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 01, 2013

Spare the Rod

Angela de la Paz was finally out of bed, and doing light chores with Dr. Devi Rajatala at the National Arboretum.  "Alright," said Dr. Raj abruptly, "that's enough."

"I feel fine!  It's only been an hour."

"Get back in the shade," said Dr. Raj.  "I'll be back in a minute, and if you've done any more work, Rani will tell me!"

Angela looked dubiously at the donkey to see if she would really tattle on her, and decided not to take any chances with Dr. Raj.  She lay down flat on her back, on the moss under an oak tree.  Pink warblers were singing in the branches above her.  The baby inside her was growing now, and she knew it.

"It's important," said John Doe, and Angela jumped up in surprise.  "Ghost Henry says his daughter is in danger."

"Button is in danger?!"

"Solomon Kane's been hired to kill her and--"

"Kill her?!"

"Yes, and--"

"Who is he?  Who hired him?  Ow!"  (Ghost Henry had just poked Angela sharply in her right kidney to get her to shut up and listen to his spokesman.)

"The former chair of the Heurich Society wants her dead, and Kane is supposed to pin it on Charles Wu."

"Where's Kane now?  Does Henry know?"

"Of course," said John Doe.

A few miles away, Congressman Herrmark was exiting the cold, patriotic aesthetic of a Capitol Hill Episcopalian church into the hot Washington sun.  He couldn't remember the last time he had spent a Labor Day weekend in D.C., and going to church with "friends" from the Holier Than Thou Caucus was scarcely tolerable.

"We need to decide on this Syria vote over brunch--it's a tricky one," remarked the Congressman from Colorado (a state with plenty of Christian fighter pilots who loved bombing Muslims).

"Well, I heard Qatar was funding Al Qaeda rebels in Syria, just to build a gas pipeline and stick it to Saudi Arabia," said the Congresswoman from Tennessee, trying to remember where she had parked the car.  (She was the designated driver--no mimosas for her.)

"Israel is supporting Iran on this one," said Congressman Herrmark (based on the analysis done by his Chief of Staff, Ann Bishis, using intelligence her twin cousins had obtained from their wrestling coach in Greece).  "Obama and the Intelligence Committee will never tell us the truth."  He climbed into the backseat so he could scratch himself unnoticed.  "I think we should abstain on the vote--it will come back to haunt us with our constituents one way or another.  Anything that happens after we bomb Syria will be blamed on us."

"We didn't form the Holier Than Thou Coalition to sit on the sidelines!" exclaimed the Congressman from Colorado.  "Now we've all prayed for guidance about Syria, and I'm sure the correct path will become apparent to us by the time we finish eating.  The Axis of Evil has shifted, and we need to figure out where it is!"  He pulled down the sun visor to check on his pimple cover-up in the vanity mirror. 

"Yes, that's true," said the Congresswoman from Tennessee. "Axis of EvilIf children have been bombed in an unconventional way, we simply can't stand for that.  Now, conventional weapons blowing up women and children is a completely different story--like the stray drone strikes--completely within the rules of decent, civilized societies."

Congressman Herrmark rolled his eyes.  "Sometimes I think it's like the U.S. has made a bad marriage in the Middle East, and we just don't know how to get out of it."  He loosened his tie and undid the top button of his shirt.  "It's like we've got half a dozen assholes as brothers-in-law, you know?"  (The two Representatives in the front seat exchanged glances with each other but said nothing.)

A few miles to the west, Bridezilla was struggling to finish up at Prince and Prowling before her date with Professor Buddy Lee Trickham.  Despite her best efforts all week, she had been unable to become lead counsel on a single case that was actually heading to trial.  ("Prince and Prowling doesn't go to trial, and when we do, we send people with experience, missy!  People that will put the fear of God into our opponents!")  Worse than that, she had been stuck on Koch Brothers duty all week, setting up a string of Delaware shell corporations so that the next time they tried to buy a newspaper, none of the climate change watchdogs would notice--and the Koch Brothers were rude, had chronic coffee breath, and kept wandering the halls hoping to get another glimpse of Chloe Cleavage's famous assets.  Finally, on Friday, the papers had been signed and they were gone.  Bridezilla then grabbed the first pro bono litigation case the P&P pro bono coordinator had suggested to her, and was delighted to discover it was on freedom of religion!  Only now that she was finishing up her first client meeting did she realize that she was defending a man for beating the crap out of his son during their "home-schooling" lessons. 

"So by 'spare the rod' you mean--"

"You can't spare the rod!" exclaimed the bug-eyed man.  "The Bible says so!"

"The Bible doesn't say that, sir."

"Of course it does!"

"I think we may have to consider a plea bargain."

"What the Hell!?"

"Sir, there's no call for that kind of language!"

"You're supposed to be helping me!"

"You broke both his arms!"

"I've seen 'Law and Order'!  You're supposed to be defending me!"

Bridezilla--who had taken on this case for the sole purpose of fulfilling her boyfriend's prophecy that she could charm a Virginia jury into believing anything--now realized that criminal law was not her cup of tea.

A couple miles to the north, Angela de la Paz found Solomon Kane eating lasagna and playing cards in the upstairs back room at Dupont Italian Kitchen.  "I need to speak to you," she said, looking right at him.

"I thought you were out of commission," said Kane (who recognized her from a photo).

"You were misinformed."

"Gentlemen," said Kane apologetically, and he got up to leave with Angela.  "I was definitely misinformed," he said to her, as they headed down the stairs.  "How did you know?"

"That's not important," she said, as they walked slowly down the sidewalk, away from the crowd of diners outside.

"In my line of business, there's nothing more important for me to know," said Kane.

"You wouldn't believe me if I told you," she said, and then she pulled him around to look him straight in the eyes.  "You're not going to touch Button.  Are we understood?"

As Kane stared into her eyes, he remembered hearing her nickname from Egypt:  "she whose gaze must be avoided". 

"Are we understood?" she repeated.

"Yes," he said, starting to smile.  "You're the most beautiful woman I've ever seen."

"Huh," said Angela, and then she left him there and headed off to find the man who had ordered the hit on Button.

A few miles to the south, President Obama was back in the East Wing, trying to help Malia with her homework, but he couldn't get the voices of the White House ghosts out of his ears.  "Sssssyria...Ssssssyria...Sssssyria.  You are the last of the Knights Templar, Barack--everyone is counting on you."

An hour later, Angela de la Paz had disarmed his security system and found the former chair of the Heurich Society in his den watching football.  "Solomon Kane has switched sides," she said, and he jumped up, a Magnum in his hand.  She glared at him, and he dropped the gun.  "It's time for you to leave Washington.  Sign a power of attorney for Button to sell your house--I'm sure she'll get you a great price."  He stared at her, a little drool coming out of his mouth.  "I'm sure you have a nice little cabin with a bomb shelter somewhere out there--Idaho, maybe?  Or are you more of a Wyoming guy?"  He started trembling.  "I'm gonna watch TV while you pack.  GO!"  With that, he scurried off in blind obedience; she sat down on the couch and picked up his bowl of potato chips.  "Huh," she said to herself.  "I guess this is the chi Charles was talking about."  Deep in the basement, the resident real estate demon fell into a panic and fled the premises.

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