The Unknown: The Red Line.

Turns out that “Cormac” had confused Operation Bookworm with Operation Metal Octopus, and we had been flown to Serbia instead of Prague. It would take a couple of days to straighten everything out, he said, and gave us an envelope containing one hundred 100-dollar bills to kill time in D.C. He winked: “We’ll contact you again in a few days. Until then, have a good time on Uncle. Think of it as an NEA grant.” He said that our new contact went by the name of “Mark Twain.” Twain, he said, would be in touch soon enough. He reminded us not to write about what we had seen in Serbia. “Of course not,” William lied, “we write straight fiction.”

A year later, looking back on this, I began to wonder whether William’s bungie-jumping accident had, in fact, been an accident. And Dirk’s assassination?

We weren’t sure where to have fun in D.C. We tried to look up Marion Barry, but he was unlisted.



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