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, March 22, 2009

Resolve

The Assistant Deputy Administrator for Hope had been hoping that he would have more weekends to himself now that the Bloodsucker was no longer Secretary of State, but somehow he found himself spending another Sunday back in the office.  His assignment was to track Iranian reaction to President Obama's startling Persian New Year's greeting to the people of Iran.  Unfortunately, most of the reaction was inside the U.S.  "He's a secret Muslim" was again popping up all over the internet, even though the holiday was actually of Zoroastrian origin.  The Administrator wasn't sure if Obama could be a secret socialist and a secret Muslim at the same time, but that did not stop the Chuck Norris militiamen of the country from plotting to rise up...any day now.  Even more unfortunate was Israel's bizarre greeting to the people of Iran reminding them that their children could not eat enriched uranium.  It was no surprise to the Administrator that Iranians were saying, "This is more of the same--the U.S. in cahoots with Israel to weaken our resolve."  But nobody had asked him his opinion for dealing with Iran, so he was just here to compile the report...and continue to deal with a girlfriend who was constantly disappointed that he was not bringing peace to the world.

Not far from the State Department, Perry Winkle was on his own quest:  together with a few teachers he had befriended while covering the "Metro" beat for The Washington Post, Winkle was leading the first of what they were calling Urban Guerrilla Field Trips.  Today's theme was "The Homeless of Washington, D.C."  The permission slip the kids' parents had filled out was a little misleading, and none of the kids had expected to be wearing rock-climbing equipment and crawling along the side of a drawbridge over the Potomac.  "Don't look down!" Winkle shouted again to Angela de la Paz, who was mesmerized by the sight of the shimmering water below her.  It took a lot of effort, but they finally reached the walkway leading to the bridgeman's quarters.  The teachers let the kids pause to drink from their water bottles, munch on granola bars, and look down at the river while Winkle went about detaching their cables.  A few minutes later, they were knocking on a dilapidated door, then a smiling Dubious McGinty proudly ushered them in.  The group could barely all fit inside, with some sitting on piles of newspapers and tables, but when they were ready, Dubious started showing them his electricity, running water, satellite TV, and files.  Angela was jealous of his satellite TV, and didn't even think the guy counted as homeless, but her jealousy turned to pity then fear when he started showing them his files on Ardua of the Potomac.  His mission to destroy the demon living in the Potomac made several of the children roll their eyes in ennui, and others to squirm uncomfortably in the presence of a total loony, but Angela had chills running up and down her spine and thought there might be more to it.  

An hour later, they were all climbing back to the D.C. access ramp.  Winkle had shouted to Angela over and over again to stop looking down, but she was obsessed with spotting the demon.  Instead, she saw pink dolphins frolicking, but nobody else saw them, and then she was confused because she didn't want the man hunting dolphins, but then she thought maybe she was as crazy as he was--because pink warblers were one thing, but pink dolphins in the Potomac was nuts.  Inside Angela's guts, her hepatitis-scarred liver went into overdrive against the toxins assaulting her, and she sat down to rest.  She was due for her bi-monthly liver function test in a week, and it had been barely normal since last summer, but she wasn't thinking about that--she was still thinking about Ardua.

A couple of miles to the east, Laura Moreno was in the Prince and Prowling workroom putting in some weekend hours to make up for time out of the office on another fruitless interview for a "real" job.  "The Braggart" was there, too, and today's theme was how his Writ to the Supreme Court of the United States had been rejected on the very same day the Justices had ruled on the case of Bush v. Gore.  Apparently this story was somehow supposed to convey that the only reason Skippy didn't get a hearing was because the Supreme Court was busy choosing the next President of the United States, or perhaps this story was supposed to convey that Skippy had shared some sort of judicial tragedy in the same league as Al Gore's--but Gore had gone on to win a Nobel Peace Prize,  while Skippy was currently making a living stamping selected pages of tax return files as CONFIDENTIAL.  It didn't matter that Moreno had her music headphones on:  Skippy just kept on talking about himself, hour after hour after hour.  The Braggart didn't understand that he had neither a past nor a future at Prince and Prowling.

Down the hallway, former Senator Evermore Breadman was fielding yet another phone call from a frantic AIG refugee trying to figure out how they could keep their severance bonus without (a) getting it taxed to death or (b) getting assassinated in a drive-by-shooting.  He already had four of them lined up to move themselves and their money to the Cayman Islands, but this one said he was too patriotic to do it.  Breadman rolled his eyes and took another swallow of Maaolox.  How can I explain to this moron that it's every man for himself in hard times like this?  He absent-mindedly fiddled with his sapphire cufflinks (he always dressed to the nines, even on weekends) and wondered why people were so inflexible, and why they thought getting rich should be easy, and didn't want to make any sacrifices.  I'm here on a Sunday afternoon for my clients!  I'm always making sacrifices, he thought to himself as the man droned on about his son's need to stay in Connecticut near his elite ice skating coach, and his daughter's need to train in Pennsylvania so that she would peak at the right time to win Olympic gold in gymnastics.  If Breadman had told his wife and children they were all moving to the Cayman Islands, they would have obeyed him without a word!  (At least, that's what he thought.)  "Alright, give it some thought and call me back tomorrow."  Breadman hung up the phone without waiting for a goodbye, eager to write another multi-million-dollar contract for yet another client to snatch up a chunk of Stimulus money.

Back at the drawbridge, the Warrior crouched on the embankment of the Virginia side watching the kids taking off their rock-climbing gear.  He wasn't interested in the peculiarity of the entire enterprise:  what he was interested in was Ardua's palpable fear of the girl...and the sudden appearance of the pink dolphins.  This was the second girl/woman he had seen that had an effect on Ardua, and he knew the spirit animals were a great sign.  He had been fighting these battles for hundreds of years, but this one was different:  he was not going to be able to defeat this demon alone.

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