Saturday, December 6, 2008
Wordzzle 42, words that make you think or something.
After 42 weeks you should know by now that Katherine at the Raven's Nest is the founder of this weekly challenge. If you'll take a minute to go by her blog you'll find her stories and links to all the other writers participating in this exercise.
This Week's Ten Word Challenge is : think the rain’ll hurt the rhubarb?, B Vitamins, credit card, jolly, angels, mouse, three ring circus, haiku, sponge, copper
Mini Challenge: compulsive, trunk, African violets, curiosity, UFOT
This episode: Three weeks after the attack
The current president and administration had learned little from September 11th, 2001. They immediately started to spin the attack as an Al Qaeda operation. Of course it wasn't and some of the media actually picked up on the numerous leads and clues that Claude had sprinkled around DC. It quickly became apparent that the culprits were home grown and not your traditional terrorist types. The incident seemed more like an inside job the more that came out.
It was like a three ring circus around the white house. The outgoing executive branch cronies were nervous and uptight, in spite of the fact that the Secret Service had done a superb job in protecting the president and the white house grounds. The curiosity seekers watched from down the block on Pennsylvania Ave as barricades were set on the street to limit access to the White House.
The country was shocked then amazed, then pissed off about the whole affair, as it became more and more clear that the actions taken were the direct result of corporate and governmental malfeasance. A few in the financial world got wind of big losses and fortunes undone, but didn't make the connection.
Zan had survived her injuries though it was still unclear how much mental function she would recover. The shrapnel in her lung had come closer to killing her, but the head trauma would have more lasting effects. She clutched the African violets given to her by Sgt Johnson. The ambulance would take her to a private hospital after her stay in Walter Reed. Sgt Johnson sat next to her to keep her company. He even read her a simple haiku he had composed.
upon the mossy stone
"What's it mean Thomas?" she asked hesitantly. "Just a way of thinking about rain Zan, nothing special" he replied. "You mean like, think the rain'll hurt the rhubarb?" she asked jokingly. "Yea, something like that Zan." Johnson was glad she still had her sense of humor. Her memory and cognitive functions had been marginal, so this was a good sign.
In a small village in France, where once sat a large chemical plant, now deserted, the mayor received a check for the city from an anonymous donor. While this had happened on occasion, when some church woman or other would leave their pitiful estates to the town, this was very different. The cashiers check was for seven million francs.
Three members of the justice department were indicted on felony charges and their arrests lead to a number of others. The trail lead to the RNC and almost all the way to "K", but not quite. Two high ranking staffers for US senators committed suicide in the same week. Amazingly 4 US senators announced their imminent retirement and two of these would not finish out their terms.
In Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, St Louis, Charlotte, Miami, Kansas City, Boston, New Port, New Haven, Hartford, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Nashville, Little Rock, St Paul, Fargo, Montgomery, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix and many other cities both major and minor, citizens of once expansive means found themselves in completely different circumstances.
The sheer magnitude of the operation was beyond imagination and therefore not imagined or considered a possibility.
The crashing economy explained so much of what happened to these captains of industry that few knew the truth. Of course none of the victims would admit it to anyone else, so its full extent was never known. Could anyone have put it all together they would have seen the redistribution of over 50 trillion dollars; all done in less than 24 hours.
To those on the receiving end of this largesse it seemed as though the angels had spoken and blessed them. What else could explain the anonymous donors helping the homeless, the aged, the poor, the sick, and the downtrodden of our societies?
The unintended consequence of all this was an upsurge in the belief in God and miracles. From the single Mom who had her maxed credit card bills paid by a mysterious philanthropist for a Christmas present to the sponge diver in Greece that received a new boat; it was a very merry Christmas for all. It looked like jolly Old Saint Nick was going above and beyond in this time of financial crisis. The copper miner in Baghdad that found a check for $100,000 in his mailbox the day after being laid off was but one of millions of recipients.
The beauty of the plan had never been in the implementation of the operation; that was just tech stuff. The beauty had been in establishing the organizations to make the donations and help the people. That had taken many years. Now the elderly in Spokane could afford their B-vitamins. The paraplegic in Ireland could get a hands free mouse to work on the web. These organizations had been manned with workers who were compulsive about helping others. Now they had the means.
Claude opened the trunk of the small sports car he'd had brought in to his island. Inside were Christmas presents for Justine along with pictures of some youngsters that had been helped by one of the NGOs he sponsored. The small village in Africa had seen three years of drought, raids by other tribes and then virulent diseases. The adult population had been ravaged. Had not Edith Eben-Ufot Ukembe come to their rescue the boys and girls would have starved to death. Claude and Justine would put each picture in an ornament on their tree.
Back in Arizona, McCool and Jean were just getting settled into their new home. The small one level adobe house was very different from their previous North Carolina abode, but once the Christmas tree was up, it seemed like home.
After the New Year Thomas and Jean would consider what course to take. The FBI consultant gig looked none too good after the experience at the White House. Perhaps as Jean had said, he was getting just a bit too old for that much action.