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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.


“Death is so loud!” The pigeons puff and shuffle; Spiro pulls the stitch through awkwardly, left-handed. “Maybe for other people it’s quiet. You’d want it to be. In bed. When you’re old.” He jerks out a smile.

The patch is almost done. He bites off the thread and blows on it, waiting for the superglue to dry.

“No,” he says, “for me it’s all roars and bangs and whistles. Bullets and trucks, hot fires and mudslides. Showoff!”

The pigeons scatter. Spiro laughs and hauls his ragdoll body up, testing his right arm on the wall. It only leaks a little.