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, November 15, 2009

Have A Nice Day

Former Senator Evermore Breadman stared at the incoming number on his cellphone in dread. Not the Dalai Lama again. He drummed his fingers on the dark wood of his Prince and Prowling desk, mentally calculating how long he could keep playing phone tag with the Dalai Lama. He should be asleep at this hour. But Breadman knew that this meant the Dalai Lama was determined to reach him. "Hello, your Holiness! How good to hear from you!" He stared blankly out the window at the warm sunshine as he picked up his herbal tea with his other hand. "Yes, my colleagues in Beijing have been doing their best, but you know how it is." Breadman had been telling the Dalai Lama for months that senior partners in the Beijing office of Prince and Prowling were lobbying the Chinese government on Tibetan issues, but this was a lie. "I think your trip to Tawang has already blown over." The Dalai Lama's trip to the Indian province claimed by China had not really blown over, but China was now focused on the arrival of President Obama. "I hope it was a spiritually moving journey for you!" But the Dalai Lama had not phoned him about anything happening in Asia--the Dalai Lama wanted to ask Breadman to stop lobbying the U.S. Senate against health care legislation.

"Your health is always in my prayers," said the Dalai Lama. "Now I am asking you to see that other people's health is in your hands, and should also be in your prayers."

Former Senator Evermore Breadman sat silently for a moment, remembering the day the Dalai Lama had prayed over his intestines after they had posed for the photo hanging outside his office [on his "Wall of Me"]. That was a nice day. It was a funny thought--not the sort of thought likely to pop into Breadman's head.

"I'll see what I can do," said Breadman.

Several miles to the east, Charles Wu boarded the Old Town Trolley at Union Station, nodded and winked at "Jazzy Jan", and made his way to the back of the trolley--where C. Coe Phant was quietly staring out the window and pretending not to acknowledge Wu's arrival. It was a busy time in Asia, and, satisfied that nobody was watching, the two men swapped their respective copies of "Parade" magazine and began reading the notes the other had written in the respective margins. Wu looked up as Jazzy Jan resumed her narrative upon pulling away from the curb. In front of Wu was a 300-pound Minnesota tourist taking up two seats. To the right was a German woman with Parkinson's disease, using one hand to hold down the other one on her lap to stop it from trembling; her adult daughter looked on grimly. A couple seats up was a Brazilian child--smiling, chattering, and violating the rules against sticking body parts out the window. Behind the driver was a honeymooning couple from Canada, holding hands and listening serenely to the tour talk. Wu was thinking about the racist comments his Hong Kong mother had made about President Obama's upcoming visit to China--the sort of "racist without being racist" comments the Chinese were always making. His Chinese mother's never explained anger about his absent English father had not curbed her pride when the Englishman had decided to pay for the bastard to attend university in England. Wu, who had never felt he fit in anywhere, now suddenly realized that most people in America did not "fit in"--almost everybody seemed to stand out in one way or another. It was like a forest with a hundred kinds of trees, or a garden with a thousand different flowers. In contrast, China was still very...Chinese...and it was one place that Obama was not going to have star power. He pulled a small steno pad from his breast pocket to write down a few cryptic answers to C. Coe Phant's questions about Project R.O.D.H.A.M.--including the fact that he was confident that neither Beijing nor the White House were onto it yet. Across the aisle, Henry Samuelson--disguised with a beard and Houston Astros baseball cap--watched Wu carefully.

A couple miles to the south, Golden Fawn and Marcos Vasquez were sitting on their balcony at Southwest Plaza, just back from their weeklong elopement/honeymoon to the North Carolina Outer Banks--where they had got married at Cape Lookout. It was a cheap, out-of-season vacation with surprisingly good weather, lots of sailing, and happy dolphins cavorting in demon-free waters. They still had not called their families to tell them about the elopement, and the afternoon was simply too warm and perfect to spoil. A raven alit on the railing to tell Golden Fawn something, but she waved it off--she was wrapped up in a cocoon of emotional warmth she simply could not and would not shake off...not before Monday morning, anyway.

The raven flew back to the Friendship Garden at the National Arboretum, where the Warrior had shown up with Angela de la Paz--who introduced him as her grandfather, much to the surprise of Dr. Devi Rajatala. The Warrior had seen places like this before--woods and meadows with the smell and feel of human interference all over them--but he did not mind this place so much. For one thing, it obviously made Angela very happy to be here, and he did not see a lot of happiness in her. For another thing, he liked Dr. Raj; he sensed something in her that he sensed in very few modern people--a transcendent quality, as if she could have lived in any time or any place on Earth, and she would have made a difference. He watched as Dr. Raj showed Angela how to balance the basket loads on Rani (the donkey) and then lead her from the shed. A raven alit on a fence post near the Warrior, and the two nodded at each other silently.

Several miles away, Ardua of the Potomac was fed up with warm sunny days and happy people, and longed for the sharp winds of December to arrive.

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