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, July 06, 2008

Yagruma and Peaches

Lynnette Wong handed the construction crew foreman the usual weekly order of herbs for the imported peasants building the Chinese embassy. He was a Beijing man himself and found all this nonsense amusing, but it was a small amount of money to keep those superstitious yokels content in their monotonous rounds between the motel rooms and the construction site. He knew Lynnette was from Taiwan and asked if her family would be taking advantage of the new flights between the island and the mainland. He smiled with the haughtiness she had come to know very well, and a complete ignorance of the ideology that had fueled the civil war in the first place. He was another one of the new breed--the ones that cared only about making money. He told her he would be flying back to Beijing for a two-week vacation and would have VIP seats at many Olympic events. She nodded and smiled with the restraint he had come to know well. As he walked out, he told her he would see President Bush at the Opening Ceremonies. She closed up the shop and closed out the register, fuming with impotent rage. I can't even import Yagruma from Cuba because it is such a communist threat to the U.S., but President Bush is going to China, a country that won't let its embassy construction workers have cable tv in their motel rooms! She pulled a box off the back counter and slammed it on the floor. It was a stupid comparison, and she knew it. Her relatives had died a long time ago; Taiwan had lost. It didn't matter what abuses were happening in China--it was simply too large and powerful for anybody to take them on...she knew that. She kicked the box. But he doesnt have to go! America doesn't stand for freedom anymore--only the free flow of money to Bush and his friends! She picked up a Sharpie and sat down on the floor next to the box.

A few miles to the west, Charles Wu was on his way to Prince and Prowling to drop off Olympic Opening Ceremonies tickets to former Senator Evermore Breadman. Now that President Bush had finally announced he was going, the junket race had officially begun, and Breadman could not have been more delighted to hear the news. Breadman had been working hard with the National Association of Saturday Night Special Sellers (and almost no other client since the Supreme Court ruling), and he was actually looking forward to Wu's visit and a reason to focus on something else. He put away the news articles and editorials (chuckling a second time over the one lamenting that D.C. citizens did not have a constitutional right to a vote in Congress, but they did have a right to carry guns), and pulled out his China files. He had toyed briefly with the idea of going to Beijing himself, but he was getting old and this devil of a colon was not really something he wanted to try transporting over the Pacific again. I should give those tickets to-- Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a pair of crows land on his window sill. He had heard that their numbers in Lafayette Park were skyrocketing, but he didn't know why scavenger birds would come way up here to a barren ledge. He eyed them suspiciously, his subconscious mind remembering snatches of a song about the ravens and the London Tower. He reached down to his bottom drawer for some more herbs from Lynnette Wong.

A mile further west, Dr. Khalid Mohammad was rechecking the IV for the fourth time. He had never actually seen somebody come so close to slipping into a diabetic coma before, and today they had seen two in the George Washington University Hospital E.R. Consuela Arroyo handed Dr. Mohammad the updated chart and shooed him away from the patient. Dr. Mohammad glanced down at the half-empty form. "Is this all you have, still?" The nurse explained that the man had been rushed to the hospital from an office, and so far the E.R. staff only had information from his co-workers, and they had only known him a couple of weeks. Dr. Mohammad read the notes: "complaining of fatigue and dizziness; heavy consumption of coffee; worked twelve days straight for 13 hours/day; mostly ate sweet and sour pork; Prince and Prowling--". Dr. Mohammad frowned and looked over to Nurse Arroyo. "This is the other patient's chart--the one that came from Prince and Prowling! For God's sake!" Nurse Arroyo told him there was no mix-up: both of the diabetics had come from Prince and Prowling. Dr. Mohammad pushed aside the curtain and walked briskly over to the other diabetic clinging to mechanical life. "Let me see that chart!" he said curtly to the startled nurse. Different names, different races, one obese and one thin, different home addresses...both admitted by Chloe Cleavage, their supervisor at Prince and Prowling. The attending resident stepped back in with blood tests, and Dr. Mohammad held up for him both charts. "They both came from the same law firm!" Dr. Mohammad left without another word, and after a day of treating fireworks burns and half-drowned children, the resident was a little too task-oriented to have any clue what Dr. Mohammad was getting at.

A couple miles away, Perry Winkle and his photographer were in front of the White House wrapping up another day of covering the holiday weekend for the "Metro" section of the Washington Post. He signalled the photographer to take a picture of the tattoo-covered, mohawk-sporting veteran wearing the plain gray t-shirt emblazoned "Ski Afghanistan". He looked around one final time at the crowd dwindling against the gray drizzle and darkening sky when something caught his eye just on the other side of the fence. "Turn your flash on over here." It was a large peach just on the inside of the fence...no two, no...it was a whole line of peaches dropped along the inside of the White House fence. Funny! Then he saw her--a Chinese woman surreptitiously dropping them one-by-one as she walked quickly along the fence. "Quick, take a picture! The guard's coming this way!" The photographer got in a couple of quick clicks, then they moved quickly into a group of Belgians walking towards the bicycle rickshaws at the Treasury Department, but the Chinese woman had disappeared faster than they had. Under a lamplight, Winkle stopped to look at the digital camera display. "Can you zoom that? I think there's something written on that peach!" The photographer zoomed the view, and they found themselves looking at dark black lettering saying simply "IM" in the peach.


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