You can read this series from the beginning here.
"The more time I spend on this campaign," Emma said, "I feel like I sold out."
We were in bed together, getting ready to go to sleep so we could wake up and make our way to our office, where we would spend yet another day moving Hillary Clinton closer to the Presidency. I knew I was having my doubts about the process, and it was gratifying to hear Emma say so as well.
"I know," I said. "I feel that way, too. But we have to look at the bigger picture."
"The bigger picture is getting kind of fuzzy," she said. "All the focus seems to be on fundraising rather than progress. Maybe it has to be that way for now. But I signed on to this campaign to address real-world policy concerns, not just to defend the former Secretary from attacks."
"We have to do that if we’re ever going to get anywhere. I mean, think about the alternative."
"I don’t want to think about the alternative. It’s too scary. Good night, Justin."
"Good night."
I woke up in a small boat. It was being rowed by four burly men, and I was pleased by that, because I didn’t have to worry about my carbon footprint. The boat was approaching a pier near a poor village. When the boat reached the pier, I got out and marched into the center of town. I was wearing my best social justice warrior regalia, and carrying a large battle ax. I considered throwing down the battle ax, but I thought I might need it to chop wood in the dream.
"I am from a private non-profit devoted to progressive ideas," I said, "and I’m here to help."
The villagers stared at me in astonishment.
"I’m here to rescue all of you," I said. "To take you to the boats. The former Secretary is waiting just offshore. If you come with me, we can all fight together."
"The former Secretary," one of them said. "My family would spit on me if I fought with her."
"Like it or not, she’s the only one who can unify us," I said. "She’s the only one who can lead us to victory against what’s out there."
"She voted for the Iraq war," one of them said. "I don’t trust her."
"How do we know that America won’t warm up to Bernie Sanders?" another said. "He’s really very charming."
"Hillary and the bankers built the Wall Street to keep us out," another said.
"I know there’s a lot of distrust here," I said. "But we’re all progressives. We all want the same things. We need to stick together, because we’re badly outnumbered."
Just then, all the dogs in the settlement started barking. One of the villagers closed the gates. Several of the villagers were still outside, and were screaming in terror, as if an ancient, unknown, nameless thing was coming for them. I walked up to the wall, and looked through the cracks, but I couldn’t see anything but a thick mist. And then the cries of the villagers stopped.
I wasn’t afraid. I was a Social Justice Warrior. Whatever was in that mist who was threatening the lives of the gentle progressives who lived in this remote snowy fishing village, I would fight it with reason and science and nonviolent compassion.
And then the wall buckled, as the first of the zombies crashed through it. The men and women around me screamed. Something reached through the wall and tried to grab me. It had once been alive, and had probably been a lobbyist, because it was wearing the remnants of an expensive suit and cufflinks. At the last second, I remembered I had the battle ax, and chopped at the undead hand, cutting it off. Other hands, some festooned with Rolexes, were reaching through the wall. I chopped and chopped, cutting off all the dead hands that I could.
I looked into the sky. Up on the ridge that overlooked the town, there were riders, directing the battle, sending the zombies against us. They were too far away for me to reach, but I knew they were there. I knew they were the real enemy. I had to fight them.
I chopped and chopped at zombie hands until I was weary. Other social justice warriors stood beside me, but we were too few. The zombies made a breach in the wall and started marching through. "Drill, baby, drill," one of them said with its lipless mouth.
"Never!" I said, and ran the zombie through with the butt of my battle ax.
"Deregulation!" another one shouted. "The Code of Federal Regulations is far too large! Free the economy from government restraint!"
"That’s not supported by empirical evidence!" I said, and gashed his bare skull with my blade. He fell into a twitching heap. But they kept coming. And when the riders ordered a thousand zombies to fall off the ridge and into the town, I knew that it was time to retreat. There were too many of them, and they were all grasping and clawing and advocating voter ID provisions. I motioned to my colleagues that it was time to get back in the boats.
Mine was the last boat to leave. I stood in the bow, surveying the scene. Hundreds of the people I came to save were lying dead on the shore. I had failed in my task. But we had fought as hard as we could, and destroyed hundreds of zombies.
One of the riders came down to the pier and stood there, his arms outstretched. His skin was white and pale and he looked just like Scott Walker, except for a couple of little thorns on top of his head. We stood there, he on the pier and I in the boat, looking at each other. Testing each other.
And then he stretched out his hands even farther, and all of the eyes of the dead glowed with a pale blue light. And they rose up, and took up weapons, and started their long march towards Iowa.
"Justin? Are you okay?" Emma asked. "What happened?"
"Zombies. Republican zombies. Everywhere. They attacked the village and destroyed it. They were trying to kill me. It was horrifying."
"Game of Thrones," Emma said.
"What in the hell is Game of Thrones?"
"I had it on last night. Don’t you remember? You were looking at the Guardian website on your tablet while I was watching it. I didn’t think you were paying any attention."
"So it was all a dream?" I asked.
"You had a bad dream," she said. "Everything is okay."
"Scott Walker isn’t leading the undead horde?"
"It’s just a TV show, okay? Come on. Time to go to work. Make a difference."
I got out of bed and headed for the shower. At last, I had seen the alternative with my own eyes. I knew what I was fighting for.