A Tale for the Modern Attention Span
The following Tuesday, Steel Bolt tried his best to suppress his anxiety as he strode stiffly into the breakfast room at stately Bolt Manor. The damn newspaper was the source of his anxiety. He didn’t know what he feared more: the Local Section telling of more carnage in Crescendo Cove, or the Business Section that he knew was eventually going to run a story about irregularities at Bolt Fasteners. Even as he sat down, the muscles in his body refused to relax.
When Viv handed him the Business Section, he used it to shield his face from her and Norbert.
Okay, good. There’s no story about us. That gives me another day to unlock those computer files and pay our suppliers. Then no one will ever have to know about this—
That’s when Viv gasped.
Steel resisted the nearly-overpowering temptation to put down his newspaper and look at her.
“Steel,” she said tremulously, “you didn’t go out for dinner on Friday night, did you?”
“No,” he replied.
“And you ate here at stately Bolt Manor the entire weekend?”
“As I always do.”
“But you went out for dinner last night, didn’t you?” she accused more than asked.
“Yes.” He swallowed nervously, hoping his dining companions wouldn’t notice.
“Where?” Viv asked.
“The new Indian place.”
“You mean ... New Dehlicious?”
“Yes,” Steel said hoarsely.
A whimper escaped from Viv. “One of their waitresses was killed last night. Skull crushed, pants around her ankles.”
Steel lowered the paper slowly and stared at his sister and Norbert.
All three of them wore looks of disbelief.
Meanwhile, across town at Crescendo Cove Memorial Hospital (the same place where the young Indian girl’s body was undergoing an autopsy), Chastity Fate was screaming the paint off the walls, cursing semen, ruing the day she was created a female, and generally wishing she were anywhere else, when suddenly, amidst a gooey mess she was emitting from her vagina, a slimy baby boy emerged. At that moment, she was the happiest person in the world!
Coincidentally, the most nauseated person in the world was right at Chastity’s side. That was her friend and housemate Charity Hope, who was seriously reconsidering the advisability of giving birth herself.
Anyway, that’s how the Bolt family was ensured of living on into the next generation.