The Jinx: Sample Page 4

“Just three?” Thompson asked. “You see, Christy, the situation is already cooling down.”

Pete shook his head uncertainly. “‘Fraid not, sir. We tossed out hundreds of hate letters. Security only asked for the ones that threatened violence,” he said. “But don’t feel too bad—there’s lots of fan mail, too.”

Thompson slumped into his executive chair and swiveled to face the window. He became aware, again, of the angry chants rising up from the street. Fan mail. Sometimes he disgusted himself.

“Mr. Thompson,” Pete said awkwardly. “What should I tell Security?”

Thompson whirled abruptly to face the clerk. “No police. No bodyguards.” He waved Pete off, then turned to Christy. “No story.”

“Aren’t you worried about the death threats?” she asked with genuine concern. “Like you said, that mob sounds like it’s out for blood.”

Thompson looked up in surprise. Concern and tenderness suited Christy Kirk as badly as a pink party dress. “I appreciate the thought, but I’ll be fine as long as I don’t try to mingle with them—a lesson you’d be wise to learn yourself.”

She ignored the thinly veiled reproach. “You’ve exposed a raw nerve with that editorial,” she said, gesturing towards the window. “There are a lot of angry black people in New York City, and their fury seems to be directed at you this week.”

He could almost visualize the tug-of-war between his mind and his heart, a contest fought every day for the last twenty-one months. His sworn obligation to The Royal Order of the Millennium Knight was to provoke racial rebellion, a task that was in grave conflict with his natural sentiments.

“My intention was not to belittle African-Americans,” he lied. “Integration seemed like a noble goal thirty years ago, but experience has shown the experiment failed. Our cultures are like oil and water. I stand by my editorial. The Board of Ed’s proposal to bus children between suburban and city schools is unnatural.”

Christy filled her cheeks with air, then expelled it. “Whatever your intentions, using the word ‘unnatural’ conjures up an image of animals in a zoo. You could’ve made the case against the proposal by arguing it’s too costly and burdensome. You’ve ticked off a lot of people unnecessarily.”

Copyright © 2000, 2011 by Larry Kahn

Pages: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  NEXT>

Leave a Reply