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, November 13, 2010

The Secret Lives of Squirrels and Millipedes

Deep in the bowels of the condo building now occupied by Golden Fawn and her husband Marcos Vazquez, a mama millipede kicked her children out of the nest and told them they were on their own. She ran up into the pipe casings ("free at last!"), and they tried to follow her, but she was too fast for them. The youngest turned off at the first whiff of fresh air and found herself behind a second-floor toilet, where she sat and debated what to do next. The eldest turned off on the third floor and also found himself behind a toilet. And so it went, until the middle child turned off at the sixth floor, where he was certain he had detected his mother's scent. He struggled and wriggled to get around a heavily rusted coupling, then landed behind a toilet, next to a kitty litter box. The resident kitten owner was in the process of bringing her in for another attempt at litter box training when she saw the hideous red millipede pass a foot from her feet, screamed loudly, and inadvertently tossed her kitten into the sink. She picked up the litter box and slammed it down on the invader--which appeared to be engorged with somebody's blood!--and then jumped up and down in a major freak out. It was the most evil insect she had ever seen. (If she had waited a minute, her kitten would have killed it, but she did not yet understand that her sweet little kitten was programmed to kill.)

Several miles to the south, another millipede was about to become prey.

"GO, GO, GO!"

Five juvenile squirrels sprung into action, chasing down the millipede that mama squirrel had just ordered them to attack. The millipede tried to burrow into the dirt behind the bush in front of the law library's mezzanine window, but the eldest swatted it out with her left paw. The millipede tried again, but the middle child swatted it out, and so it continued until at last the millipede was finally crushed against the west wall of the Federal Reserve Board building. The juveniles shuddered at the sight because they were not used to killing anything and had never hunted for their supper, but mama squirrel assured them they did not have to eat it. "Why did we have to kill it?" asked the youngest.

"You didn't kill it," she said quietly as she dug up some hidden acorns for them. "It was never alive."

A few miles to the north, another mama squirrel was training her litter behind the bush on the east side of the Church of Scientology building. "This is OPEN HOUSE night," she said. "You can tell because they put out those big purple dancing things." (She was referring to the balloons festively swaying in the breeze at the entrance.) "Troublemakers often show up after the balloons come out, and sometimes they throw things and smash things--it's best to burrow into a safe place and go to sleep early." With that, she turned around three times in the nest, then lay down. The juveniles all followed suit, except for the youngest, who poked his head out to see what would happen. A few minutes later, he saw Dubious McGinty escorted forcibly out of the building, shouting about how he knew the Moonies were responsible for hunting Randy Quaid and someday they would get theirs.

"These are scientologists," Charles Wu offered helpfully as McGinty was shoved past him, "not Moonies." The scientologists who had just escorted McGinty out of the building did not thank Wu for the intercession, nor was Wu encouraged by their saccharine smiles.

"Can I help you?" the younger man asked, though his fists looked clenched.

"Just came to see what this is all about!" lied Wu, with a dazzlingly handsome smile that almost (but not quite) turned the man a little gay, and both of the strong men wondered if this was a Hollywood celebrity they were not quite recognizing. Wu was actually not trying to pick up anybody tonight (one of the strangest nights of his life had been spent with a scientologist starlet from New York)--he was here because he had received an amazing tip from Che Gordo and Che Flaco that he would find a European prime minister in here tonight (using the fake name "Magnolia"). "Brilliant!" Wu exclaimed at the sight of the artwork in the front foyer, which was the most hideous thing he had seen since his last visit to the newly decorated Prince and Prowling lobby. He bent over to tie his shoe and release the spy robot millipedes from his socks, not knowing they would soon be sucked into the magnetized cove bay and collected with all the other dozens of spy robots coming in every month based on rumors and hearsay about which Washington power players might be scientologists. (Fortunately for Wu, the engineering in his spybots was too sophisticated for them to track him down, and he had already hacked into the Scientologists' surveillance camera system to make sure the recording function was not working tonight.) A beautiful woman in a red sweater dress and black snakeskin boots approached Wu because she had come tonight after hearing the rumors and hearsay about what a great place Scientology Open House night was for meeting rich guys, and Wu was an exotically handsome man in a very expensive silk suit. Wu struggled to stay focused on his quest for a prime minister, but her Chanel Number Five was already wafting into his nostrils. "Do you know Magnolia?" asked Wu before he lost focus, but she thought he was alluding to a sex scene from a movie and nodded yes for all the wrong reasons.

"I only feel safe here!" Bridezilla was protesting, as her boyfriend tried to coax her from the (surprisingly repulsive) Prince and Prowling lobby into the elevator. "There's no millipedes, and I don't have to touch anything in the bathroom here! I'm not going home until the motion sensor-activated toilet and faucets are all installed!" He told her again that this was not a reasonable option as they had not even been delivered yet. "But the millipedes!" She shuddered violently, and he silently cursed the millipede that had found its way into her home and destroyed whatever OCD grip she still had left. He couldn't get her to stay at his place because his Indian spices smelled too weird for her, so unless he wanted her coworkers to figure out she had really flipped out, there was only one option left.

"I'll take you to a hotel--ANY hotel in the city. You name it."

"They're all full of germs--and bed bugs! Don't you know there's a bed bug epidemic in this country?!"

He knew there were some outbreaks in other regions of the country, and that this girl had no idea what an epidemic really is. "We'll go to the Mandarin Oriental," he said. She wrinkled her nose at the word "Oriental", and he brushed aside her latent racism since it was really about Asian germs, not people. "The Gaylord at National Harbor?! It's very new! And I have that ultraviolet wand that you can wave over everything to kill any germ that might possibly be there." (This was a lie, but he was certain he could use his Star Wars light saber and she wouldn't know the difference.)

She bit her lip and swayed her head, pondering the offer. The holiday displays and ice rink might be up already. He smiled at her. He was wearing the olive green sweater she had bought him as a Diwali gift, and his pectoral muscles looked really good in it. How does he have the time to work out so much AND run his own business? "Do you think they have silk sheets?"

"We'll stop at Target and buy fresh sheets and blankets, OK?" She made a face at the name "Target", but he reminded her that it would probably be the only store still open, and she finally acquiesced to the plan. He was spending about five-thousand dollars a month on her, and he had not even purchased any jewelry yet--but she was like a fascinating mystery novel he could not put down.

Back at the Vazquez condo building, Vazquez's mother had just stepped into the bathtub to take a shower when the gigantic mama millipede stepped out from behind the shower curtain. Teresa let out a blood-curdling scream, then started beating at the beast with the back scrubber. Her son and daughter-in-law barged in to see the poor woman trembling at the sight of the millipede shattered into a hundred pieces all over the tub--all of the pieces still twitching with electrical impulses. Her son turned away from his naked mother, and Golden Fawn whispered that she would handle it. She helped Teresa out of the tub, then turned on the shower to wash the horror scene down the drain. "It's an evil creature," whispered Teresa, and for the first time in a long time, Golden Fawn was in complete agreement with her mother-in-law.

Over at the White House, papa squirrel was having trouble sleeping outside the West Wing--it made him nervous when warm days were followed by cold, cold nights. He looked at his fast-growing litter and wondered about the future.

Coming up in the weeks ahead: GMOs invade the National Arboretum, Bush's memoirs complicate Atticus Hawk's life, Glenn Michael Beckmann tries to give Christine O'Donnell a new reason to live, and Federal Reserve Board economists tell corny jokes.

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