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 19, 2014

Shivering

Where have I heard that before?  Perry Winkle was on his way back from Germantown to the Washington Post, to submit another "Metro" article on the Germantown double-murder.  "She was talking about world damnation," he replayed from the tape recording of his interview with the mother's neighbor.  Church?  Of course, but I haven't been to church in ages....No, I've heard it somewhere else, more recently....

The double murder was also being discussed several miles to the south, in the Brewmaster's Castle.  "She's started her 'world damnation' campaign, I'm telling you!" said an agitated member of the Navy SEALS.  "Killing little babies because she thinks they're possessed by Satan!"

"Angela didn't DO that!" retorted the Chair of the Heurich Society, Henrietta ("Button") Samuelson--who had agreed to fire the newly righteous Angela, but knew her incapable of something so heinous.

"She said it herself!" cried a Vice-President from Wells Fargo.

"She's using chi power," said Samuelson.  "She's NOT killing people."

"How do we know?" asked the SEAL.  "'Chi power' sounds pretty bogus to me."

"Because she's never been a stabber," replied a former CIA operative.  "Henry taught her better than that:  stabbing is messy and splatters DNA evidence on you."

Samuelson shuddered, suddenly wondering if she were really meant to be leading this group.

A block away, Laura Moreno was also shivering, making her way through the cold sunshine to the bank to deposit the Christmas check her father had re-sent after it was returned to sender because he had put her old address on the envelope.  She had been at her new place for years, had exchanged birthday cards with her mother, but somehow, for the second Christmas in a row, her father had sent the Christmas card to the wrong address.  She had become a faceless entity to him, less familiar even than the utility companies he accurately mailed a payment to once a month.  He had no idea how desperately she needed the money, even less idea how desperately she needed to have the more important things he never gave her.  She had done two foreign language projects in the past three weeks--something that paid far better than Prince and Prowling ever did, but which did not keep her working for long.  The future was an enormous ocean of murky cold currents, its contents and direction obscured from her view.

Over on Capitol Hill, the Holier Than Thou Caucus was having lunch at Hawk and Dove, discussing the evil of the omnibus spending bill shoved through the House of Representatives without adequate time for prayerful consideration.

"1,500 pages!" exclaimed the Congresswoman from Indiana.  "My staff barely had time to pray over the first 200 pages!"

"This is no way to spend 1.1 trillion dollars!" concurred the Congressman from Alabama.  "Where did the earmarks go?  To the devil!  These whispers I've heard about world damnation are getting very frightening!"

"I agree," said Congressman Herrmark, uncomfortably.  "Where is the money to clean up the drinking water contaminated by hydrofracking?  Poisoning the water we drink IS world damnation!"

"I don't think you're using that term properly," said the Congresswoman from Indiana, narrowing her eyes.

At another Capitol Hill restaurant nearby, economist Luciano Talaverdi was also expressing his concerns about the gargantuan omnibus spending bill.  "The retreat of quantitative easing to historically normalized levels, taking into account stagflation versus middle-class hemorrhaging and energy sector rebooting, makes anything other than a modified stimulus, step-ladder spending budget a significant risk to sustained fluidity in the capital markets."

Helen Yellen nodded politely and continued chewing her Art and Soul grits.  It wasn't the first time a date had just assumed she was a financial whiz kid like her second cousin, Janet Yellen, but she was astonished at the sheer number of bankers and Federal Reserve Board employees asking her out on dates since her relative had been sworn in as the new FRB Chair.  "I think it will all work out fine," she said.  She did think Talaverdi was the handsomest so far, and she loved his Italian accent.

Talaverdi, like others who had researched and stalked her before, had assumed by her LinkedIn profile that she was an investment banker for a wildly successful rock band, but what "Personal Assets Manager" actually meant in her case was that she kept their houses and cars clean and maintained while they were on the road--she was a professional housesitter.  (You would think after Talaverdi had made a similar mistake about White House employee Clio that this would not have happened to him again, but it did!)  "Do you really think it will all work out fine?" Talaverdi pressed, believing he was on the verge of getting insider information.

"With people like you taking care of us, I'm sure it will!" she replied.

Several miles to the west, Ghost Henry floated down to Roosevelt Island to spy on Angela de la Paz.  He was livid that she had abandoned his daughter, Button, to start working for Hong Kong spy Charles Wu.  I didn't give you all that training and plastic surgery to do his dirty work! he railed, poking her in the back, but she just winced and blamed it on the baby's kicking inside her.

"You OK?" asked Joey Bent Oak, bending over to pick up some brushwood.

"Yeah, it's just the baby kicking," said Angela.  "I think that's enough."  They turned around to go back to Golden Fawn and her husband, Marcos Vazquez.

"So your parents were messed up, too, huh?" asked Joey.

"It was very complicated," said Angela, who knew that Joey's parents were both reservation alcoholics.  "My dad was gone most of the time, my grandmother raised me, my mom came and went, but she's dead now."

"That's what I heard," said Joey.  "What about your baby?  Golden Fawn said the father died."  He looked at her inquisitively, challenging the veracity of the story.

"He did.  He was trying to rescue Australians from a violent mob in Egypt."  (That's what the Arab Spring did for me, she thought, but she didn't add that part.)

"You know that story about the kids murdered in Germantown?"  Angela nodded.  "Does Golden Fawn think I have an evil spirit inside me?  She's always burning things and doing ceremonies."

"No," Angela shook her head.  "She's trying to protect you.  She wants to cleanse the bitterness from your heart and protect you from the evil in this place."

"I don't believe in that mumbo jumbo," said Joey.

"That's OK--we all have different roles in the world."  Angela had been thinking of giving her baby to Golden Fawn and Marcos to raise, but now she thought they were going to have their hands full with this one.

Not far away, Golden Fawn was frowning, and asked her husband to try digging up one more spot.

"I think it's gone, babe," said Vazquez, who had helped her bury the bloody axe himself.  "Somebody found it."  He looked uneasily out at the water, knowing Ardua of the Potomac was lurking nearby.

Golden Fawn shook off her shivering and walked back to where she could smell the fire had already been started.

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COMING UP:   Giuliana Sunstream hosts a winter lifestyle retreat.

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