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                    Greg Mulcahy

On his way in to find out if he was to be told yet he was on his way out, he saw Kriss, and Kriss said, Why you go see Boscoe.

He thought, and he’d thought, Boscoe dead.

Kriss was Chris before Kriss said, no, that was wrong, it’s Kriss like in cease, not Chris like in this.

Kriss told him many things, and many things Kriss told him were not true.

Kriss always hammering him.

So that was true.

And Boscoe, big as life and fatter now, was outside a site trailer at a site.

This trailer, Boscoe said, is a now thing. Later, back there, this house will be a palace.

Boscoe seemed haggard and fat at the same time and Boscoe’s clothes seemed dirty and Boscoe’s faded T-shirt once stenciled GRIT for some grit campaign or initiative had lost the G and the R was wearing to near worn gone.

Kriss always said Kriss was working on Kriss’ book and presentation—whole life strategy—titled Play the King which taught success by showing how those who played the king succeeded.

House palatial, Boscoe insisted, the physical manifestation of Boscoe’s triumph.

Lot awfully flat and dirty as bulldozed flat dirt was.

As not much to see and why was no work going on?

Seemed to him, and maybe on the way out, those who played the King to success played perhaps while Kings were still about and was it not too late for that now?

World will end, yes, Boscoe said, even with all this construction.

He felt he’d kind of missed the middle of things.

You, Boscoe said, are old enough to know or have known some death. So what will your last word—at what—real—be?

Chris no more a real name than Kriss or what for that matter was Boscoe.

Neither the real name of anybody.

Though in a name, what was real.

Mother, he said, maybe, or God, or help.

All that GRIT, he remembered.

Remembered dimly.