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, September 27, 2015

Pope Frantastic turns Washington upside-down!

"Boehner said he doesn't care who knows about it now," said the Tarantula to Charles Wu.  "He's met the Pope and been touched by God."

"I don't think that's what he's been touched by," replied Wu, frustrated that his final attempt to blackmail the Speaker of the House failed:  Congressman Boehner would not renege on his resignation just to avoid the public release of his phone metadata records.

"Come on, Wu!  I know you're not religious, but Pope Francis turned this whole town upside down!  He touched a lot of people--deeply!"  Wu said nothing, looked down at his Hotel Washington gin and tonic, and looked out from the roof deck onto the view of the recent Popemobile parade route around the White House.  "Charles, we aren't going to go through with it, are we?  I mean, there's no point in actually releasing the metadata now, right?"

"Now?" laughed Wu.  "Now I guess Boehner would consider it a badge of religious honor that he phoned Dial-a-Prayer 946 times during his first three years as Speaker of the House.  And it's cool to be a Catholic, so only the fundamentalist Christians would complain about his 253 calls to the Vatican.  You might as well destroy the records--or drop them off in an unmarked envelope for his scrapbook."

"So, what up with China?" asked the Tarantula.  "You got a job for me?"

"Do I have a job for you!" nodded Wu, glad to be returning to more familiar triple agent territory.

Across the Potomac, the visit of Pope Francis had caused equally dramatic results, though nothing as newsworthy as the resignation of the Speaker of the House.  "So it's up to four people now?" asked psychologist Leo Schwartz, entering the Arlington Group Home for the Mentally Challenged.

"Buckner, Theresa, Larry, and Freddy all say they're Pope Francis," said social worker Hue Nguyen, handing him her most recent hand-written notes.  "Melinda says she's Mother Theresa.  Cedric says the Commies brainwashed Pope Francis:  he's the Manchurian Candidate, and the CIA needs to take him out."

"What?!  Oh, my God--we might have to hospitalize him!  I need to see him first.  Has he talked about any specific plans?"

"Only that Ghost Henry and the Ghost CIA were on top of it."

Just then, they were approached by Freddy Ritchings (normally known as Brother Divine of the International Peace Movement, and host of the Church of Twitter), wearing a white bath robe and using a broom as a staff.  The big brown helping dog, Millie, was walking beside him, a cross painted on her back with what appeared to be squirted mustard.  "Peace be with you!" said Freddy, making the sign of the cross.  "Our brothers and mothers and sisters and misters all need our love.  The times they are-a-changing, and salvation is rearranging, so let the migrants in to do some free-ranging!  Help the poorest and the sickest!  Visit the prisoners and the scriveners!  Pray with me, or if you--"

"Alright, Freddy, Dr. Schwartz has heard all that before and he urgently needs to speak to Cedric."

"Cedric is a lost lamb, wandering the barren hills of Elam!" Freddy said, shaking his head.

"Exactly," said Dr. Schwartz.  "Pray for us, please."

Back in Washington, psychiatrist Ermann Esse's patients were not typically prone to delusional behavior (at least, not that kind of delusional behavior), but they had been wearing him out for days with their tales of life-changing encounters with Pope Francis.  He had been counseling all of them to wait another month before acting on their sudden impulses to quit powerful positions in government and the private sector to launch charitable endeavors or join holy orders, but the Under-Secretary from the Department of Transportation was getting on his nerves more than most.

"I mean, what's transportation supposed to be about, anyway?  Bringing people together!"  (Dr. Esse nodded without enthusiasm.)  "I could be building roads in Africa, or railroad lines!  Or I could go down to Mexico--start rapid bus transit systems to connect rural farmers with urban markets--help these poor migrants stay at home, where they really want to be, anyway!"

Dr. Esse scratched under his cursed Rolex, and finally snapped.  "Alright, fine, quit your job."

"I would be a little worried about money," said the Under-Secretary, getting nervous.

"Do you think Pope Francis worries about money?  Of course not!  Be a man!"

"I'm not sure how my wife would take it."

"Tell her it's either that or you're going to become a priest."

"Well, I'm not going to lie to her!"

"You can't tell one little white lie in order to fulfill your spiritual awakening?" asked Dr. Esse, not trying very hard to mask his sarcasm.

"Well, I've never lied to her!  And marriage was a sacred vow!"

"Liar!" exclaimed Dr. Esse.  "Admit it--everybody lies to their wives."

"Well, I don't!"

"Alright, have it your way, coward."

"Dr. Esse, that's a bit harsh!"

"If you want somebody to hold your hand, go talk to a priest!  They all want to hold people's hands this week."

A few miles away, Glenn Michael Beckmann, militiaman and conspiracy blogger, was absolutely exhausted from trolling the Internet and watching television coverage concerning the visit of Pope Francis.  On the one hand, he knew that the Vatican was part of the secret world government--along with the Trilateral Commission, the Church of Scientology, the Mormons, the United Nations, Google, Norwegian Cruise Line, and the International Dental Association.  On the other hand, he could not resist reading about possible plots against the Pope--who was planning them, who was finding them, who was stopping them!  He was quite certain he had personally stopped three plots against the Pope himself, in Washington, but he would not tell anybody about that until after the Pope had left American soil altogether.  The threat was still real!  And with a visit to a prison, Pope Francis had exposed himself to all the dangers of gang rivalry, too!  Beckmann poured more Monster energy drink into his mouth and kept on surfing.

Back at home, Charles Wu found Angela de la Paz playing with his daughter, Delia.  "Ready for my next assignment, boss," Angela said, looking up.

"It can wait until tomorrow," he said, sitting down to examine what appeared to be a Lego castle occupied by Barbies.  "Who's this?" he asked, pointing to a mysterious figure wrapped in toilet paper while he kissed his daughter.

"Pope Francis!" the toddler exclaimed.  "I have a rosary!"  Delia ran off to find her new rosary.

"That was supposed to be a secret," said Angela sheepishly.

"Look, I already knew you went back to church--"

"How did you know?"

"You're not the only person working for me in this town!" laughed Wu.

"Well, why do people report personal stuff like that?  And why do you have people spying on me?"

"Nobody was spying on you!  They just mentioned seeing you there--which was funny, because I didn't think they went to church either.  But, seriously, giving Delia a rosary?"

"Don't you think we should be doing more now, after what you learned and saw?"

Wu shuddered at the thought of the demon living in the Potomac as his daughter ran back in with her new prized possession.  "I just wish I knew what would help."

"Well," whispered Angela, "a lot of ghosts crossed over this week.  And Ardua of the Potomac has been writhing in pain all week.  It really does make a difference."

Over on Capitol Hill, an Anti-Zombie Caucus pumped up on Pope Francis energy voted unanimously to support Congressman Herrmark's underdog bid to become next Speaker of the House.

**************************************************
COMING UP:  
The Heurich Society's evil plans hit by Pope Francis pause button!

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