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 ....

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Thumbs Down

The editor of The Washington Post was giving the thumbs-down to Dubious McGinty's letter about Scooter Libby's get-out-of-jail card, but he could not bring himself to trash it. "Get me the 'Metro' editor," he called out to his assistant.

A few miles to the west, Laura Moreno settled into bed for the night, curled into the fetal position, and grasped an icepack between her two hands. The throbbing in her right thumb slowly subsided, her tendons shrank bank, and her muscles stopped yelling in pain. She needed to quit her job at Prince and Prowling--which had sucked away a tenth of her life, a tenth of her brain, a tenth of her fingers, a tenth of her soul. She was decimated. She looked at her thumb, which she now knew from the doctor would never shrink back down because the bone had enlarged itself in a misguided attempt to make up for cartilege destruction. She was deformed and crippled from clicking a mouse thousands of times a day. Laura had not gotten the government job she interviewed for in June, and her hands hurt too much to do any more government applications. Meanwhile Chloe Cleavage had just gotten a permanent position at Prince and Prowling because former Senator Evermore Breadman liked the way she always brought him back Starbucks coffee from each of her five daily breaks from the office--or liked the view when she bent over and placed the coffee on his desk. Chloe Cleavage--who had never worked as hard as Laura a day in her life--had only been at Prince and Prowling a few months, but would now have paid holidays, vacation time, disability insurance, and full health coverage (although the only intervention she really wanted was breast enlargement). Laura had been a temporary attorney at Prince and Prowling long enough to render legal assistance in two dozen lawsuits, four state actions, and three federal actions, but her name was still unlisted in the telephone directory, she still paid all her own medical bills, and if she didn't keep her productivity up she would lose her job to an electronically tethered attorney standing by in India. Laura could not remember the last time her life made sense.

Back at The Washington Post, Perry Winkle was trying to understand his new assignment--finding the writer of a rejected letter-to-the-editor. "The return address just says 'Potomac River'?" The "Metro" editor nodded. "It's a big river," Winkle said. Winkle's editor walked away without responding. Winkle pressed his thumbs into his temple trying to release his tension headache in the manner the "Health" reporter had shown him. This was not why he came to this town.

Over at the Vice President's residence, Dick Cheney was asleep in the fetal position, his right thumb lodged firmly in his mouth. Lynn Cheney anonymously logged into Laura Bush's chatroom about the importance of raising boys right and typed in a question about men under stress who revert to thumb-sucking after falling asleep. She exhaled slowly, hoping somebody would give her a helpful answer. If Congress actually cut off funding for his office, it would just cement his legend and legacy--that's what she had told him, but he didn't buy it. An anonymous answer popped up on the screen: "put chili pepper on the thumb". Only somebody from Texas would suggest that....

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