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 06, 2013

October Heat

Washington Post "Metro" reporter Perry Winkle was having lunch in the Union Station food court with several young teenagers after their Urban Guerrilla field trip to the city morgue.  A few had opted to get only milkshakes, and those who had ordered food were having trouble getting it down.  "Really shakes you up, doesn't it?" asked Winkle.

"The autopsy reports were the worst," said one girl.  "That two-year-old had bruises all over his body!  How can somebody beat a tiny child like that?"

"How can you beat anybody like that?" asked another girl.

"I'll never forget the sight of that corpse--I mean, man--with the burn marks all over his body," said a boy.

"He must never have burned himself before in his entire life, because it hurts so much," said a girl.  "If I were gonna kill myself, I wouldn't do something that hurt so much."

"He saluted the Capitol--he was making a statement!  Like that guy who started the revolution in Tunisia," said a boy.

"You could still shoot yourself, instead--that would be better," said a girl.

Finally, a boy who had been very quiet turned to Winkle.  "The people that worked there seemed kinda...happy?"

"Yeah, I noticed that," said Winkle, who was typing furiously on his laptop.  "I should have asked them why, but my guess is, when you're dealing with dead people every day, it makes you pretty happy just to be alive."

"I don't feel happy," said a girl.

"You would if you went there every day," said a boy, trying to convince himself more than her.

"Maybe 'happy' is not quite the right word," sighed Winkle.

A couple miles to the west, Congressman John Boehner was also pondering happiness.  "It's not fair!" he wailed to his psychiatrist, Ermann Esse.  "The government is supposed to be shut down, but there goes Obama, blowing up terrorists overseas again!  Why does he always get to play the hero?"

"Hm, said Dr. Esse, "you are perceiving President Obama as a hero?"

"I didn't say that!" protested the Speaker of the House.  "I said he's playing a hero--the real heroes are the Navy Seals!  It's not right that Obama gets credit!"

"Why do you think he gets credit?"

"Because he's Commander in Chief!  And we can't take money away from military crises."

"Yes, you can."

"No, we can't!  It would be political suicide!"

"Ah, well that's different," said Dr. Esse.  "The truth is, you can do whatever you like with the budget.  It's just a matter of whether you will win reelection later."

"How can you say that?!  Like it's just paying a speeding ticket or something!"

"Why do you want to win reelection?" asked Dr. Esse.

"Because it's my destiny, and I am a hero to my constituents!"

"Are you actually a hero, or are you playing a hero?"

"Whose side are you on?!" demanded Boehner, jumping up from the couch.

"If you do the right thing, then you are a hero.  If your constituents deserve to have a hero representing their district, they will reelect you.  You must also face the possibility that your constituents do not deserve a hero, or do not know how to recognize one."

"Well, what should I do?" wailed Boehner, starting to cry.  "I'm being blackmailed!"

"Blackmail?  Hm.  Have you contacted the FBI?"

"Of course not!  They might be the ones blackmailing me--I don't know who it is!"

"Well, what are their demands?"

"I don't know!  They haven't demanded anything yet!  It might be the Tea Party.  If these phone records get out, I'm totally screwed!"

"Hm," said Dr. Esse, putting his pen down.  "A blackmailer who has not yet revealed his agenda--and yet, he has inspired great fear on your part."

"I didn't say I was afraid!" protested Boehner.

"Well, the blackmailer is terrorizing you--"

"Yes, like a terrorist!"

"You need to hire somebody to find out who it is," said Dr. Esse, picking up his pen again.  "Why don't you call this person."  He wrote down a number on a piece of paper.  "His name is Solomon Kane, and he has eliminated many blackmail threats for my clients."  The astonished Speaker of the House took the piece of paper, examined it carefully, then stuck it in his breast pocket.  "Next time, perhaps we should talk about what is in your phone records which makes you so uncomfortable?"  Boehner nodded noncommittally before heading back to Capitol Hill.

A few miles to the north, Liv Cigemeier and her husband were unknowingly in the Cleveland Park home of Boehner's blackmailer, Charles Wu.  "Are you snooping around?" asked Liv, after her husband returned to his laptop in the sitting room after a long absence.

"Maybe I wanted decorating ideas," he said, unconvincingly, giving a resentful look to Buffy Cordelia--who was currently sitting on the rug building towers of blocks with her babysitter.

Liv furrowed her brow.  Something about working for Wu really bothered her husband, but she could not figure out what it was.  She thought this would be a relaxing weekend (and easy money!), since Wu was in Asia for the international meetings, but her husband seemed resentful about the whole thing.  "After Delia's nap, we can put on our suits and take her out to the kiddie pool."

Her husband knew that Wu had dealings with his Prince and Prowling law partner, former Senator Evermore Breadman, but he didn't know what those deals were about.  "Sure," he said, smiling at his wife, "the distilled water swimming pool.  You used to look down on the pretentious things rich people bought."

"It's healthier!" replied Liv.  "A gold-plated kiddie pool would be pretentious."

Her husband watched her in silence, wondering if this was the right time in their lives to revisit the pregnancy issue and start looking into adoption.

Back downtown, TFFT television reporter Holly Gonightly and her crew were descending into the tunnels of Dupont Down Under, hot on the heels of the District of Columbia Police she had tipped off at the conclusion of her undercover investigation.  ("Go, go, go!")  The cameraman struggled to keep up as his assistant jogged alongside, adjusting the light and boom.  ("Open up!")  The police officers were shouting at a series of dark and smelly blankets hanging as makeshift tent walls under some subway grates; then one of the officers ripped a blanket off its hooks.  ("Drop it!")

Gonightly leaned in.  "Secret video cameras, pointing straight up the sidewalk grates, under unsuspecting passersby!" crowed the reporter, triumphantly.  "These two men have been filming up women's skirts, posting crotch photos on internet porn sites!"

"These are artistic renderings of Washington's finest women!" protested the older of the two, as his younger partner placed the video camera on the ground.  "We've posted Lara Logan, Mary Cheh, and Nancy Pelosi's daughter!"

"Hey!" said the younger man, pointing at Gonightly.  "She's that reporter that's too fat for television!"  (With that, a female officer hit him on the head with a baton, sending him down to his knees with a whelp of pain.)

"There you have it!" exclaimed Gonightly (who was accustomed to getting remarks like that, and having to edit them out of the film later).  "Two more criminals busted by tenacious investigative reporting!  This is Holly Gonightly."

Up at street level, Ann Bishis momentarily heard shouting as she passed over a sidewalk grate, but continued walking along with her date--John Constantine, from the coroner's office.  The food at Pain Quotidien had been fine, but it was the cheapest date she had been on in years.  With 800,000 federal workers on furlough, lobbyists not in a spending mood, and K Street attorneys boring her to tears, she had really gone out on a limb for this blind date.  He wasn't bad-looking, and did not have a morbid sense of humor as anticipated; the truth was, he was actually a very cheerful and pleasant guy.  "Hey!" he said, with a twinkle in his eye.  "It's getting so hot out!  Why don't we raid a closed Monument:  we could jump into the Reflecting Pool at the Lincoln Memorial!"  Bishis was surprised, since he had just told her that he had done the autopsy on National Mall Burning Man, but she happily agreed.

Out in the river, Ardua of the Potomac turned her delighted attention away from the squabbling Executive and Legislative branches, and sent out another flock of infected ducks to visit the Supreme Court for its new session of sucking more life out of the dying Bill of Rights.

Love in the time of choler.


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