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Category Archives: Rob

Rob is usually in over his head.


“No,” says Rob, at the threshold.

Darlene’s already inside, working a mortar and pestle. In an arc to her side are slivers of white bone; to the other are tiny plastic bags. Splayed out on the floor next to her is the angel, white and dessicated. Its face is hidden. All its hands are crooked, its endless recursive wings, the savage spine–

“Don’t get squeamish,” grunts Salem, and shoves him. He trips and crashes, cuts his hands. White dust. He looks up at Darlene, and his eyes are black.

“You haven’t taught me anything,” he whispers. Darlene’s face is suddenly fearful.


In the white there is the Word, and the Word is MEIT.

Rob tries to speak the Word and stops. Ah, yes, to say the Word would make it transient; to speak is to debase it. He still his tongue. He stills his breath.

Rob lurches and falls. His vision blurs, then doubles: MEIT and MEIT cross over each other and become something else. Different. Rob understands that this is wrong. He must be rid of it. He must make it transient.

“EMET,” he whispers. Then he’s choking, gagging through the vomit in his nose, struggling with a rough brown blanket.


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.


Rob walks Albie Street, his shoes clattering softly together.

“They call those crack tennies,” says Maya.

“Who calls anything ‘tennies?'” says Rob.

“You know what I mean,” says Maya. “I used to try and pull them down.”

“They’re boundary markers. Wards. Protection.”

“Do you think I need protection?” He doesn’t say anything; she tilts her head.

They turn down Twenty-Ninth. Rob leans back and sends the next pair whirling upward, where it catches by the laces on the catenary line.

“So,” she says, “do you carve magic runes on the soles or something?”

“I just use a Sharpie,” he says.

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