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, June 12, 2011

Four Weddings and a Funeral

"OK, look--look at this one!"

The man nudged his new husband away from his French toast to look at another photo from the Capitol Pride parade.

"We were there! Why did she email us 48 photos of the parade?"

"It's her wedding present to us!" The two had gotten married at Augustana Lutheran Church a few hours before the parade, and then marched with the Augustana contingent in it. "Look at this one!"

His husband's French toast was getting cold. "Please tell me that's not really her wedding present! People think because it's a gay wedding they don't have to give us real presents?" He looked up from his patio table at the festive litter all over 17th Street and shook his head.

"It's not about presents! It's about equality!"

"Can I finish my French toast now?"

A Trio's waiter stopped by to offer them more coffee and found two sulking men still wearing their rainbow beads, one trying to talk the other into canceling the honeymoon trip to Cancun and taking a whirlwind tour of Morocco and Tunisia.

A few miles to the east, a slightly happier couple was celebrating their wedding by digging into a wild boar liver casserole and wagging their tails. "This is the cutest thing ever!" sighed Becky Hartley. It was her idea to set up the pet wedding website and ordain herself a minister, but Sebastian L'Arche was still unsure about all this. "Eight-hundred dollars!" she whispered again to L'Arche, "and all we had to pay for was some gourmet pet food, flowers, and an inflatable pagoda!" The dogs' owners had, indeed, forked over $800 for the wedding ceremony, in addition to the $500 it had cost them to get a lacy wedding dress made for Mitzi and a silk suit and top hat made for Fritzi. ("It's a business investment!” the gung-ho owner had said to her dubious husband. “Their bulldog puppies are gonna make us a fortune after their wedding video goes viral on You Tube!")

"I'm just not sure this is actually GOOD for the animals," L'Arche finally got up the nerve to say.

"Look," said Hartley, "it doesn't hurt 'em neither. We need to move into higher-paying gigs to free up more of your time for the important work. You're overloaded with dogwalking and taking care of pets that don't have any problems. You've got a gift, and we need to free up your time to work on that gift."

The wedding photographer (who had volunteered his services to make a name for himself as a pet wedding photographer) lay flat on his stomach to get a few good shots of Fritzi's moneymaker--which was gonna make the photographer a hefty bundle of cash on the side when he Tweeted them as “Anthony Dog Weiner”.

"Spending a lot of time with animals is what keeps me tuned in," L'Arche said to Hartley.

"Look," Hartley said, "my dad makes $200,000/year prescribing doggie Prozac in Dallas. There's a world of hurt out there. (She had not yet brought herself to use the word "demon" since recently becoming aware.) “I think you can spend 40 hours/week, hell, 60 hours/week with animals, but let's get you focused on the animals that need it the most. I'll keep this on the side so it doesn't embarrass you, but I want you to spend more time doing what matters--even if the people can't pay you. We need to take this to the next level."

L'Arche petted Congressman Flipbird’s ostrich (“Spike”) and decided to give this some thought.

Back in Northwest, Charles Wu was attending a wedding at the Universalist National Memorial Church with his herb shop “business partner” Lynnette Wong, who had felt the American pressure not to show up at a wedding without a “date”. They were reading the program in silence while Bach music wafted over them softly from a nearby harpist. The bride was the daughter of a Swedenborgian father and Jewish mother; the groom was the son of a Moony couple who had converted to Rastafarianism when he was seven and then to Mormonism when he was eleven. “The divine is infinite possibility!” was the caption of the wedding program. (The bridge and groom had met at a screening of the documentary “Quantum Activist”.) “Only the new can open us up to the possible,” said the program. “Simply be. When you are ready to do, the door opens and it is time to do. After the door closes, it is again time to be. Do-be-do-be-do!” Wong glanced at Wu to see what he made of this program, but his expression had reverted to the inscrutability only temporarily displaced by real emotion during the tragic sojourn of his family members in Washington. She read further: “The particle joins the wave and cannot exist apart from the wave. Neither can the wave exist without the sum of the particles. So is the life in the particle or the wave? The answer is…life is everywhere.”

“It’s good to believe in something,” Wong said, partially believing her own statement and partially wanting to bait Wu.

“Hmmm,” Wu said politely, nodding his head, remembering his first Kung Fu teacher in Hong Kong and how his mother had torn to pieces every philosophical statement Wu had brought from his teacher to her.

A gong suddenly boomed at the rear of the church, and everyone turned to see the couple—dressed in matching yellow robes—enter the sanctuary. They paused briefly, beaming at the assembly. A young boy and girl dressed in matching lavender robes stepped in front of them and started dancing down the aisles, shaking tambourines along the way, and the happy couple followed in their footsteps.

Outside the Universalist National Memorial Church, Bridezilla sat in her car alone. She was reading the program from her wedding yesterday--the wedding that didn’t happen, the Christian-Hindu celebration of love and commitment that didn’t happen. Her back seat was so full of orchids and lilies that the scent was sickeningly intoxicating. She was fairly certain that her super-rich fiancé (that is, ex-fiancé) did not begrudge the $300,000 he had spent for the ceremony, and she had heard that he decided to take his little brother to the Seychelles island he had rented after Bridezilla learned that’s where Will and Kate honeymooned, and he really liked the dream house he had purchased and would just live in it without her—but she worried that maybe she had caused dear Jay…humiliation. He was better off without her, surely, but-- She saw a red dot of an insect crawling across the corner of the program, screamed, rolled down her car window, and tossed the program into the street. Then she took all the remaining programs sitting on the passenger seat and tossed them out into the street. Then she grabbed the DustBuster and vacuumed the passenger seat and her own clothing. Then she grabbed the Lysol and sprayed it all over the passenger seat and her own clothing. Then she closed her eyes while the fumes subsided. The house was too big, he could never have kept it clean enough for her, she would have gotten sick with some horrible sick-house illness and ended up an invalid, he would have exhausted his millions and millions of dollars on a string of doctors that could not save her from her frail constitution and its inability to fight off the eight billion microbes living inside it. Plus he wasn’t that keen on her genitalia hygiene requirements, and he probably would have started protesting them eventually. She coughed, then the phone rang again—it was her mother, who was still worried about a conversation she had overheard that Jay’s relatives from India were going to plot their daughter’s death. Ignore call, she pressed. She looked at the engagement ring—which she had switched to her other hand after Jay insisted she keep it. Then for the first time in a long time, she noticed she was hungry, so she decided to drive to I-Hop and get blueberry pancakes. At least I didn’t leave him standing at the altar, she consoled herself, having phoned him an hour before the ceremony. And I phoned him! It wasn’t a text message. I did the right thing.

Over in Dupont Circle, the middle floor of the Heurich Castle was holding a private funeral for a former CIA operative known affectionately as Ruby for the thirty years’ of clandestine photos she had taken in the Middle East with her lipstick cameras. (She would wear a scarf when she had to, but she wouldn’t be caught dead without lipstick on—though some always thought she would be caught dead with the lipstick camera.) Henry Samuelson had already paid his respects and was surveying the controlled crowd which, to his supreme annoyance, included loony Cedric from the Arlington group home for the mentally challenged. Cedric was under the supervision of Millie the dog because social worker Hue Nguyen had refused to put on a blindfold and was therefore consigned to wait in the car. “Is Obama coming?” Cedric kept asking everybody, refusing to believe that Obama would remain at Camp David rather than attend the private service. “Didn’t you invite Obama?” Cedric asked the grieving widower, and two men made a menacing move towards Cedric, prompting Millie to nudge Cedric back to the hot food buffet. (Samuelson wasn’t sure if Cedric wanted to meet President Obama or kill him—the lack of certainty on such a fundamental point was only one of the many reasons he should not have been allowed to attend. Then there was the rumor of Cedric’s secret affair with Ruby in Abu Dhabi—which was an untrue rumor and only troubling because Cedric was the one who had started it.) “Hey, how ya doin?” Cedric asked George Tenet, who mumbled something with a mouth full of crab dip, then sidled off. Cedric turned to NSA Director, General Keith Alexander. “Too bad about Thomas Drake,” Cedric said. (The NSA Director nodded.) “He was the one that installed my line to the Secret Government, and it’s been ripped up. How do I get that fixed?” General Alexander choked on his baba ganoush, and the same two men again made a menacing move towards Cedric, but Millie nudged Cedric safely over to the beverage table. “Hi, Condi!” Cedric said with delight when he spotted Condoleezza Rice helping herself to more shiraz, and she smiled mischievously at him. “Hey, you’ve got a drop of—“ Rice took a napkin to dab the wine on her lips, but she missed one red drop rolling down her chin. (“Blood sucker,” thought Cedric, suddenly remembering a nickname he had once heard for her, and uncharacteristically having the good sense not to say it out loud.) “Hey, can you help me get plugged back into the Secret Government?” Rice nodded seductively, and winked at Henry Samuelson watching from across the room. “Cool! Ruby’s been sending me messages from the Great Beyond, and if any of them are important, I’ll be sure to let you know!” Samuelson’s eyes narrowed and he frowned menacingly at Rice, but she was feeling no pain. “Ruby was one of the good guys,” Cedric whispered to Millie. “I miss her.”

Outside, a flock of sparrows searched in vain for a view of the private service, but all the windows were heavily curtained off. Only Charles Wu’s bugs hidden in the sterno cans were recording the spy conversations and transmitting them outside the Brewmaster’s Castle. One raven kept vigil in a nearby gingko tree, and would remain there until nightfall.


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