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, October 07, 2012

Those are not Arabs, and this is not spring.

"Mayor Vincent Gray fires Christophe Tulou a month before the retirement of Potomac Riverkeeper Ed Merrifield:  just a coincidence, or is a new reign of terror about to descend on our local waterways?  Cut."  Television reporter Holly Gonightly looked into her cameraman's digital display to review her performance.  "Too sensationalistic?" she quizzed.

"Considering you haven't yet found any connection--"

"I will!" declared the TFFT Gonightly.

"It's sort of a theory looking for facts," said the cameraman, talking rather well for somebody who had just popped another low-fat mini-muffin into his mouth (the dieting Gonightly could not stand them).  "Still, the forbidding skies over the bridge make it a really good shot, if we use it."

"We'll use it!"

A few miles to the north, millionaire real estate mogul Calico Johnson was hosting another meeting of Sense of Entitlement Anonymous (D.C. Chapter) at his Potomac Manors estate.  "More mimosas?" he asked, walking the tray around the room.  (He had previously discussed with the group whether he was entitled to a maid, and they had all agreed he was rich enough but felt his privacy issues were too problematic.)  Johnson sat down and stifled a yawn as Mayor Vincent Gray made his case for admission into S.E.A.

"Everybody's whining about Christophe Tulou's getting fired!  'Poor Christophe Tulou!  Boo hoo!'  What about George Hawkins at D.C. Water, huh?  That man cares about the Potomac River as much as anybody--and he's the water guy, right?  Shouldn't DDOE be deferring to D.C. Water on river pollution issues?  And everybody's supposed to be deferring to me, right?  I'm the mayor!  People just like Tulou because he has a classy French name, and George's name sounds like a bird of prey."

A few people mumbled some "uh-huh's" and "uh-hum's", but their eyes were glazing over from the descent into municipal government inter-bureaucratic squabble stories.

"Why don't you just appoint Christophe Tulou head of Potomac Riverkeeper, since that other guy is retiring?" asked Bridezilla.

"That's a non-profit!" exclaimed Mayor Gray.  "I can't appoint the next Potomac Riverkeeper!"

"If you had the right connections, you could," said Congressman John Boehner.  (Dick Cheney nodded in agreement.)

"Look," said a visibly nervous Judge Sowell Ame.  "You people are talking about forces you don't understand--dark, dark forces."  He was thinking of the Potomac River in general, and also recalling the scary circumstances in which he had been bribed to settle the decades-old river lawsuit in favor of Friends of the Potomac Pelicans.  (FOPP was just an intervenor, but he preferred to remember it as the victor, rather than Prince and Prowling's scary corporate client.)  "You try to mess with people who want to do things to that river, you're gonna regret it."

"Enough!" screamed Federal Reserve Board economist Luciano Talaverdi, throwing his champagne glass down on the teak parquet floor, where it shattered into a hundred pieces and scratched the wood's finish.  "He's the Mayor!  He's entitled to fire anybody he wants to fire--even an outstanding protector of the environment!  Just because a private word of displeasure would have been a far more rational way to handle it--and would have avoided alienating another 10,000 citizens against the Gray Administration--doesn't mean the Mayor was not entitled to fire him!  I say we vote him in and move onto more important topics--like how the news media does not know how to properly report unemployment statistics!"  (Audible groaning.)

"I second the motion," said Bridezilla, who suddenly thought Talaverdi was looking pretty hot.

An ungodly scream assaulted the S.E.A. meeting without warning and prevented a formal vote on Mayor Gray's admission.  Calico Johnson grabbed his cellphone to call his neighbor and ran out of his house in the direction of the scream.  Oh, my God!  She's not answering!  He jumped over the fence in a deft move his legs had not executed since college, winced in pain as his heel landed on a rock, then resumed running.  "Basia!" he hollered, just as a second horrific scream erupted from her house.  "Basia!"  He was running full-throttle towards her back door when Basia Karbusky emerged from the kitchen with a strange implement in her hand.

"It's OK, Cal!" she said.  "Sorry about the screaming!  My boyfriend is such a baby!"

"What?!" gasped Johnson, coming to a halt on her stairs.  She has a boyfriend and she's torturing him? (He wasn't sure which part of that revelation was the most upsetting.)

"I had to remove wax from his ears--it was impacted.  He was as deaf as an old man!" she laughed.  The sheepish Atticus Hawk [no relation to bird of prey George Hawkins] now emerged from the back door, having splashed cold water on his face and averted the fainting spell he had come dangerously close to.  "There--all better now, sweetheart?" she asked playfully.  "This is my neighbor, Cal."

A few miles to the south, Charles Wu was making an awkward introduction of his own.  "Dad, this is Mia, my nanny."

"Yes, we met on Skype last week," replied Charles Wilkinson Montgomery, ironically.

"Hello, Mr. Montgomery," said Mia, shaking his extended hand.  Wu had withheld her last paycheck as punishment for telling Wu's parents about the secret grandchild, and had lectured her vehemently about trust, but Lynnette Wong had reminded her that recurring bouts of mistrust were probably to Mia's advantage since they delayed any pressure on his part to pull her into the spy business.  "Isn't Delia wonderful?"

"Yes!" he replied, turning to smile at his granddaughter in her spinning seat.  Buffy Cordelia smiled back at her grandfather and bounced up and down in joy at the arrival of Mia.  "I couldn't be more delighted!"  (In truth, he was still hurt and resentful about his own son's failure to report the birth of the girl, but had no justification for voicing such feelings since he, himself, had kept a huge family secret from his own son for over two decades.)

Wu watched silently as Mia put up her coat and umbrella, then headed off with Wu's father to play with Delia.   With Delia here, Wu knew he could sneak off and do at least a couple hours' worth of work, but this would amount to little more than advising his contacts he would soon be in radio silence for an undetermined amount of time.  He would invent some cover story for this which did not include the imminent arrival of his mother from Hong Kong--an arrival that would not resemble the polite and fond approach of his British father.  At least I have mega bonus points racked up with Clinton right now for averting a diplomatic disaster at the U.N.--because God knows when I'll be back in the game again.

A couple miles to the south, Henrietta Samuelson dimmed the lights as the Brewmaster Castle's butler brought the birthday cake into the upper-floor meeting room and the birthday song began.  Even with the handicap of the crackling speakerphone and three-thousand miles of distance, Condoleezza Rice's voice was honeyed and rich compared to the raspy old voices of most members of the Heurich Society.  Angela de la Paz was now 18, though everybody in the room (including Angela) thought it a bit absurd to highlight this point after all the girl had already done.  Still, "Button" Samuelson was in charge now, and she liked birthday parties--plus she knew Angela had been a bit down in the dumps since the thwarting of her attempt to assassinate the President of Iran in New York.  Angela blew out the candles and opened the group birthday card as Samuelson began slicing the cake.  Nobody had signed their real names to the card--which was, instead, full of notes like "you're old enough to vote now, ha ha!" and "wouldn't the Army love to recruit you?!"  Angela opened the group gift--which was a platinum Swiss army knife encrusted with 18 industrial-strength diamonds in the shape of a star--and wondered if Charles Wu bought his spies perfume and jewelry.

A mile away, the Assistant Deputy Administrator for Hope was monitoring cables from Panicstan in his State Department office.  "Panicstani fighter believed among casualties killed by Turkish artillery," said one.  "Syrian refugees picked up for questioning by Panicstani military police," said another.  The last one he read before heading to the vending machine was more poetic:  "Those are not Arabs, and this is not spring."

Out in the river, Ardua of the Potomac crawled lazily through the muck, listening to the cries of her victims and the shouts of her apostates--sounds only a few creatures in Washington could truly distinguish.

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