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Draft #4

King. Stay, give me drink. Hamlet, this pearl is thine;
Here’s to thy health: give him the cup. (A draught
anointed with a poison most severe!)
Laer. Another bout, your majesty; good Prince,
what sayest thou?
Ham. I’ll justly serve thee nonce.
[They play.]
Gert. Here, Hamlet, take my napkin, dab thy brow.
King. (But is that kerchief one I poison’d hence?
I’d best be sure.) Nay, take instead the wine.
Gert. I’ll have it. Gack!
Laer. Look here, a hit!
King. Poison! The Queen!
Ham. A venomed foil? This treachery will out!
Here, see how I have poison’d this grenade–


“Now that’s a suitably epic conclusion!” smirks Odysseus, wiping blood from his spear.

“Epic?” says Athena. “That muse doesn’t exist yet, and this is the second epic ever, and its conclusion is me ex machina. Again.”

“I could have taken them,” says Odysseus, smearing bloody hands onto his bloody breastplate.

“Obviously,” mumbles Laertes. “You already killed their sons. And grandsons.”

“Whatevs!” says Odysseus, wading into bloody surf to blood the blood off his bloodblood. “I’m king again, at least until I die peacefully, in water, as prophesied!”

“Isn’t that something shiny?” points Athena.

“Wow!” says Odysseus, and strikes out from shore.