Seven stood next to the table leg, watching. Master Gerald tossed a balled up bit of ketchup covered wax paper to the floor. One of the other miniatures scurried over and scooped it up.
Master Gerald laughed.
Seven straightened his shoulders.
“Hey!” he called.
Master Gerald looked down.
“Is there anything I can do for you Master?” Seven said, losing his courage.
Master Gerald scowled at him.
“I told you to sit and be quiet! You will do as I say or you will end up like Three!”
Seven sat down. That was always the threat.
Do the dishes or you’ll end up like Three!
Clean the garage or you’ll end up like Three!
What did Three do to end up like Three? Seven wondered.
Of the nine of them, not one had ever actually met Three. They’d arrived in a set of nine; nine pancake-colored-paunchy-middle-aged-miniatures, lightly balding. Master Gerald had thrown a pile of shirts down. There were numbers on them. The number they picked up became their name. There hadn’t been a “Three”
At THE FACTORY, The Fuhrer had trained them to believe the word of their master without question. And so, if Master Gerald said Three was bad, he was bad.
“But what did he do that was so bad?” Seven asked Ten while Ten polished a pair of Master Gerald’s sneakers.
But Ten, like the rest, responded only with a fearful and warning glance.
Master Gerald had Seven working in the garage all week fixing up and sorting old junk.
The first thing Seven fixed was the radio. All week he listened.
It began to say all sorts of things Seven had never heard before. It talked about the spirit of liberty, the freedom of the individual and victory over tyranny. It said that the Fuhrer was a tyrant who’d been destroyed in the name of freedom.
Seven remembered how the Fuhrer had trained them at THE FACTORY. Always sitting on Doctor Mengel’s shoulder, barking orders.
Seven had not liked him then, though he never told. And, now that he knew The Fuhrer was what the radio called a tyrant, he knew, Master Gerald must be stopped.
He made his decision without telling the others. They wouldn’t understand.
He would bring freedom to them whether they liked it or not. The American Dream, the radio kept calling it.
He began gathering together as many bits of garbage as he could find and hoarded them under his mattress. It took weeks. Master Gerald enjoyed watching them work, waiting for opportunities to dole out punishments.
Then the day arrived. Seven had enough. He fashioned them together. Then, late at night, after Four returned from cleaning Master Gerald’s toenails, Seven strapped the ball to his back and snuck into Master Gerald’s bedroom.
He scaled the duvet and crawled onto Gerald’s chest. He held the ball high above his head and cried,
He plunged the ball in, deep. Master Gerald began to choke. His eyes snapped open. He jolted awake, sending Seven across the room. He saw Seven on the floor and went for him.
Seven scurried back out into the living room and hid under the table. The other miniatures stood on the table and watched as their choking Master lumbered around looking for Seven. They pointed under the table but, it was no use. After a few seconds Master Gerald toppled over and lay on the floor, dead.
Seven peered out from behind a table leg. He climbed onto Ford’s chest and looked up at the miniatures.
“THE TYRANT IS DEAD! FOR THREE, FOR YOU! FOR FREEDOM!” He cried up at the others.
They leapt off the table and approached Seven.
They tore him limb from limb.
Catch up on the story of Gerald Ford’s Miniatures here: