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 07, 2010

Spring Fever

Clio was sipping echinacea tea and staring out the window at Regina and Ferguson running around like mad June bugs in the White House backyard. They were sequentially jump-roping, kicking a soccer ball, riding tricycles, pulling dolls in a wagon, throwing balls for Bo to fetch, and doing any and every other activity they could think of. The trees still looked barren and cold to Clio, whose left lung was secretly trying to deal with early stage pneumonia. (It had been one year since the White House butler was diagnosed HIV-positive and started the medicine regime which had kept her healthier--most of the time.) She blew her nose, hocked up another batch of green phlegm to spit into the plastic bag at her feet, then turned another page in her magazine.

Several miles away, realtor Button Samuelson stifled a cough of her own, swallowed the phlegm, and determinedly ushered Golden Fawn and her husband Marcos Vazquez into another house for sale. Her winter sales had been abysmal, and Calico Johnson wasn't paying Samuelson a lot to run Caljohn Mgmt., LLC. She knew this couple lived at Southwest Plaza, and finding a house for them would be a double victory for her: a commission, of course, and the removal of an uppity couple from the troubled rental property she managed for Johnson. (Not that he would see it that way, but there was no reason for him to know!) Samuelson smiled as Golden Fawn's face lit up at the sight of the garden in the backyard, but Vazquez was already kneeling down to examine the kitchen sink plumbing for signs of leaks. Does he really expect a perfect home on their budget? "Let me show you the master bedroom!" said Samuelson, as she took Golden Fawn by the elbow. Vazquez, anticipating another argument, watched nervously as Golden Fawn headed for the stairs: she had blamed every problem at Southwest Plaza on the real estate demon living in the parking garage, and though he knew the demon was real, he also knew that a lot of other things could go wrong. But at some point, Golden Fawn was going to announce that her instincts told her "this is the one", and he was going to have to accept that--after all, that was something he loved about her, wasn't it? He closed the kitchen cabinet and stood up, suddenly realizing that she must have looked at him at some point in time and instinctually decided "this is the one" about him. He smiled, deciding to trust her instincts...as long as her instincts took into account everything he noted about cracks, leaks, holes, and neighborhood graffiti.

Several miles away, Laura Moreno's instincts were telling her to give up. "Open folder." (Nothing.) "Save file." (Nothing.) "Directory." (Nothing.) She read the instructions for voice-activated command set-up for the fifth time, then glared malevolently at her expensive computer. She headed to her medicine chest for ibuprofen, put her wrist braces on, then sat down to work on another job application that might--through some miracle of karma or sorcery beyond her current comprehension--succeed in delivering her from Prince and Prowling purgatory. (She had spent all day Saturday doing electronic redactions for Chloe Cleavage, only to be told by Bridezilla at the end of the day that Chloe had assigned her the wrong folder of documents, and she would have to start over again on Monday.) "To whom it may concern," Moreno said out loud, but then she said no more because her throat hurt and she feared she was coming down with a cold. She massaged her thumb momentarily, then scrolled her mouse.

Back at Southwest Plaza, one floor above the Vazquez apartment, Glenn Michael Beckmann was finishing his prayers at the shrine he had set up for John Patrick Bedell. "Your death is not in vain, my brother," he whispered as he blew out the candle and rose to his feet. "Someday, the true patriots will scrape the scum of the Earth out of the Pentagon." He walked past his gun cabinet, paused to pick up his binoculars, then headed out on the balcony to take another look at the Capitol. He knew he could take out the Lady Liberty statue with the right rocket launcher, but there was no point (or bloodshed) involved in doing that, and he didn't know why the thought kept popping into his head. "Patience," he whispered to himself, then pivoted and trained his bincoulars on the Washington Monument--which was too far for for a rocket launcher, but he was working on some other ideas that he hoped to pull together by Memorial Day (when the monument would be crawling with tourists). Kill. He put down his binoculars, wondering where the voice had come from, but saw nothing but a catbird on the railing. Kill. The catbird cocked her head, but her mouth was not moving. "Kill who?" Beckmann whispered. All of them. Deep in the parking garage, the real estate demon chuckled.

Back at the White House, the twin pre-schoolers were taunting Bo with figures of Taylor Swift and Kobe Bryant, prompting their mother to come running out the door into the backyard. "Reggie! Fergie! Stop that! You know Bo's afraid of Bobbleheads!" Bo galloped over to Clio for protection as she wagged her fingers at them. "Shame on you!"

A White House sniper looked down from the roof, shaking his head. "Why are these kids so bad?" One of the White House ghosts watching from a tree was thinking just the opposite: Why aren't these kids more evil by now?! What's it gonna take?!

Inside the West Wing, the Rahm Emmanuel wannabe turned away from the momentary drama outside his window and back to the task at end: we will accomplish health care reform even if it kills us! In the corner, a member of the Shackled was trying to whisper to him, but didn't know what to say. (Once you're a ghost, the fear of death passes, and health care seems a very alien concept.) The phone rang, and the wannabe looked at the caller ID: former Senator Evermore Breadman. He sneezed and felt a sinus headache coming on...maybe a fever. The phone rang again, and he answered the call.

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