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, December 15, 2007

Bali High

Condoleezza Rice sank back into her red leather recliner, tired from an afternoon of mixing with the riffraff at Tysons Corner to finish buying Christmas gifts and ship them off. She sipped her coconut water/anise/cocoa/turmeric/prune/couscous/beet smoothie and stared out for a moment at the darkening sky above her and the frigid Potomac waters stirring below. She took a deep breath, feeling a little better. She picked up the afternoon's faxes in her lap and started leafing through them them, pausing at the third--"BALI, Indonesia (CNN) -- In a dramatic reversal Saturday, the United States rejected and then accepted a compromise to set the stage for intense negotiations in the next two years aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions worldwide." She giggled, remembering how she had instructed her Undersecretary to perform this drama two weeks ago. She then read a couple of State Department faxes about the climate change conference, and looked out at the river when she had finished. It was unfortunate, but a necessary game to play at this point in history. That's how she had explained it to Bush--you will be out of office long before any of this gets real, and somebody else will have to raise the taxes to deal with it. Of course, she knew that this strategy was not acceptable to Dick, but Lynn would be taking care of him right now, making sure he did not get overexcited about anything. And Bush knew that Condi did not ask him to go against Dick's wishes very often, so he knew it was important when she did ask. She resumed flipping through the faxes, pausing to read the latest update on the baseball steroids report; she giggled again at the part about Bush's instructions to the public to withhold judgment--she knew the shenanigans that had occurred in the Texas Rangers clubhouse under the Bush regency. She also knew that Bush had just granted twenty-nine presidential pardons on Tuesday--some of them to drug dealers and a moonshiner. She shook her head, glad she did not have to explain the Bush domestic agenda. The final fax was about the international response to Perez Musharraf's end to emergency rule in Pakistan, including the muted U.S. comment. She put the faxes in a neat pile on the end table, and her empty lap was all the invitation that Pippin needed to jump up. Rice giggled again, stroking the Persian, and gazed out into the darkness. For a moment, she wondered how climate change would really play out in the next two-hundred years...then Ardua of the Potomac brought Rice back to the present with a firm embrace.

Several miles north, Charles Wu was nursing a gin and tonic in a black leather recliner, rolling his eyes at the parade of giggles coming through the bug implanted in Pippin. These were not the giggles of a drunken woman, nor even the giggles of a flirtatious woman--these were the driest giggles he had ever heard, giggles of no ascertainable origin. He listened until he had finished his drink, then removed his earphones and headed out to the Bali Room of the Pineapple Cafe on Capitol Hill--where his new Turkish contact would be meeting him in an hour to spill drunken secrets while gay men acted out their S&M fantasies to the karaoke croonings of perplexed, blushing Japanese tourists.

Several miles south, Sebastian L'Arche checked his mailbox on the way out to his first veteran's support group: it was another Bali bra. He looked suspiciously across the street to the home of the woman he believed responsible for the parade of lingerie left in his mailbox since Thanksgiving. He knew she was also an Iraqi war vet, although she did not know that he knew that. He decided to knock on her door anyway. She opened the door quickly and smiled at him. "I'm going to an Iraqi veterans' support group tonight. Do you want to go?" Her smile straightened out, and she tried to mumble something. "It's my first one. I don't even know if I'll like it, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to check it out. I can wait while you get your coat and umbrella." She acquiesced and went to get them. After a few minutes, they headed out into the nasty December weather, both thankful and fearful. The slave ghost in the woman's house was furious, but there was a member of the Shackled there to talk him down.


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