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 12, 2014

The Vision Thing

"Tell me more about the visions," said Lynnette Wong, measuring out some ginseng for the herbal tea blend ordered by former Senator Evermore Breadman.

Angela de la Paz was visiting her in Wong's Chinatown herb shop.  "They're really strange.  I just suddenly get an image in my head of somebody that needs to be found or rescued.  I can see them perfectly, like I have a secret camera aimed right at them.  Then a voice pops into my head telling me exactly where they are."

"And you find them exactly where the voice tells you?"

"Yeah!  Last night I found this boy who had run away from home and then been kidnapped by a pedophile.  He was in a house in Riverdale, just like I pictured.  He was so happy to go home!"

"What did you do with the pedophile?"

"I cured him."

"You can't cure a pedophile!"

"I felt the power flow through me, and I could see it in his eyes--he won't do it again.  You know, a year ago, I would have beaten the crap out of him, and what would that have accomplished in the long run?  I think that's too much hickory bark."

Wong looked down in surprise at the ruined compound, then at the empty hickory bark jar in her hand, then back at Angela.  "I don't know about this vision thing."

"What do you mean?" asked Angela.  "It's amazing!"

"What if the voice tells you to kill the President, or a small child?"

"The voice isn't like that!"

"Well, what if it does?"

"It won't!  Look, this is what I really need your advice on:  should I go to work for Charles Wu?  I can't believe Henrietta fired me, after all I did for her!"

"It's for the best."

"Well, I have no income now.  The voice doesn't pay."

Several miles to the west, Bridezilla was also fretting about income.  Though pleased with the antique, inherited engagement ring Buddy Lee Trickham had given her, she was starting to worry that this might be the only item of real value she would ever receive from him.  Now Bridezilla earned an excellent salary as a junior partner at Prince and Prowling, but the work bored her to tears.  What she really wanted to do was run for political office some day, but first she wanted to stay at home with their future children (boy and girl) until second grade, and build a reputation with the PTA and local school board.  Then she would move on to City Council, State Senate, and so forth.  But her research on English professor salaries and Georgetown University salaries was not giving her any confidence she would ever be able to stay at home with their future children.  What if I have to keep working?  She felt faint, but the ringing phone startled her back into alertness.  She punched the speakerphone.

"Hey, darling!" exclaimed her fiancĂ©.  "Good news!  Professor Kincaid talked to his cousin who's married to the woman who's friends with an editor at "Garden and Gun" magazine!  They love your idea about the special bridal issue with women in wedding gowns and gun holsters, posing in wisteria- and honeysuckle-covered gazebos!"

"That's nice," said Bridezilla, flatly.

"I thought you'd be more excited?!"

"I am," she said, with undetectably less flatness.

"What's wrong?"

"I'm just thinking about your play and how much I'd like to see it turned into a Hollywood movie."  She started scratching under her cursed Rolex, then had a very disturbing thought about selling it.

"Honey, it hasn't even hit a first-tier theater yet!"

"I'm not sure we have time to wait for that."

"What's the hurry?"

"Never mind--I need to get back to work."  Bridezilla hung up and glared at the hideous witness binders she had to fill before tomorrow's deposition--since Laura Moreno and all the other contract attorneys were laid off.  Why do they need so many witnesses, anyway?!  She opened up her manual for using the document database program to page one.  Funny how our staff attorney suddenly got the flu right after we canned all those temps.

Several miles to the north, Chloe Cleavage and her fake flu were trying to enjoy a leisurely Sunday, but that smell had returned.  She marched out on her balcony and called over the wall, "I'm calling the cops!"

"It's just sage," replied Golden Fawn, who was trying to do another healing prayer with her young relative, Joey Bent Oak.

"Yesterday, you said it was lemon verbena!"

"It was!" retorted an exasperated Golden Fawn.  Then Joey started giggling.

"Well, laughter also heals!" said Golden Fawn's husband, Marcos Vazquez.  "Can we watch some football now?"

Back in Chinatown, Angela de la Paz walked to the rear of Bar Louie, where Charles Wu was waiting to buy her lunch.  "We could go someplace nicer," he said by way of a greeting.

"Roddy liked this place," she replied, and Wu nodded, taking another sip of his cheap gin and tonic.

"Lynnette's not sure I should go to work for you," said Angela, getting straight to the point.

"Lynnette's an idealist," the Hong Kong native said about the Taiwan native.  "I'm a realist, and at seven-month's pregnant, you need to be a realist, too."

"I have some money saved up--I could look around."  The two paused to give their food orders to the server.

"You have an unusual skill set," resumed Wu.  "I'm not sure anybody in the Heurich Society is going to give you a good reference, and they will definitely make sure no government agency picks you up.  My responsibilities are growing, and I can use a good spy."

"I'm not sure I can do what Apricot Lily and Camisole Silk do," she replied dryly.

"I'm talking about your skill set," said Wu.

"I don't really blend into a crowd right now."

"I know what you did with Solomon Kane; your powers of persuasion are truly stupefying.  I can pay you $20,000/month, half of it in cash."

"How many hours/week?  It can't interfere with my vision work."

"Your what?"

"When I get a vision of somebody that needs to be rescued, that comes first."  (Wu's jaw dropped--he had thought the toughest negotiation point would be maternity leave.)  "I've started getting visions now, and don't you dare make fun of them!"

Wu swallowed the rest of his drink.  He used to be jealous that Angela's chi exceeded his own enormous bounty, but that jealousy now abruptly came to an end.  "That is something I would never mock, nor impede--as long as your visions don't tell me what to do."

"And no assassinations."

"What if your vision tells you to--"

"My visions aren't like that!  You sound like Lynnette!"

Wu smiled and started to relax, thinking about Henry Samuelson rolling over in his grave.

Back at Prince and Prowling, a loud commotion outside drew Bridezilla to her office window.  She looked down at the Pennsylvania Avenue sidewalk to see one of the fired contract attorneys banging a drum.  As soon as he could see Bridezilla at the window, he held up a sign reading, "Prince and Prowling is evil!"  Then he held up another sign, which read, "Will do phony document reviews for food!"  Then he lit himself on fire.  The flock of starlings which had given him the idea laughed in glee, then flew off to report to Ardua of the Potomac.

COMING UP:  Luciano Talaverdi sets his sights on Helen Yellen.


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