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, August 10, 2014

The Washington Lifestyle

And now the thumping again.  Chloe Cleavage marched out on her balcony to register a complaint about the thumping on the balcony next door, where Joey Bent Oak was dribbling his basketball.

"Oh, come on!" he replied.  "I waited until noon!  You can't sleep that late!"

"It's a disturbance of the peace at any hour!"  Cleavage could not believe she had sold all her eggs for a million dollars and purchased a D.C. condo, only to end up living next door to this freaky Indian/Puerto Rican family.

"You complain about everything!" cried Joey.  "It's ridiculous!"

"How many people do you have crammed into that condo, anyway?" asked the Prince and Prowling staff attorney.  "There are rules!"

"You don't scare me!" he said.  "I climbed Eagle Mountain all by myself and spent the night there, too.  I jumped into the Gray Gorge and swam across it when I was only six!  I--"

"Sure you did, kid!  But you've never known fear and trembling until you've faced the wrath of a D.C. condo association board!  You tell Golden Hind and Marco Polo I'm reporting you!"

"It's 'Golden Fawn' and 'Marcos Vazquez', you idiot!" he exclaimed, as she slammed her balcony door shut.  "And we're moving," he added, more softly, thinking about the creepy house they had just purchased in upper Georgetown.

A couple miles away, Luciano Talaverdi was also struggling to maintain his peaceful lifestyle.  "It's hard to read the newspaper when he just sits there staring at me!" he complained to Helen Yellen.

"Oh, don't be such a sourpuss!" she replied, scratching the pot-bellied pig with her bare feet.  "He learned not to sit on your Italian leather, and not to pee on the lemon tree, and not to rub against the medieval tapestry on the wall.  When are you going to cut him some slack?  Petro Pig is a good boy!"

"I don't think he's happy as a pet," said the Italian economist.

"Well, he's not gonna be happier as prosciutto!" she pouted.

"I didn't say that!" protested Talaverdi (who now only ate prosciutto at the Federal Reserve Board cafeteria).  "But he only seems happy outdoors!  He's very restless indoors."

"He likes an active lifestyle, that's true," Yellen said.  "But it's good exercise for us to take him out a lot.  And his outgoing personality is making me a lot of money!"

Talaverdi couldn't argue with that, though he was not exactly comfortable with his girlfriend renting Petro Pig out for political and social events.  Petro Pig oinked agreeably at Talaverdi, pleased that he was paying attention to the porker.  "Can you just get him to stop staring at me?" the economist pleaded, wondering if he could ever raise bambini with this woman.

"He can't help it," said Yellen with a smile.  "He loves you!"

Over at Meridian Hill Park, love was also in the air...as well as an active lifestyle:  dog walkers in the grass, welter-weight boxers on the pavement, wedding party photos beneath the waterfall, guitar players on the wall, bees in the clover, bongos up the hill, lovestruck interns next to the duck pond, hula hoops under the trees.  Nothing aroused Glenn Michael Beckmann's conspiracy theories more than an excessive number of happy people gathered only a couple miles from the White House, and he walked around uneasily in his cut-off army fatigues.  Too many foreigners, he thought.  Too many young people.  Too many idle people.  Too many people watching other people.  Too many cameras.  He snapped a photo of Africans playing a suspicious-looking musical instrument.  Don't they all have something better to do?  Beckmann, in truth, was secretly hoping to be recognized, after having been interviewed earlier in the week on "Let's Talk Live".  Though it was humiliating to be on television talking about his front organization, Beckmann's Floral Cushions, it had been a great opportunity to broadcast coded messages about illegal aliens (how their mass movements cause tornadoes), the true origin of ISIS (Minnesota), the secret agenda of the African summit (elect more Africans to the White House), and how they tampered with the evidence against Governor McDonnell (there was more than one cheerleader in that mansion!).  The talk show appearance had been very confusing for the hosts (especially when he presented them with personally embroidered pillows that appeared to have guns in the motif), but his blog hits had skyrocketed, and he had gained three new clients for Beckmann's Bad Asses.  (Only the baddest bad asses could understand his coded messages!)  But, somehow, being on television had not made him famous, and he had always thought it would.  There must be a conspiracy against me, he thought, looking around in perplexity at all the people ignoring him.

Across town on H Street, Beckmann's lifestyle blogging rival (and former girlfriend), Giuliana Sunstream, was still enjoying a huge run of popularity on her blog, but she was consumed with jealousy that Beckmann had landed a spot on "Let's Talk Live".  Now the NoMa streetcars were on the brink of becoming operational, and it was the biggest chance she had to attract national attention.  "The beauty of the streetcar," she typed furiously, "is that the rider becomes organically entwined with the pulse of the city rendered electrically.  In other words, the rider is no longer a solitary particle in the urban landscape, but has become statically connected to the wave of pure energy which is a living city."  That's good! she thought.  "You can also knit your recycled sock fibers more comfortably, because the ride is smoother than on the bus."

Over at Prince and Prowling, former Senator Evermore Breadman's wife was knitting furiously in the corner of the conference room as he prepared to begin his emergency webinar on ethics for public officials.  "Really, honey, this is going to be so dull for you," he said to her one more time, but she was tired of his saying he had to go to the office every Sunday, and she was temporarily in-between lovers.

"No, I'm really looking forward to this!" she called through gritted teeth, wishing with all her might that Maureen McDonnell would be sent to the Big House so that she, Mrs. Evermore Breadman--who never had a chance to be a first lady of anything after her husband left the public sector for Prince and Prowling--could visit her in prison and give her a hand-knitted scarf (jailhouse gray).

The webinar producer signaled Breadman that the camera was rolling, and he could begin.  (The producer was going to get a 20% cut of all the $700/head webinar registrations.)

"Ladies and gentlemen," began the former U.S. Senator.  "I'm going to start today by reminding you that public office is not the place for you to make your personal fortune--it's the place where you learn everything you need to know to make your personal fortune later."

A few miles to the west, Angela de la Paz gritted her teeth as she walked into the haunted house in upper Georgetown.  She had lived in poverty before.  She had roughed it in the Afghan mountains, Egyptian slums, and Iraqi deserts.  But this place was the most miserable place she had ever lived.  "I'm home!" she called out robustly to the ghosts, as she made her way into the kitchen to prepare herself some lunch.  She looked around at the knocked-over chairs, broken plates on the floor, and food dumped out of the refrigerator.  "You're not scaring anybody!" she said, which was true enough for now, but the ghosts were wearing her down, and Golden Fawn's family would be closing on the house this week.  "I know you're angry about a lot of things, but those people that hurt you are long gone!" she cried, pulling out one of the paper plates she had thought to purchase at the store today.  "There's a lovely family getting ready to move in here, and we are not the enemy!"  Her abilities had become so advanced that she rarely had to use violence anymore, and could telepathically convince most people--or demons--to stand down, but these ghosts had some type of fierce psychic energy which she had no power against.  "We might only have another week or two alone," she said to the ghosts.  "You can talk to me whenever you want."  She sat down to eat.  "You will never be able to hurt these people," she added.  "You need to find something else to do."

Outside the house, a pair of pink warblers began singing in the trees, until a cackling cat bird chased them away.  Then it started laughing--like a ghost.

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COMING UP:  The Revenge of Pippin!

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