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 22, 2008

The Outlook

Calico Johnson was sitting on an upholstered wicker loveseat on the third-floor bedroom balcony of his Potomac Manors mansion, reviewing his portfolio with an occasional glance up at his lovely Maryland-side view of Great Falls of the Potomac. He had acquired a dozen more properties at the Washington Convention Center foreclosure auction the first week of June, and he was almost giddy with excitement thinking about the gathering snowball of his buy-low and sell-high endeavors. Some fifty bankruptcies and near-bankruptcies had fueled his real estate purchases for two years now, and he was now a certified mogul. (He smiled smugly to himself, certain that if anybody were to write about him in a newspaper or magazine, he would undoubtedly be called a "real estate mogul".) And when the day came to sell--! He took a deep breath, his heart aflutter at the thought of the PROFITS that were his destiny. His cellphone rang, and it was Button Samuelson telling him that nobody was attending her McLean open house and begging him to bring her some food and a bottle of wine to alleviate the boredom. He agreed cheerfully enough, although it would mean breaking his date with Chloe Cleavage. Button was usually too busy on the weekends, toiling in the trenches of the real estate war as she was, and it was nice to have Chloe on the weekends, but Johnson was a shrewd man and knew that Chloe was a lazy gold digger looking for early retirement and would move on soon enough when she realized he wasn't going to give her a life of leisure. Button wasn't as attractive, but she was a hard worker who expected less. It was nice to date women that expected less! He didn't even have to bring her expensive wine or expensive food, which Chloe would have expected--he could just grab a bottle from his cellar and drive through some fast food restaurant on the way. He checked the time on his Rolex and pondered whether to call Chloe now or break the date at the last minute. Maybe I just won't call her at all. He smiled impishly to himself. Maybe she'll start working harder. He paused a moment to admire the Rolex, recently received from an investment banker that had decided he wanted a different color watch altogether. He slipped his feet into the Gucci loafers and departed the balcony. A few minutes later, his red Ferrari peeled out of the garage under the watchful gaze of a large pair of yellow eyes under the porch.

Several miles to the southeast, Condoleezza Rice was arriving at the Brewmeister's Castle for a meeting of the Heurich Society. The Chair pulled her aside for a private word to warn her that some of the members had expressed doubts about her resolve, given her lack of meeting attendance and her recent public addresses on things like women's rights and Zimbabwe. She nodded and told him she understood--understood that she was the smartest one in the room, and they couldn't stand the fact she was a woman. Henry Samuelson nodded at her with the fake CIA smile he had been taught years ago to trigger pupil dilation and put the other person at ease, but since she wasn't in the habit of looking into people's eyes, the effect was lost on her--though she did notice he had cat hairs and food stains on his shirt. She took the empty seat next to the Chair and pushed the box of Dunkin' Donuts further down the table. When the clock tolled one, the Chair called the meeting to order and indicated that the first item on the agenda would be Rice's report on the oil summit in Saudi Arabia. At the other end of the table, Samuelson was clenching and unclenching his fists under the table, still incredulous that the rest of the group really thought the Moon Township Plan could succeed.

A threat to continued economic development--that had been the purported theme of the Saudi Arabian oil summit, but "Condor" was at Charles Wu's ear explaining softly how "economic development" was going to be rationed out...and by whom. The usual suspects were involved, of course--OPEC, the CIA, the Russians, the Chinese, the Trilateral Society--but there were some surprises as well. Wu listened carefully, nonchalantly tossing bread crumbs to the ducks paddling in the Pershing Park Pond, as Condor pretended to be engrossed in a crossword puzzle laid out on the stone table before him. Wu asked quietly if the Heurich Society had been at the summit. "Funny you should mention that!", chuckled Condor. He provided a few more comments on the summit, then asked Wu about the removal of oil subsidies inside China. Wu lied and said he had not yet gotten intelligence on it, but he knew what it meant. Their talk drifted to the Olympic torch relay through Tibet, and Wu obliged Condor with some inside information on that. Wu finished distributing the bread crumbs and headed off to meet with former Senator Evermore Breadman about the Maryland state legislature's trade war with China.

Back at Potomac Manors, the real estate demon living under Calico Johnson's porch was eating newspaper out of the recycling bin. She knew the Rolex had been a gift from Cheney to Rumsfeld, been lost in Georgetown, gotten washed into the Potomac, been passed through Ardua's digestive tract, gotten retrieved by the beaver, been found by Charles Wu, gotten delivered to former Senator Evermore Breadman, and had gone through a couple more owners with various "allergic" reactions to it--and now it was here...and Calico had no problem with it! The demon was growing stronger every day, and knew that soon she would be the strongest real estate demon in the Washington metropolitan area. She sighed contentedly and swallowed down the "Outlook" section.

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