A Tale for the Modern Attention Span
Steel Bolt smiled at his big brother. “I’m impressed, Daedalus. Who would’ve thought your alcohol-ravaged brain still possessed such powers of perception? Perhaps there’s hope for you yet,” he added wistfully.
“So who is Burl Hard?”
“As much as I’d like to reward your perspicacity with an explanation, I can’t. Burl Hard’s existence does not concern you.” Steel Bolt stood to leave.
“Steel wait, there’s something else I need to discuss with you.”
“Not now, Daedalus. I have to get to the office. Try me tomorrow morning,” said Steel, ignoring the nearly unprecedented occurrence of Daedalus having something to say.
Steel Bolt did not go directly to the office, as he had suggested. Instead he detoured past the garage and took the path to the stables. Steel doesn’t care much for the stables (they’re so dirty and smelly), but he does enjoy riding. As with most everything he tries his hand at, Steel is an expert rider.
On this morning, despite the grimy environs, he marched into the slatted building wearing a pair of $2000 Italian loafers. He walked down the hallway between the horse stalls and found Burl Hard pitching hay out from a corner.
Burl Hard, mid-twenties, is always an impressive sight—but even more so this particular morning. Despite the fact it’s so chilly you can see his breath when he exhales, Burl is wearing only a snug pair of cut-off jeans on his six foot, four inch frame. Sunlight streams between spaces in the walls, illuminating his chest and arms as they swell against the weight of the hay. Steel can’t help but notice the sweat dribbling down Burl’s back and chest. All of his abundant, golden locks swing about freely—except for the ones matted wetly to his forehead and shoulders.
If this guy were carved out of marble, Steel thought, people would come from all over the world and pay twenty bucks to look at him. Steel did not allow his thoughts to wander any further. This was an important confrontation, after all.
“Mr. Hard, a word please.”
“Oh, hello Mr. Bolt. What can I do for you?”
“It seems we have a problem, Mr. Hard.”
“Is there something wrong with my work?”
“It is not your pitching of hay that concerns me, it’s your pitching of woo.”
Burl Hard stared back blankly.
“The fact that you’re having sex with my sister,” Steel explained.
“Mr. Hard, you are clearly not possessed of enough intelligence to match wits with me—or most livestock for that matter—so I’d appreciate if you didn’t bother lying about the situation. Truth be told, I’m not that upset with you. I know what my sister’s like and I’m sure she seduced you. Hell, you’re a good looking young man. If I were in her shoes, I might have done the same. Ahem, the bottom-line, however, is that it is to stop. Now.”
Burl Hard’s mental acuity might best be likened to molasses. Cold molasses. On a winter’s day. That’s why he didn’t quite catch everything Mr. Bolt had said. There was something about livestock (which he knew a bit about), something about being seduced (which he liked), and something about ending his relationship with Mrs. Bolt-Vandermere (which is what she made him call her while they did it—which is all they ever did). He wasn’t sure how to respond. “But I love her. I want to spend the rest of my life with her. She said we were gonna,” he declared, recalling how Mrs. Bolt-Vandermere had, more than once, clutched his head against her glorious breasts as they lay in the hay and told him how she was going to buy a mansion for them, and how he wouldn’t have to be a servant anymore, and how he wouldn’t have to call her Mrs. Bolt-Vandermere anymore (except when they were doing it, of course). Burl was pretty sure she’d said all those things, and he liked them.
“I’m sure she did tell you that, but I’m here to inform you that it will not happen. There will be no more carrying-on of any kind. Do you understand?”
Burl tried to understand (you could tell he was trying by the look on his face), but he couldn’t. “I love her,” he insisted, thinking that reiterating this point would clear up whatever misapprehension Mr. Bolt had.
“Listen, you fucking bumpkin,” Steel said, stepping so close to Burl Hard that their noses almost touched, “I am in control of everything that goes on around here and if I find out that you have not refrained from fucking my sister, I’ll have you ground up into tiny pieces and fed to those horses. Then I’m going to hire someone to follow those horses around and pick out the little pieces of you that come out in their shit, and then I’m going to feed those pieces to the horses—and I’ll continue this process until there are no more little pieces of you left. Got that?”
Before Burl could respond Steel whirled around and exited the stable.
Burl was left standing among the hay, trying to decide whether he should chase after Mr. Bolt and tell him he was pretty sure horses didn’t eat meat.