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 ....

Monday, February 16, 2009

Rest in PEACE

Dizzy was feeling cold this morning.  It wasn't a particularly cold morning, but for some reason, it was bothering him today.  Maybe it was because it was President's Day and he was playing songs like "Hail to the Chief" and "Battle Hymn of the Republic" for the White House tourists.  Maybe it was because the albino squirrel hanging around him gave him the creeps.  But probably it was because the death of the Peace Vigilist was starting to sink in.  The death of any man living on the streets was always just a freezing night away, but the Peace Vigilist wasn't like the others.  The Permanent Peace Vigil might go on, but it would never be the same.  Dizzy's eyes panned over Lafayette Square from the obscure dead white man's statue on the courthouse side to the erotic "military instruction" statue over by Madison House.  A world without nuclear arms.  Dizzy picked up his trombone and began playing "Imagine".

A few hundred yards away, a lone member of the National Security Advisor's staff was reviewing the Daily Intelligence Briefing in his office.  It had been a couple of weeks since Russia had announced the cancellation of her plans to point cruise missiles at Europe from Kaliningrad, in response to the new President's reversal of American plans for more missiles in Europe.  It looked like a simple de-escalation, point/counterpoint, quid pro quo--but this staffer knew the Russians could never be trusted...never.  He read an update on the collision of a British nuclear submarine with a French one (unfortunately now leaked to the media).  He read the current CIA reports from Bolivia, Zimbabwe, and a handful of other hot spots.  Finally, he read the briefing on Secretary Clinton's trip to Asia.  The President had already received the daily report, and no immediate action was needed on anything, but the staffer remained uneasy--or, shall we say, insecure.  But he could not put his finger on the source of his anxiety.  Maybe I am too young for this job.  He put away the briefing (which he had read five times already today) and tried to refocus his thoughts on the thick (and overwhelming) "Forging a New Shield" report from the Project on National Security Reform while a White House ghost hovered silently in the corner.  He was in the middle of the Johnson section (actually ghost-written by Charles Wu), and it gave him goose bumps.

A mile away, Button Samuelson parked illegally in front of a fire hydrant and made a beeline for Filene's Basement to pick up a sweater to replace the yellow one she had just spilled coffee on in her car.  "Hello, Henrietta!"  She froze in her tracks, uncertain why or how The Suit had addressed her by name.  He proceeded to open the door to let her into the store, certain that her entry posed no security threat to the rather low-level Secret Service protectee currently shoe-shopping because of a broken pump heel.  Button glanced back at the agent with the earpiece and silly grin on his face, but he was already looking at other people.  She ran down the escalator, ripped a pile of sweaters off the racks, and raced into the dressing room--where she discovered the "Henrietta" name sticker still attached to her coat lapel.  One open house down, two to go.  The first sweater fit, so she took it immediately to the check-out counter and fidgeted nervously.  Rooky mistake!  Always keep a clean top in the car!  The cashier was moving very slowly since this was a new career for her--ever since her husband had killed himself after losing their life savings with Bernie Madoff.  Button tapped her boot impatiently, eager to sell a house.

A few miles south, Laura Moreno entered her workroom at Prince and Prowling and was surprised to see a new computer installed and a strange person working at it.  "Oh, hi!" he said.  "I'm Skippy!"  Laura extended her hand and introduced herself.  "They moved me from downstairs."  The man gave no further explanation, and proceeded to spew forth soliloquies for three hours.  Laura would learn later from Chloe Cleavage that he had been removed from the Sweatshop for talking too loudly, too incessantly, and too inappropriately (AKA "diarrhea of the mouth"), but Google had indicated Skippy had a litigious history, and Prince and Prowling was afraid to fire him.  "How do you like The Braggart?!" popped up in Laura's email box, and she cursed Chloe silently as The Braggart began talking about his master's degree from Yale, Ph.D. from Princeton, and years abroad at the Sorbonne and London School of Economics.  (Laura missed the part about studying in Japan because The Braggart did not notice when she went out to use the restroom.)  When he proceeded to explain how he had successfully trained his wife of 25 years to be attentive to his every need (especially in bed!), Laura aborted her workday early and fled to the chilly quiet of the outdoors.

A few miles south, Golden Fawn was leaning wearily against a pillar in the parking garage of Southwest Plaza.  "Is he dead yet?" asked Marcos Vasquez.  She shook her head in the negative.  "Close to dead?" She shook her head again.  "But you injured him, right?"  This time she nodded her head in the affirmative, still panting.  If somebody had told him a year ago that he would be performing a Shawnee expulsion ceremony for a demon he could not even see--.  She interrupted his thoughts with a kiss.  "We'll get him next time," he promised wistfully, and he bent over to gather the ritual materials.  A couple of teenagers had crept quietly into the garage to slash more tires, but when they saw Golden Fawn with her face painted demonically, they dropped their knives and ran.  The real estate demon licked its wounds, cursed the woman, and curled up to take a nap.

A couple of miles away, Ardua was also napping, but not for long--there was still a lot of work to be done with the Obama Administration and the new Congress.  On the banks of the Potomac, the Warrior was fishing and thinking.


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