Three rounds of westminster chimes rang out from the old mantle clock down the hall, clanging against the office walls like pans dropped on a kitchen floor.
Jimmy just had to hold out for fifteen minutes more. Probably a few less than that.
John bit his lip and waited for the clock to clam up. When the final strum still hung in the air, he waved his finger at the boy again.
“I don’t know what gets into you, son,” he said. “Do you know what gets into him?”
John spread his hands wide and shrugged, turning slightly to face his wife. Heather blushed and tried to put on a stern face. Her eyes slid from her husband to her son.
“Honey, what daddy is trying to say is that you have to think about the consequences your actions have, for everyone.” She took a step and stood in front of Jimmy. “I mean, really — turning the town fountain into a giant sundae … it’s just, well, it’s …”
“It’s vandalism, that’s what it is!” John broke in. “Pure and simple vandalism. What do you have to say for yourself, young man?”
Jimmy began to speak, but a soft rap on the door to the study interrupted him.
“Excuse me, sir.” A young man dressed in a suit stepped into the office and nodded to John and Heather, then turned to Jimmy. “The press conference to announce your town beautification plan starts in just a few minutes. We need to get you set up.”
Jimmy nodded and hopped down from his chair. He grinned as he walked between his parents, then disappeared down the hallway.
“Why did you ever let him run for mayor?” John asked, watching his son in wonder.
“Why did you vote for him?” Heather countered.