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, June 29, 2008

Scared

BLAM, BLAM, BLAM, BLAM!

Bridezilla lifted up her safety goggles to see how she had done. "Well," Wince said, "looks like you hit the femoral artery and the right lung--that's great!" She had really hit the knee cap and the right clavicle--and plenty of air around the McLean firing range's silhouette target number nine--but he was playing it up a bit. She had thought they would be driving to the Outer Banks for the start of their 12-day vacation by now, but Wince wanted her to be ready to take her new fuschia-colored handgun into the city the first day she would be back at work. She put the goggles back on and again began aiming for the heart and abdomen--stupid handgun laws messing up my vacation, like I can even take this into Prince and Prowling, should have been on honeymoon by now but no it's always something else delaying everything, stupid pink gun how sissy is that like it's gonna scare anybody, why doesn't he buy me romantic presents anymore, I can't stand being here one more minute, stupid bullets. She took a deep breath and pulled up her goggles again. "Well," said Wince, "I think you're getting the hang of it! You hit the neck five times!" Actually she had hit next to the neck five times, and that was after aiming at the heart (not the head), but the last time he had asked her if she needed to see an eye doctor, she had chewed his head off, and he was too scared to bring that up again.

Far across the Potomac, it was the fifth time in two days--another complete stranger walking up to Sebastian L'Arche to ask him how to get hold of a handgun...fast. Maybe it was the rottweiler in his current dog-walking rotation, or maybe it was the camouflage tank top, or maybe being black in Southeast was simply enough. He just shook his head and walked on. Everybody he had ever known in this town with a clandestine weapon had seen it stolen, confiscated as police evidence after a child got hold of it, or fired at themselves by an acquaintance or disgruntled lover. He didn't see how any of that would change after the Supreme Court ruling...and he'd seen enough guns in Iraq to last a lifetime. Well, at least they would still be well regulated, right? That's what the Constitution says, right? He looked around at the other people in the small Capitol Hill dog park, trying to imagine them all packing heat. He thought about how his grandmother's life would have been different with a handgun in her nightstand, but he didn't think that burglary would have turned out any better...probably worse. The criminals were already bringing guns in from Virginia, so all this meant was that law-abiding citizens would be paying for guns that had about a 5% chance of ever protecting them from crime--and about a 95% chance of being used negligently, abusively, suicidally, or invertedly after being stolen. Well, at least those vets making the AK47s advertised on telephone poles will be happy.

On the other side of the Capitol, Atticus Hawk was spending another Sunday afternoon hunkered down at his desk with yet another Constitutional challenge laid out before him. "...speedy and public trial...confronted with the witnesses against him...assistance of counsel." Yes, this was all in the Sixth Amendment, but so was--he looked to the right at a photocopy of the Sixth Amendment and circled "criminal prosecutions" and "of the State and district". The Justice Department had suffered a bit of tongue-wagging from the Supreme Court regarding Guantanamo, but there was no chance those Justices were coming after his detainees in Afghanistan. Foreign soil, baby! Enemy combatant on foreign soil! He was hopped up on Red Bull, having stayed up too late the night before with Jai Alai. Jawed Ahmad can kiss my ass! Up yours, Robert Hurst, stinkin' Canadian! He turned to his computer to retrieve the latest version of his apologetics memo and look up the most recent Justice Department filings on Bagram's U.S. military prison, dissipating the screen saver image of the American bald eagle.

A couple of blocks away, Charles Wu was sitting in the back row of the National Archives auditorium, taking in the twenty-minute propaganda film for how great it was that Americans had access to their country's records. He was whispering to the Briton sitting next to him about the Chinese-American deal that had recently been struck with nuclear North Korea. The Briton wanted to know if North Korea was still hiding another cache. "What do you think?!" said Wu, with an intent sidelong glance. The Briton then asked why now. "Why not?" said Wu. "China looks like a peace-loving major player on the world scene right before the Olympics, Rice gets to play the master diplomat in Asia after repeated failures in the Middle East, a little attention diverted from the real killing zones in Asia." The Briton pressed him about the American angle. "Rice doesn't give a shit," whispered Wu. "The bloodsucker isn't scared of North Korea: it's only a bait-and-switch for the press and the nuclear disarmament fanatics. There's no way China will let that lunatic fire a bottle rocket at China's best customer and largest debtor, let alone a nuclear warhead. It's about money and control, like it always is." The Briton scribbled a couple of cryptic notes on his hand. Wu knew it was actually more complex than that, but until he had a clearer picture, that was the best he could do. The Briton nodded and left the theater while the inventor of the Rollerblade was extolling the benefits of patent searches.

Wu lingered to watch a Japanese woman explain how the government had made amends for imprisoning Japanese-Americans in the 1940s, then a mousy researcher explained how she had discovered the documents proving that Swiss banks had received deposits from Jews later killed in the Holocaust. Wu shook his head, wondering at the "courage" of a nation that somehow made historical documents available decades (or centuries) after they first had them, then bragged about what an open and honest democracy it had going here. The real documents about this North Korea deal will probably not be deposited here for fifty years--if ever. Wu got up and headed over to see the Magna Carta on his way out. A moment later, Henry Samuelson followed Wu out--a digital camera and handgun casually hidden in the metal-negating folds of his CIA-designed cargo pockets.

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