I’m going to be honest – this is not worth reading.
Dincton Flatt shuffled ponderously down Bendstrom avenue, eyes darting suspiciously at everyone he passed by.
“It’s far too small a day for bacon,” he muttered.
“I wouldn’t know,” said Featherby, trotting alongside him. And he wouldn’t, for in addition to being a coyote, he was a robot, and could not eat bacon in the slightest.
Flatt stopped a short, round man coming from the opposite direction, placing his hands to his shoulders and leering into his beady eyes. “You.”
“Me?” the man sputtered.
“Yes, you. The very one I am accosting. How long have you had that hat?”
The man reached up and grabbed at his driving cap. “This one?”
“Yes, that one. Out with it, man.”
“Er–a couple years, I imagine.”
“And how long have you been wearing it?”
“All day – what is the meaning of this?”
Flatt sighed and released him, waving him off. The man gave a distrustful glance, but went on his way.
“Sir,” offered Featherby, “perhaps you shouldn’t be attempting to track down our hatleaver on an empty stomach.”
Flatt wiped a hand down his face. “Yes, I suppose you’re right. But what could possibly satisfy my hunger for justice?”
“There’s a newspaper-and-taco stand just over there.”
“Why on Earth is there a newspaper-and-taco stand on Bendstrom?”
“A question for the ages, sir.”
“Never mind. It’ll do in a pinch.” Flatt made his way over to the stand and got the attention of its attendant – an oily teenager with lank brown hair in his eyes (which could only serve to obscure his taco-related perceptive capabilities).
“Good afternoon, sir,” said the vendor. “Would you like a taco?”
“As it happens, I would.” Flatt looked the boy up and down. “I see you’re not wearing a hat.” He narrowed his eyes. “Have you murdered anyone lately?”
The vendor got to work on the taco. “I don’t think so. I’m not really one for murderin’. Mum would be none too pleased with that.”
Something on the front of the day’s paper caught Flatt’s attention, and he snatched up a copy. Depicted in the side column was an all-too-familiar face.
“Cleben Render.” A fart of a man if ever there was one, and there was one, and his name was Cleben Render. His fiery red hair and leaf-green suit said it all.
Featherby nosed at another copy. “What do you imagine he is doing back in Danesbury?”
“Who could say?”
“Likely the story written about him in the very paper you’re holding, sir.”
“There’s no time for that, Featherby!” He slammed the paper back into the stand, and in the following moment, was handed a fresh, sizzling taco.
It smelled appetizing enough, but as he tested it out in his hand, he noticed an unusually generous heft.
“This taco is rather heavy, isn’t it? Is the shell made of solid gold?”
The vendor shrugged. “I think that would be cost-prohibitive, sir.”
“How much is it?”
“Lead in the beef, then?”
“Maybe if the cow was shot to death.” The boy fired off a pair of finger-guns.
Flatt bit into the taco. The flavor was loud, and it hit his gut as though his esophagus were punching him in the stomach. His colon began to rumble, and his eyes reached out in desperation for the nearest establishment with plumbing. “Pay the man, Featherby.” He began to backpedal.
“Sir? You have given me no funding.”
Flatt turned and broke out into a sprint, calling back, “Oh, Featherby, why did I build you?”
“For good times, sir!”