A Tale for the Modern Attention Span
Normally Daedalus Bolt can hold his booze with the best of them but, exiting Chez Pussy just after 3:45 a.m., he suddenly tripped over nothing and lurched forward. Then he stumbled around helplessly for a few moments trying to regain his balance.
Despite this profound level of intoxication, Daedalus was not startled when a person emerged from the shadows and grabbed him by the shoulders. His only thought was, So this is how it’s going to happen. I’m glad I’m drunk; I don’t think this is something I would enjoy sober.
He waited serenely for the bullet to the back of the head, or the pierce of the knife into his back, or the garrotte around his throat, but none of those things came. Instead his assailant frog-marched him across the entire Chez Pussy parking lot. And then across a few neighbouring parking lots, then across the street, and finally behind a large industrial mall—surely more than a mile in total.
What a horrible way to kill someone, Daedalus thought, walking them to death.
He was about to voice his objection to this inhumane form of execution, when the person led him to a car, opened the passenger door, and said, “Get in.”
Daedalus obeyed—without any fight or fuss—and he waited patiently for his kidnapper to get in the driver’s side. When the man did, Daedalus said, “Hey, you’re that Hugh guy, my nephew,” marvelling the way only drunkards can at what they feel are exceptional coincidences.
“Yes I am,” Hugh Rection muttered while he searched under the seat.
“I didn’t know you were a doctor,” Daedalus said with something approaching familial pride.
“But you’re wearing what a doctor wears—”
“I know what I’m wearing,” Hugh snapped. His mood brightened somewhat when his hand emerged from beneath the seat gripping a bottle of cheap rye whiskey. In a second the cap was off and the car was filled with gurgling sounds. When he was done, without saying anything, he passed the bottle to Daedalus, who indulged in a similar fashion.
Hugh lit a cigarette, passed it to Daedalus, then lit another for himself. The two men—who looked even more alike when they were this close together—inhaled deeply and exhaled thoughtfully.
“You’re here to kill me,” said Daedalus, evidently pleased with himself for knowing the answer.
“That’s right. Your brother is paying me a great deal of money to do just that.”
“Well, he’s a very generous man. Not terribly forgiving though,” Daedalus commented idly.
“But you know what?”
Continue Reading: Episode 70: Farewell, Daedalus