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 01, 2012

Swan Dive

Charles Wu had spent the morning drawing up architectural plans for converting the fallen tree limbs in his backyard into a playhouse for Delia.  (She wasn't even walking yet, but, well, the branches were already there, so he thought he might as well do it now.)  He had let Delia rub crayons over the architectural plans, and was planning to paint the tree house exactly as she had rendered it--in splashes of pink, purple, blue, green, yellow, and red.  (They could repaint it later when she was older and had more mature aesthetic principles.)

"She went down for her nap," said Mia.

"Yes?" said the spy, looking up in anticipation after this unnecessary remark on an obvious occurrence.

"John Roberts met her a couple weeks ago," said Mia, sitting down nervously.


"It was Lynnette's idea," said Mia, though she knew it was a cowardly thing to say.


"Well, Delia is the most beautiful baby in Washington, so Lynnette knew that if Roberts saw her, he would stop to look at her."


"And Angela knew where he lived, so we took her in the stroller--I mean, Lynnette and I, Angela didn't know about it--we took Delia in the stroller and waited near his house, and it took a couple hours, and it's a long story, but finally he was out there looking at Delia, and Lynnette was pretending not to feel well, and--"


"And we pretended Delia was her baby, and they didn't have health insurance.  And Roberts was upset to find out the baby had no health insurance.  He wrote a check for $500."

"Is this a joke?!"

"No.  We also tried with Alito and Kennedy, but we never got close to them," said Mia.

Wu got up to pour himself some scotch, and downed it quickly.  "You're trying to tell me that my baby swayed John Roberts to uphold Obamacare?"

"He didn't know it was your baby," said Mia.

"That's not the point!  You're a nanny!  You can't use my baby to influence political decisions!  You can't use my baby to influence anything!"

"Well, I think it's what Delia would have wanted," said Mia, doubling down.

"Oh, do you?!  You know how easy it would be for me to have you deported?!"

"Lynnette said you would play that card eventually," said Mia, defiantly.  (Wu sat down, simultaneously stunned at how good her English had gotten and at how vastly the tables had turned in his sexist life.)  "You want me to spy for you, you want Angela to spy for you, but your baby can't?  You just think you're supposed to control every female you know, and you say that females make the best spies, and you tell me all these stories about Camisole Silk and Apricot Lily, but when Lynnette and I and Delia do something amazing that nobody believed could be done, you're just annoyed because you didn't think of it first!"  (Wu was digging his fingers into the seat cushion.)  "And Delia and I love each other, and you can't have a nanny who doesn't know your secrets, so you can't deport me."  (Mia was also digging her fingers into her seat cushions.)  "And Lynnette has to buy her own health insurance, and so do Camisole Silk and Apricot Lily, and Angela doesn't even have health insurance!"  Then Mia finally quit, exhausted.

Wu picked up a framed photo of the most beautiful baby in Washington and stared at it for a few minutes.  You were supposed to stay out of the spotlight, and out of the ugliness of this town.  He looked over at Mia, thinking about what a frightened young girl she was when he rescued her from Congressman Herrmark's bondage.  I treat her far better than he did!  I always treat women well!  But he had never thought about Lynnette's health insurance when he purchased insurance for Mia.  And Angela?  He had just assumed that the Heurich Society was taking care of her.

"I'm docking your pay for a week," he finally said, standing up.  "And don't do it again!"  With that he walked out of the room, but Mia could see his smile reflected in a mirror on the wall.

A few miles away, Marcos Vazquez entered his condo and found his wife half asleep in the mid-afternoon heat.  He took off his Coast Guard uniform and lay down beside her in his underwear on the sticky bedsheets.  "I thought we agreed that you would use the A/C when the temperature was over 95," he said, almost too tired to get the words out of his mouth, regretting that he had not retrieved some water before heading to the bedroom.

Golden Fawn smiled at him without moving, too hot to touch him.  "A lot of people have no A/C today," she said.

"And most of them live in shady suburban lots with basements under their houses--not a hundred feet up in a concrete jungle in the city," he said.

"It helps my dreamtime," she said.  "Do you remember that crazy man at the Kite Festival, who was babbling in Osage?"

"Uhhh, yeah," Vazquez said, emotionally transported to childhood heat waves in Puerto Rico, lying on the cool kitchen floor tiles with his mother.

"I finally figured it out," said Golden Fawn.  "The prophecy was about a ghost that would rise from the grave, a former CIA agent named Henry Samuelson."

"Are you sure you've got this figured out?" he asked.


"Good, because I'm turning on the A/C now."  He kissed her apologetically, got up to turn on the A/C and retrieve cold water from the fridge, then headed back to bed.  "Do spooks actually get spookier after they're dead?"

"This one has," she said.

"What did he do?" asked Vazquez.

"He went back to Langley," she said.  "They had forced him into retirement, and now he's gone back."

"You're serious?" asked Vazquez.  "There's a prophecy about this guy, and he's a ghost living inside the CIA?"

"Yes," she said, and moved into his arms as she felt the air cooling around her body.

A few miles across the Potomac River, Cedric was clutching Aloysius, his teddy bear, in a hospital psychiatric ward--where he and the other residents had been forced to stay since the storm knocked out power at the Arlington group home for the mentally challenged.  "Henry Samuelson did this," he whispered to the bear, in a refined British accent modeled on Alec Guinness.  (The ghost of Henry Samuelson had, in fact, paid a brief visit to Cedric before heading over to Langley, but the ghost had only caused the freakish squalls by accident, and had no idea he was responsible for 1.3 million homes' losing electricity during the heat wave.)  "We need to get back to Mother England," whispered Cedric, who had invented a new spy identity for himself in his mind.  "The queen asked us to sneak into the Ecuadoran embassy and extract Julian Assange.  Her Majesty's Secret Service knows we are the only ones who can do it!"  (He made the teddy bear nod in agreement.)  "They haven't give you any sedatives, Aloysius, so you're going to have to make the first move."

Out in the river, Angela de la Paz was frolicking with the pink dolphins in the refreshing water, periodically taking deep dives to punch and kick Ardua of the Potomac.  She surfaced once again, near the drawbridge, just in time to see a heat-stroked and Ardua-maddened Dubious McGinty take a perfect swan dive off the bridge and into the river.


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