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, April 05, 2009

Mischief

Henry Samuelson sat on the roofdeck finishing the Washington Post article about North Korea's (Chinese-aided) missile launch.  He tapped his foot nervously, frustrated that the CIA's Asians-only policy had prevented his shot at The Reclusive Kingdom.  Damned Chinese.  Sometimes he felt he was the only one that truly recognized the Chinese threat.  They're too big to let fail.  He snickered at his own clever pun.  He folded up the newspaper and closed his eyes against the bright sunlight.  The Chinese get away with everything.  He had tailed Charles Wu diligently during the days leading up to and after the launch, but had gained nothing.  Wu went to see the cherry blossoms Friday afternoon, Wu went to some pinko/Hippie Eco Cafe at the University of the District of Columbia and played ping pong with a Ghanaian named Trevor, Wu attended a techno music event sponsored by the French embassy which required Samuelson to stuff very tight wads of toilet paper into his ears, Wu took a young French-Canadian woman home to her apartment then exited her apartment building at 1:30 am Saturday morning, Wu re-emerged from his own apartment building at 11 am Saturday morning to go jogging in Rock Creek Park and did not return to his apartment building until 4 pm (Samuelson knew he had screwed up that one), Wu went out Saturday evening to dine in Adams Morgan then went to a clandestine casino in Petworth, Wu returned to his apartment building at 1 am Sunday morning--and then Samuelson gave up for the timebeing.  Samuelson didn't know that Wu and "Trevor" had been talking in code for the entire ping pong match, nor that Wu had left a written message about the recently outed Chinese malware in a copy of Wealth of Nations on the lounge bookshelf, nor that Wu had picked up a written message about China's currency plans in an old dictionary on the lounge bookshelf, nor that Wu had met with C. Coe Phant during his long jog, nor that the clandestine casino's wagers were all in secrets rather than currency.  Samuelson had been suspicious about the "French-Canadian", but she actually was French-Canadian, and meant nothing to Wu.  Samuelson was starting to worry that the CIA might have been right to force him into retirement:  maybe he was losing his touch.

A few miles to the south, White House butler Clio had just put away the twins' Sunday church outfits, desperately hoping some goodness had seeped into them.  The pre-schoolers had spent the entire week trying to tempt the temporarily parentless Obama girls into all kinds of mischief--rolling cantaloupes down the bowling lanes, filling the swimming pool with sailboats crudely fashioned from old Bush stationery, stealing cookies from the kitchen, planting marijuana seeds in the new White House vegetable garden, and sneaking up on the roof to shoot rubber bands at the snipers.  It was this last act that had really made the shit hit the fan, and Clio had gotten the sternest warning ever about the behavior of Ferguson and Regina.  She still had her job and her home--thanks to the promise that had been made after the twins were born in the White House during a security lockdown--but they were really pushing it.  Since the twins did most of their talking in their secret twin language, the Obama girls had followed them around more out of curiosity than allegiance, but their grandmother was not pleased when she realized that she had been taken advantage of.  "Fergie, Reggie!"  Clio was determined to keep them away from the Obama girls the rest of the weekend to give their grandmother a respite.  "Let's go!"  The girls finished tying their shoes, and they set off to see the cherry blossoms.

A couple of blocks away, former Senator Evermore Breadman was on the phone with former Justice Department lawyer Jay S. Bybee discussing the criminal investigation of him underway in Spain.  "Look, it really doesn't matter as long as you stay out of Europe."  ("Stay out of Europe!?  The rest of my life?")  "Well, why would you want to go there anyway?  There are more terrorists there than here.  If you want to go away, visit Canada or Hawaii."  Breadman fingered his Prince and Prowling mug absent-mindedly, knowing he would never make money off of this consultation.  ("They always blame the politicos, but those staff attorneys did the real research on torture at Guantanamo!  We relied on them!")  Bybee was referring to Atticus Hawk's boss, but Breadman was yawning.  They hadn't been interested in his advice on Guantanamo then, and he didn't have much sympathy for them now.  "It could be worse--wait until the prosecutions and lawsuits start piling up for the kidnappings and wrongful deaths."  ("What?!  The renditions?!  That was the CIA--that had nothing to do with us!")  "That's what I'm saying--it could be worse.  This is just a little human rights group blowing off some steam.  It's of no consequence."  He finally got off the phone and swallowed down his now-cold herbal tea, but his possessed intestines continued their low-pitch groaning.

Not far away, Laura Moreno was in the workroom re-translating the gibberish that the Spanish-to-English translator software had converted the Puerto Rican uploads into.  Party A lusting to establish a charitable remainder trust....  Laura changed it to "wishing".  Party B agreeing to plow a trust account....  Laura changed it to "open".  Laura abruptly switched her computer screen as The Braggart walked in, not wanting to hear again how Skippy knew half a dozen foreign languages.  Laura had been at Prince and Prowling for years, and this was the first chance she had gotten to show them she had hidden talents.  Skippy sat down and pumped Purell into his hands from the bottle he had labeled in large letters "Skippy" and complained that nobody had told him about the new policy requiring contractors to request taxi vouchers on a daily basis, and that only security guards were now authorized to bring taxi vouchers to contractors, and how ridiculous this was, and how he had been forced to use cash for his taxi ride home on Saturday and get a receipt from the driver.  Skippy continued complaining about this for half an hour, all the while rubbing the Purell into his hands and doing nothing else until one of his nameless supervisors abruptly walked into the workroom to give Skippy instructions for his new batch.  Different people were constantly walking in to give Skippy instructions, and even Laura did not know the identities of most of them, but Skippy loved talking to anybody, so they were all the same to him.  "Did you do a double-check on that Riley batch?  What about the Roxwell batch?  I think we should review the production documents one more time for privilege."  To Laura's amazement, this was all spewing from Skippy's mouth, directed at the supervisor.  Laura snuck a peek at the supervisor from the corner of her eye and saw the supervisor's eyes narrowing, but the supervisor was not in the mood to engage and just grunted noncommittally before exiting.  Then Skippy began bragging about how his azaleas were the first on his block to bloom because Skippy knew the best fertilizer....

A few miles away, Golden Fawn was putting dirty clothes into a Southwest Plaza washing machine.  On her left was a bombmaker from Saudi Arabia who was developing a plan to launch a grenade at the Capitol from his balcony.  On her right was a child pornographer from Idaho living under a false identity.  They both gave her the creeps, though she did not know why--sometimes her fiance teased her that everybody gave her the creeps, but it was mostly a phenomenon in this building.  She finished up with her laundry and paused momentarily to see if anything good had been left on the book exchange shelves, but it was more vampire stories and murder mysteries...and what appeared to be two doggie sweaters covered in animal hair, a picnic basket, some wooden planks, hair conditioner, and an entire fish tank complete with a live fish and a container of fish food.  She was starting to wonder if this re-use initiative was a good idea.  She looked into the eyes of the beautiful little fish darting anxiously around its underwater castle and wondering why it could not get anywhere.  There were so few predator fish co-existing with Ardua in the Potomac that she briefly thought of taking this little one and setting it free in the river, but it would probably be overwhelmed by the current.  Maybe Rock Creek?  It was probably tropical and needed warm water.  She remembered her fiance's words about how she was not responsible for saving everyone and walked away from the fish's little world.  

A mile away, Marcos Vasquez was again doing Coast Guard tourist duty, making sure the cherry blossom tourists were safe.  He had scarcely seen Golden Fawn in days, but duty called.  It had been a long, long time since he had personally seen Ardua, but every undue ripple in the river still made him catch his breath:  he knew the demon was down but not out.  

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