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 ....

Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday the 13th nightmares Valentine-style.

It was one day before Luciano Talaverdi's Valentine's Day wedding with Helen Yellen, and he was in his shrink's office, recounting last night's nightmare.

"My mother rips my heart out.  I am very alarmed, but she says it has to grow back periodically.  I suddenly remember that she had already ripped out my stomach, saying the same thing."

"Hm," said psychiatrist Ermann Esse.

"Well?" asked the Federal Reserve Board economist.

Dr. Esse continued to write notes while he thought about this.  His patient was a classic mama's boy, but well within the acceptable bounds of Italian culture.  In fact, his patient had left Italy to live and work in the United States for several years.  Nonetheless, his pending nuptials were clearly stirring the pot.  "Your mother is here for the wedding?"

"Yes, she's been here for a week."

"How is she getting along with your fiancée?"

"She thinks Helen is a terrible cook, has hips so narrow she will die in childbirth, and talks to the pet pig too much."

"That's not so bad--I've heard worse," said Dr. Esse.

"I think when we have a child, she will want to come live with us."

"Many grandparents do."

"But that would be impossible!" exclaimed Talaverdi.

"Of course, but you could get her a nearby apartment.  Sometimes it is a challenge to find the right balance, but having a grandparent around is usually a good thing for most families."

"She will see."

"See what?" asked the shrink.

Talaverdi hesitated.  "I don't love Helen very much.  I love her enough, but not very much."

Dr. Esse frowned.  "Do you want to get married tomorrow?"

"Very much!" said Talaverdi truthfully.  "I just wonder, what if I meet somebody later that I like better?"

"You'll come talk to me about it," said Dr. Esse, determined to see one of his patients actually make it to the altar.

Several minutes later, Dr. Esse's next patient was on the couch:  U.S. Attorney Atticus Hawk.

"Well, I'm kind of glad she's back in my life, but it's really weird," said the Justice Department lawyer, who had no idea that Barbie Bucephalus (real name Barbara Hellmeister) was drugging him to feel good about her.  "She's still pretty evasive about how her farm burned down and why she was on the run for awhile.  She's working at the CIA, so she did pass their security clearance."

"Humph," said the shrink.  (Most of the CIA agents he knew were routine law-breakers.)


"Go on, please."  (He was fully booked, what with it being Friday the 13th AND the day before Valentine's Day.)

"So last night, I had this crazy dream about her.  We're in Miami, and I'm dressed as 'Pepe', a Mexican organ grinder, but really I'm from the Dominican Republic.  Barbie tells me she hid cocaine in my accordion, and we start arguing about it.  Next thing I know, she's hammering long nails into my legs--she says it's acupuncture and won't hurt at all."

"Does it hurt?" asks Dr. Esse.

"No, but it's scary--I can see blood dribbling out of my legs.  I ask her to open the hotel window for some air, and this decapitated but living human head floats through the window to attack me.  Barbie tosses me a plastic fork to defend myself but the fork goes right in my eye.  Then I wake up."

"Wow," said Dr. Esse.

"Wow?" repeated Hawk.

"Several of my patients have been reporting zombie nightmares lately."

"I didn't say there was a zombie," said Hawk.

"Didn't you?"


"Well, there are some similarities.  When she left you before, she ended up on the FBI Most Wanted List, and your life was turned upside down for a long time.  Why do you think things are different now?"

"I don't," said the Justice Department attorney.  "I just feel like I need her, but I don't know why.  Tomorrow's Valentine's Day.  What am I supposed to say to her?"

"I think it is best in this situation to say nothing.  She is clearly in control of the relationship--you can only react."

"What kind of advice is that?!" exclaimed Hawk, angrily.

"The best I can give you," said the shrink, who was hoping the toxic girlfriend would dump him tomorrow after a lackluster Valentine's Day performance from Hawk.

Dr. Esse's next patient was Bridezilla.

"I dreamed I was walking up the aisle to marry Wince, when suddenly everybody and everything in the church turned into a circus!  There were elephants trumpeting and trapeze artists flying through the air and everything.  I got to Wince, and he looked very handsome.  He reached out his arm for me, and then he suddenly turned into clay.  Then the clay hardened, and he was a statue."

"Hm," said the shrink.


"What do you think the dream means?" asked Dr. Esse.

"Every time I plan a wedding, it turns into a circus," said Bridezilla.

"Yes," said Dr Esse, pointing his pen at her, "but is this because of you or the groom?"

"Neither!" she cried.  "A crazy shooter showed up at my last wedding!"

"But the other weddings were not called off because of a crazy shooter."

"Okay!" exclaimed Bridezilla.  "I have issues--that's why I'm here!"

"Do you want to marry this man?  You called off the wedding the first time because he picked Croatia for a honeymoon spot."

"He said it was ten times more affordable than the Riviera!"

"And if you had married him then, you would now have that extra money in the bank, or in a house, or paying for your children's food and clothing."

"But Croatia!"

"Where will your honeymoon be this time?"

"He hasn't told me yet."

"Ah," said Dr. Esse.  "This is your parachute again, then."

"What does that mean?" she wailed.

"I think you know," he said.

After that, he was surprised to see Helen Yellen show up at his office.

"I know my fiancé is seeing you," she said to the psychiatrist.  "I'm not going to ask you what you talk about, but I'm having a little anxiety about this wedding tomorrow."

"When did the anxiety start?"

"After his mother arrived from Italy."

"Ah," said Dr. Esse.  "Go on."

"She doesn't like me."

"Many brides think their mothers-in-law are too harsh in the beginning, but over time this generally resolves itself."

"Last night I had this incredibly vivid dream.  I'm in China circa 1945 to attend the wedding of Superman to an American socialite who's been living in China teaching children.  We are at a pre-wedding party, and about 200 people are swimming in a huge pool.  One of the party guests suddenly starts walking on water:  she runs across the surface of the pool, then back again.  I ask her how she did it, and she says, 'It's easy!  Just make the top half of your body hotter than the bottom, and you'll float upwards.'  To make the top half hotter, she says I should flutter my arms rapidly to build up friction.  I try it and, much to my surprise, rise rapidly out of the water.  I get scared, though, and let myself drop back in.  Now other people ask me how to do it.  Suddenly someone tells me that they have evidence that Superman's fiancée is marrying him under false pretenses, and we have to warn him.  I suddenly realize it must be true because he's supposed to marry Lois Lane!  I see a vision of Superman and Lois Lane in the future:  first they are giving out food with Mother Theresa in India, then they are working on an Indian reservation in Arizona.  In my vision they look like Jesus and Mother Mary."

Dr. Esse continued writing notes for another minute, then looked carefully at Yellen.  "What do you think this means?"

"I'm not good enough for him--I'm not the one that's supposed to be in his story."

"Maybe he's not the one that's supposed to be in your story, but what I really think is it's not about who's good enough.  Maybe you are both in the right story, but your mother-in-law is giving you unfounded doubts.  You want to marry him, and you had no doubts until she showed up.  This is very common, and you can rise above it."

Yellen smiled at the psychiatrist, feeling a little bit better.

A little later, Dr. Esse was taking a 15-minute break to wolf down a microwave burrito when Didymus interrupted him.  (Didymus was actually the ghost of Robert McNamara.)

"I told Carter not to take the job, but he didn't listen to me!" said the former Secretary of Defense.  "War authorization in the Levant!  It's Vietnam all over again!"

"It is certainly not Vietnam," protested Dr. Esse, secretly relieved he finally had a non-Valentine-emergency patient.

"The U.S. can never win there!"

"But now the U.S. has peaceful relations with Vietnam!" said the psychiatrist.

"But that's not because we won the war!"

"Exactly!" cried the shrink, patting the ghost on the head.  "History repeating itself is not our greatest fear!"

"Yes, it is!" argued Didymus.

Outside his window, a catbird laughed at the sight, but another blast of frigid wind sent him scurrying from the ledge to look for shelter elsewhere.

TOMORROW:  Luciano Talaverdi marries Helen Yellen to boost his career!


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