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, May 27, 2012

300

"They aren't just in cartoons, kids," said Washington Post reporter Perry Winkle.  "Teenage mutant ninja turtles really do exist."  The two canoes comprising today's urban guerrilla field trip slowed to a floating stop as Winkle pointed to a deformed turtle sunning itself on a tree limb.  "Toxic pollution and endocrine disruptors have transformed the Anacostia and other rivers into chemical experiments."  Winkle reached quickly to grab the young turtle, and its family members snapped in anger and dismay.  "Look," Winkle said, turning it over to expose its genitalia.  "Deformed because of mutation."  (He had heard a couple of suppressed chuckles at the word 'genitalia', but then silence:  the adolescents were examining the turtle carefully.)  "It will probably be unable to reproduce, or its descendants will also have mutations."

"But some mutations are good, right?" asked a bright middle-schooler.

"Sometimes spontaneous mutations can be beneficial, such as giraffes getting longer and longer necks, but mutations caused by pollution generally are not--they cause body parts to grow without symmetry or proportion, such as leaving you with only two toes on your left foot and no toes on your right foot."  (He was talking about toes, but he was thinking about the Congressional staffer he saw decapitated the week before--did I really see maggots crawl out of the inside of her neck?  Could it really have been a zombie serial killer?)

"Or your wanker won't wink," said another, prompting a burst of giggling.

"That's correct," said the "Metro" reporter.  "And the human species is not immune:  sperm levels have declined in many tested populations around the world."

"Have you had your sperm level tested?" asked another, prompting another burst of giggling.

"Oh, I've already fathered 300!" he joked, putting the turtle back on the log so he could start a splash fight.

Several miles to the northwest, Calico Johnson was cantering his horse "Ninja" around his Potomac Manors neighborhood--a horse the realtor had purchased for the sole purpose of having an excuse to see his lovely neighbor more often, since her barn was the only place he could board the horse.  Basia Karbusky had even helped with some additional training that the former racehorse needed in its slow recovery from the nervous breakdown it had incurred last spring.  Nonetheless, Johnson had made no progress whatsoever in seducing the tall blond from Wisconsin, and she only grew more and mysterious in his eyes.

He halted Ninja behind a small grove of ash trees where he could spy on the car pulling up to Karbusky's property--a nondescript American sedan with Virginia plates.  "It's the Chicago White Sox guy," Johnson said to Ninja (or himself).  "Always on Sunday, always wearing the baseball cap."  He knew it wasn't a lover because the man was never in her house more than ten minutes, but it was still driving him crazy.  Karbusky had told him she had "inherited some money" in his first attempt to find out what she did, and he had initially accepted that, but had grown more suspicious lately.  The organic gardening consultant he could believe, and even that freaky "dog whisperer" she had brought out to treat her cow's bovine narcolepsy, but she now had half a dozen visitors per week, all in nondescript sedans, all staying no longer than ten minutes.  What were they up to?  He was perplexed about all of them, but the White Sox guy was the good-looking one, so Johnson was jealous of him.  He knew if he brought the horse in now, the guy would be gone by the time Ninja was unsaddled.  And what if I timed it so that I was just walking up when White Sox is leaving?  What would I learn, anyway?  Nothing.  Johnson had brought up the issue at the last Sense of Entitlement Anonymous meeting to see if people thought he should hire a private detective--or, even better, if somebody like John Boehner or Dick Cheney could dig up some information on the woman--but they had laughed out loud at him, saying if he couldn't even spy on the woman next door, who could?  Johnson stayed long enough to watch the baseball-capped fellow come back out (ten minutes later), then he led Ninja into a canter back towards the eastern pasture.  I need to stop thinking about her!

Back at Karbusky's property, the woman closed the door and watched through a window until her client's car was no longer visible.  Then she walked into her office and sat down to count the money.  She separated out $300 for some shopping trips this week, then put the remainder in her safe.  She tapped her fingers on the desk nervously, fairly certain that she had seen Johnson's horse again in the ash trees.  Maybe I should just ask him out on a date and get it over with?  Act like a nut job so he never wants a second date.  A couple of clients had asked her out recently, but she never mixed business with pleasure.  What pleasure?  She was getting more and more paranoid, spending most of her time in the house or out in the barn taking care of Mega Moo.  This can't go on forever.  She sighed and returned to the laboratory to prepare the next client's order.

This will go on forever if I don't get rid of it, thought Dizzy.  He was glancing unhappily at the cursed Rolex sitting on his wrist, fretting about the ugliness in his life since he had put it there.  Dizzy was still carrying around his trumpet case, but he hadn't opened it in days.  He found himself walking back to McPherson Square, where it had all begun.  He walked past the Occupy DCers--a small crowd now, all familiar with the mercurial trumpet player and his inexplicable Rolex.  Suddenly he was face-to-face with a tall Italian-looking fellow in skinny jeans and a boat-neck tank top made of red silk.  Impulsively, Dizzy pulled the Rolex off his wrist.  "$300," Dizzy said, "and it's yours."  Luciano Talaverdi (a Federal Reserve Board economist) looked rapidly around, then picked up the Rolex to examine its authenticity.  "Alright!" he said, not even bothering to bargain, and he pulled the cash out of his wallet and handed it to Dizzy.

 A few minutes later, Talaverdi was lying on his psychiatrist's couch, asking if Ermann Esse thought it was wrong for him to buy the Rolex.  "It might not have been stolen," said Talaverdi.  "It might have been pawned--I mean, we are in a recession."  The shrink nodded without saying anything, and watched as Talaverdi read aloud the initials engraved into the watch.  "I'll do an Internet search to see if anybody posted something," Talaverdi said.

"And contact the police?" asked Dr. Esse.

"No, of course not!  They would just say there had been a theft reported, and then keep it for themselves."

"Are you certain?" asked Dr. Esse.

"Yes, I'm certain!" protested Talaverdi, who disbelieved most of the things his mother had told him about the Mussolini era, but had retained a life-long hatred of police officers.  Anyway, I have more important things to discuss."

"Hmmm?" said Dr. Esse, encouragingly.  (He was billing at triple rate to come into the office on a holiday weekend.)

"I started working on a letter to the editor," Talaverdi said, "like you suggested.  But every time I try to explain what the Fed is doing, I go on for pages and pages and pages.  How can people like us, with Ph.D's, summarize so many years of knowledge in a way that simple people can understand?"

"Indeed!" said the highly educated psychiatrist, who rarely said more than a dozen words to his patients.

"I tried to make 3 points, then it became 10 points, then it became 30 points.  I think I would need 300 points to outline what the economy needs and how the Fed is operating!"

"What is your theme?" asked Dr. Esse.

"What do you mean?  I just told you the theme?"

"If you had a title, for example, what would the title be?  Or the subject line in an email?" asked the shrink.

"The End of Hyperbole."

"Do you mean this ironically?" asked Dr. Esse, genuinely perplexed.

"What irony?" asked Talaverdi.

A couples miles to the west, Angela de la Paz emerged from swimming with the pink dolphins in the Potomac, an axe in her hand.  She dropped it beside the Warrior on the shore of Roosevelt Island, then sat down to catch her breath.  The Warrior picked it up and examined it slowly.  "It is new," he said.  I have probably seen 300 axes since the white men brought steel to America, but this one has an enormous amount of embedded evil for something so young.  Maybe we should throw it back."

"Throw it back?!" asked Angela, incredulously.  "I took it from Ardua, and I gave her some parting whacks with it on my way out!  I'm not giving it back to her!"

"Do you remember the last time you took something from Ardua and tried to use it for your own purposes?" asked the Warrior.

"This is hardly the same situation!" protested Angela, but she didn't like displeasing the Warrior.  "Of course, I don't really need it.  I suppose I could just bury it on this island for now.  Ardua would just find somebody else to take it if I tossed it back in the river."

"Yes, you are probably right," nodded the Warrior, pleased with her.  "Let us go bury it now.

Deep in the river, Ardua of the Potomac seethed over the loss of the evil axe, but she was determined to get it back.

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