A Tale for the Modern Attention Span
Later that same afternoon Steel Bolt wandered through the bar at the Crescendo Cove Inn Continental like a man in search of someone.
The conviction of his stride all of a sudden seemed to indicate that he’d located the person he sought. He walked over to a table and said, “Mr. Rection.”
Hugh Rection looked up with eyes twisted from drunkenness, struggling to place the man who’d addressed him.
Without waiting for an invitation to do so, Steel sat at Hugh’s table. He laughed slightly as he repeated, “‘Mr. Rection’. I never noticed before, but your name sounds like the word misdirection, which is fitting, since it so accurately encapsulates your life.”
Recognition dawning, Hugh said, “Uncle Steel,” sarcastically.
“Mr. Rection, allow me to get straight to the point: I feel somewhat culpable for what happened between you and my sister. Had I done a background check on you before the wedding, as I fully intended, I would have discovered the unfortunate implications of your relationship, and much of that ... unpleasantness could have been avoided. Alas, circumstances conspired against me and the investigation never took place. For that I would like to apologize. And,” Steel added, “I would like to perform an act of restitution.”
“What kinda restitution?” asked Hugh.
“Let’s just say I’m in the business of granting wishes. What is your most fervent dream, Mr. Rection?”
“Your dreams, your hopes, your desires—if you could have, or be, anything in the world, what would it be?”
Hugh paused, as if ashamed to voice his aspirations. Finally he said, “Well, I guess I’d have to say I want to be a private detective.” He wasn’t lying. Since resuming his drinking career, mostly what Hugh has done (when he’s not getting free cocktails at whatever bar Guy Laflamme is working that day) is park himself in front of the TV for hours at a time. His favourite programs are all the private detective shows of the 70s and 80s: Magnum P.I., Mannix, The Rockford Files, Simon and Simon, Moonlighting....
Thanks to this fascination, Hugh has conjured a fantasy in which he gets an old, gold Cadillac, and drives around Crescendo Cove solving crimes and cracking wise. Quite frankly, it’s all he’s been able to think about for nearly a month.
“That’s certainly not what I expected to hear, but I can make it happen,” said Steel.
“With money,” Steel replied, as if the answer were so obvious he resented having to state it. “I’d be willing to bet that $50,000 would be more than enough to get an enterprise like that off the ground?”
“I guess so,” Hugh mumbled as his mind contemplated a not-so-old Cadillac.
He was so preoccupied he barely noticed when Steel said, “Of course in exchange for this gift there’s one little thing you’re going to have to do for me....”
Continue Reading: Episode 67: A Variety of Things Including Offsprings and Rings