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, January 13, 2013

Home Sweet Home


Laura Moreno heaved a sigh of relief.  It had been a week since Prince and Prowling had a server meltdown and ordered all attorneys to work from home.  She had struggled for two days to get her ancient (3-1/2 years old!) computer to access the database for her current case, but the effort had proven futile.  Her newly purchased computer was now installed, loaded, and operational.  And there was the database!  After a week without income, she could finally start making money again.

Then came the email from staff attorney Chloe Cleavage:  "You need to report back to Prince and Prowling on Monday.  They just sent us an email saying the network issues are resolved, and contract attorneys are no longer allowed to work from home ever again."

A couple miles away, Prince and Prowling's managing attorney was still reviewing video feeds from the contract attorneys who had been working at home for the past week.  It had been the I.T. director's idea to use a worm to do video spying on the attorneys working from home, and the managing attorney was utterly appalled.  "Look at that guy!  He codes a document, then he switches to Netflix for 10 minutes, then he codes another document, then he switches to Netflix for another 10 minutes!  He's watching 'The Walking Dead'!  The nerve."  The I.T. director continued to fast-forward through the tape.  "He's worse than the woman doing yoga in her chair!"

"Actually, you haven't seen the worst yet," said the I.T. director.  "There's another contract attorney who let his 10-year-old sit down and code documents while he went to do laundry."

"This is outrageous!" exclaimed the managing director.  "And a fraud on the clients!"

"The associates weren't too bad--"

"Associates?!  Who authorized you to spy on associates?!"

"Um, never mind," said the I.T. director.  "But you should know that Chloe Cleavage was doing her work on a laptop--usually at Starbucks, but in one instance she appeared to be accessing the database while she was having sex on her couch."

The managing director abruptly stood up.  "I've heard enough!"

"She's a staff attorney, not an associate," said the I.T. director.  (He didn't know that Chloe Cleavage had used sex tape blackmail to protect her position at Prince and Prowling forever.)

"I said I've heard enough!"

Several miles to the west, former Senator Evermore Breadman abruptly stood up from his home computer.  "Hallelujah!  The network server is up!"

"What is that, dear?" asked his wife, peeking her head into his home office.

"Oh, um, they sent an email saying they fixed the network at work, so I can return to the office tomorrow.  It's such a shame!  It's been such a delight having lunch with you every day this past week."   (He was so sick of her cooking and her conversation he could not have borne another day of it.)

"Oh, that is a shame!" lied his wife, who was eager to resume her extramarital affair with her brother-in-law's life coach.  "Well, I'll make something special for dinner tomorrow night so that you have something to look forward to."

Back in Washington, President Obama was wondering what he had to look forward to.  "Tell me, Bo:  things are gonna be better in my second term, right?"  President Obama was chatting with Bo in the walk-in linen closet outside his bedroom:  it was their secret place they went when they wanted to hide away from it all.  "I didn't know there would be so much death."

"Daddy, where are you?  You're missing the 'Golden Globes!'"

President Obama held his hand over Bo's mouth until the danger had passed.  "I have no time for distractions, Bo.  You understand, don't you, boy?"

"Yes," whispered Ghost Dennis into the President's ear.  (President Obama flinched.)  "I can help you with all the death," whispered Ghost Dennis.

With that, President Obama let go of Bo's mouth and bolted out of the closet, ready to watch some of the "Golden Globes".

"I was just trying to help," whined Ghost Dennis to the representative from The Shackled.

"Yes," said his phantasmagorical companion, "but we still need to work on your approach."

A mile away, Dr. Khalid Mohammed was also trying to find a way to help with all the death.  "It's my home:  I need to be there."

"You haven't been to Lebanon in two years," said Nurse Consuela Arroyo, fidgeting with her George Washington University Hospital badge.

"It's still my home!" said Dr. Mohammed, moving his empty coffee cup to the cafeteria table on their right.  He leaned his head into his hands for a few moments, then looked up at his favorite e.r. nurse.  "The refugee camps need doctors, and it could get even worse if Lebanon is sucked into the Syrian civil war."

"Lebanon is already sucked in!" exclaimed Arroyo.  "You should work on getting your relatives out!"

"They won't leave," said Dr. Mohammed.

"You can do more good for them staying here and sending them money."

"I've done that long enough!  This is a moment in history when I need to go home and do my part."

"A moment?!" exclaimed Arroyo.  "Those refugee camps are not going away in a moment, and Lebanon is not going back to normal in a moment!"

Dr. Mohammed was a little annoyed that she knew too much about current events there to dismiss her arguments easily.  "For a Filipina, you sure know a lot about the Middle East!"

"Well, I'm an American now--it's legally required.  It was on the citizenship test, you know."

Dr. Mohammed smiled sadly at her valiant attempt at humor.  "I will miss you," he said.

"Then come back soon," said Arroyo.  "You think they'll hold a position for you here forever?"

"Yeah, actually I think they will," said Dr. Mohammed, who had seen his fair share of bullet wounds in the e.r.   "Unless we actually get some handgun control."

With that, both their pagers went off simultaneously, and they rushed back to the e.r.--where a bleeding teenager convulsed uncontrollably and struggled to remember his mother's face.

Deep in the basement of the hospital, the river rats rode the rising flood tide in and rejoiced over their new home.

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NEXT WEEK:  Washingtonians' wish lists for Obama's 2nd term.

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