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As the boil rolls

September 5th, 2018 Leave a comment Go to comments

Lionel grunts as he hoists the pot onto the burner, sloshing water over the edge. Cursing silently, he wipes most up with his apron corner and turns on the heat. The knob twists and triggers the release of a stopper in the gas line, pressuring its contents forward once more. Upon reaching the central mechanism, a spark is issued forth like a tiny firework and the gas is set aflame. Lionel spies more spilled water and moves to sop it up but nearly burns his hand on the fire. He turns away, cursing again, and walks to the boiler room to covertly smoke.

Immediately the metal of the grate and pot conduct the heat at the water inside and air without, and many molecules in the area are excited immediately, a trend that will continue to spread. It is three seconds into this process that the gunman emerges from a backroom and walks into the kitchen, holding a rifle but clearly wielding much more. The lower third of the pot is now sensitive to touch, and the heat continues to rise at a seemingly exponential pace. Sheryl is the first shot, a wound that will be ultimately fatal.

Deep inside the pot, a single elated water molecule is converted into the gaseous form. It is soon joined by several more in its locale directly over the flame, all who openly encourage their compatriots to join in. The gas line continues delivering for those fun seekers as kitchen employees scatter and dive, screaming. Hundreds of microscopic bubbles begin to form, banding together and creating bouncing balls of action called steam. Ahmed and Marissa are down as well, the latter identifying the intruder as a former coworker.

A chaotic parade to the surface ensues within the pot, increasingly visible. The flame from the burner below is briefly disrupted as Jeremiah runs past and falls in a bloody spray, but it quickly recovers. The bubbles are unfazed and continue procreating without restriction as more and more of them opt to race to the surface. Another shot rings out, and Lionel rushes away from its echoes as best he can. The burner and pot crackle above his head as he grasps at his knees in a vain attempt to become less visible. The parade atop the stove rages on as the shooter rounds the corner.

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