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, December 22, 2013

Decked in the Halls

"Come on, everybody, it's time to deck the halls!" chirped Giuliana Sunstream, handing out garlands made from plastic soda bottles which had been cut into long spirals by a device she had purchased for $9.99 on QVC.

"We paid $200 to get into this party, and she's making us do the decorating?" protested John Constantine, a D.C. coroner dragged to the "Lifestyle-in-Style!" holiday party by his girlfriend, Ann Bishis.

"It's totally worth it!" said Bishis, the Chief of Staff for Congressman John Herrmark.  "Look!  I think that's the niece of Antonin Scalia!"

"Who cares?!"

"Let's ask her for tape."

Far from Susntream's trendy NoMa neighborhood loft, Glenn Michael Beckmann was roiled by the competition from new lifestyle blogger Giuliana Sunstream, often forgetting that his own lifestyle blog had started out as a complete disguise so that his political posts would not be monitored by the National Security Agency.  (The N.S.A., in fact, was onto him--but they had not yet cracked his code.  This was due to no shortcoming of their own but, rather, the fact that Beckmann sometimes forgot it was all a code and wrote actual sentences about lifestyle.  Thus, yesterday, when attempting to write a rant about the anniversary of the Federal Reserve Board and how it was responsible for stealing credit card numbers from Target shoppers, he found himself lost in his own code, and quickly going off about the dangers of bringing actual pine cones into the home--recommending, instead, that people deck their halls with empty cereal boxes--which are "as colorful and festive as store-bought ornaments, and unlikely to carry hoof and mouth disease, like pine cones".)

Beckmann was particularly outraged that Sunstream was new to D.C., but had the audacity to charge people $100/head to attend her holiday party and learn her partying ways.  Therefore, today he was blogging about how true Washingtonians throw holiday parties--and for his confused readers that knew the encryption code, his blog appeared to be criticizing Congressman John Boehner for scheming with Raul Castro to sell nuclear-armed Predator Drones to Somali pirates.  (For the N.S.A. team deciphering today's blog post, it appeared to have something to do with Hugh Jackman's using his holiday concert hosting gig at the National Building Museum as a cover for smuggling...well, for smuggling kangaroo tails from Australia to use for bribing Supreme Court justices...which is why they were continuing to tweak their faulty code-breaker.)  "Damned tooth fairies are ruining Christmas!" Beckmann concluded.  (This was, in fact, an indictment against his insurance company, which had told him he had maxed out on pharmaceutical benefits for 2013, and would not reimburse again until 2014.)  "Only sugar plum fairies allowed!"  (His confused readers thought this last bit was about how Santa Claus is white; the N.S.A. believed it was about firearms.  Mostly it was about his lack of anti-psychotic medication for the past six days.)

Back at the trendy loft in NoMa, Chloe Cleavage was preparing to bob for apples--except that the apples had been replaced by vanilla-caramel-coated pomegranates, and the bobbing would be done in a crystal bowl filled with champagne--because "alcohol kills germs, and tastes better!"  Several men were jockeying for position as Chloe's assets were bent over and spilled into view.  The men sighed in disappointment as she emerged all too quickly with a gooey pomegranate stuck in her teeth...and makeup dripping off her chin.  "Next!" chirped Sunstream, who had not foreseen that a woman could be stupid enough to dunk drugstore-bought makeup into a bowl of champagne.

Several miles to the west, the Heurich Society was enjoying makeup-free champagne punch (and other goodies) at its annual holiday party at the Brewmaster's Castle.  "2013 was a disappointing year in many respects," conceded Chair Henrietta Samuelson, "but I am confident we will rebound in 2014."

"What makes you say that?" said a former N.S.A. analyst.  "The War on Error was a complete failure.  Do you have a new plan?"

"It was a bit feckless," crackled Condoleezza Rice over the speakerphone, "but I would not call it a complete failure.  We did secure several landfills for rare-metal recovery."

"What?" asked a surprised Samuelson.  (Everyone was silent.)  "Was there some project I didn't know about?"

"It was a subcommittee project," said a former CIA operative, finally.

"We don't have subcommittees!" protested Samuelson.

"My mistake," crackled Rice over the speakerphone.  "The important thing is that we purchased these locations at garbage dump prices, and our rare-metal recovery rate is already 300% of what was forecast."

"I didn't see any new revenue in the bank accounts!" exclaimed Samuelson.

"Those metals are too precious to sell," scoffed a member of the National Chamber of Commerce.  "We're stockpiling them!  Someday we might be the only people on Earth able to build cellphones, MRI machines, and smart bullets."

"Huh," said Samuelson.  "And what's the objective of that?"

"World domination," said Angela de la Paz, entering the upper floor meeting room.  "It's always world domination."  The visibly pregnant Angela walked past the champagne punch and began piling mini-quiches and Christmas cookies on her plate.  "It's a waste of time," she added, sitting down next to Samuelson.  "I think our mission in 2014 should be 'world damnation.'"  ("What?!")  "'World damnation.'  There's a lot of evil in the world, and we could fight it."

"That's a very noble sentiment at this time of year," crackled Rice over the speakerphone, "and your thoughts are understandably turning to gentler pursuits these days--"

"No, it's not gentle at all," said Angela.  "When demons are in the flesh, killing them is a very gory business.  And when human beings are under the influence of demons, it's a fairly fierce fight for their souls.  Like that guy," she said, pointing at a very pale investment banker several feet away.  "I can try to pull the demon out of him, but if Roger doesn't cooperate, it will be tough."  With that, she put another walnut-cocoa ball in her mouth, stood up, and stretched both hands out towards Roger--who suddenly sailed out of his seat and began twitching violently in mid-air.

"Put him down!"

"What's happening?" crackled Rice.

"Come on, Roger, work with me on this," cooed Angela after she had swallowed the cookie.  "I can't do it alone!"  With that, Roger clutched his neck as if he were choking, then abruptly went limp and sank back into his chair.  Angela smiled, sat down, and put another cookie in her mouth.

Back at the NoMa holiday party, Giuliana Sunstream was explaining the trendiest holiday cookies.  "These are sunflower seed, agave, and sorghum.  This tray is chia seed, coconut milk, and millet.  And these are my favorite:  wild rice, organic bananas, and cruelty-free cocoa.  And they're all gluten-free!"

Luciano Talaverdi frowned in horror, his stomach growing queasier by the minute.  This was, without doubt, the worst holiday party he had ever attended in his life!  And worse, he was starting to be suspicious as to whether this Sunstream woman (if that was even her real name!) was actually going to give 25% of the proceeds to charity.  He longed for his Italian mother's almond biscotti and apricot shortbread...but dreaded her looming Christmas Eve interrogation about his latest failed romance.  The Federal Reserve Board was celebrating a hundred years, and the Italian economist had been forced to hire a paid escort for that party.  He knew his chance of advancement was doomed if he could not find a better half to raise his social status in Washington.  He wandered listlessly around the loft, searching for the one.  Then he stepped out on the balcony for a breath of fresh air (without the peppermint aromatherapy candles), only to find a beautiful young woman in a red silk dress hyperventilating into her purse and muttering how ugly holiday sweaters gave her panic attacks.  He pulled the purse away from her face, kissed her on the lips, told her to look at the birds in a nearby tree, and returned to the party.

At that moment, an ardent follower of Glenn Michael Beckmann's political blog (disguised as a lifestyle blog), understandably riled up about recent mis-coded rants on Giuliana Sunstream and tooth fairies, crashed the Sunstream party and began spraying shaving cream all over the walls and the guests, crying, "This is un-American!  Go back to Target, which has all your holiday needs!"

Out on the balcony, a flock of starlings surrounded the vulnerable young woman until she collapsed, overcome with fear and hatred.  Far out in the river, Ardua of the Potomac vowed to double her army of demonic foot soldiers, and make 2014 the darkest year in Washington history.

Washington Water Woman is taking a short trip out of town, but hopes to return to blogging around the New Year.  Happy Holidays!


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