A Tale for the Modern Attention Span
The instant those words were spoken, so highly and softly, everyone in the chapel turned to see what female had uttered them. It became apparent that it wasn’t a woman, however, when a young black man emerged from the last pew on the left and started walking up the aisle.
Steel Bolt looked to Reverend Izzmore—for it seemed the cleric should get first dibs on dealing with the disruption. Alas, the holy man had such a look of befuddlement on his face there was no doubt this was the first wedding he’d ever presided over to be interrupted in this fashion.
So it was Steel who stepped out of the front pew to confront the approaching stranger. “What is the meaning of this? Were you invited here?” (Steel was still weighing the possibility that the man was an interloper, come to feed on the wedding banquet.)
“No, I wasn’t. I’ve come to stop the wedding. My only regret is that I didn’t get here before it started.”
The man’s high-pitched voice was so quiet the people in the chapel were annoyed. They wished he’d speak the hell up.
“Explain yourself,” Steel demanded.
“Yes, of course. My name is Norbert Oglethorpe. My mother’s name is—was—Myra Oglethorpe. Up until a few weeks ago I didn’t know who my father was—Momma wouldn’t tell me. But she died recently and I subsequently received a letter from the lawyers that I was to open only after she passed. In it I was informed that my father was a man called Benson Benoit—”
At the articulation of that name all in attendance who were privy to the history of the Bolt family produced a collective gasp. “Benson Benoit?!?” they murmured amongst themselves for a few moments—but then they immediately went silent again for fear of missing whatever salacious details were to follow.
“This Mr. Benoit seduced my mother, but left her before I was born. That’s why Momma didn’t want me knowing anything about him—she didn’t hold him in very high regard. Since learning this information I’ve been doing some research into the man and his life; that’s how I discovered his connection to your family.” Norbert was looking exclusively at Steel as he whispered his explanation. “I found out that he was your family’s butler and that your sister had a child by him. I was intrigued at the thought I had a half-brother, so I hired a private detective to find him for me.”
That's when Viveka gasped—forcing everyone in the audience to rip their eyes from the stranger with the fascinating story and look at her.
“I know what you’re thinking, ma’am. I know how excited you must be. That’s why it pains me more than anything to inform you that the child you gave up, the child you’ve probably wanted to meet your entire life is....” He paused, shook his head and looked down. It appeared he would be unable to continue. But then he steeled himself, looked back up with tears in his eyes, and said, “The child you seek is the man standing next to you. Hugh Rection is your son.”
Continue Reading: Episode 54: Genetics and Frenetics