(not quite) a literary journal


Sybil Saga: The Wall

Previously on Sybil….

Our heroes were charged with Upsetting the Status Quo and faced those charges on the new television show President Judge Trump. After a relentless slam campaign by several media outlets, public opinion was set firmly against the Sybil 3. They were found guilty and sent to The Wall to work off their indefinite sentence.

Meanwhile, DM Rice, aka Boo Boo Glass, narrowly escaped a Bananafish meeting by throwing themself in the river and following the water to the coast where Bessie Glass was waiting. The duo lucked upon the rebel fleet and, thanks to their mutual ties with Stephen Spencer, were able to hitch a ride to the fleet’s hideout somewhere in the Caribbean.

2017 saw crime and punishment arrive in Hollywood, long the sanctuary city of the rich and powerful. As the Elite fell like lame ducks, they scrambled for a solution, and in that way these snowflakes, unable to stand the light of truth, drifted east towards the only protection against allegations left, the cold heart of one Donald J Trump. And so Hollywood and DC became one as the federal government took hold of most major production companies under the umbrella name Department of Internal Entertainment.


Ext. The Wall-Morning

The camera pans up from the dusty ground. Upwards across a stony face in a shot reminiscent of the opening scene of Star Wars in which the camera wordlessly describes the might of the galactic empire with a long shot of a passing battle cruiser. The viewer observes the strength of Trump's new empire as it takes a solid 12-16 seconds for the camera to pan the entire height of The Wall.

Atop it, we get our first glimpse of our heroes. They are dressed in grim prison wool and their ragged breath escapes in visible plumes against the cold, bright morning. Chains at their ankles bound the three together. Their faces are tired and worn, hardly recognizable from their boyish days of writing out of comfortable homes. A loud hum rattles their chains, but they appear unphased as a squadron of drones fly over their heads in formation before dropping low to comb the desert floor. Our heroes are no guards. Only prisoners made to watch.

Guard: [approaching along the path on top of the wall as he does his rounds] Hey, Squiggle Boys! How is your magazine coming along? What is it called again...Scribble?

Rudy: Squiggle or Scribble. Pick one, man.

Guard: What did you say to me?

Rudy: Just some advice. Pick an insult and stick with it. You might find it leads to better results.

Guard: Don't you dare tell me how to insult someone, you...

Rudy: No good commie. Hack writer. Filthy piece of shit. It doesn't have to be original, even. You just have to mean it.

The guard's face contorts and the camera zeroes in on a billy club that comes crashing down before the shot fades to black.

Int. Prison Cell-Night

The camera is located on the other side of the bars. The cell is framed by its bunk-lined walls. Rudy is lying on his mattress with a black eye reading a book. Stephen is doing push ups on the floor while Jake meditates nearby. The camera lingers for a few long moments and then blinks to black before focusing back on the same scene, but the viewer shortly realizes the blink to black was meant to symbolize time passing as now Stephen is lying on the bunk above Rudy who is still reading, and Jake is taking a shit in the toilet in the back corner.

Another blink to black reveals Stephen and Rudy arm wrestling on the floor while Jake watches. There is iron clanking, muffled shouting, and general prison noises floating in, but this cell is rather quiet. Rudy grunts some as he struggles to flatten Stephen's arm. Blink to black again and the three are asleep in their beds. Fade to black.

Int. Mess hall-Day

Our heroes wade through a cafeteria line and then find a few empty seats crowded in the middle of a long table. A Wes Anderson esque shot of their meal shows indiscriminate mush of a brownish-green color and a golden roll set atop a grey tray.

Jake: [Scoops some mush in a spoon, holds it horizontally and then slowly rotates it and watches the mush splatter back onto the plate] What is this, you think?

Rudy: I hear they blend frozen, backstocked Trump steaks with peas and oatmeal.

Stephen: You think the vegetarian option is actually vegetarian?

Jake: I don’t know, man. They don’t look much different.

Stephen: At least there are these rolls. They look dang good. What are they, you think? Hawaiian rolls?

Jake: Look like it.

Stephen: I love me some goddamn Hawaiian rolls.

A couple of prisoners sit in a pair of chairs nearby and begin conversing in French. The Sybil 3 listen closely for a moment, surprised to hear French, and then they look to Stephen who shrugs and obliges.

Stephen: [Leaning in] Bonjour, d'où venez-vous?

Canadian Prisoner: Canada. Or shall I say, the landmass formerly known as Canada.

Stephen: What do you mean?

Canadian Prisoner: You are those writers, right? The ones from President Judge Trump?

Stephen: Yeah.

Canadian Prisoner: Fuck you then, aye. You are just as bad as the fascists out there.

Stephen: Brother, hold up. We are no fascists.

Canadian Prisoner #2: TV said you three are some Texan radicals trying to kill all white people.

Jake: TVs lie.

Canadian Prisoner: I read it myself. You going to tell me my eyes lie, too? That my eyes are fake news?

Stephen: Listen just for a minute. Let me tell you-

Rudy: Leave it.

Stephen: Hang up, if we just-

Rudy: I said leave it. [Rudy stands up and looks at the Canucks as if he is going to say something, says nothing, and walks away.]

Stephen and Jake look at each other and stand up.

Stephen: We are in this together [he tells the Canadians and then walks away with Jake following close behind.]

The three find an empty table along the wall of the room and take a seat.

Stephen: Fuck those guys.

Rudy: What do you think they meant?

Jake: The landmass formerly known as Canada.

Stephen: Yeah, what the hell was that about?

Tough Prisoner: You mean y'all haven't heard?

Rudy: No. What?

Tough Prisoner: Give me your Hawaiian rolls and I’ll spill.

Stephen and Jake hand theirs over. Rudy hangs on to his.

Stephen: Dude...

Rudy: [Reluctantly hands his bread over]

Tough Prisoner: Mm-mmm! come to papa! Alright, here it is. Ol' Vlady Putin finally put his plan to action. All the shit Russia has been up to, collusion, Trump, Brexit, it all makes sense now. They invaded Canada. Split it right in half. The Russian-occupied west and the American-occupied east.

Jake: What do they want with Canada?

Stephen: And what does Brexit matter?

Rudy: The UK is bound to defend Canada, but without the rest of the EU they could never take on Russia.

Stephen: So what, the world is turning a blind eye?

Tough Prisoner: [With mouth full of bread] It’s America and Russia on the same side. What is anyone else going to do?

Rudy: Jesus Christ.

Stephen: And we are stuck in here.

Tough Prisoner: What the hell would you be doing if you weren't? What could you do? It's game over, boys. It's eat all the bread you can while you can, boys! [The prisoner stuffs another roll in his mouth and stands up to leave in the midst of his own laughter.]

Rudy: Jesus fucking Christ [he repeats when the three are alone again.]

Stephen: We have to get out there. We have to do something!

Jake: He’s right though. What can we do without just winding up back in here?

Stephen: Fuck off with that defeatist attitude, man! We are fucking Sybil. There is a reason he threw us in here and it’s because he was scared to have us out there, man.

Rudy: Shit’s getting bad. Far worse than I would have dreamed possible. It is our responsibility to do something, even if it is here, inside this prison.

Jake: But what are we going to do? Even if we do escape, it’s hundreds of miles of desert on every side of us and a whole army of drones just waiting to chase us down.

Stephen: This is some surreal ass shit.


Ext. Unnamed Bay-Day

A small fleet of ships flying Stephen's Hammer and Sickle Texas Flag are docked at bay. The camera takes a bird eye view before zooming in on the SS Exposition where we enter the cabin to find Boo Boo and Bessie Glass with a crowd of unknowns standing around a television.

Television Announcer: In a groundbreaking move, the Disney-Time Warner conglomerate has accepted a buyout by the federal government. If you will recall, Disney purchased Twentieth Century Fox in late 2017 and Time Warner some months later. The purchase by the government forms the basis for a new department, The Department of Internal Entertainment. President Trump has appointed one Obadiah Elihue, former investigative journalist turned federal agent, to head the new department. Here he is accepting the position:

Obadiah Elihue takes the screen. He is standing at a podium with the acronym DIE behind him. The heads of the former Disney, Twentieth-Century Fox, and Time Warner stand by.

Obadiah Elihue: It is my great honor to accept the position of the Secretary of Entertainment, and let me be the first to tell you we have big plans. For too long has the government been this stuffy, boring entity. I mean, CSPAN. Is that really the best we can do? For centuries all we have done is take, take, take from you, the American People. Let me ask you this, is your back tired from carrying the load?

Audience: [Huge applause]

Obadiah Elihue: Well you thought those earlier tax cuts were nice, how is this? No. More. Taxes!

Audience: [Quiet disbelief]

Obadiah Elihue: I am not kidding you. I have been working closely with our great President Trump and we decided no more taxes! The Democrats want to tax you more. They say that will fix all your problems. How is that going to fix any of your problems? No more taxes! I don't care if you make a thousand dollars a year or a billion. No. More. Taxes. Let's hear it for Trump! No more taxes!

Audience: [Murmurs grow into chants.] Trump! Trump! Trump!

Obadiah Elihue: No more just watching our entertainment either. We are about to start living it! That beautiful wall along our southern border, it’s the architectural achievement of the century and it deserves to be seen. I don’t want to say too much here, but soon cinema will be a thing of the past. We are working on a few interactive worlds where you can be completely immersed in whatever universe it is you love. There is going to be something for everyone. In fact, opening as soon as the end of the year will be our Game of Thrones world. Not only is America safer than ever thanks to our newly secured southern and northern borders, but we are about to be more entertained than ever. America is truly great again!

Television Announcer: That is the scene in Washington DC and you did not mishear him. An executive order put into motion just moments ago has halted all taxation indefinitely. President Trump has taken to Twitter to announce his confidence in what he is simply calling The Entertainment's ability to raise enough money to fund the nation.

Int. Prison Cell-Day

Stephen is sitting on his bunk using a roll of toilet paper as a scroll and a pricked finger as his pen. Rudy is pacing and Jake is muttering something indecipherable to himself as he sits in half lotus on the floor. All activities come to a sudden stop when a pair of men in black suits appear on the other side of the bars.

Man in Black 1: These are the Sybil 3?

Man in Black 2: Yes sir.

Man in Black 1: [Examining a clipboard] I see, I see. You boys are in here a long time, aren't yah? How would you like to get that sentence shortened?

Stephen: What are you talking about?

Man in Black 1: I am talking about finally making something of yourself. Finally giving back to the society that has given you all so much.

Rudy: Fuck off.

Man in Black 1: [Presses his face between the bars and stares at Rudy] Obadiah warned me about you. A hopeless case, he called you. Said I should let you rot in here. I'd like to prove to him my program can fix anyone. You are coming with me. To hell with you two.

Rudy: I'm not going anywhere with you.

Man in Black 1: [Grins madly before reaching into a pocket and pulling out a taser.] Is that so?

Stephen positions himself between the man and Rudy. Jake does the same.

Stephen: He said he's not going with you.

The taser makes quick work of the Sybil 3 and Rudy is dragged out of the cell. The shot focuses on Rudy's form being dragged down a hallway and through the facility until he is loaded into a van and driven down a dirt road that follows the wall into the west Texas desert. A quick montage shows it traveling a great distance before arriving at another facility along the wall. It is only half constructed, but the van passes through a gate which reads The Department of Internal Entertainment Presents: Castle Black.

Rudy comes to in a room with a team of people watching him through a window.

Man in Black 3: He is perfect. Look here. [They are looking through his Facebook on a tablet.] With his hair grown out, he will be a perfect Snow. Look at that brood. Way to go. Plus, he already has the celebrity status. This is great. Will he participate though?

Man in Black 1: Oh, he will participate. They will all participate. Or they will die and we will find others who will participate.


Int. Ship Cabin-Night

Bessie Glass: We have to do something now. The wall is in the middle of a war zone! They are in danger!

Fleet Captain: Bessie, listen to yourself. It is in the middle of a war zone. It is crawling with Russian-American joint forces. We have, what, a few thousand people? There is nothing we can do. I am sorry. Truly, I am.

Bessie Glass: My boys [she moans] That clown has my boys! [Bessie breaks down to tears. The pair are alone in the cabin and the captain moves awkwardly in an attempt to offer some comfort, but before he can a woman thrusts through the cabin door and joins the pair.]

Franny Glass: It is a war zone, but there are hardly any troops there. Not real ones. Not yet.

Fleet Captain: Who the hell is this?

Bessie Glass: Franny! Where have you been?

Franny Glass: I went undercover at The Wall. It is all a ploy [she explains breathlessly] They are training prisoners to act for Trump’s new park or tv show or both. I'm not sure exactly, but they aren't real soldiers. They are giving them swords and bows and arrows and making them defend the wall. Anyone trying to come in or out is treated as an enemy combatant and attacked by these characters. It’s sick! They are killing these poor people and it’s all some sort of performance. People are loving it! And Rudy, they took him. They are making him play Jon Snow! They have him at the Game of Thrones exhibit. We can save him, but we have to hurry!

Bessie Glass: What about Stephen and Jake?

Franny Glass: I am not sure. I think they are still just somewhere on The Wall, but the whole thing is being converted into a tourist attraction. That's how they are going to make their money!

Bessie Glass: We heard them announce it.

Franny Glass: We have to do something!

Fleet Captain: I am not risking my entire operation to save three men. I don’t care if they are the Sybil 3. I just can’t do it.

Franny Glass: [Unrolls a scroll on the table and all three crowd around it] What if I told you this wasn’t to save just three people? I know how we can bring down the whole wall.

Fleet Captain: [Eyes growing larger as he examines the plans] Holy mother of Christ.

Franny Glass: Trump will never see it coming. I call it Operation Climate Change. This is how it works…


Ext. The Wall-Day

Stephen and Jake are on top of The Wall with a third chained to them in Rudy’s place. Stephen and Jake look stoically across the landscape. A cold wind blows all around them and the view is of desolation.

Third: You ever think about jumping?

Stephen: [Looks at Jake]

A guard passes behind them without saying anything. He looks cold and walks quickly. The three wait for him to be out of earshot.

Jake: What did you say?

Third: How far down is it?

Stephen: Far enough to kill you.

Third: [Sticks his head over and stares. Stephen pulls him back.]

Stephen: I’m not just saying that. We’ve seen it.

Jake: More than once.

Third: That so?

Stephen: That is so.

Third: Probably they were doing it wrong.

Stephen: We’re not jumping.

Third: Everyone’s got to jump sometime, brother.

A loud explosion rattles the wall and a siren begins to blare. Swarms of drones take to the sky and squadrons of armed guards go running towards the sound as machine gun fire and continued explosions sound in the distance.

Stephen: What the…

Jake: Come on! [The three begin to make their way in the opposite direction of the battle. They are chained together and it is slow going. Another blast stops them in their tracks as the path before them is blown apart.]

Third: Jumping sounds better now, don’t it? [The three scramble part way down the damaged wall as far as they can. Then they drop the last nine feet to the ground and are off the wall. They exchange looks and then begin to make their way across the landscape as fast as they can. In the confusion of the battle, they go unseen and limp through the desert for miles. They have no food and no water though and their ankles are bloody and worn from the chains. As night falls, they are too exhausted to go on. When they happen across a small desert spring, they collapse and drink from the earth. The distant sounds of battle continue, but they are free of it for now.]

Narrator: So concludes part two of The Wall trilogy. Two of our heroes have managed to escape the wall, but to what end and who is this mysterious Third? What will happen to Rudy, locked up so far away in a metamodern prison? Will Operation Climate Change be enough to bring down The Wall or is the Trump-Putin-Hollywood axis of evil just too powerful to be stopped? And what will happen to Canada?

Find out next time on the epic conclusion to the Sybil Saga.

♩♩♩O Canada! Our home and native land!

True patriot love in all thy sons command,

Car ton bras sait porter l'épée,

Il sait porter la croix!

Ton histoire est une épopée

Des plus brillants exploits,

God keep our land glorious and free!

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee♩♩♩

sybil sagajake buckholz