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, January 07, 2012

Epiphany

Atticus Hawk finished reading the story on the guilty plea of former D.C. Councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr., sipped coffee from his Justice Department mug, and pondered the public glory which could be the career of a U.S. Attorney. A brazen thief of public monies intended to benefit children is heading to prison! Now that's something you can tell your relatives about at Christmas dinner! None of his relatives knew he was, incredibly enough, still the Justice Department's torture expert. All they knew was that he was one of those Washingtonians who only spoke of his job in extremely vague "national security" terms. Probably a third of federal employees no longer tell their relatives what they really do in the (shadow?) government (and God knows federal contractors are even more secretive), but sometimes Hawk felt incredibly alone. It was his legal analysis that led to another habeas corpus erosion slipped into the latest National Defense Authorization Act, as well as President Obama's tragically ironic signing statement, and it was not lost on Hawk that, were he ever to be branded an enemy of the state, he, himself, could now be tossed into prison with no legal redress. In his waking hours, this gave him no anxiety, but he could not deny he was having a lot of nightmares about waking up in secret prisons, accused of crimes against the American people. He never got a visitor at all, let alone a lawyer, and he was never told the names of the witnesses against him. The last couple of nights he had even dreamt that he had waken up in prison as a cockroach, and before he had a chance to call for a lawyer, he was stomped on by a laughing cellmate.

"You OK?" Hawk looked up with a start at Ava Kahdo Green, even though this had become her standard greeting to him. "I ordered too much lunch, so I thought you might want some." She handed him a smoothie, half a pizza, a sandwich, an apple, and a couple of brownies. He thanked her, embarrassed at how obvious his weight loss was becoming.

"I've been meaning to give you this," Hawk said, pulling an iPad out of his locked drawer. "It's a long story, but I ended up with an extra one I couldn't return."

She thanked him profusely, both of them comfortable enough with the obvious lies in their tentative relationship. Green asked what Hawk was working on, but he simply mumbled something about "access to justice". She nodded, wondering to herself why she always fell for the tall, dark, mysterious ones.

Several miles north, Megamoo was chewing cud and contemplating the tall, dark, mysterious one discussing her bovine narcolepsy with Megamoo's owner. "I really don't think you should bring her to the Three Kings circus," Sebastian L'Arche said.

"It's not a circus!" exclaimed Megamoo's owner. "It's Fiesta de los Reyes Magos--Hispanic Epiphany! The three wise men, and the shepherds, and the animals all coming to see baby Jesus!"

"At the GALA Theater, sure, but Megamoo can't handle the stress," L'Arche said. "Too many people, too many animals, automobile traffic--"

"Look," she said, "this cow is having problems out here where nobody bothers her! Maybe she needs more interaction!?"

Becky Hartley hand-fed some alfalfa to Megamoo and looked at L'Arche anxiously, wondering what he was going to say.

"What bothers your cow," L'Arche began slowly, "is that she senses things--things that can't be seen."

"Uh-huh," said Megamoo's owner, who had to admit that Megamoo was doing better since receiving visits from the animal whisperer, but was, by no means, cured of her bovine narcolepsy. "And what's the worst thing that could happen if I take her to Columbia Heights tomorrow? She gets nervous and falls asleep! So what?"

L'Arche hesitated for a moment. "She could sense something and tip over onto a smaller animal--or even a child."

"I'll be leading her by a rope!"

"You can't stop an 800-pound cow from tipping over if it's asleep!" exclaimed L'Arche.

"I can shoo others out of the way!"

"Ma'am," interjected Becky Hartley, who didn't want to see L'Arche lose their wealthiest client (and her possible influence among the horse-owning set of Potomac Manors, Maryland), "if you have your heart set on taking Megamoo to the parade, we can accompany you there." (L'Arche pinched her back shoulder blade, but Hartley continued.) "We can't guarantee she won't pass out, but we'll do our best."

A few minutes later, L'Arche was giving Hartley his sullen look as she revved up her truck to return to the city. "Look, we'll slip Megamoo one of my daddy's animal Xanax pills, and she'll be fine," said Hartley. "You know damned well there are demons all over the place, so it really doesn't matter where the cow is, does it?"

"Why does a grown woman need to take a cow to a children's parade?" protested L'Arche.

"It's her baby, Sebastian! Honestly, sometimes you can be pretty obtuse!"

"Me!? I've got Senator Lamebrain's rottweiler tomorrow, and you know I can't leave him at home because he'll attack every animal smaller than a beagle. And you've got that parrot wedding at 2 p.m.!"

"You can bring Fraulein Rottenmeyer to the parade with her muzzle on--and we'll give her a Xanax, too. And you don't need me at the parade--you can handle it," said Hartley.

"Since when do we dish out Xanax like breath mints?" asked L'Arche.

"Look, nobody has more respect for your abilities than I do," said Hartley, "but it's an ugly world out here. Not every animal is cut out to face those demons."

Back in D.C., television reporter Holly Gonightly (who was still TFFT--too fat for television) was drooling over an ice cream bar somebody was licking to celebrate the warm weather in McPherson Square. "This could be the last balmy day the OccupyDC protesters see for quite some time! How do you intend to make it through the winter here?" Gonightly shoved her microphone in a bearded radical's face while her cameraman yawned.

Nearby, Dizzy was just lifting his trumpet to his lips when he caught the sunlight reflecting off of Gonightly's cursed Rolex. He put down the trumpet and got up slowly. "I know you," he thought. He walked in-between the cameraman and the bearded radical. "That's a 1999 Rolex, ain't it? They don't make 'em like that anymore." Gonightly lowered the microphone, disbelieving that her long search for the rightful owner of the Rolex could possibly end with this disheveled street musician. "It's got an engraving on the back, don't it?" asked Dizzy, and Gonightly nodded, numb. The cameraman picked up the extra microphone and started narrating the drama as the Rolex was turned over to reveal the engraving that Dizzy had already quoted.

Gonightly handed the Rolex over to Dizzy, as her cameraman pantomimed for her to smile, and she finally regained her composure. "An astonishing epiphany at OccupyDC as I finally find the rightful owner of this Rolex--which I first brought to the attention of our viewers early last year!"

Rightful owner? Dizzy knew he wasn't the rightful owner, but the rightful owner--a fine saxophone player--was long dead. The cameraman asked Dizzy to play a song to celebrate, and Dizzy nervously complied, worried that nobody was going to throw money in his case now that he had a Rolex. But I can't give it up--that would be bad luck. He started in on "Blinded by the Light" on his trumpet, forgetting that the exact opposite was true: it was keeping the Rolex that was bad luck.

A few miles to the north, a surprised Charles Wu buzzed Apricot Lily and Camisole Silk into his apartment building. A minute later, the disguised spies entered his apartment with a baby carriage. "That's a good one!" he laughed. "What's in there?"

"A baby," said Lily, unwinding her layers.

"Funny!" said Wu.

"Your baby," said Silk.

"Hilarious!" said Wu, who always used custom-made condoms from the finest latex manufacturer in Hong Kong.

Lily pulled back the blanket, and two little eyes stared up at Wu.

"The mother nursed her for three months, so she can take formula now," said Silk. "There are a couple days' worth of supplies in this bag."

"Here's the birth certificate--U.S. citizen," said Lily, handing him an envelope.

Wu pulled out the birth certificate to see the mother's name. "I don't remember--"

"Of course you don't!" said Silk. "She said you can do a paternity test if you want. Anyway, she can't take care of the baby right now, so she wants you to."

"What do I know about taking care of babies?"

"Don't be a cliche, Charles!" exclaimed Lily.

"Seriously, I--"

"Bottle goes in the top end, stuff comes out the bottom end," said Silk. "Hold her when she cries. It's not rocket science!"

"We've gotta go," said Lily, and with that, they were out the door.

Wu looked down at his daughter, who was pushing down on her blanket and kicking off her socks. He picked up the birth certificate again. "Buffy Cordelia!? Really?" He looked at her dubiously. "Buffy? Cordelia?" She looked at him indifferently. "How about 'Delia'? I think I can live with 'Delia'." She gurgled. "What am I saying? I can't keep you! What the Hell--" He stopped himself, suddenly ashamed of swearing. He bent to take her out of the carriage, but then realized he had no plan for her after taking her out, so he left her in there and pulled up a chair.

Outside Wu's window, a confused catbird raced off to inform Ardua of the Potomac there was a new player in town--and she might have the power to tip Charles Wu over the edge.

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