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, December 02, 2006

A Cold Day at Prince & Prowling

Laura Moreno was at her desk at Prince and Prowling, redacting. She thought she had found a new job--a real job--but it had fallen through. It had been 2-1/2 years since the partners had told her they wanted to hire her, but she was still a temp. Seated in one of the swankest law firms in town, a hop-skip-jump from the White House, she had survived the bouts with two dead rats in her ventilation system, the broken chair, the person spying on her during her lunch break, the accusation that she had lost her own keycard and stolen somebody else's, the failure to mention to her that the water in the ladies room was going to be shut off, the failure to invite her to dozens of firm parties, the order to stop writing permanent notes and only put her notes on post-it notes. She still sat in a smelly, dusty workroom, even though there were empty offices all over the firm. No sick days, no health insurance, no holidays, no vacation days. She was redacting. Was this really any better than being a potato farmer? All the volunteer work, all the networking, all the nonprofits, all the overseas work--how had it all added up to this?

Downstairs in her swanky office, Bridezilla was padding her billable hours. She did this by glancing at a legal memo on her desk while answering telephone calls from the wedding entourage, wedding planners, and, oh yes, her fiance Wince. It was another glorious day in her six-figure-income life at Prince and Prowling. Her office was full of light and flowers and a framed diploma from a law school ranked by U.S. News and World Report as 10% better than Laura Moreno's law school. Every now and then Bridezilla would have a nightmare that somebody would find out about the plagiarism she had done as editor of the law review, but she would just knock back a shot of vodka and go back to sleep. She got every prize she set her eyes on. She was born and bred in Alexandria, a stone's throw from the Potomac. Bridezilla was a real darling of Ardua's because Bridezilla had no idea how she fit into the bigger picture. She would quietly lie, steal, and cheat her way through life without ever realizing that's what she was. She thought she was a success--and a good person because she had given a dollar to Dizzy.

Outside Bridezilla's office, her secretary was making photocopies, dragged in on a Saturday because of the "big case". Funny how the case notes she was copying seemed interspersed with internet printouts on South Pacific islands, lingerie, wedding favors, wedding bands, groomsmen gifts, and living room furniture. Saturday morning with her sons was her favorite time of week, and she was missing it.

Back up on Laura Moreno's floor, Chloe Cleavage was fruitlessly flirting with former Senator Evermore Breadman, but he had not come in on a Saturday for such a trifling diversion as that. He hurried past her to get to his office: Breadman needed to look through some files and figure out a good job for Donald Rumsfeld to land in. Coming and going--that was Breadman's motto. There was an opportunity in everything. Chloe Cleavage went back to her Blackberry, padding her billable hours with an occasional dab of the redaction pen on the stack of documents next to her. Funny how some people had nothing worth hiding except their Social Security Number. Cleavage and Breadman drove to work over the Potomac every day, and Ardua adored them.

Ardua was getting larger and larger. Although she could choose to spread past Mount Vernon now, she had decided instead to try to spread through the D.C. sewer systems. Ardua was, after all, not as smart as she was evil. Alas, her attempt earlier in the week had only resulted in another sewer's exploding in Georgetown, but she was going to get it right one of these days. In the meantime, there were more rats breeding at her bosom, and all the other animals dripping with her touch. She just had more fun when she got to do things herself.


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