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 ....

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Getting Away

"People were tossing random objects in the air, and then they became magical and flew away," said Didymus.  His psychiatrist nodded encouragingly.  "So I picked up a stapler and threw it in the air, and it became a rainbow and drifted away.  Then I picked up a tape dispenser and thew it in the air, but it fell back down."  Dr. Ermann Esse furrowed his eyebrows and nodded again.  "So I threw the tape dispenser further into the air, and then it became a bird and flew away.  Then I realized that the whole point was that everybody needed to get away.  It was like an apocalypse or something."  ("Or something?")  "Well, I wasn't in a total panic, but I knew we all had to get away.  So I had to figure out who I was escaping with and what our plan was."  ("And what were you escaping from?")  "They were putting people in a concentration camp or something."  ("Who was doing that?")  "I'm not sure--it was like some college secret society obsessed with politics and a cappella singing."  Dr. Esse tried to mask his disappointment, but asked Didymus if he was sure it wasn't the government.  "NO!  The U.S. government would never put Americans in concentration camps!"  Dr. Esse reminded him that Japanese-Americans and German-Americans were interned during World War II, and before that, American Indian tribes, and most recently, Guantanamo.  "That's completely different!"  ("How?")  "That wasn't random!"  ("And in your dream, it was random?")  Didymus hesitated, trying to remember the moment he ran off without helping anybody else except a couple of his friends.  "THEY were the bad guys--not us!"

Dr. Esse decided to change topics for awhile.  "Do you still think you're Robert McNamara?"  ("Of course I'm Robert McNamara!")  "But you still want me to call you 'Didymus'?"  ("Well, I'm a ghost, and they make you take a ghost name.")  "Tell me why a ghost would be carrying around an article on intelligence spending."  Dr. Esse was referring to a heavily highlighted and marked-up paper on the couch next to Didymus concerning the declassification by the Obama Administration of a 75 billion-dollar budget total for 200,000 intelligence workers in the federal government.  

Didymus snatched it up with agitation.  "It's outrageous!  If I had received that kind of money in Asia, I could have stopped China in Vietnam AND in Korea!"  Dr. Esse said nothing.  "And Cambodia!" Didymus added as an afterthought.  "And 200,000 people?  Hah!  If I had been directing 200,000 people in Asia, I wouldn't have been fighting a war with my hands tied behind my back!"  Dr. Esse pointed out that, even if that sum of people and money had been available in the 1960s, it would not ALL have been for the Secretary of Defense's operations in Asia.  Didymus flung the article back down on the couch and folded his arms across his chest.  "I could have won, I'm telling you!"

"But you DIDN'T!" exclaimed Dr. Esse.  "Never accuse!  Never excuse!"  He leaned in and lowered his voice.  "You need to accept it, or you'll never be able to move on."  Didymus just glared at him and whispered how, in his day, intelligence budgets were nobody else's business.

A few miles to the south, Coast Guard officer Marcos Vasquez was using his day off to do some cleaning at his fiancee's apartment after their discovery that water damage and mold had returned to the back wall of her linen closet for the third time.  He donned a mask, sprayed the blackened walls with mildew remover, scrubbed them down, then tossed the rag into the trash with the other mildew-infested items.  He sprayed more mildew remover all over the wall and in the air, set the A/C on high, then gathered the trash and dirty laundry to head to the basement.  He knew they were never really going to fix the leak, because they never really fixed anything at Southwest Plaza.  As soon as the elevator door opened in the basement, he could already sense the emanation of evil spirit from the real estate demon living in the parking garage.  It's time.  He knew he had to confront Golden Fawn about her failure to destroy it, and tell her it was time to give up--they needed to get married and move out.  In the laundry room, a smelly man was loading bloody sheets and towels into a couple of washing machines and looked up with a start as Vasquez entered.  The man was the CEO of "Nata's Children" (a Satanic cult thinly disguised as a nanny service), and though Vasquez did not see the blood before the washing machine lids shut, Vasquez knew the guy was off.  "Hey," Vasquez said politely, and the evil creep nodded silently back, then left, though Vasquez could sense him standing outside the laundry room door, either listening or watching Vasquez through the glass.  Vasquez really wanted to see what the guy was washing, but shook it off.  It's time.

It was the biggest dog he had ever seen:  Sebastian L'Arche was looking at a pony-sized mixed breed with warm brown fur like a teddy bear.  (In fact, he wasn't entirely certain that the dog was not half-horse.)  L'Arche sat down on the family room carpet of the Hillcrest home and let the dog cheerfully trot over to nuzzle him.  "Very sweet disposition," L'Arche commented.

"Oh, sure!  She'll slobber all over anybody, but she won't do ANYTHING for us!"  The owner proceeded to complain that the dog would not let her children saddle it up to ride, would not pull a cartful of groceries when she harnessed it, and would not carry loads of laundry up and down the stairs when she hung baskets on her back.  "Do you have any idea how much it costs to feed a dog like this?  We're going to send her back to the shelter if she doesn't start pulling her weight around here!"

L'Arche whispered to the dog and listened as the dog barked her reply.  Then L'Arche probed the dog's spine, hips, and leg joints.  "She has severe arthritis," he said.  "She worked on a farm in Maryland for years until the pain got to be too much, then she ran away.  She needs to take mineral supplements and go swimming three times a week.  If you do that for a few weeks, she'll improve; then her pain will be manageable with some anti-inflammatories."  The owner looked aghast.  "But you'll never be able to work her that hard--her working days are over, though I'm sure she would come through in a pinch."  The owner stared blankly at L'Arche.  "For instance, if there were a fire, she would be able to knock down a door and let your child climb on her back and ride to safety.  She just can't do stuff like that every day--she's old."  The dog's owner glared at L'Arche and said she wouldn't pay the dog whisperer for such worthless advice.  "Alright," said L'Arche. Then he whispered to the dog how to find L'Arche if she needed to run away.  "She'd be a great dog to visit nursing homes, or she might even be a successful therapy dog for autistic children," he added on his way out.  The owner shut the door and watched the dog meekly return to her doggie bed in the basement, then kneeled down to check her polished marble foyer for scratch marks.

Several miles to the north, a startled Salvadoran grandmother was hosting an exceedingly old American Indian in her shabby living room, trying to understand what he was saying about where her granddaughter Angela was.  The grandmother insisted in halting English that she was good to Angela, and the Warrior agreed, but explained that the city government had taken her away because of Angela's uncle.  The grandmother protested, and the Warrior could not tell if she was defending her son, or really did not understand what had happened.  The Warrior then told her that Angela was no longer in foster care, but living in a safe place in the woods.  "I am her grandfather now," the Warrior said, and this much the grandmother could understand.  She re-read the hand-written note from Angela, then gathered some clothes, toiletries, and food for the girl, handing them to the Warrior with tears in her eyes.  He promised he would arrange a visit for them next time, then left.  The grandmother walked over to the window to watch as the Warrior exited her building and walked away.  On the ledge, for the first time, the grandmother saw the pink warbler that Angela had told her about so many times.

Over near the river, the Assistant Deputy Administrator for Hope waited impatiently for the State Department delegation and President Obama to return to Washington.


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