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, November 02, 2008

Horror

Condoleezza Rice had one eye on her Halloween costume preparations and one eye on her new cleaning woman, Cinderella Gomez.  Although the maid had come highly recommended by former Senator Evermore Breadman, Rice had her suspicions.  For one thing, although the irony of the name escaped her, Rice did suspect the name was false--even though Breadman had assured her that "Hispanics like quaint names".  For another thing, the maid was using "green" cleaning products, which to Rice appeared to be a scam to drag out the whole process by requiring more man-hours of scrubbing.  Then there was the fact that Pippin had immediately taken a liking to Cinderella, and Pippin hardly liked anybody.  Rice watched Cinderella polish the Danish crystal vase with tenderness, then turned back to her costume preparations.  It might be her final appearance at the United Nations of Horror luncheon at the Alarmastan Embassy, and she wanted to make a ferocious closing statement.

A few miles east, former Senator Evermore Breadman's clown costume was hanging on the back of his Prince and Prowling office door as he worked on some more regulatory drafts and Executive Orders for President Bush to sign in the next two months.  His wife had assured him that it was not a silly clown costume, but rather a scary clown costume--like the clown in that Stephen King movie she had expected him to remember--but sometimes he wondered if she was secretly out to get him.  It seemed very undignified for a Senator to dress up as a clown in front of a bunch of diplomats, but she had also assured him that it was important to show a sense of humor before the elections.  He took another gulp from the new herbal tea blend that Lynnette Wong had given him and subconsciously massaged his groaning intestines with the other hand as he looked over his red ink mark-ups on easing pollution discharge bans on mountaintop coal mining, abolishing the catch quota on the endangered Fortaleza flying clam, subsidizing the domestic assault rifle industry against imported Uzis, abolishing 75% of the administrative procedures for Equal Opportunity complaints inside the federal government, requiring states to accept nuclear and toxic waste in exchange for receiving community development block grants, suspending counter-terrorism import inspections for pre-approved importers, and weakening the Clean Water Act rules on agricultural animal waste run-off.  Breadman chased the somewhat bitter tea with a swallow of cherry-flavored bottled water as his personal air cleaner whirred pleasantly at his side.  He put the marked-up regulations in a large Prince and Prowling manila envelope, sealed it, and addressed it to Vice President Cheney in thick red magic marker.  He knew they would spawn plenty of lawsuits from disgruntled nonprofit watchdogs, but that would simply give him more kitchen cabinet business in the new year.  He put on his clown costume and headed out cheerfully to hand-deliver the envelope to the Old Executive Office Building on his way to United Nations of Horror.

Three floors below him, unlicensed contractors were removing an old asbestos-contaminated radiator from the sweatshop--not because of the asbestos but because of the roach infestation in and behind it.  They set the radiator aside and began sucking up the roaches in earnest with the special vacuum cleaner they had brought in just for the job.  Tiny particles of asbestos also flew towards the vacuum cleaner, and onto their clothing, and into their lungs.  (Their employer had forgotten to supply them with the protective clothing and face masks.)  After they felt they had sucked up enough, they tossed in an insecticide bomb, then quickly taped a thick plastic cover over the exposed ducts.  They then applied insecticide along the wall edges to catch any roaches that had escaped the other attacks.  Beneath the carpeting, thousands of roach eggs would still hatch in the next two weeks, and they would find ample crumbs and beverage spills to feed off of from the hundred contract attorneys packed in twelve hours/day, six days/week.  The contractors carried the radiator out, leaving a sizable trail of asbestos in the air from the sweatshop, to the hallway, to the elevator, and out through the lobby.  The new radiator would not be delivered until December, but the contract attorneys would generate enough body heat themselves in the tight space, and, statistically, only two of them would develop asbestosis, and only seventeen would develop roach-induced asthma.

A few blocks away, White House butler Clio was lying down on a blanket spread out in the warm sunshine of Lafayette Park.  Her occasional cough set her worrying that her childhood asthma had returned, but it was actually HIV-related pneumonia setting up shop in her lungs.  She started to fall asleep as her nearby twins darted around tossing the last crumbs of their picnic lunch to squirrels and ducks.  She could hear their voices (which was almost the same as watching them), and they knew better than to wander too far away.  But Regina and Ferguson did wander, gabbing energetically in their secret twin language to the catbirds, which expertly mimicked the sounds back at them to their great delight.  "Reggie....Fergie...."  They turned around to see who was calling them, but only saw a large raven perched on a bench.  They had an argument about whether to go talk to the raven, and finally agreed to go to to the raven for just a minute, but they couldn't understand what the raven was trying to tell them about their mother, so they skipped off again impatiently.  A church youth group from Georgia noticed Clio in the background of their photo shoot, and decided to put their remaining snacks into a paper bag for the wretch.  The minister's daughter wrote on the bag that Jesus saves, and then tiptoed up to Clio to place the bag where she would find it upon awakening.  The twins suddenly noticed the pack of teenagers surrounding their mother and ran over to see what they were doing, which panicked the teens into thinking the young hooligans would steal the food away from the homeless woman, but there was nothing they could do because the minister's wife was yelling at them that they were late getting back on the bus.  

Meanwhile, high above Lafayette Park, a large number of the Shackled had just left the White House--where an angry female ghost was constantly reminding the others that women had never even gotten to vote up until the day she died in 1908, and an angry male ghost was saying he had lived to 1953 and never gotten to vote either.  The Shackled had tried to calm the White House ghosts down and point out to them that women and minorities were voting in historic numbers this  year, but the Shackled weren't getting anywhere, and they had a lot of other ghosts to visit before Election Day.

Back at the Watergate, Cinderella was gone, the apartment was spotless, and Condoleezza Rice was finishing up the final touches on her costume under the pleased gaze of Ardua lurking in the river below.  A few minutes later, a startled Secret Service contingent was whisking a chainmail-covered Joan of Arc and her very real sword from the Watergate to the United Nations of Horror, where drunken diplomats were celebrating and mourning the closing act of the Dubyah years.  Also speeding towards the party at the Embassy of Alarmastan was a team of FBI human-trafficking investigators, whose raid had been prompted by an anonymous but credible tip that Chinese women were enslaved there.  Away from the din of the party, the Dragon King of the Eastern Sea (Charles Wu) was patiently watching the servant's entrance from an upstairs alcove window, sipping a Zombie through a straw inserted into his mask; he was wondering if human nature ever really changes.


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