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 23, 2013

In a foggy bottom.

Nurse Consuela Arroyo sat alone in the George Washington University Hospital cafeteria, taking a break.  Another battered child, another gunshot victim, another drunk driver--these were the things she emailed to Dr. Khalid Mohammad because he wanted to know what he was missing while on sabbatical to treat refugees in Jordan.  Her emails sounded the same...every day.  His emails sounded worse...every day...until today.  Dr. Mohammad was excited about President Obama's visit to his home country, and had gotten to meet with him in a non-publicized summit on the situation of Syrian refugees in Jordan.  President Obama was speaking up for refugees, and promoting peace!  President Obama had even gotten Israel to apologize to Turkey over its commando raid on a Turkish relief ship in 2010!  Nurse Arroyo wasn't sure why Dr. Mohammad was so encouraged by these things, which would all be quickly forgotten.  Then again, people in the Middle East jealously guarded their memories a lot longer than people in the United States.

Then again...President Obama (with Secretary of State John Kerry) was talking peace in Jordan, but he was also giving Jordan bomber airplanes.  "Talk softly and carry a big stick" had long ago given way to "talk sternly and hand out big sticks to allies".  Nobody knew this better than the Assistant Deputy Administrator for Hope at the State Department--whose new nickname in Foggy Bottom was "P.P. Blu-Prag", which was short for "Point Person for Blunt Pragmatism".  He had been responding since Thursday to formal complaints from U.S. Senators, foreign diplomats, and quite a number of private citizens that Obama and Kerry were too hard on Israel...or too soft on Israel...or too soft on Jordan...or too hard on Syria...or too soft on Syria...or too soft on Turkey....(The list went on and on.)  Then there was this nutjob Glenn Michael Beckmann, who had threatened to nuke Obama and Kerry while they were in Jordan:  the Secret Service had assured P.P. Blu-Prag that Beckmann had been under surveillance since the summer of 2012 and did not pose an imminent threat, but men were locked up at Guantanamo for less, so why was this guy still out there!? 

Beckmann was, indeed, still out there, and closer to the State Department than P.P. Blu-Prag would have liked (had the Secret Service deigned to share that information with P.P. Blu-Prag):   the homicidal conspiracy theorist and militiaman was blogging on his laptop at a Foggy Bottom Starbucks.  "My allies in Israel were prevented by Australian spies from raining nuclear fire on Obama and Kerry in Jordan, but we WILL ultimately prevail!" blogged Beckmann.  "And a new Christian Israel will rise from the ashes after we wipe out all the terrorists of the Levantine!  My allies are already exploring new neutron bomb technology, and our day will come!"  Beckmann then loosened the belt on his camouflage pants and walked up to the counter to order another slice of cinnamon coffeecake.  (It reminded him--mistakenly--of his mother.)

"What does he mean, 'Australian spies'?" asked Angela de la Paz, leaning her head on Major Roddy Bruce's shoulder to read Beckmann's blog on her boyfriend's laptop.

"Beats me," laughed the Aussie commando, reaching for his Froggy Bottom Pub beer.  "I wasn't on that mission!" he added, turning to give her a kiss before imbibing.

"Yes, you were," said Charles Wu, unexpectedly sitting down at their table.

"What are you doing here?" asked Angela, uneasy the spy was spying on her.

"Whadya mean I was on that mission?!" asked Bruce.

"The Israelis have your doppelganger working as a Mossad agent," said Wu quietly, sliding over an envelope with photographs he had obtained from Yellow Man after last night's mandatory karaoke.

"Jesus Christ!" exclaimed Bruce, peaking into the envelope.  "That looks like my cousin Denny!  They said he was eaten by a shark!"

"And Beckmann does have associates in Israel, but they have no nukes, and they're loonier than he is."

"Well, I don't want my doppelganger working as a Mossad agent!" protested Bruce.

"I wouldn't either, but as long as you don't go to the places he likes to go to, I'm sure you'll be fine."

"Gee, thanks!" said Bruce.  "By the way, who the Hell are you?"

"I told you about him," said Angela.  "It's Charles Wu."

"I need your help," said Wu, turning to Angela.  "There's a rogue CIA drone that's killed two-dozen unauthorized targets in the past week.  Project R.O.D.H.A.M. has located its secret airbase in Kazakhstan, but they haven't been able to penetrate the defenses."

"So tell the CIA to send another Predator drone to destroy it!  I'm not going back there!"

"They can't bomb an airbase in Kazakhstan.  They need somebody who can get in there and neutralize it quietly," said Wu.  (Angela shook her head "no".)  "Maybe you'll change your mind after reading who's been targeted in the past week."  He passed her a folded sheet of paper, which she opened and read.

"Oh, my God!  It's him!" she exclaimed.

"Who?" asked the two men in unison.

"Him!" she repeated, giving Bruce a knowing look and showing him the list.

"Bloody Hell!" Bruce said.

"You know whose hit list this is?" asked Wu.

"You wouldn't believe me if I told you," said Angela.

"Try me."

She shook her head--Wu would never believe that the ghost of Henry Samuelson was running around, let alone that he was controlling a CIA drone.  "Alright, I'll go."

"Babe!" protested Bruce.

"I'm the only one who can do this," she said, stroking Bruce's face.  "You know that."  She turned to a pleased, but mystified Wu.  "I'll leave tonight."

A few blocks away, economist Luciano Talaverdi was more concerned--as usual--with liquidity bombs.  "We can't let Cyprus fall," Obi Wan Woman was saying, as she brushed her hair after their latest romp on the Round Table in the Federal Reserve Board research library.

"I think we should," said the Italian, who despised all things Greek.  "Those people are still using an abacus to count money!"

"Funny!" said Obi Wan Woman, who often mistook his rantings for humor.  "When the Russians say 'no', that's usually when you say 'yes'!"  She was helping him straighten his tie in preparation for the imminent meeting of the Camelot Society.

"Sometimes I think you think money grows on trees," said Talaverdi, scratching under his cursed Rolex.

"Oh, it's more plentiful than that, tiger."

Back at George Washington University Hospital, Golden Fawn walked slowly out to the radiology waiting room to tell her husband that the tumor had returned to her breast.  The doctor was not going to wait for a biopsy to confirm malignancy, and had directed Golden Fawn to schedule surgery as soon as possible.  Her legs stopped moving as soon as she saw Marcos Vazquez lift his gaze to meet hers.  He dropped the magazine he was reading and stood up slowly.  They looked at each other in silence for a long time.

Out in the river, Ardua of the Potomac jeered the tourists walking around a chilly and flowerless Tidal Basin to mark the start of the Cherry Blossom Festival.  Spring was considerably messed up this year, and as many things were dying as being reborn.  The demon yawned and waited for her next opportunity for evil--which, in this town, would probably come along in about ten minutes, just like a bus.

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