A one-time payment of six hundred dollars? How do they expect that to last?” Dorothy cries, hugging Toto to her chest. “And will I get it in time to pay rent?”

“Look!” Scarecrow exclaims, pointing at a sleek black helicopter descending from the clouds. “Someone’s coming to help!”

The helicopter lands and a shadowy figure emerges, shrouded in mist. His suit is crisp, his chin unforgettable. “Mitch McConnell!” Dorothy exclaims as she runs to him, a single tear spilling down her cheek.

The Senator reveals his bottom teeth in a sweet smile. “Dorothy, you already have the second stimulus check.”

Dorothy, who has literally only eaten noodles and frozen corn for the past month, puts a hand to her heart. “I do?”

The majority leader’s laugh tinkles like a silver bell. “That’s right, Dorothy. In your heart.”

“Wait, what?” Scarecrow asks.

Mitch McConnell chuckles, “I didn’t tell you before because you wouldn’t have believed me, Dorothy. You had to figure it out for yourself.”

Dorothy laughs to herself—could it be so simple? “I suppose… just wanting the government to help me get by wasn’t enough. After all, too much free money would only encourage me to become a lazy Socialist.”

McConnell nods. “Like Joe Biden.”

“Isn’t Biden like, famously centrist?” Scarecrow interjects. “I mean, based on his cabinet picks alone–”

“I think the lesson is,” Dorothy continues, “the stimulus check isn’t about being able to afford basic necessities during a pandemic. It’s about reconnecting with a part of myself I lost along the way.”

“That’s right, Dorothy, that’s all it is! I was beginning to think you’d never realize,” McConnell says with a twinkle in his eye.

“Okay, sorry but the tone of your voice implies that you’re being serious,” Scarecrow says, looking around the group for help. “What’s going on? Am I the asshole here?”

“Oh, Scarecrow,” McConnell sighs. “You may think you need riches from the government in order to survive this national unemployment crisis, but the real riches are found within. This whole journey down the Yellow Brick Road of 2020 was designed to make you see that.”

“The bricks on that road were white when we started,” Scarecrow points out. “It became sort of a communal bathroom for people waiting in line for Covid tests. And ‘riches from within?’ Are we supposed to pay rent with that?”

The Senator shakes his head. “If you dislike paying monthly rent, simply purchase your home.”

“I can’t afford to own a home!” Scarecrow looks to Dorothy for support.

Dorothy gives a little shrug. “He’s right, Scarecrow,” she says airily. “Perhaps if you hadn’t spent so much money on lattes and therapy these past few years, you would be able to own a home, too.”

A sudden gust of wind nearly knocks Scarecrow to the ground as McConnell’s shining helicopter rises again, a rope ladder unfurling from the open door. “That’s my ride.” McConnell raises an arm and grabs the ladder’s bottom rung, slowly rising with the copter. “Remember what I said!”

“Wait!” Scarecrow yells. “What you said didn’t make any sense! We still need more money to survive until we can go back to work!”

McConnell reaches into his suit jacket and produces a single white envelope. “If you really seek wealth, here.” The envelope flutters down to earth as the Senator gradually fades from view.

“Is it a check?” Dorothy asks.

From the distance, somewhere beyond the clouds, Mitch McConnell’s laugh echoes as Scarecrow tears it open. Inside is a note that says, simply, “AMAZON IS HIRING.”


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