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 ....

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Soft Touch

Atticus Hawk's copy of Dick Cheney's memoir, "In My Time", sat squarely in the center of his desk, next to his canary yellow Justice Department legal pad full of notes. He had done nothing since 1:07 pm yesterday but analyze it--per the instructions of Attorney General Eric Holder after the Amnesty International protesters delivered it with a letter demanding that Cheney be investigated for the torture crimes outlined in the book. The book now had three red flags sticking out the side for incidences that Hawk (the Justice Department's torture specialist) believed could be investigated for show with a minimum amount of damage. The jacket cover of the book lay at the bottom of Hawk's shredder, where it was relegated after being vandalized by a mysterious interloper with a Sharpie who had changed the title to "In My Dick". (He suspected Ava Kahdo Green, but he really didn't care.) The hardback now sat unprotected and vulnerable, and if somebody took a Sharpie to it now, he would have to replace it--probably with his own money. The few hours of sleep he had snatched last night had been haunted by the orange jumpsuit-clad protesters, except their heads had all been replaced by raccoon heads with Dick Cheney eyeglasses on. The nightmare was precisely the sort of thing Ava Kahdo Green would feel triumphant in getting a man to confess, but he would take this secret dream to the grave. (She had teased him for three weeks after hearing about his nightmare of George W. Bush singing "Bad Romance" as a serenade to Osama bin Laden.) It never ends.

A few miles to the south, Glenn Michael Beckmann was sitting on his Southwest Plaza balcony. He was trying to read "In My Time", but it was very boring compared to the exciting stack of yard sale books he had recently purchased (for $3!) about Pol Pot. He really liked the idea of exterminating all the parasitic intellectuals with soft hands and eyeglasses! But he did not really understand the purpose of driving city-dwellers back into the Cambodian farm fields. Hell, if they weren't interested in growing food, they were just gonna end up growing marijuana or poppies! How would that help the Khmer Rouge? (But if he could adopt some of these Pol Pot ideas for the Hunter-Gatherer Society, it could really reenergize his troops.) He read a few more paragraphs from Cheney's book, but they all sounded the same--whining, whining, whining about every single instance when somebody disagreed with him in the slightest. Pol Pot wouldn't have whined! Pol Pot would have beaten them to death with sticks! Were Cheney's hands too soft to beat someone to death with sticks? The real estate demon living in the parking garage reached a tentacle up to Beckmann's balcony and poked him in the eye to remind him that Cheney also had eyeglasses. Then the real estate demon whispered, "Cheney's the one who's been leaving anonymous hate comments on your blog."

Several miles to the north, ex-CIA agent Henry Samuelson was also trying to slug his way through Dick Cheney's whiny book--which, to his reading, had no redeeming value except the tidbit about Condoleezza Rice's weeping in Cheney's office about making a public relations mistake. (First the Gaddafi photo journal about Condoleezza Rice's visit to Libya, now this!? Surely the Chair of the Heurich Society will finally concede it was a mistake to allow a woman into the Society!) If Cheney's biggest complaint about George W. Bush was that he only shortened Scooter Libby's prison sentence instead of pardoning the numbnuts, Cheney was the most delusional political leader this city had ever seen! And a wuss, too lazy to write his own memoirs without help from his lesbian daughter! Ambitious bitch, trying to ride his coattails to political office on a don't-close-Gitmo-the-terrorists-will-come-and-kill-us platform! Samuelson was proud of his own daughter--who didn't go around telling people about her sexuality or use her dad to advance her own career! Where is she, anyway? It suddenly occurred to Samuelson that he hadn't heard from Button in quite a long time.

Not far away, Button Samuelson was inside one of the condo buildings owned and managed by Caljohn Management, LLC. More precisely, she was making a secret inspection of the balcony of owners Golden Fawn and Marcos Vazquez after incessant complaints from "I'm a lawyer" Chloe Cleavage that it was a public health hazard. Samuelson took photos of the herb garden, petunia pots, hanging ferns, and tomato and pepper plants. Then she took a few photos of the Compost Cab container--which was the basis of the complaint. She had assured her boss (and occasional lover) Calico Johnson that her spook father had given her expert olfactory training from an early age, and she could smell anything, but there was no offensive odor leaking from the Compost Cab container; nor were there any insects anywhere near it. She pulled out her cellphone to telephone the Compost Cab company and get some more information, then wrote down on her steno pad: "The container is designed with a very tight seal, and we pick it up every week. It's the perfect composting system for apartment dwellers, and we'ver never had a complaint about it." Samuelson concluded there was only one reasonable explanation, which was that Ms. Cleavage, Esquire, saw the word "compost" from her own balcony and simply imagined the smell; there might also be an unreasonable explanation, namely that new owner Ms. Cleavage, Esquire, had already gotten in some kind of a feud with her neighbors and was looking for a way to attack them. This is my life? Samuelson shook her head and sat down on a patio chair to contemplate how she had ended up investigating decomposing produce for a living.

A few miles to the south, attorney Laura Moreno was also slumped in a chair contemplating how she had ended up with such a lame job and no exit strategy. She had recently had a glimmer of hope that she might get a Justice Department job, but her squeaky-clean Girl-Scout-like existence had failed to ensure a smoothe background check, and after weeks of being asked to submit fingerprints and the same paperwork over and over and over again, she had finally given up. Then she found out that a former Prince and Prowling contract attorney (the Braggart) was going around Washington telling everybody that Moreno had gotten her fired from Prince and Prowling, which was a complete lie. Now Bridezilla had been promoted to partner after her stunning, intellecutally average but politically connected, debt-ceiling intervention, and she and partner Cigemeier were in some kind of weird contest to assert influence over Moreno. In the latest skirmish, Bridezilla had sought Moreno's assistance in performing a quality check on the review done for a client which had recently sued another law firm for legal malpractice; Bridezilla had accompanied this work request with an Edible Arrangements bouquet and a notecard touting the anti-oxidants and fiber found in the fruit selection. Then Cigemeier had asked if she could work through the Labor Day weekend to help him run database searches in response to a Justice Department subpoena; Cigemeier had accompanied this work request with an invitation to connect to him on Linked In. Moreno couldn't do both unless she cut back on sleep in a most injurious way, and she had no idea how to go over two partners' heads to find out what the real priority was. Therefore, she had sent both partners an email asking if she could perform the work in their offices while they were out, since the workroom had the dead rodent-in-the-ceiling smell again, and she was waiting to see which partner came through for her. FOR HER! Then Moreno frowned, wondering if she was pushing her luck. A reply came back from Bridezilla first: "Of course! Also, I was thinking of setting you up with an old friend from law school. Interested?" Then her email in-box dinged again, and Cigemeier had written: "Of course! And I will contact Facilities about the rodent. That is unacceptable! And after the summer associates leave, there will probably be an office open on my floor." Moreno bit her lip and fretted.

A couple miles away, a raven alit next to Golden Fawn as she ate her lunch outside the National Museum of the American Indian. It told her there was a stranger on her balcony at home. "Is he evil?" Golden Fawn whispered. "She," the raven whispered, "is confused, but not evil." Golden Fawn thought about phoning her husband but decided to wait and see how things felt when she got home. She went back inside to her office, where a cart of newly catalogued Seminole tokens and fetishes were awaiting her gentle relocation to display cases; she could still feel the gentle summer breeze on her face all afternoon.

Out in the river, Ardua of the Potomac sulked in hatred of gentle summer breezes and remained in withdrawal from the thrilling ride of the hurricane. It's time for somebody to rile up this city again!

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