Bolt Jump

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The electric telegram invaded all my digital media instantaneously including my cortex shunt. I didn't know if it was the medium itself or the content of the message, but I got a headache right away. A moment later, I was throwing up. If you're rich, you can customize the delivery, soften the blow. We couldn't afford to pay the premiums for personalized data, or to block government messages, and the few times I'd gotten personal messages, they'd always been bad news: Mom's crash, my expulsion from Roosevelt and now Grammy.

I still felt sick, but Dad said we had to go right away—that it's what my mom would have wanted. "We have tickets for the bolt jump, and we'll be in Bismarck, North Dakota in an hour." Where did Dad get the money? "Later, we'll go the rest of the way in your grandpa's truck. It'll take hours to get to Scobey, Montana." Twenty miles from what used to be called Canada."

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