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Along with the potatoes and roaches, Spiro survives the apocalypse via the simple expedient of immortality–or a mortality less permanent than most. His weary arms tug him out of the rubble inch by inch. The radiation, he discovers, tickles.

There’s another figure shambling down the street; Spiro has to polish his eyes on his trousers three times to believe it. The space between its hat and collar is empty.

“A construct?” he croaks to the silent morning. “I’m spending the next epoch with a filthy speechless penny-magic construct?

The figure stops. HI! says his lapel. MY NAME IS BOULEVARD.


The words are barred to him now, but as Darlene said once, it’s all in the hands.

The men he pickpockets never know. A low fluttering gesture and they stop seeing him; a twist of invisible threads, and they forget they’re carrying anything at all. Rob collects from them like a quiet, shuffling raccoon.

In his apartment, a figure is beginning to resolve itself: reading glasses, gloves, pocketwatch and fob. From one man at the YMCA he got black dress pants, and from another, patent leather shoes. The pockets are filling with coins, charms and handkerchiefs.

Rob calls the figure Boulevard.