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, February 06, 2010

Snow Scenes

The Assistant Deputy Administrator for Hope was in the Secretary of State's office, looking out the window at the endless snowstorm that had marooned him here for the weekend. He was sipping instant soup he had purchased from a vending machine, picturing his girlfriend out playing in the snow with her adopted daughter. He had heard the incredulity in Eva Brown's voice when he had told her he had too much work to do and would have to spend the weekend here, but it was the truth. He turned away from the window and wandered around the large office, admiring the photos hanging on the walls and enjoying the unusual tranquility of the space. Then his cellphone rang, and he turned his cricked spine and stiff legs back in the direction of his windowless office. "Yes, Madam Secretary. I did locate Charles Wu: he's in the Caribbean flying supplies from Bahamas Methodist Habitat into Haiti....Hmmm?...Yes, he's piloting an A36 Bonanza....No, I didn't know he could fly planes....Well, we didn't have much time to chat--he's very busy, back and forth between Florida, the Bahamas, Haiti....Actually he said it was your husband who got him hooked up with the Methodists." (In truth, Charles Wu had found the amount of "hooking up" with the Methodist ladies to be exceedingly disappointing, but he could not pass up an opportunity to escape a Washington blizzard and score points with the Clintons at the same time.) The Administrator assured Secretary Clinton that Wu would meet with them as soon as he returned to Washington, then got off the phone and sat back down at his desk to work on launch plans for Project R.O.D.H.A.M. - Turkey. He glanced up at the photo that Secretary Clinton had given him of the hole where the 16-year-old girl had been buried alive by her own father for talking to boys, and the word Clinton had scrawled across the top: "ENOUGH". It was time to bring the wrath of Project R.O.D.H.A.M. into Turkey. If only Eva and I could work on this together.

Several miles away in Maryland, Justice Department attorney Atticus Hawk was doing his third pass at shoveling snow outside his girlfriend's house, dreaming about flying to the Bahamas...or Montserrat...or Aruba. Jai Alai's son was "helping", which mostly meant he was carrying a tiny shovel in his hand as he ran around gleefully in the winter wonderland. We could have been in Florida by now...or further south. Hawk had chickened out of asking Jai Alai to elope and run away from Washington. Then he had chickened out of meeting with the U.S. Attorney to spill what he knew about Justice Department tampering in the investigation of alleged CIA crimes during terrorist interrogations during the Bush Administration (in a bid to get him and his girlfriend into the Witness Protection Program). He caught a glimpse of Jai Alai waving from the living room window before she turned back to the hot lunch she was cooking for her "boys". I need to do right by her. "Atticus!" He turned to the boy's call and caught a snowball in the face, dropped his shovel, and chased down the laughing boy--forgetting for the moment (but only a moment) his past as the Justice Department's torture specialist.

Over in Silver Spring, Liv Cigemeier's husband was also out in the snow--not because he needed to shovel outside their apartment building, but because his wife was craving potato chips and onion dip. He trudged cheerfully through the mounds of snow quickly soaking his blue jeans, a smile on his face despite repeated failures at store after store: Liv was pregnant! (And the sad memories of baby Zeke were fading into the distance.)

Back in Washington, Lynnette Wong walked outside her Chinatown herb shop to make another pass at clearing her sidewalk. She was determined to stay open: every sale she made brought her closer to her goal of being able to buy back control of her store from Charles Wu. (Not that he had done anything REMOTELY intrusive, or even demanded a penny back in profit. She knew he was doing this as some sort of a tax scheme or worse.) She looked up and down the block, saw half a dozen pedestrians at most, shivered and went back inside. She straightened up the makeshift table and chairs where she had served prepared tea for two separate couples out for romantic strolls this morning. (No danger of being busted for lack of restaurant license today!) She had also sold three plastic crate lids as sleds to a bunch of hockey fans who had spent the night at the Verizon Center after being unable to head back out to Fairfax County after the game last night. Who am I kidding? She returned to her stool behind the counter. I'm never going to be able to buy him back out. Then a man walked in looking for something to help his wife's migraine, and she briefly remembered why she was in the business, after all.

Over on R Street NE, Angela de la Paz and her mother were making a snowman at the CarbonfreeDC community snowball fight. Angela was proud of her mother--who had gotten only one answer wrong on her written test last week to become a U.S. Census Bureau worker. It had taken awhile for Angela's long missing mother to put together adequate identity papers just to sit for the exam, but when she finally did, it was alright! Angela was amazed to hear that the room had been full of people of all ages and backgrounds, some that even looked like doctors and lawyers! Two of the test-takers had already failed the test once, and had been frantically doing practice questions right up until the moment the timed test began. Angela was crossing her fingers that her mother could get this job--which required no job history, only a good criminal record. The Warrior and abuela and Dr. Raj were all cautioning her not to put too much hope in her mother's ability to take care of herself, let alone set up a real home for Angela, but Angela could not help but feel hopeful on a day like this. The whole city was bathed in the thickest, whitest blanket of snow she had ever seen! All these people had come to this place, just to throw snowballs and play like children with complete strangers. People they didn't even know had handed out hot chocolate and snacks. It was the first time in a long time that Angela felt there was more good in the city than bad.

Over at the White House, the White House ghosts were feeling it, too; hope. But they knew it would fade quickly; the ghosts had been around a long time and knew that the living had weaker principles and stronger fears every year. They were hovering near the Rahm Emanuel wannabe, who was drafting a memo regarding Sarah Palin's recent call for Emanuel to be fired for using the word "retarded". "Citizens with Down's Syndrome are a joyful and integral component of the fabric making up our society. It is Sarah Palin herself who is completely retarded in that her intellectual and political formation are arrested at the level of a six-year-old." The wannabe smiled to himself, and the ghosts nodded in approval: vicious.

Out in the back yard, the Secret Service paced in chilly irritation, children and boogeymen on their minds. Sasha and Malia were working on their snow woman in near silence--all the birds huddled out of sight under the bushes, no helicopters in the sky, nothing but the occasional bark of a dog and giggle of a preschooler to tell them that Reggie and Fergie were throwing snowballs at Bo nearby.

Over in the Potomac, Ardua knew it was an historic day for the humans--who measured their lives by strange things like snow drifts--but Ardua wanted to make history in her own way.

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