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 ....

Friday, May 11, 2007

Happy Hour

President Bush was in his favorite White House place--the walkway from the West Wing to the East Wing. "Have a great weekend, Chloe!" he called out to White House butler Clio. He started thinking about a waitress named Chloe that used to serve him at that happy hour he used to attend during his MBA days. What was the name of that place? He could picture her face perfectly, and the hoop earrings, and the cheap margaritas. He loved those happy hours! That white tie dinner with the queen--now that was a pain in the ass. How the heck could anybody enjoy a stuffy thing like that? He had already ripped off his tie and was taking off his Brooks Brothers shirt. Sometimes on a Friday night he still thought about booze. "Laura?" he called, getting anxious about the weekend. He needed somebody to tell him what to do, keep him busy, that was the thing.

Clio kicked off her shoes and sank into her easy chair, relishing the short time left before the twins were dropped off. It was a good week for them--they got to meet the queen! That Bridge was amazing! He knew exactly when to stage their "accidental" incursion into the queen's garden tour. Clio picked up the photos the Security Office had given her. There were Reggie and Fergie springing out of their hiding place in the Rose Garden! There was Bridge chasing after them to "scold" them for interrupting the queen's tour. There was the queen looking at them in surprise! There was the queen bending over to receive the bouquet Reggie handed her. There was Reggie doing a curtsy for the queen! There was Fergie bowing to the President! It was too much, and Clio started giggling. Bridge told her that when the queen had asked who "these delightful children" were, President Bush had replied with a nervous laugh, "oh, they just came with the place!" The First Lady had turned beet red as the White House gardener quickly introduced Regina and Ferguson to the queen by name. Bridge told Clio he could hear the First Lady telling some unrecognizable version of the twins' story as he escorted Regina and Ferguson away from them and out of the garden. Clio looked at the last photo: the queen had craned her neck to get one last look at the twins. Something about the twins and their story had, in fact, unnerved the queen, and if the queen and president were at a happy hour drinking margaritas, they would probably have discovered that they had this in common.

Clio frowned, thinking about the First Lady's embarassment that the queen might be reminded that slave children used to be born in the White House. Clio knew her grandmother's passed-on stories about those days, and had not been happy when she went into labor during a White House security lockdown. Regina and Ferguson had been the first children born in the White House in 150 years! True, Clio had a first-rate doctor and a better clinic than she would have had otherwise, but it still bothered her. Of course, the unusual birth was the reason that they were all living here, though to this day she had no idea why the White House counsel had given her a signed agreement holding the White House harmless in exchange for granting them room and board privileges. She also had no idea that her children regularly talked to ghosts of their own relatives. Clio frowned more deeply, thinking about the day her husband had left her and "those weird kids" behind for good. Sometimes she was very happy, but she knew he was right--everything was weird since the day they were born.

Outside, a car approached the White House to drop off the twins. Up in his office at Prince and Prowling, former Senator Evermore Breadman glanced out his window, down to the street, where Fergie was looking up at him and caught his eye. "Senator?" Charles Wu followed Breadman's gaze out the window and caught a glimpse of the child before the car moved forward. Breadman turned back to Wu, apologized, and attempted to collect his thoughts when he caught sight of a very familiar-looking Rolex. "Where did you get that?" asked Breadman. Wu, surprised, pulled it off his wrist. "You wouldn't believe me if I told you! Here, take it!"

Breadman silently took the watch and turned it over to see if it had an inscription, but it didn't. Wu suddenly got nervous. What was this? A set-up for a bribe or a set-up for something else? He had gotten the bizarre inscription lasered off in Chinatown after he found the Rolex at the Jefferson Memorial. Had Condoleezza Rice recognized it, too? Is that why she had sent him to Breadman? Wu thought he had simply won her over with his usual combination of British and exotic charm, especially the part where he had told her he was a spy for the British. He loved telling people that! They never expected it, and it always left them completely disarmed. Breadman was still staring at the Rolex, which looked a lot like the Rolex that Cheney had given Rumsfeld as a goodbye present--lost for months. But it couldn't be! That was absurd. Breadman looked up at Wu nervously, suddenly realizing the awkward situation he had just put himself in. Wu gave him an enormous smile and put Breadman at ease. They both laughed. "Condi tells me you have been looking to give your clients some additional insight on Chinese business, Senator." Wu leaned back, crossed his legs, and folded his hands. "How can I help you?"

A few floors below them, Chloe Cleavage jumped up as Bridezilla entered the Prince and Prowling sweatshop. "How can I help you?" Laura Moreno looked up, rolled her eyes, then returned to work. Chloe went outside with Bridezilla, then returned 10 minutes later. "The associates are downsizing the project. Thanks for all your hard work! The following attorneys are being released." Chloe read off dozens of names. "We'll let you know when our next project starts!" A half-hour later, they were gone. Laura looked around at the ones who were left: there was the guy that watched You Tube videos all day long, there was the woman that spent five hours/day running her dominatrix website, there was the guy that liked to tell pornographic jokes that were not funny, there was the guy that sent text messages to his three girlfriends all day long, there was the woman that left the building for hours/day. Gone were some of the hardest workers of all. She looked quizzically at Chloe Cleavage, who responded with a shrug of her bare shoulders. The associate had simply fired the latest hired--the ones who had, in fact, been brought in precisely because the veterans were goofing off all day and not getting enough work done. The ones just fired had actually enabled Prince and Prowling to make its deadline.

Laura logged out and prepared to head home and put her hands on ice. She entered the elevator rubbing her hands, but stopped when she saw the very handsome Charles Wu. She smiled wanly, and he smiled back. He had been thinking it was a very prestigious law firm until he got a glimpse of this one with the unbrushed hair, Indian skirt, and bohemian shoes. (Laura had stopped wearing nice clothes after the sweatroom hit 88 degrees.) Charles held the door politely as she stepped out and thanked him. Charles knew that look: it was an "I hope opposites attract" look, but a Hippie was the last thing that could be of any use to him. He let her walk ahead as he contemplated his thank-you phone call to Condoleezza Rice. For a moment he thought he saw a pink bird fly over the law firm hippie's shoulder. He turned in the opposite direction, the direction the starlings were flying.

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