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 28, 2012

Toppled Over

Dr. Devi Rajatala watched with guarded happiness as Angela de la Paz battened down the hatches on some tool sheds at the eastern edge of the National Arboretum--or, rather, directed her boyfriend, Major Roddy Bruce, on what to do.  It made Dr. Rajatala a little nervous that he was several years older than the 18-year-old, but he was a military man with impeccably polite manners and an Australian type of chivalry she had seen as a youngster watching tourists in India.  She heard them laughing (again), undeterred by the ugly gray skies, chilly air, or impending hurricane.  He could be good for her.

Angela looked up and smiled at Dr. Raj.

"She's spying on us again!" joked Bruce, good-naturedly.

"She needs to know if you can hammer straight," replied Angela before kissing him again.

"You didn't tell me that meeting her would be like meeting a parent," he said, instantly regretting it when a cloud came over Angela's eyes.  "I'm an idiot," he added.

"No, no," said Angela, reaching for more nails.

"You told me how important she is to you when I met her yesterday--I get it.  I just meant, well--"

"She's scrutinizing you, which she is," said Angela, recovering.  "She is very maternal about me, and I am grateful for that."

"Even when she drags you to Girard Street for early voting, and you spend three hours of that gorgeous Saturday in linewaiting to vote!" he joked, winking at her.

"Well, some of us have to do our part for democracy while you foreigners are off playing footy!"

"Hey, I brought you a snack at halftime!"

"I know," said Angela.  "That's when Dr. Raj started liking you."

"I thought it was when I accidentally bumped into that little guy."

"Councilmember Jim Graham?   Yeah, but it would have been better if he had toppled over."

"Like this shed, if we don't finish up."

On the other end of town, Charles Wu was also battening down the hatches, terrified that Hurricane Sandy would destroy his baby's dream house.

"I really don't think it will be so bad," said his mother, carrying Buffy Cordelia in her arms and standing beside the ladder her ex-husband was holding as Wu worked on a second-floor window.  "You were never afraid of typhoons in Hong Kong," added Ha Ling Wu.

"I didn't have a baby then," he replied.

"You were a baby then," joked his father, Charles Wilkinson Montgomery.

"This is nuts," said Wu.

"Yes, that is what I'm saying," said his mother.

"Let's just drive to Tennessee and wait out the storm there," said Wu.

His parents exchanged glances but said nothing.  Delia, on the other hand. gurgled with excitement.

Down in Southeast, Sebastian L'Arche was making his own preparations for Hurricane Sandy:  dogs in the basement, cats on the ground floor, exotic pets upstairs.  "Yes, Congressman," said Becky Hartley, jotting down the notes from another phone call.  "We've got room."    She hung up and turned to the dog whisperer:  "He says the maid won't deal with his neurotic schnauzer during the storm, and he and his wife will be out of town campaigning."  L'Arche simply nodded, since they hadn't yet hit their numerical limit.  "We're making a ton of money," said Hartley, jotting down some more notes about the schnauzer.  "But it's a good thing my daddy sent us a box of doggie Prozac--I mean, you can only be on one floor at a time."  He looked over at her, and she flashed him a weak smile.  After a couple of days of silence, she had returned to being a non-stop chatterbox, though she never referred directly to how her father's men from Dallas had forcibly cult-deprogrammed her from the Church of Scientology.  "Y'know--my office'll probably close for some of the hurricane, anyway, so I can be here helping you out."

"I'm counting on it," said L'Arche.  (He wasn't actually counting on it, but it would be nice.)

"What do you think the hurricane will do to...you know...?"

"The ghosts of Washington?" asked L'Arche.

"Oh, I think the ghosts are fine--but, you know...the demons."

L'Arche hadn't been sure she would still believe in demons anymore--now that she had stopped believing in Thetans and whatnot.  He had no idea what she believed about anything.  "Well," he said, looking earnestly at her--but she was staring at her spiral pad and rolling the pen around in her fingers.  "They'll be jealous of it, I suppose."

Hartley looked up and smiled at him--a little stronger this time.

Over in Southwest, Ghost Henry was, indeed, uninterested in the looming hurricane.  "Wake up!" he shouted at John Doe, who had just had a frontal lobe epileptic seizure and toppled over in his living room.  "Wake up!"

After ten minutes, John Doe dutifully woke up, but remained disoriented for another ten minutes as an impatient Ghost Henry paced phantasmagorically.  Then John Doe tried telling Ghost Henry about his autistic shaman vision, and Ghost Henry lost all patience.  "You're not autistic!" he shouted.

"You can't shout at an autistic shaman!" protested John Doe.

"You're an epileptic--that's all!" retorted Ghost Henry.  "Your right brain can't communicate properly with your left brain--it's just synapses and electrons!"

"There are three types of learning," said John Doe.  "Visual, word, or pattern.  Autistics are stuck at the extreme end of one mode."  (Ghost Henry rolled his vaporous eyes.)  "Mine is visual:  I see visions."

"Here's a vision for you:  Hamas repressing Syrian refugees until they explode out of the refugee camps and start slaughtering civilians in Lebanon and Israel!"

"You said there are no more civilians in the Middle East," replied John Doe.

"Well, there are still a few people with no guns, and they're gonna die soon if you don't help me with the CIA!"

"Maybe you should just go there yourself--you can meet up with the ghosts of the people who have already died.  There's a lot, right?  You could set up a ghost CIA, maybe.  Just ghosts.  Ghosts and autistic shamans."

The ghost of Henry Samuelson stopped to ponder this for a few moments.  "Only people with unfinished business come back as ghosts," said Ghost Henry.  (Actually, he had been kicked out of Purgatory by the people who couldn't stand him--and so rapidly that he never got training on how to communicate to average human beings as a ghost.)  "It would be hard to control them."

"That's where the autistic shamans come in," said John Doe, who still had unshaken faith in his recent vision.

On the other side of the river, Bridezilla's faith was shaken:  her faith in Mitt Romney.  "Mal," she said tearfully to Mal Evelynt, her bigshot Republican operative of a boyfriend, "he's NOT a Christian!"

"Yes, he is!" protested Evelynt, who really did not have time for this, and was stabbing his IHOP pancake stack with a vengeance.

"I went to church with my parents this morning, and the pastor explained to us that Mornonism is a CULT!"

"It isn't!  How can you be so prejudiced?" asked Evelynt (who believed in the need to put the white back in the White House).

"I was baptized in that church!  I've known that pastor my whole life!" moaned Bridezilla, who was pushing her hash browns aimlessly around the plate.  "The Mormons think," said Bridezilla, lowering her voice to a whisper, "that Indians are the Lost Tribe of Israel...and JESUS never ascended--he came to America!"

"You say potato, Glove says po-tah-to."

Bridezilla put down her silverware altogether, horrified.  "My parents have never voted for a Democrat their entire lives, but our pastor says it's our Christian duty!  It's Obama who's the Christian!"

"Look," cried Evelynt, "Nixon was a goddam Quaker, and he bombed Cambodia!  Your political ad is hitting the airwaves TONIGHT!  You and your beautiful blond hair glistening in the Virginia sunlight, standing in front of the American flag--"

"You didn't even let me talk in that ad!" protested Bridezilla.

"I told you, you're too nasal--not nasal, twangy," he quickly corrected himself.

"You have to PULL that ad, Mal!" cried Bridezilla.  "My parents'll think I'm goin' straight to Hell for endorsing a PAGAN!"

Evelynt stood up, threw a twenty dollar bill down on the table, and stomped off without another word, leaving nearby diners to shake their heads in pity at the pretty thing trembling in the booth.

Back in Washington, Ghost Dennis was sulking in the White House attic, anxious about the huge number of things Mitt Romney said he would do on Day One of his Presidency.  "It's not enough time!" fretted Ghost Dennis.  "How can I whisper in his ear quickly enough if he's gonna rush in here like a house on fire?"

A few of the Shackled had gathered to console Ghost Dennis, but they had to admit, things could change pretty rapidly if Obama left the White House.  "But we've seen worse," the Shackled reminded him.

"But I haven't," replied Ghost Dennis.

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