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 ....

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Young and the Restless

The Assistant Deputy Administrator for Hope was reviewing the latest internal State Department bulletin about the election in Afghanistan.  The once-darling President Hamid Karzai had not only sold Shiite women down the sharia river to get votes, he had caused an even larger shock wave by winning the endorsement of Uzbek warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum--and the warrior had promised to deliver Karzai 500,000 votes among Afghanistan's Uzbek and Turkmen populations.  The Administrator had not heard from his girlfriend since she had emailed him that she would be monitoring voting in one of the eastern cities.  He finished reading the memo as "C. Coe Phant" walked in to pass the Administrator a file.  "Have you heard of something called "Project R.O.D.H.A.M.?" the Administrator asked.  He was nervous enough about Eva Brown to stop pretending he knew more about what was going on in Asia than the obnoxious bureaucrat standing before him.  Phant shook his head no, then turned around to head over to the Secretary of State's office to warn her.

Several blocks away, baby Zeke was making his debut at Prince and Prowling because his babysitter was off on a 3-day weekend.  (Liv Cigemeier could not bring him back to International Development Machine the same week that Momzilla had announced her miscarriage, so, for the first time, her husband had taken Zeke to work.)  News of the dimpled little cutie pie had spread rapidly, and it was now Chloe Cleavage's turn to stop by and admire the baby.  "Aren't you the cutest thing ever!  Who's a bubby-wubby-tubby-dubby?!"  Zeke's eyes were focused on Chloe's fake boobs, unaware that it was not milk making them bob up and down.  The P and P associate had simply told coworkers it was a neighbor's baby, and they were doing emergency babysitting--though weeks had passed by since Zeke's mother had dropped off the baby and started sending sporadic and enigmatic emails from the road.  Former Senator Evermore Breadman paused momentarily outside the associate's door, the duty of scuttling Obama's health reform proposal weighing heavily on his mind; he cast a disapproving look at the young associate (he had not come close to a baby since his last Senate reelection campaign), but he could not help admitting to himself that Chloe Cleavage would make one hot momma.  A few minutes later, Bridezilla stopped by with a Hello Kitty lunch box for Zeke to examine, then it was an I.T. person, and then a secretary.  Fearing that he would never be able to file his motion before today's deadline expired, the associate abruptly strolled Zeke out of his office and down to the workroom where that contract attorney (what's her name?) sat. Nora?  Dora?  No, something with an "L"....Linda?  Lydia?  He was now outside her workroom door and could hear the faint but unmistakable sound of an Abba song emanating.  Laura!  That's it.  He knocked on the open door, then strolled baby Zeke in--much to the astonishment of Laura Moreno.  A few minutes later, Zeke had a fresh diaper and was lying face-up in a box of to-be-shredded papers, gnawing on a Barbri plastic cup, and cooing contentedly (he liked Abba music).  Laura had not even known the name of that associate until he had left his business card (with phone extension and email address) on her desk, and she was shocked he had known hers.  At first she had wished that he had requested her help with the motion, rather than requesting her help with the baby, but she couldn't resist that dimpled smile for long.  She leaned over to tickle Zeke's tummy, then went back to work.

A couple miles to the east, Judge Sowell Ame was in his chambers, tidying up his desk before his two-week summer vacation.  He was down to his last case, the one always on the bottom of the pile--the class action TOPA lawsuit on Southwest Plaza.  As far as he was concerned, rent control was idiotic, and the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act was even more inane, but nobody had warned him about these laws before he was appointed to this bench, and he couldn't ignore this case forever.  He began reading the latest law clerk memo attached to the top.  Good heavens!  He had no idea that the tenant association had launched additional lawsuits against the Housing Finance Agency and the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.  He continued reading.  The management company!  Now that was a lawsuit he could philosophically support [though probably not in actuality].  But whatever case went through first would have an impact on the others, his law clerk had surmised.  (Pure genius, that one!)  Ame decided to set a date for the tenant association and management company to make oral arguments for and against an injunction on balcony demolitions.  (He didn't bother deducing that the jackhammer demolitions were finished already, and it was too late to get an injunction against the activity that had sent three people to the emergency room with asthma attacks, forced a dozen elderly people to move out, and caused one baby to be born prematurely.)  He signed the order, turned off his computer, picked up his empty briefcase, and walked out the door--depositing the Southwest Plaza jacket in the appropriate wire basket on his way out.

Over on the West End, Charles Wu was talking on a cellphone in the back seat of a Diamond cab when a green tennis ball abruptly bounced onto the hood of the car before continuing its journey across 23rd Street.  With scarcely a sidelong glance at the tennis courts whizzing past, Wu was trying to take as many notes as he could from Apricot Lily--who was talking on a secure but fuzzy satellite telephone frequency from the mountainous Wakhjir Pass.  Wu was on his way to meet with C. Coe Phant and Hillary Clinton at the State Department--an unprecedented meeting reflecting just how desperate the Secretary of State had become about the situation in Afghanistan.  The success of Project R.O.D.H.A.M. was apparently causing a huge backlash, and though Wu had tried to counsel that this was a sign of effectiveness, the Secretary of State was frantic to get rid of Karzai--who had gone off the ranch a long time ago.  Wu put away his cellphone and reviewed his Afghanistan notes from the latest Heurich Society meeting.  Afghanistan cannot be controlled.  He glanced at the over-sized Albert Einstein sculpture as his driver pulled up as close as allowed to the U.S. State Department.  Wu handed the driver a hundred-dollar bill and headed in for his first ever foray into the State Department.  A few seconds later, another cab pulled over, but the passenger did not get out:  it was Henry Samuelson, and he watched with perverse glee as Wu headed towards the State Department entrance.

Several miles to the north, the Warrior was crouched on a maple tree limb, peering into the window of a red brick rowhouse in Columbia Heights.  All the signs had led him here, but he didn't know why.  A pink warbler alighted next to him and sang softly until Angela de la Paz came to the window.  The Warrior had backed away so that the girl could not see him.  There were miserable girls all over the city, but he had been sent here to this girl.  She needed him...and he needed her--to fight Ardua.  A raven alighted on his shoulder and began whispering in his ear.


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