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, November 10, 2013

Water Demons

Conspiracy theorist and militiaman Glenn Michael Beckmann was attempting to live-blog from the bridgeman's quarters of the 14th Street Bridge, but it wasn't going well.  (His laptop was still in the bag.)

"Who sent you?!" demanded Dubious McGinty.

"I heard there was a Vietnam veteran living up here," replied Beckmann.

"Who sent you?!" repeated McGinty.

"It's Veterans' Day tomorrow," stated Beckmann.

"Why you avoiding the question?" demanded McGinty.

(Beckmann was avoiding the question because he could not remember the answer.)  "How long have you been living here?"

"I'm not answering any of your stupid questions, white boy!"

"My great, great grand-mother was a Cherokee," declared Beckmann angrily.

"Oh, I've heard that one before," said McGinty, rolling his eyes.

"I'm a Veteran, too."

"Wearing those dumb-ass army fatigues don't make you a veteran."

"I fought in Iraq," said Beckmann.  (This was a figment of his imagination.)

"Which Mr. George did you do that for?"

"There were weapons of mass destruction."

"You just sat in one of them video arcades shooting off drone rockets, didn't you?"

"I can kill people with my bare hands and teeth!" shouted Beckmann.

"Well, I'd like to see you try that," laughed McGinty.

"Have you heard of the Hunter-Gatherer Society?  Nobody's deadlier than we are!  Sarah Palin is our President, and we'll kill ourselves before we surrender to Obamacare."

"Son, you're just plain crazy!"

"I'm not the one living in a bridge like a troll!"

"Trolls live under bridges!  I'm on the top!  Now get outta here before I throw you overboard and let Ardua eat you!"

"Who's Ardua?"

Up in Cleveland Park, Charles Wu was taking advantage of another water demon:  Typhoon Haiyan.  Now most multimillionaires would simply write a check to the Red Cross and not give the 15,000 dead another thought, but Wu was a brilliant man who saw multiple opportunities in the Philippines relief drive.  First, of course, was winning more brownie points with Mia, whom he was still hoping would spy for him one day.  Second, naturally, was taking advantage of the Glenn Defense Marine Asia bribery probe he had put in motion, and the intelligence gap it left in the U.S. Navy with two Admirals now in dry dock.  Third was, inevitably, making money.

Fourth was the most complex of all:  putting his neighbor, Liv Cigemeier, back to work at International Development Machine.  She had been a fantastic babysitter, now that Mia was taking classes and could no longer be a full-time nanny, but the Liv issue had become complex.  Liv adored little Delia, and might very well be in love with Wu, but what was more important was that Liv's husband was obviously unhappy with the situation.  Could be jealousy, could be feelings of inadequacy that he had not fathered a child of his own, could be the loss of professional respect for his own wife--whatever the reason, Wu perceived that Liv's husband was not comfortable with things the way they were.  (Why else would he keep insisting that Liv bring Delia to their own house next door to babysit?)  If Augustus Bush, President of International Development Machine, agreed to Wu's proposal, Wu would provide a $1,000,000 (tax-deductible!) grant to IDM that Liv would administer for Philippines reconstruction.  Liv would go into IDM only twice a week, doing the rest of the work from her home office or Wu's.  She'd be able to continue watching Delia quite a bit, while using her considerable education to administer an excellent program for the Philippines.  Wu, in turn, would have an impeccable cover for expanding his network to fill the intelligence vacuum in Malaysia and beyond.  It was a brilliant plan!

Several miles away, Augustus Bush was mulling over the Charles Wu proposal.  Now Bush, a member of the U.S. Virgin Islands branch of the Bush clan, was not the cleanest knife in the drawer, but he sensed something untoward in this proposal.  Why was Wu proposing that Liv Cigemeier work from home?  Had he already negotiated that with her?  Was it her idea?  Or was there some kind of illicit affair there which would taint the name of International Development Machine?  Bush had been brought in precisely to salvage IDM's reputation--and business--and he didn't want anything to jeopardize his success, least of all that ungrateful woman who had taken Girl Hurl to competitor International Development Nerds!  Still, $1,000,000 was nothing to sneeze at:  even if IDM was only able to pocket 25% of it, it might serve to leverage more donations and contracts with the U.S. Agency for International Development.  He closed his eyes to visualize the cascade of events which might follow this deal.  Do I really care if they're having an affair?

Back in Cleveland Park, two people actually having an affair--Ann Bishis and John Constantine--were having lunch at Alero.  "This is the loudest Mexican restaurant I have ever seen!" declared Bishis (Chief of Staff to Congressman Herrmark).

"I can hear you just fine," replied Constantine (a D.C. coroner).

"No, I mean the wall diarrhea--there's crap hanging in every square inch!"

"Oh, the decorations?  Yeah, when you have to spend most of your days in 55-degree stainless steel boxes, you crave a lot of color."

"This could cause epileptic seizures!" said Bishis, laughing at her own joke.

"You really have some peculiar medical notions," replied Constantine, who was normally a very jolly guy, but somewhat subdued of late.

"Is something bothering you?' asked Bishis.  (Dating a coroner with a wicked sense of humor was one thing, but dating a coroner who was a sourpuss was unacceptable.)

"Can I tell you a secret?" he said, leaning in.  (She nodded.)  "It's about people who drown in the Potomac."  (Bishis now regretted her nod.)  "When I did my first drowning autopsy in D.C., there were signs that the victim drowned faster than usual--like the way a toddler can drown quickly in just a couple inches of water."  (Bishis nodded her head, horrified, and started thinking about breaking up with him--just the other day a cute guy from the Log Cabin Republicans had been flirting with her while lobbying the Holier Than Thou Caucus on the Senate's gay rights bill, and--)  "My boss said that was because of the tide, and told me to put 'TIDE' at the end of the report.  Well, I've done that dozens of times now, and yesterday I found out accidentally what 'TIDE' really stands for."  ("What?")  (Constantine looked around carefully, then leaned in to whisper.)  "Timing is demon effect."  ("Huh?")  Constantine raised his voice slightly:  "My boss thinks there's a man-killing demon living in the Potomac."  With that, Bishis burst into laughter, mistakenly relieved that his wicked sense of humor had returned.

Out in the river, Ardua of the Potomac was still laughing at the apoplectic fit Glenn Michael Beckmann had left Dubious McGinty in.

**********************
COMING UP:  Janet Yellen yellin'.

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