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, 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 me 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.

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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!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

A Demon Restored

Rudy Giuliani was having none of it.  "I was a prosecutor!  I know what a crime scene looks like!  This was obviously staged to embarrass the President!"

"You mean Trump?" asked the sheriff, with his hand on his holstered gun.  (God damned New Yorker!)

"President Trump!" snarled Giuliani.

"Not yet," said the sheriff.  "Is this gonna be your job?  Invading Trump properties to trample crime scenes and harass local law enforcement officers?"

"How dare you speak to me like that?!  The FBI will hear of this!"

"Well, I hope the FBI figures out who leaked my Virginia crime scene investigation to a private citizen who holds no office in our Commonwealth!"

"This murder could have taken place anywhere!  The body was obviously dragged here--"

"Bodies," interrupted the sheriff, who could now eliminate at least a few of his officers from suspicion--since only those few knew about the second body.

"Bodies?!"

The sheriff unholstered his gun and pretended to examine it.  "Now it's time for you to leave, or I'm gonna arrest you--"

"You can't evict me from the Trump National Golf Club!"

"Boys?"

With that, Giuliani retreated hastily, pulling out his phone to call the Donald.

The sheriff sneered and turned around to head back to the area the second body had been found--if you could call it that, he thought.  The forensic pathologist on the scene was certain it was human, but her preliminary thoughts were that the baby had been a victim of some type of genetic experimentation, coupled with some operations.  Clearly some type of appendage (she hesitated to say "tail") had been removed, and the body's covering was a mixture of skin, scales, and scars.  The green tinge might be evidence of a serious chemical imbalance, possibly from poison.  A host of tests would have to be run to determine cause of death.  The sheriff had seen a lot of sickening sights over the years, but this tiny, swastika-tattooed cadaver (recently washed up from the golf course pond) was going to haunt him for a long, long time.  And when this wasn't haunting him, he would be thinking about the Caucasian man whose dismembered parts had been placed in a swastika on the 6th green.

"They'll never know," sighed one of the Shackled, floating nearby.

"They're better off not knowing," said the other ghost.

"But that woman--"

"She'll come to justice eventually."

"Eventually?  How many times do we have to tell ourselves that?"

Somebody who might have been witnesses, but missed it all, were Kevin ("Monkey") Mundy and his teenage bride, Brittani.  Kevin would have told the police that Barbara Hellmeister had simply been attempting experiments to correct her baby's birth defects.  Brittani would have told the police it was not human anyway, and had no soul.  And the murder of the baby's father, Ernest Ironman (Adolf Eichmann's grandson)?  Well, that followed months of bickering about Donald Trump, and the eruption of Ernest's fury when he realized Barbara had accidentally killed the baby.  Some people call another a "Nazi" when disgusted with him or her, but in their case, it had been a knock-down fight about who was not a Nazi.  And Barbara had won that fight.

"You can't keep me locked up here forever!" hissed Brittani, as Kevin tossed an apple and a protein bar into her cage.

"Well, I'm not letting you divorce me!" he snarled, angry that he had been forced to put so much time into setting up this basement prison that he was neglecting his prospecting for gold and diamonds.

"You're a monster, and your friends are, too!"

"White trash like you should not be mocking West Virginia DNA problems!"

"My daddy's gonna kill you!"

"Your daddy's too busy crowing about the KKK-endorsed President-Elect, and harassing people of color down state!"

"I'll kill you myself!"

Kevin scratched under his cursed Rolex and went back upstairs to try to think in peace.

Over on the Arlington shore of the Potomac, Angela de la Paz shivered in the frigid wind.  "I messed up everything."

"No, not you," said the Warrior, putting his centuries' old arm around her.

"I let it happen," said Angela. 

"We all let it happen.  Or none of us let it happen.  Bad things happen."

"Bad things?  I should have stopped all of that!  And now Ardua is back in the river, full of the evil energy she sucked up out there!  I thought the Trump evil would collapse, and she would collapse with it!  That demon is back in the river, and the body count is just beginning!"

"Do you see those ducks?" the Warrior asked without expecting a reply.  "Most of them come for a brief time, eat what they can, barely make ripples in the water.  You were called to do much, much more."

"And failed!"

"Only the arrogant believe themselves incapable of failures.  You have given life and hope to many, and will continue to do so.  This city of men," he said, pointing across the cold water to Washington, "needs you more than ever.  But you are not alone."

Deep in the chilly water, Ardua of the Potomac laughed at the puny humans and trembled with pleasure thinking about the arrival of the one they called "Steve Bannon"--the Kingmaker, the Great Snake, the New Cheney, Darth Vader, Satan's Knight!  And unlike many of the unwitting Washingtonians, this one wanted to be all those things!
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COMING UP:   
Condoleezza Rice places a long bet!

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Get out the vote!

The Freaks who lived in the Anacostia River Tunnel Project had legally registered to vote in August, but were getting a hard time at their Southeast early voting polling station.

"Your name is Captain Von Trapp?" asked the poll worker, dubiously.

"The Fifth!" replied the smelly man with a foot-long beard.  "Captain Von Trapp the Fifth!"

"You can't challenge him just because his name is weird," whispered the poll worker beside her.

"It sounds fraudulent!" she whispered back.

"It's on the roll!" the other poll worker retorted.  "You have to let him vote!"  She turned to the next in line.  "Name?"

"Fearless Leader, Junior."  The other poll worker kicked her under the table.

Meanwhile, Dulles Samuelson was taking a break from FBI training at Quantico to go to early voting with Angela de la Paz in Washington.

"The FBI is messed up," said Angela.

"I've heard every piece of gossip under the sun:  Comey working with Hillary, Comey working with Rudy Giuliani, FBI leaking to Wikileaks, FBI in cyber war with CIA, FBI investigating Loretta Lynch."

"Are you sure you want to work for the FBI?"

"I'm sure it will go back to normal after the Election."

"How do you know what's normal?  They used to wiretap Martin Luther King and John Lennon!  That place is messed up."

"Every place is messed up.  I'll do what I can."

The ghost of Dulles Samuelson's father, Henry Samuelson, clutched his forever-CIA head in his spectral hands and tried to scream out loud.

Over at the secret CIA facility under the "Washington Times" headquarters, psychiatrist Ermann Esse was debriefing his handlers on Operation Barbie Doll.  "I was able to design a couple of campaign outfits for KellyAnne, but that was as high as I got as a fashion designer with the Trump women."

"Do the outfits make her look really bad?"

"She doesn't need clothes to make her look really bad!"

Dr. Esse sipped water nervously as his handlers descended into a major argument.

"I told you this was a stupid idea!"

"We tried every other idea!"

"Maybe we should let the voters decide!?  This CIA-FBI war is not good for the country!"

"You're not good for the country!  And we're not conceding the Election to Comey and Giuliani, of all people!"

"It could be worse.  Trump could be easy to control once we get rid of the Russian agents in his--"

"Oh, that's your plan now?!"

Dr. Esse was exhausted from forced labor for the CIA.  He quietly walked out of the room and headed to the cafeteria.

A few miles away, some Heurich Society members were also feeling uncharacteristically ineffective.  It had only been a week since Condoleezza Rice was elected Chair of the Heurich Society (to replace deposed Dick Cheney), but members were already aggravated.  For one thing, they thought since she could only hold meetings over the speaker phone, they could run circles around her; however, she had set up teleconference capacity in the upper-floor meeting room of the Brewmaster's Castle, and could now stare ominously at them from a giant video screen.  For another thing, she had dismantled the political operations sub-committee for allowing Russian agent Donald Trump to get nominated.

But what really ticked them off was she had allowed the Chicago Cubs to win the World Series!  (The Heurich Society had been scheming against the Chicago Cubs since the dawn of the Cold War!  A woman running national security was one thing, but women meddling in baseball curses?)  And so, instead of consolidating their financial assets and shoring up their military-industrial complex to retain ultimate Washington power no matter what, several of them were meeting secretly at The Palm to discuss how to oust Condoleezza Rice from power.

"Are there any nude photos of her?"

"Lesbian love affairs?"

"Any love affairs!"

"Hot mic comments?"

"What if we just vote her out?"

The other men looked at the Midwestern Congressman in disbelief.  After an awkward silence, the international arms merchant spoke:  "Even Dick Cheney fears the Bloodsucker.  Only a stake through the heart or total decapitation would work."  The Congressman burst out laughing, but nobody else did.

Meanwhile, social worker Hue Nguyen and some visiting family members were escorting residents of the Arlington group home for the mentally challenged to early voting in Virginia.  The big brown helping dog, Millie, was trotting to and fro, letting the nervous residents take turns petting her.  Some feared the Russians were stealing the Election; some feared Mexican aliens were stealing the Election; some feared outer space aliens were stealing the Election; and many feared that voting was a trick to get them locked up in a secret facility.  Psychologist Leo Schwartz had argued at length with Nguyen about the appropriateness of registering them to vote, but in the end, he was hard-pressed to deny that their semi-delusional grasp of the facts was actually worse than the flood of lies and dirty tricks shaping the mindset of many of the country's voters.

"Where are the ice cream trucks?"

"I thought there would be more aliens."

"Those are aliens."

"Those are Trumpists."

"Is that a gun?"

The social worker looked in alarm at a middle-aged man leering at them and showing the gun in his holster.  "Those folks actually registered to vote in this county?"

"Yes!" said Buckner's brother, who was 6'4" and built like a linebacker.

Melinda whispered to Millie a Spanish plea to go attack the man, and Millie ran over, jumped up on the man, and started licking his face.

"Gaa!  Get him off me!"

"It's a girl!" cried Theresa.

"Get your psycho dog off me!"

Other people in line were now laughing as the social worker retrieved Millie.

"The dog is a cog in the machine against mean!" chanted Freddy Ritchings (AKA Brother Divine of the International Peace Movement).

"I know you!" cried a woman nearby.  "You're the host of the Church of Twitter!"

"A Tweet can be sweet when the heart takes the start!  Hatred in Twitter is like a World Series no-hitter!" Freddy continued.  ("Go Cubs!")  "Vote like a goat, and no ovation for the nation!  A ballot of love gives sinners a shove!"

"Hillary's the Antichrist!" someone shouted.

"Trump is a pig!"

Soon there were fistfights, and the man with the gun shot it into the air.  Several residents of the Arlington group home took off running, with Millie and various family members in close pursuit.

Floating above the polling station, some members of The Shackled shed ghostly tears, but one said, "Fear not, my friends.  This too shall pass."

Back at DC's Southeast early voting station, the identical "Reiki Triplets"--who had been holding hands and sending out positive energy to fellow voters-- approached the poll workers, who shook their heads in disbelief.  Maggie went up first, and could see the negative energy weighing on the woman's head.  "It's all gonna be alright, child," Maggie said, holding her hands up.  "There are higher powers in play."

"That woman cloned herself to register to vote three times!" cried Glenn Michael Beckmann, who was dressed in citizen riot gear.

Cal and Sassy surrounded him, raised their hands, and did their mojo, causing Beckmann's over-medicated brain to short-circuit and pass out.

"I think we're gonna have a lot of extra clients this week!" said Maggie, taking her ballot from the poll worker, who was feeling much better.  "You have a blessed week, now!"

Over at the White House, Bridge had never heard so much commotion from the ghosts.  "It'll be alright," the gardener kept saying, for his own benefit as much as theirs.  "It'll be alright."

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Washington Water Woman is fleeing the country after the election, but hopes the civil war will be brief and she can return to blogging in two weeks!  Ardua of the Potomac will certainly be on the move....

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Drumbeat of War

Former John Boehner bodyguard Solomon Kane got out of the taxi on 37th Street and looked at the imposing Georgetown University campus.  He had on a black trench coat and black fedora, causing more than a few observers to think for a moment that the Exorcist had again been summoned.  He consulted his note on where to find the Jesuit professor who had summoned him here, then started walking across the campus.  He had been hired by a host of unsavory people over the years, and had done plenty of things to make him feel nervous at the sight of any type of priest, let alone an entire Catholic community, but he had been promised $5,000 for a "simple job".  Nobody would offer that low of a sum for a hit, and he was quite curious to find out what the gig actually was.

As instructed, Kane sat down on a bench outside of Maguire Hall and unfolded a newspaper to read.  The air smelled slightly moldy from the maple leaves which had already fallen, but there was a crisp, cool breeze at the same time.  He caught a whiff of a freshly peeled orange, and a fragment of passing conversation about an upcoming history test.  He was a handsome man, and regretted the scowl he felt forced to give a couple different women who smilingly thought of sitting down next to him, but he had to keep the seat open.

Finally, a man with a priest's collar peeping through a tan overcoat sat down next to him.  "Thank you for coming," began the leader of the Seekers.  "One of my parishioners needs you to kidnap her husband."

A few miles to the east, Justice Department attorney Atticus Hawk was sitting nervously in Attorney General Loretta Lynch's office for a private meeting. Hawk was desperately hoping this was going to be about praise for his progress with the Guantanamo dossier, and not his lack of progress with the Panama Papers, but he was wildly off base.

"I need you to write up a contingency plan for civil war," she began.

"What?!"

"The FBI really screwed up big time.  No matter what they do now, one side or the other is going to cry foul.  FBI analysts have privately brought me information on the threat of armed insurrection after the Election.  The current assessment is that the people prepared to take up arms are small in number, but there is no way of predicting what kind of reaction there would be.  We absolutely cannot let things escalate."  She paused for a moment to let him take this in.  "Naturally we cannot interfere with the Election itself, but we have a duty to maintain the rule of law and public safety.  President Obama has Executive Orders already prepared to activate the National Guard as needed.  What I need from you is a plan to deploy additional U.S. Attorneys to battleground states in anticipation of the need for arrest warrants and arraignments, as well as keeping a close eye on law enforcement officers and soldiers who might be tempted to stray from their duties.  This is an absolute priority, and you can set aside everything else until you complete this plan."

"Yes, ma'am," he said, though he had no clue how to do this.

Down in the secret CIA bunker beneath the "Washington Times" headquarters, psychiatrist Ermann Esse was briefing his handlers about his attempts to hypnotize his way to the top of the Trump organization.

"So, basically, you're failing?"

"Well, I've persuaded a few campaign workers to switch allegiances," replied the shrink.

"You've had no perceptible effect on Donald Trump's speeches, nor have you turned any of his KGB moles."

"I did get one operative to post embarrassing Trump videos and documents on the Internet, but it's hard to drum up interest when there is already so much denigration of the candidate out there already."

"I think we need to move to Plan B," said the female handler, looking at the male handler, who nodded his head in agreement.  "We've created a cover to send you in as a fashion designer.  Your targets are now the Trump women.  This is Operation Barbie Doll."

"I see," said Dr. Esse, who thought he might be losing his mind.

Over in Foggy Bottom, Luciano Talaverdi rapped his knuckles on the Federal Reserve Board library round table to begin an emergency meeting of the Camelot Society.

"We should wait until after hours!" protested Obi Wan Woman.  "This is supposed to be a secret society!"

"That's why I told you all to bring your lunches and look casual," said Talaverdi (who, since getting married, no longer scheduled evening or weekend meetings--both to please his wife and to avoid the temptation of table-top sex with the booted, tunic-clad woman).  He signaled an aide to Janet Yellen that she could begin.

"The Board had a secret teleconference off the record," she said.  "I've been tasked with writing up a banking contingency plan in case the country erupts in civil war after the Election."

"That's absurd!" said a housing sector analyst.  "Fringe elements cannot ignite a civil war!"

"Maybe, maybe not," she replied, "but they can certainly spook Wall Street and cause a run on the banks."

"So this is about the banks, then, not bloodshed?" asked a labor economist, sarcastically.

"This is about fulfilling our duties in the event of possible financial disruptions," she answered.  "Other people in the government will be occupied with riots and violence, but our job is to protect the liquidity.  The Board is counting on us."  She placed her right hand on her heart and used her left hand to raise a knife like a sword.  "We are the Knights of the Camelot Society!"

Back downtown, Judge Sowell Ame was also in a lunch meeting to discuss post-Election contingency plans.  "Oh, Hell no!" he reacted, as soon as the Chief Judge of the Superior Court told the group of associate judges they should be prepared to work extra hours after the Election.

"Excuse me?!" exclaimed the Chief Judge, who knew Ame was the laziest judge on the bench, even in a sea of lazy judges.  (Ame opened his mouth to say something, then decided instead to stick a sandwich in it.)  "We could have riots in the streets of this city, including armed militiamen driving in from Virginia to assault the White House, the Capitol, or the Supreme Court.  We need to be prepared to issue bench warrants and do arraignments."

"With all due respect," began one of the older judges, seated near the front of the court room in which they were gathered, "if what you're saying is true, we might be under martial law.  It sounds dangerous."

"Of course it sounds dangerous!" retorted the Chief Judge.  "Freedom is not free!  We are here to defend the Constitution!"

"Well, I only do family court," said a woman in the back, who quickly ducked her head after speaking to avoid attribution.

"Well, I imagine anybody getting arrested had a mother at some point!" replied the Chief Judge, sarcastically.  "I have prepared contingency assignments for all of you, which are now being distributed by my clerks.  We will have additional security officers and a stockpile of food and water.  I suggest you put some clean changes of clothes in your chambers.  All vacation plans for the Election week are canceled, and anybody who calls in sick without actually being hospitalized can expect to be demoted to traffic court magistrate."

"You can't do that!" cried Judge Sowell Ame.

"Sure I can!" retorted the Chief Judge.  "And you can try to impeach me!"

Back in Georgetown, the leader of the Seekers had finished explaining their recent endeavors to de-program members of the Trump cult, whom they believed capable of perpetrating great evils, even murders.  But one of the Jesuit's own parishioners had been unsuccessful in isolating her often traveling businessman husband in order to conduct the Trumpist de-programming.  After various consultations and inquiries, they had identified Solomon Kane and come up with the plan to have him kidnap her husband.

Kane pretended to continue reading his newspaper for a few more minutes.  He had always thought the oddest thing he would ever do professionally was submitting to daily full-body muscle inspections by the palpitating hands of the former Speaker of the House.  Now he was being asked by religious people to kidnap a Trump supporter for what he assumed was as close to an exorcism as he would ever see.

"I'll do it one condition," Kane finally said.  "I want to watch."

A cool breeze suddenly stirred up a pile of leaves, a catbird began imitating the sound of a squeaky wheel rolling down a sidewalk, and one of the Shackled floated above Solomon Kane, contemplating the sight of a priest hiring a hitman.

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COMING UP:  Adventures in early voting!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Speak up!

Prince and Prowling junior partner Felix Cigemeier was sitting through the first criminal deposition of his legal career.  The government attorney was deposing the Trump International Hotel's head of housekeeping, who had been summoned to clean up the pig shit dropped by the drone illegally operated by Cigemeier's (and the ACLU's) client, defendant Glenn Michael Beckmann, onto the Old Post Office Pavilion Bell Tower as a political protest on 9/11.  So far she had testified (with the aid of a Spanish interpreter) that: (1) the drone had frightened a few employees, (2) it had taken seventy-five minutes to clean up the manure, (3) she was expected to keep everything 100% clean all the time under threat of deportation, (4) Donald Trump had never been in the Bell Tower, (5) Ivanka Trump had never been in the Bell Tower, and (6) about three guests visited the Bell Tower each day.

Now it was Cigemeier's turn to question the witness.

Q:  "Were there employees who enjoyed seeing that drone dump pig manure there?"
A:  "Yes, most of the employees were delighted!"

(The prosecutor objected this was irrelevant to the illegality of the drone operation.)

Q:  "Don't you have to clean the Bell Tower every day, anyway?"
A:  "Yes, pigeons are always pooping there."

Q:  "How many undocumented workers are on the cleaning staff?"
A:  "All of us, but that nice man gave me immunity to testify!"  (She was pointing to the prosecutor.)

Q:  "Are you absolutely certain that Donald Trump has never been in the Bell Tower?"
A:  "Oh, yes!  Too windy for his hair.  But Eric Trump has gone up many times with a silent gun to shoot pigeons."

Q:  "And you're absolutely certain that Ivanka Trump has never been in the Bell Tower, either?"
A:  "Oh, yes!  But the nanny takes Ivanka's baby up frequently for fresh air and to dangle the baby."
Q:  "Dangle the baby?!"
A:  "Oh, yes!  Like Michael Jackson--this is how celebrity baby likes it."

Q:  "Are you surprised how few guests enjoy the Bell Tower?  It was a very popular attraction for tourists and locals before getting privatized.  Only a few a day?"
A:  "Guests are angry that tower visit costs extra $500.  But I go up for free every day to clean!"  (She was smiling.)

Q:  "Did Donald Trump ever grope you?"

The prosecutor interjected hotly to put an objection on the record, but the head of housekeeping was then directed to answer the question.

A:  "No, I'm too short and ugly.  He likes groping Magali, Juanita, Rosa, Carolina, Victoria--"

"Stop!" exclaimed the prosecutor, jumping to his feet.

"You can't stop her!" retorted Cigemeier.

"I can if I'm dropping the charges!"

With that, the prosecutor directed the videographer to close up shop, and they all started filing out of the Prince and Prowling conference room.  Cigemeier stopped the head of hotel housekeeping before she left to ask her if she wanted to sue Trump, but she declined after he told her he could not offer her immunity.

Not far away, another Trump-related dispute was underway in the upper floor conference room of the Brewmaster's Castle, where the Heurich Society was in its third session in two weeks.

"You went too far, Condi!" exclaimed Chairman Dick Cheney, glowering at the speaker phone.  "Donald Trump is the Republican nominee--"

"Donald Trump is a piece of shit who would probably be poisoned his first day in office by the kitchen staff!" retorted Condoleezza Rice.

"We can control him!  If HRC is in there--"

"You CANNOT control him!  Your male ego is even more delusional than his is!"

As the argument continued, the ghost of Henry Samuelson would have died of shock if he had not already been dead.  He got more pleasure listening to those two screaming at each other than in anything else that had happened since his death!

"He will put fossil fuels back where they belong--as the centerpiece of domestic and foreign policy!" barked Cheney.

"He will make abject disgust the centerpiece of domestic and foreign policy!" snarled Rice.

"Since when do you care about how popular an American President is?"

"Since when did you decide that only people with dicks have balls?"

"What?!"

By now, Ghost Henry was laughing his head off, even as the other members of the Heurich Society were taking a dim view of the proceedings.

"Look," said the investment banker, standing up.  "Several of us took an emergency vote and decided it's time for you to step down, Dick."  (He had really only discussed this with two other people, but he was gambling that nobody would risk any accountability by speaking up one way or another.)

"How dare you?!" screamed Cheney (who had actually murdered the previous Chair to get this position).  "Who do you think you're dealing with?!"

"After your last heart incident," said the member of the CIA, "we had a special modification put into your pacemaker.  At this point, you need to do what we are asking, which is go quietly."

Cheney's eyes bulged out of his sockets.  "You wouldn't dare!"  He looked around the table, but was met with only icy stares.

"You'll all regret this!" Cheney said, overturning his coffee cup and grabbing his satchel to leave.

That's what he said the first time we kicked him out! thought Ghost Henry.  (But would Ghost Henry think it enough vengeance for Cheney's assassination of his daughter?)

Further north, triple agent Charles Wu was generously tipping his (highly informative) Nigerian taxi driver before returning home for an early family dinner.  He frowned at the giant, somewhat dilapidated octopus stuck to the front of his roof.  "What the--?"

"Daddy!" squealed his daughter, Buffy Cordelia, racing out the front door to greet him.  "We made it into a spider for Halloween!"

Little Delia was clearly still high from yesterday's spectacular fifth birthday party.  "Did you?"  He looked into the doorway to glare at his English nanny, but she was wisely staying out of view.  "When I agreed to bring it home, I didn't agree to displaying it on the roof!"

She gave him her best little-girl-sad face and started cooing at him in Chinese, which she knew made him melt.

"Alright, alright!" he said, afraid of what he might find indoors.  It was the first--and last--time he would ever agree to a joint kiddie party for his little girl.  When little Delia had first made friends with a young Chinese girl, Charles had thought it fantastic for her!  Then when he discovered they shared an October birthday, he had agreed to a joint party.  That's when he discovered that the Chinese-Brazilian-now-American mother was a psycho who would take his $300 party supply contribution and use it to make the most garish, over the top, hideous display of handmade "ocean dream" paraphernalia ever taped, stapled, and glue-gunned to a Rock Creek Park pavilion in the history of the National Park Service.

("Not Momzilla!" neighbor Liv Cigemeier had cried in dismay yesterday, upon arriving at the party site to find her loathed coworker was the one who had actually put together the party.  "Oh, Charles!  I would have warned you if I had known!")

"We're changing my mermaid costume to a death-ray worm costume!" Delia suddenly said, pulling her father forward by the hand.

"That sounds disgusting!"  He looked at Mrs. Prudence Higgety-Cheshire to see if some type of early senility was setting in, but she was serenely sitting on the family room sofa sewing.

"It was my idea," said Angela de la Paz, sitting on the other side of the room with a paintbrush in her hand.  "Delia had a d-r-o-w-n-i-n-g d-r-e-a-m at nap time."

"What did I have?" asked Delia.

"And how is this an improvement?" asked Charles.

"It will scare monsters away on Halloween!" said Angela.  "I would have thought that obvious!"

"No, not obvious!  What souvenir did you take home?" asked Charles to Angela, who had turned 22 this month and always joined in for the October birthday party.

"I would like to say that I took home the d-e-m-o-n that I extracted from that crazy woman, but, unfortunately, it's all her."  She smiled and looked at Delia, who was now sitting on the sofa inspecting her nanny's costume stitches.  "If you want, I can make an act of persuasion for Momzilla to avoid socializing with your--"

"Yes, do it! smiled Charles.  "I'll give you another birthday bonus!  Still, I'd rather have you dealing with Trump," he added, hopefully, but she shook her head.  He still did not understand exactly how and when his prized agent chose to use her supernatural gift.  If Donald Trump were not pure evil, who was?

"I think democracy will work out just fine," smiled Angela.

Back at Prince and Prowling, Felix Cigemeier was being chewed out by client Glenn Michael Beckmann, who was devastated he would not be able to testify at trial about all his reasons for using a drone to dump pig shit on Trump's local tower.  "It was my free speech!" wailed Beckmann, who was almost in tears.

"Mr. Beckmann, this is a good result!  You could have gone to prison!"

"It's a terrible result!" exclaimed the ACLU lawyer who had hired Prince and Prowling's drone expert to take Beckmann's case.  "Donald Trump said today he would curtail the First amendment--that there's already too much free speech!"

"Well, there's certainly an excess coming from his mouth," replied Cigemeier.

"This is not funny!" she cried, patting Beckmann on the hand.  "The First Amendment is under assault!  We wanted to make a stand!"

"First of all, he's not going to win the election.  Secondly, the President of the United States is not the President of Russia."

"Russia probably killed my Darja!" wailed Beckmann.

"What?" asked Cigemeier.

"Never mind!" huffed the ACLU attorney, who would have been thrilled out of her mind to get the publicity a Beckmann trial would have received.  "We will pursue other options!"

"Other options for getting Mr. Beckmann arrested?" Cigemeier asked incredulously, as the two sailed out of his office.

Across the street, Ghost Dennis was whispering Lame Duck ideas into the ear of President Obama, who was humming loudly to try not to hear that creepy voice.

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COMING UP:   
Contingency plans for civil war!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Too Ugly to be Assaulted by Mr. Trump--

--but not too ugly to get out of working all weekend, Washington Water Woman hopes to get back to blogging soon!