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 ....

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Lion, the Snitch, and the Warthog.


The Lion

Charles Wu opened the outer door to his new butterfly room, maneuvered his daughter into the antechamber, closed the outer door, opened the inner door, and followed her awkward steps in.  Her eyes flew open wide as splashes of color darted and swirled through the air, flitting from one delectable flower to another.  Buffy Cordelia jumped up and down approvingly and moved a few steps further in, cooing in enthrallment.

"Sorry it's a little late, Delia, but I hope you like it!" said Wu, touching her on the head.

"Da da da da!" the baby gurgled, smiling at her father.  (He was uncertain if she was saying "dad" in English or "yes" in Russian, but, either way, it was good.)

 "Well, Delia, I think 2013 is going to be a good year!  You'll be walking like a champion by the time we visit gran in Hong Kong, China has new leadership, and I have the finest network of double agents in Washington."

"Da da da da!"

"Butterfly," Wu said, squatting down next to her to point out a blue one circling a trumpet honeysuckle blossom.  "Butterfly."

"Bu bu bu bu!"

Outside their warm and cozy home, Wu's next-door neighbor darted out in-between sleet strikes to post his For Sale By Owner sign.


The Snitch

Angela de la Paz looked sympathetically at her boyfriend, Major Roddy Bruce, who was scanning the decorations at Alero with an aghast look on his face.

"This is gaudier and louder than the Kangaroo Kamikaze in Melbourne," said the Aussie commando.

"It was his idea," Angela said, nodding at the temporal lobe epileptic heading towards their table.

"He desperately wants you to go Syria for him," said John Doe before he finished sitting down.

"I'm not doing any more Middle East missions," said Angela.

"You heard the lady," said Bruce,  "What else you got?"

Doe scooped up some salsa and munched nervously as the ghost of Henry Samuelson whispered in his ear.  "You don't understand the importance of this mission."

"Ow!" exclaimed Angela, suspicious that Ghost Henry was poking her shin under the table.  "Not my problem.  I want a mission in South America or Africa."

"Or Australia," said Major Bruce, who wouldn't mind somebody else paying for a charter jet that way.  (Angela looked at him in perplexity.)  (Doe munched some more and listened intently to Ghost Henry.)  "Ange, you really think that guy's talking to a ghost?"  (Angela nodded.)

"Egypt's in Africa," said Doe.

"No way," said Angela.

The waiter came and took their order.  (Doe tried to order a tequila sunrise, but Ghost Henry poked him and told him it was out of the question.  Doe listened for a couple more minutes to his invisible companion as Angela and Bruce exchanged bemused glances with each other.)  "What if," whispered Doe, leaning across the table, "he traded you information that you would actually want."

"I don't want any information," said Angela.

"Now hang on, love," said Bruce.  "No harm in hearing the man out.  Our food hasn't even come yet!"

"Did I tell you that Ghost Henry has a Ghost CIA in the Middle East?" asked Doe.  (Angela nodded.)  "And it's spread to other places.  Apparently, there are a lot of restless ghosts out there--and spies are the most restless of all."

"Guilty consciences," said Bruce (who had earlier been railing about the U.S. government's renewal of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008).

"Not for you," said Doe, looking at Angela, "because you like to do the right thing!  And there are some misogynistic killers at loose in India that not even Project R.O.D.H.A.M. has been able to track down."  (Angela tilted her head.)  "But ghosts know."

"You're talking about the men on the Delhi rape bus?" asked Angela.

"Oh, yeah," said Doe.  "He'll tell you how to find them if you do a mission for him in Syria."

"Egypt," said Angela.

(Doe consulted Ghost Henry for a couple more minutes, then pulled out his pen and notebook to write some addresses down for the operative.)

"Thanks," said Angela, who had no intention of keeping her end of the bargain.  "I think I can persuade the Heurich Society to charter me a plane for Pakistan--then I can hop over to India."

"Egypt first," said Doe.

"India first," said Angela.

"Don't you care about peace in the Middle East?  Everybody wants peace in the Middle East for the New Year!"

"And that's what you think Ghost Henry's mission is about?" laughed Angela.

With that, the bar's CD player switched to a song with a percussive beat that drilled straight into John Doe's temporal lobe, causing him to go into an epileptic trance.  He swayed hypnotically until the song was over, then came back to his senses and vomited in a nearby potted plant.


The Warthog

"Is the warthog here yet?" asked former Senator Evermore Breadman, looking up from his desk.  "Oh, it's you--I thought it was Cigemeier."

"Are you calling Congressman Boehner a warthog?!" protested Bridezilla.

"That's his Secret Service code name," lied Breadman.  "And I didn't call him 'Boner', which is what a lot of other people in this town call him!"

"Cigemeier is showing him where the men's room is," said Bridezilla, placing a tray of lemon squares on Breadman's desk and sitting down in a guest chair.

"Lemon squares?  Seems more like an oatmeal cookie kinda guy.  Or brownies with walnuts."

"Well, I think I know him better than you do," said Bridezilla, who had never before in her career at Prince and Prowling had an advantage over the former Senator.  "And lemon squares go better with your scotch," she added, nodding at his silver tray.

"Is he ready to rumble with the Tea Party in the House?"

"Ready as he's ever gonna be," said Bridezilla.

"We've got the ammo if he's got the willpower--you understand that, don't you?"

"I do, but you need to understand, he's still a man of principle," said Bridezilla.

"Of course he is," said the former Senator.  "All leaders are.  It's simply a matter of applying the right principle at the right time."  (Bridezilla reluctantly nodded.)  "I've also been approved to increase the year-end bonuses for you and Cigemeier if this works."

Not everything's about money, thought Bridezilla.  Then, as the next passing minute of silence felt like an hour, she thought, actually, this is all about money.

Congressman Boehner walked in smelling of office supply soap, shook hands with Breadman, picked up a lemon square, and sat down for the hundredth fiscal cliff meeting he had held in the past two months.  "Nasty weather we're having, isn't it?" he said, before taking a bite.  (Cigemeier was hanging up Boehner's coat and umbrella in the corner.)

"The weather can change here rapidly," said Breadman.

"Really?" asked Boehner.  "I heard that when I first moved down from Ohio, but I never noticed."

"Well, Mr. Speaker, you've come to the right place now because nothing in this town escapes my notice."

Outside his window, a one-eyed catbird arrived on a direct flight from the White House across the street, perched on the sill, and began to watch.

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