Word Hole #17

Word Hole 3

THE CAGE
by Michelle Hogmire

“Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert sexually abused at least four boys when he coached wrestling at a high school in Illinois decades ago, federal prosecutors said. In documents released Friday, prosecutors detailed stunning allegations against Hastert, the longest-running Republican speaker of the House.”

–“Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert abused 4 boys, prosecutors say,” Faith Karimi, CNN, 4/10/16

 

April 27, 2016: Dennis Hastert, subject to a financial violation case, involving $3.5 million paid out to a victim of child sexual abuse, is officially sentenced to serve time in…THE CAGE.

Background: Nicolas Cage, due to his outlandish spending habits, owes a shit ton of money to the IRS, which is why he’ll act in terrible movies until the day he dies. In order to pay off his debts, he agreed to participate in secret government projects—penny-pinching operations concocted by the feds. One of these services involves running a single-cell prison (Code Name: THE CAGE) in the middle of the Central Congolian lowland forests.

THE CAGE only accepts one prisoner at a time. And Nick Cage only takes prisoners if they’re flown out to him, individually—guarded by multiple special agents in order to avoid a co-conspirator aircraft takeover. Cage has thought of it all.

Mrcage

May 5, 2016: Special Lieutenant Tom Faliston and I accompany Dennis Hastert to THE CAGE. This is my first trip, but Faliston is a veteran expert in all things Cage and THE CAGE-related.

Dennis Hastert is transported on a standard C-123K prisoner delivery aircraft (Code Name: Jailbird). Oddly enough, the flight proceeds without incident. In-flight entertainment includes, fittingly, the feature films The Rock and Con Air. Cage provides us with motorcycles for conveyance on arrival.

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May 6, 2016: Hastert is placed inside THE CAGE, where he’s subjected to the cruelest torture, i.e. having to watch the Nick Cage films Ghost Rider and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance on repeat.

In terms of Nick’s qualifications, Faliston stated, “Oh yeah, Nick’s great at his job. He studied a lot of torture tactics for his role in those Ghost Rider flicks, you know.”

No, Tom, I had no idea. At least, I didn’t until now. And now, I can never un-know.

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May 7, 2016: This is only Day Two of the torture, and I’m already getting tired of hearing Hastert’s screams. Cage has taken it upon himself to enter THE CAGE and repeat his bad dialogue in real time, along with the film—seems like the very definition of cruel and unusual punishment to me. Hastert frequently pleads for his life.

“Shoulda thought of that before, Hastert,” Cage says, crossing THE CAGE and gripping Hastert by the shirt collar. “I sure as hell didn’t win a Worst Actor Razzie Award for nothing. You’re really playing with fire now.”

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May 8, 2016: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is playing in THE CAGE and Cage keeps rewinding the movie, screaming Johnny Blaze’s line “You will tell me or I will eat your stinking soul!” over and over again. I can’t take it anymore. I tell Faliston that I quit.

“That’s what they all say eventually,” he sighs.

“But you’ve been doing this forever, Tom,” I say. “How do you stand it?”

Faliston leans in until his lips are right next to my ear and whispers, “You think Ghost Rider’s the only one who made a deal with Mephistopheles?”

“There’s no such thing as Mephistopheles,” I said.

Tom smirked at me and nodded towards Cage who was staring unblinkingly into Hastert’s teary eyes.

“You think God gave him roles in 83 movies?”

Mrcage

Michelle Hogmire is a literary agent assistant at Barbara Braun Associates and the Business Manager for Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art. She grew up in West Virginia and has a BA in Creative Writing from Marshall University. She currently attends the MFA program at Columbia University and lives in New York City.

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