A Tale for the Modern Attention Span
“Oh why?” she sobbed, “why does it have to end this way? How could I let my poor father down like this? He must be rolling over in his grave right now.”
Beth Breath stood off to one side, herself thinking what a momentous tragedy this day represented.
“It’s not your fault,” Norbert said in his falsetto whisper. “You’re an artist. You’re not cut out for this kind of work. If anything, your father would admire you for making this decision. Even though it’s difficult, it’s the right one.”
Viv was inconsolable. She continued to weep with her head down until the three of them heard the elevator open and she knew she had to pull herself together. She was wiping tears from her face and running her fingers through her lovely black hair when a knock sounded on the door.
“Come in,” Viv said brusquely.
Burl Hard looked sheepish as he opened the door and just stood there. “Hello, Mrs. Bolt-Vandermere.”
Viv melted somewhat at his self-conscious manner. “Hello Burl. It’s just Miss Bolt now, by the way.”
“Come in and let’s get this over with,” she said, dropping the civility upon recollecting that her former lover was now the enemy.
Burl took only one step inside the office. “First I would like to introduce some people who will be assisting me in running your company.” He spoke so formally, it was clear this presentation had been carefully rehearsed. “First of all, my attorney, Barry Storr.”
The sleazy lawyer with the portly figure and coke-bottle glasses strode smugly into the room. (You might remember him as the man who brokered the deal for the land upon which Hard Hinges was built.) “Hello Beth,” he said eagerly, “I want you to know there’s always a position waiting for you—as my personal assistant, of course. Haha.”
Beth’s stomach tightened at such a revolting prospect.
“The head of Manufacturing will be a brilliant and radical metallurgist we hired from the small but prodigious, I mean, prestigious Crescendo Cove Polytechnic Institute: Dr. Richard Tickle.”
A man with thinning red hair atop a round face and round frame came in. “Call me Dick,” he said. “Get it? Dick Tickle. My parents had an odd sense of humour.” He laughed the raspy laugh of a man who smokes too many cigarettes.
Beth peered at him strangely.
“And this is the man without whose brilliance, munificence and cunning none of this would’ve been possible.” A whisper from the other side of the door prompted Burl to stick his head out. “What? Oh yeah.” He turned and faced the others again. “And his boundless intelligence too.”
Upon that cue Benson Benoit walked regally into what had been the office of Steel Bolt and, before him, Howard Bolt.
The only Bolt currently in the room fainted into the chair her brother and father used to occupy.
Continue Reading: Episode 117: Don't Even Both Being A Father...