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, September 09, 2012

Messing with the Rest

Clio leaned back in the patio chair, her head woozy, her throat scratchy, her temples throbbing.  The White House butler closed her eyes and let the refreshing breeze blow over her face, and she felt good for a fleeting moment before another chill overtook her:  hot, cold, hot, cold.  The voices of her twin pre-schoolers receded into the distance as they helped the gardener bag the piles of fallen twigs to get a headstart on the week.  It was still only HIV, they kept telling her--not AIDS.  But things are not good, she knew.  She fell into a feverish sleep, jerking occasionally at the sound of voices--Bridge, Reggie, Fergie, other (stranger) voices. 

"I'm glad summer is over," said Regina.  "Sasha and Malia will be around more!"

"Yep, and they'll have plenty of homework to do," cautioned Bridge.

Ferguson whispered to Regina in their secret twin language, and they giggled about how Ghost Dennis liked to help Malia with her homework.

"You need to stop talking like that!" said the gardener.  (He knew the secret language either meant they were talking about ghosts or plotting mischief.)  "I've told you before you have to speak English if you wanna be around me!"

"We were just talking about Chunky Monkey's diet," lied Ferguson.

"Don't call Bo 'Chunky Monkey'!  How would you like it if somebody called you that, Fergie?"

"But we're not fat!" protested Regina.

"You have a fat head, dontcha?  But I don't go callin' you 'Fathead'!"

"My head is not fat!" protested Regina.

"I'm talkin' 'bout on the inside!  Y'all think you're so clever, but you can't even figure out how to help your mom!  And I'm tired of naggin' 'bout it."  He frequently helped out Clio with her official duties as well as her parenting duties, and it exasperated him to see how lazy and naughty the twins could be--even though he knew it was not entirely their fault.

"We're quiet when she's sleeping," said Ferguson, in all seriousness.

And that's more and more, ain't it, thought Bridge, but he held his tongue.  "Reggie!  Get that mouse out of your pocket!"  The little girl tossed it back on the grass, and Bridge whacked it with the back of his rake.

"It was already dead," said Regina.

"What?!  Go wash your hands!  Don't you know we gotta go pick up vegetables now?  Gonna be a heap of tomatoes down from the storm."  The twins both ran off to wash their hands as Bridge tossed the dead mouse into the last bag.  Y'all got each other to play with--why y'all gotta be messin' with the rest?

Several miles to the north, Marcos Vazquez nearly popped the tomatoes out of his bag as he rushed to close the condo door before their neighbor got in his face.  ("Don't mess with me!" Libra screamed.  "I'm warning you!")  His wife was visibly shaking in front of him.

"I can't keep doing this!" Golden Fawn said.

"You're the one that didn't want to counter-sue!" said Vazquez.

"Well, we need to get a restraining order on her!" she replied.

"Just sit down," Vazquez said, setting aside the grocery bags and steering his wife to a chair. 

"Libra's lost her mind!" said Golden Fawn.

"So you've changed your tune now?" asked Vazquez, trying not to sound as if he were saying "told you so".

"I thought she was just going through a jilted lover thing, but I think she's really nuts!"  It was one week since they had returned from their trip and been served with a lawsuit by the neighbor across the hall, alleging she was the real owner of their condo.  "Maybe he did promise Libra the condo, but she's just nuts!"

"It doesn't matter whether the former owner promised it or not," said Vazquez, repeating what their attorney had told them four days ago. 

"I know that!" said Golden Fawn, exasperated.  (At first she had felt sorry for Libra--who had claimed a ten-year relationship with their condo's seller, and a promise from him that he would give her the condo after he bought his house.  The lawsuit alleged that he had told her he was just going to rent it out for awhile until his cash-flow position stabilized in 2012, and then transfer the deed to her, and she did not know until August that her new neighbors were buyers, not tenants.)  "She actually expected us to move out immediately after she filed the lawsuit!  She's trying to terrorize us to death!"

Vazquez looked into his wife's eyes with extreme concern.  The trip to see her grandmother on the reservation had restored Golden Fawn's spirit, replenished her medicine bag, and psyched her up to launch a new attack on Ardua of the Potomac, as well as Ghost Henry at the CIA--but now there were dark circles under eyes, a twitch in her right eyelid, and bruises on her thighs and arms because she kept distractedly walking into furniture.  "Look," he said, "a restraining order would be useless--she lives right across the hallway!  We just need to rent the place out and go live somewhere else until we get the lawsuit dismissed."

"That could take two years!" exclaimed Golden Fawn.  "You heard what the attorney said."

"Well, what other choice do we have?" asked Vazquez.  "It's not like we can sell it--the title has a lien on it now!"  He looked at his wife looking around the condo, and could actually see her eyes' saying goodbye to their home.  "I will fix this!" he promised, with no clue how.

Back in Southwest Plaza (where Marcos Vazquez and Golden Fawn used to live), Ghost Henry was furious with John Doe.  "Are you f-ing kidding me?!" shouted the ghost.  "The first lawsuit you file after years of brain injury recovery is this asinine lawsuit by a jilted lover!  Nobody promises condos to a lover!  Who does that?!  The guy won't even testify for you!"

"This is about justice!" said John Doe.  (He had paid up his D.C. Bar fees and filed the lawsuit with the name on his D.C. Bar license card, but he still preferred to go by John Doe since he still could not remember anything of his life before his head got bashed in with baseball bats.)

"There are bigger fish to fry in this town!" screamed Ghost Henry.

"There's no screaming at autistic savant shamans!" scolded John Doe, petulantly.  "And you're upsetting Lucky Charm!"  (In fact, the helping dog had not stopped growling since Ghost Henry had arrived, and now he was also baring his teeth.)

Ghost Henry did the ephemeral equivalent of taking a deep breath.  He had already had to abort all his plans for Glenn Michael Beckmann and his weapon arsenal after discovering that Beckmann was under federal surveillance.  Neither his daughter nor Angela de la Paz could hear a word he said.  All he had was nemesis Cedric in Arlington Loonyville and this joker with the massive Dead Zone and bizarre sense of social justice.  "Alright!" said Ghost Henry, throwing his wispy arms into the air.  "I can see you feel very strongly about this case.  Maybe you're even in love with the client--"

"No, I'm not!" protested John Doe, who had found in his photo albums a two-year period in the 1990s in which he had been involved with a very hot woman.  "Libra's not my type!"

"You choose women based on their Zodiac sign?!" asked Ghost Henry.

"No, her name is Libra," replied John Doe.

Hippie white trash, thought Ghost Henry.  "I'll come back in a couple weeks when you have more free time, alright?"

"Well, I didn't say I have no time for the prophecy," said John Doe.

"Alright--one week, then," said Ghost Henry, and then he flew out the balcony door, over the D.C. Triathlon stragglers, over Ardua of the Potomac, and back to CIA headquarters in Langley--a careful catbird following him from a distance the entire way.


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