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, February 28, 2016

Leap Year

Washington Water Woman was too busy this weekend to blog, but hopes to return soon!
COMING UP:  Year of the Monkey!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Talking Heads

Conspiracy blogger Glenn Michael Beckmann was already distracted from his Ghost CIA mission to assassinate Donald Trump, hard at work to find the hidden links between the deaths of David Bowie, Antonin Scalia, and Harper Lee.  Only one group stood to gain from the death of all three!  But Beckmann had not yet figured out who that was....

1)  Bowie had been an alien, capable of cross-dressing and procreating hybrid spawn with men or women--there was no telling how many might be out there!  The melodies came from his galactic overlord, and the saxophone solos were how Bowie had reported back about life on Earth.  But had his mission ended?  Was his real alien self beamed up?  Were more of his kind coming?  Nobody would say!! 

2) Scalia had spent a career building flawlessly logical legal arguments based on biased starting points provided to him by Richard Nixon's mafia friends--who also provided his special cigarettes!  (Scalia had also spawned a lot of offspring, but they appeared to be human.)  No autopsy!  Who was the last person to see him alive?  Nobody would say!!  Beckmann had already been to see Scalia's body lying in state and knew it was a fake--where was the real corpse??!!  Nobody would say!!

3)  Lee's body had not, apparently, spawned any offspring, but why not?  Everybody knew it had been the Kennedy's and the Harlem Globetrotters who had convinced her never to publish a sequel to "To Kill a Mockingbird", but with them all out of the way, a shady family attorney was able to squeeze out "Go Set a Watchman" for the attorney's own pecuniary gain.  But why kill her now...unless the movie rights had already been sold??!!  Where was the movie??!!  Nobody would say!!

Music, aliens, Italian opera, drugs, Persian cats, cancer, cross-dressers, New York values, grandfather clocks, people obsessed with the Deep South, the irony of Hillary Clinton's being too honest to tell a reporter she never told a lie--Beckmann was sorting through a myriad of possible factors looking for the link because, hey, it wasn't old age! 

He took a break to turn on his former girlfriend's web series, "Juice With Giuliana".  Like most of the seminal events in his life, the romance and break-up with NoMA lifestyle guru Giuliana Sunstream were now a muddled series of sketchy memories to Beckmann, but he was fairly certain they had never done weed together!  And yet here she was, showing today's guest, famed dog whisperer Sebastian L'Arche, how to make a smoothie with pomegranate juice, chia seeds, yogurt, winter cabbage, Virginia honey, and marijuana oil!

"I call this 'Chia Pet' because it gives you that sense of well-being that comes from taking care of a pet without all the hard work," said Giuliana, laughing at her own joke.

"Um, you know I work with live pets, right?" asked L'Arche, wondering how he had let his business partner Becky Hartley talk him into doing this appearance on a local rip-off of "Cocktails With Khloe"

"Oh, don't get me wrong, Sebastian!  I love pets, and I wouldn't trade Vegas for anything in the world!"  She picked up her toy Maltese for a big kiss.  "But some people have allergies or other issues which just make it too hard for them to have pets.  A little cup of Chia Pet boosts oxytocin levels, healthy omega fats, helpful gut bacteria, hay fever fighters, and Vitamin A.  And it tastes delicious!"

"Alright," said L'Arche, giving it a sip.  "But I'm really not sure people should be drinking this every day."

"All good things in moderation!" cooed Giuliana.  "Now let me show you how I make doggy sweaters from cardigans I pick up at the Good Will Thrift Store."

A few miles to the north, Angela de la Paz was sitting in the back of the Basilica, eyes closed.  The funeral mass for Antonin Scalia was over, but he was lingering in the Dream Time.  "You can move on now," she said.

"No, they're still talking about me!"

"Well, that might go on for awhile," said Angela.

 "I can't stand it!  The reporters!  The Senators!  I hate the way they talk about me and how to replace me!  I'm a soul!  You can't replace a soul!"

"Do you feel like a soul?" asked Angela.

"Of course I do!" barked Scalia.  "I'm a good Catholic!"

"Then let the dead bury their dead, and the living--"

"Don't preach to me!  There's too much at stake!  Nobody can do what I did!"

Angela nodded sadly.  "Your legacy will speak for itself."

"No, they can't get it right!  Even my son!"

"Because now you would explain it differently, wouldn't you?" asked Angela. Scalia looked around the DreamTime, confused.  "Take my hand," said Angela.  "There are a lot of souls in here you need to meet."  She could already see Justice Brennan next to Scalia's mother.  "Don't worry--this will be the best oral argument of all!"

Angela gave him a final gentle push, and he turned away from the world.  She visited her loved ones for a few more minutes, then left the DreamTime and opened her eyes.  An usher was picking up stray papers and tidying books in the pews.  A few clusters of women were praying the rosary here and there.  A few clumps of VIPs were finishing up their whispered conversations before heading out into the sunlight.  It will only get uglier.  She said one more prayer and headed out of the Basilica.

A few miles to the south, psychiatrist Ermann Esse was in his downtown office, scratching under his cursed Rolex, listening to a normally dull Justice Department attorney sputter in fury about the looming Constitutional showdown between the Legislative and Executive Branches over the vacant Supreme Court seat.  Dr. Esse had spent months telling patients exactly what he thought of their appalling excuses for lives, and nobody listened to his advice!  Why did they come?  What did it matter what he said to them?  He drugged them, hypnotized them, slept with them--all for nothing!  Now his patient was saying something about ignorant blobs of humanity and bedrock legal principles, and his eyes were practically bulging out of their eye sockets, and the demon Rolex was strangling the shrink's wrist, and the droning nasal voice of his patient was driving him insane.

"Well, if Scalia can be murdered, any of them can be murdered!" shouted the psychiatrist.

"Murdered?!" gasped the patient.

"It doesn't matter who gets appointed or doesn't get appointed!  We're all puppets until we get murdered and another puppet is put in!"

"Um, I seem to have upset you, Doctor Esse--"

"And so now you're going to report me?"

"I didn't say that."

Dr. Esse pulled his emergency Taser out and started shocking the patient until he was dead.  The shouting and screams brought the next patient running in from the waiting area, and Dr. Esse quickly grabbed the next patient, put the Taser into her hands to get her fingerprints all over it, ran out of the office, locked the two patients in it, and called 911 to report a murder.

"Didymus", the ghost of Robert McNamara, had seen everything.  "You killed him!"

"Where did you come from?!" shouted the psychiatrist, looking around wildly to see if there were any other witnesses.

"I'm early for my three pm appointment."

"I'll kill you, too, if you don't get out of here and keep your mouth shut!"

Few ghosts had progressed into spiritual life as slowly as the ghost of Robert McNamara, but this time, the light bulb actually went off.

"That watch is haunted!" cried Didymus.  "It's evil!"

"Don't be ridiculous!  It's a classic!"

"Take it off!" shouted Didymus.

"I'm the expert here!" retorted Dr. Esse.

"For God's sake, man, how much more blood do you want on your hands?!  Do you think there is anybody in the world who knows about that like I do?"

 Dr. Esse suddenly heard the screeches of the woman he had locked in the office with the corpse, and the sound of approaching sirens.  He looked down at his wristwatch hand, dripping in blood from the raw scratches under the Rolex.  He ran out into the hallway to the men's room, flushed the bloody Rolex away, and washed his hands furiously.

Across the river, the letter carrier was delivering a gift to the Arlington Home for the Mentally Challenged:  it was a ventriloquist dummy from the estate of Larry's late grandfather.  Larry pulled the dummy out, sat it on his leg, put his hand in the way he used to see his grandfather do it, and waited for it to talk.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

The River in Winter

Reporter Perry Winkle looked out from his taxi cab at the frigid Potomac River flowing slowly beneath the bridge.  A few more seconds and he was back in Washington for the first time in months.  For the first time since being a teenager, he had spent Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, and even Super Bowl Sunday living with his parents, sleeping in his childhood bedroom.  The childhood friends who still lived there would occasionally come pick him up to go bowling, get a drink, see a movie, play touch football at the community center field, or just go for a long drive.  He had told everybody why he was on sabbatical--for begging the Washington Post to publish his story about supernatural mischief--and so, with the assistance of a former girlfriend flown in from Colorado, they had united to persuade him he needed help.  After months of medication for "hallucinations", he could honestly say he never saw anything odd anymore and now doubted what he had seen in the past.

But a surprising chill coursed through his body as he passed over the river.  He refocused his thoughts, as the shrink had taught him:  he was in control of his feelings, irrational fears could be overcome, professional goals could be sought and attained, and personal progress was always possible.  He would get back to nitty-gritty urban reporting, local politics, and human interest stories.  He would see things clearly, and report them to the world.  He wrapped his arms around his own chest, unable to shake the chill.

Fifty feet below him, Angela de la Paz was paddling a two-person kayak around chunks of Potomac ice with her employer, Charles Wu, both dressed like Inuit seal-hunters.  "You don't see them?" asked Angela, referring to the pink dolphins leaping joyfully around them.  Charles shook his head.  "But you've seen ghosts," protested Angela.

"Hey, if you see them, that's fine, I believe you!" he laughed.

"They're so happy without Ardua here," Angela added, and Charles nodded.  "But her effect lingers:  the beaver, the ducks, the river rats--"

"But what can they really do?" asked Charles.

"They're still spreading evil."

"Well, it's like an oil spill," said Charles.  "It will spread for awhile, but not forever."

Angela smiled at the ease with which he insisted on returning to normal life:  as long as there wasn't a huge demon out there, he would go right back to ignoring the myriad little evils all around him.  She had already done two overseas spy missions for him, and she knew his SuperPAC had skipped over the New Hampshire primary but had already deployed Bridezilla to South Carolina.  Charles was right back to being a triple agent and major player in the affairs of political mankind.

"But I still don't understand about that prophecy that you were going to kill Ardua of the Potomac," said Charles.  "You keep saying she's not dead."

"The Warrior hasn't found her yet, but I know she's out there."

"Well, if she comes back, then you'll kill her--that's the Prophecy."

"I think it changed," said Angela.

"How can a prophecy change?"

Angela shrugged her shoulders.  "I think a prophecy is like looking at a speeding car heading for a cliff--you can predict that the car is going off the cliff unless it changes course."

"So Ardua turned away from the cliff?"

"For now."

Up in the bridgeman's quarters of the 14th Street bridge, Dubious McGinty was pointing a knife at an unknown visitor.  "You ain't gettin' my laptop!" he shouted.  "It was a gift from Perry Winkle!"

"I don't want your crummy laptop!" said Glenn Michael Beckmann.  "I had a dream I would find Ex Calibur here, and I need it to kill Donald Trump."

McGinty lowered the knife.  "Well, how about that?!"

"Have you seen it?" asked Beckmann, dressed like John Wilkes Booth somewhere underneath his camouflage parka.

"Well, sit down and let me think about that for a minute.  You want some fried gull?"

"Is that what I smell?" asked Beckmann.  "How do you hunt gull?  They fly so erratically!"

"Hunt gull?!  I don't hunt 'em!  They just drop dead every now and then--old age or somethin', I guess."

Beckmann sat down on an old bean bag and surveyed McGinty's nest.  "Not bad for a homeless guy."

"I ain't homeless, you fool!  This is my home where you're sittin', dumb ass!"

"Alright, don't get so testy!  I'm not a racist or anything!"  [This was far from the truth.]

"Well, I guess not since you be the one fixin' to assassinate Mr. Donald Hitler." McGinty handed the visitor a fried leg and sat down.  "What does this Ex Calibur look like?"

"Ex Calibur!  From the legend!"

"I don't know that legend, but I'll tell you what I got," said McGinty.  "I got a bunch of knives, pepper spray, some big sticks, a baseball bat, a couple of crow bars, a bunch of hammers, different sizes of screwdrivers, and a broken chain saw.  I haven't actually killed anybody since Vietnam, though:  this is all for self-defense."

"Killing Trump is self-defense!"

"What do you need to defend yo'self for?  You don't look Mexican, or Muslim, or anything else he's preparing his Final Solution for!"

"I believe in freedom, and he's a fascist!  Plus this autistic shaman who talks to CIA ghosts told me I need to do it.  And there are some other reasons."

McGinty put aside his greasy plate, and leaned back with his arms over his chest.  "Things were just startin' to lighten up around here, what with Ardua gone!  And now you tellin' me we got CIA ghosts runnin' around giving orders?!  That's not in the New Prophecy!"

"What new prophecy?"

Below the bridge, Marcos Vazquez piloted his Coast Guard vessel further downstream.  He had never told any of his coworkers about the demon that had nearly drowned him years ago, and so he had nobody to tell about its vanquishing.  "That's it," said Vazquez, pointing to the Alexandria shore.  "They're going to build the new boat house there--right where they used to auction off slaves."

"How do you know that?"

"My wife's taught me a lot about this river," said Vazquez.

"Well, I'm sick of it," said the California boy.  "I hope I get transferred back to the West Coast."

Vazquez had stopped dreaming of being transferred since marrying Golden Fawn.  And for a few frigid months, he was glad of the monotony of the quiet river in winter.

Up on the Arlington shore, another family of river rats, sick to death of the cold, scampered off to Arlington, following the well-known path through the sewers into the Pentagon, where they had heard of something called the "OCO slush fund", which sounded like a good source of food.

And on the Georgetown shore, a gathering of Shackled looked out on the frigid waters where they had once drowned en route to the Georgetown slave auction.  So much had changed; so much remained the same.

COMING UP:  Talking heads.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Washingtonians reject Donald Trump's (blind, deaf, and dumb) date with destiny.

It was the first major victory for Charles Wu's ultra secret Super PAC:  the defeat of Donald Trump in the Iowa caucuses.  Wu's first efforts had actually involved using "the Tarantula" to blackmail Trump, but after a steady release of cringe-worthy dirt from Wu without any resultant embarrassment on Trump's part, Wu had concluded that the man was too much of a megalomaniac to be embarrassed about anything!  Trump had no Protestant guilt, no Catholic guilt, no Buddhist guilt, no Jewish guilt, no Scientologist guilt--and certainly no Muslim guilt!  Absolutely blackmail-proof.

It was then that Wu's Super PAC had hired the recently disgraced Bridezilla to go to Iowa and use her Virginia belle charm (and strategic spending) to defeat Trump at any cost.  (It was, of course, Bridezilla's new husband, the Condor, who had suggested to Wu that she was currently being underutilized at Prince and Prowling; also, the Condor needed her out of town for awhile so he could continue his espionage without his new bride becoming suspicious.)

And thus Bridezilla had pushed Ted Cruz over the top, but now what?  Neither Wu, nor his clients in Beijing and Hong Kong, could stomach the possibility of a Ted Cruz gaining control of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.  And Trump's defeat had not driven him out of the race, anyway!  Wu was spying on everybody in D.C., and nobody was really certain they could prevent a November election contest between a socialist and a fascist.  And try as he would, he could not convince Angela de la Paz to use her supernatural powers of persuasion on voters or candidates.  "Maybe democracy is not so great after all," Wu's mother had said to him shortly before flying back to Hong Kong, and he had no answer for her.

"Well, you know how I feel about democracy," said Dick Cheney, squeezing in one more Heurich Society meeting before another possible Snowzilla hit Washington.  The members laughed nervously, most of them surprised that Trump had not already been assassinated.  "All the experts said it would be a cakewalk for Jeb Bush--that Republican voters cannot say 'no' to that family!  Now people are voting like it's a reality show designed for their amusement.  They don't understand how the world works!  Joe Sixpack voter is too stupid to decide our future!"  Several members nodded.  "But we can't push things the way we used to now that the political establishment is too wishy-washy to unite behind an electable candidate!  We have to take things into our own hands before the CIA directs the NSA to take action."

"So what do we do?"

"We need to start voting people off the island--by any means necessary."

Meanwhile, a mile away from the Brewmaster Castle, the Camelot Society was also in secret session at the Federal Reserve Board.  Italian economist Luciano Talaverdi rushed into the library, having just gotten back from his meeting with Sergio Mattarella, the visiting Italian President.  "Have you all read my memo?" he asked, and grim faces nodded all around him.  "My grandparents lived through this," he said, passionately.  "People whipped into frenzies at rallies, believing that law and order and mass deportations of undesirable elements would lead to peace and prosperity.  Or believing that socialism was the answer!  We must defend the free market!"

"But we don't have a free market!" protested Obi Wan Woman.

"People always ask, if you had a time machine and could go back in time to stop Hitler, or Mussolini, or Stalin, what would you do?  We are at this moment now!  We will not be able to come back in time to this moment--we have to do whatever it takes!"

"My God," exclaimed Obi Wan Woman, "we just weaned ourselves off of quantitative easing, and you're talking about very drastic measures!"

"The future tyrants are standing before us now!" cried Talaverdi.  "We must act!"

Over at Southwest Plaza, Glenn Michael Beckmann was watching YouTube videos of Sarah Palin's endorsement of Donald Trump.  "How can this be?" he said aloud, for the fiftieth time.  Sarah Palin, secret President of his beloved Hunter-Gatherer Society, had endorsed the most evil financier who had ever used Saudi petro dollars to build dens of thieves and harlots!  Sarah Palin--grandmother to Beckmann's secret love child with Bristol Palin!  Trump--a man who insulted veterans without ever fighting for his country!  Beckmann had not slept in days--hopped up on psychotropic prescriptions and non-prescriptions, despairing that all he had believed in no longer made sense.  It was then that Ghost Henry revisited him for the first time in a long time.

"Look," said temporal-lobe-epileptic John Doe, preparing to knock on Beckmann's door, "I'm only here because I had a shamanistic vision that Donald Trump is the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler.  But there is NO way I'm on board with assassinating Bernie Sanders!"

"Fine, fine!" grumbled the ghost of Henry Samuelson, leader of the ghost CIA.  "We're agreed that Trump has got to go, and nobody alive in this town has the guts to make it happen!  Either Beckmann eliminates the Nazi, or I'm going to have to learn how to take over a human body myself!"

Back downtown, former Senator Evermore Breadman was looking out his Prince and Prowling window at the White House.  He could make money no matter who occupied it, but he couldn't spend it very well while living in the State-of-the-Art underground review bunker after Ted Cruz started a nuclear Armageddon...or Bernie Sanders started a financial one.  The rumor around P&P was that former junior partner Bridezilla was the secret political operative who had tipped the scale against Trump in Iowa, and he was inclined to believe it.  But then what?  Breadman's practice group had incorporated most of the secret SuperPACs in this town, but their behavior, reach, and influence were now inscrutable.  Were the puppets jerking the puppeteers around?

The Shackled flew in from around the city to convene in the White House at dusk, but neither Breadman nor anybody else watching could see them--except Bridge, the gardener, who lifted his eyes up for just a few moments before returning to his task of protecting the rose bushes from the coming snowstorm.

COMING UP:  The river in winter.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Groundhog Day!

Washington Water Woman's got nothing!  Washington Water Woman has been sucked into an evil vortex which has been sucking the life out of her for a week, but hopes that she--and spring--will be back on track by the end of the week.