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, June 24, 2007

Judge-ment Day

Judge Melvin Wright was still in critical condition at George Washington University Hospital a week after his carjacking. Nurse Consuela Arroyo stopped by his room to say a rosary for him before going home for the night. A loud noise interrupted her, and she walked over to the window to see what it was--a raven on the window ledge making a ruckus. She shivered, knowing the patient would soon be dead. She returned to her rosary, which was for his soul.

Several miles away in Adams Morgan, Angela de la Paz was saying a rosary with her grandmother. A loud noise interrupted them, and they looked out the window to see what it was--a raven in the redbud tree making a ruckus. Angela had learned all about ravens from Dr. Raj at the Friendship Garden. She held up the rosary and fixed her gaze on the raven, and it quieted down. Angela returned to her grandmother to finish the prayers that would ease her grandmother to sleep.

A few miles away in Dupont Circle, the ravens were getting loud--loud enough even for the freaks living in Dupont Down Under to hear them. "It's because the Feds are getting closer to us!" "The ravens don't give a damn about that!" "Yes, they do!" The Feds had finished half of their P Street underground bunker, and had switched construction to the other side. "Sister Rhonda" was fingering her rosary and lighting candles. "That's not going to help!" Sister Rhonda made the sign of the cross and kept lighting candles. "If the Beaver can't stop them, who can?"

Several miles away in Southwest Plaza, Marcos Vasquez was saying a rosary for his mother's rheumatoid arthritis. He didn't really believe in this sort of thing, but he knew what it meant to her when he could honestly tell her he had prayed a rosary for her suffering. Lately he had started praying about that thing in the Potomac, too. His nightmares were getting worse. He needed to tell somebody about it, but he wasn't sure who.

A couple of floors away, Golden Fawn was rubbing cream on her radiation burns, thinking about all the people who were praying for her, fasting for her, drumming for her, and cooking for her. She looked at the rosary hanging on her doorknob since a coworker had brought it by. Many paths to God were being trod on her behalf by people all over the country, but somehow she felt it was really up to her.

Several miles north, a solitary figure stood outside the Vice-President's residence. It was Theresa, who had slipped away during a zoo outing from her Arlington group home for the mentally challenged. Theresa had read the Washington Post article about Dick Cheney and had decided she needed to say all the Miracles of the Rosary for him. He was so evil.... The guards watched her warily and wearily, while inside the residence, the Vice-President and his wife were arguing about whether the Post article had been a good thing or not. The house ghosts were greatly amused, separately egging on each side in the debate. It was all about power, which had less to do with good and evil than many living people realized.

Back at the hospital, Dr. Khalid Mohammad stopped by Melvin Wright's room, where the judge's tormented soul had suddenly decided it was better on the other side, seen a light, and run for it. Nurse Arroyo had just hit the call button, but it was only a coincidence that Dr. Mohammad had now arrived. The do-not-resuscitate order hung at the foot of his bed. Dr. Mohammad's emergency room surgery a week ago had only given the judge one more week of life on Earth. "You did everything you could," Arroyo said to him, fingering her rosary with one hand and her crucifix with the other. But Dr. Mohammad never felt he did enough. He looked out the window at the silent raven, but he could not see the nearby Shackled flying away, relieved that this spirit had moved on.

Down in the depths of the Potomac, Ardua was incensed at the loss of the judge.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Sinking Monuments

Charles Wu was strolling along the Jefferson Memorial, hoping to get lucky and find another expensive bauble lost by a tourist. Since delivering the Rolex to former Senator Evermore Breadman, Wu had made quite a large number of interesting and powerful acquaintances. On the other hand, the delivery of a bugged Persian cat to Condoleezza Rice had yielded very few insights other than the Secretary of State's propensity to sing opera in the shower, and Pippin's surprising proximity to the shower when that singing was occurring. Wu stopped to examine the settlement cracks and other signs that the memorial was sinking into the Tidal Basin--only Americans would be brash enough to think they could build lasting monuments to democracy on swampland. Wu didn't know what was really pulling the monument down.

Fifty feet below him, Ardua was still sucking the last vestiges of life out of the rotting corpse of the meth addict washed down in the basin the night before, even though the Shackled had succeeded in guiding the young man's ghost away from Ardua in time. Ardua tossed the shell of human life aside angrily, making the pilings under Thomas shake again.

Several miles north, Sebastian L'Arche was leaving Dupont Circle after the dog show. He had won a first prize ribbon for the meth addict's dog, all the while cursing his "friend" for not returning Sebastian's calls for two days. Seb had given the guy the dog, done the dog training for free, entered the dog in the contest to give the guy something positive to focus on, and what thanks did Seb get? Seb headed off to Southwest Plaza to try again to catch the guy at home.

Over at the deceased meth addict's apartment, the mice and roaches were enjoying themselves immensely, given a safe haven by the city's worst management company--and it would be at least a couple of months before anybody would figure out the tenant was not coming back. Two floors up, Marcos Vasquez was in the hallway, learning from Golden Fawn how Judge Melvin Wright had tossed the tenant association lawsuit out, and what options the tenants had left. Marcos was only half-listening, looking at the hair stubble peaking out of the bandana wrapped around Golden Fawn's bald head. She looked very, very, very tired. Golden Fawn was barely thinking about the news she was repeating to him, looking at his Coast Guard insignia and wondering if he would think her crazy to ask him if he had seen any strange activity in the Potomac. They both returned to their own apartments and thought about Ardua by themselves.

Several miles to the northwest, Judge Melvin Wright was being carjacked in upper Georgetown by a crackhead. He felt the whack of the pistol-whip on his head, stumbled sideways then forward, and finally crashed down as his luxury car sped away. Three different families out for their evening baby carriage strolls passed him by in disgust, believing him to be a passed-out homeless drunk. A short time later, former Senator Evermore Breadman pulled into the empty parking space. He got out of his luxury car, doubled over in pain, vomited into the tree box, then turned to walk towards his dinner party. There was a man in his way, bleeding from the head. Breadman bent down to check for a pulse, a cursed Rolex shimmering on his wrist. He pulled his cell phone out to call 911.

Several miles to the east, Atticus Hawk was burning the midnight oil at the Department of Justice: he needed to have new memos ready Monday morning on both Colin Powell's Guantanamo speech and Ali al-Marri's Fourth Circuit victory. After being pulled into the successful rally for Alberto Gonzales, Hawk had hoped to be promoted away from this legal minutia and drudgery. He took a break to pull up "Cops" on the internet--it was very soothing to watch criminals being slapped around legitimately. Maybe those enemy combatants were all going to commit suicide or be released from Guantanamo before the Supreme Court ever really examined any of these memos. He stared at the cops on his computer monitor and suddenly remembered a visit from Officer Friendly to his elementary school many years ago. "Call 911 if you need help!"

A few miles north, Charles Wu stopped in to check his wiretaps before hitting the bars--nothing new. He played back the only interesting tape he had gotten from Pippin's embedded listening device--the tape on which he could hear Condoleezza Rice explaining over the phone that Bush could agree to global warming action now because he was not the one whose Administration would have to implement it. No surprise there. He listened carefully now to the next bit--something about "Hamas and the terrorist haven", but then Pippin had wandered away from the Secretary of State (or vice versa?), and the sound had trailed off a bit...and yet, and yet... it really sounded like "World War Three"...and a laugh.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Whispers and Squawks

Laura Moreno was still in the Prince and Prowling workroom, trying to finish up her work for the day because she had lost a couple of hours earlier to an unexpected call from her pro bono client. It was now clear that Judge Melvin Wright was trying to throw her client's case out for lack of activity, disingenuously forgetting that it was his previous order which had thrown the monkey wrench into the case to begin with. Her pro bono client was barely surviving financially or physically, failed by the system in every way the system could fail a poor, elderly, disabled woman. Laura sat down on the dirty carpet to lay out her papers because half of her desk had been removed earlier in the day by a surly bureaucrat who said it had to be given to "an attorney". What am I--a waitress? She knew what it meant: all the summer associates were getting fully equipped offices with shiny cherry wood furniture and big windows, but somehow Prince and Prowling was short half a desk. Laura had tried to find out when she would get the furniture replaced, but she had gotten yelled at for asking that. She heard a knock on the suite door, got up from the floor, walked out to let in former Senator Evermore ("Keyless") Breadman, then went back to her workroom. At least the Sweatshop was gone, though there were rumors that the next big attorney project would be outsourced to India. Well, they can't outsource me, because I'm Breadman's concierge.

Laura organized her piles to tackle in the morning, then went outside to catch a few rays of remaining sunlight and fresh air. She walked past Urine Park, where Dizzy was sitting listlessly on top of a bench, surrounded by his belongings. As Laura got closer, she could see he was nodding off while trying to polish his trumpet. A raven suddenly landed on the crest of the park bench and began making a loud announcement to whatever birds happened to be listening. Dizzy opened his eyes, turned his head in annoyance, then reached for a can of Lysol to spray the bird--which flew off in astonishment.

Across the street, a World Bank guard was laughing, having just seen the Lysol attack on his security monitor. His gaze moved onto the next monitor, and the next, and the next, then stopped at the unexpected sight of Paul Wolfowitz in the parking garage. The former World Bank president was chatting with a couple of suits, then got into a car with one of them to leave. The remaining suit acted as if he were walking towards his car, but after the other two were gone, he left the garage to return to his office and write a memo to the new World Bank president about how the World Bank needed to take the lead in financing the new Iraq--the Iraq that would someday have over four million people returning to their homes, hungry for corruption-riddled, overpriced infrastructure.

Wolfowitz and his colleague pulled out onto the street. Wolfowitz did not notice pedestrian Laura Moreno as his companion drove past her, but Wolfowitz did notice the unusually large number of ravens flying around like lunatics overhead: squawking like that could only mean their nests were in danger, but from what?

Several miles to the northwest, Judge Melvin Wright was trying to watch the ballgame, but he kept getting interrupted by squawking ravens outside. He went outside, opened the water spigot, turned the nozzle to "jet", then took aim at the ravens. "Damned birds!" he screamed, his blood pressure rising. He was pissed off about Scooter Libby's sentencing today. Why didn't he ever get historic cases, cases that would be compared to Watergate? Libby's judge got to read letters from people like Henry Kissinger and Paul Wolfowitz, all concerned about the case. Why didn't any big names write letters to him when he was getting ready to sentence somebody? A $250,000 fine!!!! Now that was something. Wright had vermin lying to him in court every day, and he never got to fine any of them $250,000! Still, 2.5 years in prison didn't seem like much--not for doing what Clinton got impeached for! Wright would have done a 5-year sentence. He smiled, thinking about it, how it would sound in his courtroom to exclaim "five years!" loudly and bring his gavel down on a hotshot. He was constantly throwing tedious little cases out of the system, trying to keep his docket clear so that he could be assigned some huge case someday. It was only a matter of time. The ravens finally retreated, and Wright returned to his ballgame. Upstairs, the house ghost was relieved that the raven din was gone, and carefully began the night whispers.

Several miles away in Southwest Plaza, Golden Fawn emerged onto her balcony for the first time after it had been boarded up for two months for "renovations". She could hear ravens squawking nearby--that was new. A raven flew to her balcony and perched on the railing, examining her intently. She knew what her grandmother would say about that. She whispered to the raven. It squawked back to her. She whispered again, and it was silent.