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, August 02, 2015

The Haunted Ones

Charles Wu was settling in for another session with the Reiki Triplets in their Capitol Hill home/office.  The truth was that Wu didn't really need any help with his chi, and didn't believe much in reiki, but, like the other clients flocking to see Cal, Maggie, and Sassy, he just loved the experience.  The scents, the music, the soft voices, the occasional hand touches, the surrealism of seeing three identical faces encircling him with earnest gazes and heartfelt words:  it was all simply entrancing.  But today, it wasn't feeling the same:  the scents seemed off, and the music seemed static.  The Triplets were holding hands with each other, rather than passing their hands over him, and their eyes were all staring at something above him.  He felt groggy and had to blink several times before his vision cleared and he finally saw the ghost hovering above him.  It looked as if were sucking energy right out of his body.

"Hey!" Wu shouted, punching at the specter, then jumping off the reiki table.  He had seen ghosts a few times before, but this was completely unacceptable.  He looked around accusingly at the Reiki Triplets, who had dropped hands and were blinking in confusion.  "What the Hell is going on here?"  The Triplets looked at each other, but nobody spoke.  "What did you conjure that for?!"

"We're just drawing healing energies," said Maggie.

"You saw it!" retorted Wu.

"You can't see the energies," said Cal.

"You were all starting at it!" insisted Wu.

"I think you should leave," said Sassy.  "We won't charge you for this session."

"You people have a serious problem here!  There was a ghost sucking my chi!" exclaimed Wu.

"Please leave," said Maggie.

In the corner, Ghost Dennis, the late father of the Triplets, writhed his hands in consternation.  He had visited them many times since they moved to D.C., and sometimes they said they felt his presence, but he could never get them to hear a word out of his mouth.  And now this!  A damned house ghost latching onto every visitor like a vampire!  His poor girls were putting all their effort into mustering a little energy for their patients, and then Ghost Demetri would get a hold of them and draw more and more and more power through those poor people until everybody was exhausted at the end of the session instead of feeling better.  And as a former member of the Better Business Bureau of San Clemente, he knew this was all wrong!  And he was also a little concerned about what the house ghost was doing to his girls, even though Ghost Demetri had insisted to Ghost Dennis it was just a little fun.

Not to mention the fact that Ghost Pippin, Condoleeezza Rice's deceased cat, had now brought his band of feral feline troublemakers to take up residence there, as well!  Cats weren't even supposed to run as packs!  Ghost Dennis had been spectral since his murder during the waning days of the Nixon Administration, but that didn't stop him from getting nervous when creepy supernatural entities started multiplying, particularly around his girls.

"You're always nagging me about politics in the West Wing--the least you could do is show up when I ask you for some help here!" he shouted accusingly into the ether.  He watched his girls as they changed the sheet and reset the music for the next client.  When they went upstairs, a few members of The Shackled finally floated in.

"You won't listen to us about Turkey's air force, but you want us to help you with this petty matter?"

"Petty?!  These are my daughters!  I think they're in danger!  What if he's a demon?"

"Demetri is just a common hoodlum.  You have more important things to worry about!  What is Obama gonna do about those abortion doctors harvesting baby organs?"

"Oh, come on!  Obama can't fix everything," replied Ghost Dennis.

"He bombs the Hell out of the Middle East, then expects Americans to show restraint with their own guns?"

"That's not the same thing!" retorted Ghost Dennis.

"It is the same thing!  It's people saying they get to win because they have more guns!  And he's got Donald Trump whipping white folks up for a race war against Mexicans!"

"Well, what on Earth is Obama supposed to do about that?!" protested Ghost Dennis.

"He could cancel that lease at the Old Post Office Pavilion."

Ghost Dennis sighed.  "Look, maybe you're right about all of that, but the President tries really hard not to hear me or see me.  You Departed guys know that, yourselves.  I'm lucky if I can get a good whisper into his ear once a week."

"Well, you're there everyday!  We've got to cover the whole city."

Ghost Dennis nodded.  "Alright, I'll try harder."

"And Nixon's ghost ain't there, so stop acting like he is!"

"Alright!" exclaimed Ghost Dennis.  "Now what can be done about Demetri and those freaky cats?"

The Departed just shook their heads.  "Maybe you should try that fellow who was just here.  If he could see Demetri, maybe he'll see you?"

"And then what?  He left without even trying to help my girls!" said Ghost Dennis.

"Well, I think he blamed them--you need to explain it to him."

So Ghost Dennis went off to follow Charles Wu.

A couple miles away, Justice Department attorney Atticus Hawk was seeing ghosts of his own.  He closed the file and leaned back in his office chair, rubbing his eyes to make them go away.  They were all the same:  eyes bright with fear, mouths screaming, no noses, no ears, no hair.  He got up to open his door and see if anybody else was around in the Attorney General's suite, but even Loretta Lynch's most loyal lieutenants usually made it home for Sunday dinner.

Hawk walked back into his office, shut the door, and sat down at his computer.  He could not procrastinate it anymore:  the Attorney General was waiting for his psychological profile on the escaped Barbara Hellmeister, and he had promised it for Monday morning.  It had taken the intervention of the White House, and the CIA was still pretending they didn't know how the files had been temporarily misplaced, but Hellmeister's papers had finally been delivered to DOJ on Wednesday.  The FBI had the originals in order to do fingerprinting, carbon-dating, and DNA sampling, but just touching the photocopies was enough to give him chills--every time.  The Nazi experiment journal of her grandfather.  The notes on the drug cocktails she had synthesized for her clients and for Hawk.  The methods she had used to torture and interrogate prisoners in the CIA black site hidden beneath the National Arboretum and the Washington Times headquarters.  He had been the Department's torture apologist for many years, but his nightmares had finally come true:  he really had been a victim this time.

Hawk started typing.

"EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:  Barbara Hellmeister (most recent alias Barbie Bucephalus) does not fit the profile of a serial killer, or a killer of any sort.  This is because her purpose is not to end life, but to experiment with it.  That said, Hellmeister is a sociopath who shows no regard or remorse for the human suffering which was incidental to her grandfather's experiments and her own activities."  Hawk paused to swallow some more beer.  "It is likely she burned down her own Maryland home to cover up evidence of patient harm that had occurred during her time as a private consultant.  Her audacity in returning to work in the D.C. area, even with an alias and the sponsorship of the CIA, suggests she has unrealistic expectations of a lack of repercussions for her actions."

Hawk paused again, this time for several minutes, and ultimately decided he needed to put more there.  "The fugitive's recklessness in rekindling a relationship with a Justice Department employee offers even stronger proof of a megalomania."  And then, to deflect a little bit the embarrassment off himself-- "The fugitive's ability to seduce and/or brainwash a guard to free her from federal custody suggests that she may have permanently altered her own body chemistry, possibly by enhancing the attractive effects of her sexual pheromones."  This last part was pure speculation, and an outrageous thing to put in a memo to the FBI, but Lynch had told him to hold back nothing.  "It is likely the fugitive will lay low for a long time, but her past behavior suggests that she will eventually resurface and make contact with the people she values the most--all of whom should be constantly monitored, including everybody she worked with at the CIA."  He knew he was dooming himself to FBI surveillance, possibly for years to come, but so be it.

Up in Cleveland Park, Wu had just finished dinner with his daughter and governess, and excused himself to make some phone calls before rejoining them for bedtime stories.  It was then that Ghost Dennis floated in and whispered in Wu's ear.

"Gaaaa!"  Wu jumped out of his office chair and turned around.  "What the Hell?!"

"Can you hear me?"

"Don't sneak up on people like that, and give me back my chi!"

"I didn't take it," replied Ghost Dennis.

Wu was aiming his dragon stone ring at the ghost as if it could shoot lasers, but then Wu saw it was not the same ghost.  Wu lowered his hand.  "Who are you?"

"The triplets are my daughters.  I can't get through to them.  You have to help my girls!"

Outside the window, Ghost Demetri started getting very, very angry.



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