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, September 30, 2007

Think Pink

Angela de la Paz stared out the window at the bright blue sky, wishing she could go back to the Friendship Garden. "You're not gonna finish your homework that way!" admonished her cousin from the other side of the kitchen table. Her cousin should know, after being told last May that he had missed too many classes to graduate: it took him all summer to convince Cardozo High School to let him re-take two classes this fall in order to get his diploma this coming January. Angela smiled wanly at her cousin and turned her gaze back to the science textbook, but her thoughts were quickly wandering again, this time back to her grandmother. Everything had changed so abruptly. If her cousin hadn't moved in to take care of her, she would be in foster care. She could still end up in foster care if the school or the social workers found out. Her cousin wasn't even 18 yet, but at least he had a job, and they could pay the bills...sort of. The city had not checked on them or taken care of them all this time; Angela did not yet know the meaning of the word "ironic" but she knew how cruel it would be for the city to check on abuela now. Angela sneaked another peek out the window and saw her pink warblers, and she felt a little better.

Several miles away from Adams Morgan, Dr. Khalid Mohammad was also staring out a window at the blue sky, wishing he were somewhere else. He sipped his coffee without looking at it. His thoughts turned to the failed kidney transplant and he put the coffee down, wondering what the shape of his own kidneys would be in a few decades. "Dr. Mohammad!" It was John Doe, who cheerily sat down to join Dr. Mohammad for a coffee break. John Doe was going to be here forever because his family had the money to keep paying, even though there was nothing more the hospital could do for him--the hospital which had used a little old lady on welfare as a kidney transplant practice surgery for a couple of interns. He didn't know that for sure--Dr. Mohammad tried to shake the thought off, and asked Doe how he was doing. "I had three seizures yesterday," Doe said, with a grave look on his face. Everybody knew that Doe actually liked having seizures, and as soon as he was on a medication that reduced them, he would start complaining of unbearable side effects. "I had a dream about a dragon breathing fire over Washington, and then a great beast reached up from the Potomac River and pulled it into the water!" Doe was the happiest temporal lobe epileptic in the world, and refused to believe the incontrovertible proof provided by his embarassed family that he had been an important Washington attorney before a thug's baseball bat made him forget everything. "Then I dreamed there were pink dolphins in the Potomac--PINK!" Dr. Mohammad raised his eyebrows the appropriate half-inch. Now Doe leaned across the table and lowered his voice substantially: "I also saw ghosts. There are ghosts in this hospital!" Now this I can believe, thought Dr. Mohammad, as a couple of The Shackled hovered in the Intensive Care Unit above the bed of a True Believer.

A mile away, some other Shackled were hovering above Lynnette Wong as she did tai chi next to the Potomac. The Shackled had seen a lot over the centuries, but they were simply amazed at the pink dolphins and how much Ardua detested them--though it remained unclear what they might actually do to Ardua. The Myanmar violence was weighing heavily on Lynnette's heart. She had hoped desperately that China would intervene in Burma, but China did nothing. Charles Wu had told her a long time ago that her family had been gone a long time from Asia and didn't understand it anymore. He had also said that optimism was the political creed of the blind, though he did not know she had overheard that remark. She stretched out her leg with determination, fighting to keep her balance as Ardua reacted to the shock wave emanating from Lynnette. He's right, she thought to herself. I don't know Asia, and maybe that half-breed is more Chinese than I am, but I know I can do something about this. She glared at Ardua, who had killed her father years before. I will take you out if it's the last thing I do! She had to figure out what the pink dolphins meant...but they came from China, and she didn't know China anymore.

Over at the State Department, the Assistant Deputy Administrator for Anti-Fecklessness was typing up a memo-to-file on the failed Saffron Revolution as his girlfriend wailed on the speakerphone about how the State Department never speaks up for human rights. He paused to assure her that the Secretary of State was doing all she could behind the scenes. "Which means she's doing nothing! Suddenly she starts talking about global warming--NOW??!! Is that supposed to be a joke? We should fight global warming the way we fight terrorists??!! We're LOSING the war on terror!!!! And when is she going to speak up about Myanmar--twenty years from now??!!" Got that right, thought "C. Coe Phant" as he walked past the open door, trying not to laugh out loud at the rant coming over the speakerphone. Buddhist monks were not on the Bloodsucker's A-list and were not going to the Heurich Society ball.

Back at the hospital, a troubled soul broke free from its broken body and began navigating between the calls of Ardua and The Shackled as the soul debated whether to stay in Washington or move on.


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