Discovery Period by Mike Sauve

“‘Tooth orders and despair from seizures…’ this one is called.”

“‘Attended second rap class, Jessica’s wooing by instructor led to great humiliation for me.  Now mine she only humiliates me.’  Was he in a rap class Redge?”

“Not sure about that one Deb.  I am opening a folder right now called ‘Invocation of My Demon Brother by Kenneth Anger.’  I do not like the sound of that name.”

“‘Wallace Jests about M*A*S*H time-code, but is humour just veneer for truth?’ Redge, did he have a friend named Wallace?”

“I am playing this video Deb and it is like a straight-on incantation of Satan, like, The Dark Lord himself.”

“Some denture catalogues.”

“Here a folder called, ‘Shiny White Teeth’…appears to be filled with many pictures of teeth.”

“A homework assignment, Greatest Artistic Influence on me….his subject:  Jim Belushi.”

“Possibly some sarcasm there Deb.”

“Pentagramic and phallic symbols abound, scribbled all over the back page.  And not after grading either, because the teacher has notated:  ‘What is this?   Be more serious!’  And then there is a -5, so he lost five marks for the pentagramic and phallic scribbling.”

“Oh Deb, here I find a trove of gay pornography.  Much of it violent.”

“Here are schematics to build something called a DreamMachine (TM).”

“Now a more violent amassment of heterosexual pornography, like, gasp-inducingly violent Deb.”

“Here detailed plans for a ‘Coxwell Subway Station Dirty Bomb.’”

“From your scanning of that Deb, are you seeing like a level of planning that parallels that which our son put into today’s events?”

“It’s nearly a superior level of planning I’m afraid.”

“This should not fall into the wrong hands.”

“The police will want to see it.”

“I’m thinking we destroy some of this worst stuff Deb, or we are going to look like, Grade-A parentally clueless.”

“I think we need to cooperate with the police Redge.”

“Beyond clueless, my real concern is like, Grade-A culpable.”

“Here is his high school yearbook with bullets and daggers aimed at certain individuals.  Oh dear.  I saw one of these people on the news just now.”

“I feel something like that has just got to go.”

“What are we going to do, have a bonfire?  Will that not raise suspicions?”

“Coming across a large number of Guns/Ammo-style publications here.  Did you not once come in to clean his room Deb?  I mean, I was busy at work.  You know how crazy things have been for me lately.”

“He didn’t like me going in his room.  He threatened me with a knife when he was 13 and that’s the last time I was in here.”

“There were signs.  Do you recall the sardonic way he’d laugh at the sitcoms we’d watch on Thursday night?  It was like he was laughing at us Deb.”

“Here I’m seeing a long, heartfelt letter to this Jessica person.  Actually it’s quite sweet.”

“Corresponding folder of photos of this Jessica, an attractive, if somewhat dark and ominous girl.  Well-endowed I might add.”

“Not appropriate under today’s grave circumstances Redge!”

“Just making an observation, given the hormonal impulses of adolescence this would have been a factor for him.”

“Maybe there’s a correlation between the final dates of the pictures he saved of her and the advent of the violent pornography.”

“Checking on that now Deb.”

“Because if so we might be able to spin this off as the work of some temptress, and all parental culpability will go out the window.  It’s in bad taste to blame parents anyway.  If only we could find some particularly nasty breakup email she sent him.”

“Found previously requested correlation, doing a Gmail search now Deb.”

“Only a few minutes until the police are here.”

“Found it Deb, particularly nasty series of emails from this Jessica and her friends, possibly one from the rap instructor, a person named Flash Master Luci anyway.”

“Okay.”

“Okay so we are not deleting any of this material, and we are printing some copies of these emails for the reporters.”

“Think distraught Redge.”

“I’m thinking beyond distraught.  I’m thinking one of us needs to appear distraught and the other hysterical.”

“You were the one who took the acting classes.”

“Yes, but it’s much more believable for the woman to be hysterical.”

“Yes, but the less convincing the hysterical person the more likely it is that culpability-oriented questions will arise.

“Goddamnit Deb.  Fine, I will be the hysterical one.  I see the police pulling into the driveway. Will you please fix me a very strong drink, like, this exact second?”

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About the Author:

Mike Sauve has written non-fiction for The National Post, The Toronto International Film Festival Group, Exclaim Magazine and other publications.  His online fiction has appeared everywhere from Feathertale, Frost Writing, and Rivets to university journals of moderate renown.  Stories have also appeared in print in M-Brane, Black and White Journal, Palimpsest 2010, and elsewhere.

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