A Tale for the Modern Attention Span
Despite the fact that as a child he scored off the charts on IQ tests, Daedalus Bolt never took much of an interest in school. He also happened to be far above average when it came to coordination, speed and balance, but he didn’t bother with sports either. Furthermore, even though he was astonishingly handsome and charismatic, Daedalus never directed any energy toward fostering relationships with females.
No, none of those things interested young Daedalus, for mischief was his game.
From the earliest of ages, Daed was always getting in trouble for pulling pranks. His list of offences included (but was not limited to): using a dozen cherry bombs to blow up a toilet in a public washroom at the Crescendo Cove bus station; setting off a high-potency stink bomb at the funeral of Crescendo Cove’s much beloved Mayor; replacing the salt with sneezing powder in the Bolt Fasteners cafeteria; and spiking the coffee pot in the teacher’s lounge at his high school with Spanish Fly. To name but a few—of thousands.
Daedalus’s immature antics came to a head one night when he was 19 years old. At the time, he was Vice-President of Bolt Fasteners—though the title was in name only. Howard Bolt had hired his eldest son right out of high school, hoping to give the boy’s life some direction and ultimately to groom him for succession. It wasn’t working. Daedalus wasn’t learning much about the business because he preferred to stay out all night drinking and carousing with his friends.
One evening he and a pretty nursing student from the small but prestigious Crescendo Cove Polytechnic Institute left a frat party, consumed several bottles of champagne (that Daedalus just happened to have in his car, on ice), had sex six times and were driving around by the waterfront when the girl mentioned she had to pee. That prompted Daedalus to try one of his standard pranks. Driving as fast as he could, he headed down the pier toward the water. The idea was that the girl, drunk and carrying a full bladder would get scared and—well, now you know why the car had plastic seat covers.
On this occasion, however, when it came time to abort, Daedalus’s foot got stuck on the underside of the brake pedal for a split second such that he was unable to stop the car before it careened into the water. He managed to escape the sinking vehicle, but the girl, incapacitated by all the booze Daed had fed her, never stood a chance. He made one half-hearted effort to swim down and retrieve her, then he slunk home and went to bed.
The girl was missing for three weeks before someone thought to connect her disappearance with the skid marks on the pier. You can only imagine the scandal that erupted when they dove down and found her in Daedalus Bolt’s car. He’d lied to his father and the police when the car first went missing, saying it had been stolen, but that ruse was quickly disproved.
Even more reprehensible than the mendacity or the accident itself, in most people’s eyes, was the fact he let that poor girl’s parents cling to the hope their daughter was still alive for 21 excruciating days.
As always seems to happen when rich kids kill young girls by driving them off things, however, Daedalus Bolt was a chap acquitted quick.
But from that time forward, he was a changed man. He quit his job at Bolt Fasteners, jettisoned all his friends and started leading an existence full of drinking acquaintances and sexual partners, but little else. And said existence was fuelled by enough alcohol to fill the cove in which that girl drowned several times over….
That’s what Steel Bolt was thinking about—the alcohol-related issues of his father and mother and sister and brother—when he said “Fuck it” out loud to no one in his study at stately Bolt Manor and reached for the decanter of booze.
It was precisely 10:07 p.m. when alcohol first passed the lips of Steel Bolt.
Continue Reading: Episode 99: Steel Drinks and Thinks and Wonders Why...