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 ....

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly


The man is pimped out.

Now, Dizzy knew that all sorts of people were using that term for all sorts of things, but this was the real deal.  He slowly lowered his trumpet to get a better look at the dude, who was poured into black leather pants so tightly that he had to walk like John Wayne just to make forward progress down the sidewalk.  His leather jacket must have been too tight, also, because he seemed to have difficulty twisting from left to right, even though he seemed to have an earnest desire to take in a full view of Lafayette Park.  Dizzy leaned back and spit in the grass.  He hated pimps, and had beaten up a couple of them before his sister had gotten off the crack and moved to Indianapolis.  I guess even pimps wanna come and be White House tourists, but what kind of fool wears all leather on a rainy day?

The "pimp" was actually an undercover FBI agent, one of several detailed to downtown Washington to investigate recent intelligence about clandestine use of double-strollers.  The pimp costume was his own idea, and it was fooling everybody.  He slowly eased down into a park bench to take a closer look at a thirty-something couple who had paused to listen as Dizzy resumed playing the trumpet.  The agent talked softly into his mouthpiece, which looked like a cellphone accessory but was actually a microphone for the tape recorder in his right jacket pocket.  "Navy blue, possibly Danish manufacturer, rear baby alert and waving hands, front toddler turned around and making faces at baby through clear plastic panel, back pouch bulging with unknown materials."  He paused for a moment to size up the erstwhile parents.  "Two adults of Southeast Asian heritage, smiling and bobbing heads to street trumpeter's music, do not fit terror profile, could be hiding heroin but no probable cause."  He watched the family in silence for a few minutes more until he saw another double stroller and got up to follow it.  "Side-by-side red, possibly Italian manufacturer, two rear pockets bulging with unknown materials."  He paused until he got a little closer.  "Identical twins asleep, young parents of Northern European descent, possibly natural conception, do not fit terror profile."  He sighed, having a sinking feeling in his gut that the Iranian-born FBI agent with the tourist souvenir stand was going to find the Golden Ticket in a double-stroller on Capitol Hill.  

A few miles away, Golden Fawn was upstairs in Marcos Vasquez's apartment at Southwest Plaza.  Rather than move in together, the fiances had decided it best to keep both apartments for now since they never knew which one was going to have a problem.  This week, it was the leak that had opened up above Golden Fawn's toilet, requiring her to use an umbrella whenever she had business to attend to.  They had talked about moving out of Southwest Plaza altogether and buying a condo in the buyer's market, but Golden Fawn felt strongly that they could not do it until she had destroyed the real estate demon living under the building.  Vasquez had tried to convince her that she was not responsible for everything, but her dedication was one of the things that he loved about her, so he had not tried that hard.  He brought her another cup of tea as she listened on headphones to some newly recorded oral histories of the Seminole which she had copied in her office at the National Museum of the American Indian.  She was listening to explanations of shamanistic rituals and writing down notes about new ceremonies to try.  If Vasquez had ever told his mother about all this, she would have given them the perfect ritual to kill the real estate demon, but she didn't know she could talk to her scientific Coast Guard son about things like that.  Vasquez sat down beside Golden Fawn with Scientific American and a cup of coffee.  

A strange thump on the balcony made them both jump up with a start.  Vasquez ran over to pull the curtain, and they saw a man with a noose around his neck hanging from the upstairs balcony.  Vasquez fumbled with the lock on the balcony door and told Golden Fawn to grab a large knife from the kitchen.  Vasquez finally got out onto the balcony and reached over the railing to grab the twisting body and pull it up.  "Cut the rope!" he shouted at Golden Fawn, but she hesitated, not certain she was strong enough to saw through a rope.  Vasquez held the body with one arm and rested it on the top of his railing, then grabbed the knife out of her hand to slice the rope.  A few moments later, the man was laid out on the floor receiving CPR from Vasquez while Golden Fawn was dialing 911.

A few miles to the north, Charles Wu was seated at the basement bar of DC Bread and Brew ordering another Asian Bang Bang while C. Coe Phant told Wu about his midlife crisis.  "I'm not sure what I'm doing anymore."  By this he meant that he was uncertain if he wanted to keep giving away State Department secrets now that a new Administration was in place.  "She's not so bad."  By this he meant that Hillary Clinton had not yet roiled him as Secretary of State.  "I don't think she's evil or anything."  Evil?  Wu contemplated the word.  Had Phant spied on Rice because he thought she was evil?  He took a sip of his cocktail, not finding this a concept he was familiar with addressing.  His mind drifted back to a philosophy course he had taken at Oxford, and the week that had been devoted to the debate whether evil existed. 

"Look, mate," Wu started.  "Everybody makes mistakes, and she's a rookie there--she will probably make more mistakes this year than in the rest of her term."  Wu didn't actually believe that empirically, but it seemed a strong argument.  "All I'm saying is, if you think she's making a mistake that other people might want to know about, or do something about, just let me know."  Wu was getting besieged on the Chinese side for intelligence about U.S. foreign policy, but it was evolving too rapidly, and fluctuating wildly between pragmatism and ideology.  

"Take North Korea, for instance."  Wu paused as the bartender walked past them to the two crabby women softball players at the end of the bar who thought they had been stood up for their blind double date because the two men at the bar were too good looking and the two men playing darts were too ugly.  (The two men playing darts thought they had been stood up because nobody told them their dates would arrive in softball uniforms.)  "North Korea is planning to do a launch.  South Korea has commented on it, Japan has commented on it, but what about the U.S.?  The Americans don't seem fully engaged, but I know they are, so they are obviously holding their cards close to the chest."  Phant pointed out that China was being even more circumspect.  "But that's because China--", and Wu proceeded to tell Phant a big secret about China without actually informing Phant that it was a secret.  Wu took a larger swallow, calculating in his mind how long it would take this news to trickle up to Clinton...and trigger a reaction that would trickle back to Wu.  Phant actually thought North Korea was a big bore, but he would look very clever on Monday when he quietly dropped the China news on the Assistant Deputy Administrator for Anti-Fecklessness--or, rather, on the renamed Assistant Deputy Administrator for Hope.  "If the Chinese don't know what the Americans are doing, the Chinese might make a mistake of their own, if you know what I mean."  Phant did not know what that meant, but he nodded anyway.  Wu smiled and winked at one of the softball players, but she knew he could not possibly be her blind date, so she ignored him.

A couple of miles away, Ardua was listening to the starling reports on the newest Obama nominees--the ones she would have to attack with something  stronger than tax evasion scandals.  Then a catbird started telling Ardua about the militia cells uniting behind Chuck Norris to rise up in force if the federal government let them down.  Nearby, the pink dolphins frolicked without concern:  they knew that The Rock and Jean-Claude Van Damme were on their side.

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