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, May 29, 2016

A Place of Their Own

The Southwest Plaza real estate demon was welcoming other real estate demons into the parking garage for a convention (party!) to discuss the high cost of real estate in Washington.

"Double the minimum wage!  Triple it!  It doesn't matter--rents will keep killing the people!"

"Only the little people!"

"Aren't they all little?"

"Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!"

"Have you seen all the for sale signs out in McLean?  Who's gonna buy all those mansions?"

"Only one-percenters who like being haunted by the Ghost CIA!"

"Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!"

But it was not all fun and games at the real estate demon convention.  Several of the younger real estate demons were listening in awe to the Southwest Plaza real estate demon explain how he had poisoned so many minds over the years.

"They're so vulnerable already:  drug trafficking in the neighborhood, rents going up, security going down, ugly utilitarian architecture, dirty swimming pool, assaults in the laundry room, prostitution in the stairwells.  The main thing is to prey on everybody's sense that there is no community here--just everybody on their own in the jungle.  And when there's no financial hope of buying real estate, renters are living in hell."

"So how many people are now under your influence?"

"Oh, dozens strongly; maybe another hundred marginally."

"But Glenn Michael Beckmann is your crowning achievement, right?"

"Oh, no question!  The guy is a certifiable lunatic and a murderer, but nobody's locked him up!"

"That's because he doesn't look like a terrorist, right?"

"Yes, that's part of it, but you also have to whisper the right things into their ears--ideas that will sow evil without courting too much attention."

"What about the houseboats?  I hear some people are escaping the astronomical cost of DC living by buying houseboats.  There's no demon in the Potomac right now!"

"Yeah, that's a problem, but there's a limited number of pier spots.  To really get away from the astronomical cost of living here, you pretty much need to move to Alabama."

"But what else can we do besides prey on the financial stress?"

"Oh, the sky's the limit in a town like this!  Racism, sexism, partisan fury, random violence, substance addiction in the professional class, substance addiction in the working class, substance addiction in  the unemployed, inability of security-clearance-dependent workers to seek mental health assistance, crumbling of transit infrastructure, and interns."

"Interns?  What does a real estate demon do with interns?"

"Anything you want!"

"Ha, ha, ha, ha!" 

Out past McLean, not far from the mansions for sale, Kevin "Monkey" Mundy was panning for gold and diamonds in the muddy shoreline at Riverbend Park.  He had sneaked in by motorcycle after the park closed, screamed at the geese parents to take their goslings further downstream, dropped some mercury at the shore, then furiously began scooping up mud by the light of a camping lantern.  He usually just spent the weekends visiting the neo-Nazis at Trump National Golf Club, but he was taking advantage of the three-day holiday weekend to try his luck at other places--like Hain's Point and Lake Barcroft.  There was a time the DC Water employee would have spent a weekend like this fishing at Great Falls or sailing down the Chesapeake, but those pursuits seemed like childish nonsense to him now.  He saw a water snake float to the surface, picked it up in disgust, and flung it downstream for river rats to eat.  "Someday I'm gonna buy my own pink mansion on Saigon Road!" he declared to anybody listening.  "And I'm renaming that road 'Mundy Street!'"

Back in Washington, Congressman Herrmark was hosting a party to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the founding of the Anti-Zombie Caucus.

"We've killed a lot of zombies, and have much to be proud of this year!"

A dozen people raised their champagne glasses, but the mood was somber given that one of their own had been bitten by a zombie just last week and had to be put down.  Talk turned to politics.

"Obama is back from Asia."

"Are we sure they don't have a zombie problem at the White House?"

"We've seen no indication."

"What have we determined about the Donald Trump team?"

"Please!  Turning into zombies could only be an improvement for those people!"

"Don't even joke about that!  Nothing is worse than a zombie!"

"I'm not sure about that anymore."

"Zombies have maggots for brains.  Trump's people have shit for brains."

"They're not killers."

"Has anybody stopped to think that maybe Donald Trump did a deal with the devil?"

Everybody turned to look at the member from the Holier Than Thou Caucus, but nobody could actually think of an argument against this theory.

Back in Southwest, Dulles Samuelson took one more walk around the "Singapore Surprise" and said, "I'll take it."  Real estate never did my sister any good, he was thinking.  I'll live my life out on the water.  (He did not know the previous owner, a Navy Admiral, had lived his life out on the water--until going to prison for accepting bribes from Fat Leonard.)

A few blocks away, the real estate demon convention was winding down.

"What about the new Trump Hotel?" asked a young demon currently sharpening his claws on a modest bungalow in Brightwood.  "Who's haunting it?"

A hush fell over the demons, and finally an old real estate demon from the Willard spoke:  "We have been told that Trump always brings in his own."

COMING UP:  Dick Cheney's secret addiction!

Saturday, May 21, 2016


Dr. Khalid Mohammad smiled at his father, who was adjusting his son's tuxedo bow tie for the fifth time.  Khalid was glad his parents had flown over from Jordan early in the week; his brother had suddenly found himself mistakenly on a no-fly list in the wake of the Egypt Air crash.

"My handsome doctor son!" his father exclaimed yet again.  "Such a lovely bride!"

"I know you're worried," Khalid suddenly said, determined to broach the subject they had tiptoed around all week.

"We're not worried!  She's a lovely girl!"

"I think I can get her to stop wearing the veil after the wedding.  She just...."  He fell silent, unable to articulate the vague notions of hope he was clinging to.  He was a modern man, educated in the West, but he was actually hoping to "fix" Yasmin by marrying her.

Khalid's father pulled him down, and they both sat.  He had a deep-rooted aversion to Turks, as many Arabs did, but he had tried to raise his sons free of the weight of centuries of ethnic war.  "Her father worked for the CIA, and then he felt guilty about it, so he bounced back in the other direction.  His daughter was dutiful, and so she bounced, too.  But you will be the head of her family now."

"That's what I keep thinking, and it's medieval.  Is this really the best way to help her?  Her father almost bashed her brains in, and that wasn't enough for her to reject everything he stood for."

"He stood for nothing," said Khalid's father.  "That is why she is so lost.  If you don't know how to be a good girl in your father's eyes, you never know how to be good.  You will replace that."

"Will I?  I don't want to be her father."  Khalid's affection for Yasmin had grown into a complex love that made him more nervous than happy.

"Your mother was only sixteen when I married her.  That was common then, but she seemed very young.  When she got older, I actually liked things much better.  Give it time."

"You should come live with us," Khalid said.  "Things are not getting better there."  They never spoke aloud about how Khalid's cousin had been burned to death by ISIS.

Khalid's father had been glad to have his son home for awhile, even if it was to work in the clinic for Syrian refugees.  "Your mother is content to live out her days there.  But maybe a grandchild will make her feel differently!"  His eyes twinkled, and he reached over to fidget with the bow tie again while the best man (another doctor from George Washington University Hospital) sat in another room, duty-free.

A few miles away, psychiatrist Ermann Esse had been on duty for four days with little sleep when they brought in another Egyptian detainee to his suite in the secret CIA facility under the Washington Times headquarters.  The after-effects of the cursed Rolex were well out of his system, but Dr. Esse had no idea how to extricate himself from his clandestine services to the CIA.  Though his memories were a little hazy, he feared that he may have murdered one of his private practice patients, and if the CIA was holding that over his head, what future could he have?  But he fretted about his neglected private patients, especially the ones who could not rely on pharmaceutical fixes because of their security clearances.  How were they faring?  (Since he had been so abusive towards the end, most of them were actually doing better without his care, but Dr. Esse did not know this.) 

He also fretted about this work.  He nodded as the Egyptian was strapped into a chair, and he directed the interpreter to tell the detainee the doctor was injecting a truth serum.  Although Dr. Esse considered himself a top-notch hypnotist, it really did not work well with an interpreter; "the truth serum" often helped.  The Egyptian grimaced in anxiety, afraid his secret lust for the blond cashier at CVS would be flushed out, or his addiction to "Game of Thrones".

"My brother married a girl from Yemen," he blurted out, "but I've done nothing!"

"That's not what we heard," said Dr. Esse, and he waited a moment for the interpreter to repeat it.  "Your brother already told us about the bomber on the airplane."

"What?  Yusef?  Oh, my God!  I promised my mother I would keep him out of trouble!  I let him marry the Yemeni girl, but she liked to watch 'Project Runway' and spend hours in the shopping mall!"

Dr. Esse listened as the interpreter relayed this information.  "He's innocent," the shrink said.

The interpreter nodded and began preparing coffee cups for the three to share for the next hour of pretend interrogation.  (The CIA never videotaped interrogations anymore.)  "Might have been another suicidal pilot," offered the interpreter, in English.

"Maybe," said Dr. Esse.

Back in Foggy Bottom, Khalid's mother was helping Yasmin with her wedding gown.  She had persuaded her to wear an American-style wedding veil, but Yasmin was fretting at her reflection in the mirror.  "I don't look like a Muslim bride."

"You are also an American bride," said the future mother-in-law.  "You are living in America!"

Yasmin sighed, not comforted by those words.  She could see the pink lipstick through the veil, and reached for a tissue to wipe it off.  Khalid's mother stayed her arm.

"Yasmin, I am your mother now!  You must listen to me!" (Yasmin paused, surprised.)  "Do you not wish to please your husband?"

"Yes, mother."

"Good!  Then leave the lipstick on.  It will look very nice in the pictures."  (Red would have looked better with Yasmin's skin tone, but that would have been out of the question.)

Angela de la Paz walked in, feeling silly in her maid-of-honor gown.  It was very old-fashioned, with long sleeves covered in pink lace.

"Oh, how beautiful!" cried Khalid's mother.  She knew that Yasmin's personal turmoil had left her with few friends.  (Nurse Consuela Arroyo had helped choose the wedding dress and maid-of-honor gown.)

"I'm very happy for you," said Angela.  "Khalid is such a good man."  She took Yasmin's hands in her own and dove into the Dreamtime to find her spirit.  There is nothing to fear, she telepathically whispered to Yasmin's spirit, drawing her away from the hissing Chimera.  (Angela was still unable to destroy such a chimera outright, but she had definitely grown stronger against them.)  "Love and friendship and peace, all with God's blessing, await you," she said out loud, kissing each of Yasmin's hands.

Khalid's mother saw Yasmin's tense shoulders relax and drop.  "Yes," she echoed, "love and friendship and peace, all with God's blessing."

Yasmin smiled.  She was ready to marry, and they headed out to the limousine which would take them to the mosque in Virginia.

A mile away, former Senator Evermore Breadman was staring out his Prince and Prowling office window at the spot where an armed man had been shot outside the White House twenty-four hours earlier.  Extra heavy security still blanketed the area, even though it was a lone crazy and the response had gone just as it should have.   

"It's done."  Breadman jumped and turned around.  "Sorry to startle you," said Bridezilla, who had dry-cleaned an Anne Klein suit for this meeting.  "Marco took care of it."  She sat down in the guest chair, expectantly.

Breadman poured a couple of shots of whiskey from his sidebar and sat down to toast the announcement.  They clinked glasses silently, and then Breadman asked, "when?"

"I thought you didn't want to know anything," smiled Bridezilla, who had been perfectly contented herself not to know how Marco had made sure the New Jersey thug never threatened the hallowed halls of Prince and Prowling again.

"You're right!" laughed Breadman, nervously.  "As long as he's out of my hair."

"Out of our hair," said Bridezilla.

Breadman nodded.  "It won't be immediate, of course.  I'll tell the managing partner that the political stakes are simply too high this year and I need somebody with your connections back on my team."

With Boehner gone from Washington politics and most of her former friends avoiding her, she didn't really have any connections that would impress the managing partner.  "Did he know about the Jersey issue?"

"He will now."  Breadman finished his whiskey, feeling the familiar warmth, flush of relaxation, and shredding of gastric cells.  "I can't promise that everybody around here will treat you right, but when they see you're my right arm, you'll be on your way.  And I'll pay your partnership stake back in."

Bridezilla smiled, amazed she did not have to bargain for that.  "Then I'll wait to hear from you," she said, arising.  (She was eager to go home and thank Marco again.)

Out in Virginia, Liv and Felix Cigemeier were sitting in a mosque for the first time in their lives, watching the wedding ceremony of Yasmin and Dr. Khalid Mohammad.  Liv had thought about writing a story about it to update the Girl Hurl readers on Yasmin's recovery from her father's savage beating, but Felix had talked her out of it.  "She's not comfortable yet with her new role," he had said, and she had thought about that term "role" often in the past week.  Had Liv taken on a role when she married Felix?  Had she taken on a role when they adopted Angela's son, Lucas?  Had Angela taken on a role when she gave up the baby for adoption?

There were only about twenty people in attendance, but one of them was Buffy Cordelia, whose father had received an invitation solely for the purpose of securing little Delia's services as a flower girl.  She giggled repeatedly as she turned to her occasional babysitter, Angela, who was walking behind her and nodding in encouragement as the youngster tossed pink rose petals on the marble floor.

"It's quite beautiful," said Liv, leaning against her husband and thinking that sometimes it was good to take on roles.

Back in Washington, Golden Fawn was still reading online reactions to the Washington Post poll showing that "9 out of 10" American Indians did not care about the name "Redskins".

"Enough, already!" said her husband, Marcos Vazquez, calling her to lunch.

"It's driving me up the wall!  Most of them are living in abject poverty on reservations--of course they have bigger things to worry about!  If it were Washington 'Blackskins', nobody would be doing a poll about it!"

"Honey, why don't you call back the Redskins?  Say you want to get onto the board of that stupid foundation.  Sometimes you have to compromise your principles to--"

"Alright, I'll come to lunch," she said, walking away from the computer.

COMING UP:  Real estate demon convention to 
celebrate high cost of "living" in Washington!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

P and P, pee pee, P.R., and P.P.

"It's just a SuperPAC, sir, like I understand Prince and Prowling has done many of before."

The interjection of "sir" did nothing to assuage former Senator Evermore Breadman's feeling that he was being shaken down by a New Jersey thug.

"Now, I could take our business elsewhere, but I know P.P.--"

"P and P," interjected Breadman.

"P and P," repeated the New Jersey thug, leaning forward in the guest chair, "has a reputation for delivering tough political results."

"If you don't mind my saying so," said Breadman, "your candidate has done pretty well for himself without our services so far."

The thug propped his elbows on the arm rests and pressed his fingertips against each other the way he'd seen it done by tough guys in many Hollywood films, then he smiled with recently bleached teeth already stained from excessive coffee and cigarettes over the past five days.  "Mr. Trump is in a new field of play now.  You don't keep using submarine warfare after you've already stormed the beaches of Burgundy."



"Beaches of--never mind.  Look, we can set up the SuperPAC for you, but we can't run it."

"I think you can, and you will."

"We have strict policies about--"

"Your mama has strict policies!"


"You've got a nice good-cop-bad-cop thing going at Prince and Prowling.  We're just looking to hire the bad cop."

"Like I said, we can set it up for you--"

"I'm not a retard, so stop repeating yourself, Breadman!"

"Let me talk to the Managing Partner--"

"Well, make it snappy," said the New Jersey thug, standing up.  "I'd hate to see things get ugly for your fancy little law firm here."  Then he knocked a pile of files off Breadman's desk and walked out.

Across the river in McLean, the Ghost CIA was also having a rather animated meeting about Donald Trump's looming Presidential nomination.  On the one hand, they were all thrilled with Trump's promises to bring back torture.  On the other hand, they weren't a big fan of complete morons' running national security. 

"He might take back the Panama Canal."

"What does he care about the Canal for?  He's an isolationist!"

"I don't think so."

"He wants to give Korea and Japan their own nukes, then withdraw troops!  We have American troops on every continent in the world--we can't end that!"

"But if troops are withdrawn, that means more power for the CIA stations!"

To do what?  Little assassinations here and there?  The days when an entire regime can be toppled with just a couple dozen advisers are long gone!"

"We'll still have our drone strikes."

"You can't topple regimes with drone strikes!"

"If Drumpf's elected, the CIA will be more powerful than ever!" cried the Ghost of Henry Samuelson.  "The Pentagon will be terrified to take commands from Drumpf!  They'll lie about the nuclear codes-- I can guarantee that.  There will be a power vacuum, and the CIA will fill it--with help from the Ghost CIA."

The others were impressed that Ghost Henry had deftly inserted the ancestral name of Trump's family into the conversation--a name well-known by the Nazi wing of the CIA.  

"The tide is turning, gentlemen," continued Ghost Henry.  "A baby with Hitler DNA is growing within a womb on Trump National Golf Course ["huh?"], and powerful forces are on the rise.  The stupider the President, the more opportunity for the Ghost CIA to take charge of this historic moment."

"Henry, have you been sniffing the ink toner again?  You can never be a poltergeist when it really counts, but somehow you can rip open those packages--"

"Shut up!"

"You wanted Trump assassinated!  You threatened to haunt his body!"

"I changed my mind!  The weaker the President, the better for us!  The stupider the President, the better for us!  And my poltergeist skills get better every month!"  Ghost Henry tried to demonstrate this by urinating into a potted plant the way he saw Ghost Pippin do once, but his spectral willy just hung there doing nothing.

Back in Washington, the Zombie Caucus was having a similarly spirited debate about Donald Trump in the bowels of the Capitol.

"He's not one of us!"

"That can be arranged."

"I'd rather eat him."

"That can also be arranged."

"I don't think there are any brains in there to eat."

"What do you think, David?"

All eyes turned to David Hoppe, Paul Ryan's Chief of Staff, whom some felt had not accomplished much for the Zombie Caucus since joining it.  "He's simply an egomaniac.  He has one strategy for everything, which is bullying.  He tried groveling with the Speaker, and it came across as desperate and fake."

"But Ryan spoke optimistically afterward."

"Ryan made no promises--he just wanted the clown back on the first plane out of Washington."

"So should we eat Trump or get him elected?"

"Well," said Hoppe, "I was sorely tempted to eat him on the spot, what with the Secret Service agents waiting out in the hallway, but he might still prove useful to us.  I did give him some zombie suggestions for a V.P. pick."

Over at the Justice Department, U.S. Attorney Atticus Hawk sat nervously in his office, waiting for Loretta Lynch to summon him into her office for this rare Sunday afternoon meeting.  Please don't put me on the North Carolina bathroom case.  Please don't put me on the North Carolina bathroom case.  Please don't put me on the--

His phone buzzed, and he jumped up to head three doors down to her office.  He greeted her warmly, shut the door behind him, and proffered a bag of pastries so that he could avoid a sweaty handshake.

"Please sit down, Atticus."

"Before you begin, I understand that it's been a tough week with the White House and the culture wars, and I'm all on board with the agenda, but I think Karen would be a better person to hand it off to for follow-up because--"

"I'm not assigning the bathroom litigation to you."  (Atticus exhaled deeply.)  "I need you take on this."

She handed him a large portfolio marked "P.P."

"I thought David was still overseeing the Prince and Prowling deferred prosecution agreement?"  The Attorney General shook her head, and Atticus opened the file.  "Panama Papers?  What are we doing with the Panama Papers?"

"Proceeding with caution.  I need somebody with your skill set to handle this."  (Atticus Hawk did a quick inventory of his skill set--torture expert, NSA damage control, psychological profile of FBI's Most Wanted Barbara Hellmeister--but was at a loss.)  "We currently have no electronic files on this.  Anybody hacking us or watching us--including the NSA and the CIA--will only find that a few attorneys here have browsed what's out in the public domain.  All our analysis is sitting in your hands.  You will write everything in long hand, and the file will be locked in your safe every time you leave your office unattended for even one second--unless you have brought the file to me."

"Are we prosecuting anybody?"
The Attorney General leaned across her desk to whisper.  "The bathroom wars are a distraction.  The death threats we get about those transgender kids will create the smokescreen behind which we tip toe across this field of landmines."

"Isn't walking across landmines in a cloud of smoke a bad idea?"

Lynch frowned at him.  "When you're A.G., you can use whatever metaphors you like."

"Yes, ma'am!"

"You know how the unsavory think and act and justify themselves.  You are going to learn this world inside and out, and then we will decide how to proceed."

Atticus left her office still uncertain if the Justice Department wanted to prosecute tax evaders, recruit them, or ship them off to Guantanamo for torture sessions.  He sat down at his desk and nervously opened the file.

Back at Prince and Prowling, Bridezilla was now sitting in former Senator Evermore Breadman's office, surprised by her sudden summoning from exile in the underground SOTA-Bunk (State-of-the-Art Secure Review Bunker, still being federally monitored under Prince and Prowling's deferred prosecution agreement).

"I'm not going to beat around the bush.  I'd like to be on a plane to Dallas to promise bankruptcy miracles to another faltering Texas oil company, and you'd like to be a partner again."

"Sir?"  Bridezilla had never before worn yoga pants and an old Redskins sweatshirt to a meeting with Breadman, but he didn't seem to notice or care.

"Tell me about that husband of yours."


"Is there another one?"

"No, sir!"

"Then tell me about Marco!"

"Well...."  Bridezilla hesitated.  The success of her whirlwind marriage to Marco Pel relied on the fact that she found him tall, dark, handsome, and mysterious, and she had made no effort to thwart that.  "He works very hard."

"At what?"

"Business things--international business things."

"Cut the crap:  can he get things accomplished or not?"

"Sure, loads of things!"  (She had no idea where this was heading.)

"Because I've heard rumors that he has associates who can get things accomplished."

"Sure!" Bridezilla repeated.  "You just name it!"

Breadman handed the New Jersey thug's business card across the desk.  "This man wants us to set up and run a SuperPAC devoted to wreaking revenge on any Republican who doesn't jump on the Donald Trump bandwagon."

"And you want me to do that?"

"And stab half our clients in the back?  Of course not!  I need Marco's associates to tell this thug what to do with his ugly threats.  I don't wanna hear how Marco handles this--I just want it handled.  You get that done, and you'll be back in a partner's office in no time."

"This sounds more like a matter for the FBI or--"

"Are you out of your mind?!  The survival of this law firm is at stake!  This guy threatened us, and nobody threatens Prince and Prowling!  Now can I count on you?"

"Yes, sir!"

Outside the window, an interested catbird would have flown off to report to Ardua, but she was living so far away now that he just flew instead across the street to make siren noises to startle tourists at the White House.

Dr. Khalid Mohammad and the radicalized Muslim.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Even Washingtonians care about about Mother's Day!

Bridge had brought White House butler Clio some egg salad, potato salad, and cherry pie from Safeway to have Mother's Day lunch with her.  He knew it was always a miserable day for her, and she'd be thinking about the deceased twins all day long.

"The garden's lookin' real nice," she said.  "That rain made everybody miserable except the trees and the gardens."

"Yeah, saved me some work," said Bridge, the head gardener.  "But the sunshine'll do them some good, too."  He looked over to the ghosts of Regina and Ferguson, watching with the quiet grace that only came to the forever pre-schoolers on days like Mother's Day.  "I think Mrs. Obama gonna miss the garden quite a bit."

"I don't think I can work for those tramps," said Clio.

"Trumps!" corrected Bridge.

"I know what to call them," retorted Clio.

"They'll never set a foot inside this place!" snorted the gardener.  "Mrs. Clinton on her way back--you just wait and see!  I know you came after her time, but you'll like her."

"But a LOT a people like those tramps."

"And a LOT a people like rap music, but Kanye ain't gettin' elected and neither is that fool Trump."

"They'd be so big today," said Clio.

Bridge nodded silently.  She always changed the subject abruptly like that--sooner or later, she would want to say something about Reggie and Fergie.

"I know they were a handful, and that GSA man still holds a grudge about that Ming vase they tricked the Secret Service agent into shooting, but I always thought they would turn out fine."

Bridge looked again at the twins, who had recently been under the firm guiding hand of Ghost Dennis.  "Yes, that kinda spirit and energy just need to be shaped right."

Up in Columbia Heights, Angela de la Paz was also observing a childless Mother's Day--in her case because the father of Lucas had died in combat and she knew she was too young and unready to raise her son, whom she had given up for adoption.  Dulles Samuelson had offered to take her to a fancy brunch, but she had insisted on pupusas at a hole-in-the-wall Salvadoran place.

"So you're really Salvadoran?" asked Dulles.

Angela hesitated for a moment.  "Your father paid for me to have plastic surgery so that my facial traits would be more generic."  She saw him swallow hard.  "He wanted me to be able to take on all kinds of phony identities.  It was called Project Cinderella."  She hadn't said or heard those words out loud for awhile, and they sounded very odd to her now.  "I was supposed to become a seductress super spy, but it didn't really work out."

"Because you developed your gift?"

"I still don't always know what I'm supposed to do with this gift," she said.  "I work for Charles Wu for money, but I argue with him a lot about his agenda."

"Which is what?"

"That's a good question.  Mostly to make money, but he has a convoluted psyche shaped from growing up in Hong Kong with his mother before the Chinese got it back from Britain.  His English father paid for him to go to school in Britain, and eventually he started being a triple agent:  Hong Kong, Beijing, Britain.  Actually I guess it's quadruple now, since he feeds intelligence to Americans--but not for money, since they think he's a businessman.  I think he honestly does not have any particular allegiance."

"That seems dangerous."

"He's the luckiest man I've ever met," she said without irony.

"Because your ESP tells you when he's in danger?"

"Oh, long before I met him," she said.  "His chi is astronomical."

"What does that mean?"

"It means he was meant for more.  What are you really going to do here, Dulles?" she asked, abruptly changing the subject.  She had not yet told him she was in contact with the ghost of his father.

"I just want to help!  I didn't know ghosts and zombies and demons were real!  And in Washington!  I don't understand why my father and sister didn't understand how special your gift was."

Angela glanced over at Ghost Henry, who was glowering with frustration that her plan to get Dulles safely out of Washington had backfired.  "My gift is not always obvious.  I've never gotten a message telling me to wipe out the Heurich Society, even though I easily could.  I'm not out fighting crime every night.  I'm not out fighting demons or zombies every night.  I just try to go where my instincts and visions tell me to go.  This is a very expensive city, Dulles.  What are you going to do here?"

"I have inherited money," he said.  "I can buy a house, and you can live there, too." She looked at him in surprise.  "As a housemate, I mean," he added quickly.  "And then I'll find a job eventually.  Maybe I should be a cop--it would be something, right?  Or an FBI agent--my dad would hate that!"

Angela couldn't help but smile, not daring to look at Ghost Henry, a former CIA agent.  "Weren't you an insurance agent in Philly?  You could do that."

"How can I go back to insurance?!"

"It's an honest living," said Angela.

Over in Georgetown, Golden Fawn had allowed herself to be taken to a fancy Mother's Day brunch--by her husband, Marcos Vazquez, and their adopted son, Joey Bent Oak.  Unfortunately, she was not enjoying it much because, like many Washingtonians, young Joey was fascinated by election politics.

"If so many Republicans voted for Trump, why are there people saying he's not a real Republican?"

"We basically have a two-party system here," said Vazquez (who had grown up in basically one-party Puerto Rico).  "That means the parties have to create broad coalitions to get votes.  Trump talks out of both sides of his mouth to pander for votes.  Experienced politicians know he can never deliver most of the nonsense he says he can, and they don't trust him to uphold conservative values."

This did not help, so Joey turned to Golden Fawn instead.  "Why are there people saying he's not a real Republican."

Golden Fawn couldn't help but smile.  "Because he's a racist independent who hijacked the Republican primaries with a lot of lies."

"Huh," said Joey, pausing to reflect on this.

"Nice sound bite," smiled Marcos, shaking his head.

A few miles away, in Southwest Plaza, conspiracy blogger Glenn Michael Beckmann took another gulp of whiskey, then returned to his post blaming Metro track fireballs on shoddy work done by illegal Mexican aliens for Donald Trump's construction company, underground real estate demons, rats chewing on wires, and zombies' taking over the electricians' union.  His solution?  Deploy roller-skating homeless people with fire extinguishers in each station:  this would cure the homeless problem AND prevent Metro from shutting down for repairs!  He took another gulp of whiskey, amazed that he had to tell all those fancy people with fancy degrees how to fix this!  Satisfied that his work was finished, he logged onto Amazon to track the shipment of Mother's Day diapers he had sent Bristol Palin for their secret love child.

COMING UP:  A Donald Trump operative makes former 
Senator Evermore Breadman an offer he can't refuse!

Sunday, May 01, 2016

All that glitters is not gold.

The Warrior had been hunting for Ardua of the Potomac for months, ever since her flight from Washington.  The Warrior was over 400 years old and an experienced tracker, but she had proven elusive until now.  At last, he looked out upon the small body of water at Trump National Golf Club and realized that the great demon Ardua of the Potomac had become Ardua of the Pond.

"What's up, Tonto?"  Kevin "Monkey" Mundy was smirking at the Warrior.  (Mundy was not an experienced tracker:  he had simply used Google Earth imaging to look through the forests of Maryland and Virginia for an Indian to kidnap.) 

"This place has a great evil," said the Warrior.  "You should play golf elsewhere."

"Golf?!"  Mundy burst out laughing.  "I didn't come here to play golf!  I need you to show me where the gold is!"

The Warrior had not fielded an inquiry like this in over a hundred years, back in California.  "You already have enough gold," said the Warrior, pointing to Mundy's (cursed) Rolex.

"I need MORE!" shouted Mundy, losing his cool.  He suddenly pulled a handgun out of his jacket pocket and pointed it at the Warrior.  "Where is it, Tonto?!"

The Warrior, who had long seemed immune from dying, simply nodded.  "Down here," he said, starting to walk toward the water's edge. 

Mundy followed closely behind, then got excited when he saw something shimmering under a bush.  He rushed the bush, causing a mating pair of starlings to squawk and fly angrily out.

The Warrior hit Mundy on the back of his head with the blunt end of his tomahawk, and the DC Water employee crumpled to the ground.  The Warrior recognized this as the cursed Rolex, and it was more important to remove from Mundy than the gun, but he had to stop in his tracks when somebody behind him yelled, "Freeze!  Drop it, savage one!"

It was Barbara Hellmeister, along with her unborn child's father, Ernest Ironman.

The Warrior tossed aside his tomahawk, put his hands in the air, and turned slowly.  "There is a great evil here," he began, then he paused, seeing evil in the eyes of the Fourth Reich's erstwhile Adam and Eve.  "It is not safe here for the child," he said at last.

"It is not safe when an inferior race sneaks around!" cried Ironman (a great-grandson of Adolf Eichmann).  He pulled out his own gun and shot the Warrior in the stomach.  The Warrior crumpled to the ground without a sound, and the neo-Nazis stepped around him to examine the white man lying next to the bush.

The Warrior crawled quietly away until he found a golf cart.  He had never bled to death from a bullet wound before, but he was in some pain as he climbed in to make his escape. 

Meanwhile, a disappointed Giulianna Sunstream was coping with the fact that only four guests had shown up to her morning-after-the-White-House-Correspondents'-Dinner brunch in her NoMa loft.  "Have some more cherry blossom blintzes made with quinoa flour!" the lifestyle blogger cooed.

"Are you sure all the windows are closed?" asked one nervous visitor.  "The skies were filling up with clouds of toxic fumes as I got out of the Uber car!"

"No, no, no," said Giulianna.  "Those are just regular rain clouds!  The fumes from that toxic train derailment are blowing the other way from Rhode Island Avenue!"

"Then why's your dog wheezing like that?" asked another guest, referring to the toy Maltese.

"Vegas got a touch of hay fever on her morning walk--it's been like this for weeks.  She refuses to wear the face mask, and allergy medicines make her too jittery."

How am I going to blog about this?  She looked desperately around at her small number of guests.  Any really good jokes about politicians or reporters?  Unusual dates?  Maybe a fight will break out like that iPhone-snatching brawl at MSNBC's party at the U.S. Institute for Peace!

"I heard gold was recently discovered in Rock Creek," said a DC Water employee.  "Do you know a good way to pan for gold?"

"Gold!" said Giulianna Sunstream with some surprise.  "No, I don't, but let me show you how to safely mine platinum and rare metals from electronic equipment people just throw away!  Then we can make it into earrings or bracelets."

Up in Cleveland Park, Angela de la Paz was having a pizza party with Liv and Felix Cigemeier, who had adopted her baby boy.  Angela had chosen not to participate in his big turning-two celebration in March, opting instead for a more intimate gathering today.

"Here, Lucas," Angela said, handing him a gift to unwrap.  She carefully wiped the tomato sauce off his hands and took the dirty plate from the high-chair tray.

Lucas tore into the wrapping paper with delight, and found a shiny red firetruck inside.  "Fire!"  He exulted, and started rolling it around the high-chair tray.

"I've never seen him so excited about his other fire trucks," said Felix, who received a kick under the table from his wife for impolitely mentioning that Lucas already had trucks.

"I thought he might like a smaller one that he could hold in his hand," Angela said.  It was one of many conversations she had held with her son in the Dreamtime--he wanted a firetruck he could push around himself, rather than having to watch his father push the big ones around in front of him.  "And he can carry that with him to the park or on car rides."

"That was very thoughtful!" exclaimed Liv, tapping her husband again under the table.

"Yes!" said Felix.  "You always know how to make him happy."  Liv kicked him again under the table, thinking it an awkward thing to say to the young woman who had given him up for adoption.

"Every day you have him, he's been happy," said Angela, who still ached a little for her son but knew it had been the right decision.

Back at Trump National Golf Club, Barbara Hellmeister and Ernest Ironman were disappointed that the "inferior race" had escaped before they could conduct neo-Nazi experiments on him, but they were having an interesting time eating lunch with the recovering Kevin Mundy--who kept raving about gold and scratching under the (cursed) Rolex on his wrist.  He examined every piece of pond catfish carefully for gold before sticking it in his mouth to eat.  He also forked through the wild rice carefully, imagining glistening pieces everywhere.

"It's just because we cooked it in a copper pan," said Hellmeister.  "We filtered the water through flag canvas before using it to cook.  The copper makes the rice a little shiny."

Mundy made a mental note to look for this "flag canvas" later--probably covered in gold flakes.  "Well, what are you doing out here if you're not panning for gold?"

Ironman laughed.  "Do you think that is the only thing worth doing, DC Water man?"

"How else will the little people get anything in this world?!" exclaimed Mundy.  "I can't just wait around for another rich guy to flush his old Rolex when he buys a new one!"

"We are living off the land," said Hellmeister, half truthfully.  "We have built an underground bunker to survive the return of warm weather and hordes of golfers.  You can stay awhile if you like."

Ironman looked sharply at Hellmeister in jealousy, notwithstanding she was several months pregnant with his child.  "It's too crowded!" said the man who was playing hooky from his maintenance job at the U.S. Capitol.  He had kept her tied up before, and would not hesitate to do it again if necessary.

"No, thanks!" said Mundy.  "I need to keep my DC government health insurance until I strike it rich.  But I wouldn't mind visiting here on the weekends to pan for gold.  I'm pretty sure that's why Sitting Bull was here."

Over at the State Department, "C. Coe Phant" stopped by to taunt the Assistant Deputy Administrator for Hope.

"I hear thirteen is the iron drill bit anniversary!" sneered Phant, referring to the fact that President George W. Bush had declared "mission accomplished" in Iraq thirteen years ago today.

"We're not the ones who broke it!" retorted the A.D.A.f.H.

"You've had years to fix it!" said Phant.

"We've had years to fix it!"

"Oh, not me!" cried Phant.  "I had other assignments.  But if you need help evacuating the U.S. embassy away from those angry mobs, just give me a holler."

Outside the State Department, more pairs of starlings were mating in the bushes, their feathers shimmering in evil beauty.

Dulles Samuelson starts his new life in Washington.