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, March 30, 2014

A New Moon

"I just can't take any more snow!" pleaded the White House butler to her psychiatrist, Dr. Ermann Esse.  "It's making me nuts!  I keep seeing the twins outside playing it in!  Even today, on the way over here, in this horrible sleet with the driving wind, I saw them, and I was pleading with them to go back inside before they caught their death, and then I remembered, they're already dead!"

Dr. Esse nodded kindly, but he was, in fact, alarmed.  He had thought she was doing better about not hallucinating about her deceased pre-schoolers, but this was a serious setback.  "Did they speak back to you, Clio?"

"Of course not--they're dead!  And I know they're dead, but the constant snow is driving me nuts!"

"The snow has had a terrible effect on many people in Washington who are not used to it, and it's even worse for those who fled the north a long time ago--they feel betrayed that this is happening to them."

"Betrayed?  You can't blame anybody for snow!" exclaimed Clio.

"In this town, you can always blame somebody," said Dr. Esse.

Not far away, it was reporter Holly Gonightly who was being blamed for tying up a camera crew at the National Women in the Arts Wikipedia edit-a-thon when her television station was trying to film scenes of people struggling with snow and sleet all over town.  "Do we really need another shot of disappointed cherry blossom tourists or stranded airline passengers?" she wailed.  ("Yes, we do!")  She hung up her cellphone and looked forlornly at her camera man.

"What did the boss say?" he asked.

"Let's shoot the intro one more time here in the foyer, and then we have to go to the Tidal Basin to film people in snow and sleet."

"Are there actually people at the Tidal Basin right now?"

She shrugged and waited for him to prepare the camera again.  "This is Holly Gonightly, reporting from the National Women in the Arts Museum, where women from all over the Washington region were invited to learn how to be Wikipedia editors!  The popular, online, crowd-sourced encyclopedia has taken much criticism over the years for having 90% of its entries written or edited by men, but now these female edit-a-thons are being held all over the world to start changing that number!  How was that?"

"Perfect," the camera man lied, because (a) she was Too Fat For Television, so it could never be perfect, and (b) he didn't think the producers would air it anyway.

Coming out of the Edit-a-Thon, Giuliana Sunstream looked in vain for her boyfriend--who was supposed to be picking her up.  The weather was frightful, and he wasn't answering his cellphone.  She scratched the rash under her cursed Rolex, quite certain that her edits on interior decorating topics would be read by far more people than those other snooty women's edits on science, music, politics, and literature would be.  Especially the paragraph she had written on converting army surplus store parachutes into bed sheets!  (She was learning new and amazing things from Glenn Michael Beckmann every week!)

Beckmann, meanwhile, was a couple miles away, and had forgotten to tell his girlfriend he would be late.  Tipped off about a secret society meeting in the Brewmaster's Castle, the conspiracy theorist had just used his Batman grappling hook to shoot up to the roof, and was struggling in the snow and sleet to find a way in through the chimney.  Worried he was going to fall off the wet surface, he decided instead to swing back out on the rope, and then kick his way in through a window--like Kevin Costner in that "Robin Hood" movie.  This would have been a fine plan, except he ended up trying to kick in a window that had bars in front of it, broke both his feet, screamed in pain, and dropped down to the ground in a sodden lump.

"Did you hear that?" asked Henrietta Samuelson, chair of the Heurich Society meeting being held in the upper meeting floor of the Brewmaster's Castle.  ("It's just wind.")  She looked around uneasily, then asked how the Black Sea Revolution project was doing.

"Better than expected," crackled Condoleezza Rice over the speaker phone, "but we think it's time for you to go over there yourself."

"Me?  I thought we had plenty of agents operating over there."

"Don't you think it's time you got a little more hands-on?" echoed a former CIA operative.

"Your father wanted you to be more than a realtor, you know," said a Governor from the Federal Reserve Board.

"It's an honest living," she said.  (A few people stifled their laughter.)  "And I'm making more money now."

"You could be making even more money if you got more experience--then you would understand why we launch the projects we launch," said a World Bank attorney.

"If you're talking about buying the local elections, I told you I can't stand that crap!  There's nothing worse for a realtor than corrupt politicians."

"Not if they're your corrupt politicians, Button."  Samuelson looked around to see who had actually said that out loud, but saw only a bunch of blank, smiling faces.  "Fine, I'll go to Ukraine.  And I told you:  don't call me 'Button!'"

"Excellent!" crackled the Bloodsucker over the speaker phone.

A few miles to the north, Golden Fawn also had a huge decision to make--whether to join the board of the new Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation.  "My father would have said take the money and run," she said to her husband, Marcos Vazquez, as they prepared dinner.  "Take Snyder's money and spend it as fast as you can!  I know that's what he would have said."

"But that's not what your grandmother would say, which is why you haven't even called her to ask her opinion," replied Vazquez, with a supportive follow-up kiss.  (She'd been struggling with the decision for days.)

"She'd say it's a terrible example for Joey," admitted Golden Fawn, "letting the white man act all magnanimous--giving with his right hand while still taking away with his left."  She threw some more sage in the stew and sighed.  "This is really high-profile.  They will get so much publicity for tribes that are really in need.  The National Museum of the American Indian gets a lot of sympathy, and it educates a lot of people, but we're talking NFL money--that's serious cash!"

"He'll be doling out that cash whether you're on the board or not."

"And the board might make really stupid, political decisions about it!"

"Alright," said Vazquez, "I hate being this kind of husband, but I'm gonna tell you straight out:  I don't think you should do it.  If it's giving you this kind of a headache before you even join it, you're going to be having a nervous breakdown about it once it really gets rolling.  Don't you have enough on your plate?  Two breast cancer battles, adopting Joey, and, well, the rest of it."

"Ardua," whispered Golden Fawn, and Vazquez found himself reflexively crossing himself.

"Look, why don't you tell him that you can't sit on the board, but that you and the museum will always be available to the board for advice?"

"Oh, you're so logical!"

"But I know your heart is telling you not to be on that board!" protested Vazquez, who wanted to protect her from anything and everything.

"OK," she said.

Back at Dr. Esse's consulting office, Bridezilla was the latest patient ranting about seeing snow again.  "I almost didn't come in at all!" she wailed.  "I was actually afraid to drive in this weather!  Thank goodness Buddy Lee got an invitation to watch hoops downtown and he could drive me!"

"I thought he doesn't know you're in treatment?"

"I'm not in treatment!  And he dropped me at the office, and I took a cab from there."

"You're not in treatment?"

"I just need somebody to talk to about certain things," said Bridezilla.

Dr. Esse was about to rebut her on the semantics, but thought there were more important issues to focus on.  "Do you think you are ready to marry this man when he doesn't even know you need me to talk to about certain things?"

"Of course I'm ready to marry him!  The wedding is in April!  And every woman has some secrets she keeps from her husband."

Dr. Esse was worn out from a long afternoon of stressed-out patients ready to completely flip out if they saw one more snowflake.  He had even talked down a wild-eyed National Security Council member from advocating nuclear strikes on Russia!  He simply could not bring himself to care whether Bridezilla was ready for this marriage or not because he knew damned well she would never go through with it.  "Before our next session, I would like you to write down a list of secrets you are keeping from your fiance', and we will discuss them."

"OK," she said, feeling like a heroine in some sort of Jennifer Aniston film...or maybe Cameron Diaz.

Several miles away, Angela de la Paz eased baby Lucas off her breast, then took him to the window.  "You have to see past all the clouds," she whispered to him.  "There's a beautiful, flaming sun setting over there--" (she moved to a different window) "--and a new moon rising over here.  There will always be clouds--that's why you need to learn how to look right through them."  The tiny boy struggled to understand the words of the voice he had heard so many times, then let his heavy eyelids close.

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COMING UP:  a New Dominion

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