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 ....

Saturday, February 02, 2008


Golden Fawn entered the Southwest Plaza lobby, where yet another gathering of police officers was occurring. She walked slowly through the throng to get to the far elevator, where a couple other residents were discussing the attack--which may or may not have been a parking garage mugging, a lobby assault, or a stairwell rape. While putting away groceries in her apartment, she called Marcos Vasquez's cellphone to see if he had gotten off of work yet. She told him what had happened, and he told her he had already heard about it on the scanner. As it turned out, all of those crimes had happened over the past 24 hours, since the new parking garage door opener was improperly installed with an emergency release button on the outside of the garage entrance. He told her not to worry--he would be home soon. She hung up the phone and started making dinner for him. She knew the conversation they would have--again--would go in circles: she should move out of this crazy building, he was still subject to reassignment or he would get a place with her, they could get a place together anyway, the management company was fixing the problems in the building, they should just hold out a little longer until they had more money saved up to get a condo or a townhouse, and so on, and so forth. They never talked about the big issues--his mother's coldness to her during her visit to Puerto Rico over Christmas, her grandmother's odd behavior over Thanksgiving, the fact that Marcos could no longer accompany her to the Ardua ceremonies because somebody had tipped him off that he was being watched. She stopped chopping mid-pepper and walked over to the fridge to look at a recent photo of the two she had put up there. She knew he loved her, but she also knew she was complicating his life. Maybe he was waiting for a reassignment back to Puerto Rico when he met me--maybe he put it on hold--maybe he is going to be forced to take a reassignment somewhere else and won't be near either me or his mother. Golden Fawn returned to the green pepper, sappy love songs playing in her head about how you should set people free if you really love them. I need to do what's best for him. This is how Ardua was now attacking Golden Fawn. A few blocks away, Marcos Vasquez was feeling happier as he approached Southwest Plaza with a bouquet of pink flowers because he adored Golden Fawn.

A blue BMW passed Vasquez in the opposite direction, carrying Chloe Cleavage and her realtor to the next townhouse she would be looking at. Henrietta "Button" Samuelson was already tired of this insipid client, whose $300,000 ceiling was very uninspiring to her commission-driven heart. Button had taken it upon herself to spark Chloe's imagination by showing her a Southwest townhome with a rentable basement apartment--sure, it was triple Chloe's stated ceiling, but Chloe could rent out the basement to cover half the mortgage, and her tax deduction would be far larger as well. Button suspected that Chloe wasn't really serious about house-hunting, but was just doing it because people told her it was the smart financial thing to do. Chloe had been eyeing the neighborhood suspiciously--Chloe believed there must be a luxurious $300,000 home hidden away somewhere in a far better neighborhood than this, just waiting for her to discover it. Ten minutes later, they were back in the car.

Twenty minutes later, Button dropped Chloe off at Prince and Prowling and headed north to meet her father for dinner. Button was the daughter of a career Peace Corps officer until three years ago, when he had retired and told her he had actually been a CIA officer all those years. Button didn't believe in anything anymore except making money. She had been in the Peace Corps, she had worked on Capitol Hill, she had done all those starry-eyed things and then decided it was all crap. Nobody could fix this town, let alone save the world. When Button was born, her mother had named her after Button's father reluctantly, knowing what a curse it would be for a modern girl to go through life with the name "Henrietta". When an old-fashioned acquaintance had declared the infant Henrietta as cute as a button, everybody was surprised to see Henry Samuelson start calling his namesake "Button". She had been ticked off at him for the past three years, but she was still his little "Button". She parked the car and braced herself for the dinner, which would be full of all the political rants he now felt free to vent openly to her. She didn't know who he was anymore. Her left eyelid began to twitch as she got out of the car.

Back at Prince and Prowling, Chloe Cleavage was touching up her make-up and billing an hour for the ten minutes of work-related emails she had answered before heading back out for her dinner date. Two floors up, Laura Moreno was struggling in the law library to find an explanation of how she could get her pro bono client's family back on food stamps while her client was in the hospital and unable to sign the paperwork. This makes no sense. She exhaled deeply again, wondering what the relevant bureaucrats looked like so she could fantasize about hitting their heads with a frying pan. They're more evil than that stupid judge who hasn't given me a hearing in 18 months. She gave up for the day, knowing that she needed to find somebody who actually had expertise on food stamps. I was only supposed to help with the Spanish interpretation for this client. Now I have the case from Hell. If her client died in the hospital, Laura would have to start all over again for the granddaughter. I am their only chance. She went back to her office to pack up for the day--six hours on the clock, three hours off but totally wasted because she accomplished nothing for her client. At home, all that was waiting for her was another job application from Hell, which would take up half of her Sunday listing every job she had held since high school, every school she had attended since elementary school, references for every job since college, and 10,000 other details that were somehow relevant to landing a three-month contract that might or might not even lead to permanent employment in a real job. She pressed her left finger against her twitching eyelid as she pressed her right finger against the elevator down button.


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