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 26, 2014

Ghost in You

Charles Wu stared out the window of his rented jet at the Dulles tarmac, frustrated with the delayed arrival of the private pilot that would take him and his entourage across the Pacific for Chinese New Year and other important affairs.  Little Delia was laughingly following the steward around the roomy cabin, nanny Mia was wrapping gifts for her relatives in Southeast Asia, Liv Cigemeier was reading preparatory material for her first trip to the Philippines for Wu's International Development Machine initiative, Liv's husband was nervously working on a business contract he would be executing at Prince and Prowling's Beijing office, and Angela de la Paz was sound asleep.

Wu had been surprised that the very pregnant Angela had agreed to come on the trip, but she had insisted that the "spirit world" had given her a vision of a human trafficking ring she was meant to bust in Malaysia, and the spirit world had also assured her the baby would not be born until late March (right on time); she would get to work immediately on expanding his Pacific espionage operations as soon as the rescue vision had been fulfilled.  Wu had no quarrel with that mission, and, indeed, suspected it might be the same human trafficking ring that had sold Mia to Congressman Herrmark some years back, but he desperately wished he could first take Angela to see his mother in Hong Kong and get her opinion on this whole spectral phenomena and whether it was getting out of control.  Nonetheless, he had to face the fact that he had no legitimate explanation to give his mother about who this young pregnant woman was; he had obscured most of his life's activities from his mother, but lying to her face was an altogether different matter.  And what if she said something Angela didn't want to hear, anyway? There was no denying that Angela had developed out-of-body capabilities that had already allowed her to eavesdrop on anybody in D.C., in theory, but the intelligence she had been gathering for Wu was extremely haphazard and not always of any financial utility.  She couldn't help it, she had said, she had no control over where her out-of-body experiences took her!  The spirit world took her where it wanted to take her!  Wu had been trying to train her to meditate on specific targets before falling asleep, and her assignment before the current nap had been NSA nominee Michael Rogers, but he doubted that's where her mind had gone, since she was talking/singing a Psychedelic Furs song ("Ghost in You"!) in her sleep.

Downtown, a 2013 jazzy hip hop fusion remake of "Ghost in You" was the soundtrack of the moment at the winter lifestyle retreat Giuliana Sunstream was hosting at her trendy NoMa apartment.  The criminal attack on her holiday party had created quite an uptick in Twitter followers and devotees of her lifestyle blog, and the place was packed with almost 50 erstwhile trend-setters--including a writer for DCist, a dress designer from Georgetown, a cronut entrepreneur, a three-time drag-queen champion, a poodle hairstylist from Chevy Chase, three former Redskins cheerleaders, a Southwest houseboat exotic dancer (brothel) club owner, the wife of the Colombian ambassador, and two writers from Washington Post "Style".  (All paying $150 admission!)  On the balcony, several people were learning how to sculpt ice--and make designer snowballs!--from a professional artist.  In the bedroom, three models (a male, a female, and Sunstream's toy Maltese) were demonstrating how to stay sexy while still protecting sensitive winter skin with warm layers.  In the dining room, guests were sampling five kinds of winter soups and three kinds of fondue while enjoying a guided meditation on "winter spirit animals".  And in the living room, guests were learning how to make their own scented candles using pine tar and crushed candy canes.  Sunstream was desperately hoping this event would catapult her blog into true local fame, and leave rival blogger Glenn Michael Beckmann in the dust!

Meanwhile, Beckmann was meeting with a new client that Sunstream would have killed to meet, real estate tycoon Calico Johnson.  Johnson had, in fact, wanted to hire "Beckmann's Floral Cushions" to refurbish some lobby furniture in a hotel he was renovating downtown--not knowing that BFC was actually blog code for the real enterprise, "Beckmann's Bad Asses".

"So, when you say you're interested in early 20th century magnolia patterns," Beckmann said, "do you mean scatter shot or carpet bagging?"  (Beckmann was asking about bird shot and carpet bombing, because he thought Johnson was looking for armed guards to kill people stealing copper pipes from construction sites.)  (Beckmann's sole employee--a Salvadoran day laborer he had picked up in the Home Depot parking lot--had made the opposite mistake by bringing an assortment of floral pillows to his meeting with Judge Sowell Ame--who was looking for a bodyguard after recent death threats related to the record 143 eviction notices he had greenlighted in December.)

Over at the White House, John Podesta was struggling to finish his latest round of suggested edits for President Obama's State of the Union address, uncertain why he kept getting a headache every time he sat down at his desk.  The headache was because Ghost Dennis was frantically whispering louder and louder to get his talking points into the draft, while the preschooler ghosts--Regina and Ferguson--were shaking his chair just enough to make his eyes repeatedly lose focus on the computer screen.  Then Bo ran in to bark at the ghosts to go away, and Sunny followed Bo in and started howling like a wolf, and Podesta wondered, why did I agree to do this again?

Back at Giuliana Sunstream's NoMa apartment, the guests were all gone (except for the brothel owner's bedbugs currently exploring her $400 magnetic mattress pad), clothing and glitter were scattered all over the bedroom carpet, Vegas (the toy Maltese) was lapping up fondue on top of the dining room table, Sunstream was scraping hardened candle wax bits off her living room couch, and the soup and melted pine tar poured down the kitchen sink were congealing into a $300 plumbing emergency in her trap.  But she had 40 new Twitter followers!

Out on her balcony, insidious starlings began pecking away at the designer snowballs left behind, while determined sparrows encircled the "Snow Angel" ice sculpture for its protection.  A catbird made an attempt to chirp "Ghost in You", but only succeeded in sounding like a drunken yodeler.  Out in the river, Ardua of the Potomac played happily under the tiny icebergs brightening her world, while infected ducks fluffed their feathers and rethought their decision not to fly south for the winter.

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COMING UP:   Bridezilla sells the cursed Rolex, and Cigemeier learns something incriminating about Charles Wu's connection to Prince and Prowling's Beijing office.

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