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 ....

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

This is America!

Charles Wu was sitting against a tree in Meridian Park, reading confessions from the Central Intelligence Agency. He had been a double agent for a long time, and very little of this was news to him--too old, too geographically passe, too useless. He yawned and looked up at the crowd already gathering for a distant view of the national fireworks which would commemorate the still young and fragile democracy. After a few minutes, he settled his view on a woman in a tight jean skirt and yellow tank top. His view was quickly obscured by a young girl approaching his shade tree. She set up two folding chairs next to him as an old woman with a walker followed slowly behind. They both sat down, exchanged a few words in Spanish, sipped water, then sat in silence. A raven alit on a tree branch above them and gave Wu a menacing look and shriek. Charles turned to look back at the woman in yellow, but she was already lost in the crowd. Angela de la Paz and her grandmother looked up at the raven, but it was quiet now; they sat in silence, both thinking about abuela's escape from El Salvador's war to the U.S.A. years before Angela was even born.

Several miles south, Golden Fawn was on her Southwest Plaza balcony, cleaning up the pigeon crap before her guests arrived to watch the national fireworks with her. It was the first 4th of July she had not spent at home with her grandmother. She sat down to rest, thankful her friends had told her they would bring everything. She started thinking about her neighbor Marcos Vasquez and the lie she had told him about why she was praying and burning sage at the side of the Potomac River. She could tell that he knew she was lying, and she could tell that he knew that she knew that he knew. Why not tell him the truth about Ardua? If he was going to be out on the Potomac, she should tell him. She resolved to call him up, but fell asleep to the soft cooing of the pigeon doves that lived there.

A couple miles to the west, Marcos Vasquez was already on Coast Guard duty for the 4th of July. Another helicopter was making a river sweep above his boat, but Vasquez and his partner did not even bother looking up. His partner was scanning the east shore, and Vasquez was supposed to be scanning the west, but he was mostly looking down into the water. He had a feeling that Golden Fawn had been doing some mojo that day, and he had a feeling it was about this monster in the water that he had never spoken a word about to anyone. Vasquez kept wondering if she would return to finish what the Coast Guard had interrupted.

Up in the abandoned watchman's quarters of the drawbridge, Dubious McGinty was looking down at Ardua and wondering the same thing. That girl had mojo! He knew it! Ardua was wounded for sure. Dubious had lit a dozen different substances on fire in the past three days trying to get the same effect, but nothing was working. They had to kill Ardua before she got her strength back! He reloaded his bb gun to try to pick off a few more infected ducks, then saw the Coast Guard boat approaching and lowered the gun. Damned 4th of July fuzz! It was always something around here. He went back inside to work on his letter to the editor of The Washington Post about Scooter Libby's get-out-of-jail-free card. He sat down in front of the Corona Selectric he had garbage-picked in Foggy Bottom years before, not that he remembered how it had gotten here--he didn't remember how most of his belongings had gotten here. Fortunately, he didn't use it much, or he would have run out of ink a long time ago. The paper was newer, freshly garbage-picked when the college kids were finishing the spring term at Georgetown University. He couldn't remember the last time he had written a letter to the editor, which was actually during the Reagan administration. It had been a long, long time since he had the mental clarity to write in The Man's language, as he knew he had to do. He reread what he had already typed this morning: "Dear Sirs, As a Vietnam Veteran who watched Scooter Libby's cousin die in battle at 1971, I must protest." That was as far as he had gotten. He added, "This is America!", then stopped to think some more.

A few miles to the east, former Senator Evermore Breadman was sitting under a shade umbrella on the roof of the Prince and Prowling building, a nervously smiling Scooter Libby sitting beside him drinking a cold beer. Breadman was only pretending to drink his own beer, his colon screaming in agony because he had not had time to get back to Lynette Wong's herb store in weeks. "It doesn't matter if you get disbarred," Breadman was telling the pale Libby. "You don't really want to practice law anyway! Let me tell you about some of the people you'll be meeting later today when we watch the fireworks." Libby took another swallow of beer. He was still having nightmares about going to prison--that's what he really wanted to talk about.

Back at Meridian Park, Charles Wu was getting hot and uncomfortable, and the CIA confessions were not revelatory enough to him to pass the time until the fireworks. He resolved to swim away the afternoon and then go drinking. He left the CIA history on the grass under the tree, stood up, and headed for home. Fifty feet away, a retired CIA agent quickly swooped in to pick up the document, looked at it, and nodded grimly. He shoved it into his LL Bean tote bag, put on his sunglasses, scowled at the quizzical Angela de la Paz (damned illegal alien!), then began following Wu home. Henry Samuelson knew that guy was up to something, but he couldn't quite figure out what. But he would. "Damned foreigners!" he muttered to himself. This is America! Damned if he was going to let them infiltrate on his watch.

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