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, October 01, 2017

Over the Edge

It had been a very long week for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotamayor.  It seemed decades had passed since she was first appointed by President Barack Obama, she thought, as she swiped her fob and entered the office.  She needed to catch up on her work after so many emails, calls, and texts all week concerning relief efforts in Puerto Rico.  Even now there were a few relatives in a remote rural village that nobody had made contact with.  The sinking feeling inside her was growing by the day:  the sense that she was no longer a Justice in the greatest democracy in the world but the last remnant of checks and balances standing before the country slid towards fascism.  It had taken every bit of self-restraint she possessed not to tear into Neil Gorsuch after he had returned Thursday from a wildly inappropriate conservative think tank luncheon at Trump International Hotel--the very hotel which was the subject of unprecedented Constitutional litigation under the Emoluments Clause!--to complain vehemently about the delayed start due to "those damned protesters at the hotel--they're constantly attacking everything that makes America great!"

"Wasn't the name of your talk 'Defending Freedom?'" Ruth Bader Ginsburg had asked.  "Those protesters are concerned about checks and balances--three branches of government.  You shouldn't have campaigned with McConnell in Kentucky or gone to Trump's Hotel."

"I didn't surrender MY freedoms when I came here!" Gorsuch had retorted.  "I still have free speech and freedom of association!  You are always speaking your mind about Trump!"

"I speak up when the independent judiciary and rule of law are attacked.  You are surrendering the independence of the judiciary!"

Only the arrival of Chief Justice John Roberts had cut short the argument.  Justice Sotamayor had left the room, feeling sick to her stomach.  Trump was pushing tax cuts for the wealthy all week--even arguing that it was vital for Puerto Rico!  Mi gente!  It was surreal.  And now the Supreme Court was set to hear important cases on immigration, gerrymandering, the Constitution--and she knew that Gorsuch would decide every case without bothering to engage in even a show of careful, reasoned analysis.  It could become a kangaroo court at best, a rubber stamp for the Trump Presidency at worst.  Would John Roberts rise above it?  Could he?

Meanwhile, triple agent Charles Wu's chartered plane was landing back in DC after delivering supplies to several remote villages that Angela de la Paz had seen in her visions about Puerto Rico.  He watched Liv Cigemeier close her eyes nervously just before the plane touched down, then exhale and open her eyes after the safe landing.  She smiled at him, grateful that he had heeded her plea to broaden his philanthropic efforts beyond International Development Machine funding and to a desperate U.S. Territory.  Wu smiled back at Liv, who still had no idea that his IDM funding had been motivated by more than philanthropy.  This trip was actually one of the most philanthropic things he had ever done with his money, and though not thrilled about it, it could hardly be avoided after he was accosted by Liv's pleas, Angela's visions, his English nanny's exhortations, and the questions his young daughter had posed a couple days earlier:  "Where is San Juan? Why are they dying?  Why is the President being mean to that mayor?"  His governess had denied deliberately allowing Delia to see Mrs. Prudence Higgety-Cheshire's Twitter feed, but the damage had been done.  Now Charles could return to his daughter and show her photos of children holding the toys and stuffed animals she had solemnly given him to take to Puerto Rico.  He didn't know what was more disconcerting:  the idea of his daughter's growing up or how much she had changed him.

And now Charles Wu had to turn back to the North Korean problem, on which he was being pressed for intelligence by all his contacts in Beijing, London, and Washington.  Apricot Lily and Camisole Silk had traveled between the two Koreas several times, and there was nothing that could be done:  subterfuge, espionage, assassination were all unworkable options.  Trump was apparently so emasculated by a year of criticism--the likes of which he had never witnessed in his whole narcissistic life--that he would launch nuclear weapons to avoid spending one hour of his life being diplomatic.

"Is she okay?" asked Liv, gesturing at Angela, who was still seated with her eyes closed after they had already gotten up from their seats.

"I'll stay with her--go ahead," he replied.  Liv hugged him--another new development that would once have seemed out of place in his life--and deplaned.  Charles motioned to the flight attendant not to be concerned, and sat down beside Angela while the crew bustled about.  "Where are you now?" he whispered, even though he really did not want to know.

Over at the White House, the never harmonious ghosts had become more argumentative than they had been in many years.  While modern Ghost Dennis and Ghost Henry continued to call for calm, others who had once been enslaved in the White House were livid at the rise of white supremacy, and Puerto Rico had pushed them over the edge.

"Black people who speak Spanish:  it's his worst nightmare!"

"I say we torch the place!"

"Andrew Jackson was a saint compared to this guy!"

But members of The Shackled were also present--

"Andrew Jackson committed genocide against the Cherokee."

"The truth is that he's weak:  another Obamacare repeal failed, investigative journalists forced out a kleptocrat Cabinet Secretary, Javanka shot themselves in their own feet again with emails, of all things!"

"I'll try talking to him again," added Ghost Dennis, but a chorus of boos quickly drowned him out.

"He thinks you're Nelson Rockefeller!  You've never convinced him to do anything!"

"You're doing more harm than good!"

"All this negative energy is doing him more harm than good!" pleaded The Shackled.  "You cannot become part of the problem!"

"How naive are you?!"

Just then all the ghosts noticed the twin pre-schoolers staring at them, Regina and Ferguson.  Still young at heart, they did not understand a lot of the politics, but their mama did not like the Trump family and, despite having disappointed her many times while still alive, they were very happy to stand up for the White House butler now that they were dead.  "Tiffany is trying to do homework!"  "Barron keeps turning up the TV to annoy her!"  "Then she complains to her dad!"  "Then he complains to Melania!"  "Then Melania goes to tell Barron to turn it down!"  "Then he turns it up again, and it all starts again--except he's not really turning it up!"  "It's us!"

The twins waited for applause and, getting none, ran out of the attic and back downstairs, where the gardener Bridge half-heartedly tried to corral them with a weak "Reggie! Fergie!"  But he was having a hard time these days maintaining his principles about spectral mayhem in the White House, sighed and let them go.

Out in Lafayette Park, conspiracy blogger Glenn Michael Beckmann was sitting nervously on a bench, carefully watching the sky above the White House to see if this would be the night the alien overlords would come for their puppet king.

Out in the river, Ardua of the Potomac felt Charles Wu's car crossing the bridge, sensed his soul tipping, and did not like it....

Prince and Prowling clients want tax cuts!  


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