When Buk Muk Hashog opened fire on the dais at the Cass County Elks lodge the crowded hall lit up with the blue glow of miniature LCD screens and the silent flashes of a hundred tiny cameras.
No fewer than 637 images exist of the incident, most snapped on cell phones in the minutes following Senator Tom Dicklesherry’s assassination. These photos quickly went viral, circulating through social media and television news alike.
“These images define this assassination,” reported Evening News anchor Kelly Kell. Indeed they do, as nearly every moment of the murder was captured from multiple angles. Dicklesherry was visiting the lodge for the third time this year, in a series of appearances aimed at boosting the morale of his wealthiest constituents. A whopping 86% of the voting public in Cass County cast a ballot for Dicklesherry, but nearly 48% of country residents of age are not permitted to vote because they are members of minority groups.
Little is known about Hashog, the brazen assassin whose image is now blazed into the retinas of every living soul on Earth, thanks to the incessant proliferation of his digital likeness. But witnesses say there was plenty of time to take out their phones and snap a few shots.
“I couldn’t even find my phone at first,” said Wendy Saddlebagger, still bristling with the excitement of the evening’s events. “I thought it was in my purse but it was in my pocket. I was digging around forever looking in my purse but he waited, the gunman he waited for me.”
Indeed, video taken of the event shows Hashog holding the gun to Dicklesherry’s head for more than forty-five seconds before pulling the trigger. Most of the lodge members had their phones out quickly, but others lagged behind at the crucial moment.
“I couldn’t find the little camera icon.” Said Jimbo Davis. “My daughter showed me where to find it. There’s a little shortcut menu I can use instead of entering my pin to unlock it and then swiping through the screens. I just swipe those screens without really looking at all the icons and never find the one I want. Silly, huh?”
“He’s waving his gun, he has bravado, he has anger, and it’s just erupting from him beautifully like a volcano bursting lava!”
Cass County’s strict voter discrimination laws are thought to have spurred the attack. But the true motives of the mysterious Hashog may never be known.
“We don’t even know what ethnicity he is,” says Cass County Chief of Police and Elks Lodge Secretary Charlie Baffleton. “The Elks Lodge is anti-black, anti-Asian, anti-Mexican, anti-Arab, anti-Catholic, anti-Muslim, anti-Jew and anti-Indian. We figure it coulda been any of ‘em done this.” Chief Baffleton contributed 89 photos from his personal cell phone to the investigation.
The most compelling images come from Tim Dorchiter, nature photographer. He had been hired to photograph the Elks Lodge life-size Nativity scene, complete with taxidermied livestock and black-faced actors standing frozen as wise men. Dochiter’s images are bold and purposeful and expertly framed. They aren’t images rushed in fleeting moments like so many of the cell phone shots taken that night. Dochiter captured the assassination with the eye of an artist.
“I was just getting a close-up of the stuffed camel’s nose when the gunman burst into the room,” Dochiter explains. “And all of the sudden he’s just giving it to me, you know? Just really giving it to me. He’s waving his gun, he has bravado, he has anger, and it’s just erupting from him beautifully like a volcano bursting lava!”
Dochiter captured Hashog with his gun raised in the air and his other hand pointing towards Dicklesherry’s head, an iconic image that appears to have been staged my the gunman.
“He gave us quite a show,” says Dochiter, “doing disco moves like John Travolta before blowing that poor sucker’s head off. Then the Superman pose over the corpse. Just brilliant stuff.”
And the hundreds of Cass County residents in attendance that night all came home with something special.
“I’ll keep these photos on my phone for the rest of my life,” says Shelley Petersen. “I’ll show them to my grandkids one day. They’re my own little piece of history.”