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 ....

Saturday, October 23, 2010

It's Not Easy Being Green

Glenn Michael Beckmann carefully loaded his plastic explosives into the rucksack he would take to blow up Green Festival. He had already forgotten about his foray over to take potshots at the Pentagon earlier this week (he was angry that the military was again allowing fags to enlist) and thought he had spent the whole week preparing for this mission. (He didn't specifically remember what he had done earlier in the week, but he was fairly certain it was memorizing the layout of the festival and where the exits were.) He filled in his rucksack with cilantro to overwhelm the guard dogs' sense of smell, then headed out from Southwest Plaza into the brilliant sunshine. He was hoping this would help him win back former girlfriend Christine O'Donnell--whose Satan-worshipping, witchy handlers must have been preventing her from returning his calls or emails. (They probably think I will trip her up with lust, but really I just want to help her on the campaign trail!) The lust could wait: he had a lot of self-discipline when focused on a goal. (She will need me to keep the leeches and closet liberals at bay once she becomes the junior U.S. Senator from Maryland!)

Over at the Convention Center, Henry Samuelson and the chairman of the Heurich Society were jotting down notes as they surveilled the renewable energy pushers and radical environmental groups with new interest: they had recently launched Project Prometheus in response to Gwynne Dyer's "Climate Wars", and it was essential to verify accurately the what/when/how of the forecasted climate changes, and make their own contingency plan for worldwide water wars, famines, and mass migrations. Samuelson had been trying for years to get the Heurich Society interested in CIA analyses of climate change doomsday scenarios, and it was with mixed gratification that he finally got the society to stop believing it was a vast liberal conspiracy theory and start dealing with it. (Hell, even the Bush clan had already bought up a huge watershed in South America!) They had quickly agreed on purchasing an enormous tract of land in Canada where the freshwater supply was forecasted to last at least three-hundred more years, but other issues were more complicated. The biggest sticking point was what they would do about nuclear power, since it was the most obvious solution in many respects but held the highest risks of terrorist sabotage. Then there was the fact that China was leading the way in clean energy technology research, which was unacceptable economically and strategically. Samuelson announced he had a headache, and the two men went off in a fruitless search for a "normal" cup of tea.

A hundred feet away, Lynnette Wong had already sold more tea and herbs in the first two hours of the Green Festival than in the previous two days at her herb shop in Chinatown. She was astounded at the number of voracious consumers eager to spend money on products to purify their bodies and environments: where were they the other 51 weeks of the year? She handed out another brochure for her shop and started to speculate that maybe she would be able to buy back Charles Wu's stake in her shop and be sole owner again. But then she realized this thought did not make her very happy--she had actually become a little fond of him since the arrival of his father and brother from England, and now his mother! He was like the wooden Pinocchio who had suddenly become a real boy, with actual human feelings. Not that it wasn't hard--she knew it had been very, very hard because his mother Ha Ling had been calling her to chat in Chinese every day about her roller-coaster motherly emotions after being reunited with her ex-husband and long-lost invalid son Phillip during her visit to America. And when she and Wu would come into the shop, Charles invariably had a sad smile on his face, betraying a depth of feeling previously denied. And out of the blue he had said one day to Wong, "your parents would be very proud of what you have done with the herb shop." And his voice had almost--almost!--seemed to crack in saying that. She sold another colon-cleansing kit for $25, but instead of thinking about buying out Charles Wu, she started thinking about how to spread her herbs far and wide to the people that needed them.

Not far away, the residents of the Arlington group home for the mentally challenged were again standing in line for free samples of organic chocolate as social worker Hue Nguyen tried to coax them into exploring other areas of the festival. "We could go hear a speaker!" she said. "No brainwashing!" shouted Cedric, who had already espied his former colleagues from the Heurich Society and had become wildly paranoid about the true nature of the Green Festival. "We could go look at fair trade clothing!" Nguyen said. "Too bloated," countered Melinda, who had not tried on clothing in a public place since she had surpassed 200 pounds in 2006. "How about the free music performance?" Nguyen asked. "The music is the cuestick of the pool table of life," said Freddy Ritchings (AKA Brother Divine of the International Peace Movement). "The slow is a no-show, but the fast will last. The strings have wings while the winds have fins. I am music, and I write the songs!" Nguyen took this as a yes and asked Millie to help her herd the group towards the performance area. (Millie had a red "I'm a helping dog!" vest on, and Larry had pretended to be blind to get her in, but she was really here for herding and soothing the field trip participants.) The colorful crew shuffled off slowly, with the social worker in the lead while Millie gently nudged one, then another, resident back onto a straighter course. Melinda was momentarily distracted by another chocolate sample hawker, but Millie forcibly pushed her back to the group. Then Theresa was mesmerized by a table of hand-carved wooden toys, but Millie coaxed her, as well, back to the group. It was a little more challenging when Buckner started arguing with the people staffing the Sierra Club booth ("The Sierras kill people! People fall off those Sierras and break their skulls every day!"), but Millie finally succeeded in herding Buckner back to the group as well.

But just as the group started to sit down near the concert, the hair rose on Millie's back. Fifty feet away was a bomb-sniffing dog briefly examining a rucksack left under a table, then wrinkling his nostrils at the cilantro smell and trotting off. The old, arthritic, and generally sedate Millie abruptly bolted, pulling a startled Larry off his chair at the other end of the leash. Millie ran over to the rucksack and started barking furiously--not because she could smell the bomb but because she could smell the odor of the Southwest Plaza real estate demon pouring out of the bag. The bomb-sniffing dog's handler turned back, hesitated for just a moment, then called the code into his walkie-talkie. Twenty seconds later, the crowd was being evacuated as a frustrated Glenn Michael Beckmann shook in anger outside the Convention Center at the sight of greenies pouring into the streets.

In the tree branch above Beckmann, a flock of starlings chattered nervously about the clash of good versus evil, then flew off to report to Ardua of the Potomac.

NEXT WEEK: Will the denizens of Washington Horror Blog attend the Rally to Keep Fear Alive or the Marine Corps Marathon? (Hint: "Wear a costume and hear a possum! Don a mask and complete your task! Run for cover while we discover!")

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