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 ....

Saturday, October 24, 2015

GOP brawls and other sources of bloodshed in Congress!

The Gopper Ghost, Ghost Anatoly (the Samoyed), and other members of the ghost dog pack of D.C. were pacing anxiously around the living room of Congressman Herrmark, who was hosting a pre-Halloween party for the Bi-Cameral Anti-Zombie Caucus.

"I've decided to withdraw my run for Speaker of the House," announced Herrmark, to a round of dismayed groans and (unheard-by-humans) howling.  "It's no use!  The Zombie Caucus has clearly thrown its weight behind Paul Ryan now.  And he's got that whole Boy Scout crap thing going for him, so nobody will believe the Zombies are behind him!"

"That's all the more reason for you to stay in the race!" said Senator Rand Paul.  "We can't just roll over and play dead!"  ("Rand!")  "Sorry, poor choice of words."

"We have no evidence that Paul Ryan is a zombie, himself," said Ann Bishis, Congressman Herrmark's Chief of Staff.  "But we're not sure about his Chief of Staff or his wife."  ("Ryan's wife, or the Chief's wife?") ("He is from Wisconsin and plays Euchre--he's too nice to be a Zombie!")  ("Well, that's no proof of anything!")  

"Ann is monitoring Ryan and all his associates very carefully," said Herrmark.  "And we may have to cede the Zombies this victory, but the war is far from over!  Actually, we have good news to report in that regard.  Our scientist, Betty Brandt, is ready to set off her first biomarker anti-zombie neutron bomb at the Capitol!  This will be a very small-radius test run, but I'm very excited about it!"

Meanwhile, Congressman John Boehner was in the Speaker's office packing up some personal things.  "You want this Cincinnati Bengals Super Bowl ring?" he said to his bodyguard, Solomon Kane.  "It's a fake, but some of my staffers have enjoyed wearing it to bars.  I was going to give it to the Chief, but he's constantly wearing gloves lately--says he has a skin condition."

"Sure, thanks, boss!"

"Oh, here's my first screenplay for a TV pilot that combines 'Game of Thrones', 'House of Cards', and 'Charlie's Angels'!  I wrote it during those budget negotiations--otherwise I would have fallen asleep.  All those tedious, fake arguments that nobody takes seriously about keeping open military bases that the Army doesn't even want."

"Charlie's Game of Cards?" asked Kane, picking it up.

"You can keep that," said Boehner.  "I've written a better screenplay now:  "Lola."

"What's that about?"

"A heroic Congressman from Ohio rescues a beautiful Cuban girl from Raul Castro's harem, and together they work secretly to re-open the island to capitalism."  ("Hmm.")  "It's got lots of rum, gambling, old-time cars, halter-top dresses--but tasteful and conservative, not decadent.  Sometimes they go to church."

"Sure," nodded Kane.  "I'd watch it!"

"The hero keeps a secret gift from Pope Francis in his pocket at all times.  It gets stolen in the pilot episode, but he tracks the thief all the way to Cuba."

"I think this Charlie thing might be good, too, boss."

"I might re-do that one as a reality show someday.  I just feel like something's missing," sighed Boehner.

"Women don't wear halter-top dresses in the Capitol!" joked Kane, but Boehner did not think that was funny, and gave himself a bad paper cut by shoving papers too forcibly into a file folder.

"Shit on a spatula!" exclaimed the Speaker of the House.

Kane, feeling remiss in his bodyguard duties, grabbed the bleeding finger and put it into his own mouth to suck.  Boehner was close enough to smell Kane's shampoo and stare deeply into his eyes, so he surrendered meekly to his man-crush, wondering what he could possibly do after he left Congress that would justify keeping this bodyguard around.

Outside the Capitol, Boehner's Chief of Staff was driving down Constitution Avenue, heading into the office.  Conspiracy blogger and militiaman Glenn Michael Beckmann had identified Boehner's Chief as the organizer of a secret Cuba Caucus in Congress, and so this Chief had to die!  Beckmann had been tracking the man's car on D.C. Police public camera surveillance for ten minutes (with a little help from a militiaman inside the police force), and was perfectly poised to discreetly roll a hand grenade under the man's car just before he headed to the parking garage.  Beckmann pretended to panic like everybody else nearby when the car exploded and flipped over, and so he was running away and did not see the pile of maggots crawl out of the Chief's skull as it crashed to the pavement.  Only later would he realize he had killed his second Congressional zombie chief of staff!

Meanwhile, Barbara Hellmeister (current alias "Betty Brandt") was touring the Capitol Visitor Center.  While it was true that she had brought a small neutron bomb to test out today, she had lied to Ann Bishis about having a successful zombie bio-marker.  Her plan was to set it off here--where it at least had a chance to take out a few random FBI agents (she hoped!), and tell the Caucus that the bomb only killed zombies.  The only bio-marker she had placed in it was blood type B-negative, which her Nazi grandfather had written in his notebook was the most genetically inferior blood type.  And so her little bomb, code-named Hurricane Patricia and packed carefully into a TicTac box, was deposited in a trash can just moments after the nearby car explosion, which triggered the Secret Service to order a Capitol lockdown just as Hellmeister would have been exiting the building before "Hurricane Patricia" exploded.  She watched the doorkeepers, hoping they would collapse dead at any moment, but their blood types were of a heartier fare.  She was trapped in here!  She looked around and caught herself in a moment of mild triumph at the elegant elimination of half a dozen inferior human beings (chemically decomposing and melting to the ground), then realized again she had no idea how to escape.

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COMING UP:  Saints and Sinners Weekend!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Ardua of the Potomac gets her tentacles dirty....

...because 43 years after the Clean Water Act, we still have politicians underfunding and undermining the Environmental Protection Agency.

So be afraid of the water--a demon is not the only thing lurking there!

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Washington Water Woman ran out of time this weekend, but expects to return to blogging soon....

COMING UP:    
GOP brawls and other sources of bloodshed in Congress! 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The road to revenge begins! (And birthday cake!)

Angela de la Paz said "Happy Birthday!" one more time to Buffy Cordelia, and little Delia said "Happy Birthday!" one more time to Angela, and the joint birthday party for the 21-year-old and 4-year old was over.  Angela gave Delia a kiss and a tight squeeze, picked up her bag of gifts and cake, and waved goodbye to Charles Wu, Lynnette Wong, and Delia's governess.  She walked past the neighbors' house, where the baby boy she had given up for adoption lived, sighed deeply with a bittersweet ache, then continued on to her next rendezvous--an angry, mourning Dulles Samuelson.  No champagne, but maybe tequila....

Several miles away, Barbara Hellmeister was popping a champagne bottle for herself--or, rather, a bottle of sparkling wine from the Rhine Valley.  She had just tested a bio-targeting neutron bomb that successfully killed all the squirrels in her backyard, and every other backyard on the block of dilapidated Southeast rowhouses she was currently hiding out in.  The birds and insects were all still alive, and the handful of humans living in the other houses, but the squirrels were dead as doorknobs!  The money given to her by the Bicameral Anti-Zombie Caucus for this research was not a lot, but she had made significant progress.  (The Caucus knew her as "Betty Brandt", a biochemist, and had no idea that it was her previous experiments under the name of "Basia Karbusky" which had started the zombie epidemic in Washington.)  She sipped champagne, re-read some pages from her Nazi grandfather's notebook, then wrote down some notes in her own.  She looked out on the three squirrels that had fallen dead out of tree branches, knowing there were probably ten more in the bushes she would have to clean up--but sometimes this kind of work did get messy.

But could she create a bio-marker for zombies?  This was the $64,000 question.  And while she did feel a little responsible for the zombie epidemic in Congress, there were other voting blocs in Congress that bothered her a lot more than the Zombie Caucus!  But she couldn't do a bio-marker for those groups unless she got DNA samples from every member, and then, of course, a lot of other people would probably die as well.  So while she was working on analyzing zombie tissue to create a bio-marker for them, she was really more interested in when she might see the FBI Director and his deputies testifying on Capitol Hill--and could drop a 400-foot-radius neutron bomb on them!  But the Anti-Zombie Caucus was getting restless and would probably not give her funding for much longer.  She picked up the phone to call Congressman Herrmark's Chief of Staff and tell her that she had just successfully deployed a bio-targeted neutron bomb, and needed another $100,000 to work on the zombie bio-marker...and buy more explosive materials!

Up on Capitol Hill, former Supreme Court clerk Wince had finally finished and emailed off the memo requested by his Lye, Cheit and Steele boss.  He got himself another snack and sat back down at his personal computer, resolved to make one more attempt to hack into his former fiancĂ©e's cloud account to see whom she was dating.  He had tried every possible password he could think of, and was starting to believe she must be using the name of that very same boyfriend Wince was trying to discover.  He looked at her Facebook one more time for a clue--any clue.  It was impossible she didn't have a new boyfriend by now!  Why was she hiding him?  And that's when it hit him:  she is hiding him!  But why?  She's ashamed of him, or he's somebody that I know, or he's married--no, she would never date a married guy!  He poured more Fritos into his mouth, then started searching Facebook to look for others who had tagged Bridezilla.  It took a quarter-hour, but he finally saw it:  a photo posted by somebody on a trip to Cuba had her tagged in it!  Her Cuba Practices Group trip!  He scanned the photo and then saw him:  the good-looking guy Bridezilla was looking at...tagged "Paul".

He went into the cloud again, and after trying several variations of "Paul", he finally hacked into her account.  After that, it didn't take long to find the pictures.  A total dreamboat of a guy.  Why is she not posting him on her own Facebook?  Ten minutes later, Wince figured out that dreamboat Paul was a lowly contract attorney!  She's dating a loser!  He laughed out loud.  She had broken their engagement--their second engagement!--and was now having a shameful affair with an underling!  He rubbed his hands in glee, pondering how many different ways he could embarrass her with this information.  Then Wince did a little more research on Paul and found some other tags on Facebook which maybe Bridezilla had not seen....Paul is gay?  Bisexual?  Oh, baby!  This is not going to end well for you!

Back in Northwest, Angela de la Paz walked into the late Button Samuelson's apartment.  "How ya doing?" she asked Button's brother, Dulles, whom she had met a few days earlier at the funeral.  He shook his head, and she realized it was a stupid question.  "I brought leftover cake from a 4-year-old's birthday party," Angela said.  "You want some?"  She pulled it out of the bag without waiting for an answer, and got out plates and forks.  She looked around for liquor and found an open bottle of wine.  They sat at the table in silence for a few minutes.

"I've been going through her stuff," Dulles said.  "Somebody went through it before I even got into town.  The computer's wiped."

"The first person was me," Angela said.

"What?!"

"I knew the others would be coming.  I downloaded all her computer files, then wiped the computer.  I grabbed a bunch of other stuff, too."  She handed him a key.  "This is for a small storage locker, but don't go looking for it right away--you're being watched.  It might be easier for me to ship it to you out of state later."  She handed him another key.  "This is for your father's storage locker, same recommendation."  She handed him a  flash drive.  "These are the computer files--I didn't look at any of them."

"So she followed in her father's footsteps and got herself murdered?  Why should I trust you?"

"I brought cake," she said, smiling.  (No effect.)  "Okay, well, there's a lot of stuff I need to explain to you.  Your father--"

"Her father," he interrupted.  "My parents were murdered in a Chilean prison!"

Angela nodded.  "I know.  Henry was in the CIA, then the Heurich Society.  She inherited a lot of his secrets.  She took over the Heurich Society by blackmailing them, and never gained a lot of respect or admiration.  I used to work for Henry before he died:  he's the one that trained me and molded me to be a super spy for Heurich.  I protected Button for awhile, but then she didn't want me around anymore."

"She said you went crazy."

"I have supernatural abilities," she said.  "You can call it crazy if you want."

"Seriously?"

"I saw Button in the Dreamtime, just after she died.  She came to me, told me Dick Cheney killed her."

"Sure."

"We talked about a lot of things," Angela said, ignoring his sarcasm.  "She had to go to Purgatory, but she'll make it.  Henry's another story."  She sipped some more wine.  "I can't communicate directly with him, but I know he wants revenge for her murder.  He's furious that she's not a ghost with him and he can't even see her."

"Because he's in Hell?"

"He was in Purgatory, but they kicked him out.  He's stuck on Earth for the time being."

"Why are you telling me all this?" asked Dulles.

"Because she was your sister and you loved her.  Maybe you're going to look through all this stuff, and it's going to eat away at you and make you bitter.  She didn't even like her dad, but she wanted to fulfill his legacy anyway--took the same enemies he had.  I don't want to see you go down that path."

"Thank you, great spirit guide!" he sneered.

"That's fine," she said.  "You're going to learn some ugly things about the world when you go through this stuff."

"Uglier than stealing babies and killing their parents?"

"Stuff that's still going on now.  Stuff you will have a reaction to.  Stuff that will scar you and change you."  She pulled out one more item from her pocket.  "Button asked me to give you this charm necklace.  She said you gave it to her as a birthday present when you were both kids."

"She could have told you that at anytime."

"Her mother--your adoptive mother--was also in the Dreamtime.  She asked me to tell you that you're not alone:  you're still loved."

"Whatever."

"She said to ask you to burn everything, get married before it's too late, have some kids of your own."

"Okay, then."

"I can look for your Chilean parents in the Dreamtime, if you want me to."  Dulles said nothing, and Angela got up to leave.  "Nobody can hurt you while you're in D.C.--I'll be watching out for you."

"You didn't do a very good job of watching out for Button!"

"She pushed me away and went down the dark path--you're not on it.  I hope it stays that way."

Angela let herself out.  She stood outside the apartment door, sensing the fury on the other side of it--the legacy of Henry Samuelson just wouldn't die.  She walked away, feeling Ghost Henry jabbing at her neck, but she could never hear him.  John Doe would seek her out again and give her another message eventually.  "I'm watching over him, Henry," she whispered.  "Just let it be."

But Ghost Henry would never rest until Dick Cheney was six feet under.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Lead, follow, or get out of the way!

Henrietta ("Button") Samuelson sat down uneasily in the upper conference room of the Brewmaster's Castle.  She nodded at butler Han Li as he set out cutlery to serve the cherry, apple, and sweet potato pies she had brought for the next meeting of the Heurich Society.  She looked down nervously at her agenda.  It had been a long, difficult road trying to take over the Society after the death of her father.  She couldn't shape it in his image or her image, and she thought most of the members were sociopaths.  But she knew how much money, power, and influence they had around the world, and she couldn't just walk away.  The secrets she had inherited from her father could blackmail them into following her to a point, but they simply did not want to follow her.  She thought things would turn around after they had agreed on the new mission statement--"maximize wealth, power, and freedom"--but every decision was like pulling teeth.  She could count on one hand the number of outcomes she would actually consider a success.

Han Li walked out and she helped herself to the sweet potato pie, spraying it with a healthy dose of whipped cream.  The Pope's visit to Washington had made her realize what true influence actually was--what it meant to have people genuinely listening to, believing in, and following a leader.  The Heurich Society members--in their own twisted way--had a religious fervor about their beliefs and view of the world that she simply did not share.  And the Pope's visit made her realize she scarcely believed in anything anymore, but one thing she did believe in was that this Society had to find a better reason to exist.

So today they would change the mission statement of the Heurich Society or she would resign and keep an eye on them from a distance.  She chewed resolutely, waiting for the first member to arrive.

A few miles to the east, the secret meeting of the Bicameral Anti-Zombie Caucus had already begun on Capitol Hill.

"I used to love this time of year," said Rand Paul, "but learning there are real zombies in the world makes Halloween seem a lot more menacing."

"Oh," laughed Congressman Herrmark, "I thought you were referring to the misery of campaign season!"

"Well, my campaign might be over before Halloween," said Senator Paul, forcing a fake laugh.  "How's the anti-zombie neutron bomb research going?"

"Not ready for field testing yet," said Ann Bishis, Herrmark's Chief of Staff.  "Why don't we talk about Congressman Herrmark's run for Speaker of the House?"

"I agree!" said the member from Florida.  "That jackass Kevin McCarthy thinks he should be leading the House and he can't even keep secret that the Benghazi hearings were designed to destroy the Hillary Clinton campaign?!"

"It wasn't really a secret!" said the member from Minnesota.

"That's not the point!" said the member from Florida.  "It's like everybody knows the War on Terror is not working and its only purpose is to keep up spending for the military-industrial complex, but you can't say it out loud because then the media goes nuts!  I mean, there are so few buildings left standing in Afghanistan that we had to bomb a hospital last week just to let the bomber pilots get their practice in--but you can't say that sort of thing out loud!"

"The point is," said Bishis, frowning, "Congressman Herrmark has a real shot at this now.  McCarthy is vulnerable!"

"I don't know," said the member from Arizona.  "We're still a small group, and Herrmark is not that popular in his other groups--no offense."

"Well, I didn't come to Washington to be popular!" said Congressman Herrmark.

"No, but you have to be popular to be Speaker of the House," said Rand Paul.  "No offense."

"My idea," said Bishis, "is to run Herrmark as the dark horse candidate, focusing on his other strengths."  (Her boss perked up, looking forward to finding out what his strengths were.)

Over at the White House, the ghosts were still chatting about the recent visit of Pope Francis.  Some of them had been spiritually healed, and crossed over, but Ghost Dennis was more confused than ever.  Having a mixed-faith marriage had not helped, nor getting murdered, nor seeing his adult daughters' almost overwhelmed by possession.  He had as many questions as answers, but one thing he had definitely decided was he really liked the sound of "Viva El Papa"!  Therefore he had decided to adopt Regina and Ferguson (the ghost pre-schoolers) and give them the education they had never received.

"Aw, papa!" exclaimed Reggie.  The rest of what she said was about wanting to throw pumpkins off the roof, but she said it in their secret twin language, and Ghost Dennis could not understand it.  (His own triplets had been born after he died, so he had never developed an expertise for secret pre-schooler languages.)

"You are going to learn the alphabet song if it kills me!" exclaimed Ghost Dennis.

"Papa dead!" laughed Fergie, and Reggie was also soon rolling on the floor in giggles.

"Yeah, yeah, very funny.  If I can teach Sasha her times tables, I'm sure I can at least teach you two the alphabet song!"

It was a nice break from his usual Sunday evening of rearranging President Obama's to-do box in the Oval Office, and Ghost Dennis felt good.

Back at the Brewmaster's Castle, Button Samuelson had polished off her second piece of pie and reached for her water bottle to wash it down.  Then she didn't feel so well.  A few minutes later, Dick Cheney was looming over her.  "That cheap habit of refilling your bottle with tap water has finally done you in--the Brewmaster's Castle has recently developed a serious problem with arsenic in the pipes, you see."  He watched in pleasure as she writhed in agony until she finally slumped over, dead.  He sat down next to her, picked up her notes to amuse himself, then announced to the first Heurich Society member to arrive:  "Button has died of arsenic poisoning.  I'm in charge now."  One-by-one, they filed in to receive this shocking news, until the last member had arrived and Condoleezza Rice was on the speaker phone.  "It's been a long time, boys, Condie.  Let's get to work."

Out in the river, Ardua of the Potomac finally started feeling a little better.

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COMING UP:  The road to revenge begins!  (And birthday cake!)