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 ....

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Living

Laura Moreno was washing her dinner plates and staring out the kitchen window at the return of the police van to the stakeout position, wondering what they were doing. The day's torrential rain had knocked the pollen out of the air, but her throat was scratchy anyway, so she knew she was locked in battle with a virus hitchhiker from the legal sweatshop she had inhabited all week--a cesspool of coughing mucusites gasping for oxygen. Six straight days of sweatshop work, and now Sunday was quickly dissipating like a blown dandelion. Six straight days of sweatshop work coming up, and one day of rest was not enough to make the swelling go down in her hands. There had to be a better way to make a living.

Down in the police van, the rookie was thinking the same thing. He could not believe this stupid assignment had come up again. "Why do they take this seriously? It's never gonna happen!" His partner did not reply. His partner loved this assignment because it gave him time to sit and think, two things the rookie was not interested in doing. The rookie turned around to look at what was in the back of the van. He did this every five minutes because his partner wouldn't explain it to him.

Several miles to the south, Sebastian L'Arche was approaching home after finishing his last pet courier run--500 miles of rainy driving, then the brutal drop-off in Alexandria, where the dogs had gone berserk as soon as they neared the Potomac River. There had to be an easier way to make a living. He detoured around the police barricade blocking off the scene of another shooting, and cursed to himself.

L'Arche's car splashed Perry Winkle as the car turned the corner. Winkle didn't notice because he had been getting soaked by cold rain for two hours already. This kind of monotonous crime was not the reason he had come to D.C. to be a Washington Post reporter. Winkle was thinking there had to be a better way to make a living. A hundred feet away, a mother continued to sob for her son, whose slaying seemed anything but monotonous to her.

The slaying was a little monotonous to Ardua of the Potomac, but every little bit of evil helped her cause. Ardua looked up at Atticus Hawk, who was traveling the bridge to Virginia after a long Sunday at the office. Atticus Hawk had spent the first two years of his Justice Department career writing endless briefs on Guantanamo, but had recently been sucked into the wagon circle for Alberto Gonzales. It was so stupid! All the crap that Gonzales had pulled, and people were up in arms about some political firings? That was nothing--like Al Capone getting arrested for tax evasion. For a split second, Hawk thought that maybe there could be a better way to make a living, but Ardua reached up and patted him on the back. By the time Hawk finished crossing the Potomac, he was already feeling pretty good about himself again. He was in the wagon circle! He was in the elite!

A few miles to the east, White House butler Clio was putting her twins to bed. Then she started packing up the Easter decorations for next year, except for the photo of Reggie and Fergie at the White House Easter Egg Roll. She put that photo up on the refrigerator, hoping it would remind her that there really was no better way to make a living than slaving away here. She took her medicine, then turned out the lights and went to bed early, exhausted before the week even began.

A few floors above her, a few of the Shackled were hovering on a White House balcony. They didn't feel the rain or the cold wind: they were discussing how to deal with the stubborn and vicious ghosts haunting the East Wing. Nothing they had tried was working. There had to be another way to save the living.

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