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 ....

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Keep Your Friends Close and Your Enemies Closer

The Assistant Deputy Administrator for Hope was feeling the power:  his boss was doing a huge tour of Africa, her husband had just rescued the imprisoned journalists in North Korea, and he was feeding people news tidbits right and left.  Clinton!  Clinton!  Clinton!  Clinton!  It was just like her supporters had said:  voting for her was like getting two for the price of one.  Now he was monitoring the fallout from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/04/AR2009080403373.html, but he wasn't worried--Hillary had a plan for everything.  The only thing that might ruin his day was the surprising news that Russian nuclear submarines were patrolling up and down the east coast of the United States--though Hillary had not seemed that surprised about it.  Still, he wished he could comment on it:  shouldn't he know if diplomats were working on the problem?  

The problem with the Russian nuclear submarines was that they were not actually patrolling for any reason that Washington's elite talking heads could accurately surmise.  They were on an unusual mission, and the only person at the State Department who actually knew about it was "C. Coe Phant", who had learned about it from Charles Wu, who in turn had learned about it from the listening device implanted in Condoleezza Rice's cat "Pippin" (whose recordings Wu now played through a sophisticated electronic analyzer, which fast-forwarded through the long silent stretches and tagged keywords chosen by Wu, one of which, of course, was "Russian").  C. Coe Phant plopped a Timor Leste dossier on the Administrator's desk with a polite "here ya' go", and a faint smirk (because he knew something the Hoper didn't know).

Across the Potomac River, Henry Samuelson entered the Arlington Home for the Mentally Challenged, where he was ushered to a back porch to visit Cedric.  "Whadda ya' know about the commie subs out there?"  Cedric looked up in surprise--not at the lack of small talk or pleasantries (because that was how the spook was), but rather at the fact that someone as intelligent as Samuelson did not understand that when Cedric was on the back porch with his birding binoculars focused on the hummingbird feeder, he was not to be disturbed unless the house was on fire.  Cedric turned back to the feeder and said nothing.  "C'mon, Cedric, I've heard a lot of chatter, and it's all bogus."  Cedric continued to ignore him.  Samuelson picked up a tennis ball lying in a dusty corner and threw it at the feeder, dispersing the diners to the four winds.  Cedric put down his binoculars and turned deliberately to the irritating old man in the ancient polo shirt fraying on every side and kicked him in the shin.  "OWWW!  Goddam it!  This is serious!"  Cedric put his binoculars carefully back into the velvet-lined case his auntie had given him on his 16th birthday, then folded his arms across the chest.  He knew why the Russian submarines were there because Condi and he had discussed it during her last visit, right after they had talked about Putin's latest shirtless photo opportunity, and right before he showed her his new collection of tree leaves glued to old toilet paper rolls suspended on crisscrossing strings in his bedroom so that the fairies would have somewhere to rest during the night (instead of sleeping near his pillow and shaking their fairy dust all over him, which gave him the weird dreams).  "What are they doin', Cedric?"  Samuelson handed Cedric a lemon meringue pie lollipop from Wisey's, and Cedric smiled and decided to talk.

Back in the District, Golden Fawn got off the phone with her fiance, who had suddenly departed for a not-so-secret Coast Guard mission the day before.  It was nice to hear his voice, even if Marcos couldn't tell her anything.  And she could tell nothing had happened with the Russian subs because he was more interested in her new Nanchotank pendant and its continuing effectiveness against the real estate demon living in the Southwest Plaza apartment building.  She fingered the medicine bag tied around her waist:  funny how the more bureaucratic and staid her job at the National Museum of the American Indian became, the more steeped in ancient rituals she became in turn.  Her co-workers thought it was the bout with breast cancer that had sent Golden Fawn down this path, but it was Ardua of the Potomac.  Golden Fawn was sure she would lose her job at NMAI if she told anybody here; she didn't know there were a dozen other people at NMAI who believed exactly the same thing.

A few miles away, a weary Charles Wu walked past his still unpacked suitcase, a gin and tonic in one hand and his notebook in the other.  He walked out on the balcony in his silk boxer shorts and sat on an imported rattan chair.  He took a couple of swallows, then started going over his coded notes from the trip to Asia.  The Clinton "miracle" had been a surprise to a lot of people, but not to him.  In-between bouts of coddling his mother in Hong Kong, he had accomplished quite a lot on his trip to China, particularly with Project R.O.D.H.A.M.  So why did he feel so unsettled?  Because he had flown through half a dozen airports in the past two weeks, and none of them felt like home.  China had become too big.  Asia had become too big.  The world had become too big.  He took some more swallows.  I used to be a big fish in a small pond; now I'm a small fish in a big pond.  But Wu was wrong--he was water.  

Back on the other side of the Potomac, Henry Samuelson emerged from the Arlington Group Home for the Mentally Challenged, got into his car, turned the ignition, then stared blankly through the windshield.  I knew we never should have let the Bloodsucker into the Heurich Society.  He started driving towards the bridge, his annoyance slowly transitioning to anxiety the closer he got to the river.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

He did very nice tour it seems..
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