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, December 02, 2012

What's in your head, in your head, zombie, zombie, zombie?

Glenn Michael Beckmann was blogging live from the weekly drum circle at Meridian Hill Park.

"Wham, wham, wham, wham!  Another week of Washington wussy-ness wafts a-way.

And victory is ours!  The Hunter-Gatherer Society struck a major blow for freedom-lovers everywhere this week when Society member "Bazooka Boy" attacked Mitt Romney for showing up at the White House to grovel for some type of dignified role in public life.  Death to collaborators!

Next up:  Comcast Kamikaze!  First this SOB company made Captain Picard lose his will to live in New York City.  Now they are terrorizing Washington with rolling bandwidth outages!  We know they are giving all the bandwidth to the secret socialist Islamist government goonies!  Join us in converging on Comcast headquarters to bring these Hitlers to justice!"

Angela de la Paz laughed in a sad way and leaned in closer against her boyfriend, Major Roddy Bruce, who was displaying Beckmann's live blog as it streamed onto his iPad.

"You sure that's him?" asked Bruce, nodding over to the militia man.  "His website photo looks more like Clint Eastwood!"

"I think that photo IS Clint Eastwood," she said with a sad smile, then gave him a kiss.

"And how long has he been under federal surveillance?" asked the commando from the Australian Embassy.

"The Heurich Society thinks the Feds are hoping to use him to get to bigger domestic terrorists," she said.

"What do you think of him?"

"I first started seeing him when I was a little girl--not very often, but he would always give me and anybody I was with really dirty looks."

"What a creep!"

"No, I mean, menacing looks.  I think he's probably killed somebody by now," she said.

"Crikey!  Let's get out of here before he sees you."  (Bruce knew Angela would win any fight with Beckmann, but he didn't want to see one.)

She eased him back down and said, "Beckmann doesn't recognize me anymore," but she didn't tell him about the plastic surgery the Heurich Society had arranged for her to look more ambiguously Latin American, not specifically Salvadoran.  She didn't like thinking about the fact that the face Bruce had fallen for was not her own.  "Beckmann's like all the other zombies---mindless, obsessed with killing, looking for any excuse to attack somebody.  Is he really the worst of America?"  They had both returned from Middle East deployments in the past week--deployments they had separately and together deviated from in large respects--and she had sworn she would never return to the Middle East.  "We've sent Navy Seals, we've sent actual marine mammals, we've sent CIA drones, we've sent actual CIA people, we propped up Saddam Hussein, we tore down Saddam Hussein.  Now we're expanding the Defense Intelligence Agency operations there.  And why?  Because of the damn oil!  Charles is right:  it was better under the Ottoman Empire."

"Who's Charles?" asked Bruce.

Angela smiled, amazed and yet pleased that this was his remark after her diatribe.

"He's a spy.  I used to think he works for China, but now I think he works for all sorts of people.  He keeps trying to lure me away from the Heurich Society.  He looks down on them because...."  She trailed off, not wanting to say aloud what she knew was true:  Heurich members mostly just wanted her to be their paid assassin...and she kept doing it because she was good at it.  "Anyway, I'm not that keen on Heurich, except Button Samuelson is in charge now, and I like that.  But I want to keep my options open."  (She wasn't ready to tell him about all those options--like joining Project R.O.D.H.A.M., or following directives that John Doe said he was getting from the ghost of Henry Samuelson.)

"How many options are you going to have if you refuse to go the Middle East?" asked Bruce.

She didn't answer, looking down at the website he had just pulled up of "Zombie" song lyrics from the Cranberries.

"It's the same old theme since nineteen-sixteen. 
In your head, in your head they're still fighting, 
With their tanks and their bombs, 
And their bombs and their guns. 
In your head, in your head, they are dying... "

"What happened in 1916?" asked Angela.

"Ireland's uprising against the British--that's what the Cranberries were singin' about.  But it was also the year Britain and France allied themselves with the Arabs against the Ottoman Empire."

"You see!  They keep changing sides!  It's idiotic," she said.

"That it is, but we gotta live in the world as it is now," said Bruce.

"Then we're all zombies."

A few miles to the south, Congressman John Boehner was ordering a third zombie cocktail at the Round Robin Bar.  He had tried budget negotiations drunk, sober, overfed, underfed, hopped up on spicy food, mellowed out on turkey and mashed potatoes, in public restaurants, in private homes, rowing on the Potomac, and walking on the Capital Crescent Trail.  He had even had secret meetings at belly dancing clubs, shooting ranges, church basements, and the lobby of the old Woodward and Lothrop building (with a transvestite playing the grand piano).  "I'm a reasonable guy," he whined to nobody in particular at the table.  "I'm flexible," he said.

"Being flexible about where to meet us physically is not the same as being flexible about where to meet us metaphysically," said the lobbyist working for an undisclosed coalition of blue dog Democrats.

"I'm the most powerful Republican in Washington!" declared Boehner, who was on the verge of slurring his words.  "Why do people forget that?"

"Nobody's forgotten that," said the lobbyist.

"I am THIRD in the line of succession!" he shouted, causing even diners outside their private room to hear him.  "If al Qaeda gets the Prez and the Vice-Prez, it's ME, ME, ME!  People FORGET that!"

"Nobody's forgotten that," said the lobbyist (who would rather go over the fiscal cliff than see Boehner in charge of the country's nuclear arsenal).

"People keep saying the same things OVER and OVER and OVER again--like zombies!  And nobody in this town can do MATH!"

"With all due respect, Mr. Speaker, you keep saying the same things as well.  We brought you a different proposal today."

"Bah, humbug!" said Boehner, looking around for somebody to get him another zombie cocktail and finding, instead, Bridezilla marching into the room in a spotless winter white coat and matching boots.

"I do apologize," she said, in her iciest, most sarcastic Virginia drawl, "but it appears my secretary was confused about what time this meeting was supposed to start."  She glared at the lobbyist, a member of Prince and Prowling's law firm rival--Lye, Cheit and Steele--then turned her back to him in a signal he was supposed to help her off with her coat.  "Now, then," she said, sitting down in the seat just vacated by the lobbyist to transfer Bridezilla's coat to the corner coat rack, "what's on special today?"

Back at Meridian Hill Park, Golden Fawn and her husband Marcos Vazquez were moving on after a half-hour of listening to the drum circle, when a shiver ran down Golden Fawn's spine.  "Something's wrong," she said, closing her eyes as a raven alit on her shoulder and began whispering in her ear.  "I need to go back for the girl."

"What girl?" asked Vazquez.

"The girl the Warrior told me about," she said, opening her eyes and turning back toward the drum circle.  "She's there somewhere."

Vazquez turned to follow her.  "What's going on?"

"I'm not sure," said Golden Fawn, who started to run after the raven, which had taken off and was flying in front of them.  A few moments later, they could see the raven land in front of Angela de la Paz--barely recognizable to Golden Fawn, who had not seen her in a very long time.  "Angela," she said breathlessly.  "I need you."

Angela looked up and saw pink warblers sitting on both of Golden Fawn's shoulders.  She stood up to go with them.

"What are you doing?" asked Bruce.  "Who is this?"  But the women had already begun running away from the crowd, and their men followed--out of the park, down 15th Street, onto a side street, then into an alley.  A silently screaming girl bolted past them, and then they saw her pursuer:  the man looked diseased, deranged, and...dismembered?  There was a stump where the man's right forearm should have been, with just a faint trickle of thick blood.  The man had faint trickles of blood all over his body, his eyes were popping out of their sockets, one of his ears was half-fallen off, and--

"Arrrrrrrrrrrrr!"

Golden Fawn screamed, and Vazquez jumped in front of his wife to protect her, but there was no need:  Angela was on top of the zombie with lighting speed, broke its neck, ripped its head off, pulled out her Portuguese dagger, carved open the torso's chest, ripped out the heart, hurled it on the ground, then poured a vial of acid on it.  When he was sure it was over, Bruce pulled his girlfriend away, then looked at Golden Fawn.  "What the bloody hell is going on?"

"Evil," said Golden Fawn, turning to Angela.  "Where have you been?"

A cellphone began ringing in the pocket of the dead zombie.  Angela squatted down to get it, and Bruce tried to stop her, but she held up her gloved hand as if this was all that mattered.  She looked at the name lighting up--Basia Karbusky--then answered it.  "He's not available right now.  Is there a message?"  ("We had an appointment this afternoon which he missed.  Is he alright?")  "No," Angela said, signaling to Major Bruce to trace the call, and he pulled an electronic gadget out of his inside pocket.  "Maybe you should visit him here."  ("Well, I'm waiting on other clients--I have to stay at my office.")  "I understand," said Angela, and Bruce signaled that he had the trace completed.  "I'll tell him you called."  With that she hung up.

"Why didn't you ask who it is?" asked Vazquez.

"It's Barbara Hellmeister," said Angela, "alias Basia Karbusky.  Button Samuelson inherited a file on her when Henry died."

"What does that mean?" asked Bruce.

"The file was cryptic."

"Encrypted?"

"No--cryptic.  Only a few comments.  I think her grandfather was an escaped Nazi scientist.  We need to go find her," said Angela, looking around at the zombie pieces.  "I have a trash bag in my backpack."

A watching flock of starlings took off from a backyard tree to go report to Ardua of the Potomac, but she was nonplussed.  "There will always be zombies in Washington," she laughed.  "Better to beware those who are still  NOT risen!"

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