April 16

He swallows more tears. “Do I have to?”
“Considering I’m going to write this up in my diary, yes,” I grin, “you do. Now, the next thing you’re going to do is to give me a list of all of the payouts you had to make.”
Bert nods. “It’ll take me a day or so to get that together.”
“Tomorrow morning, ten o’clock sharp at the Beanery up the street,” I say. “You have a damn time machine. You will make it.” I know the rules, and I know why he can’t do it. I just want to make him sweat. Convince him, you know?
“Ten o’clock,” he says, his voice wavering again.
“And finally, you are going to cancel all your current contracts, and pay them out at their rate whether or not they’re damaged,” I say. “This is the end, and I’m not giving you a chance to try again.”
“But, that’ll bankrupt me!” he says, sweating heavily.
“That’s the point,” I say. Oops– loophole, gotta fix that. “Oh yeah, you’re paying Kyle in cash. That’ll be ready tomorrow at five in the afternoon.”
“Cash?!” he says. “That’s not part of the–”
“A bounced check is worthless, and you’re not gonna be around to be held responsible,” I note. “Cash. Capisce?”

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