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, October 16, 2011

Survival of the Fittest

Wolfgang Prowling, the 98-year-old retired partner of Prince and Prowling, entered the office building in his $25,000 motorized wheelchair after flying up from Florida in a Koch Industries private jet. He was accompanied by Chloe Cleavage, who was trying to control the stomach heaves and surging vomit caused by the sight of centimeters of hair sticking out of the man's nostrils. She swiped her fob at the elevator control panel and pressed the button for the penthouse floor. She was fairly certain that a man who smelled like baby wipes was not going to be able to take charge of Operation Koch, but after The Washington Post published a full-page article calling for the Justice Department to investigate Koch Industries under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Koch brothers had howled for Prince and Prowling to restore the status quo ante. (However, half of Prince and Prowling's clients were under FCPA investigation at any given time, so Cleavage suspected this was more about Iran.) She led Prowling towards the office of former Senator Evermore Breadman, where they found him out in the hallway rearranging the photos on his Wall of Me to replace the president of Bank of America with the president of Suntrust. (It seemed he was out here changing his photos nearly every day now.) "BREADMAN!" hollered the retired partner, with a lot more force than Cleavage had thought possible. (And she had never heard anybody call Breadman anything but "Senator" before.) She whispered to Breadman she would be in the war room, and the two men disappeared into Breadman's office. The last thing she heard was: "You told them NOBODY would ever know about Iran! The goddam article said the Koch brothers were doing business with the AXIS OF EVIL!"

Cleavage ran down the hallway as fast as she could, but she had to stop well short of the ladies room and vomit into a wastepaper basket. (How could anybody let hair grow out of his nose like that?! Doesn't he have private nurses to take care of things like that?!) She fled to the ladies room to wipe her face and hit the mouthwash, finally making it back to the war room a quarter hour later, where Bridezilla (dressed in bicycle pants and a Gatorade sweatshirt) was mapping out the lobbying strategy for Operation Koch. (Bridezilla's personal trainer, Armando, was at the end of the table, measuring out creatine and ribose powder for his client's mid-day smoothie. He nodded politely, trying to hide his disdain of Cleavage and her new push-up bra; he had added two inches to Bridezilla's bust through pectoral muscle development!) On the other side of the table, Laura Moreno sat uncomfortably in between Bridezilla and Prince and Prowling's most sullen young partner, Cigemeier. (It was rare for Moreno to be tapped for political or public relations projects, but Cigemeier had found out she could read three foreign languages, so they were going to need her.) Cleavage sat down next to Armando, admiring his clear, flared nostrils...among other things.

Not far away, the Camelot Society was seated at the Federal Reserve round table for a war council of their own. Out in the streets, liberals were calling for Timothy Geithner's head, while conservatives were calling for Ben Bernanke's. The news reporting was actually revealing--much to FRB's surprise--that the Occupy Wall Street mob was actually a well-educated bunch of people with well-articulated grievances. Smoke and mirrors weren't working anymore, nor were bread and circuses. Gross wealth disparity in the country was one statistical fact that even climate science deniers could not find a way to dispute. People were asking why money couldn't be delivered directly to the people who needed it, rather than the banks, and it was getting harder for politicians to give them a satisfactory answer. Luciano Talaverdi knew two of his own relatives had been arrested in violent protests in Rome, and a deep sense of dread had settled all over him. "Everything this data predicted has come true," said Obi Wan woman, opening the meeting with a reference to the Project Eliminati data they had been fed by Charles Wu a year ago. "Congress is paralyzed and will remain so for at least another year. Our country needs us. We can't let it down."

A few miles to the north, the Heurich Society was also sensing that business as usual was vaporizing. World population was approaching seven billion, and very few of them were content. Henry Samuelson chewed his chocolate glazed doughnut in silence, waiting for the others to finish reading his report on the secret underground reservoir built beneath his house in Kansas, which had already diverted and captured ten percent of the dwindling Ogallah aquifer waters--which they all knew would be worth more than petroleum before the century was out, perhaps before the decade was out. "But how can we sell it?" asked the Chair.

"Sell it?!" exclaimed Samuelson. "We're going to need it for ourselves, for our offspring!"

"He's right," said Condoleezza Rice in a crackling voice over the speaker phone. (It was extremely rare for Rice and Samuelson to agree on anything, and this generated a sense of deep anxiety in the room.) "If the ship of state can no longer be steered, we need to build our own lifeboat. And it's not about sustainability," she said, taking a backhand swipe at the initiatives launched by Mayor Gray and other mayors around the country. "It's about survival of the fittest."

Several miles to the south, Glenn Michael Beckmann was also putting together some survival supplies. His Enemies had infiltrated the management of Southwest Plaza, which had spray-painted his bathtub in a covert operation poorly disguised as "bathtub reglazing". He had an orange warning page of things he was NOT supposed to do in his bathtub--for the NEXT 90 DAYS!--as well as instructions for how he was supposed to clean it. Chemical fumes were making his eyes burn, despite having the air conditioning running and the windows wide open. And he knew EXACTLY whom to blame! When his backpack was ready, he sat down for a few more minutes to explain on his blog what had happened: he had clicked on one of the "encountered an error, had to shut down the program, do you wish to send an error report?" messages, and it had obviously gone straight to the National Security Agency! Now they knew where he lived and were trying to poison him to death and make it look like an accident! He published his latest blog entry, shut down the computer, and fled the gas chamber into the brilliant sunshine outside. Maybe I should camp out with the Occupy DC people? However, the first stop on his agenda was to check out the agitators gathered for the Martin Luther King memorial dedication.

Over at the MLK memorial dedication, Sebastian L'Arche watched from a distance as President Obama spoke about civil rights. He pictured the words like cartoon captions written in white clouds that floated over the crowd, then disappeared on the horizon. He had seen those clouds before, heard those words before--but only a few would actually fall down and take root. The dogs on his leashes growled softly at the unseen demon crouching low in the river, Ardua of the Potomac, and he squatted down to pet them and whisper that everything was going to be OK.


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