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, July 11, 2010

Deep Undercover

Washington Water Woman has been deported in a secret spy exchange.

She will return to blogging about Washington as soon as she can get plastic surgery and a new passport.

Until then, power to the people!

Monday, July 05, 2010

The Mission

It was a hot day, and social worker Hue Nguyen was thankful that Larry's father had brought over an aluminum kiddy pool for the residents to sit in. She took a break from her paperwork to go look out the window at the backyard of the Arlington group home for the mentally challenged, and it was a peaceful scene with several residents siting up to their waists in the cool pool water and a couple more dipping their feet in from the height of their plastic chairs. Millie (the big brown dog) was lying prostrate in the shade of a maple tree, a giant peace sign carved out on her left flank where Buckner had shaved off some of her hair to keep her cool. (Her right flank, not visible at the moment, was sporting a smiley face shaving job.) Freddy Ritchings (AKA Brother Divine of the International Peace Movement) was repetitively lifting a slotted spoon and watching the pool water drain through its holes in a slight sprinkle over his right knee. "Who wants to be baptized today?" he asked, and everybody stared at him, but nobody said a word. "AMEN!" He lifted the slotted spoon high above his head and felt the cool shower trickle down around his ears and neck. "The water of the slaughter has fled the shed. Arise with the prize and free your head." He closed his eyes and rocked his head horizontally like Stevie Wonder. "The Devil is hot, but the Lord is cool. Everybody sing for the golden rule. Mmmmmmmmmm," he hummed. ("Mmmmmmmmmmm," echoed Theresa.) Brother Divine opened his eyes and scooped up some more water with his slotted spoon. "Bless you, bless you, bless you," he chanted, as he flung his holy water sprinkles on everybody else in the pool. "I guess you, I guess you, I guess you. FOREVER!" He flung the slotted spoon over his shoulder in a dramatic finish, and it whacked Cedric squarely in the forehead. There was a time when Cedric's special operations reflexes would have kicked in with an instantaneous deflection of the projectile with one hand and a reaching for his weapon with the other hand, but today all he could muster was a petulant "ouch" as the spoon clocked him, and he dropped the bag he was carrying. He bent over to pick up the bag and continued approaching the pool--he was on a mission.

Over on the National Mall, Charles Wu wanted to be on a mission, but it was exceedingly difficult with his family in town. Family!? His life had become surreal. Other people might have considered grocery shopping with their father or watching fireworks with their brother very pedestrian events, but these activities were seriously inhibiting Wu's lifestyle. It was bad enough he hadn't had sex in months, and his English family kept insisting he invite his "friend" Lynnette Wong over for dinner and cribbage, but his espionage work was seriously impeded. And the impediment wasn't merely the lack of time and privacy--his personal thoughts had become quite intrusive. Going through the bone marrow donation had been his first brush with ill health--let alone mortality!--and he found himself periodically plagued with fleeting thoughts of weakness and lack of control. Then there was the shock of finding out he had a brother (first of all) and how physically deformed and ill he was (secondly). And now when they went out, Wu got angry if strangers stared at his brother, and he felt fiercely protective of Phillip, and he had not had feelings like this since he was 14 years old and whacked a man with a frying pan after he struck Wu's mother in her Hong Kong kitchen. And what about his mother? Every day he kept this secret from her, he felt like he was betraying her.

Wu took a deep breath and surveyed the scene at the Mexican cooking demonstration at the National Folk Life Festival, finally seeing his mark. He knew Henry Samuelson was tailing him, so it was going to have to be a very fast hand-off buffered by a thick crowd, no verbalization at all. A minute later, Wu was staring at the chef and (hidden by sunglasses) also at Samuelson, who had his arms across his chest and was watching Wu in frustration. Good, Samuelson thinks I haven't hit the target yet, thought Wu. The target continued watching the cooking demonstration until it was over, then walked away quickly. Wu turned slowly and walked off in the opposite direction. Someday you'll thank me, Samuelson, Wu thought, since it was Wu, after all, who had tipped off the FBI about the ten Russian sleeper agents (after detecting their activity through one of his specially bugged PDAs).

But Samulson already suspected Wu and gave him no credit for it--no, if Wu was turning in Russian agents, it was undoubtedly for the benefit of China, not the U.S.A. Samuelson spit out his gum (the spearmint flavor tasted revolting with the smell of chilies in the air) and walked slowly after Wu, who was on his way to rejoin his brother and father where he had left them in a shady spot eating ice cream and listening to a mariachi band. Samuelson knew almost everything there was to know about "Phillip Montgomery" and "Charles Wilkinson Montgomery"--he just did not believe that these two fellows hanging out with Charles Wu were actually them. Samuelson was pondering contacting Wu's mother in Hong Kong to get to the bottom of it, but he would have to do so without anybody in the Heurich Society finding out--just like he had launched Project Cinderella.

Not far away, Dr. Devi Rajatala was also listening to the mariachi band. Restless, she sat down in the grass and pulled a folded letter out of her fanny pack and re-read the missive penned by The Warrior a week earlier: he had found Angela de la Paz in a small military style academy in Kansas but had not been able to make contact with her for more than a few minutes. She had told him she was getting tutored in three Asian languages, mixed martial arts, and weapons. They had performed laser eye surgery to perfect her vision, and she would start pilot lessons in a couple of weeks. She had already learned how to drive cars, motorcycles, and speedboats. She had been inoculated against every known bioterrorism microbe in the world. She had acquired a wardrobe with dozens of different styles of clothing, sunglasses of every shape imaginable, and dozens of differently colored wigs. And she had no idea why any of it was happening, except that her code name was Cinderella. The Warrior had ended the letter with a promise that he would find a way to bring the girl home, but he just didn't know how yet; he asked Dr. Rajatala to let Angela's grandmother know, but how could Dr. Rajatala tell her this? She'd call the cops, thinking The Warrior had kidnapped the girl. She folded the letter up again and tried to focus on the music. In India, she had been raised to believe that everyone's life was shaped by kharma, but in the U.S., she had come to believe that nobody was impotent against destiny. Now, again, she wondered--if that girl was not destined for tragedy, she could find no other explanation of it.

A few feet away, Glenn Michael Beckmann did not believe in something as heathen as kharma, but he did know he was a child of destiny. He typed furiously into his PDA, outlining the finer points of his next mission to his Twitter followers around the country. In a world full of spies, traitors, communists, and ecoterrorists, sometimes it was difficult to know what menace to focus on, but right now the future was clear.

Back at the Arlington group home, Dr. Leo Schwartz arrived just in time to hear shouts erupting from the backyard. He slammed his car door and ran around to the back of the house, where he kicked down the gate dramatically [it was actually unlocked] and raced over to see what was happening. Social worker Hue Nguyen arrived a split-second later to find that everybody had jumped out of the pool after Cedric had poured in a gallon of gasoline pilfered from the lawn mower shed. He was calmly kneeling next to the pool, emptying out a bag of worms, dishwater detergent, dried rice, and vanilla extract. Dr. Schwartz ran up and asked Cedric what he was doing. "I think I have the right formula to clean up the Gulf of Mexico," replied Cedric quietly. The psychologist looked over at the social worker, who shrugged her shoulders in exasperation.

"I don't think that's gonna work," said Melinda after a minute. Sometimes she thought Cedric was the smartest guy in the house; other times, the dumbest.

"I was afraid of this," Cedric nodded. "We need real vanilla extract--this artificial vanilla is not going to work properly. I don't know how they expect me to fulfill my mission when they don't give me the proper resources."

"We shouldn't have gasoline here," said Dr. Schwartz. "Get a hand-powered mower."

Over in the Potomac River, Ardua greedily sucked up every drop of 4th of July motorboat oil that came her way--if only Marcos Vazquez had been there to see it and make a Coast Guard requisition to deploy the demon to the Gulf of Mexico.