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, September 28, 2008

Technical Difficulties - The Sequel!!!

I apologize to my readers again, but Ardua struck at my monitor this time!  In addition, former Senator Evermore Breadman advised me to suspend my blogging until the economic rescue package is passed.  (Country first!)  Please look for my next posting the first weekend of October:  believe me, I will have a lot to say, about a great many things!

warmest regards,

Waterwoman

Sunday, September 21, 2008

This Could Take Awhile

He had finally gotten the call:  he was in the inner sanctum.

Charles Wu had just finished setting up Condoleezza Rice's new Apple computer and was showing her how quickly and easily she could connect to the Internet.  He rolled his chair back from the desk and let her move towards it.  He was surprised by how nice her apartment smelled and wondered if she had trained the cat to use the toilet.  She thanked him again, and he waved his hand cavalierly.  He stood up to see the view of the Potomac from her apartment window...and it wasn't bad.  His instincts told him she would prefer that he not walk around her apartment and examine her stuff, so he picked up Pippin and continued gazing out the window.  He knew she hadn't invited him here to help her set up the new computer, so he waited patiently.

A couple miles to the east, Laura Moreno walked into the kitchenette to retrieve her lunchbag from the fridge, only to have an avalanche of poorly stacked leftovers and a milk carton come crashing down on her feet.  She kicked the styrofoam containers to the side and grabbed some paper towels to wipe off her shoes.  Apparently the sweatshop had been repopulated, and, again, no additional refrigerator had been brought in to accommodate the quadrupling of personnel on her floor of Prince and Prowling.  Chloe Cleavage paused as she walked by the kitchenette:  "Oh, there you are."  Chloe's eyes dropped to the mess on the floor, and she laughed.  "I left the privilege log on your desk.  I need to go, but you can reach me on my Blackberry."  Laura nodded politely.  Like I need to ask you how to finish the log--you only want somebody to email you so you can keep billing the rest of the day.  Laura exited down the hallway in the opposite direction, just in time to see a sweaty banking lobbyist (another former millionaire!) enter former Senator Evermore Breadman's office and close the door behind him.

A few miles to the east, the Chairman of the Heurich Society was sitting in the back garden of the Vice President's residence in a hunter green Adirondock chair with splinters.  He gingerly recrossed his legs and took another swig of whiskey and root beer.  "What the hell were you thinking?!"  Cheney was red in the face, and the gloves were off.  The Chair replied that he was not sure what Cheney meant.  "You think I never read that damned Moon Township Plan?!  I know what you're doing!"  Cheney fished out an ice cube and threw it at an approaching squirrel.  The Chair reminded Cheney of the Heurich Society rules and regretted that he could not discuss its current activities with a former member.  "Are you kidding me?!  Are you @#$!% kidding me?!  Have you forgotten who you're talking to?!"  The Chair was painfully aware of whom he was talking to, and held no doubt that the man had every member of the Heurich Society under federal surveillance.  "Freedom is on the march, sir!  I tip my hat to you."  With that, the Chair stood up and walked away as the Vice President let loose with a new stream of invectives and foot-stomping.  "I know you talked to Woodward for that book.  I KNOW!"  The Chair sighed deeply and shook his head, still walking away.  "I'm not taking the fall for all this, you bastard!"

About a mile south, Han Li opened the back door of the Brewmaster's Castle and let Henry Samuelson in.  "You are early, sir?"  Samuelson nodded gruffly, suddenly remembering the rule that nobody could arrive at the Heurich Society meeting before the Chair was in the room.  Han Li showed Samuelson to a small sitting room and promised to bring him some tea.  Samuelson sat down and thought about all the information he had fed to Bob Woodward for that embarrassing book and how quickly it had been eclipsed from the headlines.  It doesn't matter--the right people know.  He didn't like people trodding on CIA turf, especially when it came to the Middle East.  He picked up a newspaper from the coffee table and flipped through it until he arrived at an article about Father Miguel d'Escoto's becoming head of the United Nations General Assembly.  Samuelson knew the CIA operative who had tried four times to assassinate d'Escoto, and about a dozen times to assassinate Daniel Ortega, now President of Nicaragua.  Sandinistas!  What a waste of time that was.  He had seen people come and go from Washington, lost in a sea of ideology, tilting at puny windmills, lost in a storm of sound and fury signifying nothing.  He put down the newspaper.  The whole economy was going into the crapper now, national lands were being given away to whoever provided the Feds with the best whores, drugs, and bribes, the Chinese were loaning the U.S. cash until the cows came home, the Rule of Law Initiative was a sad joke, Rice was desperate enough to make up with Libya, and the media thought the Presidential race was about proper rhetorical use of the word "lipstick".  Han Li entered the room with a glass of sweet tea and a plate of crackers, bowed and left silently.  Maybe it was time to clear the decks a bit.  Maybe there were just too many pieces to control--too many people, too many greedy people, too many stupid people.

Back at the Watergate, Rice announced that she needed another favor from Wu.  He returned to her side, sat down, and placed Pippin gently on his own lap to show how nurturing he was.  "Of course!"  Rice pointed almost imperceptibly to the crashed personal computer on the floor.  "There are some files that I really need to rescue from that computer--files I didn't keep at State or on my laptops, files that are of the most sensitive kind.  Do you know how to retrieve them without getting anybody else involved?"  Wu was afraid of insulting her, but he did think it was necessary to ask if she had back-ups of any of the files.  "Some of them, but I've been traveling a lot and very busy--I just didn't have time to back-up everything."  "Let me see what I can do."  He opened up his briefcase and pulled out his new laptop from Hong Kong, complete with a state-of-the-art data extractor.  "This could take awhile."  Rice nodded and asked if he would like a smoothie.  "Yes, I would!"

Monday, September 15, 2008

Technical Difficulties!!!

[I apologize to my readers, but my home computer crashed! I am not sure when I will be able to post again. Charles Wu is looking at it right now, but I don't really trust him, so I think I'm going to go buy a Mac. And it's not safe to post from my current location, which is not secured!]

warmest regards,

Waterwoman

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Squeeze

Sebastian L'Arche tied Gipper to the fence with a thick chain and lock, opened up the plastic bowl of water, stuck a biscuit in the rat terrier's mouth, and patted him on the head. "I'll be back in an hour." The Congressman (not yet back from Denver) wouldn't like it if he knew, but L'Arche knew anybody trying to steal this dog would get a finger or two chomped off. He entered the Capitol Hill church basement just as the Iraqi War veteran support group was getting underway. He picked up the photocopied hand-written agenda and a paper cup of pre-poured sweet tea, then sat down on a metal folding chair. The first item would be a discussion of how people felt about the Iraqi War policies promulgated at the recent Presidential conventions. The second item would be a discussion of National Suicide Prevention Week (sub-topics: "What are the warning signs?", "How can I help veterans at-risk?", and "How do I ask for help myself?"). The third item would be participation in guided, therapeutic clay sculpture by a volunteer from the Art Institute of Washington. That would explain the nearby redhead with the Martha Stewart apron quietly setting hunks of gray clay out on plastic plates. L'Arche looked down at the fingerless biker glove hiding the scar where he had gouged out his own hand tattoo on the way to getting the mental health discharge; he would have to take the gloves off to do the clay thing, but maybe he could cover the scar with clay fast enough so that nobody would notice. His thoughts fluttered unwillingly but effortlessly back to his last days in Iraq, easily drowning out the political convention discussion until a stack of flyers and refrigerator magnets being passed around the circle of veterans brought him back to the present and signalled that the topic had turned to suicide. The man next to L'Arche raised his hand to tell the group about a "friend" who had recently jumped from the Roosevelt Bridge into the Potomac; he was rescued, but now he seemed more depressed than ever. Out of the corner of his eye, L'Arche could see the redhead staring down at her own hands, picking dried bits of clay out of the creases in her skin, and he wondered if she had tried to kill herself once and found salvation through gray mushy stuff squeezed between her fingers.

Several miles to the northwest, Lynn Cheney was in the family room at the Vice-President's residence. Dick was away propping up America's oil-rich allies (again), and she had decided it was a good time to start getting rid of stuff. She had three large cardboard boxes in the center of the room labeled "Paralyzed Veterans", "E-Bay", and "trash". She also had a small box labeled "Sarah Palin's husband" sitting on the coffee table, but she hadn't put anything in it yet except some print-outs from the website of the State Department's Chief of Protocol and a couple of Washington dining guides. I hate her. The thought kept creeping into her mind, despite the high-volume Wagner opera coming out of the stereo speakers. I hate her. She tossed a few more books and videos into the P.V. box, then placed "The Sahib Edition of Rudyard Kipling" (ten-volume set) in the E-Bay box. Strangest Christmas gift Condoleezza ever gave us. She tossed some framed photos of the Cheney and Bush families into "trash", then sat down with a stack of magazines. The top one was "US Weekly" with the Sarah Palin cover. I hate her. Lynn began aiming the magazine for "trash", but she actually enjoyed the article, truth be known. She sighed deeply and threw it in "trash". They'll never get this house baby-proof. She finished sorting through the rest of the magazines, then threw the couch pillow she was leaning on into the P.V. box. She stood up to unplug the lamp and toss it in "E-Bay" as the house ghosts watched with interest from their perch on top of the plasma tv.

A few miles south, the Assistant Deputy Administrator for Anti-Fecklessness was in his office re-reading his latest coded cable from the Secretary of State. He couldn't remember the last time he had seen her in person, actually...and he couldn't remember this stupid code. He closed his eyes and started singing the song in his head, which led to the poem, which led to the atlas, which led to the....something. Piss. Amazingly enough, "C. Coe Phant" sauntered into his office at just this moment, and the two nodded to each other woodenly. Phant said he heard the humming as he passed by and wanted to know if the A.D.A.F.A.F. needed help with the code. "Oh, I've got it," he replied. "It's about Cheney's trip to Asia--you know, Georgia." Phant nodded and commented on the reports that Cheney was not just rescuing oil allies but visiting CIA secret rendition prisons abroad. "Yeah, we're on top of that," the A.D.A.F.A.F. replied nonchalantly, even though his pulse began racing. Phant nodded, took another look at the memo which was upside-down to him, and said, "glad to hear it" with an odd smirk. As he walked out, the A.D.A.F.A.F. began panicking, wondering if he should call Phant back.

Phant had no idea what the memo said--all he had done was read it upside-down and commit it to memory so that he could de-code it later. But he had a feeling this would be a good one because of what Charles Wu had whispered into his ear as they sat side-by-side at the noisy bar in Buca di Bepo last night. Asia was getting unglued. This thought took the smile off his face, but after he wrote down Rice's memo and gradually decoded it, the smile returned. She was coming unglued.

A few hundred yards away, Ardua fidgeted with annoyance as Dubious McGinty dumped another load of excrement into the Potomac River. He had made a good haul of dog poop, port-a-potty human waste, and pigeon guano, and this storm would probably cause some sewage overflow as well, so he was fairly optimistic. A strong gust of wind almost knocked McGinty into the water himself, but he staggered backwards and sat down on the shore to rest a few minutes. He was soaked with rain and perspiration, but it had to be done--he needed to get the fecal contamination level high enough so that the D.C. Triathletes would not be allowed to swim in the river next week. Ardua sank lower in the river, knowing full-well what McGinty was doing but somehow always powerless against this man.

Monday, September 01, 2008

In Synch

The Great Falls of the Potomac sparkled in the warm sunshine as Golden Fawn and Marcos Vasquez laid out their picnic on the Maryland shore. They had already hikied the nearby woods for a couple of hours trying to find the spot that Golden Fawn had seen in her dreams, but to no avail. She could not really explain to him what she thought she would find there, but she knew that the ancients were calling her there for some reason. She could feel Ardua's presence in the water; she knew they had been at somewhat of a stalemate for a long time. Golden Fawn needed to turn up the heat now while her cancer was still in remission. She wished she could count on Marcos more, but he was a different man since his co-worker had sued him and the rest of his Coast Guard unit for sexual discrimination, not to mention the recent deployment of some of his colleagues on the Coast Guard ship in the Black Sea (how much further could a ship get from guarding the U.S. coast?). She knew he felt helpless, and she knew he hated that feeling more than anything else. That's why she was afraid to tell him about the ravens that talked to her or the demon living at Southwest Plaza or what her Great Falls dream had really showed her. She knew it was going to get worse before it got better.

Several miles to the south, Charles Wu was leaning against the rear railing of a small yacht cruising past the Kennedy Center. He was astonished at how different Beijing had looked even though it had only been a couple of years since his last visit. He was astonished at how obsessed the Party was with wining gold medals, forcing him to feign interest in Party officials' discussions of even the most mundane sporting competitions occurring. He could understand their wanting to make a strong showing in the manliest events and the most skilled competitions, but was it really a point of national honor to win gold in badminton or handball? When everything is important, then nothing is important. The words of his mother had come back to him several times during his visit to Beijing. But the image he really could not shake was the thousand men drumming in unison during the Opening Ceremonies--like the Borg had taken over the Chinese people, or the men had all been replaced by a Clone Army straight out of Star Wars. Cogs in a machine. But the opening of the Prince and Prowling office had gone very smoothly, and he had managed to place a couple of his own people in the reception area and mailroom--in addition to the four associates that were his. He had offered his own brand of consolation to more than a few disappointed (but gorgeous!) divers and beach volleyball athletes and, overall, had to consider the trip a success, but, still, things lingered on his mind.

His thoughts turned to the week in Hong Kong, and how his mother never asked how he had scored tickets to the equestrian finals, or why he was so vague about his "business" meetings. She adored him, but constantly confused him with her ambivalent attitude towards the British influence lingering over Hong Kong...and the British blood lingering in his veins. He whispered to the Hong Kong British what they wanted to hear about the mainland, and whispered to Beijing what they wanted to hear about the Americans, and now he was back in America loaded down with even more secrets to tell. Che Gordo and Che Flaco walked up to flank him at the railing and discuss the U.S. "Coast Guard" ship in the Black Sea, in exhange for what he could tell them about North Korea's "aborted" nuclear program. Che Gordo and Che Flaco spit out their martini olive pits in unison, and they fell like synchronized divers into the Potomac.

A mile away, Laura Moreno was sitting in Clyde's of Georgetown, watching her companion chew on a martini olive as she told Laura that the drunk-as-a-skunk coworker they had practically carried home on Wednesday was now enrolled in a rehab clinic in Dallas. Laura watched the young business school student tip the glass to drain the rest of the martini, and she wondered how many times this girl had lugged her boyfriend home. Since the evening she had run into him at Urine Park, Laura had learned (from others) that her coworker had often come to work drunk at Prince and Prowling, and had often called in sick during his worst drinking binges. Laura had also learned that it had been like this for a long time, but this girl had continued to go out drinking with him up until the end--if this was the end. The girl ordered a second martini and went back to talking about herself as Laura rubbed an ice cube into the tendonitis in her elbow and thought about all the drugs she was taking for the pain caused by Prince and Prowling. It's all about picking the right drug. The girl's voice faded into background noise as Laura thought back to the first day she had arrived at Prince and Prowling, and how much she had done to numb the feelings it gave her, and how nobody saw her screaming inside, and how her coworker had tried to pick fights with every guy they had passed on the street. Laura sipped her water and kept nodding politely.

A couple of tables away, Henry Samuelson was eating calamari and nodding politely as his companion talked about the Presidential conventions. (The Heurich Society had their people in place, and that's all that mattered to Samuelson.) They both looked up in surprise as a young woman began choking on an olive until a vacationing dentist rushed over to her to apply the Heimlich Maneuver, then they went back to their onion rings.

Over in the Potomac, Ardua sensed that the people would soon be returning to Washington, and she was very glad.