The rest is tragedy.
The morning following this brouhaha, several Kachina Round Tablers were discomfited by the realization that neither Mr. Ennis nor his running mate, Mr. Slack, were anywhere to be found within the convivial confines of Hôtel Adios. And so it was that, on the orders of Chief Jeff Rippling River, we—the aforementioned KRTs, Ms. Betty Bedwell, and I—sought their whereabouts throughout Small Southwestern City and environs. Every hotel, every shop in every marketplace, every home, every law office, every trinket shop, every stockyard, every alley, every car, truck, and SUV were scoured, not once, not twice, but thrice. But still: neither of the candidates could be located.
When Señor Zapata arrived that afternoon, he found a disconsolate group in a parlous and wordless state, seeking to fathom the implications of our conundrum-ridden circumstance. Where were they? was no longer the question; it had been replaced by What will happen to the cause we had all embraced now that our standard-bearers are gone?
Zapata immediately took charge. “Have you looked in the broom closet?” he asked.
We mumbled that we had not.
“Go, seek him there,” he replied.
We did so. What we found were a pair of robots in a parlous and wordless state, seeking to fathom the implications of their conundrum-ridden circumstance. They had so, so wished to have been elected to the two greatest offices in this or any other land, they said. They had wanted to have led the greatest revolution in the history of the nation, of the world, possibly of the universe, they added. They had wanted “dead folks” to have participated in the elections of this great nation, they continued. They had even wanted, though admittedly with less fervor, to have had eligible parrots given the keys to the ballot box, they went on to say.
On saying these things, tears were streaming down their metal cheeks. Mr. Slack had tried to pluck out his eyes. Mr. Ennis had attempted to slit his aluminum wrists, like many a desolate and dislocated teenager. Both had failed, of course, but when they had been discovered in their misery--