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 29, 2015

Spring Dreams

It was another service at the Church of Twitter being held at the Arlington group home for the mentally challenged.  Brother Divine of the International Peace Movement (AKA Freddy Ritchings) was speaking and Tweeting simultaneously, as the other residents listened and watched.

"I am in a large, beachside vacation home, dining on the veranda with Leonard Nimoy, who is wearing his 'Star Trek' Spock costume."

"He's dead!" protested Buckner.

"He's speaking to us from the Great Beyond!" exclaimed Melinda.

"A teenage boy is also dining with us," continued Brother Divine.  "He finishes his meal, rises to leave, and says, 'See ya later, Spock.'  Leonard gets very angry and tells the boy he is not Spock.  I tell Leonard to stop being so hard on the boy, and that he shouldn't wear his Spock costume if he doesn't want to be called 'Spock.'  Then Leonard picks up a knife and plunges it into his own heart!"

"What?!" cried Theresa, reaching for comfort from Millie, the enormous brown helping dog.

"Leonard falls to the ground dead," continued Brother Divine, "but in his place pops up a dragon to fight on his behalf!"  (Social worker Hue Nguyen looked up in surprise from her crocheting.)  "Then rocks are flying at us from every direction, and I run for cover into the house.  Suddenly I hear a voice intoning, 'For every one percent that sacrifice themselves, ten percent of the innocent people will be saved!'"

"That's the stupidest story I ever heard!" exclaimed Larry.

"It's a prophecy!" cried Cedric, clutching Aloysius, his teddy bear.  He looked around, expecting the ghost of CIA agent Henry Samuelson to appear and explain it.

"It's simply a metaphor," said the social worker, sternly.  "Stabbing yourself is suicide.  The dream is simply about making sacrifices for the greater good, but stabbing yourself in real life causes blood to shoot out, not a dragon!"  The residents looked very disappointed.  "Do you understand?  Stabbing yourself will not help anybody!"

"Well, how else can you make sacrifices?" asked Melinda.

"You can wash the dishes when it's my turn," said Larry.

A few miles to the east, Angela de la Paz was babysitting Lucas Cigemeier, her birth child.  She watched him fall asleep in his crib, then sat down in the rocking chair to close her eyes.  Soon she met him in the Dreamtime, where his soul was a little older than it seemed on Earth.  He asked her about the plane crash his parents had been discussing while the television was on, and she remembered that she had gone into labor with him right after seeing the Korean plane crash victims in the Dreamtime.  She pondered this for a moment, then took him there.  The souls were still in agony and confusion, but angels were slowly and carefully collecting them, to take them to Heaven.  The pilot's soul was dark and twisted and guarded by a Chimera.  She called for the help of her own mother, the grandmother of Lucas, and together they eased the Chimera away from the pilot as Lucas watched in amazement.  "You are one now," said the grandmother, and Lucas nodded and accepted a kiss and an embrace.

Angela opened her eyes.  She looked again at Lucas, who had fallen into a deep sleep now, his arm wrapped around the stuffed puma she had given him for his first birthday last Sunday.  Angela shed a tear of sadness and joy.

A couple miles away, Barbie Bucephalus (fka Basia Karbusky, fka as Barbara Hellmeister) had recently left Justice Department attorney Atticus Hawk who, exhausted after a busy weekend with her, lay down for a nap.  Barbie had successfully modified her Nazi grandfather's journal recipes so that the drugs could still evade security clearance drug tests without turning people into zombies, but the drug cocktail she was secretly using on Hawk was not ideal.  While it did give him a false sense of happiness and love in his life, his rational mind was still capable of doubting that this came from Barbie.  For instance, the recent (happy!) prosecution deal made with David (“Betray Us”) Petraeus had left Hawk with the delusion that Petraeus had signed the deal because he loved Atticus Hawk.  Hawk had similarly come to the conclusion that public outcries over Guantanamo, the CIA Torture Report, and NSA spying had died down because Atticus Hawk's legal apologies had won the love and happiness of the American people.  He also believed that Congress was holding up the confirmation of new Attorney General Loretta Lynch because they were uncertain she could give DOJ as much love and happiness as somebody like Atticus Hawk.

But the real problem was the withdrawal symptoms when he was no longer in Barbie's company:  rather than confirm in his mind that he could only be happy in her presence, the withdrawal would make him tired, irritable, and prone to nightmares about her.  And so it was that he put the basketball game on, but quickly fell asleep on the couch and started dreaming about Barbie:  she was smiling at him, then frowning at him, then making apple strudel laced with shaving cream and furniture polish, then speaking German to a band of German cockroaches standing in perfect soldier formation in front of his refrigerator, then burning the U.S. Constitution and saying it needed to be replaced by the Fourth Reich, then begging him to compete on "The Amazing Race" with her so that she could prove her genetic excellence, then humming "Blurred Lines" while conducting her CIA torture sessions at the secret bunker beneath the Washington Times headquarters, then slicing up her beloved pet Mega Moo for steaks because she was too old to live--

Hawk awoke with a start, panting heavily.  He had toppled the television over in his sleep, but there was still a basketball game playing sideways.

Back in Virginia, Wince was dreaming of marrying Bridezilla but, unlike the last time they were engaged, Bridezilla was in absolutely no hurry to set a date this time.

"The cherry blossoms will be out soon!" he said, handing her another Mimosa to top off her baked French toast.  He had not heard her say one word about spring, had not seen her look at one bridal magazine, had not caught her looking at any bridal websites.  "I understand why we kept the engagement secret at the beginning, but it's been ten months now."  She looked at him in alarm.  "Don't you think we should set a date and announce our engagement now?"

"I didn't realize it had been ten months," she said quietly, which, of course, was a lie since they had gotten engaged immediately after the memorably violent gun attack which interrupted the May 2014 wedding planned with Buddy Lee Trickham.

"Well, it has!" smiled Wince.  "I left the Supreme Court, I'm an associate at a law firm now, and we can plan our future, right?"

The truth was, Bridezilla could not bear to see a wedding announcement that she, a junior partner, was marrying a mere associate!  She had attempted to draft that wedding announcement dozens of times, but it simply looked as if he had been demoted to incredibly boring work after leaving his long clerkship.  He should be doing more!  Not to mention the fact that he was working at a rival law firm.  "The truth is," said Bridezilla, "I'm not sure you really feel settled into your new life."

"I do!" exclaimed Wince.

"I just don't want you to lose sight of your ambitions because of marital bliss.  Maybe you should run for the Virginia House of Delegates while you're still fresh out of the Supreme Court?  Wouldn't that be exciting?"

"What?  Where did this come from?"

"We've talked about this before!" exclaimed Bridezilla.

"We haven't talked about this since law school!" he objected.

"Wince!  That's what I mean!  We have to hold onto those dreams!"

"Alright, alright, I'll do whatever you want!" he cried, and Bridezilla jumped for joy at her surprisingly easy victory.

"We can announce the engagement after you announce your candidacy!" she exclaimed, giving him a hug and a kiss.  "We have to move quickly:  the primary is in June!  But don't worry--Prince and Prowling runs lots of PACs and SUPERPACs.  And you're still young and handsome!"

"Gee, thanks."

Back in the city, two of those PAC directors were, in fact, secretly meeting at Prince and Prowling to discuss the GOP field for President.

"I just don't get any tingly feelings about any of these guys," sighed one.

"You want to love them?" asked former Senator Evermore Breadman, puzzled.

"Aw, I don't need to love them," said the other, "but I'd at least like to feel a little happy about somebody."

"Can we take a break from the Clown Circus and look at some of the more local elections for awhile?"

"Absolutely," said Breadman, who made money no matter where they flung their cash.

Out in the river, Ardua of the Potomac had some spring dreams of her own.  She looked up at the tourists flocking like clockwork to the nonetheless non-blooming cherry blossoms, stretched herself to choose her next victim, then breathed a coronary arrest into a father of three from Iowa.

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COMING UP:  
Glenn Michael Beckmann plans his attack on the White House Easter Egg Roll!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Cuba Libre!

The Cuba Practices Group at Prince and Prowling was off to a spectacular start, and junior partner Bridezilla was quite pleased with herself.  She had already arranged a dozen visits to the island by potential business investors, and their clients had already purchased several investment options which could be activated immediately once the relevant government restrictions were removed.  She had arranged the major publicity stunt of Paris Hilton--the ultimate high-spending capitalism princess!--visiting Cuba.  She had made two semi-successful trips to Miami to network with the Cuban immigrants and their descendants who still harbored a burning hatred of the Castro regime, convincing at least a few that happiness--and smart business investments now!--were the best revenge.  She had dined privately with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban three times, and believed she had a good chance of convincing him that he had the personal branding opportunity of a lifetime right now if he played his cards right.

And now she was in John Boehner's bunker (man cave) trying to convince his secretly convened Cuba Caucus to stop hating President Obama long enough to embrace the historic opening.

"Imagine if you will, ladies and gentlemen, a world where the Cuba Libre again becomes the most popular drink on the island," said Bridezilla, hand-squeezing limes into the glasses of rum and Coke she was handing out.  "A world where Cuba imports a billion cases of Coca-Cola a year to stock the world-class hotels run by American companies:  Hilton, Marriott, Holiday Inn, The Four Seasons.  A world where American tour companies take vacationers diving in pristine coral reefs and hiking through pristine jungles.  A world where American airlines run ten flights a day to Cuba.  A world where American tech companies bring high-speed Internet to--"

"Look, Missy, our American companies can do all that with the good ole U.S. Virgin Islands," protested a Representative from Oklahoma.  "Why should we be helping Cuba?  What did they ever do for us except give us Guantanamo?"

"The U.S. Virgin Islands are tiny," replied Bridezilla, "and most of the businesses there are owned by Augustus Bush's family.  There are investment opportunities now in Cuba, and if your constituents can't take advantage of them, we are just ceding all that business to Europe, Japan, China, and Brazil."

"But they're still Commies!" protested a Representative from Texas.

"So is China," said Bridezilla.

"That's different!" he retorted.

"How?" asked Bridezilla.  This stumped everybody, so she moved on.  "The Speaker of the House invited you here because he believes you are the political mavericks with enough business acumen to see what is possible here.  Don't you want to bring capitalism back to Cuba?"  She waited while they quietly finished their cocktails and started flushing in the face.  "Our law firm has set up three different political action committees dedicated to promoting Cuban-American trade, and I'm not supposed to be telling you this, but we are talking about millions of dollars already banked for the next election cycle."

"Well, why didn't you say so before?!" cried the Representative from Florida.  "That changes everything!"

Yes it does, thought a smiling Bridezilla.  Thank you, Supreme Court!

Meanwhile, Cedric, a former CIA agent and current resident of the Arlington Group Home for the Mentally Challenged, was decidedly in the anti-Cuba caucus.  For one thing, he had been taught to hate Cuba as a Soviet proxy.  For another thing, the ghost of Henry Samuelson had been making weekly visits to discuss the situation since Obama had announced the diplomatic breakthrough.

"I told you:  there's nothing I can do about it!" shouted Cedric, shaking Aloysius (his teddy bear) at Ghost Henry.  "You've already got the Ghost CIA stirring up trouble, and nobody is returning my phone calls!"

"Condoleezza Rice will, and she's in the Heurich Society!" exclaimed Ghost Henry, who knew that some of the founders' fortunes had been expropriated by Fidel Castro after the Revolution.  "I can give them insider information they can't get from anybody else."

"I thought you hated the Heurich Society?"

"Most of the time, but sometimes they serve my strategic purposes.  I know they want to derail this Cuba thing, but they need more ammo."

"Won't your daughter listen to you?" asked Cedric, referring to Henrietta ("Button") Samuelson, who was the current Chair of the Heurich Society.

"She can't hear me," sighed Ghost Henry.

"What about that witch girl?" asked Cedric, referring to Angela de la Paz.

"The Heurich Society kicked her out," sighed Ghost Henry.

"Well, maybe I could persuade Prudence to get Charles Wu involved," said Cedric, referring to the Chinese triple agent's governess, Mrs. Higgety-Cheshire.

"Charles Wu?!  Never!"

"I don't like him, either, but you said strategic alliances!"

"Never!  Bad alliances lead to things like the Vietnam War and Manuel Noriega!"

"I never thought Manny was so bad," said Cedric.  "Aloysius used to spend his winter vacation down there."

"That's a stuffed bear!" shouted Ghost Henry.

"Well, he's more real than you are!" exclaimed Cedric.

Back in Washington, business had slowed considerably at Fat John's Lake under Dupont Circle, what with the return of winter weather and the increasingly pungent smell emanating from the mystical waters.  But security guard Glenn Michael Beckmann liked the quieter atmosphere, and the semi-asphyxiated visitors (and more permanent residents of Dupont Down Under) were giving him very little trouble.  It gave him time to think about his failed attempt to hijack a boat to Cuba to mine the harbors there.  If I could just get back with the Heurich Society, he thought, they could buy me a boat to go do it!

Just then, Angela de la Paz arrived, straight off a vision about impending doom.  "Everybody out!" she shouted, which accomplished nothing since everybody was lethargic from the massive build-up of methane and carbon monoxide in the fetid air.

"Hey!" exclaimed Beckmann, pointing his gun at her.  (He had no idea she was the daughter of an illegal immigrant he had murdered years earlier.)  "I'm in charge here!"

"There's not going to be a here, here!" she exclaimed, telekinetically ripping the gun from his hand.  "Everybody out!" she repeated, this time with a concentration of psychic force which began shoving people like a gale force wind towards the exit.

A few minutes later, she had succeeded in herding everyone to the surface just before the methane ignited and Fat John's Lake exploded into a pond of fire.

"How did you do that?!" shouted Beckmann, eyeing Angela with the suspicion she was a Cuban terrorist spy.

"It was the methane that exploded," she said, eyeing Beckmann with the suspicion that this well-known loony would (a) not call 911 and (b) blame it all on a government conspiracy.  But there was no voice in her head telling her that anybody else needed help, so she left.

"All hail Wonder Woman!" cried Fearless Leader, and the Freaks repeated his cry with a salute to the departing Angela, while Beckmann continued to seethe.

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COMING UP:  Spring Dreams.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Fat John's Lake

It was a mystical place that Glenn Michael Beckmann had seen in his dreams many times:  the lake from which his mother had risen to hand him Ex Calibur.  (In truth, Ex Calibur was the bloody axe he had lost in the Potomac to Ardua and then found later on Roosevelt Island, but he didn't remember it that way.)  It was a small, murky lake, covered in fog, with occasional shimmers of eerie green streaks of light.  It was the font of life for all of Washington, and it had chosen him.

And now he didn't know if he was awake or dreaming.

"It's a little slimy for swimming, on account of all the motor oil run-off and the river rats' pooping in it, but your skin do feel nice and soft afterwards," said the Fearless Leader of the Freaks of Dupont Down Under.  He pointed to a makeshift diving platform made out of a stack of three shopping carts.  "Louis likes to do back flips off of that.  Of course, there's not enough height for him to do a double."

Beckmann inhaled deeply of the subterranean humours and felt all tingly inside.  "How did you find it?"

"Well, between DC Water and the Secret Service, they've staked out almost every square mile under the city.  The Beaver built a dam to try to protect Dupont Down Under, and then after they dug out the final White House bunker, the dam collapsed and the water flowed into a huge sinkhole down here."

"What do you mean?" cried Beckmann.  "The lake was always here!  It's eternal!  It dates to the time of Robin Hood!  You said Little John found it!"

"No, it was Fat John," said Fearless Leader, pointing to a portly homeless man soaking his feet at the edge of the lake.  "He says it cures gout and Lyme disease.  We're getting totally overrun with sickly cripples visiting us now!  Can't keep 'em away. That's why we want to hire Beckmann's Bad Asses for crowd control.  We're charging $10 admission for a half-hour."

Beckmann knew in his heart that Fearless Leader was wrong:  this place was eternal, and meant only for valiant knights.  But he was also months behind in paying the rent.  "Alright," Beckmann said, sticking his hand out to shake on it.  The most important thing was to keep those government bureaucrats away!  And so the previous enemies, having completely forgotten their animosity from a few years earlier, struck a deal.

Two-hundred feet above Fat John's Lake, Felix Cigemeier was taking a break from Prince and Prowling for brunch with his wife and infant son at Scion.

"I really don't think International Development Machine has anything to worry about," the law partner said to his wife.  "They don't do any of the things that got International Relief and Development into trouble."

"How do we really know that?" asked Liv.

"Because you haven't been invited to boozy staff retreats at 5-star resorts!" Cigemeier exclaimed.

"But there are a lot of rumors about Augustus Bush," said Liv of IDM's president.  "Some say the orphanage we built in Afghanistan is just a front for a palatial mansion for opium kingpins, and that the leadership and educational programs in the U.S. Virgin Islands are just a front for teaching Afghans how to manage their drug business."

"Liv--"

"And there are rumors that the Board of Directors meetings supposedly held in Denver are actually held at the Playboy Mansion, and--"

"Liv!"  (Liv looked at her husband in surprise.)  "Just rumors!  There's no point in worrying about rumors!  And the most important part is that you are working on private grant money right now, so the government can't touch you!"  But Cigemeier was worried about the rumors.  And he was only slightly comforted by the fact that his wife was working on private grant money from the untrustworthy Charles Wu--for God only knew where that money came from!  Cigemeier was desperate to make more income so that his wife could quit work altogether to look after Lucas, but that was not yet an option.  "Just keep documenting what you do with your time and how the money is disbursed in the Philippines.  Don't pay the slightest attention to what anybody else is doing in any of the other programs:  they're not your problem."

Liv smiled in gratitude, unaccustomed to receiving legal advice from her husband, but sometimes she wondered if he even cared at all about her passion for international development work.  How could he tell her so cavalierly not to care whether millions of dollars of aid money were actually doing any good?

A mile away, Dr. Khalid Mohammad was in the George Washington University Hospital emergency room, examining another homeless patient with bleeding ulcers on his legs.  "Have you been doing anything unusual lately?" asked Dr. Mohammad, gingerly removing dead skin with a scalpel.

"I got baptized in Fat John's Lake!" exclaimed the Iraq War veteran.  "Reverend Magpie did it, and he said it would take away the night shakes and everything."

"Where is this lake?" asked Dr. Mohammad, who had been hearing about it for days, but he knew he would get the same answer.

"It's a secret!" exclaimed the patient.  "Only the chosen can go there!"

"What if the lake did this to your legs?  Don't you want to know?"

"It's worth it, to cleanse my soul and stop the night shakes!"

Dr. Mohammad looked up at Nurse Arroyo, who shook her head in frustration.  They couldn't breach patient confidentiality, but they feared a serious public health threat was growing in the homeless community.  Somebody needed to find this lake.

Back at Fat John's Lake, Washington Post "Metro" reporter Perry Winkle had just arrived after paying a source $20 to show him to the rumored underground water.  "Lake" was clearly a misnomer for the subterranean pond, but the descriptions of otherworldly smells and mysterious green lights were true.  He was panning his video camera slowly over the crowd of chattering bathers when he spotted a scuffle at the far end.  He heard somebody shout "Security!" and saw Beckmann--whom he immediately recognized from one of the most traumatic moments of his life--race over with a gun drawn.  It looked like...no!  It looked like a woman was trying to eat someone's arm!

"Let him go or I'll shoot you to Kingdom Come!" shouted Beckmann at the manic woman, who abruptly let go of her victim and dove for cover underwater.  The crowd screamed in panic, clambering out of the water and scrambling in all directions.  Winkle, loopy from the vapors, didn't even think to call 911; he simply continued watching the scene through his video camera as Beckmann waited for the assailant to come back to the surface.   But she didn't.

Several minutes went by, and Beckmann reholstered his gun.  "Fat John's Lake is closed until tomorrow!" he bellowed to the crowd.  "Everybody out!"

"No!" wailed Fearless Leader, lamenting all the lost Sunday afternoon income.

"I need to dredge the lake," said Beckmann, who had no idea how to do so but knew it involved getting a rowboat.

And then Winkle thought about calling 911, but he was starting to doubt himself.  Did the woman really try to eat that arm?  Was Beckmann the man he saw chop off that zombie's head a couple years ago?  He knew the vapors were affecting him, so he headed back to the surface to watch his videotape.

At the bottom of Fat John's Lake, the zombie woman had already disintegrated into hundreds of pieces, which the river rats were already eating.

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COMING UP:  Cuba libre!

Monday, March 09, 2015

Daylight has been saved!

...but that was of no use to Washington Water Woman, who had more vexing issues to deal with this past week.  After she finishes erasing all traces of Charles Wu's secret foreign policy emails, she hopes to get back to blogging later this week....