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, November 16, 2008

Lucky Charms

Golden Fawn was lying on her stomach, her head turned away from the technician and doctor positioning her bosom through the hole for the breast biopsy.  The procedure was apparently an entertaining one, because a prospective Resident was also in the room just to watch.  It was taking a long time, and she was thinking about Ardua until it came time for the anesthetic shot.  After that, she wasn't supposed to feel the vacuum needle going in, but she did.  The technician and doctor were vacuuming out the calcifications to see if they were malignant or benign.  On a whim, she told them to go ahead and vacuum out everything in there, so they kept vacuuming until her breast deflated like a punctured balloon.  Then a pink warbler alighted on the pillow to soothe her with song.  Goldie?  She was surprised they would call her that--only Marcos called her that.  Goldie?  Now they were stroking her hair, which seemed a little unprofessional.

Marcos Vasquez was sitting in the grocery store parking lot, debating whether to wake her up.  He had the list, but he didn't really like the idea of just leaving her dozing in the car.  She had been nodding off a lot since the biopsy, which was maybe a good distraction from wondering what the results would be tomorrow.  He decided to wait a little while to see if she woke up, but a slamming car door took care of that, and she sat up with a jolt.  He stroked her hair silently until he could see the lucidity returning to her dark eyes.

Sebastian L'Arche hadn't meant to slam the door, but for some reason Lucky Charm had decided to bolt, and L'Arche had only had a split second to shut the door on the unleashed Irish setter.  He looked at the normally well-behaved dog in puzzlement, but Lucky Charm's eyes were focused on Golden Fawn.  L'Arche headed into the store to pick up the bulk bags of dog food, cat food, and pet treats he would need for the pending wave of pet courier gigs as outgoing politicos and their staff members relinquished Congressional and Administration positions.  But Lucky Charm wasn't on that list:  Lucky's owner had just gone to prison in a plea deal about the D.C. property tax fraud ring, and Lucky was going to be L'Arche's first attempt at training a helping dog.  L'Arche had read up a lot on the subject, had watched some videos, and believed Lucky was a good candidate--tranquil, smart, quiet, a quick learner, and (usually!) well-behaved.  The only question was:  what was Lucky Charm born to do?  Lead the blind?  Assist the wheelchair-bound?  Sniff out epileptic attacks before they happen?  L'Arche was a pretty good dog whisperer, but neither Lucky nor L'Arche had yet made up their minds.

A few miles north, Angela de la Paz was carefully removing everything from the kitchen cabinets of her grandmother's Adams Morgan apartment in preparation for the building-wide roach spray tomorrow morning.  Since their windows were boarded up for some type of exterior work, they would be unable to ventilate the apartment; Angela didn't know what else to do except tell abuela to stay at the dialysis clinic all day on Monday, and if Ms. Samuelson (the property manager) didn't get the window opened by the end of the day, Angela would pry off the wooden boards herself.  Since Ms. Samuelson had taken over, the rent had gone up, the washer and dryers had disappeared from the basement for three weeks already (with no replacements), the hallway carpeting had disappeared for two weeks (with no replacement), the hallways had been painted a dreary industrial gray color, and nobody had repaired their radiator.  There were rumors that the building had been sold to a new owner, but many residents said that was illegal--the tenants would have been offered a right of first purchase.  They didn't have a lot of kitchenware, and very little food, so it didn't take that long to clear out the cabinets.  She didn't see any roaches, but everybody had to cooperate.  She pulled out the stack of paper bags and then gathered up all the trash, just as they had been instructed.  She was the only one in the entire building doing this, because half of the tenants had been unable to read the flyer, and the other half had ignored it.

A few miles to the west, Calico Johnson pulled his new Ferrari out of the garage, past the real estate demon living under his porch, and out onto his private access road parallel to the Potomac River.  He was on his way to pick up Chloe Cleavage to attend a real estate foreclosure auction in Takoma Park.  The girl was a shameless gold digger, and he didn't know why he even bothered trying to prod her into taking charge of her own financial future.  And so transparent!  She had asked him to pick her up outside the bistro, where she was "having brunch with friends", but he knew she would really just be coming out of the tanning salon.  She had recently been admiring his Rolex and dropping broad hints about jewelry for her upcoming birthday, but this had only prompted him to give a sapphire necklace to Button Samuelson, his Caljohn property manager and sometime girlfriend.  He had bought Chloe a new leather briefcase, even though he had never actually seen or heard of her taking work papers to and from Prince and Prowling.  He admired how hard Button worked, but he felt a rush of ego and superiority when he was with Chloe--not that he understood any of this on a conscious level.  The only thing he knew about himself on a conscious level was that he now had ten times as much real estate as he had owned six months ago, and this made him very happy.

Back at the grocery store, Golden Fawn was stocking up on organic breakfast cereal while Marcos had gone off in search of WD40.  A little old man asked her if the cereal in her hand had sugar in it, then began telling her about his diabetes and how he used to have a cereal with no sugar, but then they stopped selling it, and sometimes he can get some off the internet but only in bulk, and he didn't know how much longer he was going to live, so he didn't want to buy too much.  She was pawing through cereal shelves, desperate to find a cereal with no sugar, thinking surely that other diabetics must have some way of eating breakfast cereal, but he was still talking, and she couldn't find anything.  She turned back to him to concede defeat, but he was still talking, and now he was picking his nose, and she was really afraid to see what might happen next.  She wished him good luck finding cereal, and pushed the cart rapidly away, even though she was not supposed to be pushing the cart because it might make her puncture wound open up again.  She hated it when people were suffering and there was nothing she could do.  She felt the tears welling up, abandoned the cart, and walked off to find her soul mate.

Several miles to the west, Dubious McGinty was in the drawbridge watchman's quarters, reading articles about a new surge of Ku Klux Klan activity and death threats against Barak Obama, as Ardua lurked beneath the waters in the gathering winter.


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