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 02, 2012

The Weapon of Choice

"One, two, cha cha cha; one, two, cha cha cha; one, two, cha cha cha."

Bridezilla again lost track while spinning and stepped the wrong way.

"Close your eyes and feel how my hands are leading you," said her boyfriend, Bucky.

"That just makes me dizzier!" pouted Bridezilla, who let go of his hand and sat down in the corner of the Kennedy Center dressing room.  "I told you:  it's a hopeless case!  I've had dance lessons since I was a little girl, and I never get past the basic steps."

"Yes, you know the basic steps of a dozen dances, but have mastered none of them," agreed Bucky.  "Though your tango is pretty good."

"Not everybody can dance as well as you can," Bridezilla said, as Bucky began to put his "Shear Madness" make-up on.  "You'll just have to accept it!" she said, smilingly.

"So how is campaigning going?" he asked. 

"Pretty good," she said.  (It was Bucky who had convinced her she was wasting her talents at Prince and Prowling and needed to do something bigger, maybe political.)  "I raised over $200,000 this week."

"I asked about the 'campaigning,'" Bucky said.  (And it was not campaigning for Mitt Romney that he had been talking about when encouraging her to do something bigger.)  "Have you gone door-to-door?  Written letters to the editor?  Speeches?"

"Oh, Bucky!  You can't be that naive!" Bridezilla said, sipping her water bottle.  "The fastest way to rise in the Republican Party is through fundraising!  It's not like somebody is going to suddenly notice me in January and appoint me Secretary of State!"  She had made some friends in the Virginia delegation to the Tampa convention, and was, in fact, hoping to get more involved in television ad production, but she did not want to get Bucky's hopes up.

"I still don't know how you can deal with that Republic Party platform!" Bucky said, reaching for the rouge.

She knew some of his friends in theater had gay marriages, and she was tired of this topic.  "We have to balance the views of libertarians with religious conservatives," she said for the upteenth time.  (What she didn't say was that she was not on the libertarian side of the issue, as she knew he believed.  Bucky had been good for her in many ways, and had certainly brought out a spark in her that had been missing for a long time, but she knew their values would never be in alignment.  Also, she was tired of dating a guy that constantly wanted to borrow her clothes.)

"You should have gone out of town this weekend, even if I couldn't!" said Bucky, always playing the cavalier (and often doing so by changing the subject).

"I would have missed you too much!" said Bridezilla, and it was true...though it was also true that she would probably not miss him much if she found somebody new.

Out on the river, Congressman Herrmark was sailing past the Kennedy Center.  "You should have gone out of town this weekend," said Ann Bishis to her boss, as her cousins (his twin bodyguards) manned the sails.  "We'll be lucky to get in another hour before the rain hits."

"A little rain never hurt anybody," he said.  He had been clinging emotionally to Bishis ever since the unexplained disappearance of his chief of staff and the harrowing missing person investigation that had made him feel hounded like a criminal. 

"Sure," said Bishis, who had held an umbrella over his head many, many, many times.  (The truth was, when he had asked what she was doing this weekend, she had hoped the reply "sailing" would deter him from tagging along.)  "But lightning is a different story," she added.  (Herrmark made no reply.)  "What about Margaret Hooper Itchareeny?" Bishis said, throwing out another useless name for him to consider for his next chief of staff.  (Bishis half-hoped for the position herself--a position that would be rewarding but also extremely challenging.)

"Hmmm...yes, perhaps," said Herrmark looking at a huge turtle gliding by.  "They grow really old, you know."

"The Itchareeny's?" asked Bishis.

Herrmark laughed out loud, maybe a little too loud.  "No, those tortoises!" he said, pointing her to the water.  "There's a lot to be said for growing a hard shell and plodding along without a lot of drama."

"Hmmm...yes," said Bishis, rolling her eyes at Costas and Nick.

Several miles away, Charles Wu was also rolling his eyes as he traversed a body of water--a pool of urine in the Woodner lobby.  He looked around for someone to complain to, but it was pointless.  He held his breath, wondering if he had grown soft since growing up near the docks of Hong Kong.  After seeing an out-of-order sign on one of the elevators, he decided it might be safer to take the stairs in a building like this--then found himself dodging discarded syringes and  condoms on his way up to the fourth floor.  Never again!  I don't care how valuable this source might be--he needs to get his ass out of here and meet me in a respectable establishment!  Wu emerged on the 4th floor hallway in time to see a mouse run past him.  I'm burning my clothes when I get home, and the shoes.  He stopped to ask a slumped woman in a wheelchair if she needed assistance, and she promptly started screaming, spitting, and flailing at him.  The spy hurried past her, in search of his new contact, desperately hoping the apartment would--for the love of God--smell good.

Several miles to the south, Southwest Plaza had its own real estate demon to contend with.  After a never-ending series of plagues over the course of many years, the apartment building's current means of oppression was an explosion of spiders.  Up in his apartment, Glenn Michael Beckmann had his windows wide open, and was running around screaming at the spiders, "Go outside!  Go outside!  There are no flies in here for you to catch!  Go outside!  I swear, I will kill you all!"

"Settle down, Glenn!" said Ghost Henry (F.K.A. Henry Samuelson), floating in through an open window.  "They can't hurt you!"

"AAAAAAAAAH!" screamed Beckmann, who did not know that Ghost Henry had shown up at the suggestion of his neighbor, John Doe. 

"Just get the vacuum and suck 'em up!" hollered Ghost Henry, who had recently discovered that it was very easy to communicate with people if their brains actually had activity in the Dead Zone.  "Be a man!  I'd do it myself if my arms still worked.  Good grief!  You should have seen the spiders we had in Syria!"

Beckmann fumbled for the hose attachment, sure it was some type of revenge from the Scientologists.  "What do you want?!" he screamed at Ghost Henry, then turned on the vacuum cleaner, making it impossible for Ghost Henry to reply.  Several minutes later, an exhausted Beckmann sat down on the couch, surveying a satisfactory lack of spiders and an unsatisfactory presence of ghost.  "What do you want?" he repeated.

"I want what every ghost wants," said Ghost Henry.  "To fix the things I ran out of time for in my life."

"I don't believe in Scientology!" exclaimed Beckmann, reaching for the machete he kept under the couch cushion, then brandishing it at Ghost Henry.

"Excellent!" squealed Ghost Henry.  "John told me you had a lot of weapons."

"John?!  You mean John Doe?!  How does he know about my weapons?!  I saw him speaking in tongues!  Is he the Messiah or the anti-Messiah?!"

"Neither, my good fellow!  But I do hope to make something of him," added ghost Henry.  "Now, let's talk about you...and your weapons."

A couple miles to the north, Angela de la Paz met Dr. Devi Rajatala near the ticket counter of the Gallery Place movie theater.  She's still trying to turn me into a normal person, thought Angela, who had spent the past two weeks freeing child soldiers in Mali, blowing up arms dealers in Sudan, and executing female slave traffickers in Thailand.  It's not like she can just ask me about my work!  What kind of weapons did you use, Angela?  Do you pick your own targets, or is the Heurich Society choosing all these missions?  Angela had no interest in the movie selected by Dr. Raj, but she liked Dr. Raj, and it was as good a thing as any to do on a rainy Sunday in Washington.  If her grandmother were still alive, she'd be in church.

"You look good, Angela!" said Dr. Rajatala, though she immediately felt bad about saying so since Angela's face was in many respects a creation of Heurich-paid plastic surgery.

"So do you!" said Angela, who meant it.  After so many years with a sickly grandmother, she still found it odd that people used such a statement as a greeting, but there were worse ways to greet somebody.  Now Dr. Raj was hugging her, and that was alright, too.  Most of her human interactions these days involved killing.  Charles Wu had recently said to her, "you take in people like scenery now--like they don't have a past or a future."  And it was true--people were becoming like trees or rocks to her, and most of them were for ignoring, and the others were for knocking out of the way.  And it wasn't as if Angela did not know this was affecting her in a profound way; it was just that Angela did not see any other path ahead of her now.  She thought of something she saw scrawled on a ladies room wall in Pakistan:  "I existed because I dreamed, but now I dream no more." Angela knew nothing would make Dr. Raj happier than hearing Angela open up about stuff like that on her mind, but she couldn't do it.

Back on the Potomac, Dubious McGinty stood in the moist breeze staring down at Ardua of the Potomac from his perch on the 14th Street Bridge.  The Vietnam War veteran was growing older and losing faith that he would defeat the demon someday.  "I existed because I dreamed, but now I dream no more," he repeated for the upteenth time after hearing it in "Neverwas".  "If I dream no more, then what?"

"I can give you a new dream!" shouted Ardua, laughingly.  McGinty undid his fly and urinated down on her.

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