I'm a big fan of stories that move forward in small sections--Ander Monson's Big 32 comes to mind as an old example many reading this post will have read. Electric Lit has recently published a story that immediately reminded me of how much I enjoy these types, Jeb Bush is Sinking by Jeff VanderMeer.
Each section of VanderMeer's story begins with "Jeb at..." and a percentage, beginning at 6% and dropping all the way down to -6%. It begins:
Jeb at 6% feels as if he is walking inside an old-time diving suit, but kicks up sand across the bottom of the sea. Knows he is fated to rise like mercury, expelled into the sky through the emulsion of his own silver birthing.
I believe my favorite section is:
Jeb below 3% begins to haunt himself, walks ethereal through a wall. He cannot tell what he’s done/not done. Stops in the middle of tasks believing he has completed them.
VanderMeer keeps things interesting by changing styles from section to section--"Jeb at 4%" begins with a long list of things Jeb is, while "Jeb at -1%" is full of violence. Utilizing a real person in a real situation could lead to all sorts of difficulties--trying too hard to really nail the individual's personality and character; trying to hard to predict specifics; or missing the mark to a point where readers wonder exactly why you used that particular name/situation. I think VanderMeer hits everything just right in this short story. Bits of Jeb appear, bits of George W., some seeming absurdities (or are they?), and a lot of fantastic images. Follow that link above for a great read.