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, November 29, 2015

Is the Central Intelligence Agency finally out of the torture business?

HEADLINE HEADLINE!!!  (NOT!!!)  READ ALL ABOUT IT!!!

President Obama chose a nearly dead moment in the news cycle--the Wednesday before Thanksgiving--to sign into law the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA included a provision authored by Senator McCain and Senator Feinstein that makes permanent the Executive ban on CIA torture!  

The Obama Administration, which recently gave public praise to the jaw-dropping placement of Saudi Arabia on the United Nations Human Rights Committee, chose not to make a big public fuss about this legislation--which requires the CIA to allow Red Cross visits to prisoners held by CIA officers.

Perhaps the CIA's good friends--the beheading-happy, women-oppressing, petroleum-pumping Saudis--will be happy to take over torture interrogation duties in the "war on terror"?

Too bad neither CIA torture nor NSA spying has actually done anything to end the bloodshed.

The Zombie Caucus and other Members of Congress return from Thanksgiving recess.

Somebody in the Zombie Caucus had dropped the ball when the members left Washington for the Thanksgiving recess, and prisoner/fetish Barbara Hellmeister had been alone in this secret basement chamber below the Capitol for several days.  She was desperately hungry, thirsty, and sore from trying to escape her bindings.  Her astronaut diaper was spent, skin sores were developing on various parts of her body, and she was hallucinating.  Then she saw a man enter the room, looking like a young, handsome Adolf Eichmann.  (She had seen photos of him with her grandfather, when they were both about 25.)  "Help me!" she gasped through the mouth binding that was deteriorating from a week of saliva.

The man was, in fact, Eichmann's great-grandson, Ernest Ironman, who had grown up in obscurity in West Virginia before ending up working in the Capitol engineering and maintenance department.  He had brought his pet pole cat into the Capitol to root out as many rats as he could before his boss (a wussy man allergic to cats!) returned on Monday, and Poland (his pole cat) had sniffed and clawed at the outer wall until the hidden mechanism had opened this secret room.  "Well, what have we here?!" Ernest exclaimed, as his pole cat (Poland) moseyed over to sniff out Barbara Hellmeister.  Ernest looked carefully around to make sure there were no terrorists, then made his way over to untie the woman, who sank heavily into his arms.  She babbled incoherently after he took the gag out of her mouth, but he was able to make out "water", which he procured for her a few moments later.  She drank deeply, then passed out.

Ernest laid her down on a couch to let Poland give her a good licking-over, and walked around the room to try to figure out what was going on in here.  There were stacks of legislative materials, blood stains on the carpeting, make-up kits, an industrial-sized vat of acid strong enough to dissolve bones, and a large poster of Donald Trump with a baby bib drawn on with black marker.  A big grin started spreading over Ernest's face as he realized there were some sick activities going on in here, but he was a loner and wanted to do his own thing.  He stole some jewelry he found in a drawer, stuffed some pens in his pockets, then tossed the woman over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes.  Ernest had his own secret chamber under the Capitol, and he figured she was going to clean up kinda nice.

A hundred feet above them, Congressman Paul Ryan was finally settling into the de-smoked office of the Speaker of the House, though he had gone overboard with fresh holiday evergreen decorations to mask the lingering tobacco odor.  Munching on leftover wild rice and cranberries, he sat down to plot out his post-recess legislative plan--exactly as he had told "60 Minutes" it would be.  He knew President Obama was over in Paris, ready to sell out King Cong [coal, oil, nuclear, gas] for good to the climate change nuts more scared of a couple degrees on the thermometer than Sunni migrants blowing up Christians.  This was Ryan's time to steal the spotlight of domestic politics!  He started tapping his foot nervously on the carpeting.  He hadn't felt this much pressure since the week before the Romney-Ryan ticket had been blown out of the water.  He jumped out of his chair to find his dumb weights and do some bicep curls.  If he didn't make some major decisions soon, Ryan's chief of staff would start making them for him!  "I'll just do four reps," he said out loud to himself, and at the other end of the listening technology, spy Charles Wu wondered which four Representatives and what exactly Ryan was going to do to them.

Back in the Zombie Caucus secret chamber, Paul Ryan's Chief of Staff was rushing in to check on the fetish/prisoner.  As one of the newest betas (turned into a zombie just a day after Ryan became Speaker of the House), David Hoppe had been overwhelmed with new responsibilities and demands from all kinds of surprising people.  It was not until Hoppe was driving back to the Capitol that he suddenly doubted whether management of Barbara Hellmeister had been properly sorted out for the Thanksgiving break.  Now he could see that she was gone.  "Damn it!  I didn't take this job to put up with this kind of stress!"  He looked around wildly for a note or any type of clue explaining what had happened to her, then he knew he was in big trouble.  He might be chief of staff to the Speaker of the House, but down here he was just another newbie foot soldier.  "Damn it!" he exclaimed again.  "And why does it smell like cat urine in here?!"  He emptied out his grocery bags, put the gallons of lemonade, orange juice, and sweet tea into the refrigerator, then headed up to meet with Ryan.  "I'll tell them I let her go on purpose!" he muttered to himself, getting on the elevator.  "There's no way they're putting me back on bone-dissolving duty!"

Back upstairs, Congressman Herrmark was also back in town (after his casino-boat Thanksgiving fundraising cruise).  Tired of the harpies in the Holier Than Thou Caucus, frustrated with the slow progress in rooting out the Zombie Caucus, hounded by his parents (forced to spend Thanksgiving on the cruise ship), he was taking a break to go back to his own legislative agenda:  namely, putting an end to the hydrofracking which had blown up his parents' vacation home, permanently shattering their perfect life of wealth, privilege, and comfort.  John Boehner had told him to take a hike plenty of times, but Paul Ryan would be a fresh start.  If only I had something I could offer him in exchange for going after fracking and finding taxpayer money to clean up their vacation home! thought Congressman Herrmark.  And then one of the Shackled started whispering in his ear, and Herrmark came up with a ghost of an idea.  

A mile away, Congressman Jacques Javert was psychiatrist Ermann Esse's first post-Thanksgiving-recess appointment.  "I think I'm losing my mind, Doctor Esse!  The oyster stuffing was disgusting, the bourbon tasted wrong, the jazz sounded horrific, the trees looked menacing, and the nasty smell was everywhere!  I can't believe I used to live in Louisiana all the time!"

"Well, sometimes people just like different things as they get older," the shrink said to his new patient.

"No, something funny happened this summer, and nothing seems right anymore."

"What happened?" asked the shrink.

"I don't know!  My own staffers seem to have a conspiracy about keeping me from remembering."

"You have a gap in your memory?"

"Many gaps!"

"Well, we better hypnotize you then," said Dr. Esse.  A few minutes later, Congressman Javert was confessing to murders and other unsavory activity, then lunging for Dr. Esse's (cursed) Rolex, which he claimed had been stolen from him.  Dr. Esse snapped him out of the hypnosis, pulling his jacket sleeve down over the (cursed) Rolex to keep it hidden from Javert.  "You have some serious issues," said Dr. Esse.  "I think you should resign from Congress and join an overseas military campaign to take out some of that murderous aggression."

"What?!"

"I've sent some of my patients to Syria, where weapons are readily available."

"What?!"

"Well, if you don't want to get involved in that, I know a couple who have gone to Nigeria to hunt Boko Haram and rescue girls, and one is in North Korea trying to assassinate their dictator.  This is your true nature, clearly revealed by the hypnosis," concluded the psychiatrist, poisoned as he was by the cursed Rolex.

"Those Scientologists are right!" exclaimed Javert.  "Psychiatrists are evil!"

"Oh, those people are full of shit!" retorted Dr. Esse.  "Anyway, I haven't even given you any drugs."

"Do you have some?" asked Javert.

"There's nothing I can do about such murderous impulses.  It is my duty to the public to advise you to go someplace where killers can be useful members of society."

"I'm not a murderer!" cried Javert.  "You're a quack!"

"Well, it might be multiple personalities," said Javert, "but that has gone way out style.  You would be the first in years."

Out in the river, a recently weakened Ardua of the Potomac welcomed the return of Congress as a major source of her evil strength, then sent out a team of millipedes and river rats to get close to the possibly useful neo-Nazis recently united in the bowels of the Capitol.

*****************************************************
COMING UP:  The new climate.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Psychotic nightmares and other legal non-billables.

It was the Trojan War, though Laura Moreno was uncertain whose side she was on.  A battle had just ended, but she was uncertain who had won.  The king was laying off staff, and it was unclear whether she would keep her job.

Then she was reminded that she should have died in battle, anyway.  Destiny had been inappropriately altered!  The honorable thing would be to hang herself.

She walked up to the scaffold and placed the noose around her neck.  Nobody else was there, but she felt them all staring at her anyway.  Honor demands it.

But why?  She couldn't remember!  She could be dead in a minute if she did this.  Honor demands it!  But why?  She couldn't remember the battle.  She didn't understand the war.  She was terrified of dying.  

If somebody wants me dead, they'll have to do it themselves!  She took the noose off and walked away.

Then she woke up from the nightmare in a cold sweat.  She couldn't deny it anymore:  she would die if things stayed the same at the law firm.  She had to walk away from that noose.

A few miles to the north, Prince and Prowling's other staff attorney, Chloe Cleavage, was in her Northwest condo, clothes-shopping online.  Her neighbor, Stuart, had finished cleaning her bathroom and was now cooking lunch for her.  After that, she would have sex with him as payment for services rendered.  It was a convenient arrangement that kept her apartment clean and her refrigerator stocked without too much trouble to herself.  She didn't worry about STDs with Stuart, and while he wasn't much of a tiger in bed, she had no complaints.

"Lunch is ready, babe," called Stuart from the kitchen.

These little terms of endearment had been creeping in lately, even though they had never actually gone on a date outside of her condo, ever.  She went to the table and was surprised to see lit candles and a vase of roses.  He met her surprised look with:  "I thought we could talk about taking our relationship to the next level."

"We don't have a relationship," Chloe said, sitting down to dig into the food, hoping that would be the end of it.

"Come on!" he said.

"It's just an arrangement:  I give you milk, and you clean the barn."

"Why are you comparing yourself to a cow?" asked Stuart.  "You're beautiful!"

"That's not the point," said Chloe.  "This is just a simple arrangement.  They're won't be another level."

"You're closed off emotionally," said Stuart, who had been reading a lot of relationship books lately.  "I think it's because of your job at Prince and Prowling."

"I love my job!" protested Chloe, a little too vehemently.  "It was a little stressful when the IRS did that raid, and I was in trouble for awhile with the Managing Attorney, but things are almost back to normal."

"What IRS raid?" asked Stuart, and then Chloe realized she never really told Stuart anything--he basically knew she put in a lot of hours as a staff attorney at a large law firm, and that was it.

"It doesn't matter--we're not having this conversation.  We eat, and then we have sex, and then you go home to watch football."

"Why couldn't I stay and watch football here--or something you want to watch?""

"I have to go to the office," she lied.

"That's what you said yesterday."

"It was also true yesterday."

"We're not getting any younger," said Stuart.  "Why don't we make it official and get married?"

"Get married?!" gasped Chloe.  "What do you think this is:  a reality show?"

"I guess you're hoping for Mr. Right to come along, but I think we're good together.  After what happened in Paris, don't you think life is short and we should just enjoy what we have together?!  Maybe we could have a kid!"

"I can't have a baby!  I sold all my eggs."

"What?!"

"I sold all my eggs.  I bought this condo in cash."

Stuart got up and turned away from Chloe to compose himself.  His half-baked dreams that she would fall in love with him and give him a family were crashing and burning fast.

"This omelet is really good," Chloe said.  "Why don't we forget this conversation and go back to how things were before?"  Stuart sat back down, undecided.  "We can play that game you like, where I'm a Supreme Court justice," added Chloe, nudging him under the table with her toes until Stuart smiled.

Out in Virginia, Prince and Prowling's contract attorney, Paul, was facing his own moment of truth.  His boyfriend was tired of Paul's sleeping with the boss (Prince and Prowling junior associate Bridezilla), and they had gotten into a big argument the night before about Paul's bisexuality, as well as the danger of continuing the relationship.  Sure, Paul could lose his job if he said no to Bridezilla, but what if somebody questioned the billing?  Paul was being paid more than other contract attorneys because of his foreign language skills, but that was rarely what Bridezilla was actually using him for!  Who did Paul think would get in trouble--a law firm associate who was friends with people like Carlos Slim and John Boehner, or a contract attorney who was friends with the owner of Level One?

But this was no longer the only issue.  Paul had been planning to leave Bridezilla's place after she fell asleep on the couch, but she was obviously having another nightmare.  Should he wake her up?  Or at least be there when she woke up?  He texted his lover to pick him up in an hour.

She was back in Charlottesville, roped into representing an old friend at trial.  She had never actually gone to trial before, and while she welcomed the experience, she was not thrilled that her first trial was a malpractice case against a plastic surgeon.  (Not the kind of case that would help her run for office someday!)  Her friend claimed to have spent a fortune for years' worth of surgery to reconstruct her chin (horribly disfigured in a freak curling iron accident), and it still didn't look very good!  (Bridezilla thought her friend's chin looked fine, but what could she do?  The trial had already begun!)  Bridezilla was still trying to finish eating her salad, hoping the judge wouldn't notice, even while calling more witnesses to the stand.  Every question she asked was too complicated for the witnesses to understand, and she had to keep restating them.  She finally rested her case, and then realized she had completely forgotten to call the plastic surgeon as a witness!  But he was called by the defense, and she realized she would therefore have a chance to get to the doctor on cross-examination!  But when it came time to ask for a cross-examination, the judge refused her because he wanted to wrap things up in time for poker night!  Just as Bridezilla was protesting that ruling, the plastic surgeon turned into a pig and started running around the courthouse, oinking, and she thought, "now, how will I ever question him!?  It's too late!"

"You okay?" Paul asked, as Bridezilla suddenly sat up with a cry.

"He's a pig!  It's too late!" she sobbed.

"It was just a nightmare," Paul said, sitting beside her on the couch.

"I'll never be able to run for office!"

"What?  Hey, wake up!"  Bridezilla came to her senses, looked around, then looked at Paul.  "It was a bad dream, that's all.  Let me get you some water."  

She watched as he headed to the kitchen for ice.  What the Hell am I doing with my life? 

Back in the city, Bridezilla's two-time ex, Wince, was ready for revenge five months after their (second!) canceled wedding.  Just a few more keystrokes, and it would all be in motion.  He looked out the window at the gray, cold sky.  "Perfect!" he said to himself.  He took the final measures, and then it was done:  the impostor Facebook page went up for Paul's engagement to Bridezilla (full of the photos Wince had hacked out of Bridezilla's cloud account), and then the "save-the-date" email went out from Bridezilla's hacked email account to a couple hundred people.  "If that's who you dumped me for, it's about time everybody knows!" he said triumphantly, savoring the moment.  And then he started watching the Facebook page to see what would be posted by Bridezilla's friends, enemies, and frenemies.

 Over in "NoMa", lifestyle Giuliana Sunstream opened the door of her loft apartment to the guests who had paid $100/person to sample her Thanksgiving entertaining ideas and was surprised to see (and smell) the rumpled appearance of Dubious McGinty at her door.  "Oh, I been reading your blog for awhile now!" the Vietnam veteran said.  "I totally redecorated the bridgeman's quarters using your ideas about soda-pop bottle bird houses, t-shirt throw pillows, and rugs made out of woven plastic bags!  I'm thinking of inviting some people over to celebrate after they kill Ardua of the Potomac!"

"That's nice!" said Giuliana, gritting her teeth, as her toy Maltese ("Vegas") got a good whiff of the river demon stench on McGinty's pants.

*******************************************************
COMING UP:  
The Zombie Caucus and other politicians take a Thanksgiving break.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

A United Front

Triple agent Charles Wu took a break from the difficult conversation at hand to look out the window at his young daughter, Delia, playing in the autumn leaves with her grandmother visiting from Hong Kong.  Wu had not intended to return from Asia with his mother, but here she was.  It had been a very productive trip:  the historic meeting between the leaders from Taiwan and Beijing, a stop in Indonesia for Liv Cigemeier to inspect hurricane recovery efforts there, then visits in Hong Kong with Camisole Silk, Apricot Lily, and his mother.  His request for some good luck charms before his return to Washington had somehow led to his mother learning that Wu could see ghosts, had a supernaturally gifted agent, and feared a giant demon living in the Potomac River.  Ha Ling had insisted on returning to the United States to protect her son and granddaughter from the demon herself.

He sat back down with Lynnette Wong and Angela de la Paz, who had both accompanied him on the trip to Asia, to discuss their next move.

"You know there's nothing your mother can do about Ardua," repeated Lynnette.  "I have tried every Chinese trick there is, and they only slow her down a little.  You have to keep your mother out of danger."

"I can keep her out of danger," repeated Angela, tired of the same argument.  "I'll know."

"Which is fine if you're near her, instead of God-knows-where on some spy mission."

"I'll stay in D.C."

"This is going to take a long time," insisted Lynnette.

Wu put up his hands to plead for mercy.  "My mother is not going to do anything crazy, but she's also not going to sit around doing nothing if we don't come up with a plan.  I don't understand why there's a prophecy about Angela killing Ardua, but she still doesn't know how to do it."

"I think I'm still growing in my powers," said Angela.  "I can do things now that I couldn't do a couple of years ago, but I also believe I'm not meant to do it alone.  Ardua gains strength from evil around her--she's like an echo chamber absorbing sounds, increasing them, and sending them back.  We need to reduce her food supply, so to speak, and that means attacking evil in all its forms.  I am trying to do that, but sometimes I wonder if we're all in agreement on that!"

"Why are you looking at me like that?" said Wu.  "I'm not the one blowing up Paris!"

"What makes you so sure that you never have blood on your hands?  You sell secrets to all kinds of people," said Angela.

"Don't start that again!" exclaimed Wu.  "I've been in this business a lot longer than you have!  I know what I'm doing!"

"We all have room for moral improvement," interrupted Lynnette.  "But Angela's right:  there's no magic bullet."

"So where does that leave us?" asked Wu.

Before anybody could answer, the doorbell rang.  Angela said she knew who it was, and got up to let them in.  A minute later, Golden Fawn and the Warrior were sitting in the breakfast nook with them, sipping tea.  "I've worked with them before," said Angela.  "I haven't talked to them much since I started working for you," she added, looking at Wu.

Wu exchanged glances with Lynnette, trying to ascertain if he was hallucinating Golden Fawn's braids and Cheyenne dress...or the fact that the Warrior smelled like the woods and had visible blood stains on his buckskin.  "Your name is 'the  Warrior?'"

"I don't remember my name," said the Warrior.  "It's been over 300 years since I've heard anyone say it."

"The Warrior used to watch over Angela, until she got strong enough to take care of herself," Golden Fawn said (ignoring the shocked looks on the faces of Lynnette and Wu).  "He still watches over me.  He has tremendous gifts.  My husband is a Coast Guard officer, out on the Potomac almost every day.  He is vigilant and careful, but we know we have done very little to stop Ardua.  I'm worried about the murder spree; I'm worried about the politicians; I'm worried about a lot of things in this town.  People compromise and compromise and compromise their ethics until they scarcely have an ethic still standing.  The souls in this town are really in danger."

A couple of blocks away from Wu's Cleveland Park home, the Dog Whisperer was completing a de-ratting session with the able assistance of The Gipper (Washington's premier rat terrier).  Sebastian L'Arche bagged up the vermin (which would make an excellent dinner for the mongoose currently boarded at his house), collected his fee from the happy homeowner (advised to get a cat to prevent future problems), and walked back outside.  Enjoying the crisp air and beauty of the neighborhood, L'Arche decided to stroll around a few blocks before heading out to pick up their evening dogwalking charges.

It was not long before The Gipper stopped in his tracks, staring at Wu's house.  And then L'Arche saw the same thing:  Gipper's deceased son, The Ghost Gopper, who turned to bark a greeting, then resumed watching the house intently with Ghost Anatoly  (the Samoyed) and the other members of their pack of ghost dogs.  Human ghosts were something that L'Arche had figured out a long time ago, but this canine ghost thing still freaked him out.  Then he noticed a flock of starlings were in a tree at the other end of the yard, staring silently down at the house, and the hair stood up on the back of L'Arche's neck.  This house was not haunted, but something was definitely happening.  His bag of vermin started to squirm, and L'Arche slammed the bag into the sidewalk several times to finish off whatever rat was trying to get out.

Inside the kitchen, a spirited debate was underway about the nature of true evil, true morality, and true ethics.  A lack of religious and spiritual agreement was making it very difficult for this newly formed coalition to come up with a strategy for defeating Ardua.  There was even disagreement about which was more evil:  Ardua of the Potomac or her minions running amok in the region.

Angela de la Paz took a break to enter the Dreamtime.  She saw her mother, abuela, Roddy, and Mia.  She helped the dead and distressed of Paris pass over to the other side.  She entered the dream of her young son, napping in the home of his adopted parents next door.  What is the answer?, she whispered to him, but he just smiled and kissed her.  The abrupt screeching of a catbird outside brought Angela back to her waking self, and she found everybody around the table staring at her.  "What the Hell was that?"

"You've been out of it awhile," said Lynnette, brushing the hair out of Angela's face.  "Were you in the Dreamtime again?"

"You didn't hear that?"  Everybody shook their heads no, with a couple of them looking out the window to make sure everything was still alright in the backyard.  Angela went outside, racing around the house until she found Sebastian L'Arche and The Gopper staring back at her.  "Who are you?"

"We were just walking--"

The Gopper lunged against his leash and ran happily over to Angela, who squatted to pet him.  "I guess he likes you," said the Dog Whisperer.

"That's not it," she said.  "I mean, he's terrific, but that's not it.  Something just happened, and he wants to tell me.  I don't understand--something about a bird?"

L'Arche quickly analyzed the situation.  "Well, he killed a bird--not a normal bird."  He watched to gauge her reaction.

"An evil bird," said Angela.  "He ate it, didn't he?"  L'Arche nodded.  "Does he do this a lot?"  L'Arche nodded again.  "There's something wrong here," said Angela, looking around the front yard.

"Do you believe in ghosts?" whispered L'Arche.

Angela smiled and nodded.  "You need to come inside and meet some people."

Across the river, a CIA operative at Langley ordered thirteen more drone strikes in Iraq, determined to kill anybody that didn't look innocent, while a cancer took hold of his lymph system.

Out on the Potomac, in the bridgemaster's quarters, Dubious McGinty shook his fist in manic delight at the demon below him.  "They're comin' for you now, sucka!  They're getting it all together now!  I feel it in my bones!"

On the shoreline of the Georgetown waterfront, Dizzy played "When the Saints Come Marching In" to an appreciate tourist crowd, though they all dispersed rapidly when he put the trumpet down to tell them The Prophecy had just changed!

Out in the water, Ardua listened to the report from the starlings, dismissed them with a shriek of fury, then ordered another batch of river rats into the city to gnaw and scratch and terrorize.

*****************************************************
COMING UP:   Psychotic nightmares and other legal non-billables.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Drawing New Battle Lines

"This is war!" exclaimed Dick Cheney, who had recently taken over the Heurich Society by assassinating its former chair (Henrietta "Button" Samuelson).

The nervous members sitting around the table in the upper floor meeting room at the Brewmaster's Castle said nothing--mostly because Cheney was always going to war with somebody about something, but also because they were having trouble swallowing the heart-healthy, rice-cake, carob-chip brownies that Lynn Cheney had sent for the meeting.  (They really missed Button's pies, cupcakes, and cookies.)

"Isn't anybody as riled up as I am about this?!" whined Cheney.

"You mean the XLKeystone pipeline veto?"

"No!"

"Russia bombing Syria?"

"No!"

"Bush 41 calling you an iron ass?"

"No!" Cheney yelled, sarcastically.  "The New England Patriots must be stopped!  This is Denver's year to win the Super Bowl!"

Condoleezza Rice cackled and crackled over the speaker phone, laughing hard.  "Oh, Dickie, you are too much!"  (Rice was running a long-term plan to take over the NFL:  Operation Cajun Rice.)

"Bush knows 'Iron Ass' is my wife's pet name for me!" exclaimed Cheney.  "This gross abuse of personal trust must be avenged!"

"Oh, so that is the war?" asked the former CIA officer, for clarity.

"We also need to stop Tom Brady, but we can do that later," said Cheney.  "Bush must die!"

"He's like a hundred years old," said the investment banker.  "And he keeps jumping out of airplanes.  I really think we need to get back to the petroleum wars.  The Attorney General of New York is investigating Exxon for lying about climate change.  If that's not a war, I don't know what is!  We need to--"

"I think global warming is great!" said the international arms merchant.  "All this migration and chaos!  Project Prometheus has earned us billions in sales, just as we planned.  I say--"

"But we can't let people know," said a Texas Congressman.  "It has to be a war on terror, because we can't let people know that the Middle East is 500% drier than a thousand years ago and that's what's good for arms sales."

"Look, I'm the one in charge here!" exclaimed Cheney.  "If I say the priority is killing Bush 41, everybody needs to fall in line!"

"Now, Dickie," crackled Condoleezza Rice over the speaker phone.  "He's just selling some books!  And Lynn can come up with a new pet name for you."

"That's not the point!"

"He's got Secret Service protection," said the FBI agent.

"They can be distracted with hookers," said Cheney.  "All we really need to do is the hookers, followed by a drone."

In the corner, the ghost of Henry Samuelson found himself terribly torn.  On the one hand, he was not going to rest until Dick Cheney was executed for the murder of Ghost Henry's daughter, Button.  On the other hand, the idea of Cheney killing Bush 41 was extremely appealing!  Perhaps he could help Cheney do that in Houston, and then make sure Cheney got the Texas death penalty!  Now that would be a nice day's work, ha ha ha ha!

Then Ghost Henry remembered that his son, Dulles, would later hear the tape of this meeting being recorded by spy Charles Wu, and that Dulles was trying to plot his own revenge for Button's murder.  Ghost Henry had never adopted the philosophy "the enemy of my enemy is my friend", but he had to admit to himself that it was a tangled web his son was examining for the first time.  Button had failed to make strategic alliances and was too weak to rule with an iron fist, but at least she had been smart and cynical and wary.  Dulles was soft and full of unabated anger at his father for adopting him clandestinely out of a Chilean political prison.  Could Dulles hate everything his father stood for and still avenge Button?  Ghost Henry knew that Angela de la Paz was helping Dulles to the extent he would let her, but it would be better if Dulles left town altogether.  Ghost Henry thought about his late wife (whom he had never seen since death, since he had only been to Purgatory and then kicked out of Purgatory back to Earth):  she would want him to prioritize protecting Dulles.  Ghost Henry made his way through the crawl space to where Charles Wu's wasp-sized drone was recording the meeting, then oozed ectoplasm until the drone malfunctioned and fell down.

Meanwhile, Barbara Hellmeister (current alias "Betty Brandt") was trapped in a web of her own making.  She had narrowly escaped being arrested in the Capitol Visitor Center only because she had been abducted by members of the Zombie Caucus.  Imprisoned in their secret chamber beneath the Capitol building, Hellmeister was alternately (a) worshiped by alphas for turning them into zombies with her designer drugs a few years earlier and (b) reviled by betas forced into servant-class zombie status by alpha bites.  Like Tom Cruise in the Church of Scientology, Hellmeister was in the ruling class and yet kept prisoner at the same time.  Fed from lunch bags stolen by victims, the tied-up Hellmeister had to watch over and over again as the Zombie Caucus ate raw and bloody human victims right in front of her while discussing tax extenders, Obamacare, Russia, China, and how to match cosmetics to skin tone.  It was the best human science experiment ever, and sometimes she would get teary-eyed thinking about how fascinated her Nazi grandfather would have been to see this!  But the rope burns were getting painful, and she was not a big fan of the astronaut diapers they were putting on her to avoid untying her.  She needed to convince one of these freaks to free her....

A few blocks away, the bicameral Anti-Zombie Caucus was meeting over lunch at Banana Cafe'.  They now knew that John Boehner's chief of staff had been a zombie, but he had not been assassinated by Betty Brandt.  In fact, the bomb she had set off that day in the Capitol had not killed any zombies (only real people), and they had not heard from Brandt since.

"I take full responsibility," said Congressman Herrmark (who, of course, did not mean that at all, and was certainly not going to confess anything to law enforcement).  "The partnership with Betty Brandt was a mistake.  I have not given up on the idea that we might find a scientific solution for efficiently wiping out the Zombie Caucus, but I realize I need to step down as chair of this Caucus and let somebody else take the reins."

There were a lot of sighs, but nobody said anything.  Most were looking at Senator Rand Paul, but he shook his head.

"Look," said Paul, "I haven't lost faith in Herrmark!  Every war has some collateral damage, which is why a good libertarian supports no war that is not absolutely necessary to protect our freedoms.  The American people need us to fight this war!  And a good general must also be willing to take risks.  We all supported Brandt, so we all failed together.  We just need to move on, and if that means rolling up our sleeves and going back to chopping and mopping one zombie at a time, that's what we do.  We're in this together, until all the zombies in Washington are dead and buried!"  And with that, he raised a rummy toast, and the Anti-Zombie Caucus confirmed their faith in Congressman Herrmark.

A couple miles away, Golden Fawn was gearing up for her own war:  the war against Ardua of the Potomac.  For the past year since their Georgetown haunted house had been cleansed, she had been focused on giving Joey Bent Oak as normal a childhood as possible after his earlier years with his alcoholic parents (her relatives) on the reservation.  He was now doing well in school, playing sports, hanging out with friends, and learning sailing with his adopted father, Marcos Vazquez.  They were out on the Potomac now, her guys trimming the sails and oblivious to the cold wind making Golden Fawn hug herself.  Joey was eight now, over the trauma of the haunting, and asking a lot of questions about evil.  She and Marcos had decided last night it was time to tell their son about the greatest evil in Washington...and time to venture outside the comfort of their family and seek allies to make a concerted effort to take on Ardua.  She had been cancer-free for two years and felt stronger than ever.  She was ready.

Fifteen feet below them, Ardua tried in vain to overturn their sailboat, protected as it was by Golden Fawn's medicine bag.  She slithered angrily away to Great Falls--the easiest place to make a kill.  Later, she would work on her plan for Paul Ryan!

************************************************
COMING UP:  Triple agent Charles Wu returns from Asia with a demon-fighter!

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Saints and Sinners Weekend!

Washington Water Woman is again doing feverish battle with a sinus demon, but hopes to return to blogging soon.  In the meantime, she wanted to teach you that jellyfish stings are another way to kill zombies in Washington, DC--