THE WEST WING (1999—2006) is a television drama about a fictional president and his administration.
12/01/09 | Television

The West Wing

by Ken Baumann

They loaded up the white van with their potato-launcher guns and the potatoes they stuffed with explosives.

The leader turned to the prettiest girl and said something rebellious.

The girl felt warm inside and wanted to lie on the ground and roll around for awhile. They were loading up the van though, and she couldn’t.

The leader told the four other people to hurry up. They loaded things out of their dorms into the white rental van as fast as they could. They made sure not drop any of the potatoes.

They loaded the last of the explosive potatoes and got in the van. They had a thirty minute drive ahead of them, so the leader put a CD in the player and they listened to Frank Sinatra as they drove towards the White House.

The prettiest girl admired the potato-launchers they had made. They were white and long. She remembered the leader twisting pipe into pipe. She put her hands on her abdomen and tried to calm down.

The leader drove carefully.

He said a few things to the van full of people. Inspirational things. He reassured them that this was the right message to send, that the fucking pigs will get it now.

They were getting close. The leader turned the music off and everyone listened to the traffic.

They got to the corner of 17th and Pennsylvania and parked on the sideway. People began to honk. They got out of the car and shouted at each other as they unloaded the van. They had to be fast. They took out the spud-guns and set them on the sidewalk. They fixed angles. The potatoes were carefully loaded into the guns. They aimed at the west wing and hoped the potatoes filled with RDX would explode upon impact.

They fired. Pedestrians screamed at them and called 911 and the police. The potatoes shot out of the white tubes with a thunk sound and arced through the sky and out of sight.

They fired fifteen potatoes. They had five left. The leader let the other three load and shoot and he pulled the prettiest girl into him and kissed her neck. The girl stopped breathing and almost fainted. The other three said that they were out. They all followed their plan. They lay face-down on the sidewalk.

Sirens came. The Secret Service and Tactical Response teams came first and held their automatic weapons on the students. The police came but were held off by the government tactical units. They put black bags over the assailant’s heads and tied their hands. They loaded them into an unmarked van, much like the white rental. The leader couldn’t speak and the prettiest girl couldn’t be pretty underneath the black bags. If they spoke, they would be hit, they were sure of that. They kept quiet.