on the cliff side. They shoved and brawled and punched and screamed. There was quite a lot of slapping-to-come-your-senses-slapping slapping going around and none of it was working. No person agreed with another and what the faces were and their opinions were so strong, so passionate, that they were willing to die right there on that viewing platform for what they believed in, or at the very least kill for it and be the only survivor with the correct opinion. Again, the kids were the first to go and they were seeing innocent things like one horse and three ducks. They didn’t stand a chance with all those rabid daddies and cuckoo mommies going nutty in the butty.
The journalists and newscasters fared no better as they struggled to describe exactly what they were seeing and trying to match it up with people’s own views. The news had to go on, dog dammit, the news had to go on! The producers were whipping everyone insight trying to get them to articulate what exactly was carved up on them thar cliffs. They needed the viewers! Can’t let viewership drop. A man with perfect hair and stubble, with suit jacket exploded open in the back to reveal the flayed skin of a thousand lashes, stumbled over to an uncle looking type and begged him for an opinion.
“Sir?!” The desperate newscaster begged, wincing from whip pain, grabbing the uncle-type by the compression shirt, “Can you please- would you mind- what is it- for the folks back home, what are we seeing?”
The uncle-type ran a licked-wet finger across each side of his parted mustache, slick with sweat, grease, and nacho cheese. “Well guy,” he blinked rapidly at the new Mt Rushmore, “I’ll tell ya what I see.” He coughed wetly into the open air and pointed his chicken finger fingering finger at the Carvesman. “That man right there,” he coughed deep from the diaphragm slinging tendrils of unhealthy saliva, “That man right there is my new God. Yeah bucko. That’s my new God right there and if he wants me to see the mean mugs of Michael Jackson four ways, then brother, I’m all in.” and with that, the uncle-type moon walked away, weaving through the pandemonium, deftly avoiding punches, kicks, and wild tackles. He reached the handrail and just whoop, went right over. It wasn’t a long fall, or lethal, but the birds picked him clean all the same.
Tacking another heavy lash to the lats, the newscaster moved on to the next person.
“Ma’am! MA’AM! Tell, and be clear and make sense, for the love of gold, make sense of it all! Can you describe for the millions of viewers back home what in the hell is up there on that cliff face?!”
“Oh no one special. In fact, I don’t even recognize them. In fact, in fact, I’m pretty pissed that I went through two pairs of Skechers getting out here to see this bullshit. In fact, in fact, in fact-”
The newscaster blast o’ buttered her brains out with a dirty revolver. That interview wasn’t getting to the point fast enough. Some guy jumped out of the mayhem and grabbed the newscaster’s arm, squawking like a hot parrot about Big Bird and Herb Bird and Brid Bird and Briar Bird, ya know, the big name puppet birds. There was a struggle, but bird guy took a lead slug to the domepiece just like the other ma’am. Then another shot, and another shot, and another. No one had the answer. The newscaster dropped to his knees and stared up at the Carvesman. Despite the distance, they locked eyes, and the Carvesman simply gestured below to his creation to which the newscaster broke out into a very sobby and snotty hysterical laughter. He held that dirty butter blaster to his noggin, hand trembling. He started to recite the Pledge of Allegiance Post-Annex Version. A kindly eagle, sensing the mood, reading the room, so to speak, as all insightful animals of the great frontier do, swooped in and locked it’s sharp talons around the trigger of that hot hard one and with a screech and pull, that newscaster’s skull exploded out of the meatbag. The newscaster’s producer, riding a bison, showed up shortly thereafter and bullwhipped his dead body into pulpy viscera.
The violence continued to spread, but it seemed natural, like this was what needed to happen to figure it out. At home, anyone watching the broadcast, which everyone was forced to watch the broadcast on their omniglasses or smartwalls, saw the reveal and the feuding spread to the homes of all GVUSAA citizens. Quarrels spread to the streets as retailers rushed to get their version of whatever faces there were on T-Shirts and mugs and vinyl collectables. Blogboys tussled with in town squares trying not to be the first to say something original and do actual work for their click bait articles, but no could properly describe a safe, universal appeal, vanilla way of saying what the new Mt Rushmore looked like.
Suburban neighborhoods became battle grounds even though the majority of people couldn’t even remember what they saw or why they cared or why they’re sawing the neighbor in half lengthwise like delicious hoagie roll and stuffing them full of fresh greens (raked up leaves) and succulent meats (actual roast beef and stuff from the fridge). Kids danced around the twisted remains of their parents, a display much more morbid than anyone could have anticipated, but hey, those parents didn’t even know what Mt Rushmore looked like, so how can they possibly have the wherewithal to raise kids? They were better off on their own, and it is an established fact of life that all future senators, governors, guv’ners, congressfolk, and yes, even sub- and Grand-Presidents were once kids. Really makes you think, doesn’t it? And here was a future guv’ner making snow angels in the unidentifiable viscera that his lackey friends were gathering into a big pile.
In the urban centers of the country, the homeless corals burst open like a ripe boil, letting loose the hobos into the clean parts of the cities. Truth be told, their hobo havens were veritable Big Rock Candy Mountains and they were scared and confused about being let into moneyed society again. Was that hobo lifestyle worth leaving? Was everything they’ve built through the power of hobo ingenuity so easy to walk away from? The elders pleaded through bean breath to stay in the hobo havens. This was the case simultaneously across the major cosmopolitos, but then the hobos saw that they got TV and a self-driving cars and hot food with zero poop on it, and that made their hobo havens look pretty darn bad in comparison. They tore through the cities, trashing everything in sight with conflicted hearts turning these cities’ beautiful areas into the same garbage situation as the hobo havens. Hobo hoser crews could barely hose the hobos back into place.
Despite the hobo flood, the hot-shot go-getters who lived and partied downtown with their pockets full of swipe cards of every kind held their own. They were injected with an angry vigor having seen the new faces of Mt Rushmore. Their teachers were wrong now, and always had been. They didn’t need school. They didn’t need the man to tell them what to know and how to live their lives. They saw Mt Rushmore for what it really was. Office building and highrises quickly because hotly fought for bases for like minded Rushmorians (there’s definitely at least one dog, and such on and so forth). These metropoli became dotted with city-state-like tribes of people with an unbound energy to invade and violently persuade their neighbors. The more they fought, the more garbage piled up, and the more that garbage piled up, the more the hobos came back, and the more the hobos came back, the more brief truces to drive them back ended in a backstabbing betrayal. And so it went.
The farmers in the heartland seemingly were able to avoid the ill-effects of the new faces because of their solitary existences, but that just wasn’t the case. Small families performed ritualistic executions and suicides until only one family member remained with the one true opinion on what those face were. This lone survivor would burn down the farm and all the crops, then wander for miles to the nearest far where they would meet the other lone survivor. They’d duel with their varmint shotguns in quick, decisive battles. Then it’d be off to wander to the next farm. They cycle of dueling and surviving dueling ended up inadvertently breed a breed of farmfolk who were much more lucky than the average citizen and had thick, strong shotgun hands. Their wandering and plight would eventually turn into a reality TV show, the most watched ever, but what it took to get there was a bloody ride.
It was chaos in the country. Hot, slutty chaos.
The Carvesman boarded a helicopter completely unnoticed, laughing at the cattle slaughtering each other, eating each other. The fatty cohesiveness of the complacent nation was no more. He gathered his breath and calmed himself before taking off his trademark mask. The Carvesman leaned back in his seat, obscuring his face in shadow.
“I think that went rather well” He said smugly through what must have been a shadow obscured smirk, “Don’t you… Mr. Grand-President?” Those dulcet words of that baritone, suave whisper traveled through the air impossibly easily despite the helicopter whirly-choppa choppa.
The Grand-President turned around from the pilot’s seat and lifted up the black visor. His jaw dropped open and let out a guffaw, sending spittle all over the place. The Carvesman joined in with his haunting cackle, and together they flew high above the chaos, high above the Black Hills.
Clutching his face powerfully, squeezing his mouth shut to cease the laughter, the Grand-President’s voice cracked with an unhinged enthusiasm, “Job well done indee-eed, Carvesman!” A lightning bolt of a giggle escaped between his white-knuckled grip, “I knew hiring you would do the trick, would be just what this country needed.”
The helicopter circled back over the crowd, a victory lap as it were. Naturally, expectedly, those bumbling buffoons were starting to congregate and groupthink. A man missing his left arm held a cowboy’s riding hat over his heart and sang away.
”And I’m proud to be an American, for at least I know I’m free!”
”And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave their life for me!”
”And I’ll proudly stand UP! Next to you, for at least I know I’m free!”
”And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave their life for me!”
”And I’ll proudly stand UP! Next to you, for at least I know I’m free!”
”And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave their life for me!”
”And I’ll proudly stand UP! Next to you, for at least I know I’m free!”
He was stuck in a loop, but whatever survivors there were joined along, all with their hands over their hearts and facing towards the glorious new Mt Rushmore. They just kept on going with those lyrics, as it was quite possible, no, not just possible, but entirely the case that not a single one of them knew any of the other lyrics or ever listened to the original song in earnest. Fat, salty, hot ‘n sour tears rolled down those doughy cheeks. Pure Patriotism. They didn’t know what they were supposed to see up there carved in granite, but they, they who made it out of the scrap heap, did know that this is America, dog dammit, and they’ll be double dog damned if they don’t salute the heroes.
As the Grand-President hovered above them, salivating through the laughing, the Carvesman scoffed impatiently, “Leave them already. Our work is done here, and we shouldn’t tarry any longer!”
“In a minute.” The Grand-President squeaked, “I wanna see if they can finish the song. Say, just what did you carve into Mt Rushmore anyways? I’ve been wondering all day…”
The Carvesman adorned his mask once again and leaned forward with concern. He had told the Grand-President not to look at Mt Rushmore, keeping him and the helicopter topside where they wouldn’t be able to get a proper look. It was never the plan to bring the chopper down to the crowd, down within eyeball’s shot of the faces. Now that helicopter hovered there, cutting through the chilly wolfwind, tailside to those fates facades.
“I do hope you’re not thinking of taking a peek. You’re not going to see what you want to see. Down there is what you want to see, those people, everyone across the country. That’s what you want to see. Behind you is nothing. Just a means to an end. Nothing more.” The Carvesman leaned back into the shadows, adjusted his mask to ensure a tight fit, and unbuckled his seatbelt with a slightly annoyed sigh.
Hesitantly, the helicopter swung around to face the faces. The Grand-President’s helmet poured trickles of sweat that flicked and sprayed from the sputtering nervous laughter flapping his lips. He reached up to loosen his tie and open up that collar, and as he did, a wisp of body steam vented out. His muscular, well muscular for a man in his later years, chest heaved up and down, shuddering on the exhale. Finally, that whirlybird was eye to eye with that new Mt Rushmore.
Silence at first, except for the near deafening sound of the helicopter blades, so it was a sort of mental silence, a shared “Hoo boy…” or even a “Boy howdy…” and then the Grand-President popped. He audibly gritted his teeth, sounding like using a common house brick as an eraser on a chalkboard. Of course, the sound of grinding stones was music to the Carvesman’s ears.
“You bastard!” The Grand-President yelled, voice cracking, twisting like the beams of a collapsing bridge. “Is this some kind of sick joke!? Are you mocking me?”
The Carvesman scoffed, opened up the side door, and calmly said, “I told you that you weren’t going to like what you see. Tell me. What is it you see exactly?” His haunting laughter was already bubbling up behind the mask. He already knew the answer, but wanted to hear it said aloud.
“My small dick! You carved my tiny little cock four different ways! You’re trying to undermine my presidency! You’re trying to make me look like a micropenised fool! Is that why everyone’s going crazy? Huh? It’s because they think my dong is the size of a pinky toe?! Is that it, you motherfucker?!”
The Carvesman braced against the open door, “You see what you want to see. They all do.”
“And they all want to see my small cock?! I don’t think so! I don’t think so!!” and with that, the Grand-President put the helicopter equivalent of the pedal to the metal, maybe the stick to the dick or from the dick. In a short few moments and with a non-stop scream, the chopper smashed right into that new Mt Rushmore, exploding in a fantastic fireball. Some on board fireworks really made it look beautiful. The crowd below stopped their song and applauded wildly, whooping like chubby monkeys. The hoopla burst out into more senseless violence, but such was the way of things.
Dusting the dust off his suit and mask, the Carvesman stood once again atop his creation. He managed to jump and dive roll right out of that crashing copter right at the perfect moment. He cackled at the pandemonium below. A couple wayward Lakotan souls poked their heads out from behind the rocks, honestly very confused at the entire situation.
The Carvesman put his arm around one of them, and said, “Well boys, I’ve done all I needed to do. They’re all yours! Have at ‘em!”
And just like that, the Lakotan ghosts, those beautiful, ethereal warriors, descended down upon what remained of the crowd to reclaim the Black Hills.
As for the Carvesman, well, he just strolled off into the wilderness a-whistling and a-pondering on his next work.Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in