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“Mister Crane!” manages Bollweevil, startled. “A delightful surprise! How–how long were…?”

“Been waiting,” says Crane quietly. Crane’s always quiet. “Saving up.”

“Yes, you’ve taken great advantage of our rollover–”

“Never liked you.” Crane moves closer. “Word-counting, extortion, this little basement tyranny.”

“Not another word, Crane,” says Bollweevil coldly. He brushes the shotgun under the desk.

“Been saving,” says Crane, and brings his arm up.

Bollweevil’s jerking at the gun, but the fistful of exclamation marks is already exploding around him: a thunder of percussive silences. There’s blood in his ears. Crane walks forward, smiling, and Bollweevil’s screams are soundless.