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, September 15, 2013

Just a Quickie

Atticus Hawk carefully rinsed his bathtub with hot water, expecting to see white brilliance emerge to greet him, but it was still…yuck.  Stupid Quickie.  He glared at the battery-operated scrubbing device that was supposed to have rendered his bathtub hygienic again, then he looked back at the tub.  Well, it’s SOMEWHAT better.  He scanned the surface, estimating how many more sessions this would take, then glared at the Quickie again.  Can’t use abrasive cleansers with the Quickie!  I don’t have time for this!  He got up to head over to the Justice Department.  Stupid paranoia!  Hawk had given up his cleaning  lady a long time ago, when the FBI had first started investigating him over the mysterious disappearance  of his girlfriend, Basia Karbusky—who had now dropped to 17,271 on the Most Wanted List.  He knew the NSA and FBI had all his phone calls, emails, and internet searches, so what could a spying cleaning lady actually do to harm him?  He didn’t want to find out:  he was no longer on probation at the Justice Department, and he wanted to keep it that way.

Several miles to the west, former Senator Evermore Breadman was also in a testy mood.  “We are ALL upset about it, Gary, but sometimes weird things happen that even Prince and Prowling cannot predict.”  He reached into his bottom drawer for the Chinatown herbs he liked to mix into his scotch, and accidentally dropped the phone.  “Sorry about that, Gary.”  He took a few gulps while his weapons contractor client continued to whine about the abortion of a surgical strike mission in Syria.  “Believe me, nobody is a bigger fan of quickie surgical strikes in the Middle East than I am, and I totally agree that’s the best way to move your business forward in this political climate, but if Russia didn’t flex its world power every now and then, it would be even HARDER to justify the budgetary line items for your munitions factory.”  He drained his glass and leaned back in his chair.  “This is going to cheer you up:  the Holier Than Thou Caucus has drafted legislation calling for more bombing in Yemen, to punish them for the whole child bride thing.”  He looked out his window at the White House, barely visible behind the summertime tree foliage.  “Well, it IS hard to target dirty old Neanderthal men, but apparently the CIA does have a method.”
Over on Capitol Hill, Congressman Herrmark was having brunch at Hawk ‘n Dove with some other members of the Holier Than Thou Caucus.  “I think it should be illegal for an American public relations firm to represent a foreign country!” declared the Congresswoman from Tennessee.  “Those people should all be executed for being Russia’s spin doctors!”
“I think every country in the world has a p.r. firm in the U.S.,” said Congressman Herrmark.  “Well, at least every country that actually wants to be heard in Washington.”
“Well, it’s disgusting!” said the Congressman from New Mexico.  “Ghost-writing an op-ed for Vladimir Putin!  What’s the world coming to?”
“Well, he DID have a point,” said Congressman Herrmark.  “Christians are all equal in God’s eyes.”
“Are you OUT of your mind?!” exclaimed the Congresswoman from Tennessee.  “The only thing that man worships is HIMSELF in a topless photo!”  (The Congressman from New Mexico had a good laugh at that.)

“Still,” said Congressman Herrmark, “it was Kerry’s idea to ask for all the chemical weapons.  I think it’s a win for America!”
“You Midwesterners are so naïve,” said the Congressman from New Mexico.  “Bomb first—verify second!  That’s what Ronald Reagan said!”
“Reagan was a Midwesterner,” said Congressman Herrmark, “and he never said that.”
Over in Cleveland Park, Liv Cigemeier and her husband were also finishing up their brunch.  “What are you saying?” Liv Cigemeier’s husband asked her.  “You don’t even have time for a quickie?!”
“You should have gotten up earlier!  I’m babysitting Delia in fifteen minutes.”

“That’s enough time!” pleaded her husband.
“Maybe for Neanderthals.”
“Jeez!  Look, why can’t you just babysit during the week, so we can have more time together on the weekend?”

“Charles has a very erratic schedule, and his nanny is taking classes and doing homework—"
“I don’t like it,” said her husband (who mostly didn’t like the fact that Charles Wu was rich, single, and handsome). 
“Well, we’ve got a killer mortgage, and I’m trying to bring in as much money as I can, or we’re never going to be able to furnish this house.  You know I don’t want to go back to International Development Machine.”
“At least it would be a 9-5 schedule again,” said her husband. 
“It will destroy my ego to go crawling back there!” she said.  “They’re offering me LESS money than my previous salary!”
“Well, they’re pissed you abandoned them to go work at International Development Nerds.”
“Thank you, Captain Obvious!”  She regretted it as soon as she said it.  “Look, they do terrible work there.  I’m not even sure they’ll let me continue the Girl Hurl blog.”

“Well, I don’t think babysitting for the next-door neighbor is a great long-term career plan!” said her husband, who was no longer in the mood for a quickie.
Liv Cigemeier sighed and began clearing the table.  The truth was, Wu had already started paying her extra for delivering and picking up packages, and he often dropped her and Delia off at very fun and unusual places—like embassy piano concerts and private country clubs.  She was starting to wonder just what kind of business Charles Wu was really in, but she didn’t dare broach the subject with her husband, a Prince and Prowling attorney.  She needed to figure it out herself, first.

Several miles away, Atticus Hawk arrived in his Justice Department office to begin work on the assignment dictated to him Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m.:  legally justify everything the National Security Agency has ever done.  Hawk had been pondering this task for nigh 48 hours now, and was still uncertain if this was a reward for getting the Guantanamo detainees under control or a punishment for not getting a death sentence for Bradley Manning.  Neither, a voice in his head said.  You are the BEST.  The FISA Court is caving to democratic pressures, and more revelations are on their way.  YOU are the only one that has the savvy, the experience, the institutional knowledge, and the killer instincts to justify everything that NSA has ever done.  You are the APOLOGIST OF THE CENTURY!  The little pep talk inside his head hiccupped at that moment, as Hawk struggled to find a better synonym for “apologist”.
A mile away, White House butler Clio was rinsing her bathtub with hot water, hoping the Quickie scrubber had worked, but her tub was still…yuck.  She took a rag and wiped off the Quickie parts, then wiped the stray water from the side of the tub.  Then she went back to bed to lie down.  Another thing they don’t tell you when you are diagnosed with HIV:  clean your tub a little bit every week, because you will NEVER have the strength to scrub off a year’s worth of grime.  She readjusted the ice bags on her shoulders.  She had never, ever, asked one of the cleaning staff for help in her apartment, but if she offered them a little money, there was nothing wrong with that, right?  Except the gossip….Her HIV status was widely known, but it was NOT widely known how much she was struggling with it.  I’ll just buy a clean bath mat to put down on the tub, she thought.  Nobody needs to know.
Hovering in the corner, Ferguson and Regina lamented their mother’s suffering.  Sometimes they wondered if it wouldn’t be better to help her die, so she could be free of all that pain and fatigue in her body, and live the carefree life of a ghost, like they did.  But Bridge always yelled at them every time they brought up the subject.  “Nobody ‘cept a fool ghost thinks it good to be a ghost!” he would say.  “Only a fool ghost, who can’t remember where it’s been, and don’t yet see where it’s supposed to be goin’!”  They sighed and flitted upstairs to see if Sasha and Malia were around to play with—President Obama just wasn’t any fun anymore. 

COMING UP:
Bridezilla’s love life heats up, causing unexpected damage to the Federal Reserve System.

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