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 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!

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