BLOOD WORK by Greg Mulcahy

Sepd was the problem, the disruption and the incoherence, then the threat, and the threat the only coherent thing in the incident.

Sepd claimed dependency.

Blood work backed Sepd up.

At least claim to blood full of dope and alcohol.

All that brought Sepd bad end of conference room concern. 

The counselor who was nothing but the concern’s agent asked Sepd what Sepd thought brought Sepd to this.

I thought, Sepd said, I was a pirate.

The counselor smiled and nodded.

Bass left with that said and the disposal.

I blame, Bass said, Robert Louis Stevenson.

What? Sepd said. Who?

Nothing.

Bass handed Sepd the banker’s box of finish.

Sepd down with another man overboard and what was Bass supposed to do about it.

He’d tried to warn Sepd.

Watch out, he’d said.

Things aren’t always clear cut, he’d said.

There’s a lot of room for interpretation, he’d said.

But all that effort was effort wasted. With the Sepds of the world, how otherwise?

Bass felt the effort should be made.

Some things, Bass knew, were better not said, even if at one time everyone was saying them, as the consultant had shown the pirate-themed slides, but that was years ago.

Sepd should have known where a threat would lead. 

They were not in church work.

None of this was a charity.

It paid no one to have any confusion about or threat of that.

Sepd said pirate as though Sepd might say message from God on High. Where or what had all that got Sepd?

But the box.

Box seemed a small part of a small plot or inside action.

What had Sepd to box anyway?

All of it seemed an ever more accurate frame to frame nothing.

Blankness behind it all. 

Yet frame was in as one was framed—like it or not—in the frame.

Or.

Or what?

Jump ship, pirate-like, for some cardboard home at the end?


Greg Mulcahy is the author of OUT OF WORK, CONSTELLATION, CARBINE, and O'HEARN. He has a new book, and he's looking for a bold publisher.

Art based on a design by Steve Anwyll.

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