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, June 14, 2015

West Side Story

After a couple more harrowing nights of knife wounds and bullet holes in the George Washington University Hospital E.R., Dr. Khalid Mohammad was convinced the heat wave was going to indirectly kill off five percent of the city's population.  Like leopards sleeping under rocks during the heat of the day and roaming out to hunt in the middle of the night, the killers were pouncing on prey right and left in fits of anger, hunger, and frustration.  It was the most intense month of surgery he had seen since coming back from Jordan, and he was losing almost as many patients.

But this was something different.  "Doctor, we can't persuade her to take off the burqa," said Nurse Consuela Arroyo.

"Is she bleeding?  What's wrong?"

"Her father says she keeps falling down and needs something to stop her dizzy spells."  Dr. Mohammad stared at Nurse Arroyo waiting for a better explanation, but she just handed him the chart.

"This is useless," he said after a minute.  "Somebody needs to examine her."

"Three female doctors have already been in there, and she won't take it off.  I came for you since you speak Arabic."

Dr. Mohammad pulled back the curtain and started speaking Arabic to the patient, who responded so quietly he could not hear what she was saying through the veil.  He continued talking to her anyway, while quietly using sharp scissors to cut through the side of her burqa.  He told her one more time the importance of allowing him to examine her, but she would not take off the burqa.  He abruptly ripped it off her head.  Both nurses gasped at the action, but the patient made no protest.  Her cranium looked like somebody had smashed it down with a brick.  There were trickles of blood coming out of her nostrils.  For the first time in his medical career, Dr. Mohammad suddenly thought that love was a healer more powerful than anything he could do.  "Page the neurosurgeon," he said quietly, taking the woman's hand in his own.

Not far away, Bridezilla arrived at Primi Piatti a half-hour early, told them she was having a business lunch, and sat down to get a Bellini.  Her pulse was racing with the thought of seeing Paul (!!!!) outside of the office.  Nobody would know!  She had told Paul that she needed him to interpret for her during a meeting with Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim--who was interested in working with Prince and Prowling's Cuban Practices Group in setting up American investments after trade sanctions got lifted--but that was just a white lie.  Paul would show up, and then she would tell him that Slim had canceled, but they could still charge this as a business lunch.  It was a perfect plan!

Her happy thoughts faltered when she caught sight of the pale line on her tanned ring finger where Wince's engagement ring used to sit.  But what could she do?  Wince had seen it in her eyes after he lost the primary for the Virginia House of Delegates nomination to that weapons contractor with body odor, and she couldn't deny how disappointed she was.  The passion was gone, and she couldn't fake it for him.  But Paul!  Her heart fluttered every time she saw him!  And after being ordered to keep her engagement with a partisan political candidate quiet, it seemed the most natural thing in the world to sneak around! 

She sighed.  It was like "Gattaca"--they came from two different worlds!  She was of the superior race of beings who had done law review at a top tier law school.  He was one of those weirdos who had traveled the world and done jobs in other mysterious professions, and had a pile of amazing experience that nobody in law firms valued in the slightest--relegated to the contract attorney class for all of time.  But she saw glimmers of real intellect in him!  After all, he was fluent in several foreign languages, which was no mean task, and all kinds of smart comments came out of his mouth when she talked to him about the case he was working on.  And his eyes were so dreamy!

A romance with him would be the riskiest thing she had ever done in her legal career.  People would look down on her if they knew!  It was slumming, and she knew it.  It had to be kept a secret, but that just made it more exciting for her.  She ordered a second Bellini, feeling warm and fuzzy all over.

A few blocks away, Helen Talaverdi Yellen had stopped by the Federal Reserve Board to bring lunch to her husband, Luciano Talaverdi Yellen, who was hard at work on a special economic model ordered by the Chair, Janet Yellen (no actual blood relation).  She waited patiently on the corner outside the Liquidity Palace, but this did not stop a guard from coming over to harass her.

"What is this?" he demanded, pointing at her pot-bellied pig on a leash.

She held up the cooler bag.  "Just bringing lunch to my husband.  He's an economist--he's on his way down."

"You can't have a pig here!" exclaimed the guard, surprised that his yellow lab was rubbing noses peacefully with the pig.

"Why not?" she asked.

"It's an animal!" he exclaimed.

"Is he an idiot, or what?" Petro Pig whispered to the guard dog.

"Oh, he's alright," whispered the yellow lab, feeling butterflies in her stomach.  (She didn't know she could talk to a pig!)  "What's your name?"

"I'm Petro Pig."

"I'm Princess Buttercup."

The animals were giggling now, but only the Dog Whisperer would have been able to recognize it.

Back at Primi Piatti, Paul's lover (Fernando) dropped him off for his "business lunch" with a kiss on the cheek.  "Don't do anything I wouldn't do!" laughed Fernando.

But since Paul was secretly bi-sexual, there really were some things he did that Fernando would not do.  The question today was, would any of those happen?  He looked for his boss (Bridezilla), and she waved him over with a drunken grin.  There was no Carlos Slim in sight, just as he had expected.  Paul sat down, and she lifted her cocktail in the air with her left--obviously now ringless--hand, and begged him to take a sip of it.  She lifted it to his lips, and he wished he had spent more time seriously pondering future repercussions.  She poured it crookedly into his mouth, then leaned over and wiped his dripping lips with her other hand.  "Whoops!" she said, a couple seconds later.

Outside, a catbird was imitating the sound of an ambulance siren, and the river rats ran back into the sewer to escape the heat.

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COMING UP:  The reiki triplets shake up Washington!

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