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, March 08, 2007

Gulls and Ghosts

The freaks of Dupont Down Under were discussing the arrival of gulls to Dupont Circle. Though some thought it a bad omen, others believed that the gulls were fanning out over the city to fight evil. "Fight evil?" snorted one of the newer citizens of Dupont Down Under. "They're scavengers looking for easy meals, that's all." "You understand nothing," said one of the elders, who still had snow clinging to his shoes from his recent foray above ground. "The gulls know about Ardua of the Potomac-that is why they are spreading into the city." "They know about garbage," the young man retorted, "and less food in a wintry river". "You understand nothing," repeated the elder, more quietly.

Two-hundred feet above the freaks, gulls flew overlapping circles in the sky, while the sparrows clung to their safe domains in the smaller trees and bushes, and the pigeon doves waddled around the frigid grass. Perry Winkle hurried around the fountain and sprinted for a taxi, having just received a phone call about another shooting. An irritated catbird squealed siren noises, causing Perry to pause and look up at the sky before getting into the nearest taxi. Were those gulls up there? Funny, he had never noticed those before.

On the other side of the Circle, a police car turned up New Hampshire Avenue, then headed over to Ward Court to resume the stake-out across from the postal distribution facility. The officers turned off the car engine and huddled in the quickening cold, irritated about this assignment. They sipped coffee in silence, staring straight ahead. "What was that?" asked the younger officer. "A gull," replied the older officer. "A sea gull?" "A gull," repeated the older officer. "They're not just at sea--they can be at rivers." "We're not at the river," commented the younger officer, who had just witnessed the gull divebomb a river rat. "We're within the Potomac watershed," stated the older officer, whose wife was always watching The Nature Channel. "But don't the water and stuff flow towards the river, instead of from it?" The older officer shivered and didn't answer--some days he felt like the whole city was underwater.

From her tiny condo kitchen, Laura Moreno looked down in bewilderment at the stake-out car in the alley behind her building. The police car was making its fifth appearance in three weeks. It wasn't even hidden, really, but it had to be a stake-out, right? Surely they wouldn't sit there taking a dinner break in the dark, would they? Or do something nefarious, right there, scarcely hidden at all? She turned on the microwave, thankful to get home to an early dinner. She was tired of hearing people talk about money all day. She wished she hadn't met the retired NASA attorney who was desperate to replenish his lost retirement savings, slaving away for over three years without a paid day off. Her days at Prince and Prowling seemed to be stretching to infinity, like purgatory, and she couldn't remember what she had done to land there.

Laura looked back out the window and saw the recently dining gull take off to the east. It was heading to Urine Park, to scout for river rats near Prince and Prowling, where former Senator Evermore Breadman was just hopping out of a taxi to go to the office after a long day of meetings. The Libby thing was going to have to be handled delicately, to be sure, and he would make a lot of money just talking out of both sides of his mouth on the pardon question. The Walter Reed thing was going to be even trickier, and he was sensing a lot of Administration division over what to do about the Army--meaning consultation fees up the wazoo for him. Still, his colon had been extremely bothersome lately, which was really infringing on his professional enjoyment. He knocked on the suite door impatiently, since Laura wasn't there to open the door for him. He knocked again, his colon in flames, then pulled out his cell phone to call his assistant to le him in. By the time his assistant was cracking a lame joke about the fired astronaut, Breadman was reaching for his Chinatown herb bag in the bottom drawer--the herb bag that was barely keeping him from complete possession by Ardua.

Nearby, at the White House, the gardener Bridge was shivering in the tool shed, listening to ghost voices he wished he couldn't hear. One of the Shackled was watching over Reggie and Fergie, worried. After a few minutes, he left to meet with the other Shackled to talk about what the ghosts of Washington were doing for Ardua.

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