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, February 13, 2011


The Hunter-Gatherer Society was in session at O Street Beach, where they were roasting a couple deer over open fires they had built after their successful bow-and-arrow hunt in Rock Creek Park. Glenn Michael Beckmann had bagged nothing since he was a firearms hunter himself, but he could not have argued with the advisability of keeping the morning's hunt quiet. Holly Gonightly had been told to do the "woman's work" of chewing on the rawhide to soften it before tanning, and it was only the thought of a Pulitzer Prize for undercover reporting that enabled her to keep herself from upchucking--not to mention, keep herself from telling the guys they were morons. Beckmann stood up, cleared his throat, and pulled out some notes he had prepared the night before. "Our President, Sarah Palin, said the revolutionaries in Cairo were standing up for freedom, lower taxes, prayer in schools, and the right to bear arms." (Gonightly kept a straight face and joined the others in nodding in agreement.) The Cairo Tea Party brothers-in-arms will no longer tolerate the liberal media elite and all its lies about global warming. When the going got rough, they didn't back down: they said, 'reload'!" (ahem, ahem) "Er, they said, 'stand tall!'" (here here!) "The freedom leaders in Egypt are the Christians, and they need our support: they are the true friends of Israel in the Middle East, and freedom rings throughout their land! If they can do it, so can we!" The members jumped to their feet for a standing ovation, but Gonightly had no idea what they actually wanted to do. (She was also worried that she was starting to like the taste of the rawhide.)

At the far end of the gathering, the Warrior squatted in silence. He had helped them during their morning hunt because he had hunted in Rock Creek Park many times, but their words made no sense to him. (The Warrior was over 400 years old and had heard a lot of speeches, but they rarely made sense to him: seemed to him that people only spoke truthfully when only one or two people were listening.) He got up and walked over to where the yellow-haired woman was chewing on rawhide and asked her what she was doing--he was worried she was going to break her teeth. She looked up at the Indian and took the rawhide out of her mouth to speak, but she lost himself in his eyes like bottomless wells.

A mile away, the Heurich Society was also discussing the weeks' events in Egypt--particularly, Project Cinderella's success in removing Hosni Mubarak safely from Cairo and transferring many of his assets to the Cayman Islands before Swiss officials were pressured to freeze his bank accounts. "But there's more!" said Henry Samuelson, with a glint in his eye and a rare smile. "She believes she's found a cell there linked to Project R.O.D.H.A.M.!" He paused a moment for this to sink in. "She's embedded in it now and should have more information for us soon." The Chair of the Heurich Society asked if their operative (Angela de la Paz) was still on the pulse of military leadership. "Of course! That's why she's so valuable to Project R.O.D.H.A.M.!" From the speakerphone, the voice of Condoleezza Rice interrupted to remind Samuelson that the rising tide of popular revolt across the Arab world was not something that could be shaped by a 16-year-old girl. "Popular revolt is not what she's shaping," sneered Samuelson, hoping Rice could hear his sneer over the telephone line. "And it's not about Arabs," he added. "It's about 'Climate Wars', it's about 'Guns, Germs and Steel', it's about societies' dying because they have nothing left to stand on but sand--literally." The others squirmed: Rice was the only female member of the Heurich Society, but nobody had ever taken her for a fool before--not so vociferously, in any event. "That '16-year-old girl', as you call her, is a force of nature, and she's working for us." Rice made no response, and the Chair moved to the next agenda item: the federal budget.

About a mile to the south, the federal budget was also on the agenda at Prince and Prowling: it was all hands on deck for former Senator Evermore Breadman, who was overrun with Congressmen seeking advice on drafting riders to avoid looking like earmarks. Even Laura Moreno and Chloe Cleavage had been pulled off the three class-action lawsuits against sub-prime mortgage lenders which Prince and Prowling had been defending for half a year with total average billings of $6,000 per day. Breadman could not be denied this week--he even had half a dozen Tea Party legislators seeking his services right now. (Of course, they sent staff members in their stead so they could not be photographed entering or exiting Prince and Prowling--though their official line was that they did not want any journalist to publish a misleading photo suggesting they had actually been inside the White House across the street). Moreno had actually been planning to go to Puerto Rico this week to take a break from the cold and look for a job--any job--because the accumulated hubris of years of working at Prince and Prowling had crushed her spirit nearly to oblivion and all she wanted now was to get far, far, far away. She pulled the February 1995 Ways and Means Subcommittee report from Edgar, hit the Print command, and checked it off her list. She took another bite of her chocolate chip muffin (she had to admit that Breadman was generous with the snack trays when he asked people to come work on a weekend) and wondered if she would ever get a pay raise before she died, and wondered if that other contract attorney was right who said they should be banging their own pots in front of the White House and calling for a revolution, and wondered if it was time to take a major risk in her life even though every other major risk had turned out badly. "Is there trans fat in these muffins?" Moreno jumped at the sight of Bridezilla at her door. (Bridezilla had nuked the muffin for two minutes to kill any possible germs, but then it occurred to her they might have trans fats.) Moreno shook her head no, even though she had no idea. "High-fructose corn syrup?" (No.) "Hormone-free eggs?" (Yes, Moreno nodded.) "Organic butter?" (Yes.) Bridezilla looked at Moreno suspiciously, but the hot muffin with melting chocolate chips smelled really, really good, and she could not resist it any longer, so she turned without another word and left to eat her muffin, leaving Moreno to contemplate if she had become a person who casually lied with ease--or was that an exempt situation of humanitarian compassion?

Over in the river, the Beaver was encouraging the pregnant Ardua of the Potomac to try varying her diet to ease the morning sickness. "You might try eating a few tree limbs," suggested the Beaver. "A little extra roughage could do you good. Just eating people--" Ardua roared so loudly the Beaver leaped backwards a good twenty feet, or perhaps it was a sonic boom that had knocked the litle minion out of the water. "I'm not saying to stop eating people!" added the Beaver. "Just think about adding a little fiber--" Ardua roared again, and the Beaver ended up flat on his back on the embankment below the Theodore Roosevelt bridge. "Why don't I leave you now so you can get some rest?" The Beaver, reluctant to get back in the water, crawled awkwardly but rapidly away from Ardua. The demon belched loudly, then reached up to kill the battery on a Chevy Volt passing overhead. (Ardua did not hate electric cars--it was just a coincidence.) Then she glared at Dubious McGinty, who was standing outside the bridgeman's quarters to enjoy the heat wave of fifty degrees. He had stopped attacking her months ago because he was still trying to figure out this pregnancy thing: he know the Prophecy said the baby would kill her, but then the baby would be stronger and more evil than Ardua herself. Should he try to kill the baby? What if the Prophecy was wrong? What if it was right? He spit into the water far below him. It was time to go look up Golden Fawn--if anybody knew, it would be her.


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