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, January 27, 2013

The truth is marching on.

The HIV-positive White House butler hugged her stomach tighter, but her body warmth could not be contained.  Every muscle in her back was clenched with the effort, but it was futile, and Clio would only be able to play outside with her twin pre-schoolers a few more minutes.  "Reggie, smile when you wave at the audience.  Fergie!  Don't scare the squirrels!"  Regina and Ferguson were reenacting the inaugural parade in front of the still-standing bleachers at Lafayette Square.  The audience?  Their mother, some possessed ducks, a handful of amused tourists, and Dizzy--who was playing "Battle Hymn of the Republic" on his trumpet while the twins sang.

"Glory, glory halle-LU-jah!  Glory, glory, hallelujah!"

Bridge nodded to Clio that it was alright for her to go, and she left the White House gardener in charge of her children as she headed back indoors.  As soon as she was out of earshot, they began singing the children's version--

"Mine eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school!  We have tortured all the teachers, we have broken every rule!  We have turned the girls' locker into a public swimming pool! The truth is marching on!"

"The truth is marching on!" echoed Congressman John Boehner many miles to the north, to sympathetic nods from the other members of Sense of Entitlement Anonymous (D.C. Chapter).

"MOOOOOOO!" echoed Mega Moo, who was directly below them in the basement of Calico Johnson's Potomac Manors mansion.  (A startled Bridezilla jumped out of her chair.)

"I'm sorry," apologized Calico Johnson.  "When Cheney told me he couldn't host today because his hot water heater had burst, I told him I had a cow in my basement, but he didn't believe me."

"Why do you have a cow in your basement?" asked FRB economist Luciano Talaverdi.  "You have a lovely barn outside."

"I know!  I just had that barn built for $20,000, but it's too cold for her, and I have to bring my contractor back out to install a heat pump.  She won't shut up unless she has at least 65 degrees.  My fourteen-thousand-dollar horse, Ninja, is out in the barn, and this geriatric cow is in my basement."

"Geriatric?" said Mayor Vince Gray.  "She doesn't even give milk?"

"I inherited her from my neighbor--she's more of a pet."

"Maybe she should be more of a flank steak," said Judge Sowell Ame.  "Or some prime rib--ha, ha!"

"I could never do that to Basia's cow!" protested Johnson.

"Basia?!" exclaimed Judge Ame.  "You mean the 'Basia Karbusky' wanted by the FBI?"

"She was my neighbor," said Johnson.  "She was a lovely person."

"She burned down her own house and disappeared!" exclaimed Bridezilla.

"I don't wanna talk about it!" said Johnson, who was kicking himself for agreeing to host this meeting.  "If I wanna have a cow in my basement, it's my right as a tax-paying American!"  (He had actually paid no taxes in 2012, but that's another story.)

"Here, here!" said Boehner.  "No guilt by association!  And whatever a man keeps in his basement is his own business!"  (Boehner had a Barack Obama punching bag in his basement--and a row of problematic House Republican faces taped to dartboards.  He also had enough guns to fend off Mayor Gray's police force for 24 hours, but that's another story.)

"Alright, alright," said Judge Ame, "but if you change your mind, I had a man-eating python in my house last year, and I'm not afraid to use a butcher knife."

"SHUT UP!" shouted Johnson.

"Gentlemen, gentlemen!" cooed Bridezilla, standing up.  "We are all entitled to our opinions, but there is no need to pummel someone with the repetition of an idea he finds distasteful.  My mother's family has lived in Tidewater for four-hundred years, so let me pass along a little Virginia saying:  You catch more flies with honey."

"We have been saying that in Italy for fourteen-hundred years!" said Talaverdi.

"They said it in Africa first," said Judge Ame.

"You catch more flies with DDT!" shouted Dick Cheney from the speaker phone.  (Bridezilla sat back down, discreetly kicking the speaker phone cord out of the wall as she did so, thereby blocking the reception of Cheney's follow-up comment:  "Like those bad-asses in the Virginia state legislature on Monday!")

"Can we get back to talking about politics now?" asked Mayor Gray.

"I thought we were," said Boehner.

A few miles to the south, Marcos Vazquez was relaxing in his condo after an exhausting week of Coast Guard duty during the MLK holiday and inauguration week.  He looked up from his video game to watch Golden Fawn weaving a rug with the loom he had given her for Christmas.  The aromas of chili on the stove and cornbread in the oven were slowly enveloping him, and life was good--except now his wife was frowning.  "What's wrong, babe?"

Golden Fawn looked up at her husband.  "I'm just thinking about the trial."

"It's just a hearing," he said.

"The U.S. justice system is set up to be so adversarial.  Don't you feel even a little sorry for that woman?"

"Yes, but there's nothing we can do to help her.  We bought this condo properly, and we need to clear the title.  She needs a shrink, not a lawyer."

"That's exactly what I mean!" said Golden Fawn, standing up to walk over to her husband.  "Libra needs a resolution, and this trial's not gonna give it to her."

He almost repeated "it's not a trial", but thought better of it.  "After our title is cleared, she will have closure about her ex-boyfriend."

"I don't think so," said Golden Fawn.  (Vazquez guessed what was coming next.)  "You know, it's like my grandmother taught me:  There are three truths--my truth, your truth, and THE truth.  Our truth will probably win in court, but is it actually THE truth?"

"THE truth is that her ex-boyfriend may or may not have promised it to her, but he sold it to us.  And even if he did promise it to her, a grown woman needs to learn that sometimes men lie."  (Golden Fawn gave him a dirty look.)  "Not, of course, men who want to keep their lovers forever!" he cooed, pulling his wife down onto his lap.

"I don't want to go to the trial," said Golden Fawn, leaning her head on his shoulder.

"You don't have to go," said Vazquez.

"After the trial, we should try to help her buy a place of her own."


"Give her some financial counseling," said Golden Fawn.

Vazquez had serious doubts that financial counseling would be enough to help his crazy neighbor transition from renter to owner in the D.C. condo market, but he held his tongue again.  Deep inside Golden Fawn's breast, the dormant cancer cells heard the call of the real estate demon to begin dividing again, and the soothing touch of Vazquez was not enough to stop them.

A few miles to the west, Angela de la Paz was luxuriating in the soothing touch of her own lover (Major Roddy Bruce) for just a few minutes before the plane crew's signal that the charter to Argentina was ready.

"Clinica de Moron?" repeated the Aussie commando.  "Why on Earth would Henry Samuelson code-name a hospital 'Clinica de Moron' in his files?"

"Exactly," said Angela.  "That's why Button thinks the name in his file is a real name."

"I know you like working for Button Samuelson, but is this the kind of mission you really want to be doing?  Searching for adoption records in a suspicious Argentine clinic?"

Angela pulled away from him.  "You think all I'm good for is killing?"

"Of course not!  But sometimes you should let sleeping dogs lie."

"If she and her brother were stolen from political prisoners in Argentina, they could still have fathers, grandparents, siblings, cousins--"

"I know, but you could also attract the attention of some powerful enemies," said Bruce. 

"Oh, so you're worried about me!" cooed Angela, pulling close again.

"There are still Argentines who don't want all the secrets of the Dirty War coming to light, Angela.  You haven't seen every kind of monster this world has," said Bruce.

"Not yet!" said Angela.

Nearby, the ghost of Henry Samuelson watched and listened in frustration.  If he started poking her, it wouldn't help--Angela could never hear him directly.  He had forgotten all about that file--or, rather--had forgotten that Clinica de Moron was the name of the place.  He had thought the Moron file was about something he had done in the CIA.  Now his son would learn he was adopted, but there would be no record on Button.  Would she keep searching, or believe that she was his flesh and blood?  And what would happen in Argentina?  How much would Angela uncover?  He hopped on the plane, plagued with the same fears that had plagued him for decades--one of the many reasons he was exiled from purgatory and no closer to a final resting place.  The difference now was he knew how those Dirty War Argentines got dealt with on the other side--and he had to try to talk to whomever was still alive.


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