Same conversation continued from previous chapter.
“Do you all remember the day Chris found Maude had died?” asked Kevin.
“Of course I remember, you were so insensitive that morning. The poor cat died in her basket and you showed no compassion at all. You know how much I loved her. But why are you bringing this up now?”
“Well, I have a confession to make.”
“You mean you killed Maude?”
“No, and don’t be so accusative. But I know how she died.”
“So tell us!” demanded Christine.
“I can do better than that; I can show you the video.”
“Excuse me, you recorded her death?”
“Not intentionally, it was an accident.”
“What, her death or the recording of it?”
Jenny intervened “Kevin, I think you had just better tell us and spare Christine the high drama. Then she can decide if she wants to see your film noir.”
“Well, you know how I like building miniature ballet stage sets and my favourite ballet is Swan Lake.” They all remained silent, stared at Kevin and wondered where this story was going.
“A few months ago, I was going through some old stuff in the garage, looking for materials for set building and I found those old Christmas tree lights that you got from Gramps. I remember you saying, Mum, that you would not use them because you’d heard that the high voltage lights can electrify tinsel on Christmas trees.”
“Yes, that’s true and I should have thrown them in the bin.”
“Well, I thought they would be safe to use as long as they didn’t come into contact with metal so I used them to light my set and they did give it a great lighting effect.”
“Kevin, can you get to the point?” asked Christine.
“You mean, the money shot?”
“Kevin!” shouted Jenny.
“Sorry, but I want you to hear the whole story so you won’t blame me for what happened to Maude. It wasn’t really my fault. It was just a freak accident.”
“All right, I’m getting there. Anyway the lights were on the set and I was demonstrating, for a video, how the set worked and how the lights reflected in the lake. When I turned from the camera to the set I noticed Maude was drinking from the lake and....”
“Wait!” interrupted Christine, “You mean there was real water in this lake of yours?”
“Of course, I always strive for authenticity. What’s wrong with that?”
“I’m not liking where this is going, but go on.”
“Thank you. I called out to Maude to get off the set, then she jumped in fright, got caught up in the string of lights and both her and the lights fell into the lake.”
“Hang on.” said Daniel, “Is that the night we had a blown fuse?”
“Yes Dad, and that was when I remembered learning that water and electricity don’t mix.”
Christine then spoke. “Are you telling me that you electrocuted Maude, didn’t own up to it and tried to cover your tracks by leaving her in her basket for me to find her dead?”
“That’s pretty much it, but you must accept that I didn’t kill her. It was really her fault for being in my room when she shouldn’t be.”
“Don’t go trying to blame the poor cat, she didn’t know about electricity.”
“Maybe not, but I didn’t know she was there and that she’d wreck my set and accidently die in the process.”
“But why didn’t you just tell us what happened?” asked Jenny
“Mum, I was scared of what Christine would do and I knew she would blame me, even if it was an accident. Anyway wasn’t it better that you thought she died from old age. She was about twelve. I was just trying to spare your feelings.”
“And save your own neck as well.” added Christine.
“Sorry Sis. I really am.”
“So why tell us now?” asked Jason.
“It seems feelings of guilt have been in the atmosphere around here lately and that got me thinking about my own actions and I felt guilty; which I didn’t before. Also the news about my background has changed the way I see things. Somehow I feel freer to speak about my feelings and stuff.”
“Dan, I was right last week when I said our boy was growing into a man.”
“I think you are right, Jen.”
“Thanks Mum and Dad. So Sis, am I forgiven?”
“I suppose so Kev.”
“Don’t overdo it Chris.”
“If that’s how you feel then maybe I....” Christine was interrupted by Daniel.
“That’s enough you two. Let’s play nice now.”
“Sorry Dad.” they said in unison.
“Now Kevin, are you really sorry about your deception, and if so how do you intend to make it up to your sister?”
“Yes, I am truly sorry Sis, and what would you like me to do to make up. But I must add I’m not going to buy you another cat.”
“That’s fine, no other cat could replace Maude. How about slave for a week?”
“Sis, as much as I would love to be your slave, even for a whole month if you asked, it’s just impossible now, because I have my final exams all month.” He turned slightly away from Christine, so she did not see his smirk.
“Can I make a suggestion?” offered Jenny. “Last Sunday you made your father beautiful pancakes for breakfast. How about you give Christine breakfast in bed next weekend? That shouldn’t cut into your study time too much.”
“All right with you Sis?”
“Offer and apology accepted Kevin.”
Kevin was just getting into bed when his phone rang. He didn’t really want to take a call so late, but when he saw it was Steve calling he thought it might be nice to have Steve’s voice the last he heard before sleep.
“Hi Steve, I was just going to bed, what’s doing?”
“I’ve got some bad news for you about your video clip. You know how you had all those supportive comments, well now the trolls have moved on you. There is some really nasty stuff in the comments now, totally disgusting. The comments don’t only attack you but some seem to be about bringing down the people that gave you positive comments.”
“Fuck! what should I do Steve?”
“Maybe you should take a look first and see if you can live with it and then lodge a complaint with the platform.”
“If it’s as bad as you say, I don’t think I want to see it.”
“What are you going to do, just leave them there, without taking any action? That will just feed the appetite of other trolls.”
“I know, can you take down the video for me? You know my password.”
“Sure I can do that; it’s probably the best way to deal with those people, deprive them of oxygen, so to speak.”
“Steve, I‘ve had second thoughts.”
“You want it left there?”
“No, I want you to close my channel completely. If these trolls lose one source of their kicks they might move on to my other videos. It’s bad enough they have attacked something I never intended for public viewing, but if they attack my other work that would be a total shit. My ballet means a lot to me. Also, I really don’t need any further stress at the moment.”
“I think you’re right Kevin. What with, your grandma sick and exams next week, that’s more than enough to cope with.”
“Thanks Steve, I owe you.”
“No, you don’t owe me anything kevin. Just being in my life is reward enough...um...ah...I mean you’re a great mate, that’s what mates do. Yes, that’s what I mean.”
“Thanks Steve, I like you a lot too.”
“I’ll go now and fix your channel, while you get comfortable in bed. Then, can I call you back when you’re under the sheets?”
“Whatever for, at such a late hour, mate?” he said with emphasis on the last word.
“I’ll tell you then.”
“I can’t wait.”
“You’ll have to wait, AND don’t start without me.”