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, March 29, 2009

The Dogs of War

Sebastian L'Arche pulled back on the leash, and the collie/shepherd mix dutifully stood still.  She looked up at him anxiously, but he was looking at the high school kids playing marching-band drums in the bank parking lot near Eastern Market.  Not bad.  The dog didn't particularly care for the drums, and L'Arche sensed her uneasiness and looked down at her.  She had mucous coming out of her eyes, and though this often happened with dogs for physical reasons, L'Arche knew she was crying again.  He squatted down and cupped her face in his hands and told her it would be alright.  He stood back up and resumed walking her from her master's apartment to her mistress's apartment.  L'Arche was getting more and more of these assignments for shuttling pets back and forth in joint custody agreements worked out by exes who could not bare to have any contact with each other:  four days there, three days here, four days there, three days here.  He knew some of the dogs were on Prozac, but he didn't know how to tell the owners that if they really loved their dogs, they would make a choice.  

A few blocks away, Charles Wu was carrying a Ming Dynasty vase he had purchased for five dollars (five dollars!) at Eastern Market.  He knew he could resell it and make a killing on the internet, but he had enough cash in his bank accounts and not enough art in his apartment, so he was going to keep it for now.  It looked as if he might be in D.C. a lot longer than originally intended:  his espionage career had taken somewhat of a turn since the Presidential election, but both his Chinese and British clients were still happy with his services.  He waved to the Ethiopian driver he had called, then climbed into the back seat.  "Where to, Mr. Wu?"  Wu said that depended on how much the driver knew about arms shipments into Somalia.  "What year?"  Wu told him to start in 1993.  The driver nodded and headed for the tunnel into Virginia:  it was going to be a long ride, and a huge tip.  Much to Wu's dismay, he was finding it was no longer enough to be an expert on China, or even on Asia:  to get a good grip on American intelligence, he had to dig deeper into the regions that on the surface appeared to be of no security concern to the U.S. but, nonetheless, were linked to everything else.  The 1993 Battle of Mogadishu was the first major ground combat that American troops had seen since withdrawal from Vietnam.  Why?  "Well, it wasn't just Ethiopian arms, you know?"  Wu nodded and told the driver he wanted the whole story.  "Mostly it was Ethiopia in 1993, but now it's mostly Iran sending arms into Somalia."  Wu nodded again.  The driver got goosebumps as he crossed the bridge over the Potomac.  "Serbia in the early years, Syria later, a lot got smuggled in from European manufacturers too."  Wu asked how Somali warlords paid for all of that.  "Well...."

Across the river, the Heurich Society was meeting again to discuss the current status of the Ming Dung Plan.  "What have we really accomplished in Africa?"  The question came from Henry Samuelson, was not on the agenda, and came out of the blue.  "I mean, my God!  Why did we ever go in there?  Didn't the Europeans do a bad enough job?  What did we think we could do?"   The other members weren't sure if he was talking about the CIA or the Heurich Society or something else.  "Hell.  Hell on Earth!  Generations of children growing up in permanent war zones--Rwanda, Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia.  Enough firepower in the Horn of Africa to gun through three World War Ones combined.  Why?"  The Chair tapped his foot silently on the carpet, uncertain what to say.  "Why?"  Samuelson's tone was quieter now.  He looked one more time around the table, then picked up a jelly donut and started chewing quietly.  "Why not drop some more A-bombs and get it over with."  This last part was almost a whisper.  After a minute of silence, the Chair asked the Society to begin discussion of the U.S. Treasury.

"What is a class-action TOPA?" Marcos Vasquez asked his neighbor in the laundry room.  The neighbor explained that the District had a Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, and it had been violated in their Southwest Plaza building before City Council closed the loophole used by slimy real estate developers.  "Meaning?"  The neighbor explained that they should have been allowed to purchase their apartments as condominiums, but instead the owner secretly sold it to somebody else.  "Is that really worth filing a lawsuit?  I mean, the place has turned into a slum--a warzone sometimes!  This is the last place I wanna buy."  His neighbor explained that it was the new owner that turned it into a slum, and apartments like these had been selling for over $250,000, and the residents could have purchased theirs for under $200,000 and then taken control of the building.  "What is this lawsuit going to do?"  Vasquez's neighbor explained that it would all depend on the judge.

Several miles to the north, Judge Sowell Lame had brought a few filings home to read over the weekend because he had goofed off most of the week surfing www.armenianbrides.com.  Hot!  He had tried Thai before, and the Russians, and even the Colombians, but he had a good feeling now about the Armenians.  The Thai marriage and divorce had, admittedly, been a big pain in the neck, but he just really felt now was the time, and that Armenian girls were surely the way to go.  But what's this?  It was a pop-up for www.somalibrides.com.  Young.  Very young!  Exotic.  And I can probably get one without even a real marriage--the country doesn't even exist anymore!  In the corner of Lame's den, the house ghost hovered in silence, livid at the thought of another African slave coming to this place to die.

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