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 ....

Monday, September 01, 2008

In Synch

The Great Falls of the Potomac sparkled in the warm sunshine as Golden Fawn and Marcos Vasquez laid out their picnic on the Maryland shore. They had already hikied the nearby woods for a couple of hours trying to find the spot that Golden Fawn had seen in her dreams, but to no avail. She could not really explain to him what she thought she would find there, but she knew that the ancients were calling her there for some reason. She could feel Ardua's presence in the water; she knew they had been at somewhat of a stalemate for a long time. Golden Fawn needed to turn up the heat now while her cancer was still in remission. She wished she could count on Marcos more, but he was a different man since his co-worker had sued him and the rest of his Coast Guard unit for sexual discrimination, not to mention the recent deployment of some of his colleagues on the Coast Guard ship in the Black Sea (how much further could a ship get from guarding the U.S. coast?). She knew he felt helpless, and she knew he hated that feeling more than anything else. That's why she was afraid to tell him about the ravens that talked to her or the demon living at Southwest Plaza or what her Great Falls dream had really showed her. She knew it was going to get worse before it got better.

Several miles to the south, Charles Wu was leaning against the rear railing of a small yacht cruising past the Kennedy Center. He was astonished at how different Beijing had looked even though it had only been a couple of years since his last visit. He was astonished at how obsessed the Party was with wining gold medals, forcing him to feign interest in Party officials' discussions of even the most mundane sporting competitions occurring. He could understand their wanting to make a strong showing in the manliest events and the most skilled competitions, but was it really a point of national honor to win gold in badminton or handball? When everything is important, then nothing is important. The words of his mother had come back to him several times during his visit to Beijing. But the image he really could not shake was the thousand men drumming in unison during the Opening Ceremonies--like the Borg had taken over the Chinese people, or the men had all been replaced by a Clone Army straight out of Star Wars. Cogs in a machine. But the opening of the Prince and Prowling office had gone very smoothly, and he had managed to place a couple of his own people in the reception area and mailroom--in addition to the four associates that were his. He had offered his own brand of consolation to more than a few disappointed (but gorgeous!) divers and beach volleyball athletes and, overall, had to consider the trip a success, but, still, things lingered on his mind.

His thoughts turned to the week in Hong Kong, and how his mother never asked how he had scored tickets to the equestrian finals, or why he was so vague about his "business" meetings. She adored him, but constantly confused him with her ambivalent attitude towards the British influence lingering over Hong Kong...and the British blood lingering in his veins. He whispered to the Hong Kong British what they wanted to hear about the mainland, and whispered to Beijing what they wanted to hear about the Americans, and now he was back in America loaded down with even more secrets to tell. Che Gordo and Che Flaco walked up to flank him at the railing and discuss the U.S. "Coast Guard" ship in the Black Sea, in exhange for what he could tell them about North Korea's "aborted" nuclear program. Che Gordo and Che Flaco spit out their martini olive pits in unison, and they fell like synchronized divers into the Potomac.

A mile away, Laura Moreno was sitting in Clyde's of Georgetown, watching her companion chew on a martini olive as she told Laura that the drunk-as-a-skunk coworker they had practically carried home on Wednesday was now enrolled in a rehab clinic in Dallas. Laura watched the young business school student tip the glass to drain the rest of the martini, and she wondered how many times this girl had lugged her boyfriend home. Since the evening she had run into him at Urine Park, Laura had learned (from others) that her coworker had often come to work drunk at Prince and Prowling, and had often called in sick during his worst drinking binges. Laura had also learned that it had been like this for a long time, but this girl had continued to go out drinking with him up until the end--if this was the end. The girl ordered a second martini and went back to talking about herself as Laura rubbed an ice cube into the tendonitis in her elbow and thought about all the drugs she was taking for the pain caused by Prince and Prowling. It's all about picking the right drug. The girl's voice faded into background noise as Laura thought back to the first day she had arrived at Prince and Prowling, and how much she had done to numb the feelings it gave her, and how nobody saw her screaming inside, and how her coworker had tried to pick fights with every guy they had passed on the street. Laura sipped her water and kept nodding politely.

A couple of tables away, Henry Samuelson was eating calamari and nodding politely as his companion talked about the Presidential conventions. (The Heurich Society had their people in place, and that's all that mattered to Samuelson.) They both looked up in surprise as a young woman began choking on an olive until a vacationing dentist rushed over to her to apply the Heimlich Maneuver, then they went back to their onion rings.

Over in the Potomac, Ardua sensed that the people would soon be returning to Washington, and she was very glad.

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