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, December 20, 2009

Snowed In

The large brown dog as big as a pony had finally run away to Sebastian L'Arche. She was currently curled up next to his fireplace in a relieved doze, feeling the warmth slowly radiating into her arthritic joints. She had tolerated carrying the boy around as a cowboy on Halloween (even when he kicked her with his very real spurs); she had coped with being locked in a basement closet for five days at Thanksgiving with a bucket of water, a bucket of food, and several layers of newspaper to pee and poop on; she had even coped with the boy's practicing television wrestling moves on her two or three times a week. However, while pulling a sled back and forth from the convenience store the day before for every neighbor on the block (her mistress was making $20/trip on that), the pain and cold had settled into her joints in a way she had never known before. When they had let her out to pee this morning, she had pretended to get lost in a snowbank, then tunneled out the other side and followed her instincts to L'Arche's house in Southeast Washington. She was old and tired, but L'Arche--glancing for a moment away from www.planetwashington.com--knew she had run to him because she was not ready to die.

Several miles to the west, former Senator Evermore Breadman emerged from the Prince and Prowling Partner and Associate Spa, freshly showered and groomed, after being forced to spend the night on his office leather couch. He had been on teleconferences all day Saturday about the Senate health care negotiations, so focused on his work he had barely noticed the snow swirling outside his panoramic window, but it was simply too difficult after having spent the previous two days focused on scuttling the Copenhagen Conference of Parties. He walked down the Prince and Prowling hallway, not at all self-conscious about his blue silk robe and imported Japanese slippers--partially because he didn't think anybody else was there and partially because he was deep in thought as to whether he needed to scale back his clientele. He walked past his Wall of Me to find Chloe Cleavage (who had also spent the night on his couch) spreading out a feast of food purloined from secret stashes all over the law firm. This he did not expect. He smiled wanly, wondering how to get rid of her. She had brought up the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post like a golden retriever, simply exuding loyalty and warmth. Good heavens, what if she wants to do it again? My Viagra's at home! She was thrilled to not have gotten stuck at that creepy Southwest Plaza during the blizzard, and cheerily told him to sit down at his desk to eat. Breadman's herculean efforts to protect insurance company profits and oil company revenues began dissipating from his conscious mind and settling into his acidic gut.

Not far away, Laura Moreno was back in the workroom packing up her things after an extremely uncomfortable night sleeping on the reception area sofa. She had tried to sleep on the carpet of her workroom with her coat as a blanket and a pile of bagged napkins as a pillow, but it just freaked her out too much to be lying next to the enormous blood stain nobody had removed after the emergency medical technicians had taken out the would-be suicide last week. (She had brought in a couple different stain removal products herself, to no avail, and her pleas to get the carpeting replaced had fallen on deaf ears.) She had spent all of Saturday fixing the lousy foreign language translations done by phony language experts (paid a lot more than she was) who managed to take innocuous phrases like "accepted by the organization's system" and proclaim them proof of illegal activity, while simultaneously failing to recognize the smoking guns they were actually greenlighting for production. The attorney-client privilege review had taken six hours alone, and even though she had been told she had to come in on Saturday, and couldn't possibly be allowed to leave until everything was QC'ed, Prince and Prowling wasn't paying a dime for her getting trapped here for sixteen hours overnight. A few minutes later, she squinted at the gleaming snowbanks as she headed out into unfamiliar daylight, reminding herself to be thankful she still had a job.

A block away, Malia and Sasha were merrily making snow angels and snowmen on the White House lawn, laughing at the always entertaining twins Ferguson and Regina--who were currently singing a Lady GAGA duet as they took turns launching themselves from the swingset into a large bank of snow. But now something was wrong: Ferguson could not be seen, and Regina was calling out to her brother, trying to find him under the large piles of snow. "Fergie!" The twins' mother raced over to find her son, and Malia and Sasha ran over to help dig him out. Bo paced back and forth, uncertain what to do. Finally they saw his purple snowsuit, but when they pulled it out empty, Clio screamed in terror. Then they heard laughter and turned to see the snowsuit-less boy jumping up and down in glee at his prank. "Fergie!" A furious Clio then turned to look at Regina, who was stifling her own laughter. "Reggie!" Clio threw the snowsuit at the toddlers and ordered them inside. She turned to the Obama girls, tried to apologize, mumbled, and then left.

Inside the White House, a puzzled President Obama (who had seen Ferguson the whole time and did not know what the commotion was about) turned from the window back to Rahm Emmanuel. An absolutely historic week had come and gone, and the magnitude and novelty of its events and milestones were eclipsed by a couple feet of snow. The Washington Post health care story implied the reporters thought the public would care more about how Senators had traveled through the blizzard to cast their health care votes than how they had actually voted. The Copenhagen agreement on global warming could not compete with an historic blizzard when it came to weather stories. And the Nobel Peace Prize was something nearly everybody seemed eager to forget. "We've got to get 2010 right," President Obama said quietly, and Emmanuel assured him they would, even though their team was still only half-appointed.

A few miles to the south, Angela de la Paz smiled out the window at the pink warbler who had alit on the snow-covered windowsill. Though the sparrows and pigeon doves were happily pecking at the breadcrumbs spread out by Dr. Devi Rajatala, the pink warbler was simply singing. Angela knew by now that Dr. Raj could not see the pink warbler, and the Warrior had told her not to worry about that--she did not need to explain everything to people who did not understand. She had been living here at the National Arboretum ever since the weather had gotten too severe for The Warrior to keep her hidden in Rock Creek Park. Dr. Raj understood the fears about the bad foster family and why she couldn't go back to her grandmother's apartment, but this couldn't go on forever. "Come and have some lunch," she called to the girl, who dutifully reported to the work table that had been cleared of tree bark samples and spread with hot microwaved meals and beverages. "You need to finish your homework after lunch. I'll have to hide you away tomorrow if school is closed." Dr. Rajatala could not believe words like that were coming out of her own mouth. First she had taken in the clandestine donkey, and now this. Angela asked where she would hide on Monday, and Dr. Rajatala told her she was still thinking about it--but probably the geothermal-powered greenhouse. I wish I could take you home to Maryland. She didn't know a lot about United States laws, but she was fairly certain from television that you never wanted to take minors across state boundaries.

Outside, a hawk circled slowly above the snow-draped woods as the forest creatures slowly emerged to feed once again.

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