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, December 27, 2015

Giuliana Sunstream outdoes Martha Stewart for her holiday party!

Her toy Maltese, Vegas, was looking at her dubiously, dismayed as he was with the pungent smell of marijuana in the air, but NoMa lifestyle blogger Giuliana Sunstream knew this was the next step in growing her fan base--which had doubled last summer after her arrest outside the FBI building (for guerrilla gardening) had given her massive publicity and unwarranted credit for the rogue marijuana plants that sprouted shortly thereafter.  Everybody needed something that distinguished them from the competition, and Sunstream finally had it:  the best ideas for being the perfect pot party hostess.  The secret, she had decided, was never to make the party about the pot:  the party should always be about the hostess.  (Some people would say "the guests", but this was patently absurd!)  And so, like last year, she was charging $100/head for people to experience and learn from the perfect holiday party.

Outside Sunstream's loft, Bridezilla approached nervously.  She had purchased two tickets several weeks ago, planning to bring her lover, Paul, but he had turned out to be bisexual and was now back with his other lover.  She had been a junior partner at Prince and Prowling at the time of ticket purchase, but was now out of the partnership and working as a contract attorney in P&P's SOTA-Bunk (state-of-the-art review bunker).  She had thought about giving her tickets away, but she had nothing better to do today, and had always enjoyed learning new lifestyle ideas from Giuliana Sunstream.  She was wearing a sexy red velvet mini-dress which usually made her feel very festive, but looking around at the H Street corridor under a gray sky, she was finding it hard to believe there was a jolly world to enter there.  The members of Sense of Entitlement Anonymous (DC Chapter) had treated her so differently the last time she attended their meeting, and now she wondered how she would be treated here?

The first time she had entered SOTA-Bunk, she had expected to be revered like a star-crossed lover (Juliet, Maria, Guinevere...), punished for breaching the social barrier to date a contract attorney.  Soon she discovered that one thing nobody wanted to know about their fellow contract attorneys was how they had also ended up in the dungeon.  No past, no future:  there was only the NOW.  And so people distinguished themselves based only on NOW.  There was "The Town Crier", constantly checking his contraband cellphone for communications from the outside world, rushing to be the first to announce to the room mass shootings, celebrity debaucheries, or candidate foibles.  There was "The Legend", famous for finding the best smoking gun in P&P history:  the "I vote for shit" email of 2004, never dethroned since then.  There was "Helen Keller", who pretended to have light sensitivity so that she could keep her eyes closed behind dark shades, clicking over and over again on the same document to prevent her computer from going to sleep as she dozed a half-brain at a time (like a dolphin).  There was "The Bartender", who had hidden liquor bottles in all the rest room toilet tanks.  There was "Pablo", who sold coca leaves to reviewers who had trouble adjusting to an atmosphere with 60% less oxygen than fresh air has. There was "The Hacker", who had not only broken through P&P's security shields to access the Internet from his work computer, but also successfully blocked his web-surfing from network scrutiny.  (Sometimes he was seen watching dirty movies at his desk, but becoming "The Snitch" on a review project was professional suicide.)  There was a small number of "Scorned Ones", who actually worked hard and followed the rules, but got paid the same as their lazy coworkers--because contract attorneys all earned the same money for Prince and Prowling from the idiot clients.

Bridezilla, like the others (or at least those without contraband), had entered SOTA-Bunk in a sterilized jumpsuit, with her personal belongings left behind in a locker.  She was a nobody, plopped gently but unceremoniously by staff attorney Laura Moreno at a uniform work carrel.  Bridezilla had been given sixty pages to read about workplace behavior, signed a dozen different forms stating she understood and agreed with client confidences and ethical requirements, then read another fifty pages about a case being run by idiot associates she used to laugh at upstairs--before being told to code sixty documents/hour and left to her own devices.  No more secretary, no more associates, no more partners, no more fancy coffee machine and catered meals.  All she had left was knowing that, as a former pageant queen, she would surely be the prettiest girl in the room!  But she had not been the prettiest girl in the room, and nobody noticed her at all.  And now, heading into this party, she was starting to think, maybe it's a good thing not to be noticed?

"You look beautiful, mamasita!" said the international petroleum expert (spy) known as "Condor".  He bowed to the astonished Bridezilla, then offered her his arm.  "If you need an escort up to the party, I would be delighted!"

He was tall, dark, and handsome, with a face and accent she could not quite pinpoint--an international man of intrigue.  She hooked her elbow gracefully around his without a word, deciding to keep herself equally mysterious as long as possible.  For him, she could be anyone!

A few minutes later, they were showing the dread-locked hostess their tickets and entering her Tropicoliday party, where she quickly adorned them with necklaces of hemp.  The Christmas tree was decorated with seashells made from re-purposed milk cartons, and jellyfish made from re-purposed plastic wrap.  Fruitcakes cut into starfish shapes adorned every flat surface.  A reggae trio handed out margarine tubs full of rattling pinto beans to anybody who wanted to join the band.

And there were brownies--lots of funny brownies....

In the kitchen, a valiant Vegas tried to defend his home from the encroachment of Ghost Pippin and his evil pack of feral feline ghosts, but everybody knows that ghosts can't resist reggae music and weed....

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COMING UP:  Good and bad New Year's resolutions!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The longest night of the year.

Washington Water Woman was too busy with Christmas preparations to write a blog post this weekend, but she WILL tell you what Glenn Michael Beckmann will be doing on the longest night of the year:  hiding out in Meridian Hill Park in camouflage clothing, watching the Envoy's ever-changing computerized light show patterns for hidden terrorist sleeper cell messages....

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COMING UP:
Giuliana Sunstream outdoes Martha Stewart for her holiday party!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The New Prophecy

"I don't know where she is," said Angela de la Paz, looking intently at the Potomac River.  "I just know that she's gone."

The coalition formed a scant month ago to destroy the demonic Ardua could scarcely believe their ears.  Lynnette Wong was hugging her chest, staring at the water.  Charles Wu was skipping pebbles while his mother admired his skill.  Sebastian L'Arche was holding the Gipper on a long leash as the dog sniffed at the river.  Marcos Vazquez had his arm tightly around his fidgety wife, Golden Fawn.  The Warrior was sitting close to the shore, sharpening a knife with a leather strap.

"So all this mumbo-jumbo worked?" Sebastian asked.

Angela smiled at the term "mumbo-jumbo".  "Well, for now."

"What do you mean?" asked Charles.

"She didn't die--she's just gone."

"But you can go in the Dreamtime and see where she is, right?" asked Golden Fawn.

Angela shook her head.  "She's just gone."

"Evil is never gone," said the Warrior, standing up.  "Never let your guard down."

"He's right," said Angela.  "It takes many forms."

"Not another morality lesson, please!" said Charles playfully, putting his arm around his extraordinary employee, who had kept him safe many times.  "Now, lunch in Georgetown on me!  Time to celebrate!"

The group started walking up the embankment, except for the Warrior, who caught Angela's arm.  "I will look for her," he said, without telling her about the New Prophecy, so they parted and she left him behind.

Over on Capitol Hill, Barbara Hellmeister was evaluating her options.  Rescued from zombie captivity/worship by Adolf Eichmann's great-grandson, Ernest Ironman, she had been locked up in the maintenance man's secret chamber below the Capitol for a couple of weeks.  Restored by cans of sauerkraut, loaves of rye bread, Rhinelander wine, and Vienna sausages, she was feeling more herself--except she had not seen actual sunlight in over a month.  She had no doubt the chocolate bars and new bag of clothes he had brought her indicated she was on the brink of becoming his sex slave if she did not take control of his mind soon and bring out the Aryan greatness within him.

"Ernest," she began, when he reentered the chamber.  "I would love to see where you grew up in West Virginia."  She had been carefully experimenting with mold spores, wine, and sauerkraut brine to engineer some type of hallucinogenic to weaken his will, and he inhaled it as soon as he approached her.  (She had built up her own immunity to it.)  "Do you think I will fit in there, wearing this?" she asked with a smile.

He looked at the skinny jeans and tight red sweater she was wearing without a bra, and he saw mountain pinks (creeping phlox) wrapping around her to support her breasts.  "Wow!" he said, sitting down.  "You're a woodland nymph!"

"Maybe I'm a nymphomaniac!" she said, handing him a glass of wine spiked with a touch of turpentine.  "I think those mountains would really make my blood race!"

Ernest contemplated this, while sipping the wine.  It had been a long time since he laid a woman down in the grass.  Then he remembered it was December.  "Too cold in the mountains," he said, shaking his head.  "But it's warm today!  Maybe I'll take you out to the countryside," he said, deciding that might be nicer than taking her on the cracked leather couch he had salvaged from John Boehner's departure.

Out in Sterling, Virginia, Ardua was resting in a large pond, weakened by her long crawl from the Potomac River through a series of creeks to this quiet body of water.  She had dwindled to a tenth of her size from what she was before those meddlesome humans had joined forces to attack her.  Once dreaming of becoming large and fierce enough to be called Ardua of the Atlantic, the former Ardua of the Potomac was now Ardua of Trump National Golf Club, doomed to hide quietly with the other bottom feeders dodging stray golf balls.  But unlike the other bottom feeders in the waters of Trump National Golf Club, Ardua felt something special here--an evil energy nurtured by the greed, narcissism, and hatred of a man who had no idea that he had inherited Hitler DNA from an experiment done on his father's mother.  The demon Ardua had plugged into the neo-Nazi energy of Donald Trump.

"Fore!" shouted Ernest Ironman, now on a serious drug trip.  He had parked his pickup truck in the woods near the golf course, and Barbara Hellmeister was trying in vain to quiet him down as they sneaked into the club to throw back golf balls they had picked up outside the wall.  "Golf is a waste of God's playground, Mr. Trump!" Ironman shouted, throwing the balls into a nearby pond.  "I know a better thing to do with that soft, soft, sand trap!"  Hellmeister smiled in spite of herself, getting excited about the dangerous, manipulative fun she could have with a simple man like this.

And Ardua got excited, too....

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COMING UP:  The longest night of the year.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

The New Climate

Dr. Khalid Mohammad was returning home from his shift at George Washington University Hospital.  For the past few weeks, he was never sure whether he would find Yasmin with a full veil, a head scarf, or nothing on her head.  She was confused about her identity and what it meant to be a good Muslim woman, and months of kindness from Khalid had not done much to rescue her emotionally from the effects on her of the fanatical radicalization and violence of her father.  She rarely left the apartment, did not want to make new friends, and only reluctantly took online community college courses because of Khalid's urging--otherwise she would just be doing housework and praying.  He could not get the guilt trip out of her head.

He could smell dinner cooking on the stove as he hung up his coat.  She greeted him with the full veil on, and he could see no smile in her eyes.  "It smells delicious," he said.

"How was your shift?" she asked.

"Good," he said.  "A little quieter than usual.  Every day without a mass shooting is a good day, anyway."  He had tried to talk to her several times about the Paris and San Bernardino attacks, but she never wanted to talk about it.

"Why won't you marry me?" she suddenly asked.  "How can I be a good Muslim woman like this?"

"We're just roommates and friends!" exclaimed Khalid.  "We're not doing anything wrong."

"Well, it feels wrong," she said, returning to the kitchen to take the food off the stove.

"Well, maybe it feels wrong to you because you keep trying to act like a Saudi housewife.  You can go to school, get a job, join clubs, visit places."  She handed him the water glasses without a comment.  "You can do whatever you want to with your life now, and if you don't know what that is, that's okay!  You can take your time, explore new things."

"What's wrong with me?  Why won't you marry me?" she repeated, sitting down at the table.  Then she said a prayer over the meal before he could reply.

"What's wrong with you?" Khalid repeated.  "You were traumatized with brain damage from your father slamming your head into a wall, that's what's wrong with you!  You're in no condition to marry anybody!  You're still healing physically and mentally."

"That's no excuse for me not to lead a good Muslim life!  Other people are serving Allah, but what am I doing?"

"Other people?" Khalid asked.  "What about me?"

"You won't marry me," she replied.

"It would be unethical," he said.  "You're in no condition to make major decisions like that, and we're still getting to know each other."

"You won't marry me because of the veil!" she exclaimed.  "You think you're better than me because you don't believe in veils!"

"Tell me one good thing that a veil ever did for anybody?!" he retorted.  "You think wearing that proves something to Allah or the world?  It's brainwashing!  It doesn't make you holier, and shooting people with a veil on is delusional!"

"So now you think I'm delusional and planning to shoot people?" she cried.

"I don't know what you're planning," he said, throwing his hands up in the air.  "If you feel guilty living with me, I told you, you can move in with one of my coworkers.  But nobody's going to want you wearing the damned veil in their home!"

"You are not a good Muslim!" she declared.

"I study medicine and help the sick and injured," Khalid said calmly.  "You're alive because of our hospital.  Can't you see that the most important thing is helping other people?"

She said nothing, unsure about everything.

Over at the White House, President Obama was taking another look at his speech before sitting down to dinner with his family.  The speech was supposed to assure the American people about what the government was doing to keep them safe.  This was supposed to to be a week of triumphant announcement concerning unprecedented international cooperation to mitigate climate change.  Instead, he was again trying to mop up the blood from mass-murdering rampages.  He sighed deeply, examining notes jotted down from dozens of conversations--and the notes jotted down from the whispers he told nobody about except Bo and Sunny, who always perked up their ears when the whispers began.  (They knew where the whispers came from--the Shackled, Ghost Dennis, the twins, and other White House spirits--but President Obama still did not understand.)  "It won't work," he said to himself, looking at the speech, but he dared not say out loud the thought that came next.  There's no hope.  The world's just going to get bloodier and warmer until we see massive waves of death unseen since the Bubonic Plague.  We're literally offering bandages and tilting at windmills.  Bo stood up to nuzzle his master.

Across the street, Bridezilla was not thinking about any of that, having barely comprehended a single piece of news in the world outside of her own.  She was in her Prince and Prowling office, wearing yoga pants and an old sorority sweatshirt as she finished packing up her personal things.  She was not the sort of person to go on a murderous rampage of coworkers, but she had just poured bleach into the potted plants of all the senior partners who had voted to force her out--for love!  She was still deluding herself that her career had imploded because of the shocking revelation of her secret, epic, romantic, "Gattaca"-like love for Paul, shunned as a lowly contract attorney by the snobby powers that be.  It would be some time before she recognized her own hypocrisy in keeping her relationship secret, her own stupidity in filing bogus billing reports about their time together, and her own blindness in not learning enough about Paul to find out he was a bisexual who sometimes performed in drag as "Paulette" at Level One.

No, today, she was still a victim of tragic love in her own mind.  She placed the last of her personal things in the second rolling suitcase, poured ketchup all over the carpeting, bent the horizontal blinds, then rolled her sad self out of there.  Tomorrow, if she could rouse herself to do it, she would be allowed to return to Prince and Prowling as a contract attorney in SOTA-Bunk.  She was not desperate for the money, but too much in a state of shock not to grasp at the straw.

Downstairs, staff attorney Laura Morena was in her own office, trying to finish reading the 25 emails, five PowerPoints, and twelve reports sent to her by former Senator Evermore Breadman--who had abruptly put her in charge of the Cuba Practices Group after hearing her singing a Jon Secada song in the kitchen.

Out in the river, Ardua of the Potomac was starting to feel the squeeze from the coalition recently formed to destroy the demon, but she was not going to go down without a fight.

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COMING UP:  The New Prophecy.