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 ....

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Cedric was getting tired of visits from members of the Heurich Society.  There were a lot of things he could not understand anymore, but he did understand that he was living in the Arlington group home for the mentally challenged, and he was fairly certain that this would deter most people from coming to speak to him about national security matters.  He stared out his upstairs bedroom window as Dick Cheney got into a sedan and drove away.  I don't think he's even in office anymore--he's driving the car himself!  Cedric was also fairly certain that Cheney had left the Heurich Society quite awhile ago.  Cheney had been asking Cedric a lot of questions about that other grumpy old man, Henry Samuelson.  Cedric sat down on the floor and resumed constructing his Lego model of the American Fondouk donkey clinic in Morocco.  (His mother had promised to bring him model donkeys on her next visit.)  I wasn't even in the CIA!  How would I know what Samuelson had done in the CIA?  It was true that he had not been in the CIA, but there had been a time when Cedric had known quite a lot about what Samuelson had done in the CIA.  Why do they keep pestering me?  He was building the octagonal storage room where a couple secret CIA interrogations had been done--so secret that the donkey clinic staff had not even been aware of them (distracted, in fact, by the hubbub involved in treating the royal family's donkeys that day).  Cedric did not consciously remember anything about the donkey clinic, and wasn't sure what had prompted him to start building the model this morning, but it was looking pretty good so far.

A couple miles away, Henry Samuelson was going through the boxes in his storage unit.  He was 100% certain that (a) the criminal investigation of CIA officers would not extend far enough back in time to involve him and (b) there was no proof; however, he had decided that, in consideration of his own aging, he had better verify the correctness of his memories.  He recoiled slightly as he opened the "Morocco" box and discovered a fetal donkey sealed inside a formaldehyde-filled glass jar.  What on Earth possessed me to save this?  He transferred it into a large trash can he had wheeled into the unit.  I'll chop it up and leave it out for the rats to eat--that will destroy the ass and the rats both.  Samuelson had forgotten what was implanted inside the fetal donkey, and how brilliant he had felt at the time he had smuggled it into the United States.  Why am I saving all this anyway?  There's nobody I can pass it on to now.

Across the river, in the heart of Washington, Atticus Hawk was staring at his boss, incredulous at having been assigned to the just-launched criminal investigation of CIA interrogations.  "Who better?" said Hawk's boss.  "You're the torture expert here at the Justice Department, aren't you?"  Hawk, who had spent months meticulously purging any signs of his legal work as Guantanamo apologist, felt sick to his stomach.   "Look, Atticus," said his boss, sitting down on the corner of the desk and leaning over close to Hawk, "you don't really want somebody else in charge of discovery, do you?  Somebody who might, say, decide to charge a Grand Jury with looking in any other directions such evidence might point, shall we say?"  Hawk shook his head.  "Then it's settled!"  Hawk watched his boss walk out of the office whistling, then vomited into his waste basket.  When is my revolving door gonna open up?  Where is my golden parachute?

A few miles to the east, Sebastian L'Arche was trying to convince Dr. Devi Rajatala to adopt a skinny little donkey that had been mysteriously dumped at his house two days earlier.  "The zoo doesn't want it--she's not cute enough for the petting farm.  But she's very smart, and strong.  She's a little underfed right now, but she'll be fine out here.  In fact, she can probably eat weeds for you, if you point them out to her."  Dr. Rajatala reminded L'Arche that she was just an arborist at the National Arboretum, and didn't know how to take care of animals.  "C'mon!  She'll be no problem.  The vet said she's healthy, and donkeys are smart:  S-M-A-R-T!  You can train her to poop in one place, then use it as fertilizer.  She can spend the winter in a tool shed--she'll grow extra hair when it's cold."  Dr. Rajatala looked dubious.  "I'll make you a saddle basket myself--she can carry around your equipment for you.  And the kids will love her!"  Dr. Rajatala reminded L'Arche that the Friendship Garden program would close down in the winter.  "Look, if she doesn't work out, I'll take her off your hands."  The donkey looked dolefully at Dr. Rajatala, who had chosen to become an arborist in no small part because her mother had taught her that you never knew who was reincarnated in an animal.  And donkeys were lower caste beasts.

"Alright," Dr. Rajatala said.  "What's her name?"  L'Arche said he had no clue.  "I'll call her 'Rani'," Dr. Rajatala said.  L'Arche looked quizzically at her.  "Rani was a woman killed by arson because she had married outside her caste."  L'Arche nodded in pretend comprehension, though he had to admit it sounded better than "Donkey", which is what he had been calling her for two days.  Up in the trees, a raven looked on approvingly while a flock of starlings stared in suspicion.  Rani nuzzled Dr. Rajatala as the arborist took hold of the donkey's halter, wondering how long it would be before she got in trouble for this.  L'Arche smiled and waved goodbye.


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