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, August 26, 2012

Audits and Scrutinies

Atticus Hawk was sitting on the porch, reading the Republican Party platform on his laptop computer.  A couple weeks ago, this was the sort of thing that would have gotten his pulse racing and his temples throbbing, but today he could just smile and shake his head.  "I was a Young Republican once," he said to Basia Karbusky, who was sitting near him outside her Potomac Manors home.  "Of course, I'm not supposed to be overtly partisan, as a Justice Department attorney!" he said with a wink.

"You're not supposed to be young, either, but I think you're getting younger!" Karbusky said, looking up from her grandfather's journal of Nazi experiments and winking back at him.  She had never gotten involved with a client before, but he was handsome and handy around the barns, and she couldn't help but feel flattered when he declared he would rather spend his forced break from the Justice Department here with her than anywhere else.  He was somebody her grandfather would have liked very much:  intelligent, hard-working, patriotic...and blond, blue-eyed, square-jawed.  He never pestered her to find out what she was doing:  if she said it was a tight-security research project, he understood and accepted that.  But the things she did share with him, he found fascinating--such as the greenhouse and mineral sheds where she collected most of the raw materials she used to make her drug compounds.

"I feel younger!" Hawk agreed.  "I'm sleeping great, I have energy--you're my salvation!"  He leaned over and gave her a passionate kiss.

"Happy to help!" she replied, wondering how much of his improvement was from getting off the prescription medicines and onto her own prescription for him, and how much of the improvement was due simply to being on vacation from his job...or sleeping with her.  She kissed him again, scientifically concluding that it was probably all of these factors, and she could be content with that.

Several miles to the south, Henrietta Samuelson was not content.  "Reexamine going back to the gold standard?  Really?"  She was waving a copy of the Republican Party platform at the other members of the Heurich Society seated around the table.  "It's not even the most precious metal anymore!  Have those dinosaurs ever heard of platinum?"

"That won't go anywhere," protested a member to the right of her, almost adding "little girl" to the end of his declaration.

"Well, I should hope not!" Samuelson said. "It's bad enough we're spending more money in precious copper to produce a penny than that's worth!"

"Sometimes you have to compromise to get agreement on other principles," said another member, who was not nearly as civic-minded as that statement might suggest.

"I just expected better, after making it a priority for us!" asserted Samuelson, who had her suspicions that several members of the Heurich Society were not taking her seriously as their Chair--or carrying out their assigned tasks.  She briefly turned her back on them to look out the 3rd-story window of the Brewmaster's Castle, collected her thoughts, then wheeled around rapidly to see if anybody was making faces at her.  Your reflexes are pretty fast for a bunch of old men who eat crap and never work out, she thought, with a fake smile on her face.  "Well, time to move onto something else."  She passed out copies of a lab report on the Heurich Society's secret underwater reservoir tapping into the Ogallah aquifer.  "The Heurich Society created its own secret water reservoir in October of last year.  I have confirmed that it is now contaminated by hydrofracking in Oklahoma."

"That's impossible!" shouted a member to her left--mostly because he wanted it to be impossible, rather than had any authentic reason to assert its impossibility.

"Inconceivable!" echoed another member.

"The money we put into building our secret reservoir!" gasped a very elderly gentleman at the far side of the table.

"Well, that's what happens when you tell gas companies they can do whatever the hell they like, and they don't need to comply with the Clean Water Act!" averred Samuelson.  "Haven't any of you seen 'Gasland'?!  [Blank stares.]  What are we going to do about this?" she asked.

"Start a new reservoir in Canada?" said one member.

"You're missing the point!" declared Samuelson.   "Water is more important than gas!  We have got to stop the hydrofracking water pollution!  It is time to repeal Cheney's Halliburton loophole before there's no clean water left in this entire country!"

"There's plenty of clean water in Canada," said the member to her right.

"And some of the glaciers are melting, so there will be more," said another.

"Really, li--."  (The man almost said "little girl" again, but stopped himself in time.)  "Let's just create a reservoir in Canada and move onto more pressing business."

"We've got people in Canada--maybe she didn't know that," said another member.

Samuelson sat down in her chair, silent as the conversation got away from her.  Are they living on the same planet I'm living on?

"Are you living on the same planet I'm living on?" asked Sebastian L'Arche, as he and Becky Hartley walked past the Brewmaster's Castle with half a dozen dogs leashed and ready for Dupont Circle.

"That is really obnoxious!" protested Hartley, who was not succeeding in explaining any of her new Scientology beliefs to her dog-whispering partner.  "You know, we have a Mormon running for President, and the Vice-President candidates are both Catholics who don't even agree on what their Church stands for!  People believe all kinds of different things, and I'm trying to tell you that Scientology is making everything come together for me, and you're totally closed-minded about it!  You, of all people!"

"Why do you keep saying 'me, of all people?'"

"You talk to animals!" exclaimed Hartley.  "You do exorcisms!  You fight demons!  You know, not everybody would believe the stuff you tell me, but I do believe you!"

"You've seen evil incarnate, Becky!  I never asked you to believe in something you couldn't see!  Do you realize how crazy this Scientology stuff sounds?"

"Oh, so now I'm crazy?!"

 "I didn't say that!" protested L'Arche, though he had to admit to himself that he had come pretty close.

"I think you're just jealous because this has been so good for me, and because I'm spending so much time with Werner!" said Hartley.

"Werner?!  I'm not jealous of Werner!" declared L'Arche.

"You see evil everywhere, but when I tell you that I'm on the road to understanding it and eradicating it from my life, you won't listen to me!" said Hartley.

"Well, every time I ask you a tough question, you say you haven't gotten to that stage yet!" said L'Arche.

"You have to learn things in steps--Algebra I comes before Algebra II.  You know, if you would just try one auditing session with Werner--"

"Oh, no!  Forget it!"  At that, the two fell silent.

Half a mile away, Glenn Michael Beckmann was sitting on the steps of the Carnegie Institution, glaring silently at the Founding Church of Scientology across 16th Street, a laptop computer resting atop his thick legs.  He resumed typing a blog entry about the exceedingly argumentative second audit he had experienced the day before, and how they had refused to refund him his money.  "They don't even believe we're Americans!" he typed furiously.  "They believe everybody came from outer space--EVERYBODY!  I could understand it if they said eco-femi-nazis were from outer space, and Islamic terrorists, and Chinese people--but not AMERICANS!!!!!!"  He was very uncomfortable on the hard stairs, and longed to return to Southwest Plaza to finish typing the entry in his comfortable microfiber chair from Office Depot, but seeing the Scientology building up close was fueling the rage in his blog--and he was up to half a million readers now, so it was important to keep things raw and powerful.  "How DARE they call ME an anti-social suppressive personality type?!  As soon as their guard is down, the bombs are going in!!!!"  Then he realized that might tip his hand too much, so he backspaced over the last sentence about the bombs.  You'll never see me coming, you stuck-up intellectual FREAKS!  "Scientologists only care about RICH people and CELEBRITIES anyway," added Beckmann to his blog.

Twenty feet away, a young couple was arguing as they waited for the bus.  "You only care about rich people and celebrities!" said the woman.

"That is so not true!" protested the man.   "I can't help it if they are the ones that usually hire public relations firms, but that's not all I do!"

"I was taught there are three kinds of circles in your life," said the woman.  "The circle you draw around yourself, the circle you draw around your family, and the circle you draw around your community.  People who spend all their time in the first circle are egomaniacs--"

"--or shy," said the man, laughing.

"Funny, ha ha," said the woman.  "People who spend all their time in the second circle are still too limited.  You need to spend time in the third circle to gain a broader perspective on life.  People in this town have found a way to be in the larger circle while ignoring 95% of the people in it.  We don't even have circles anymore--we have gerrymandered life slices."

"Your metaphors are getting out of control, babe," the man said, shaking his head.  "And the bus is here."

The woman was wondering if it would be hypocritical to kick him out of her circle now.

In the back of the bus, Angela de la Paz looked out the window silently as she headed up to Adams Morgan to walk around her old neighborhood and see the old familiar places--she hated it when she got in these inexplicable sentimental moods, but it was better to just indulge in them and then move on.

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