From 1984 to 2017

(An excerpt from the novel 2017, by Steve Bannon.)

Behind his screwed-up eyelids a forest of people seemed to be moving in a sort of dance, weaving in and out of the National Mall, disappearing behind one another and reappearing again. He was trying to count them, he could not remember why. He knew only that it was impossible to count them, and that this was somehow due to the mysterious identity between 1.5 million and 250 thousand. The pain died down again. When he opened his eyes it was to find that he was still seeing the same thing. Innumerable crowds, like moving trees, were still streaming past in either direction, crossing and recrossing. He shut his eyes again.

“How many people attended the inauguration, Winston?”

“I don’t know. I don’t know. You will kill me if you do that again. 1.5 million, 250 thousand, 7 billion — in all honesty I don’t know.”

“Better,” said Sean Spicer.