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, July 01, 2007

By the Horns

Leo Schwartz held the car door open for Theresa, made sure she was all the way in, then shut it tightly. He walked around to the driver's side and called out one more "thank-you!" before getting in to drive Theresa back home to the Arlington group home for the mentally challenged. He had insisted on picking her up and delivering her in his own car, by himself. He wasn't angry about her "escape" during last week's group outing to the National Zoo--he just wanted to talk to her, and he found it was often easier to get patients to talk while they were riding in a car, looking out a window. He had always doubted her diagnosis as well as her prescription, but a psychologist doesn't usually get to overrule a psychiatrist's diagnosis. He was interested in the fact that she had functioned rather independently for almost a week--off her meds, outside the group home. It was not until she had killed the duck at Urine Park that she had been picked up by the authorities. "Let's start with the trip to the zoo. Why did you leave the group?"

Over at Urine Park, Dizzy could still see the bloodstains where she had killed the duck. He knew the duck had it coming to him, but the last time he had tried to tell the cops about the evil ducks, he had ended up at St. Elizabeth's for five weeks. Uh-uh, no sir, he kept his mouth shut. In any case, she didn't belong in Urine Park--not tough enough. He polished his trumpet, all the while still staring at the bloodstains.

"So you left the group because you wanted to pray for the Vice-President?" Theresa nodded yes, which Leo did not see. "Hmm?" He turned his head slightly, then saw from the corner of his eye that she was nodding yes. "Why did you need to be right in front of his residence to pray for him?" Theresa told him that sometimes you just have to take the bull by the horns.

A few miles away, Golden Fawn was squatting at the edge of the Potomac River, staring at the fresh bloodstains on a rock. She looked up at the sky to see what birds of prey were around--mostly gulls. Not likely. She didn't know that the gulls had started hunting river rats. She was too tired to purify the site, so she got up and moved further north, then sat down. She lit her sage on fire, closed her eyes, and began to pray about Ardua with the words her grandmother had given her.

"So you thought the Vice-President was possessed by an evil demon?" Theresa nodded yes, which Leo saw because he had already shifted his peripheral vision. "Why did you think that?" Theresa looked at him in amazement, then told him there was obviously no other explanation. Leo opened his mouth to speak, then realized he had no rebuttal for that comment.

Back at the Potomac River, Dubious McGinty was leaning out of the watchman's quarters on the drawbridge, watching Golden Fawn through his binoculars, thinking she looked a lot like those Viet Cong girls. Then he noticed something peculiar: Ardua reared up in rage, then sank lower into the river. "Damn! What's that Viet Cong girl got?"

"OK, so where did you go after you finished praying for the Vice-President?" Theresa told him she rode a bus somewhere and found a park to sleep in. Then she was invited into a tunnel land called Dupont Down Under, but the people were kind of nutty there, and it was a little claustrophobic, and some of the people stole things, so she left. Then she found a library and read some books, then she slept outside the library, then she bought some sunglasses and decided to walk to the White House to pray over there. "Didn't you want to come home?"

Back at the Potomac, Marcos Vasquez and his partner were doing another pre-holiday Coast Guard sweep and had spotted the smoke even before they turned the bend in the river. Vasquez's partner was already preparing to call for back-up when Vasquez grabbed his arm and said, "It's just a woman praying." This comment drove his partner into an even deeper panic, but by now Vasquez could clearly recognize the woman. "It's my neighbor." Still, they would have to put out the fire.

"So you were worried about the President, too?" Theresa nodded yes. She explained what she thought was going to happen in the White House and how she had to fix things before the Vice-President got hold of the nuclear bombs. "And you thought praying the rosary at the White House would fix things?" She explained that she was going to hide the rosary in the ground at the White House so that it would always be there, but then she saw the demon in the park and stopped to kill it.

Leo steered the car out of Washington and onto the drawbridge to Virginia. Theresa looked down at the Coast Guard vessel and the two men in bright white uniforms talking to a woman on the shore. The woman had on a head bandana like Melinda used to wear during chemotherapy. There was something on fire, but then the woman put the fire out. Theresa looked down into the water: the river did not feel as evil as it had felt a week ago when they rode the van into the city to go to the zoo.

Deep in the Potomac River, Ardua was doubled up in pain. She had never felt a prayer like that! She did not realize how many generations of prayer and wisdom had been given to Golden Fawn to fight Ardua. As her strength faded, ducks began slipping out of her grasp and flying away. She called for assistance, and her minions came--except those that had escaped with Theresa's inadvertent help. Where were all her beloved?


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