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 ....

Monday, October 14, 2013

Love in the Time of Choler

Angela de la Paz was walking restlessly around Dupont Circle, a lovesick Solomon Page close at her side.

"So this Heurich Society has secret meetings where they decide how they're going to change the course of human history?" asked Kane.  ("Yep.")  "They meet in the Brewmaster's Castle?"  ("Yep.")  "Then they send you and other operatives to do their bidding?"  ("Yep.")  "So why did that guy want me to kill Button Samuelson?"

'Oh, now you care, after you already agreed to do it?!" exclaimed Angela.

"How many times do I have to apologize about that?!  It's nothing personal."

"I understand--I really do.  I used to go on assignments like that, but it got to be too much.  You know what Charles Wu told me?  He told me that the population of the world has tripled since the Heurich Society was formed.  They're simply too small to keep up with it--you can't control everybody."

"So why are you still working for them?"

"Because Button is nice to me, and she's the Chair now, so it's a little better."

"Is that enough?" asked Kane.

"For now," said Angela (who had not yet told Kane she was a lot more dedicated to her moonlighting gig as a demon-killer).

A block away, the Heurich Society had already discussed and rejected half a dozen ideas for ending the government shutdown.  "Alright," said Samuelson, "we have a motion to start a new war.  You have the floor."  She looked at the speakerphone, waiting for the Bloodsucker to speak.

"I believe," said Condoleezza Rice, "that an actual invasion on U.S. territory is the only thing that could bring together the Republicans and Democrats at this time."

"Been there, done that," sighed a former CIA operative.

"You don't actually mean on U.S. territory?" asked a former U.S. Congressman.

"My suggestion is to stage it on the Marianas Islands,"said Rice (the Bloodsucker), "with strong hints that Hawaii is next."

"Hm, that seems doable," said a mad scientist.  "We could even do a small hydrogen bomb there!" he added, gleefully.

"I don't know," said the former Congressman.  "Obama's from Hawaii, so the Republicans might not rise to the occasion."

"What about Puerto Rico?" asked Samuelson.

"Too many witnesses there," said the former CIA operative.  "We could possibly stage something in the British Virgin Islands--there is a branch of the Bush family tree there that might help out."

"But it's too close to the mainland for a hydrogen bomb," said the mad scientist, dejectedly.

(Condoleezza Rice was rolling her eyes, but nobody could detect that over the speakerphone.)  "Alright, let me rethink my proposal for the U.S. Virgin Islands, and I'll feel out the Bush clan there.  What about Project Cinderella?  Can we rely on her to help with this?"

"Of course," lied Samuelson.  "She'd do anything to get the Federal government running again."

A few miles to the east, coroner John Constantine and Ann Bishis were also discussing the government shutdown, while touring the Spy Museum (on their third date).  "Here's the thing," said Bishis, Chief of Staff to Congressman Herrmark, "guys like my boss are just innocent victims in all this."

"Really?" scoffed Constantine, sarcastically.

"Some Reps. are media darlings, some Reps. are major party fundraisers, some Reps. have undue influence because they're in swing states.  Herrmark is just a run-of-the-mill Rep. who works the room and gets people to vote on his stuff because he votes on their stuff.  Right now there's no stuff."

"By stuff, you mean an actual ability to find money for new pork?"

"Pork is such a pejorative term!" protested Bishis.

"I think Congressmen have more sense of entitlement than anybody else feeding at the Federal trough!"

"You're so cynical!" she protested again.

"Wasn't he voted Upper Class Twit of the Year?"  Bishis smiled--not because she was proud of that, but because this meant Constantine liked her enough to do research on her boss!

Over in Cleveland Park, Liv Cigemeier and her husband were taking advantage of the warmer weather to take an evening stroll around their neighborhood.  "I think Senator Breadman might really have a heart attack if this shutdown doesn't end soon," said the junior partner from Prince and Prowling, squeezing his wife's hand.  "He's so pissed at Ted Cruz that he took their photo down from his Wall of Me and stomped it to pieces!  Then he put it in the kitchen sink and set it on fire."

"Who did he use to fill that gap in the Wall of Me?" asked Liv.

"A photo of him and Dolly Parton taken at the Country Music Awards."

"Shut up!" Liv laughed.

"Seriously!  Then somebody pasted a cropped shot of Chloe Cleavage's head on top of Dolly Parton."

"You're lying!"

"No, I'm serious!  Look, actually there's something else I want to talk about."  (Liv looked at him with extreme alarm.)  "I think you've gotten too attached to Delia."

"Well, I'm her babysitter!  There's nothing wrong with that!" protested Liv.

"What I mean is, we haven't really talked in a long time about our little problem getting pregnant.  I think we're past that now, and should think about adoption."

"But we don't have the money now!" exclaimed Liv.  "I'm not even working full-time!"

"That's why it's the perfect time to adopt," said her husband.  "You can stay home with the baby."

"You know it could be years before we get a baby, don't you?  The only way we could adopt quickly is with an older child."

"We'll figure it out!" said her husband.  "If you want it, we'll figure it out!"

"Of course I want it!" sobbed Liv, pressing herself against him.  (Not far away, the real estate demon living in their backyard tool shed bristled in anguish and alarm.)

A few miles away, a dazed and confused Bridezilla had just finished dining in the apartment of Luciano Talaverdi, who was desperately trying to woo her away from Buddy Lee Trickham.  Bridezilla was wandering nervously around his apartment, looking at his paintings and knickknacks so that she could avoid sitting down on the inviting Italian leather sofa.  "Buddy says Congress is putting on Bread and Circuses, just like they did in ancient Rome when they were trying to distract the people from their impending doom," she said in a high-pitched voice (though less nasal than usual because of the strong contingent of garlic in the home-cooked meal--incidentally, one of the many reasons she was trying to avoid kissing him).  "Except they forgot the bread, and are just doing the circuses."

"Nobody in Rome ever did anything this petty and stupid," asserted the Italian economist, opening a Skype connection on his computer.

"Buddy and I were talking today about what it would be like if Columbus landed here today, in 2013:  would he think this crazy country is worth discovering?  He was Italian, right?"

"Yes, but he landed in the Caribbean--not in North America."

"Well, you know what I mean," said Bridezilla.  (He really didn't.)

"Come here:  I have a surprise for you!"  (She walked over to the computer, baffled.)  "My friend is going to sing you a song on Skype."

"Buona sera!" said Andrea Bocelli.  "I can't see you, but I know you are the most beautiful woman in Washington!"  Bridezilla thought she was going to faint, but Talaverdi pulled her down onto his lap for the mini concert, and she sank limply into his arms.

Out on the Potomac River, a furloughed Golden Fawn was enjoying being a stowaway on her husband's Coast Guard vessel.  It was finally clear enough to see some stars, and the political craziness was sucking up so much of Ardua's time that the river was almost peaceful tonight.  "Thank goodness you're an essential worker!" she said again to Marcos Vazquez (whose crew was discreetly hanging out on the other side of the boat).  "At least we have one paycheck coming in."  She leaned in closer to him, starting to shiver in the cooling night air.

"They'll work it out," said Vazquez, who was actually expecting increasing violence and mayhem in the days to come, but he would never say anything to worry his wife.

"I think I had a breakthrough researching Ardua today," she said, of the demon writhing twenty feet below them.  "The cycles of evil--the way evil reverberates and grows, like an echo in a canyon."

"You'll figure it out," he said, though he doubted that, too.  He loved her more than life itself, but he had no idea how to protect her from the evil she had sworn herself to destroy.

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