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, August 16, 2010


Sebastian L'Arche had two dog leashes in each hand as he walked briskly down Foxhall Road towards the Georgetown shore of the Potomac River. The clapboard houses and neighborly front porches gave way to wild tangles of unkempt urban forest--a mixture of old growth trees and invasive vines. Occasional clumps of manmade litter broke up the stretches of green, but the dogs did not slow down for serious sniffing until they arrived at a massive spill of food items and bottled water in the middle of the sidewalk. L'Arche looked around with more curiosity than apprehension, suspecting this was more likely to be the scene of a yuppie's accident and unwillingness to pick up the same than an actual mugging (which is what he would have suspected in some other neighborhoods). He sat down, opened the food containers, and let the dogs eat to their hearts' content; then he opened the water bottle, took several swigs himself, then poured the rest into the dogs' mouths one-by-one. The humidity blanketing the city was heating up fast, and he wiped his face with his sleeve. (How quickly he had become accustomed to having teenage boys doing a lot of the dogwalking for him this summer, but they would be back in high school soon and he needed to get reacquainted with all his clients' dogs.) He avoided taking most dogs too close to the river (Lucky Charm had been the exception), but he was not in the mood to continue onto M Street; he watched for a pause in the traffic, then trotted the dogs quickly across the street towards the thin stretch of woods that stood between them and the Potomac. Behind them, the two British tourists were satisfied that they had gotten good video footage for their documentary about homeless people foraging for food in the streets of Washington; the woman puffed contentedly on her cigar as the man in the "not too bloody likely, mate" t-shirt examined the recording.

The four dogs trotted onward, sensing another human being hidden in the trees before them. Monarch butterflies flitted around searching for riparian nectar. Gulls circled overhead, watching for careless river rats to leave the marsh for shorter grasses. Twenty feet away, Glenn Michael Beckmann aimed his shotgun at the two brown pelicans feeding near the shore and was preparing to pull the trigger just as the dogs found him and L'Arche hollered, "HEY!" The shot went fifteen feet wide as Beckmann turned himself and his shotgun on L'Arche in rage, then slowly lowered his shotgun after the four dogs started barking and tugging at their leashes. L'Arche backed away slowly, the two men staring at each other's eyes until a thicket of trees completely separated them; then L'Arche pulled the dogs into a quick trot in the opposite direction.

Out on the river, Marcos Vazquez's reverie on Ardua of the Potomac was shattered by the abrupt boom of the shotgun, and he turned the Coast Guard vessel around.

(Washington Water Woman regrets the brevity of today's posting and hopes to return to fuller storytelling after she slays the real estate demon currently menacing her.)


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