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 ....

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Smoke on the Water

"You can't have a bonfire on a boat," the yacht captain pleaded over the phone.  "It's not safe."

"How dangerous can it be?" replied lifestyle guru Giuliana Sunstream.  "We'll be surrounded by water!"

"Seriously?" responded the captain.  "You think having a burning ship sink into the river to extinguish the flames is a good safety plan?"

"It's going to be 30 degrees tonight!" wailed Sunstream.

"Well, I'm not giving you the money back," said the captain.  "You said you wanted to do a New Year's Eve cruise, and this isn't the Caribbean."

"What are the options?"

"I have 3 electric heat lamps.  I suggest your guests wear parkas."

"Parkas?!  How can people do the limbo in parkas?!"  (The captain shrugged, which, of course, she couldn't see.)  Sunstream was charging $200/head for this "River of Resolutions" party, which, in addition to the limbo contest, was slated to have an ice sculpture in progress, a "celebrity" wedding officiated by the captain (the celebrities being two little people actors she had connected with through her NoMA lifestyle blog), champagne-caviar-cocoa souffl├ęs, and a hip-hop harpist.  The highlight would be a performance artist (Chippendales dancer) on whom guests would write in watercolors all the things they hated about 2014--then he would dive into the Potomac River to wash them away.  He would return clean, and after he was dried off, guests would write their New Year's resolutions on his buck-naked body in permanent marker.  If he were standing in front of a bonfire, he would (a) look really cool and (b) escape hypothermia.  She wasn't so sure how a heat lamp would accomplish either of those feats.

"What if--"

"No," interrupted the captain.  "Three electric heaters.  But you can give people as much booze as you want to."

Not far from the yacht's mooring, a mourning and enraged Glenn Michael Beckmann was kicking in the gate at the Washington Marina in Southwest Waterfront.  Unable to discover who had gunned down his Ukrainian mail-order bride, he had narrowed down the suspects to Vladimir Putin, President Obama, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, and the CEO of Au Bon Pain.  (ABP had put the demon-possessed Darja on the Banned-for-Life list after she had started smashing soup pots on the floor upon learning they did not serve borscht.)   But for now, he had something else to focus upon.  "You!" he shouted, running over to the first large boat he saw with a human being on it.  "Take me to Cuba!"  He pointed his assault rifle at the startled yoga teacher from Philadelphia visiting her rich cousins, and she promptly fainted.  "Fine," Beckmann muttered to himself, "how hard can it be?"  He jumped onto the boat, picked up the woman, placed her limp body on the pier, cut the mooring rope with a knife, then walked carefully through the boat to look for others.  "Nope...nope...nope."  A startled cat hissed at him near the engine, and Beckmann crushed its skull with the butt of the gun.  Then the owner emerged from the head.  

"What the--"

"Take me to Cuba!"

"Seriously?"

"Take me to Cuba!"

"Okay, okay, settle down!  Can I call my wife?"

"No!"

"You need to let my cousin off first."

"Is she the redhead?"  (The boat owner nodded.)  "She's off already.  Come on, let's go!"

The owner, hands in the air, made his way slowly towards the captain's chair.  "Can I ask why we're going there?"

"To bomb all the harbors, of course!  Better dead than red!  Castro and Obama should both be locked up in Guantanamo!"

"Um, okay," said the boat owner, starting the engine.  "Do you want some beer?"

"Sure!" smiled Beckmann, lowering his gun.  "Do you have cigars?  Are you a smuggler?"

"Yeah!" said the boat owner, with new hope.  (I'll give him some of those marijuana stoogies, and radio the Coast Guard after he starts seeing mermaids on the Chesapeake!)

Further up the river, Coast Guard officer Marcos Vazquez was out on patrol.  No matter how cold it got, there would always be a lot of people drawn to the river for New Year's Eve--including his wife, Golden Fawn, whom he had left on Roosevelt Island to teach Joey Bent Oak the Ancient ceremony for weakening the power of the great demon, Ardua of the Potomac.  He could see the smoke rising from their fire, and it comforted him a little, but he knew that the things Golden Fawn did could not slow the demon down much.  The Warrior was on the island with them, too.  He had told them it was everybody's job to weaken the Beast, but he believed the Prophecy that Angela de la Paz would be the one to slay it.  Ardua had once almost drowned Vazquez, and had put amoebas in his brain, but the love of Golden Fawn kept him tied to this place.  

"Over there," he pointed to his crew.  Another paddle-boarder had tipped over.  "Why won't they wear god-damned life vests!?" he exclaimed.  "There should be a law!"  The paddle-boarder's girlfriend extended her paddle for the boy to grab hold of, and then she toppled over as well.  "Idiots!" he muttered, as his crew positioned the boat near the boards.  They threw over life rings, but it didn't work, so Vazquez's deputy stripped to his wet suit and jumped in to unite the rapidly chilling swimmers with the life rings.  Please let it be enough, he prayed, and it was:  the Coast Guard crew got the shivering couple onto their vessel.  "People drown in this river every year!" Vazquez scolded.  "The tides are treacherous, and you can't swim when it's this cold!"  (And there's a demon.)  He steered them to towels and an electric heater.  

"Hey, can we get our boards out of the water?" asked the girl.

"You can go to the Coast Guard salvage office next week and see what's washed up," replied Vazquez.  "But we won't give you the boards unless you show us you've purchased life vests."

"Jeez, lighten up, man!" protested her boyfriend.

"You're lucky to be alive, moron!"  Vazquez walked away briskly, leaving his crew to tend to the couple.  He was already scanning the river again with his binoculars.  Where are you?  Ardua had been in too much pain from Golden Fawn's incantation to grab anybody, and the demon was limping down to the Tidal Basin to try to recover her strength.  (But this was a town full of evil energy, and it would not take long.)  In the meantime, the Beaver catered to her every whim, while the river rats and infected ducks swam off to do her bidding.

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COMING UP:  Wince, Justice Prissy Face, and the Tarantula.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Endangered

Happy Anniversary, Endangered Species Act!

The ESA turned 41 yesterday, and may not live to see 42 if the Koch Brothers get their way with the next Congress.  Today, there are more Siberian tigers living in Texas (in captivity) than in Asia.  Is that the kind of world we want?  Stand up for the ESA!

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And stay tuned for a longer blog entry from Washington Water Woman later this week....

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Mistletoe Misgivings

Giulianna Sunstream had already made $14,000 selling hand-made goods at the Downtown Holiday Market, and had very little merchandise left.  "This is a miniature Washington Monument made from repurposed toothpaste caps, rubber cement, and silver glitter," she called to a passerby.  "And this is a bonsai Christmas tree made from recycled thrift store wreaths."  All the best stuff was gone, but the shoppers were still stopping by to see Vegas, her toy Maltese, prance around the table with his jingle-bell collar, red sweater vest, and felt reindeer antlers.  And the mistletoe, of course!  She had a huge sprig of it attached to a fishing pole which she liked to swing back and forth over the crowd until she lured somebody in.  The NoMa lifestyle blogger had already posted dozens of kiss photos (some between lovers, some between strangers) on Instagram, and she was trending like crazy.  She was hosting three different Christmas Eve events and four different Christmas parties in her H Street loft, with a mix of invited guests and raffle-ticket winners.  It had been a fantastic year!  She would reward herself with a few days of rest after that before the massive New Year's Eve push--her New Year's Eve resolution being, of course, to go national.

And then Charles Wu approached.  Wu was relaxing after recently using his personal connections at China Unicom to launch a series of anonymous crippling attacks on North Korea's Internet service, earning him another set of huge brownie points with the U.S. Secretary of State.  (He would still prefer to get Angela de la Paz to enter North Korea and assassinate the lunatic, but he could not talk her into it.)  Sunstream thought the semi-Englishman from Hong Kong was the handsomest man she had seen all week, and was about to leap over the table to kiss him under the mistletoe herself when she suddenly realized he was with somebody.  It's that mousy little woman from the Chinatown herb shop! thought Sunstream.  And look at that beautiful child!

That beautiful child was, of course, Buffy Cordelia, who, though only aged three, knew what a mistletoe sprig meant.  "Kiss, kiss!" she shouted to her father.  "Kiss, kiss!"  They were both holding one of her hands, and she pulled them together under the mistletoe.  "Kiss, kiss!"  Wu had been pondering whether to convert Lynnette Wong into Delia's stepmother for some time, so he decided destiny was now pushing him forward.  He leaned down and kissed his longtime acquaintance, business partner, and herbal guru.  Wong, whose parents were from Taiwan, had always had difficulty trusting Wu or considering him a friend, but she also recognized that destiny had intertwined their paths many times--so she kissed him back.  "Yay!" squealed little Delia.  A relieved Wu barely registered the look in Wong's eyes before picking up his daughter and giving her his next kiss--he had only seen Wong's look of passion (Wu's charm was generally irresistible) but not the quick shadow of fear.

Wong knew something was wrong with Wu:  he had more chi than anybody she had ever met, and he was losing control of it.

A jealous Sunstream looked down at her phone and pretended she was posting a photo to Instagram.  Despite her rising popularity as a local lifestyle goddess, the male sex simply did not appreciate her qualities.  She scrolled back through some of the couple photos she had already posted:  the Puerto Rican guy with the Indian girl [Marcos Vazquez and Golden Fawn], the Italian guy with the wild child and pot-bellied pig [Luciano Talaverdi with Helen Yellen and Petro Pig], the lawyer with the do-gooder wife [Felix and Liv Cigemeier], and Bridezilla and her mystery fiancee' (for the first time ever, the woman was not bragging about a ring!).

Then Sunstream's ex showed up.

"Oh, HELLO, Giulianna!"  (She looked up in dismay at the bellowing Glenn Michael Beckmann.)  "This is DARJA!  She's from Ukraine."  (Sunstream flashed a saccharin smile.)  "How about some mistletoe for US?!"

"No need mistletoe!" Darja shouted, even louder than Beckmann, and the pretend mail-order bride grabbed the conspiracy theorist (and Sunstream's rival blogger) for a big wet kiss.

Sunstream felt nauseous.  "It's wonderful about Ukraine," she said, trying to get the repulsive sight to stop.  "They're going to join NATO!"

But Darja was actually a  Ukrainian-speaking Russian only pretending to be Ukrainian.  She was also under demonic influence, and flew into a rage.  "What you know about Ukraine?!"  She picked up the toothpaste-cap Washington Monument and smashed it into a hundred pieces.  Then a fake police officer with goggles on opened a can of tear gas to disperse the crowd, Tasered Darja to death, and fled.  A coughing Beckmann dropped to the ground to revive his pregnant "ukulele" [it was actually a demonic hysterical false pregnancy], but it was too late.

"It's done," the fake police officer said into his mouthpiece, after he had removed his goggles and blended back into the crowd.

Miles away, Dick Cheney smiled.  Now they HAVE to let me back into the Heurich Society!

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COMING UP:  Ho, ho, ho!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Farewell, "Colbert Report"!!!!

Aaaargh!  Washington Water Woman is slowly coming out of denial that it is really over.

http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/

This show has been a MAJOR influence on this blog, in case my Gentle Readers did not notice!

I actually never saw Stephen on "The Daily Show," and only discovered his mind-blowing talent when I caught his Mother-of-all-Lampoons at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Dinner

www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7FTF4Oz4dI

When the "conservative" blowhard celebrated Iraq because "the government that governs least is the government that governs best", I almost fell out of my chair laughing.  It was the first time I had seen anybody say to President Bush's face, "The Emperor has no clothes."  And that is why he became my new media hero--and a media hero to many others.

It will be a long, sad wait to see what he does on the Late Show, but it just won't be the same.  It will be good, and maybe even great (the guy is funny, and he can sing, and he is the most rapid-fire thinker in interviews!), but it just won't be the same!

Thank you for delivering the medicine with a heaping spoonful of sugar, Stephen!  Aaaargh, you will be missed.

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Washington Water Woman's weekend plans are a bit wobbly this weekend--apologies in advance if the next blog post is delayed.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Zombie Congress

D.C. coroner John Constantine was back for another investigation at Congress, now that the Members had mostly scattered to the four winds.  Despite her pleas that they not push the investigation further, Constantine was accompanied by his anxious girlfriend, Ann Bishis.  A lot of rumors were swirling about how the encyclopedia-sized Cromnibus had been put together, then quickly rammed through the dysfunctional House and rubber-stamped in the somnambulating Senate.  While the most logical explanation--thousands of Wall Street and secret SUPERPAC campaign contributions distributed among hundreds of Senators and Congressmen--was too gigantic and difficult to prove, there was no shortage of people willing to assign causality to a blackmail plot against the Speaker of the House, a shady organization called The Heurich society, ISIS infiltration of the Senate, Jacques Javert's cursed Rolex, or CIA torture sessions involving Harry Reid.  But the rumor D.C. coroner Constantine and his girlfriend were most worried about was the rumor that there was a Zombie Caucus....

Ann Bishis, Chief of Staff for Congressman Herrmark, was supposed to be combing through the bill to see if, by some miracle, he had finally gotten funding to clean up his parents' vacation home (destroyed by fire in a fracking explosion).  Herrmark had played nice with all kinds of people all year long--including the Holier Than Thou Caucus, the "House of Cards" Caucus, the "Game of Thrones" Caucus, the Karaoke Caucus, the Millionaire's Club, the Cartwheel Caucus, the Wonder Woman Caucus, and John Boehner's Cincinnati-strip poker club.  And even though Congressman Herrmark had played Boehner down to his tighty-whiteys many times, Herrmark had still pledged the Speaker of the House his support for this "must-pass" bill with the somewhat strong belief he would be rewarded...somewhere in there.  But the only thing Bishis had verified so far was that Boehner had found the money to fund construction of the New Dominion Boat Club (her own pet project)--under the CIA drone program.  Her boss was already off on a two-week fundraising cruise from Baltimore to the Lesser Antilles, but she wasn't supposed to leave town until she had found the "earmark"...or verified its non-existence.

"I just don't think this is a good idea, John," she said again.  "There are very powerful forces at work here."

"And they might be unnatural--maybe demonic!" he countered again.  This time they had smuggled in a dog notorious on Capitol Hill for unusual olfactory abilities:  a rat terrier/bloodhound mix named "The Gopper" (sired by famous rat terrier "The Gipper), wearing a fake seeing-eye-dog vest.  (Constantine had entered the Capitol as a blind man.)  "If there's something fishy going on, The Gopper might be able to find it."

They were down in the Congressional train tunnels, sniffing for signs of life that might be found behind a hidden door.  Though Bishis had seen considerable proof of zombies before--including the maggots crawling out of her predecessor's neck after decapitation--she still preferred to shy away from death and scary mysteries.  She was not steeled to the darker side of life, like her coroner boyfriend.  Nor was she certain she really wanted to find out the darkest truths about Congress.

And then The Gopper stopped and began pawing at a wall.  "He smells something!" cried Constantine.  "Look for a mechanism to open the door!"

"Maybe he just smells urine," said Bishis, looking around anxiously.  "There are rats down here.  Maybe he just smells rats in the walls."  (She was not helping to look for a mechanism.)

Constantine stood back and shone his flashlight up and down over The Gopper's growling head until he saw it.  "There!"  He lined up three fingers in the shape of a triangle and pushed on three dark circles--then a panel in the wall started opening inward.  "Aha!"

"Shh!" warned Bishis, and Constantine nodded.

The Gopper strained at his leash and pulled them forward for several minutes until they saw another door, but this one had a keypad entry.  Constantine tried several combinations until he finally succeeded with "123Z".  They slowly entered a quiet hallway, walked past a few small offices, and then stopped in front of a set of double-doors marked "Oz".  They could hear voices, and The Gopper was silently baring his teeth.

"I'm scared," whispered Bishis.  "Don't open those doors."

But it was too late:  somebody on the inside opened the door to come out.  "You're Mitch McConnell's Legislative Director," said Bishis in surprise, and the man screamed in pain as The Gopper locked onto his ankle.

Then all the zombies feasting on a couple of dead interns lying on the conference table looked up sharply.  "Get them!" screamed John Cornyn's Legislative Director.

"Run!" screamed Constantine, pushing his girlfriend behind him.  "Run!"  He pushed her again until she actually started running, thinking he was close behind her, but zombie teeth were already sinking into his arm.  "They're real!" he gasped.  The Gopper gave it all he had, but he was no match for the Zombie Caucus, and only Ann Bishis got out alive.

A mile to the east, the woman responsible for pharmaceutically, accidentally creating most of Washington's zombies (with a little help from Ardua of the Potomac), Barbara Hellmeister, was just leaving work at her underground bunker, a quarter-mile beneath the Washington Times building.  The scientist formerly known as Basia Karbusky, and still on the FBI Most Wanted List (though now down to 8,942), had risen to second-in-charge at the CIA's secret interrogation chamber.  The granddaughter of a Nazi scientist, she was now going by "Barbie Bucephalus", though her colleagues called her The Stork because of her long legs and her ability to deliver.  She compulsively reached into her bag again to make sure her grandfather's journal was tucked safely into it, then got into the elevator that would take her up to the newspaper offices, where she could then exit to the parking lot with her Washington Times ID badge still hanging around her neck.  After over a year of success with the CIA, she had been hoping that her techniques could advance her further in the scientific community, but she now had to face the fact that the Senate Torture Report (and the CIA's failure to stop it!) would keep her underground for the conceivable future.  She missed owning a farm, she missed Mega Moo, she missed being her own boss, and she missed having a boyfriend.  Maybe it's time to make a change, she thought, getting into her car.

Out in the river, Ardua of the Potomac disagreed.  I've gotten really fond of this wicked town!

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COMING UP:  Mistletoe Misgivings

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Human Rights Day?

"It doesn't matter if you're in the CIA Torture Report or not!" exclaimed Henrietta ("Button") Samuelson.  "I just don't want to get serious."  Her father had always told the Chair of the Heurich Society not to date men in the CIA, and now she finally had a good excuse to break it off.

The former CIA agent sharing a quick burrito with her at District Taco protested vehemently.  "Haven't I always been good to you?!  Don't I always support you in the meetings whenever other people are criticizing you?!"

"I don't have time for this!  Operation Ukulele is starting in an hour!"

"Uh, about that."

"What?" asked Samuelson.

"I just got a text from my buddies saying the heat is turned up too high to do renditions right now."

"We didn't hire them to take her to a secret CIA prison and torture her!  We just want her on a plane back to Ukraine!"

"It's not that simple right now.  For one thing, they can't even find a pilot willing to do black ops flights anymore.  We're just going to have to come up with another plan."

"Darja has gone as bonkers as Beckmann!  We have to wash our hands of them as rapidly as possible!"

"What if we planted evidence in their apartment linking them to torture sessions in Poland?"

"What are you talking about?  Every torture session is accounted for and documented already!"

"Not ALL of it," said the former CIA agent sheepishly.

"What do you know about it?  You just told me you weren't involved!"

"Of course he was involved!" yelled the ghost of her father, Henry Samuelson.  "The only thing you've confirmed is that he's not in the report!"  (Samuelson--who had never hesitated to assassinate targets in cold blood during his own CIA days--agreed with those interrogation experts that torture was a waste of time.)  (Assassinations were a much better use of time--that and overthrowing governments.)

His daughter could not hear him, but she felt a cold breeze on the back of her neck.  "Did you torture people?" she asked.

"It wasn't torture!  It was enhanced interrogation!" he protested.

She dug her fingers into his nostrils, tilted his head backwards, and used her other hand to start shoving chili beans into his nose.  "What did you do?!" she screamed.  He pushed her away roughly, and grabbed a napkin to blow his nose into.

"Dude!" a horrified onlooker exclaimed.  "Are you OK?"

"Oh, he's fine!" exclaimed Button Samuelson.  "I'm just doing enhanced interrogation--he has no objection, and it will stop as soon as he answers my questions!"

A few miles to the south, ersatz mail-order bride Darja was preparing another Ukrainian stew for Glenn Michael Beckmann, who was busy reading the CIA Torture Report.  "Wow!" he called yet again from his computer.  "This really reminds me of those great stories about Pol Pot!  Show no mercy!"

Darja (a Russian posing as a Russian-speaking Ukrainian) walked out of their Southwest Plaza kitchen.  "Taste this," she said, shoving a wooden spoon into his mouth.  "You want more onion?"

"Whew!" exclaimed Beckmann, tears already forming in his eyes.  "That's enough onion! Your pregnancy cravings are getting wicked!"

"Why you say this?" she demanded.  "My baby not wicked!"  (She was very defensive about her demonic hysterical false pregnancy.)

"I just meant you're craving too much spice and too much onion!  Maybe you should start cooking separately for me?"

"Never!" she screamed.  "Never, never, never!  You no want my cooking, I take baby back to Ukraine!"

"Hey, settle down!" Beckmann said.  "I'm not angry at you--I'm just having trouble with your cravings."  She quieted down enough to let him put his arms around you.  "Wow, for a minute I thought you were going to knock me to the ground and start feeding me stew through the other hole, woman!"

"That's ridiculous!" said Darja, who had grown up poor and would never waste food.  "Only cheap things should be used for torture--like bleach and ammonia!"

"On that we can agree, my sweet ukulele!"

Back downtown, the Justice Department's torture expert, Atticus Hawk, settled in for another long night with a bag of Red Bull, empanadas, and jelly beans.  And Angela de la Paz, for the first time in a very long time, sought out Ghost Henry.

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COMING UP:  Congressional whacks.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Down by the River

Washington Water Woman had to rehearse all weekend to perform tonight at the Kennedy Center Honors.  (I was there undercover to protect the honorees from Ardua of the Potomac, who, as you all know, is 100 times stronger during the full moon.)  Hope to get back to blogging next weekend!