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 19, 2012

Get Back to Work

Atticus Hawk drove slowly up to the Potomac Manors estate, double-checked his GPS, and proceeded up the driveway.  He parked the car, shut off the engine, and procrastinated.  Do I really want to do this?  The attorney was on mandatory vacation leave from the Justice Department after failing a random drug test.  Every drug I'm taking is a legal prescription--it's not like I belong in rehab!  He looked around nervously.  I will be exonerated on appeal--everybody said so.  The car was starting to feel stuffy now.  I didn't do anything wrong!  They can't take my security clearance away from me!  A loud moo made him jump, and he shook off his cold feet and got out of the car.  I just need something for the anxiety and the insomnia--that's all.  He could see the woman coming out of the house now to greet him.  If she's got something that cannot be detected in urine samples, it's the simplest solution for everybody.  Basia Karbusky stuck out her hand and welcomed him to her "farm", and something about her warm smile and the smell of sweet hay almost prompted him to ask if he could just stay out there on the farm until he could go back to work.

Several miles to the south, Ghost Dennis was hard at work whispering in the ear of President Obama's Chief of Staff.  "It is in the warbler's nature to sing in the sunshine, but an owl hoots at night."

"Huh?"  The Chief of Staff often had inspirational ideas pop into his head at this time of the evening, but they were usually a little more specific.

(Huh? thought Ghost Henry Samuelson, who was watching Ghost Dennis to learn how to get living people to hear him--since nobody but crazy Cedric has heard a word Samuelson's ghost has said.)

"Let me tell you about your secretary," whispered Ghost Dennis.  "Her husband's been out of work for two years.  They sold their television and their stereo.  They sleep on a broken bed.  They stopped using the dry cleaners."  (Not usually this specific, thought the Chief of Staff.)  "They cut their own hair.  They mend their umbrellas.  Their computer needs to be replaced.  Their printer is a joke.  They haven't bought any new clothing since 2010 except underwear.  She wears stained clothing to work, but you're too busy to notice."  (Really?)  "They eat potatoes every night because it's cheaper than bread.  Their bath towels are threadbare."  (WHAT is the point?! fumed the Chief of Staff, trying to focus "his" thoughts.)  "This is the disappearing middle class, right under your nose.  People working hard at professional jobs but sliding into poverty because Wall Street screwed up--"  (Oh, no, no, no, can't blame it on Wall Street!, said the Chief of Staff.)  Ghost Dennis sighed.  (And Ghost Henry smirked.)  "THIS IS WHY OBAMA NEEDS TO BE REELECTED!" hollered Ghost Dennis.  "NOW GET BACK TO WORK!"

A few miles to the north, Marcos Vazquez was helping his wife, Golden Fawn, make dinner.  "When are you getting back to work?" he asked.

"Ummm, tomorrow is Monday:  what do you mean?" she replied.

"I mean, back to work," he said.  "You haven't done anything about Ardua of the Potomac in a long time, and you seem to be obsessing on silly things."

"What?!"

Vazquez realized he had not broached this topic in an ideal fashion.  "Like with the desk chair, when the wheel fell off.  You ordered new wheels for it three times, and none of them fit right--"

"The third one is OK," she interrupted.

"It would have been faster and cheaper to buy a new chair," Vazquez said.

"The third wheel I got is working!" she protested.

"I just think you're putting too much energy into stuff like that," he said.  "You told me there's a horrible ghost at the CIA, but you haven't done anything about it.  I'm worried that you're giving up, but this stuff is still worrying you, and you're just trying to bury it."

Golden Fawn looked at him with a strange combination of awe, annoyance, and appreciation.  "You're right," she finally said.  "I don't know what to do.  I think I need to take a trip to visit my grandmother.  Why don't you come with me?"

"To the reservation?" asked Vazquez, who had not anticipated the conversation going in that direction.

"Unless my grandmother moved somewhere else and you forgot to tell me!" laughed Golden Fawn.

A few miles to the east, Sebastian L'Arche was walking into the D.C. jail to visit a fellow Iraq War veteran who had used his one phone call to phone L'Arche.  After he got through security and stated his business, he was told the prisoner could not be visited because he was on suicide watch.

"Come on, man!  I was his one phone call!" protested L'Arche.

"They have strict rules about suicide watch," said the guard.

"Like what?  Making the guy feel even more alienated by labeling him a problem, putting him in solitary, and not letting him see his friends?"

"Alright, smart ass, time to leave," said the guard.

"I'm his lawyer," lied L'Arche. 

"I thought you were his friend?"

"Some people have lawyers as friends," said L'Arche.

"Alright--five minutes only.  And no touching, and I can't leave you alone with him," said the guard.

A few minutes later, L'Arche was inside a cell that immediately sent his mind back to Abu Ghraib, but he shook it off.  "Dewey," he whispered, getting as close as he dared to before the guard interceded.  "I thought things were OK!  I thought you liked your new job and--"

"I'm innocent!" shouted Dewey.  "I didn't do it!  Don't send me back there!"

"Nobody's sending you back to Iraq, man!"

Dewey was rocking back and forth, hugging himself.  He had welts on his lips from biting them repeatedly.  "I didn't do it," he whispered.

Back at the White House, the ghost of Henry Samuelson floated outside through Lafayette Square, on his way back to Langley.  "This is nuts!" he said.  "It's time to get back to work!"

"You're absolutely right!" exclaimed John Doe, looking straight at Ghost Henry.  "I may be an autistic savant with amnesia and epileptic visions, but that's no excuse!"

"You can hear me?!" shouted Ghost Henry.

"There's no need to yell!  I'm not deaf!  What did you have in mind?"

"What?" asked Ghost Henry.

"You're the one from my vision!" exclaimed John Doe.  "You said it was time to get back to work:  what did you have in mind?"

This guy's gonna do whatever I tell him to do! thought Ghost Henry.  I'm haunting somebody!  Who is it?

Up in a nearby tree, a catbird began imitating the sound of a homeless man snoring on a bench, while a flock of starlings flew off to report to Ardua of the Potomac.

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