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 6/6//2017. Follow Washington Water Woman on Twitter @HorrorDC ....

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Bribe City

Marcos Vasquez finished reading the Washington Post article on D.C. real estate bribery. The D.C. land rush had heated up in 2001, a year before he was transferred here. Real estate prices rose and rose and rose, sometimes doubling or tripling within a year. Even so, people like developer Douglas Jemal weren't satisfied with milking profits from the private sector, but turned to bribery to milk more money from the public sector--or so testified plea bargainer Michael Lorusso during Jemal's federal trial. And people like Vasquez's landlord were swindling phony Section 42 tax credits out of the city coffers while people like Vasquez's wheelchair-bound low-income neighbor's rent was hiked $1,500/year. Vasquez knew his neighbor's apartment was full of mold, mice, roaches, and a broken HVAC unit because he had finally started going to tenant association meetings after he carried her up the stairs for the third time because the elevators were all broken again. He was starting to put it all together--the war for D.C. real estate--or so he thought.

Several miles away, Golden Fawn was also reading the Washington Post article on D.C. real estate bribery. Last week, she had received notice that her building was condemned and they would all have to move out in 48 hours. The tenants organized, lawyered up, and stopped the phony condemnation. Less educated tenants had already been evicted all over town under similarly phony condemnations, their units repainted and sold as luxury condos. Apparently the white man's land grab had not actually ended with the acquisition of Hawaii. She had officially saved $1,100 towards her down payment to get out of rental hell--at this rate, it would only take five or ten more years! Stupid ex-boyfriend. She drifted off to sleep, eventually having a nightmare about Ardua rising up out of the Potomac and raining torrentially all over Washington. Every building slowly melted into the ground, one by one, until the only building standing was the National Museum of the American Indian. She walked into the lobby, and George Bush told her, "Don't think this means you're getting more funding! We've got the secret government underground anyway." Then the pink warblers came in and started singing.

Over at D.C. Underground, the secret government was full of river rats. Somehow, no matter how high your budget was, the construction crews just couldn't seal them out. If river rats could get in, then that meant that biological weapons of mass destruction could get in. What the Feds didn't know was that no biological weapon of mass destruction could invade the blood of these river rats--they were Ardua's.

Over at Dupont Down Under, the secret society was full of Freaks, and they were freaking out. They had been squatting here in the old trolley underground for years, since the underground shopping conversion had fallen apart. The sound of jackhammers and turbines kept getting closer and closer, no matter how many river rats they diverted over to the secret government side of the underground. What if those fascists had a nuclear bomb down there? Or practice anthrax? Or drug-sniffing dogs? The Freaks convened a meeting to decide how to stop the advance of the secret government underground, and decided that the river rats were not enough--it was time to bring in the Beaver to dam it up for good.

Out in the Potomac, the Beaver was chewing up Tidal Basin cherry trees again, the moon reflecting softly on the water, the Jefferson Memorial lit up brilliantly for the autumn tourists. Ardua was proud of her sister spirit for getting all those Amish girls killed, but her sister would never have as much material to work with as Ardua had. Ardua was especially delighted that the Supreme Court was back in session--Ardua had spent a lot of time communing with Chief Justice Roberts over the summer, and was expecting great things from him. It was fun making petty people greedy, violent, and murderous--but she longed to increase her power in ways that would reverberate for years to come, from ocean to ocean, scream to shining scream.

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