Chapter 34

Thursday July 12th, Washington D.C.

I was in Washington D.C. to continue the process of strengthening ties with the two candidates and their CoS.

Today’s visit should make the path straight and prepare the way for the anointed one,[i] who I humbly accept is me.

“Hallelujah,” I shouted to myself and then smiled big.

Anthony drove me to my first appointment and I got out of my SUV-Limo with an envelope in my purse. I actually had two envelopes, one for each campaign. Today’s copies of checks, again from two completely different businesses, were only two-hundred and fifty-thousand dollars each. But combined with my previous envelope it should keep their interest while I make them think I have a genuine concern for their advertising needs.

Earlier in the week, I Skyped Clyde while at my office and we talked. “Boss,” he said to me with great excitement, “I think our documents are being looked at.”

During the last few weeks my attitude towards him has been changing. For that matter, my attitude towards lots of people had changed. It was a little disconcerting, because on the tip of my tongue would be a sharp rebuke and something weak would sneak out of my lips.

I felt like something was preparing me from the inside out and I should just trust it.

“That’s it,” I said, “My sixth sense is preparing me and my attitude for dealing with the ultra-powerful people I will be connecting with and rubbing shoulders with soon.”

“How exciting, praise the Lord,” I thought.

Immediately my all so familiar purr began in my gut and worked its way out of my mouth.

I smiled, somewhat kindly, even courteously at Clyde on Skype. I was surprised at myself.

And it surprised him, too. “Boss, are you okay?”

I sighed deeply and said, “Yes, Clyde. Get on with your briefing.”

But I didn’t call him a moron, or a buffoon, or anything I normally would have. It was really weird.

I opened the file he had couriered to me and we looked at this round of documents which were in both Religion Consultants’ files. We then looked at the location on the internet where they had written similar things which would irk their bosses. Of course, Clyde had written them and signed their names, including their electronic addresses, so there’d be no question as to their source.

When I needed to, I would reveal these posts’ existence and confirm my worth. Then I would move in, once I knew which candidate would be elected, of course. I didn’t set all this up to be a part of the losing team!

“Remember, ma’am, when you go to D.C. you are only there to begin to cast suspicion, to shine, and to look beautiful.”

When he said this, he seemed to blush a bit and then hurried on.

“You are strengthening your credibility with this visit.”

“I know you moron. I made the schedule and the timetable. I know what I’m doing, you idiot!’

All that went through my mind, but what came out my mouth was, “Thank you Clyde. Good reminder.” And I disconnected from Skype.

Something else was weird. Last night at church, a number of people came up to me to talk and I didn’t make excuses to get away from them.

“Bizarre. Very bizarre,” was all I could think.

Clyde had found the employment agreement for both Religion Consultants, which were very similar. And in both of their contracts were two points we intended to now exploit.

One area is that they both agreed to not collaborate on anything religious, while under their current employment contract. And the other was like it. They could not post anything religious without the consent of the Chief of Staff.

I was ushered into the Chief of Staff’s office. But before I met with the candidate and gave my next seed-offering I had decided to plunge into “Operation Judas” by throwing some suspicion onto the Religion Consultants.

Burnt coffee was brought to me, along with a stale scone, but I was charming, sitting there talking to the Chief of Staff.

“How are things going with your Religion Consultant?” I asked very innocently.

Watching the uncertain response, I thought to myself, “This is very exciting, for the suspicion wheel has already started turning.”

Inside I grinned wide. It was eerie. If the smile I had inside was on my mouth, it would be wider than my entire face. It was really weird, but really pleasing, even intoxicating.

And then that low masculine purring began again. I quickly asked the Chief of Staff for a cup of water. I needed to control myself.

An aide brought in some water for me and I decided to raise the temperature of traitorous suspicion a little bit higher.

“I have thought your Religion Consultant’s recent posts quiet, umm, interesting. They really “push the envelope,” I think it’s called.”

The Chief of Staff looked surprised and then I added casually, “They sure were hard to find though.” I could tell I was having an impact, which made me tingle, an odd, but satisfying sensation.

About that time, we were ushered into the candidate’s office. After some small-talk and my promise to always be supportive, however I was needed, which I said while looking at the Chief of Staff, I spoke directly to the candidate. “I remain here for you. By the way, I had another conversation with your ad agency and have a copy of our decision to move forward on another group of ads.”

I was brilliant. And I was sure it would go this way after lunch, when I saw the other candidate.

The only difficulty I had today was when I had lunch with that Prayer-Guy, Clyde found. I think Dr. Dale is very odd. Of course, I think he played right into my hands. I will tell Clyde to give him another donation. After all, he’s a man. He’ll be easy to manipulate.

However, Dr. Dale did say one interesting thing, and I am not sure if I can believe him. He said when he goes in and prays with Senators and Congressmen, or women, he doesn’t care about their politics.

I don’t think he was just saying it. I think he meant it. That’s when I decided he is peculiar. He said his job in D.C. is merely “to bear these men and women’s burdens.”

“Galatians 6:2,” I said.

“Yes, pastor, exactly,” he responded. I could tell he was impressed.

And then he said, “I’m sure you experience the same thing when you are in a hospital praying for one who is hurting.”

I just smiled at him. I didn’t want to burst his bubble and tell him I don’t do that. I have other pastors for that kind of stuff.

Anyway, he went on and told me of examples where after he prays, he watches these folks cast their burdens upon Him who cares for them.

“1 Peter 5:7,” I said.

He just smiled and continued, “And then I watch a peace descend upon them, which clearly transcends their understanding.”

He paused, looking at me, waiting for the reference.

“Philippians 4:7, of course,” I said and laughed. He did too.

He seems to have a humility which cannot be real. And then, if his fake humility was not enough, he thwarted my questions when I asked him who he meets with.

“Oh, I’m sorry, ma’am. I am not able to say.”

I was a little indignant and asked, “Why not? I’m a pastor too.”

“Oh, I know,” he said, again very humbly which I decided is a well-practiced device. And one I may try and develop.

“You see,” he went on, “I have made a commitment to these folks which I fear I have to take great pains to protect.”

“Of course,” I said with my most magnanimous voice.

Anthony, who I had waiting at another table was now heading toward me. Lunch was coming to an end. “Thank, God,” I said to myself, and just then Dr. Dale reached out his hand to mine, bowed his head and started to pray.

Well, that was nearly too much for me. I pray in church all the time, but not in public like this, around all these people I don’t know! Now I knew that I definitely didn’t like Dr. Dale.

I was even feeling uncomfortable inside me. Instead of the soothing purring I had come to enjoy, there was a rumbling of explosive anger.

I can’t even tell you what he prayed. I was just glad to hear him getting near an “amen.” The restaurant we ate is huge and is in the basement level of one of the House Office Buildings. It is wide open, but now it was feeling very claustrophobic. As I was leaving, he offered me directions to get up to the next level and then out to the proper exit door.

I laughed and told him, “Anthony is here all the time. He knows the way. But, thank you.”

I just wanted to get away from Dr. Dale.

Fifteen minutes later I was ready to throttle Anthony because we still had no idea at which entrance our limo was waiting.

Finally, I made it to the next Presidential Candidate’s office, which went just like the first.

By the time I left Washington D.C. I knew each Chief of Staff would be annoyed, maybe even irate at their Religion Consultant. A good day’s work, I decided. The only question was, what would they do next?

From the SUV-Limo I called Clyde and told him to monitor the Chiefs of Staffs’ emails. I wanted to know what steps they were taking after I left these breadcrumbs of incrimination.

I was so proud of myself.

 Same Day, FBI Headquarters

Pete called me and said, “You’re not going to believe this, but both CoS, for both candidates called me this afternoon, suspecting their Religion Consultants of violating their employment agreements.”

“What did you say to them?” I asked.

“I said the exact same thing to both of them. I said, ‘Fire them.’”

I chuckled, which Pete didn’t like and said so in no uncertain terms.

Regaining my professionalism, I asked, “You didn’t really say that, did you?”

“Of course, I did, Jack!”

“You fool, Pete!” I thought but didn’t voice it. Instead I asked, “What was their response?”

“That’s what surprised me, Jack. They both said the same thing. They said, ‘I can’t, my boss likes and trusts them too much.’”

“I came so close to telling each of them that these two are in our cross-hairs. . .”

“Don’t you dare,” I said. Maybe I screamed the words, because his response was quick and humble.

“I didn’t. I won’t. I’ll wait. But if this goes sideways on us, Jack, I have all my documentation that you have held me back on this.”

“Anything else?” I asked, ignoring his threat.

“Yeah, one thing. My cyber spooks tell me someone else is crawling through the computers of Perps #4 and #5.”

I was instantly alert, but didn’t want him to know, so, trying to be as nonchalant as I could, I asked, “Is it actionable or just some Junior High kid in a basement trolling?”

“They don’t know yet, but it is being watched. We’ll get ‘em.”

“Good, Pete, good,” I said and hung up.

I’m sorry to say, an expletive left my mouth as soon as I hung up with Pete. I’m very careful to never do that. But I know they are seeing Billy and Sammie’s tracks.

I stood up and walked to my window and looked out at the Mall. It is green and beautiful, as always, but what caught my eye was Ernie, the hotdog vender below me. I love his hotdogs, but, I’m sorry to say, my Cardiologist said, “No more,” at my last checkup.

Dr. Joseph is in charge of cardiology at George Washington University Hospital. He has a great laugh and he loves to let it bellow. It comes from deep in his chest and you can always tell when he’s near your exam room, even if the door is closed. Anyway, he put a halt on all my high sodium foods. So, as much as I wanted a dog from Ernie, I returned to my desk and ordered a salad.

But first I sent a short text to both Billy and Sammie.

“You’re getting sloppy.”

I think they’ll figure it out.

I received an interesting text from my mom that evening, “Hello, Jacky. Don’t want to bother, just encouraging you that I’m praying for you and perhaps I can suggest you go to church and find some nice friends away from work. Just an idea. Love you bunches, Jacky.”


[i] Isaiah 40:3