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 ....

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Listen to Your Elders

Bridezilla was trying to listen intently to The Warrior, but it was so darned hot at the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival today.  ("I brought you to 'One World, Many Voices' to broaden your exposure to other pathways you have never seen.")  Spending time with her new guru seemed more productive than visiting the psychiatrist, but the shrink's cool, leather sofa in the air-conditioned office space was calling to her like a siren.  ("Listen:  my mother used to sing this song to me.  It's about the trickster raven.")  Bridezilla had already heard a dozen stories about the trickster raven, and she still had no idea what he was all about. ("Did you know that some cultures, like the Aborigines of Australia, believe time can fold in and out of itself?"

"And the Swedenborgians!" Bridezilla cried out triumphantly.  "I know this one!  Jake Gyllenhaal is a Swedenborgian!  I mean his father...or grandfather--but he has Swedenborgian blood!  And royal blood, I think."

"It is not about the blood," said The Warrior patiently.  (The Warrior was over 400 years old, and he had no idea why, but he did know that none of his children or grandchildren had lived so long.)  "It is about freeing the mind."  (He had met some Swedenborgians in the Ohio territory once, but their minds had already closed firmly around their leader's thoughts.)  "Truth and insight can guide one along whatever path you are on, as long as you allow your mind to be open to the Great Spirit's messengers."

"I'm just so thirsty!" blurted out Bridezilla, ashamed of her weakness.

"Excellent!" cried The Warrior.  "Air is the first nourishment from the Great Spirit, and water is the second.  These are truths that must be learned in every culture."

Bridezilla smiled broadly, pleased with her great progress.  A tall Gyllenhaal-like figure watching her from a short distance thought (erroneously) she was smiling at him, and since he had heard the entire conversation, and since his college sweetheart had told him many times that he looked like Jake Gyllenhaal, he strode confidently up to the willowy blond and handed her his Coke bottle.

"Water," repeated The Warrior, shaking his head at the interloper and his Coke bottle, but it was too late.

Several miles away, the Heurich Society was holding a meeting in the upper floor conference room of the Brewmaster's Castle.

"Egypt is out of control!" bellowed the former chairman.  "Obama is bungling the whole thing!"

"What would you do if you were President?" asked Henrietta (Button) Samuelson.

"You're resigning as Chair of the Heurich Society?" he asked eagerly.

"Of course not!" Samuelson exclaimed, pissed off.  "I was asking what you would do about Egypt if you were in the Oval Office!  You can't just criticize Obama without saying why!"

"Yes I can," he said, petulantly.

"Obama's Egypt policy is feckless," interposed Condoleezza Rice from the crackling speakerphone.  ("Oh, here she goes again with the feckless thing," whispered the former chairman, rolling his eyes.)  "This is not what America is funding the Egyptian military to do.  This is an er-ror."  (She pronounced the last word very slowly, as two punctuated syllables.)

The members looked wide-eyed at Samuelson for her rebuttal.  (Rice was clearly taking a jab at Samuelson's initiative, the War on Error.)

"You can't just say something is a feck-less er-ror," retorted Samuelson, with an exaggerated pronunciation to mock Rice.  (Samuelson almost tossed in "you bloodsucker", as her father used to call Rice, but held her tongue.)  "If nobody has a proposal for improving our position in Egypt, I'll handle it myself without your input.  (She was bluffing, as she didn't have the faintest idea what they should be doing in Egypt.)

"I do," said Rice--who was not there to see that the rest of the room had fallen for Samuelson's bluff.  "Let's start with our man on the National Security Council."

Back at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, another hot and thirsty Prince and Prowling employee (Chloe Cleavage) was trying hard to get culture to please her companion (cousin Chloris Cleavage).  "Are you ready to eat yet?" asked Chloe, fanning herself futilely with a brochure.

"No, I'm good!" replied Chloris, who was wearing a $3,000 water-wicking tank top she had purloined from a party at Jake Gyllenhaal's house.  "This is so educational for me:  Native American is the new black in Hollywood!" she added.  ("Huh?" asked Chloe, who didn't know if her actress cousin was referring to the "Will to Adorn" area they had just left, or the "One World, Many Voices" area they had just arrived at.)  "You know:  Tonto, Johnny Depp, super hot."

"You realize that 'Lone Ranger' tanked at the box office this weekend?" replied Chloe.

"What?!" cried Chloris.  "But I have three auditions next week for post-modern Westerns!  Oh, my God!  What if they're canceled?  No, they won't be canceled--my agent would have called me.  And those movies are already greenlighted.  Oh, God, I'll just die if I don't get to try out for Saloon Wench Number Four in the Jake Gyllenhaal movie!"

"Saloon wench?  Why do you need to learn this stuff [Chloe gestured vaguely around them] to be a saloon wench?"

"I don't know!" wailed Chloris.  "My agent told me Native American is the new black!  Could you loan me money?"

"Of course!" said Chloe, who thought Chloris was just talking about rent money.

"Oh, thank you, thank you!" cried Chloris, hugging her cousin.  "I think $50,000 will be enough."  (Chloe dropped her Coke bottle on the ground.)  "I met this amazing seamstress on a set, and she does designer baby clothes on the side, and we came up with this amazing idea:  'Baby Jesus Boutique'!  Or we might call it 'WWJW'?--you know, for 'What Would Jesus Wear?'--because people are always saying, 'What would Jesus do?', but nobody is saying, 'What would Jesus wear?', which is much more RELEVANT to our target customers:  new moms of Hollywood and Beverly Hills and Bel Air and Santa Monica!  I mean, they're not ALL Christians, but Scientology is so out of fashion that the most fashionable mothers want to dress their babies like Baby Jesus." ("In swaddling clothes?")  "No, silly!  You are so funny!  We've got it all worked out.  Here:  these are some of our prototypes."  (She pulled up some photos on her iPhone to show Chloris.)  "Can't you just picture North West in this hemp onesie with the apples and the snake?  Isn't that the coolest?!  Or Jennifer Garner's little girls would look so adorable in these dresses with the water glasses and wine glasses embroidered on them.  Get it?"  ("$50,000?  Really?")  "Well, if you don't think that's enough, we can do a bigger launch.  I mean you're the lawyer with the business experience and all that.  It's your investment!  You've always said you didn't want to be at Prince and Prowling forever--maybe this is our big chance!"

Back at the Heurich Society meeting, Button Samuelson stepped back into the conference room with a worried look on her face.  "I just got off the phone with Angela de la Paz," she said.  "She's at the Moscow airport, taking the jet to Egypt."

"We haven't authorized that!" protested the former chairman.

"It's reckless and feckless!" added Condoleezza Rice, from the speakerphone.

"Her boyfriend was sent to Egypt to help evacuate Australians, and he got killed."  Samuelson sat down and looked around the room.  "She's not sure yet who did it."

"She'll kill all the Egyptians within a mile radius of the Australian Embassy!" said the former Chairman.

"That's why we need to find out who the actual killer is before she lands," said Samuelson. 

"She swore she'd never go back to the Middle East!" hissed Rice over the speakerphone.

"She was in love, you bloodsucker," Samuelson whispered, and then there was silence in the room as they all recalled what happened the last time "she whose gaze must be avoided" went on a kill mission in Egypt.

Over at the State Department, the Assistant Deputy Administrator for Hope stepped outside for fresh air but found only a sauna.  He closed his eyes against the glare of the sun and let the perspiration seep from his brow for a few minutes.  (Ava Brown had told him sweat removes toxins; he missed her.)  A flock of starlings emerged from the bushes and took off to report to Ardua of the Potomac, who would then send them on to the Pentagon--because a demon's work was never done in this town.

NEXT WEEK:  Angela de la Paz learns the truth about why Roddy Bruce died in Egypt.


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