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 ....

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Shackled

The Shackled rested on a quiet Georgetown pier, not another soul in sight on the coldest night of 2007. The Shackled had been living there for a long time, and didn't notice the cold, even though they had grown up in a much warmer place. The Shackled were discussing Ardua of the Potomac, who had killed some of them 300 years ago right on the auction block, and some others in a slaver before it had even docked. The Shackled had never done anything about Ardua, but that was about to change. The Heaviness was getting to be too much, even for them. They were starting to understand that they would never be able to leave this place until Ardua was gone....The Heavniness of the souls piling up, not moving on, trapped: they had to do something about it. They were finally starting to see that everything was wrong, and needed to change. It was time for the Shackled to go into Washington and start undoing what Ardua had done, and so they rose up and left their home on the river.

A few miles north, Judge Melvin Slight shivered at an unexpected draft in his cozy bedroom on 38th Street. He had paid good money to replace all the windows in his $4 million Georgetown rowhouse, and he glared suspiciously at his chintz curtains. He was in a bad mood because he was always in a bad mood whenever a high-profile trial was underway in Washington. Why couldn't he ever get a trial like the Scooter Libby trial? Damn! What Judge Slight didn't understand was that he would have had plenty of interesting trials if he wasn't always throwing poor people with inexperienced lawyers out of his courtroom. He couldn't stand bad lawyering, and he never seemed to notice it in the lawyers that played golf with him or the lawyers that saw him at black tie galas, and certainly never in the lawyers from his alma mater, or his fraternity brothers, or the lawyers from his wife's law firm. No: he only noticed little technicalities when lawyers had on cheap suits. He loved banging the gavel and saying "CASE DISMISSED!". Less paperwork. Less boring whining about some poor tenant who got mistreated by his landlord. Judge Melvin Slight fell asleep. In the next room, one of the Shackled was confronting the house ghost about what she had been doing to Judge Slight, and she didn't like it one bit. This ghost had lived in this house since dying in childbirth 262 years ago, on a filthy pile of hay in the basement, giving birth to a son fathered by a rapist poisoned by Ardua. This ghost's anger had never died.

Over on Observatory Circle, Vice President Cheney was liquored up and passed out after a week that was a little less pleasant than most. Lynn Cheney was at the computer, posting mocking comments on liberal blogs, and praising the State of the Union address on conservative blogs. Lynn did not like thinking about the Libby Scooter trial, and she wasn't posting any comments on it. One of the Shackled passed by her to take a closer look at the Vice President, causing goose bumps to rise on Lynn's neck, but she attributed them to menopause and kept posting. The Shackled one then headed up to the attic to find the house ghosts hovering up there. These ghosts had lived and died here long before any Vice President had set foot in this place. These ghosts had died from the river rats that had bitten and infected them in the cellar. These ghosts would still not go near that cellar, but they went everywhere else in the house. These ghosts were not interested in what the Shackled one had come to say to them.

Over at the White House, a Shackled one hovered for several minutes in the empty Presidential bedroom, then went down to the servants' quarters to confront the house ghosts there. He found them in the twins' bedroom, where they usually hung out when the President was out of town. A couple of them were talking to Reggie, and a few others were talking to Fergie. All the talking stopped when the Shackled one came in. Reggie and Fergie turned to look at him, surprised because they had never seen him here before. He was not expecting this. Things were going to be complicated here.

One-by-one, the other Shackled began seeking out the ghosts of slavery haunting the old houses of Washington, D.C. This was something Ardua had not expected, and she didn't like it.


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