Washington Horror Blog

SEMI-FICTIONAL CHRONICLE of the EVIL THAT INFECTS WASHINGTON, D.C. To read Prologue and Character Guide, please see www.washingtonhorrorblog.com, updated 6/6//2017. Follow Washington Water Woman on Twitter @HorrorDC ....

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Earth Day

Dr. Devi Rajatala watched the sun set over the Friendship Garden at the National Arboretum, where the high school kids had spent three hours pruning, mulching, and planting for Earth Day. It was so good to see winter over and spring on its way. She finished locking up the supplies and headed out, still thinking about the quiet kids, wondering if they were secretly building up an emotional rampage of death and destruction. She was especially thinking about Angela de la Paz, who had not talked much to her since Dr. Raj had told Angela that there is no such thing as the pink warblers Angela had insisted she had seen. Dr. Rajatala was thinking she should have let Angela tell her more about the pink warblers. A vivid imagination used to be considered a good thing. Dr. Rajatala resolved to get the kids to talk about themselves more, but she really didn't know how--she was just a botanist. Sometimes this place was serenely beautiful but nobody was really seeing it.

Angela de la Paz was already on the bus home, thinking about the used walker that had been donated for her grandmother. Her grandmother was in pain all the time, and she didn't know why. The last time abuela was in the hospital, Angela had tried to tell her about the pink warblers because Angela was thinking maybe they were angels, but abuela had not understood.

Several miles west, Condoleezza Rice awoke with a start, and for a minute she did not understand where she was or what she was doing. She had fallen asleep in her red leather recliner, watching the sun set over the Potomac. She reached for the glass to finish off her wheat grass/acai/soya/papaya/tumeric/raspberry smoothie. She looked at the reddish drops at the bottom of the glass and vaguely remembered a dream about pink birds. She didn't know that Ardua of the Potomac had woken her up to make the dream stop. She wiped the red drops from her mouth and got up to do something--anything--because she couldn't become an old woman going to sleep this early in the evening. She logged on and started Googling various spellings of her name because one of her hobbies was sending people anonymous emails correcting the spelling of her name.

Several miles northeast, Charles Wu was reading Korean emails about nukes heading south and wheat heading north. There was a lot of chatter about the weakening U.S. position in Afghanistan, the instability in Pakistan, and the Chinese threat. "Why is the Miss Condoleezza Rice here not?" was the typical question from Asia. C. Coe Phant posted an email about how the Bloodsucker was playing an elaborate chess game to maneuver the world into World War III. C. Coe Phant had started calling her that after he had accidentally mispelled her name on a State Department memo and gotten demoted. That's also when he had decided he would only get a raise by taking his knowledge outside the State Department. Wu continued reading until one of the Koreans changed the subject to talk about the shame of the Korean killer in Virginia, followed by a condemnation of the moral cesspool of the United States. Wu did not like reading about non-political crime, so he switched over to a lengthy Iranian email dialogue about oil prices and the "election" chaos in Nigeria.

A few miles to the southeast, President Bush was rereading the jokes he had not gotten to deliver at the Gridiron Dinner, because people had told him it was too soon after the massacre to tell jokes. But plenty of other people had told jokes! It wasn't fair! He chuckled to himself at the jokes and stuck them in a drawer for later. One of them was about nappy heads, but it was funny, and not in bad taste at all.

A few floors below him, Clio was braiding Reggie's hair while Fergie rubbed his hands disappointedly over the buzzcut he had just received. Clio could hardly finish the braids, she was so tired. Clio didn't know she had HIV because she had never been tested. Clio didn't know she should be tested because she didn't know that her ex-husband had cheated on her before the twins were born. The twins knew she had HIV because sometimes the Shackled ones talked about it--for some reason, the Shackled kept saying it was very important for Clio to keep working at the White House, and the Shackled were worried about the HIV. Reggie wanted to leave the White House, but Fergie liked it there--they argued about that a lot in their secret twin language. Clio put them to bed and smiled at their innocent baby faces as the White House ghosts settled in for the night.

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