This is my Friday Frights for this week. The theme this month is Terror In The Water. Maybe the terror in my story is actually an Avenging Angel. See what you think . . .
Down his craggy face the tears fall, slowly at first, building up intensity as they race across his shirt, pour onto his trousers, and explode onto the steps of the Memorial as a raging river. Nothing stops them as they travel in unity to the Reflecting Pool.
The water in the pool boils up towards the rapidly darkening skies, whirlpools and eddies changing the surface and the very color of the tepid inferno. The reflection of the Washington Monument can no longer be seen in the pool, and black mists twirl upward, blocking out the monument in its entirety. Within seconds, nothing can be seen through the dark pea-soup fog.
Tourists stumble around, searching for any light at all that might show them a way out of this conundrum. The great man on the chair has no answer for them. They are on their own. Work must be done tonight. Warnings have gone unheeded. The evil needs to end.
Water flows over the side of the pool, puddle after puddle becoming separate entities, no longer attached to the pool proper. They writhe against the path beneath them, almost as if in the throes of birth.
They are in the throes of birth.
Dark creatures, entities of substance, form, rise up, and take to the paths surrounding the area, unsteady at first, but gaining confidence and purpose with each step. Footfalls are heard everywhere. Hundreds of beings take off in every direction, following the scent of the goal at hand. Ghostly apparitions follow them with their long blind eyes, knowing what is happening and wishing to take part. But tonight is not their night. They have fought before. A new army is advancing tonight.
The city has never seen an evening such as this. It is darker than dark. No moon. No electricity. Not a single automobile with a functioning engine. Nothing casts light, and terror that is thicker than the black fog rides the air. The Capitol is a giant hush. No one dares utter a word for fear of drawing the unseen to them. Damn be anyone else. These are a hardened people - hardened to the feelings of others around them. A contagion, worse than any experienced here before, has calloused their hearts and shrunken their souls. No one cares anymore.
They move silently through the streets, branching out the farther they go, all their senses locked in on their targets. There are no beating hearts to betray their presence. They have none. Their souls rule their actions. The spiritual and physical components of them only require the will to do what is right. Justice . . . justice drives them. But tonight the blind-folded lady will be dealing with a different set of laws. Justitia, Lady Justice, will be swinging her sword to a new form of reason and justice. The Dark ones are the arbiters of truth this evening.
Cigar smoke drifts through the Senate office of the Junior Senator from Wyoming: the good stuff, a finely rolled Cuban. The elite ones get to smoke these. It matters not that they are illegal for the masses. So was alcohol during prohibition, but that didn't stop anyone with a few bucks from getting their fill of bath-tub gin. The Senator and the Big Oil lobbyist sit silently, not wanting to incur the wrath of what everyone else, as well as themselves, is afraid of.
The door opens and two of the Dark Ones enter the room. They advance towards their prey. No noise comes from either of them, but the pressure of their presence in the air alerts the inhabitants to the fact they are not alone. The cigars are forgotten now and fall from their hands to the carpet.
Nooses of suffocation wrap around the two, tightening as they work their way upwards. They grasp for every breath, but none is coming. Their open mouths absorb long tendrils, slimy and putrid tasting, the ends cutting like knives into their throats. Blood pours from the many wounds, trapped inside, not able to gain passage to outside their bodies. The entities completely occupy all the space now. Choking only makes things worse and their final effort to breathe is met by the sharp tentacles cutting through to their lungs.
Suckers attached to the tentacles suck out what is left of the oxygen in their lungs, and the duo flop about in the air, reduced to rag dolls . . . lifeless rag dolls. With a show of disgust from those acting as their judges, they are tossed to the side. The released pressure on their necks allows the blood to gush out, joining the disdainful emptying of bowels dirtying the carpet. The entities spit the remnants of their last breaths at them and leave the room.
The hunt goes on for those pretending to be legislators. They are merely heartless, soulless miscreants, wishing only to pad their pockets with easily obtained loot. Big business rules this city and hence the country. Both parties are co-conspirators in the wholesale selling of America to the highest bidder.
Everyone is here this week. There are big bills to be voted on. Ones affecting the lives of many citizens . . . citizens sold down the river. No bills will be voted on this week, though. Unless someone is left to vote, and the chances appear slimmer with every kill, with every withdrawal of breath from one of the 535 elected officials, and every tainted dollar from a lobbyist taken from them and shoved up the asses and down the lifeless throats of those wishing to bankroll a retirement fit for a king. It appears the retirement funds are vanishing for Congress.
The silent army marches, their dark uniforms blending in not only with the blackness surrounding them, but the evil desires of those they hunt. They are efficient and, by the time the war is over, all those who would take from the people what is theirs are remaindered to their new state of being, one filled with much pain. There will be plenty of time for them to dwell on the fallacies of their deceit.
* * * *
The Vice President walks into the Oval Office. Through a haze of diffused light returning to the room, he sees the President slumped over his desk. Running to him and gazing on his face, it is apparent that he has been through a horrifying experience. His death mask is terrifying, all his features frozen into a bizarre impossibility of visual interpretation.
Others are in the room as well: the Commander In Chief's Cabinet, called here last night for a special session, one the Vice President was told not to attend. All of them are dead, their features resembling those of their leader.
He walks to the window and stares out into the still dark evening. Lights are returning slowly, but they are off in the distance. Other than the White House, everything close by is still dark. The President's computer jumps to life, and he walks to it. The news of the massacre flashes across the screen. No members of Congress can be found alive, the headlines say. The streets and their homes are littered with bodies.
The Vice President knows the truth for what it is. He is in charge. No one else is left.
Sitting in a chair, he stares at the lifeless bodies and out the window again. He shakes his head and ponders about what needs to be done. He can't let the country down. It is time to do what should have been done long ago.
* * * *
The Dark Ones return to the Reflecting Pool and salute the man in the big chair before they slide back into the water. He stands and salutes them back. When the last of them have returned to the water, he sits down again.
He reflects back to the days of the Civil War, to a time of turmoil like no other. His beloved country was heading back towards the same path once more. It was much better to fight against the few trying to destroy what belonged to so many. War is never pretty. This one was short and just. Only those deserving to die did.
"The new President will do a fine job, " he thinks. He is just; he cares.
Darkness leaves the city. A beautiful sunrise greets all who are up . . .