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 04, 2008

Surviving the Winter

Laura Moreno had spent all afternoon trying to figure out what was wrong with the evidence database when she finally realized what it was. She went back to her saved emails from April and found the warning email she had sent to the partners about a potential database problem that would end up causing a misidentification of files. They had pooh-poohed her warnings with a stern "we are not touching the database". Now it had come true. She had emailed the partners again to explain what had happened in the database, and now they informed her that the paralegal-from-Hell would fix it on Monday. There was no mention of Laura's earlier warning on how to prevent this problem, which had already resulted in the wrong documents being pulled for two new lawsuits: if they did recall her earlier warning, there was no admission of it now. She closed her Prince and Prowling emails and clocked out for the week, wondering if Prince Charming would ever show up to rescue her so that she could leave Prince and Prowling for one of those exciting non-profit jobs that paid only $35,000/year and which were only alotted to those who were supported by a sugar daddy (or sugar momma).

Outside, another political motorcade was in full motion--sirens blasting and a parade of police offers zooming away from downtown in their motorcycle/sidecar combos. Why were the sidecars empty? Why did they have empty sidecars? Why not just motorcycles? Laura longed to jump into one of the sidecars heading in her direction, stifled an impulse to give the finger to the trailing limo, and wrapped a scarf around her face for the cold walk home. From a frigid park bench in Urine Park, Dizzy was also watching the motorcade go by. He saw ghosts sitting in each sidecar, flipped the bird when the limo went by, then resumed playing a holiday song for the pedestrians passing by.

A couple of miles north, Liv Cigemeier was also bundled up as she headed to the Metro station from her job at International Development Machine. Liv had three degrees, spoke several foreign languages, had lived abroad, and was an expert on environmentally sustainable and socially equitable economic development--but she was only earning $35,000/year and, subconsciously, she felt an acute need to get to Silver Spring before her husband so that she could have a hot dinner waiting for him when he got home from Prince and Prowling. He was always crabby, always stressed, always complaining, and always subconsciously resentful that Liv liked her job so much and was actually doing humanitarian work (or at least as much as could be done in a country that was spending $2 billion/week of its foreign budget on war). He paid most of the bills, and they both knew it, but nobody called him Prince Charming. Liv stepped onto the down escalator, realized she had forgotten to pick up her husband's dry cleaning, and made an abrupt turn to get off the down escalator; unfortunately, it was moving faster than she realized, and she stumbled and fell, banging her shinbone and jamming her ring finger. She accelerated her pace and finally jumped off the down escalator. She rubbed her shinbone with her right hand while shaking the pain off her left. By the time she got home to cook dinner, her ring finger was so swollen that her wedding band was pinching--but she didn't stop to ice it because she needed to make dinner. It was times like this that she imagined what it would be like when they had kids and she was making a hot dinner for a whole family...but tonight it was just for the two of them. She repressed the thought that Prince and Prowling was changing him, and turned on the oven. Across the street, an unattended space heater was starting a fire that would soon destroy three apartments--something Liv would not notice until her husband came in at 7:30 or 8 p.m. and mentioned the flames leaping from the neighboring building. Outside her window, a flock of starlings daringly plucked winter berries from the long branches of an ash tree while sparrows continued scrounging for seeds on the ground.


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