“The Love/Hate Coin”
“I feel rewarded on being so ugly, eh
Oh, and you're a lone shadow
I feel rewarded on being so ugly, eh
Smile and face your wife angry
His life don't despise what's in eyes
He skips so as the seasons
To come as a breeze has "
-Sung by Cocteau Twins
We started drawing up strategy as we leveled off.
I got a call from Rayleen saying she and Hugo could come at a moment’s notice. I reassured her that I would call the minute I needed them, and that I loved them both dearly.
They had been with me nearly from the beginning. Now they owned a tiny island in the Mediterranean and lived there with their kids and grandkids. They have 12 grandkids! I’ve got two and I never think I can keep up.
Harry led the discussion, “This guy has always been unapproachable. He has an army cordoned around him. His PR people alone could stand off a SEAL team by pure numbers.”
Max added, “I don’t think the way in is through an assault. What do you think you could do…money-wise?”
“He wouldn’t be any more amenable because of my money, he’s got more of it than I will have for another hundred years,” I admitted, “He could buy me and sell me. That’s not the way in. The celebrity thing doesn’t work either, he hates publicity. He likes working behind the scenes, covert. He wants to be the power behind the throne.”
“I’ve been working on something,” Harry said, but I could tell he wasn’t fully sold on it himself.
“What?” I said, but he hesitated.
“There is no one I have more respect for, Harry. You’ve got brains you haven’t ever had to use. I’m on the edges of how my head can work. If you have an idea, I will give it points just because it came from you.”
“What if…you take Simonson’s place?” he speculated.
“You want me to go to prison?” I chuckled.
“No, I just want you to take Simonson’s position as the head of the church. Show Coggen that the church needs someone to be the figurehead, and that you are the guy!”
“They hate me! They want to kill me!” I was truly flabbergasted by the idea.
“Love and hate are so close sometimes that they are twins,” he began to pitch the idea to me, “If you can convince him that you can turn that hate into love, with Simonson’s backing, then they would have a huge church ready to follow you, and thereby him, to do anything he wants, and then the political force would be unstoppable.”
It was starting to come into frightening focus.
“It would be not just an undercover political power, but a physical army that can expand his control until it could take over as large a part of this country as he wants.”
“Damn, boss,” Max said, “It could work!”
“But it’s risky,” Harry said through gritted teeth.
“I know,” I agreed with him. “If we put the idea in his head he could find someone else and do what we’re outlining without us. Then they could still kill me and take over anyway.”
“If he got someone to kill you…”
“He could be the new figurehead!” I realized.
“So you really have to sell the ‘hate into love’ idea, before he has too long to think about it,” Max added.
“It’s a coin toss,” Harry said, “And we better hope it comes up heads.”
“But not my head,” I said, without humor.
© C. Wayne Owens