Washington Horror Blog

SEMI-FICTIONAL CHRONICLE of the EVIL THAT INFECTS WASHINGTON, D.C. To read Prologue and Character Guide, please see www.washingtonhorrorblog.com, updated 12/26/2015. Follow Washington Water Woman on Twitter @HorrorDC ....

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Russia Today!

"Who is Martin Luther King, Jr.?" little Delia was asking her English governess.

"A great American who was secretly investigated by the FBI as a Communist--the same FBI who now turns a blind eye to Russia's financial and degenerate blackmail against Donald Trump."

"Oh, my!" said Buffy Cordelia's father, Charles Wu, entering the room.  "Perhaps we can pull up a documentary or something."

"Well, you don't want me to shield her from the truth, do you?"

"She's only four, Mrs. Higgety-Cheshire!"

"I will not raise a child in ignorance!"

"Why are you fighting?" asked Delia, her lips quivering.

"We're not fighting, sweetheart," said the triple agent, picking her up.  "We just need to have a talk about what our pre-kindergarten educational goals are this year."

"We need to start stocking canned goods," retorted Mrs. H-C.

Several miles away on Capitol Hill, Texas Congressman Zeke "Slick" Hicks was holding the second meeting of the secret Russia Caucus, which was already in tumult.

"I thought this was about dividing up oil drilling rights in the Arctic," said a Representative from Alaska.  "I'm not comfortable with Russia Today hacking into C-Span!"

"That was an unfortunately overexcited teenage intern," said Rep. Hicks.  "He has been dealt with."

"Dealt with?" said a Representative from Louisiana.  "You promised this would not get Putinesque!"

"That's not what I meant!" said Slick Hicks.  "Here are your new Exxon pre-paid gasoline debit cards.  They each have $3,000 on them."

"Gas is not that expensive right now," muttered the Representative from Ohio.

"Well, you can buy other things at those stations:  milk, bread, magazines, cigarettes, lottery tickets--"

"Lottery tickets!" scoffed the Representative from Alaska.  "I want some cold hard--"  He abruptly stopped himself, then said in a whisper, "How do we know the Russians aren't taping us right now?"

"This is my house," exclaimed Slick Hicks, "not some sleazy Moscow hotel full of hookers!"

Then the others started wondering how he had afforded this house, anyway.

Nearby, the Dog Whisperer was in Lincoln Park, asking his colleague Becky Hartley to take all the dog leashes.

"Sebastian, what is going on?!  I can hardly hold these three--they're all going crazy!"

Sebastian L'Arche did not answer her as he shoved additional leashes into her hands and told the dogs to calm down.  Then he trotted over to the bushes where The Gopper Ghost was wagging his tail at his old friend.  Anatoly needs to talk you, said TGG.  The Whisperer squatted down to his level and then saw the dead Samoyed harboring the ghost of the former Russian diplomat, Anatoly Malenkov.

You need to move on!, whispered L'Arche, who had never come to grips with the idea of canine ghosts--something living dogs found even more disturbing than human ghosts.

Nyet! barked Anatoly.

And you're human!  You have no right to even be in that Samoyed!

He's in doggy heaven, no problem! barked Anatoly.  I'm still in danger!  I know too much!

Danger!?  L'Arche was gripping his own head with both heads, feeling he was losing his mind.  Get out of this world!  Go to the light!

No light! barked Anatoly.  I am needed in this world, to warn everybody about Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin!

Anatoly, whispered L'Arche, the world already knows, and nobody can stop it!

Up in Cleveland Park, Charles Wu was arriving for his meeting with two British agents.  "Nobody can stop it, mate," said Nigel ("Prickly") Blackthorne before Wu had even sat down at the Comet Ping Pong table.

"Don't call me 'mate,'" said the Hong Kong-born occasional agent for the British, unzipping his coat with a frown.

"Look, we came all the way up here to this death-threat restaurant in Cleveland Park because it's convenient to you," retorted Prickly, "so piss off!"

"Calm down, the lot of you!" said the other British agent, Richard ("The Third") Mollington.  "Have a slice, Charles."

"I need to support this place--it's my daughter's favorite," said Wu.  "And if I were in any danger here, I would know."  He nodded to the server who recognized Wu and was already going back to get the order Wu had phoned in.

"You would know, hmm?" asked Prickly, sarcastically.

"Yes," said Wu, "I have the best bodyguard in D.C."  (He was referring to his supernaturally prescient employee, Angela de la Paz.)

"Well, she's not here, mate," said Prickly.

"I said not to call me--"

"Alright," said The Third.  "Why did you invite us here?  You ready to kiss and make up or not?"

"Is the Steele dossier accurate?" asked Wu.

"Do you really need to ask?" replied The Third.  "We've got a bloody Prime Minister who thinks Brussels is a bigger threat than a man who had a Russian dissident poisoned in London!"

"I have an idea," said Wu, who was working closely with Chinese hackers but was also interested in trying a more old-fashioned approach--and this is what he needed the British for.  "My surveillance of Trump International Hotel revealed a suite of Eastern European prostitutes."

"Everybody knows that," said Prickly.

"Not everybody knows that a Prince and Prowling staff attorney was also invited to, shall we say, mingle with guests there."

"What are you saying?" asked The Third.

"I'm saying she's a high-priced American call girl.  I can't directly approach her because of my other dealings with the law firm, but you could show her the surveillance on her and then request her services in spying on hotel guests."

"You want us to blackmail an attorney for being a hooker?" asked Prickly.

"I want you to persuade her to gather intelligence," said Wu, "with your charm."

"The thing about hookers is that they take their shirts off," said Prickly.  "How's she supposed to wear a wire?"

"I've already got wires and cameras in there," said Wu, "but these Russians and their cronies never get taped saying anything--they talk over music or television, or talk outside.  I need you to train her how to get them to spill their secrets in a quiet moment, close to my devices.  She's a complete newbie who's never even been out of the U.S.--there's not a single guest in that hotel that would ever recognize her from being overseas anywhere and suspect her of being a spy."

"You don't think they'd be on the lookout for FBI informants?" asked The Third.

"Maybe, but I think she's willing to go further than an undercover FBI agent would."

Prickly and The Third exchanged glances.  "We'll have to get Paul to agree," said The Third.

"Of course," nodded Wu.

"And we can't pay her," said Prickly, "not for that."

"Of course not," Wu said with a smile.  "I think she will do it just because you ask, given the circumstances.  You might even tell her that some of the other women are undoubtedly there against their will and she could help free them.  And it might even turn out she's a patriot, but, in any case, I will take care of her without your ever having to promise anything.  After all, espionage is dangerous work, and should be compensated."  He gave them a sharp look, which they rightly interpreted as his lingering anger that Delia's mother had been killed by the British in a botched spy operation.

"You're actually hopeful we can turn the tide here?" asked The Third.

"Well, we can certainly play our part," said Wu.

A disheveled man came running into the restaurant, and the two British agents jumped up ready to draw their concealed guns on another nutjob convinced there was a Clinton child pedophile ring in the non-existent basement.  "He works at the movie theater," said Wu, motioning for them to sit down.  "Probably picking up an order on his break."

Prickly and The Third sat back down, a little embarrassed.  The threat assessments for Washington now qualified it as a "moderately dangerous" posting for British nationals.  If they knew about Ardua of the Potomac, they would ask for a transfer.

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COMING UP:  Resistance!

Saturday, January 07, 2017

The Pregnant Pause

"It's a Christmas miracle!"

"It's a Christmas nightmare, you mean!"

The two Maryland animal sanctuary volunteers were showing Sebastian L'Arche where Megamoo was chewing hay in her stall.

"And how old is she?"  L'Arche thought the cow had already been geriatric the last time he saw her, to treat her bovine narcolepsy years ago.

"Too old!"

"And there's no bull here!"

"May I?"  L'Arche gestured at the enclosure.

"She hasn't let anybody near her since the vet was here.  That's why we called you."

The Animal Whisperer walked slowly towards her, and she remembered who he was.  What happened? L'Arche whispered, taking her head into his hands and looking softly into her eyes.

I can't talk about it, she said.

L'Arche squatted down next to her and put his ear against the cow's belly, quickly frowning--he did not at all like what he heard inside that womb.

Down in upper Georgetown, Golden Fawn was lying in bed, staring out at the snow and the raven looking in at her from a bare tree branch.  It was the first time she had ever been pregnant.  It was the third time she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.  Unwilling to expose her unborn child to radiation or chemotherapy, she had opted to have both breasts entirely removed.  She had never felt more like a woman, and less like a woman.  She again touched the artificial materials under her skin which plumped her chest up into a fake bosom, one that could never give milk to her unborn child.

Her grandmother walked in with barley soup.  "Why don't we move the bed further from the window?  It's so cold!"

"It's well-insulated," said Golden Fawn, thanking her for the soup and propping herself up for the tray.

"So are igloos, but you don't put your bed right next to the wall."  Golden Fawn's grandmother crawled under the blanket to lie beside her.  She had already figured out that it was Golden Fawn's mother-in-law who had given her the crazy herbs that got her pregnant and also resurrected the cancer, but had only chided the woman in private.  "How is it?"

"Delicious," said Golden Fawn, who recently had no appetite for anything unless her grandmother cooked it.  "How is Joey?"

"He took his sled out with some friends--they are hopeful."

"Hopeful," repeated Golden Fawn, like it was a word she had never heard before.

"I'm still hopeful," Dr. Khalid Mohammad was saying to his wife, as they drove away from the disappointing open house a mile west of Golden Fawn's home.  "After the initial wave of Trump people buying houses, there will also be Obama people who decide to sell, and we'll have more to choose from."  He patted Yasmin's pregnant belly, and she smiled at him.

"Sure!" she said, though she secretly wanted to move far away before the Trump Administration could arrest them in the middle of the night and lock them up in a Muslim concentration camp.  "We still have over seven months," she said, wanting to sound equally hopeful.

"Seven months!" he laughed.  "We need to be moved before then!"

To Chicago, she thought.  Maybe all the way to California.

Over at the White House, Ghost Dennis was also thinking about the ticking clock.  It's not too late, the murdered Nixon staffer was whispering into President Obama's ear.  This is what we used to call the "pregnant pause"--when people are so in shock about public affairs that you can quietly reset the agenda in your favor.  President Obama put down the report he was reading at his Oval Office Desk, got up, and walked over to the window to look out at the snow and try to clear his head.  You can set a trap for him--MANY.  President Obama had never told anybody about the voices he sometimes heard in here, but for the first time ever, he wished he could hear them more clearly.  It's not too late to save the Republic from the moles and the hacks and the haters.

"Tell me how!" President Obama exclaimed, as his deputy chief of staff walked in.

"Sir?"

President Obama wheeled around, not seeing the arrival of the raven that Golden Fawn had sent to him.

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COMING UP:  A surprising new 
secret agent investigates the Russians!

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Re-purposed

"What do you mean my chi is gone?"  Charles Wu was staring at Lynnette Wong in disbelief.  "You always said I had more chi than anybody you ever saw!"  (He had forgotten the ghost's warning that he was not using his chi for its intended purpose.)

"It's not totally gone," said the Chinatown herbalist with a complicated relationship to Wu.  "The good news is that some of it has gone to Delia."

Charles looked over at his daughter, who was laughing and chasing a wind-up mouse zooming around the floor of the shop.  "Why doesn't she have her own?!"

"She does!" said Lynnette, carefully measuring out herbs.

"Well, I need mine back!" said Charles, who quickly got a reproachful look.  "I'm not saying that to be selfish," he added quickly, but Lynnette was still scowling at him.  "Look, she's a very happy child!  But I'm under a lot of pressure right now!"

"From your Beijing overlords?"

"That's not funny!"

"Well?"

"I've done a lot to help Hong Kong, the U.K., and even the State Department!"  He had never admitted to Lynnette he was a triple agent (a quadruple agent?), and realized his lack of chi was leading to this sort of sloppiness.  "I'm not a bad guy!" he pleaded--feeling ridiculous, having never had to defend himself before like this.  "I helped with that damned demon in the river!"  Buffy Cordelia was suddenly at his feet, recognizing the bad word.  "Hi, sweetie!" he said in Mandarin, lifting her up onto the corner.  "Do you want to eat dumplings or mu shu?"

"Both!" said little Delia, who treasured these outings when she did not have to eat her English nanny's boiled food offerings.  "What damned demon?" she asked, in English, not knowing the Mandarin words.

"The one your father needs to be focused on right now, instead of all the politics," interjected Lynnette.

"You can't be serious!" exclaimed Charles.

"You can't be serious!" exclaimed lifestyle guru Giuliana Sunstream, a mile away in her NoMa loft.  She had just finished counting the money she made at her $100/head New Year's Eve party, and it would not even cover the costs of the party:  the ice sculptures of "Rogue One" characters, the caviar pastries, the pomegranate-flavored champagne, the chocolate gingerbread Capitol she had commissioned.  Thank goodness I made most of the decorations from re-purposed Hillary buttons, shed dog hair, and items obtained at Obama staffer yard sales!  She ate another marijuana brownie, amazed at the party's low turnout--and at how many people had declined the brownies and asked if she was serving Trump wine.  "It tastes like rancid grape jelly!" she exclaimed to her toy Maltese, but Vegas continued chewing on her Bernie doll.  "I have spent years building up my hip brand here!" she continued, as Vegas at least made a little bit of eye contact with Giuliana to encourage her.  "Am I supposed to switch now to garish, gaudy, gold-plated, Queens nouveau riche decor?  Lifestyles of the rich and tacky?  Overpriced swill?  The man doesn't even drink vodka, which would be the only possible advantage I could work with!  Are people going to expect deep-fried Twinkies now, gold-lamé halter tops, or bedazzled gun holsters?  I don't know how to work with this Administration!"  She realized there might only be a couple hours of sunlight left in the day, put the brownies in the freezer, and got out the dog leash she had made from braided Christmas tree garlands to take a walk though her rapidly changing world.

A few miles to the west, the Thai masseuse was trying to get Paul Ryan's kinks out.

"I'm not Scrooge!  But school lunches are wrong, and so is Obamacare!  Aargh!"

She was digging her right heel into his left buttock.  "Bamacare," she parroted.

"And why do people expect me to be my brother's keeper, anyway?  People need to take care of themselves.  Gaa!"

She was now digging her left heel into his right buttock.  "Brother," she parroted.

"And so what if Senator McCain, Broadway showgirls, and Mormon choir singers are all thumbing their noses at Trump?  I have a Constitutional duty to work with an elected President.  Oof!"

She was pummeling the backs of his thighs now.  "Duty," she parroted.

"Yeah, it would be nice if he had invited me to Mar a Lago for a nice family vacation in Florida, instead of inviting only people who could pay $500/ticket.  It's no wonder the guy has no friends!  We're not friends.  But we're on the same team!  Man alive!"

She now had her right foot planted between his shoulder blades and was pulling both his arms backwards.  "Team," she parroted.

"We're making America great again. Sweet mother!"

She was kneeling on Ryan's buttocks and pressing her thumbs into his adrenal glands.  "Mother," she parroted.

"And we can handle Russia!  There's no way they can take advantage of us," Ryan said softly, relieved she was now rolling him onto his back.

"Unless Putin have blackmail on GOP," she said, staring at him blankly while she raised both his legs and the color drained from his face.

"Oh, Putin definitely has blackmail against everybody!" shouted Glenn Michael Beckmann at his television, down in his Southwest Plaza apartment.  "Wake up, people!"  The militia man had been blogging about this for days, and was distressed that most of his followers seemed more interested in college football and hunting wild turkeys right now.  "He's at the top of my list!" Beckmann shouted, referring to his suspects list for the murder of Darja.  He was hopped up on psychotropic medication, hot whiskey toddies, and whatever the dealer had sold to him in the stairwell last night.  "I'll get you in the end!" he shouted, then ran out on his balcony to breathe some fresh air as the real estate demon listening from the building basement started laughing at him.

"Glenn?"  It was the former Mrs. Brittani Mundy, recently liberated from a basement cage and looking up at him from the parking lot.  She had on an overstuffed backpack, and was carrying two trash bags in her hands.  "Happy New Year!" she cried, trying to put on a brave smile.

"What are you doing here?"  She looked around her, and Beckmann realized she wanted to talk in private.  "Hold on."

Five minutes later, she was sitting at his table, trying to ignore his bloodshot eyes and unpleasant smell.  "Daddy's gone crazy.  It's that Rolex!"  Beckmann had a vague recollection of that day they had rescued her and something about the Rolex her father had swiped from the son-in-law he was beating up, so Beckmann nodded at her to continue.  "I ain't never going back to my stepdad's place!" she said defiantly.  "And my friends are just babies, still living at home, can't help me," she said more softly.  "I been bouncing around.  I turned fifteen last week, and nobody even remembered."

"Damn!" said Beckmann, who had murdered a few people along the way, but considered himself too much of a gentleman to have sex with a girl under age.

"Can I crash here for awhile?  I can clean for you, and I know how to cook a few things."

At this, Beckmann brightened considerably.  "Sure!  But you should know, I'm a very busy man with a busy business and all kinds of things to take care of and do.  I can't keep you entertained!"

She looked at his pizza sauce-stained sweatshirt, torn camouflage pants, uncombed hair, and three-day stubble.  "Sure thing!" she said, telling herself nothing could ever be as crazy as those golf course people, the lizard baby, and the creepy way men acted with that Rolex on.

Out on the 14th Street Bridge, Nazi criminal fugitive Barbara Hellmeister (mother of the accidentally killed "lizard baby") was adding more squirrel skin insulation to her new home in the bridgeman's quarters, where she had finally found a renewed personal energy...fifty feet above Ardua of the Potomac.

*********************************************
COMING UP:  The pregnant pause!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Troubled Holiday Parties of Washington

Chloe Cleavage, a derelict staff attorney at Prince and Prowling, had accidentally become a high-priced call girl months ago, but she knew she had really hit the big time when she was offered $25,000 to attend a holiday party being held at Trump International Hotel.  Selling all her ovaries years back had been a much simpler way to get the money for a condo, but she had found that, with alcohol, she could cope with even the ugliest and kinkiest of all her clients, and salt away a lot of money for the around-the-world trip she was vaguely planning in her mind.  But she did find herself a little unnerved by the large number of Russian "businessmen" in the rented suite, and the very young women who were trying to talk to her in some Slavic language.

"I just speak English," she said.

"Americanski?!"  The women were amazed.  (They had thought her blond hair meant she was Polish or Ukrainian.)

"Yes," said Chloe, starting to feel uncomfortable.

"He nice?" one asked.

"Who?" replied Chloe.

"You man?"

"What man?" asked Chloe, but then she noticed one of the girls (could she be more than 16?) turn towards the light, and it was obvious there was a large bruise on her face under the makeup.  "Oh, my God!" exclaimed Chloe.

Then a burly fellow covered in facial hair approached the young women with a scowl on his face, and they quickly dispersed.  He smiled at Chloe.  "You the American girl, ya?"

"Sputnik," she said, shaking her head and backing away.

A few miles to the east, the Bicameral Anti-Zombie Caucus was enjoying a subdued holiday party.  They had all survived reelection, and even knocked off their highest-profile zombie target of all--Paul Ryan's zombie chief of staff.  Nonetheless, there was a lot of anxiety about what was in store with a Trump Administration.

"If he won't even listen to intelligence briefings on global and cyber security threats, he's certainly not going to notice a zombie threat!" said their leader, Congressman Herrmark.

"I think we might have to put our work against the Zombie Caucus on hold until we eliminate the Russian threat," said Senator Rand Paul.

"Oh, no!" said one of Congressman Jacques Javert's staffers.  "It could take a long time to eliminate the Russian threat!  We cannot let the Zombie Caucus grow!"

"Well, I agree with that," said a woman from the Holier Than Thou Caucus.  "And we have to give President Trump the benefit of the doubt, since he's a Christian."

"A Christian?!" several caucus members exclaimed in unison before bursting into the first real laughter of the party.

"Hating Muslims does not make you a Christian," said Herrmark's Chief of Staff, Ann Bishis (who secretly prayed to Hera and Glaucos, and had only introduced her boss to the Holier Than Thou Caucus in a desperate bid to expand his anti-fracking coalition).

"Are there any zombies in the Electoral College?" a Midwestern Congresswoman suddenly asked, which sent the party back into a funk of anxiety.

Meanwhile, Clio, the White House butler, was putting finishing touches on the holiday decorations for the upcoming staff holiday party.  The gardener, Bridge, had promised her that Donald Trump would never set foot in here, and she had been trying to read up on the news about the revolt in the Electoral College, but she had no real hope.  Half a dozen staff had already quit because they were so afraid of an epidemic of groping and racial discrimination coming.  Sometimes she thought about quitting too--finally saying goodbye to this place where she still saw the ghosts of her dead twins, Reggie and Fergie.  The truth was that she didn't know where to go:  she had been living here and doing this a long, long time now.  She sat down for a moment to rest.  The HIV medication kept things somewhat under control, but covering for the understaffing had made her extra tired.  Life seemed like an endless struggle to hold the darkness at bay.

Bridge stopped by to check on her.  "That wind is pickin' up now.  It was nice to be outside for awhile there."  She nodded, and he silently picked up where he could see she had left off.  "Don't push yourself so hard."

"I want it to be a nice party," she said.  "Next year most of us might not even be here."

"Or we'll be offered a straight-up Christmas party, take it or leave it, no room for Jews or Muslims or anybody else."

"We could try to get a job at Camp David," Clio said.

"No staff openings there," said Bridge.

"Maybe we have seniority?"

"We have seniority here," he said.  "We need to stay and keep this House for the American people."

"I know," she said, but she was so tired.

The ghosts of her twin preschoolers hovered out of her sight because Bridge had told them that Clio go too upset when she saw Regina and Ferguson.

"But maybe we should tell her what we have planned for Trump?" asked Fergie, with a naughty wink.

"No!" said Reggie, smiling.  "It will be a surprise!"

A couples miles to the west, triple agent Charles Wu was hosting his own holiday party in a conference room of the Mandarin Oriental--where he was assuring many guests that China was not as thin-skinned as Trump, and valued trade relations with the United States very much.  What he was not telling them was that China had more and better hackers than Russia could ever dream of, and if Trump didn't understand the consequences of his actions, he would eventually be paying in spades.  "Trump simply needs to be better educated about China," was what Wu kept repeating, and he had said as much to his State Department contacts repeatedly.  Nonetheless, the political volatility of the United States had shaken the self-confidence and astronomical chi which had granted Wu so much success in the past.  And his best agent, Angela de la Paz, remained out of commission.

In the corner, sitting in a chair with her eyes closed, Angela was back in the Dreamtime again.  Her boyfriend (who had attended the most depressing holiday office party of his life at the FBI only a couple days earlier) nodded to Wu, who was looking over at them again.  Dulles Samuelson thought Angela kept returning to the Dreamtime to hide from the real world, but visiting the spirits of the ones she loved was slowly rebuilding her spiritual strength.

"This too shall pass," said her mother again.

"True patriots always win in the end," said the father of her child.

"Only love can conquer hate," said abuela.

Then she found her son--the only one she could visit in both the physical world and the Dreamtime.  "I love you!" Lucas said.  And Angela knew hope remained.

***********************************************
HAPPY HOLIDAYS from Washington Water Woman!
Faith, hope and love:  the greatest of these is love.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Poisoning the Umbilical Cord

The CIA and Ghost CIA had never agreed on much, but they were now united in (1) their outrage that Donald Trump was obviously planning to run the country as a vassal of Russia and (2) their disdain for the FBI's absolute refusal to atone for their malfeasance in letting things get to this point.

Forget the damned laws! Ghost Henry was shouting at the CIA Director.  It's time to interfere in domestic affairs!

The CIA Director poked at his ear to try to get the weird humming noise to stop, but to no avail.

Gaaa!  The former CIA agent had been fairly intelligent about certain things, but he still had a lot of trouble communicating with the living.  This is a waste of time!  Ghost Henry was furious at himself for thinking Trump would be easily manipulated by intelligence officers, as it was now looking increasingly likely that Putin was holding serious blackmail against Trump.  Frantic, he flitted off to consult again with the spooks of the Ghost CIA on ways they could stop this Molotov cocktail from blowing up the White House.

"I'm not going to let this Molotov cocktail blow up the White House!"  CIA Director John Brennan suddenly blurted out after the ringing stopped.  He was in the middle of another emergency briefing with his deputies about the intelligence deep dive going on concerning Russian interference in the Election.  "God damn them all to Hell!"

"Yes, sir," said a deputy.  "Why don't you go home and get some rest, and tomorrow morning we'll--"

"There might not be a tomorrow morning at this rate!  If we can't stop Vladimir Putin, where does that leave us?!  China will be the only superpower left standing!  And I've got Deplorables on Twitter saying I'm the one running ISIS!"

"Well, on the bright side, nobody's really a Communist anymore."

"That's not the point!"

"Yes, sir!"

"And everybody's under suspicion!"

"Sir?"

"The next Russian mole I find in this agency or in the FBI is going to be personally eviscerated by me!"

"Well, he wants Tillerson functioning as a public mole at the State Department, sir.  We're in uncharted waters."

"To Hell we are!" fumed Brennan.

"These are not uncharted waters," said the Jesuit priest a mile away.  "The Founding Fathers warned us about emoluments and foreign intrigue and--"

"You're asking me to kidnap members of the Electoral College so that you can deprogram them from voting for Donald Trump!?" exclaimed Solomon Kane.

"'Kidnap' is such a strong word," said the Rabbi, while other members of the Seekers nodded.  "We just need to get their attention."

"You only had about a 50-50 success rate with the voter exorcisms," said Kane.  "What makes you think this is the way to go?  Aren't other people trying social media and legal tactics to persuade the Electors to exercise their discretion?"

"Trumpism is primarily a spiritual affliction," said the Buddhist.  "We need to free their minds and spirits to be receptive to what the energies of the universe are channeling."

"What my esteemed colleague is trying to say," said the Muslim cleric, "is that logic and logical tactics are no match for this kind of evil."

"An evil so insidious that millions of people still view it in sheep's clothing!" added the Methodist minister.

Solomon Kane suddenly had a strange nostalgia for being John Boehner's bodyguard...and wished somebody would just hire him for an old-fashioned hit.

(If Ghost Henry could do something that simple, he would.)

A mile north in upper Georgetown, Golden Fawn and Marcos Vazquez were hosting a potluck dinner for a partially reassembled Coalition.  It was the Warrior who had first alerted them that Ardua of the Potomac had returned stronger than ever and that Angela de la Paz was so demoralized by the demonic resurgence that she was currently out of commission.

"How can we defeat Ardua without Angela?" asked Sebastian L'Arche.  "I can't begin to tell you how ugly it's gotten in the animal world."

"Maybe there's another way to go about this," said Charles Wu.  "A lot of lawyers and political organizers and journalists are working hard to make sure Trump never takes office."  (He didn't mention hackers--like his own Tarantula--who were boosting intelligence to expose the Russian interference and all of Trump's other dirt.)

"Is that what you think this is about?" asked Lynnette Wong.  "A lot of evil is needed to raise up somebody like Trump, and just look at the disgusting people he's picking for the Cabinet!  We have to fight evil influencing all these people!  Politics is just a side effect."

"But that demon fed off the Nazi energy out there," said the Cheyenne known to most as "the Warrior".  He had seen a lot of politics come and go in his 400-plus years of life, but he had never seen anything as evil as Nazism.

"We have to deal with everything," said Marcos Vazquez, a Coast Guard office who spent more time near Ardua than anybody.  "I don't think there's a silver bullet."

"But we have to prioritize," said Golden Fawn.  "The assault on Mother Earth that is coming from this Administration will be like poisoning her umbilical cord to all of us."

"Earth can survive," said L'Arche.  "The assault on civil rights is already getting people attacked and killed."

"Surely the priority is to prevent Trump from taking office?" asked Wu.

"He did win the Election," said Wong, afraid of any action that was undemocratic.

"You can't defend him just because your parents were Taiwanese!" exclaimed Wu.

"I'm not defending him, but you can't subvert democracy just because you're Chinese!" she retorted.

"I'm from Hong Kong!" said Wu, testily.  "My attorney explained about the Electoral College, and we need to do everything possible for him not to get elected at all."

It was then that Golden Fawn fainted dead away.  Later they would conclude it was because she was pregnant; even later than that, she would learn of the recurrent breast cancer caused by the crazy herbs her mother-in-law had hidden in her food to get her pregnant.  But for now, the Coalition members were all chastened that they had argued like this in her home, and promised her and her husband Marcos that they would, in fact, try to deal with everything.

Outside the dining room window, a flock of starlings took wing to report in to Ardua.

***********************************************
COMING UP:   The most frightful 
holiday parties in the country!

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Shiny

And just like that, triple agent Charles Wu was golden again at the State Department!  Desperate to smooth the Chinese feathers ruffled by Donald Trump's phone call with Taiwan, the Assistant Deputy Administrator for Hope (the ADAfH) had pleaded with Wu to explain to Beijing that Trump was a moron but the U.S. would not be jettisoning decades of Chinese policy so that Trump could build a Taiwanese golf course.  Beijing was still warning Wu it would recall its loans keeping the U.S. Treasury afloat if the proper diplomatic gestures were not made, but Wu had assured him that his sources were indicating Trump would be reined in from serious foreign policy shenanigans.

What Wu could not determine--despite the fleet of computer bugs the Geek Squad "Chimera" had deployed for him all over Washington--was whether the GOP Congress was already preparing maneuvers to oust Trump and install Mike Pence.  Various campaigns were underway concerning the Electoral College, and more than a few Electors had resigned or hired bodyguards, but that game could still not be called.  The rumors of quick impeachment hearings also could not be confirmed.  The problem was, despite an almost universal loathing of Trump in DC, there was no consensus on what could or should be done about it.  Even Condoleezza Rice and the Heurich Society were playing a long game rather than attacking Trump directly.  Wu was now neglecting everything else to determine what was coming next, and had every spy he could muster deployed.

This included Angela de la Paz--who, though aware from the Dreamtime visit that Trump had no soul, still did not feel inclined to kill him.  "Charles, the world's had a lot of greedy leaders, and even had a lot of evil leaders.  I cannot intervene willy-nilly.  I need to use my gift as it was intended."

"People are committing hate crimes in his name!" Charles Wu replied.

"Is that's what's really bothering you?"

"He mouths off against nuclear-powered China because of a red carpet fetish!"

"You have sold nuclear secrets yourself!"

"I have never sold nuclear secrets!"

Angela looked up from her Lauriol Plaza enchilada in surprise.  "But you always said--"

"I always said what served me best!  But now...."  He paused to drain his beer glass.

"Now you worry about your daughter's future," Angela said.  Her employer looked at her without answering.  "I'm worried, too," she said.  "But I'm not sure I'm the one to fix it.  I'm waiting for a vision."

Also waiting for a vision was Glenn Michael Beckmann.  The Hunter-Gatherer Society was in complete disarray--in a mass of confusion about whether to support or oppose Donald Trump.  Their secret president, Sarah Palin, had endorsed him months ago, but then just attacked his Indiana HVAC deal as sinful crony capitalism!  Bill O'Reilly was for Trump, then against Trump, then for Trump, then against Trump.  The babes at Fox were sending confusing signals.  The CB trucker chatter had never been more profanity-laced, and it was all about Hamilton's compromise for the Electoral College!  What did that mean?

Then a sign finally appeared:  a distraught father emailed the Beckmann's Bad Asses security firm for assistance in retrieving his daughter.  "She ran away because of her stepdad, that piece of shit!  And I think I finally traced her!"

Two hours later, Beckmann was armed to the hilt, eager to shoot up a bunch of hippies in the rowhouse they were approaching.  (He had already jumped to the conclusion that Brittani had joined a cult.)  "Stay behind me!" whispered Beckmann.

"Like Hell I will!" declared Brittani's father, Randy "Bubba" Blaylock.  "I only hired you for back-up!"  Bubba kicked in the back door without knocking, and stormed in with his shotgun aimed in front of him.  Beckmann cursed the loss of the element of surprise but followed his client in.

They landed in the kitchen, where a pot of chili was cooling off on the stove and dirty dishes were soaking in the sink.  "Slow down!" whispered Beckmann, who was surprised not to be hearing some type of Sunday night fruity guitar sing-a-long from the living room.

"Clear!" shouted Bubba, who always saw soldiers saying that in the movies.  "Clear!" he shouted again from the living room.

"Doesn't look like a cult lives here," said Beckmann.  Then they heard it:  sounds coming from the basement.  "Wait!" hissed Beckmann, but Bubba had already shoved Beckmann aside to run through the door leading down to the basement.  Beckmann heard shouts and raced down the stairs.

"You son of a bitch!" Bubba was screaming at Kevin "Monkey" Mundy, who had dropped to his knees with his hands in the air.  "I'm gonna kill you!"

"Daddy, no!"

Bubba turned to look at his daughter, locked up like an animal in a cage, then turned back to knock out Monkey with the butt of his gun.  He ran over to the cage, where Beckmann was already pounding at the lock with his genuine imitation Thor hammer.

"There's a key!" exclaimed Brittani, pointing her father to the hook.  And then she was free.

"What happened?" asked Beckmann, a little disappointed no mouth-to-mouth resuscitation had been required.

After Brittani told them some of the story (she didn't want them to think she sounded crazy!), her father marched over to the now awake and moaning Monkey and started bashing his head against the floor repeatedly.

"Daddy, no!  Let's just go!"

"Just go?  Not until we take everything this bastard has, starting with this!"

"Daddy, no!  It's evil!"

But it was too late:  Bubba had pulled the shiny, gold, cursed Rolex off Monkey's wrist and put it on his own.  "Look who's a fine gentleman now, sweet pea!"

Out on the river, Marcos Vazquez trained his Coast Guard cutter floodlight on the mysterious oily sheen that had arrived in Washington and which had already been sampled by EPA scientists.  But this is only the surface, he thought, knowing Ardua of the Potomac lurked below him.  The demon is back.

********************************************
COMING UP:  
An anxious Coalition reunites without Angela.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Home Front

Dulles Samuelson walked back onto his houseboat, Singapore Surprise, with another bouquet of roses, another box of chocolates, and another bag of Columbia Heights pupusas.  He had hoped for a long time for Angela de la Paz to move in with him, but finding her in his bed days ago--sobbing uncontrollably about unstoppable evil forces--had not been quite the way he had wanted it to go.  He left everything in the kitchen and went to find her in the bedroom.

"Did you like it?" he asked.  "Nobody can be in a bad mood while watching 'Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure!'"

"Yeah," she said flatly.  "Be excellent to each other."

He crawled under the quilt and told her dinner was hot and ready.

"You're the best," she said flatly.  "I mean it," she added, knowing she was still not smiling at him.

"That's not all I am!" he said, with a kiss.  "Just got a call saying I've officially passed Quantico!  I have three more days off, then I report to FBI headquarters to meet my new boss on December 1st!"

"Wow!" she said, and actually started to smile.

"Heading into the belly of the beast!"

Angela almost laughed.  "If you're ever in trouble, I'll get a vision."

"I know," he said, "but I intend to take care of myself!  You still have bigger things to worry about."  He saw her frown.  "Not worry!  I mean--"

"I don't have any visions about anything else," she sighed.  "I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing."

"Let's take the boat to warmer waters for a couple of days.  Then you should go back to work," he said.  "Whatever Charles asks you to do, your moral compass will tell you to do the opposite!"  He winked, getting one more tiny smile out of her.

Meanwhile, Charles Wu was meeting with Bridezilla at her Prince and Prowling office to discuss the next moves for his SuperPAC.

"It's not over yet!" she said, placing the Christmas tree in the miniature Disney castle her boyfriend ("Esperantu Edward") had given her as a Thanksgiving gift.

"So they don't mind you having something like that here?" asked Charles.

"Why would they?" asked Bridezilla, who had stopped caring what people thought after getting reinstated as a junior partner.  "Now, if I had the guinea pig house here, that wouldn't be allowed."  She hung a miniature wreath on the tiny door, took some photos of the result, then sat down at her desk.

Edward had assured Charles that he had given up spying and was going straight for Bridezilla's sake, but Charles still had misgivings that this relationship had blossomed at all.  It was going to be bad when it blew up, and Charles would take the blame for introducing them--even though it had only been for the miniatures!  "So why do you think it's not over yet?" he asked, still unable to explain to his handlers in Hong Kong OR Beijing (a) why Donald Trump got elected or (b) what to expect from the maniac.

"Look, Charles," she said, "I'm not expecting you to keep paying me after your SuperPAC failed, but that man is a nutjob!  Even some of the bigots I grew up with in Virginia did not vote for that greedy pig-on-a-stick!  I know how Pentagon people think, I know how CIA people think, I know how FBI people think, I even know how some of the Supreme Court Justices think, and I'm telling you:  he is going to have a lot of trouble dictating anything!  The conservative establishment--"

"The military-industrial complex?"

"Call it what you will," she said with a sweet smile, "but they are not going to let this country become a stooge of the KGB!  Or stand by while he lines his own pockets at their expense."

"Seems like the old-guard GOP is kissing his ass to get appointments," Charles said.

"That's right, and they are soon going to outnumber him by a long shot!"

"Congress is kissing his ass, too!"

"The Republican Congress has enough rope to hang itself with now," she said.  "All of the Senators and Reps have to think hard about their own reelection.  Do you realize that Texas only voted for Trump by a 10% margin?  That is minuscule for the GOP in Texas, Charles!  Now he's going to build the wall or not build the wall, and these Senators and Reps will have to be for or against one of those results!  There will be no fence-straddling on Donald Trump!"

"Maybe I'll move to England for awhile," Charles said.  "I can't--"  He realized he almost said "spy on a government I don't understand", but caught himself.

"Prince and Prowling has always prided itself on succeeding no matter who's in power in Washington, Charles, and I know your business interests will, as well."

Charles Wu had bribed and paid and hired all sorts of people over the years to get the information he needed and resell it lucratively, but something about bribing Donald Trump or his Administration was more than he could stomach, no matter how much it would help his own finances.  Angela said Trump has no soul?  Why won't she just kill him?

 Up in Dupont Circle, Condoleezza Rice was staring out of the giant video screen in the upper floor meeting room of the Brewmaster's Castle.  "This meeting isn't adjourned yet!" she said.

"We've been at it for five hours!" groaned the investment banker.

"Five hours?" she mocked him.  "It took me seven hours just to explain to W the difference between Sunnis and Shiites!"

"We don't really need to know that, do we?" asked the Midwestern Congressman.

"My new secret agent was delayed, but he's joining you now.  He will be our point person at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the one security agency too bureaucratic for Trump to dismantle."

At that moment, a handsome young man with an uncanny resemblance to Donald Trump, Jr., entered the room in a wheelchair.  "Good evening.  Sorry I'm late.  This building needs a handicapped parking spot!"  He quickly saluted the Heurich Society Chairwoman on the video screen, then started rolling around to shake hands with everybody in the room.  "My name is Captain Tyler Glockmann.  I just finished my second tour in Iraq.  Before that I did a tour in Afghanistan."  All of this was a lie, but it did not feel like a lie.  It was his twin brother who had served bravely overseas while this man, Thomas, stayed at home with the useless legs he had possessed since the skiing accident over ten years ago.  "The terrorists couldn't get me, but a drunk driver did!" he said.  This also did not feel like a lie, since a huge part of him had felt dead since Tyler was killed in the car crash while on leave--something very few people knew, one of them being Condoleezza Rice.  "Now I'm ready to serve my country on the most important battlefield in the world:  the home front against Trump."

The men of the Heurich Society looked at the crew-cut soldier who might have been on a Nazi recruitment poster if not for the wheelchair and realized Rice had stumbled upon the perfect mole.  "Welcome to the Heurich Society!" said the international arms merchant, who was echoed enthusiastically around the room.

Over in Foggy Bottom, Dr. Khalid Mohammad returned from his hospital shift to find "Muslims go home!" spray-painted on his apartment door again.  He pulled out the can of spray paint he carried in his bag for just this purpose:  spraying over it before his wife might venture out of the apartment and see it.  I guess it's time to buy a house, he thought, though in what neighborhood he could not say.

****************************************************
COMING UP:   The cursed Rolex is stolen!