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, August 05, 2007

Brothers in Arms

Charles Wu was playing chess with "C. Coe Phant" on a public table in Rosslyn's Gateway Park. From dead drops in frigid January to chess appointments in roasted August, Phant's penchant for park meeting places was really pissing Wu off. Wu squirted his water bottle down his shirt again to cool off. It had been a nerve-rattling week since he had played the tape with Condoleezza Rice's mention of "Heurich" right after he had been in the Heurich mansion. He asked Phant if Rice had any connection to Heurich. "The Heurich Society?!" exclaimed Phant. (He pronounced the name like "you're rich!".) "They've never had a woman in it before!" Wu wrinkled his brow in puzzlement--there were plenty of beautiful women there the day he went in. "I thought it had stopped operating years ago," Phant added, "after Robert MacNamara finally came clean about Vietnam." Wu turned up his hands imploringly for more information. "I don't know much about it--a top secret society my grandfather was in. He got disillusioned with it, but I don't know much more than that. I know Henry Kissinger was in it at one time because my grandfather really loathed Kissinger, but he never spilled a lot of other names. Where did you hear that the Bloodsucker is involved in it?" Wu lied and said it was one of his cabbie sources.

A couple miles east, on the other side of the Potomac, Condoleezza Rice was sitting in her red leather recliner, contemplating the clouds gathering west of the river. She finished off her watermelon/lemon/amaranth/vinegar/whey smoothie and stroked Pippin. It had been a nerve-rattling week since the Heurich Society decision. Billions of dollars of additional gifts to U.S. friends in the Middle East, and what did she have to show for it? She may as well have wrapped herself up in Cleopatra's rug for all the good it would do. "They're weak," she muttered into the listening device embedded in Pippin's flesh, hidden under a sheath of Persian fur. World War III was not lining up quite right, but there was still time. World War II had some last-minute switcharoos, after all. A red drop lingered on the corner of her lip as she looked out over the Potomac, where Ardua was welcoming her back from abroad. Rice smiled, already feeling better, and started humming a show tune to her cat.

A few miles to the east, Bridezilla was humming a show tune in her office at Prince and Prowling. She had already recorded enough billable hours for the year to assure a very long honeymoon trip, and she was in a good mood. She sent out a chirpy email to thank everybody that had helped her meet her production deadline. She included thank-yous for the five associates who had dropped what they were doing to fill out FeEx labels for her Thursday night, but forgot to include Laura Moreno, who had actually been doing nothing but working on Bridezilla's case for the past two months while Bridezilla had been surfing 389 bridal websites. The phone rang--it was Wince, he was going to have dinner with his buddy at the Justice Department to celebrate the wiretapping victory in Congress. Bridezilla shrugged: it would give her time to sample scented candles at home tonight--something that dinosaur Evermore Breadman had forbidden her from doing on his floor. She tidied up her desk, pausing momentarily over the firm's request for associates to take on more pro bono cases. Well, I have to focus on planning the wedding, I can't do everything while Wince is off lollygagging around with the guys all the time.

Several miles north, in Adams Morgan, Angela de la Paz lit a jasmine-scented candle next to her grandmother's bed. The candle was a hand-me-down gift from her teacher. Angela put the rosary in her grandmother's hand, then left the room to make dinner. She was thinking about the baby brother she just found out she had in Las Vegas. It was only a half-brother, but it just felt like BROTHER when she thought about him. She didn't even know if he had a name yet. She wanted to fly through the night like a bird, pick him up, and bring him back here. They didn't want him in Las Vegas, and she was too young to go get him, and abuela was too old. The doctor wanted to try a kidney transplant for abuela, but he said the surgery was risky. Angela wiped away the tears with the back of her hand, bit her lip and tried to concentrate on the vegetables she was chopping. She hadn't seen the pink warblers in days, but they stayed nearby her, keeping the starlings away. Upstairs, a catbird on a window ledge was mimicking the sound of a vaccuum cleaner as an angry man accidentally beat his two-year-old stepson to death.


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