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 16, 2014

Shadow Worlds

Angela de la Paz knew that the Heurich Society was involved in the Crimean crisis, but her new boss, Charles Wu, told her to leave it alone.  International espionage was only about money for him.  Now that she had decided to give up her baby (at his suggestion!), she didn't even need as much money, but somehow she was still working for him.  She thought it was ridiculous that China had abstained on the United Nations Security Council resolution.  How can you not be for or against something like that?, she had asked Wu.  It's all about strategic interests, Wu had said, as usual.  Lynnette Wong had used the topic as an excuse to--again--tell Angela she really needed to finish her education.  Crimea has a long and complex history...yadda, yadda, yadda.

There will always be men who use guns to get what they want, a soft voice said.  But there are other things you can do.  Angela opened her eyes, not remembering whether she was awake or dreaming.

"Mami?"

"Yes, mi hija!"

Angela rushed to embrace her mother, and felt a flood of warm emotion surge between them.  "I thought I'd never see you again!"

"It's taken a long time for you to find me," her mother said.

"Where are we?" asked Angela, looking around.  They seemed to be at the end of a rainbow.

"It's a safe and happy place," said her mother.  "So happy that I do not even feel the pain of missing you--because I know it is temporary."

"Is this Heaven?"

"You are still alive, mi amor--you can't be in Heaven!"

"I don't understand, mami."

"You are a special soul, so you can see things others can't see.  You must go find the airplane."

"The airplane?!"

"A watery grave tended by sea demons," her mother said.

"But they're all dead!  It's too late!"

Her mother smiled and shook her head.  "It is never too late.  Don't you know that by now, after all you have seen and heard and done?"

"Who murdered you, mami?"

"A troubled soul--but you cannot help him.  You have helped many, and I am proud of you for it, but you cannot help him."

"I don't want to help him!"

"And that's why you can't.  Go to the plane."

"I'm pregnant," Angela said.

"I know," said her mother.  "The baby will wait."

"I'm giving it up," Angela said.

"I know, mi amor--but he will always be ours, too.  Remember that word:  always."  With that, her mother hugged her tightly, and then she was gone.

Over on Capitol Hill, the man who had murdered her mother was squeezing his new girlfriend just as tightly.  "Where do you want to eat, lassie?"

Giuliana Sunstream laughed:  Glenn Michael Beckmann had a new pet name for her everyday.  "Anyplace with microbrews," she said.  "The St. Patrick's Day Parade was so much fun!  I always thought they would be so corny."

"You've spent too much of your time trying to be cool and trendy," Beckmann said.  "But nobody's cooler than St. Patrick!  Did you know he had his own Hunter-Gatherer Society?  That's how they drove the snakes out of Ireland."

"I think you're being blasphemous," she laughed.

"Never!" he exclaimed, but his ire dissipated immediately when she wrapped her arm in his and he felt that cursed Rolex against him.

A few miles to the west, Laura Moreno was full of ire that would not dissipate.  She was working a ton of hours at Prince and Prowling--her staff attorney agreement already a distant, fictional memory.  And now they had saddled her with reconfiguring the previously "state-of-the-art" review center to once again host contract attorneys now that the law firm had won over the huge federal client that rival Goode Peepz had lost after a failed security audit.  (Goode Peepz had made the mistake of hiring Beckmann's Bad Asses for security.)  This afternoon, she had to test each and every computer to make sure it was headless, armless, and legless:  a mere fragment of its former self, kept alive for one purpose and one purpose only--to code documents.  No internet surfing, no file-saving, no file-printing, no ports, no CD drives, no nothing.  (The computers had been furnished by Charles Wu, who mysteriously had a special order of them from Hong Kong available for purchase after another buyer had fallen through.)  The workmen were almost finished installing the hidden cameras and recording devices which would allow the new contract attorneys to be spied on continuously.  Contractors would go through a full body scanner every time they entered or left the room, and their bags would be searched at the same time.  They would also be subject to random scanning and searching throughout the day.  Former Senator Evermore Breadman had even insisted on purchasing an invisible ink kit to examine every paper coming in and out of the room with contract attorneys.  If there was anything else that could be done to prevent corporate espionage by fellow members of the D.C. Bar (!), Moreno did not know what it was--but she did know she would be blamed for not thinking of it.

Several miles away, Mayor Vince Gray was having his own nervous breakdown about blame.  It was the first time he had ever hosted a D.C. chapter meeting of Sense of Entitlement Anonymous, and crow was not on the menu.  "So what if I called somebody uncle?  Can anybody explain to me how that's illegal?!"

"I think there's more to the story than that," said Judge Sowell Ame.

"Shouldn't you have recused yourself from this meeting?" asked real estate tycoon Calico Johnson.

"His trial won't be in my court!" answered Ame.

"There won't be a trial!" protested Gray.  "I just called him uncle!"

"I know exactly how you feel," said a former member of the FISA court.  "All I did was call it classified!  Where's the crime in that?"  (Dick Cheney burst out laughing.)  "What's so funny?"

"Can we talk about me now?" asked Bridezilla.  "I'm getting married next month!"

"When pigs fly," Congressman John Boehner whispered to FRB economist Luciano Talaverdi.

"What?" asked Bridezilla.

"I was a little surprised you're registered at Maybelle's Mississippi Mercantile," said Cheney.

"Buddy Lee's cousin's family owns that.  It's so embarrassing!  He says buying from them helps the post-Katrina economy, but if anybody actually sends me that 20-slot toaster or turkey fryer, I will just die."

"Is it true in this country that a wedding guest has up to a year to send a gift?" asked Talaverdi, who had once courted Bridezilla himself, and who had no intention of throwing money away on a wedding everybody said would never happen.

"Well, I think it's tacky to register anywhere!" declared Mayor Gray.  "To indicate to other people how they should spend their money to support you?  I would never do such a thing!"

Far away, and yet very nearby, Angela de la Paz was still in the world of spirits.  She had more things she wanted to talk to her mother about, but she couldn't find her again.  Angela!  She turned quickly, and was shocked to see the ghost of Henry Samuelson.  I've been trying to speak to you for ages!  She backed away but kept listening.  Do you recognize me?  She nodded.  I'm worried about Button!  She can't handle the Heurich Society without your help.

"That was her choice," said Angela.

But she still needs you!  The Bloodsucker is ascending again!  Who do you think started all this mess with Russia in Crimea?

"Condoleezza Rice?"  (Ghost Henry nodded.)  "It doesn't matter--I'm staying out of it."

Because that damned spy Wu told you to?!

"My mother said I need to find the airplane."

My entire Ghost CIA can't even find that airplane!

"It's been hidden by demons."

We're on the brink of nuclear war with Russia, Angela!  Think!

Angela shook her head.  "I'm doing what my mother asked."  Then she heard the voice of a pink warbler and followed it back to the material world.

In the world she left behind, Ghost Henry angrily went after Angela's mother, only to find her defiant but serene.  How many times do I have to tell you that she never belonged to you, Henry?

****************************************
COMING UP:  Life and Death.

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