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 ....

Thursday, March 01, 2012

In the right place at the wrong time.

Former Senator Evermore Breadman was getting tired of Congressional lobbying. (How could he get legislators focused on making money when they were obsessed with birth control and post offices closing down in tiny towns?) He was in a bad mood. Charles Wu had canceled lunch with him! (What was going on with Charles?) He listened to the voicemail again: "In the midst of an emergency--can't make it to pee pee--very sorry." (It still sounded like "pee pee", though Breadman had eventually figured out that Wu was seeing "P.P.") Nobody called Prince and Prowling "P.P."! He pulled open his snack drawer--God forbid anybody saw him going to lunch by himself!--and selected a Clif's Builder bar, golden raisins, and medicinal rice puffs from his Chinatown herbalist. He put the rice puffs into a large bowl, poured vodka over them, and got started.

A few miles to the east, Judge Sowell Lame was reviewing the Final Order (third draft) written by his law clerk in the matter of Wolfgang Prowling's will challenge. A total of $18,000 had come into his possession from three different sources--one of them a P.P. partner with no money to gain in the disputed will nor the penultimate will. The small amount of the bribes was disappointing but perhaps a traditional percentage--it wasn't as if he could consult with other judges about it. It seemed disloyal to screw over Laura Moreno, a young member of the D.C. Bar who could really use the boost of an inheritance, in favor of Prowling's socialite children with no obvious inclination to contribute to society, but....the truth was, P.P. partners could be a little ...frightening. He looked up at the large photo of himself getting sworn in as a judge and suddenly recalled a scrap of conversation he had overhead in the men's restroom one day: "Nobody puts up a statue inscribed, 'He did what was legally required of him.'" He turned to the last page of the Final Order and picked up his pen to sign it. Nobody puts up statues for judges, anyway.

A couple miles away, Angela de la Paz was visiting with Dr. Devi Rajatala. "Ladybugs already," the National Arboretum arborist said, bending over some small saplings. She shook her head and stood up to look at the larger trees. "March 1st, and there is way too much blooming."

"Is it really so bad, Dr. Raj--global warming?" asked Angela. "I hate winter." She was standing in a patch of sunlight, away from the shade of the trees, luxuriating in the warmth of the sun on her face.

"You need to go to college," said Dr. Rajatala.

"Not you, too!" exclaimed Angela. "None of that matters now."

"Not understanding the world doesn't matter now?"

"I understand enough to survive--that's all that matters," said Angela, not looking at Dr. Rajatala. "The Heurich Society is freaked out about global warming because of looming droughts and massive refugee movements. I think people try too hard to change things. Sometimes things just happen."

"And some of those things are insects thriving and migrating. Ladybugs are fine, but mosquitoes carry diseases, then birds carry diseases, then--"

"Yeah, but it's the same result--some people live, and some people die," said Angela.

Dr. Rajatala pulled Angela out of the sunlight and down to the ground. "Look at this ladybug," she said, pointing to a sapling. "She doesn't have a lot of choices in her life, but you're not a bug. You're a human being, and you can make choices. We can all make choices." Angela stared at the ladybug, hating it because it didn't miss its mother or miss its grandmother or have to make choices. "One of my choices is to care about YOU, Angela. You know that, or you wouldn't be here." Angela made no reply, instead getting up to walk over to pet Rani, the grazing donkey.

Two acres away, Charles Wu was pushing a baby stroller and talking about Iran and Syria with the Condor.

"Delia is a great cover!" the Condor said again. "I don't know why you don't use her more often."

"She's my daughter! She's not a cover!" Delia's hands were bouncing in excitement at the greenery whizzing by her. "I think I need two full-time nannies. What am I supposed to do when Mia is sick?"

"Just do this!" said the Condor. "That's what I'm saying! She's a great cover!"

"Just tell me about the Shia arms shipments into Syria so I can get her home for her afternoon nap. If she falls asleep in the car, everything gets screwed up!" Wu could see Henry Samuelson in the distance, pretending to photograph something on the ground. (Terrific.)

Samuelson was, indeed, not faraway. (His new digital camera went into "sleep" mode so often that he had resorted to clicking constant shots of his shoes just to keep the camera awake.) "Goddamn!" He decided he had enough photos of Wu's companion and shoved the camera back into his pocket. (The baby was unexpected, but hardly worth photographing.) He was heading off in the other direction, back to his car, when he suddenly espied Angela de la Paz petting a donkey. You're supposed to be infiltrating the Basque separatists right now! What are you doing in Washington?!

Several miles to the west, Ghost Dennis was brooding about another close encounter with President Obama: whenever Dennis got up the nerve to say something important to the President, the moment somehow passed by too quickly. I've seen a lot, Dennis would think. I know a lot. And some of this life or death stuff, he needs to know. But the Shackled kept pulling him back, telling him, "The living need to live their own lives!" The Shackled were on a crusade to get ghosts to stop haunting Washington, but the way Ghost Dennis saw it, the battle is never over.

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