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, June 12, 2016

Running With the Pack

Ghost Pippin had been haunting the Supreme Court for several months, terrorizing judicial clerks, secretaries, security guards, cleaning staff, librarians and the Justices themselves--not that any would admit it!  This was a semi-rational place dedicated to declaring the law of the land, and nobody here wanted to say they were knocking on wood, carrying rabbit's feet, leaving out cat treats and toys, crossing themselves, throwing salt over their shoulders, or closing their eyes when riding alone in elevators.  The former pet of Condoleezza Rice was bored with it:  spreading scary mojo at the Supreme Court, though perhaps having serious effects on judicial outcomes, gave no immediate gratification to Ghost Pippin.  The heat of summer was back, and Ghost Pippin returned to the streets to assemble a new pack of feral feline phantoms to run with.

Back at Thaitastic, the therapist was again massaging the hell out of Congressman Paul Ryan.  "Uh," he grunted, knowing he was even more tied up in knots than last time after the pummeling he had received at Mitt Romney's CEO gathering for endorsing Donald Trump.  "Oof."  She was pushing his spine forward while pulling both his arms back.  My hands were tied behind my back! he repeated to himself.  I'm the leader of all the Republicans!  "Eh!"  He thought back to a simple time when he only had to please campaign donors in his own little corner of Wisconsin--reasonable people.  "Oh!"  When a woman CEO tells me Trump is like Hitler and Mussolini, and I have no counter-argument, what the Hell am I doing as Speaker of the House?  Speaker for what?  For whom?  "Gaaaa."  The therapist had him pressed down on the futon again, yanking his legs around.  And now dozens of people massacred in Orlando in the largest mass shooting in U.S. history!  Here comes the NRA apocalypse!  "Jesus!"

Over on Capitol Hill, Sebastian L'Arche was training some high school students who would be helping him do additional pet-sitting and dog-walking during the summer months when so many Congressional Representatives and their staffers were out of town.  "I'm not giving you any pit bulls, but you need to learn to recognize them.  If you see a pit bull in a dog park or anywhere else you are walking dogs, stay away from them."  The teenagers were surprised to hear the locally famous Dog Whisperer caution against a particular breed--they thought it was a myth about pit bulls.

"It depends on how they're raised," said L'Arche, "but if  I don't know who raised them, I have to assume the worse."

"Man, you bigoted!" laughed one of the teens.

"People have different colored skin:  that has nothing to do with their brains.  In-breeding for specific dog traits has led to very different brains.  Pit bulls have a killer instinct, and if they haven't been trained against it, there's nothing you can do when it's triggered."

"What other dogs we gotta worry 'bout?"

"Dogs have a pack instinct.  We're going to walk these two over to the dog park now, and I want you to observe silently all the interactions in the dog park.  I want to hear who you think the leader of the pack is.  Pay particular attention when dogs are coming or leaving, because there might be another play for power."

"Like biting and shit?"

"Get out of the habit of swearing--clients don't want to hear it.  If they think your language is careless, they'll think your work habits are also careless."  The teens rolled their eyes at him.  "And don't do that, either.  You can swear and roll your eyes on your own time.  When I'm paying you, don't."

They were at the park now, and L'Arche unleashed the dogs and watched the teens observing how one hung back a bit while the other ran straight into the fray of dogs trotting around.  L'Arche spotted a Doberman he had never seen here before, but she was timid.  It seemed to be a Rottweiler/shepherd mix that was leading the pack, but his charge that had hung back--a border collie--had finished assessing the group and suddenly started running circles trying to round them all up.  L'Arche laughed because he had seen this happen so many times before.  "Barking does not prove much," said L'Arche to his new employees.  "Sometimes it's the quiet ones."

Then a King Charles spaniel in the far end of the park started growling, and L'Arche turned to look.  "Growling is much more important than barking," said L'Arche.  "That means they are on full alert and ready to pounce."

"On what?"

"Sometimes you won't know," said L'Arche, but he did know:  it was the pack of ghost dogs running with the Gopper and Ghost Anatoly (inhabiting a Samoyed phantom).

When are you going to move on? he whispered to the approaching leader of the pack, the Gopper Ghost.

Too much left to do, said TGG, sitting down at L'Arche's feet.

It's not your job, whispered L'Arche, who had spent a lot of time with TGG (and his sire, the Gipper) before TGG was killed by the Zombie Caucus in Congress. 

Why haven't you warned the people? asked Ghost Anatoly, a human ghost trapped in a canine specter after a traumatic murder.

L'Arche sighed so deeply that the teens turned to look at him, but the Dog Whisperer was not even looking at the pack in the dog park at all.

Some people can hear the truth, but some can't, L'Arche whispered.

You're afraid, said TGG, and L'Arche had no response; the ghost pack trotted off towards Capitol Hill.

"It's gotten kinda weird in there," said one of the teens, drawing L'Arche's attention back to the living dogs.

L'Arche moved into the center of the pack, surrounded by confused dogs--some pacing nervously, some growling, one howling.  He squatted and whispered to them not to fear the ghost pack.  He put his hand under the howling chihuahua, who immediately quieted down and put his little snout into L'Arche's palm.  They are caught between two worlds, but they only want to do good.

The teens and everybody else watching (many of whom were familiar with Sebastian L'Arche) smiled and shook their heads at the now quiet pack of dogs.  L'Arche then stood up and clapped his hands.  "Run!" he cried, and they obediently took off.

Out on Kingman Island, Glenn Michael Beckmann's pack of Hunter-Gatherer Society he-men were running quickly after a wounded monkey who had pulled the arrow out of its haunch and was painfully trying to escape.  Beckmann soon ran out of breath and left it to the younger, more nimble members to finish it off.  Where the Hell did that monkey come from?  Beckmann was ignorant about a lot of things, but he knew their usual prey on Kingman Island was not monkey.  He took a gulp from his thermos of Long Island iced tea.  Nothing makes sense anymore.  Despite having a secret love child with Bristol Palin, Bristol had married somebody else last week!  Sarah Palin had abandoned the Hunter-Gatherer Society to support Donald Trump, a man who couldn't kill a mouse without summoning bodyguards!  Captain America was saluting Hydra!

"Damned fascists!" shouted one of the hunters after tripping over some abandoned beer bottles.

Oh, my God, we lost to the fascists!  Beckmann looked around wildly.  He had always thought the Federal Reserve Board would destroy the country, or illegal aliens, or Mothers Against Drunk Driving, but fascists?!  Then he remembered he was supposed to have assassinated Donald Trump for Ghost Henry.  It's too late!  The fascists have planted Ebola monkeys to wipe us all out!

"Don't eat it!  Burn it!" hollered Beckmann to the men walking back with the triple-stabbed and now dead monkey.

"But we always eat what we hunt," whined Melvin, "and I've never tasted monkey before!"

"Ebola!  Zika!  Mad cow monkey brain disease!  Burn it!"

"Damn it!" said Howard.  "I might as well be shooting at the National Rifle Association target range if we ain't gonna eat it!"

"Yeah, those people will shoot fifty gays in a nightclub just for fun, not even for eating."

"Damned waste of ammunition."

"And now the whiny people will try to come for our guns again."

"Let 'em try!  I got my cross-bow."

The chatter died down when they saw Beckmann smearing mud on his face for better camouflage.  "Nobody's leaving Kingman until we find all the fascist monkeys!"

A few miles away, the White House ghosts were discussing the looming nomination of Donald Trump.

It's a sign of the Apocalypse!

It's a sign that this country is going to the dogs!

It's a sign that I need to get out of this place!

No way!  I'm staying!  I'm gonna haunt that man to death if it's the last thing I do!

Gardener Bridge listened carefully, spraying water on the roots of the rose bushes.  No, sir, it ain't gonna come to that.

COMING UP:  Singapore surprise!


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