Rose Houston and the Great Washington Apocalypse of 2011

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic
In this chapter in the Legend of Rose Houston, the Devil Attacks America and with the assistance of the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse seizes Washington, D.C. The President of the United States appeals to God for help and God dispatches the only lawman (actually a woman) in America with a heart pure enough to meet and defeat this consummate evil and save America--Rose Houston, Texas Ranger riding a bull named America.

Submitted: January 05, 2015

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Submitted: January 05, 2015

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The Great Washington Apocalypse of 2011 began shortly after the Great Washington Hurricane and Earthquake of 2011.  The story was all over the newspapers from the front page through the Society pages and the morning talk shows, too.

Day One

Hairline cracks appeared in the streets, parking lots and sidewalks near Congress.  As the cracks grew, the news coverage grew to include interviews with experts who attributed them to the expansion of the soil with the rain from The Great Hurricane and the settling of the earth after The Great Earthquake.

Life continued as normal.  Conservative emails referring to the First Lady as the “First Bitch” continued to be forwarded and re-forwarded, the debate over the debate over the President’s birth matured into presidential campaign plank status.

Day Two

Pretty much business as usual. 

The cracks grew wider and deeper.  Residents complained of the sulfurous odors and some streets had to be closed off.  The capital building itself and its immediate grounds were fracture free but smelled strongly of rotten eggs.  One crack in particular encircled Capitol Hill.

Late night comedians quipped that Congress needed to start using butt mint suppositories.

Televangelist preachers called it as they saw it: a clear indication that hell was bursting open with the rotted souls of unsaved Americans and it was destined to get even more crowded down there.  “God has spoken to us and we as a nation have ignored him at our own risk.  We must come to Jesus, and eschew the homosexual, Episcopalian and Muslim disciplines of the Devil or we will pay the price—if it is not too late already.  Call the number on your screen; operators are waiting.  We accept all major credit cards.”

Emails from unknown sources flooded inboxes across the nation, revealing the scandal of a President secretly conspiring with Islamist extremists to impose Sharia Law on America and outlaw bikinis in public.  Islamist websites accused the President of being anti-Islam.  God-fearing websites accused the government of being anti-religion and conservative politicians praised the Founding Fathers for ridding America of slavery. 

Avowed and convicted pedophiles accused Americans of not being very open minded about things.

Day Three. 

This day too was pretty much business as usual.  The news media because to smell the scent of increased revenue streams and some politicians seemed to find profit in the situation. 

As the cracks grew larger, so did the need to repair streets, sewer, water and gas lines and snapped power lines. 

The rumors began as whispers and escalated into shouts, “Is he doing anything to help those people?”  “Once again, he has turned his back on the black man.” “If white people lived here, he would fix this.” 

The Mayor toured the city and proclaimed that D.C. needed help.  The President promised the local residents that they would not be abandoned. 

Patriotic fiscal conservatives stood up to be counted as Patriotic Fiscal Conservatives and questioned the propriety of throwing away more money on that city. 

Scandals filled the email universe and internet.“Those people, that man.”“Those people need to stand up and take responsibility for themselves.”“Really, he’s turned it into a Black House instead of a White House.”  “He’s a racist.  Would he do that if they were white?”

Visiting Korean schoolchildren, disgorging from buses around the National Mall wrinkled their noses and observed that the city smelled a lot like Kim Chi farts.

Day Four. 

As the free and independent press so necessary to a functioning democracy became aware of the earnings potential in this development, they responded to the needs of an enlightened public.

The smell of burning sulfur was so strong and dense that some residents had to be evacuated.  The cracks grew to swallow whole homes and to threaten the Library of Congress.  Grant’s Memorial and the Washington and Lincoln Monuments teetered on the edge of a bottomless abyss.The National Guard was sent to evacuate books and other objects from the Library of Congress. 

When a National Guard private entered the Library, grabbed the nearest box to load on the trucks and unwittingly saved Thomas Jefferson’s Koran before the Christian Bibles that were in the other boxes, the ensuing vociferation reached levels unheard of since the Scopes Trial and was responsible for incredible increases in sales of print media and TV advertising airtime.  The sales situation improved more when a battalion of Marines called into to save the contents of the Museum of Natural History also saved the exhibition of Darwin’s theory of evolution. 

Even the most enlightened public sometimes needs help knowing what to think, and this created employment opportunities for previously unheralded Constitutional scholars associated with recently incorporated think tanks and previously unknown degree granting institutions to offer learned opinions and attestations that responding to great chasms in the earth that were about to swallow the capital was not one of the powers specifically granted the executive branch of the government.  Other long-headed Constitutionalists offered  similarly qualified opinions that the President’s actions were permitted by the implied powers clause of the Constitution, because the federal government couldn’t take care of business if there was no place to take care of business.

The 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse arrived and charged around the neighborhoods, tearing up yards, harassing good looking women and stiffing local bartenders.  Their horses ate roses in the neighborhood gardens and left large piles of road apples on the sidewalks and streets.  This contributed to a number of self-help stories in the Post “Style” section on the uses of horse manure in an urban setting.  Somewhere in all of this, events were labeled “Apocalypse 2011” and included coverage on “Immigrant Korean Shop owners:  The Forgotten Victims of Kim Chi Jokes made the front page of the L.A. Times.”

From the roof of the White House, the President saw Oblivious, the 4th Horseman, urinating on the statues of George Washington and General Lafayette and knew that he needed help from a higher power.

Day Five

This turned into one of the most profitable days of the Apocalypse. 

Foul looking and fouler smelling creatures crawled out of the cracks around Congress.  With them came a loud angry cacophony of complaints, accusations that stung like the opening of centuries old puss filled septic wounds and unrecompensed injuries.  “Those people don’t share our values.”  “America has lost its greatness.”  “The Catholics are taking over.”  “There is a war on Christianity.”  “Islam is not a religion.”  “Today’s youth are worthless.”

A chubby, prissy pink-skinned little man with a cherubic face named Karl had positioned himself on the steps to Congress.  He would whisper into the air and the demons and apparitions that had crawled from the cracks would become increasingly conflicted and angry.  The louder the din of angry rumor and speculation became, the happier he looked. 

Americans came from all over and marched on Congress demanding that the Capitol be saved.Only Members of Congress seemed not to notice the odors.

By noon, the toxic gas had stopped the marching Americans and they, the tourists and residents began streaming across the Potomac bridges into Virginia.  On the other side, real Americans set up “bum blockades” at the water’s edge and blocked the emigrants’ entry into the real America.  The emigrants then turned south and east into Maryland where elements of the Mexican Red Cross and the Maryland National Guard established disaster relief camps to receive them.

The TV ratings competition was stiff.  Younger, more voluptuous women replaced older female commentators, and showed more and more cleavage.  Then the bras disappeared and the temperature inside the studios was turned down real low, cup size increased and their lips became noticeably fuller.

Fashionable self-help pieces on “How to Prepare for the Rapture,” “End of the World?  Is it sooner than you think?”  “Hot as Hell:  Trendy Ice Venders in Hades,” experienced an unnatural surge in popularity and an exclusive first page article covering the First Lady eating a Chili Cheese dog at Ben’s Chili Bowl in downtown D.C. was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

Talking heads speculated:  “Where is the President?” and a full-page advertisement was taken out in the New York Times offering to pay any of the President’s old girl friends for interviews.

The entire continent was under a dark cloud but no one seemed to notice.

Half continent away, Deputy Rose Houston, of the Tarrant County Texas Sheriff’s department, her uniform soaked through with sweat and caked with trail dust, had been tracking cattle rustlers for two days and was getting real close.  She could smell the cattle in the box canyon ahead. 

She had been tracking these rustlers for almost two days and her son’s violin recital was scheduled the next afternoon and was becoming impatient.  When she realized they were going in circles, she caught up to them by reversing her course. 

Suddenly, she heard Johnny Cash singing “Ghost Riders in the Sky” and a ghostly herd of longhorn cattle pursued by ghostly cowboys on ghost horses inexplicably came over the ridge and down the arroyo.

She sat astride her steed and watched them pass, and then, the skies opened and large voice spoke, “Hello, Rose.”

“Hello, God.” 

The wind picked up, the lightning intensified, and the thunder boldened. 

“Rose, your country needs you.  Your President needs you.  You must go to him.”

“Where is he?”

“At the station.”

She thanked him for the information.  “Okay, I’ll arrest these rustlers and head that way.”

“They’re on the other side of that rise.”

She thought of her son’s violin recital and asked, “God, why don’t you help him?”

“I gave mankind free will, choice and a brain, some things you people have to take care of yourself.”

Houston arrived at the station tired, sweaty and covered with range dust, dragging a string of rustlers behind her on a rope.  The President walked out of the station with the Sheriff and the Commander of the Texas Rangers, she dismounted and shook his hand.

“Howdy, sir.”

“Howdy, Rose.”

Rose stood before the President, feet spread, thumbs hooked behind her gun belt, a somber, 5 foot 8 inch athletically built black woman in a dusty, sweaty, but crisply pressed dark blue police uniform, with her trousers stuffed into her stovetop western boots, vaquero spurs, full chaps and a uniform issue Resistol brand western hat. 

The President explained that the country was faced with a threat of unmitigated evil.  The job called for a lawman who was pure of heart and mind, capable of independent action and loyal to the Constitution and the democratic principles embodied there in.The consensus of professional peace officers around the world was that the best man for that job was a woman named Rose Houston:  A Tarrant County Texas deputy, veteran of two combat tours in Iraq, and great-great-great-granddaughter of Sam Houston, Father of Texas.

Houston hesitated.  She had a good life in Tarrant County.  She was doing something good and she did not often have to deal with true evil as she had in Baghdad.  She had a son and he needed a mother.  “I don’t know.”

The President pleaded, “We need you.  You are the pure heart.”

She thought of things she done in her life, of men she had killed in battle and of a darkness that had once filled her heart.  She thought of her son, young and innocent. “There are things that you don’t know.”

Suddenly, the sky was split asunder by bright lightening that stretched from horizon to horizon and thunder so loud and forceful that the police cars were physically moved.  A loud voice spoke, “You’re the one, Rose. I’ll have them postpone the recital until next week.”

The President spoke, “We can take care of your son.  My mother in law is staying with us and I know that she and the Missus and kids would love to have him stay with us.”

“Okay.”

The Commander of the Texas Rangers administered the Oath of the Texas Rangers and issued her an official light gray Texas Ranger cowboy hat and badge.  This was necessary because the Texas Rangers are the only professional law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction anywhere in the world they want to go.

The President’s eyes moistened, he took her hand in both of his and held it briefly.  “Thank you, thank you.”

Houston, tired and trail worn, turned to leave and then stepped back and hugged him.  “I’ll take care of things.  I promise.” 

If the President and the country needed her she would go.

The skies darkened, the lightning flashed brighter, more frequent and more powerful.  “Ghost Riders in the Sky” blared again and a herd of fiery-eyed longhorns thundered across the heavens chased by ghostly cowboys.  A much larger than life long horn bull split off from the herd and stopped just short of Houston.  He was outfitted with a saddle and bridle and was rearing back on his hind legs, his fore hooves pawing the air, bellowing mightily.The voice from nowhere spoke again:  “Your steed Ranger Houston, a bull called America.”

She mounted America and left for the Capitol of America at a gallop.

As she rode off the large voice bid her “Make Texas proud, Rose.”

Day Six

Day Six was a virtual mother lode for America’s indispensible free and independent press.

By the time Houston and America reached the capitol, photos of her hugging the President had flooded the internet and fair and balanced cable news shows.  Speculations as to a sexual affair between the President and a half-breed Negro Texas Ranger of uncertain ancestry spiced the conversations of enquiring minds everywhere.  Sincere and concerned Congressmen of similar ilk demanded an investigation and hearing. 

The honor of the country was at stake.

Cable news reporters quoted highly placed sources in the administration reluctantly admitting that Houston’s son was the product of an extramarital affair between the President and Houston.  A photo of a subscription radio talk show host ranting about the assault on American culture by a half breed presidential whore with her bastard son, next to stock photos of prostitutes on Hollywood Boulevard, covered the front page of national newspapers.

The cacophony of whispers and shouts grew painfully loud: “Social Security will ruin America.”  “These people are ruining America.” “Where did all these Mexicans come from?” 

Stories of Marines violating the rights of the Four Horsemen were replaced by stories of a First Lady scorned and shamed by a philandering President.  These stories were accompanied by stock photos, taken at a family funeral, of her hugging her crying daughters with tears running down her face. 

Even the hate emails that had been flooding inboxes nationwide referring to the First Lady as the “First Bitch” suddenly stopped.

When America galloped across the 14th Street Bridge, the Horsemen were urinating into the tidal basin.  They did fast mounts and headed north on 14th.  She came pulled them over at 14th and Jefferson.  Then she made them sit on their hands on the curb while she cited them for “Riding Horses without poopbags in Public” and “Urinating in Public.”

 “There is a new sheriff in town, men.  You’re going to have to check your swords at the city limits, curb your horses, and abstain from drunkenness and debauchery in public or get out of town.” 

The one called Venomous, mounted his blood red horse, and, waving two large swords that made fearful tearing sounds as he slashed the air, howled “Who are you to tell us what do?”

“I, sir, am Rose Houston of the Texas Rangers.  I am the new law in town.”

The one called “Oblivious” mounted his black horse and shouted, “No mortal tells my Prince or his Captains what they can or cannot do.”

“I just did.  You have five minutes to check those swords at the Police Department.  Go up here to Constitution, make a right, go down to 6th, make a left, go up to Indiana, its only three or four blocks, make a right and you are there.”

Animus, on a large green horse with open sores that discharged purulent fluids onto the street, bellowed with breath as fetid and malodorous as the most putrid of rotting corpses,  “And, if we don’t?”

“I will seize them and book you into the city jail.”

“And if we don’t let you?” 

“That’s not one of your options.”

Covetous, churlish and confident, recalling one of his favorite movie lines, “’Law don’t go around here, law dog.’  I suspect we might oblige you to make good your threats.”

Rose had stepped into a malodorous pool of their drool and was looking at it dripping from the sole of her boot.  She briefly glanced at her wristwatch, “Three minutes.” 

Miscellaneous demons and talking heads had gathered on the sidewalks to watch and provide commentary and insights.  When the Horsemen rode off, Rose remounted America and herded the demons to the edge of the nearest precipice where they fell over the edge into the abyss below.

From there she rode to the steps of the capitol and stopped short of the pink cherub called “Karl.”

“Hello officer, so nice to see you. I’m Karl.”

 “I’m Texas Ranger Rose Houston.  I’m the new law in town.  Henceforth, in this fair city, there will be reason and there will thoughtful discussion and Americans will not be demonized for their differences.  You will be out of town by sun up, Beelzebub.”

“What…?”

“You heard me.”

“No.  You cannot order me around.  I have rights.”

“No you don’t.”

The little pink skinned chubby faced cherub named Karl sneered and morphed into a hideous horned beast with a horned tail and bad breath.“I remember you from New Orleans.  Well, this isn’t New Orleans. This is Washington, D.C.  This is my town.  I already own almost all of the souls on this hill.  These people do not know the difference between right and wrong and they would not care if they did, and that skinny half-breed African sends one Ranger to challenge me.  Talk about audacity.  He has no hope.”  He reared back and roared with evil laughter, “One Ranger.”

America snorted and scrapped his front hooves on the sidewalk; Houston dismounted, slid her issue American Hickory police baton into the ring on her gun belt, and walked over to the Beelzebub.  “There’s only one Apocalypse.”  He roared again and stepped toward her in a grappling fashion.  She kicked him squarely between the legs.  He went down hard and struggled to get up.  American hickory flashed and his right leg collapsed.  She circled him, American Hickory flashed again and his left leg collapsed. 

Houston continued, “Sunrise.”

The Beelzebub lay on his side, holding himself and grimacing, “Oh yeah?”

Houston grabbed him by a horn, slapped him hard, and twisted his head so he could see the Washington Monument.  “Sir, do not let the rising sun find you in this fair city.  Be out of town by the time the sun’s rays touch the tip of that Monument.  If you do not do so I shall be compelled to use all reasonably necessary force to remove you to somewhere decidedly less pleasant.”

Beelzebub grunted.  Stooped and holding himself, he waddled away with the 4 Horsemen in attendance.  “That wasn’t nice.”  “Who does she think she is?”  “Not fair at all”  “She cheated.  I saw her.”

Rose spent the day and most of the night herding demons and ghouls off the cliff like edges of the rents surrounding the Capitol and then stitching the chasm edges together using telephone poles as needles and broken electric power lines as thread.

The evening, the news carried videos of Beelzebub taking it between the uprights and the Horsemen sweeping up their horses’ droppings.  Some showed America behaving like a professional cow horse herding demons over various precipices around town.  “Who is this woman?” “Who does she think she is?” “Is that bull licensed?”  “Who is going to pay for those power lines?” Others waxed eloquent on the evening gown the first lady wore to an official function the previous evening. 

The email speculation was blunt:  “Would they do that to white people?”  “Would they do that to black people?” 

Day 7

Rose and America had been resting on the banks of the Potomac under the 14th Street Bridge.  She knew not what the dawn would bring.  She thought of her son and of his dead father, of an old friend who had died on the USS Cole and other dead Americans she had served with.She thought of the flesh of dead Iraqis embedded in the concrete walls of East Baghdad, of dogs lapping sustenance from puddles of blood, of American politicians in soft shiny shoes whining, “You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.”  She thought of Americans impoverished, Americans cold, of Americans hungry, of politicians more concerned with “greatness” than Americans. 

A murmur of peaceful conversation floated across the river.  She saw a wave of Americans build, crest and wash across the bridges. 

Standing, she walked northeast toward Pennsylvania Avenue, her spurs jingling with each stride, America “kaloping” along behind her.

She was still wearing the dust covered range uniform that she had worn while meeting the President and her Ranger hat now had a permanent bend from being pushed up and back by the wind.  She more resembled an old west cowboy or cavalryman in a Frederick Remington painting or sculpture than a modern lawman. 

Reaching Pennsylvania Ave, she walked east down the middle toward the Capitol. 

The quiet sound of reasonable conversation grew louder with every step she took.

Apparitions of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower joined her.  Washington and TR rode great white stallions and Lincoln rode an old plow horse.  

The tide of Americans continued washing across bridges and flooding behind Houston.

Beelzebub and the Horsemen met Rose and her following at the foot of the Capitol steps.  The Archfiend changed from Karl to his darker traditional form, and was wearing a bright white protective cup.  He reared, roared and belched and the Horsemen reared their howling horses.  Rose stood silent, unmoving in the middle of the avenue, her thumbs hooked behind her gun belt buckle.  America stood quietly behind her.  The Americans crowding into the city watched her silently, unmoving while the soft murmur of reasoned conversation grew louder still. 

“I told you to be out of town by sunrise.”

“I see you brought your homeboys for backup.” 

“These men lead my country through dark times.  Their spirits live on in the spirit of America.  They stand by me in the battle for truth, justice and the American way.  My strength comes from their spirit, confidence, and hope and the legacy of their faith in country and Creator.”

Beelzebub snorted, cleared his throat, spit on the sidewalk and roared, “America is dead.  America is finished.”

“America is just getting started.”

“Listen to your talking heads.  Listen to your Congressmen.  America is great no more, bitch.” Again, Beelzebub roared, “I will crush you and feed you to those horses,” and stepped forward as if to grapple with Houston.  The Horsemen reared their horses and charged.

Houston drew her American Hickory issue police baton and stepped forward to close with him. “You’re listening to the wrong Americans.”

At the same time, the rising sun touched the tip of the Washington Monument and a woman began singing the national anthem.  The Americans flooding the city joined in. 

The sonorous sound of reasoned conversation grew louder still, overwhelming the cacophony of whispers and causing Beelzebub to twist and convulse in pain. 

“What is that noise, stop it, stop it!”  Beelzebub and the Horsemen fell writhing to the ground.

“It’s the sound of reason.  It is the sound of love of country and faith in ourselves.”

Beelzebub and the Horsemen began shrinking and shrieking and were soon reduced to five writhing elongated canine fecal like objects on the sidewalk.  Rose scooped them up in a horse poop bag and tossed it into the one remaining chasm.  At the same time, most of the remaining demons and apparitions took refuge in the same chasm.  Afterwards, she stitched it up as she had done the others.

That made a full day’s work. 

The sky filled with the sound of Ray Charles singing “America” and the Americans flooding the city joined in.  

The job done, Houston picked up her son at the White House gate, and rode off toward Texas and the setting sun. 

And, Texas was proud.


© Copyright 2020 Eddie C Morton. All rights reserved.

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