Michael Louis Serafin-Wells



January 13

Excerpt from REAL REAL GONE (published by Smith & Kraus, c. by the author):


MITCHELL(beat); Oh, I brought ya one.

KARL: A relic?

MITCHELL: Yeah. Looking for the flask this morning I found it.

KARL: Uh-huh.

MITCHELL: And I remember that morning when he... when Dad...

KARL: Passed.

MITCHELL: When I got the call, yeah. I flew right out. I get there. Everybody's milling around like some old episode of "Columbo". I need to be alone.

KARL: Right.

MITCHELL: I go upstairs and hide out in his room. I start lookin' at stuff. It hasn't hit me yet.

KARL: What stuff?

MITCHELL: Just all his stuff I'm lookin' at. And slung over a chair is this checkered shirt he liked to wear. It still smelled like him. I never thoughta that before, how he smelled. I felt somethin' up here in the chest pocket. It was one of those little crossword puzzles. I looked at it and I just completely lost it sitting there on his bed.

KARL: Crossword puzzle?

MITCHELL: Yeah, he was like a maniac for crossword puzzles. My Mom hadta ban 'em. When he got re-married, Mary-Maria started buyin' him like crossword everything. Placemats, toilet paper, calendars... And that's what this was. Is. One of those little calendar crosswords. (Mitchell has pulled the crossword out of his pocket. He hands it to Karl who studies it reverently. )

KARL: Wow. (Suddenly restless, Mitchell wanders the graveyard, calling over his shoulder.)

MITCHELL: It musta been a hard one, too. 'Cause it was from Labor Day. And it's all filled in. It's done. Yeah...