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, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

Clio was just returning to her White House quarters after a visit to her cousin's place in Hyattsville. The twins had been fairly well-behaved, other than that incident with the Ovaltine and the bird feeder. Regina and Ferguson still spoke predominantly in their secret twin language, but they had managed a few words of comprehensible English during the day. Clio planted them in a warm bath and went to check her email--which proved to be stoked with a large number of contraband Secret Service photos from the Jenna Bush wedding in Texas. Dubyah with cake frosting on his face, Neil leering at a woman in a red dress, George Sr. nodding off in his chair, Barbara the Younger getting funky to the dance music...then there was the PhotoShop version of the bridal party, in which each bridesmaid was standing not in front of a groomsman but in front of a different (six-foot!) beer bottle. She lingered over a photo of the happy couple standing with the President and First Lady--she didn't see anything funny in it, but she suddenly got nostalgic thinking about her own wedding day. Getting cards and hand-made gifts and heartfelt cuddles from Reggie and Fergie made it all worthwhile, but she always felt a little bittersweet on days like Mother's Day--now that her own mother was gone, and her husband had not stuck around to raise these unusual children. She went back to get the twins and found them making Barney and Tickle-Me-Elmo drink the bathwater, into which they had somehow smuggled a residual amount of Ovaltine contraband. They were laughing hysterically, and for a moment, she just let it be.

Several miles away, Atticus Hawk had been trying to get away from Jai Alai's Hyattsville home all afternoon, to no avail. Apparently, in some kind of Friday-night happy-hour moment of insanity, he had agreed to go to Jai's for Mother's Day. It was insane! They had barely started dating, barely knew each other--and yet, here he was, trapped by the rain inside a house stuffed with so many children he could hardly remember which one was Jai's. And the look on Jai's mother's face! (The look on everybody's face!) He had never felt so white. She seemed to have relatives (by blood or by marriage) from three continents and every racial category other than his. In fact, he was starting to wonder what exactly she was. Then it happened: somebody cornered him near the beer cooler on the back porch, and he suddenly learned that Jai's last boyfriend was in prison...for killing her other child. Why didn't I google her??!! He got a sick feeling in his stomach, the feeling he got whenever he suddenly realized that he was not where he should be or not doing what he should be doing--compounded by the Mother's Day spread that they had all been eating seemingly non-stop for five hours. He put back the beer without opening it and timed himself to leave when he was 30 minutes more sober. She had been so interested in the fact that he was an attorney...and so disappointed when he had told her that he could say nothing about his work. If he had told her, she would have learned that some of the things her old boyfriend had done to her kids were also things that the interrogators had done to the Guantanamo prisoners--the prisoners which had built Hawk's career at the Justice Department and had never given him a stomach ache, dead or alive.

A few miles to the northwest, Liv Cigemeier was gloomily settling in for her last couple of hours of weekend. Her husband had said nothing about Mother's Day...all day long. The last time she had tried to bring up the baby thing, he had said they needed to save up more money. Nonetheless, he had just booked a $5,000 summer vacation in Canada. What she didn't know was that the senior partners above him at Prince and Prowling had just been sacked: after 29 and 30 years respectively, they had been shown the door because they were not bringing in enough new business. Liv curled up on the couch next to her husband, who put his arm around her and thought about telling her that he was being transferred to a different practice group, but he hated shattering her sense of security. He knew she was happy in her little nonprofit making peanuts, so he kept silent.

Not far away, the Shackled continued to roam the attics and basements and crawlspaces of the D.C. netherworld, trying to comfort the motherly ghosts howling for their children.


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