B.G. Hilton – Writer

Trilobite Park — Chapter 25: Calculations

In the kitchen, space at the garbage bin was limited. So while the others went searching for large tin cans, Blake occupied himself by looking in the freezer.

“Keeping some scraps for your dogs?” he asked Hay.

“No, that’s for the customers.”

“Yeah,” Blake sighed. “I guess I knew that, deep down.”

One huge tomato paste can already stood on the counter. Juraj pulled another one from the bin. Daisy tried to take it off him, and emerged victorious in the brief slap-fight that followed. The two tins now stood side by side.

“Now alls we have to do is make some holes and thread some string,” Daisy said. “Ett voy-lyr: we can get to the junction box and shut down this poorly conceived nightmare.”

“Yeah, but…” Juraj began.

“But how are we going to keep from getting’ ‘lectrocuted? Easy! We wrap the cans with as many layers of cling-film as we can find.”

“Are you sure that will be safe for you?” Juraj asked.

“Yeah, I’ll be safe. You’ll be wearin’ em, capice? Now, where’s the clingfilm?”

In the minute-long pause that followed, Hay took the time to pick her nose, carefully wiping her finger on a kitchen towel. When she finished, she blew said nose, and put the towel back over the pile of glasses that it had originally been resting on.

“Oh, you were talking to me,” she said with a start. “Right. Gotcha. No, I was supposed to order clingfilm but it’s bad for the environment.”

“You forgot, didn’t you?” Blake asked.

“Forgot, took a principled stance… Fine line…”

Blake clapped his hand over his eyes. It was becoming increasingly clear to him that he was going to die here but, paradoxically, the thought bothered him less with every stupid remark that someone made.

“You’re stupid and lazy,” Daisy growled at Hay.

“You got a problem with that?” Hay sneered. “I guess you’re smart and hardworking, right?”

“Yeah, but sometimes opposites attract, am I right?” Daisy leered.

For a second, Hay looked flabbergasted. Then, to Blake’s surprise, she blushed and giggled.

“Kill me now,” Blake sighed.

Juraj held up a pocket calculator. Blake briefly wondered why, in 2019, Juraj had a pocket calculator but he decided that it was probably better than a slide-rule so he let it pass.

“I’ve figured out a better way to insulate these stilts,” he said. “The plastic bins in the corridors. Stilts on feet, bins over legs, into the water, trilos can’t get our legs, we turn off the junction box and save the engineer guy and that 1980s movie reject.”

Blake laid a kindly hand on Juraj’s shoulder. “That’s a really good idea, old friend,” he said. “Just out of curiosity, how did you figure it out on a calculator?”

“Well, first you let x equal the extent you don’t want to die…” Juraj began.

X is approaching 0,” Blake sighed. “Never mind, come on and we’ll rescue everyone and that mullet guy will take all the credit or something and then we can go home.”


Next — Chapter 26: Sudden, Unexpected Plot Twist

Previously — Chapter 24: The Tide is High

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