The current Cold War between Clement and Becky was the longest fight of their marriage. It gave Clement more than enough time to help George Twill accomplish his goal. It did nothing, however, to improve the tensions at home.
“Emperor Don has gone missing,” accused Becky. It was the first civil word spoken between them in days.
Clement met his wife’s icy stare. “I haven’t seen him.”
“Would you tell me if you knew where he was?”
Clement clenched his jaw. “I would, but I don’t know where he is. I’m sorry.”
Becky stood with her hands on her hips. “I don’t believe you.” She whirled on her heels and stormed off.
Clement opened his mouth to speak, but stopped himself. He wondered how so much trouble could come from a crazy old fool.
At the bus stop on his way to work, Clement’s mind drifted to the problems surrounding his marriage. Things had changed, but he wasn’t sure how to fix them. A tap on his shoulder snapped him back to reality.
“How do I look?” asked a familiar voice.
Standing before Clement was a barely recognizable Special Ed. His hair was cut and his face was clean shaven. The clothes he wore were clean.
“Don’t you look presentable,” commented Clement.
“That’s just what I want to hear,” beamed Special Ed.
“What’s the occasion?”
Special Ed stood a little bit taller as he announced, “I’m going to work.”
“I’m part of the writing team for the ‘Late Tonight Show’.”
Clement’s jaw dropped. “How the hell did that happen?” His tone was more incredulous than he intended.
“I was telling my jokes at the bus stop as usual and started getting regulars. One of them asked where I got my material. When I told him I made ‘em up myself, he offered me a job. Awesome, right?”
“Unbelievable,” muttered Clement.
“Have you seen Emperor Don? I wanna thank him but haven’t seen him in days,” asked Special Ed.
At that moment Clement’s the bus arrived.
When Clement got to work Ivan was in full panic mode.
“Julia and Gertrude quit!”
“What? Why?” asked Clement.
“Gertrude got a research grant through the university to study butterflies full time.”
“C’mon,” said Clement.
“That’s only the half of it. Julia’s research into careers got her noticed by several major corporations. Apparently her business partner has a lot of contacts. She’s now working as a consultant. She’s even been scheduled to give a TED talk,” fumed Ivan.
“Yeah, and now we’re majorly understaffed. What a disaster,” fumed Ivan.
After a chaotic morning, Clement went to the park to eat lunch. He was about to cross the street when a black limousine blocked his way. A huge man in a black suit and sunglasses stepped out and opened the back door.
From inside a forceful voice spoke. “Get in.”