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 ....

Friday, March 16, 2007

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

It was done: the exorcism on Theresa had been successful. Social worker Hue Nguyen watched as Theresa sat in the corner of the living room knitting. Hue had never thought she was capable of turning her back on modern psychiatry and diagnosing a patient with a real, live demon, but she had been right. Theresa was still mentally challenged, but her soul was free. The other residents of the group home bickered good-naturedly about their game of Monopoly while Theresa was content to sit off by herself a little. She felt peaceful for the first time in a long time.
Across the Potomac, the priest stared out his window at the late-winter sleet. He had procrastinated long enough: tomorrow he would have to go to his confessor and reveal the unauthorized exorcism. So now he knew that these things were really walking the Earth. Was he just supposed to go back to his books now, his students? He leaned his forehead against the cold pane, feeling his vocation being ripped away and replaced by something else.

"Are you all insane?" Eva Brown ignored the question, her forehead pressed against the cold window pane of her apartment near American University. "Nobody does exorcisms anymore! Haven't you ever heard of a little thing called schizophrenia?" Eva turned away from the sleet and looked at her boyfriend, the State Department's Assistant Deputy Administrator for Anti-Fecklessness. She had a distant memory of a time when he always said the right thing. She was tired of explaining to him all the things that had led to her roommate's being given a Jewish exorcism. She realized now that telling him did not make her feel better. She had a distant memory of a time when telling him things made her feel better. "You need to move out of here." He swallowed hard. "Why don't you move in with me?" She dug her nails into the arms of her chair and closed her eyes.

Several miles away, in Chinatown, Lynnette Wong dug her nails into the arms of her chair and closed her eyes. Her neighbor was pleading with her to go back into the other room to finish the exorcism. "This is not the right way!" cried Lynnette. "Yes," he said, "it is working!" Lynnette's father had taught her to be patient with demons, to use herbs and water and light to make the soul become a place the demon no longer wanted to inhabit. How had she been talked into this torture of a human being? She got up and returned to the other room. She lit the incense and approached the frightened and screaming little girl. Five minutes later, it was done. They untied the girl, who cried with joy and leapt into her parents' embrace. Lynnette packed up her herbs and walked home. This did not feel like a victory: it felt like the start of a brand new and long, long, long war.

A few miles south, Golden Fawn cursed the sleet as she made her way into the National Museum of the American Indian for the first time in a week. She headed straight down to the basement storage rooms, to the collection of "maybes"--the abundance of tribal donations that had not yet been approved for display. She headed straight to the Cree shelves, then changed her mind and sat down for a minute to fight the wave of nausea. She fingered her lumpectomy scar as she always did during the waves of nausea, and slowly pulled her winter hat off her bald head. She revisited her mental image of the three objects she needed for the exorcism, waited for the nausea to pass, then stood up to retrieve them. She couldn't wait until she felt better--that was what Ardua wanted. She was going to be strong and do it.

A couple of miles west, Bridge was sitting in the White House gardening office hours after his workweek was over. He was listening to the voices, which had increased of late. What he didn't know was that he was listening to a couple of the Shackled. Somebody in the White House was possessed, but it was not yet clear to Bridge who it was. He suspected it might be Fergie, but that didn't seem possible with his being so tight with Reggie. A hundred feet above him, President Bush leaned his forehead against the cold window pane and prayed for deliverance from incompetent morons that kept embarassing him. The Shackled who were watching him left to go meet with the others. They didn't know what to do about the White House.

A couple miles to the west, in her Watergate apartment,, Condoleezza Rice leaned back in her red leather recliner, trying to figure out what to do about the White House. She sipped her flax/guava/cucumber/radish/almond/maraschino smoothie and stared out at the sleet falling on Ardua's river. Condoleezza was tired of working with so many idiots--she needed to be in charge of EVERYTHING! She chuckled to herself, thinking about the ImpeachBush march scheduled to take place tomorrow. Too ironic. She chuckled again, the red juice dribbling out of the corner of her lip. She didn't need the White House--but it desperately needed her. Down in the depths of the frigid waters, Ardua focused on the Secretary of State and took comfort in the belief that Ardua was spreading through Washington faster than Washington could fight back.

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