(Read all of "The Baltimore Drive-by" so far here. And remember: This is fiction. Almost none of it really happened.)
The way he worked the room, I believed Obama might win this thing. He smiled, shook hands, talked with me and my colleagues. He put weak-kneed stargazers at ease, and he even charmed moderate Republicans. In ten minutes, he spent more time talking with the staff than the last five editors-in-chief had in the four years they'd served. He even joked about our old computers.
"Don't worry, senator," I said. "In a few months, none of us will be working at these computers anymore."
Obama laughed. Honoré kept the pasted-on smile that he saved for the staff, but the corner of his left eye twitched, the way it always did when he got angry or lied or had to make a decision.
The next day Honoré called me in for a performance review. That's why I wound up welcoming a pair of crime writers over the Canadian border with a gun to their heads. I had nothing against Blake or McCarver; I enjoyed their work. But I'd lost my union grievance over the firing, and I needed a car, some cash, and a bit of stability in my life.
I'd deal with Honoré later.
© Peter Rozovsky 2009