A Tale for the Modern Attention Span
The next morning Steel Bolt did his best to maintain his composure as Viv performed her ritual dissection of the newspaper. What he wanted to do was grab the entire Crescendo Cove Times from her and tear it apart until he found the day’s article extolling Hard Hinges. He knew there’d be one, because every day for the past thirty days there’s been at least one story about the thousands of new clients Hard Hinges has amassed, or the innovative alloy they’ve developed, or some other unprecedented stride. And when he found that article, he wanted to rip it into tiny pieces.
He managed to restrain himself until Viv passed him the Business section. Sure enough, on the front page was an article about his rival’s procurement of a foundry in Peru—a move of vertical integration sure to save millions of dollars, the headline raved. Before Steel could calm himself sufficiently to read the article, his concentration was disrupted by a gasp from Viv: “Oh my god, there was another murder in Crescendo Cove last night!”
Steel kept his eyes fixed on the story in front of him, but listened with one ear as Norbert asked, “Who was killed?”
A few moments of silence ensued while Viv perused the article. “...Another waitress.... This one worked at the Italian place downtown, Casa Mia Lasagne.”
“Another young girl?” Norbert asked, intrigued.
“No, this one was 35 years old ... married with a couple of kids ... a career waitress.... She was found in the parking lot with her skull smashed, her skirt up around her waist and her underwear around her ankles. But they think—just like the girl from the previous night—she wasn’t sexually assaulted.” Viveka read aloud from the article: “‘It’s too early to say for sure, but police are considering the possibility that there is a serial killer at work. Some on the force have already dubbed him ‘The Crescendo Cove Crusher’, based on the modus operandi.’”
Steel could feel their eyes on him. He waited a length of time, one consistent with reading the stock quotes, before folding up the Business Section. Then, as nonchalantly as possible, he said, “Another murder? Isn’t that interesting. You know, come to think of it, I had dinner at Casa Mia Lasagne last night.”