Driscoe told the long story, which Driscoe claimed originated with Cooboo, of two neighbors who plotted each other’s downfall, each seeking possession of the other’s land.
As narrator, Driscoe assured, he had nothing to do with, and no aligned interest for, either.
Since this was a story, this narrator’s posture was, presumably, nothing more than a narrative element.
So Driscoe, according to Driscoe, had nothing to do with either.
And if both came from Cooboo anyway, that made a kind of sense.
Those two neighbors knew no bounds.
Each, in fact, planned the other’s murder until, finally, one carried it out.
Predator and victim.
Did I mention, Driscoe said, these neighbors were brothers?
Did I mention, Driscoe said, this was the Oldest Story in the World?
With ending pat, the story lacked power.
Oldest in the world—where could anyone go for or with that?
And if there was, as he supposed there was supposed to be, a moral, Driscoe failed to reveal it, and Driscoe failed to mention it.
These half-familiar stories never added up to anything.
Pastime at best.
As the assassination attempt.
The assassination attempt was an assassination attempt or else it was a hoax or else it was, maybe, a hoax assassination attempt.
Driscoe claimed the unknown assassins had attempted to assassinate Driscoe near a fountain.
Or a round-about.
Or a round-about gone round a fountain.
He believed the fountain had stone horses in it as part of the display, but Driscoe had never described it thus, and it was entirely possible he was confusing the story with some other fountain.
Or story set near a fountain.
Driscoe had ducked and crouched and run in the dark as the car sped away after the shots were fired according to Driscoe.
When he asked Driscoe who had wanted to assassinate Driscoe, Driscoe said, enemies.
What they wanted, Driscoe said, was to silence me.
That was the total.
The alleged would-be assassins vanished into the story and existed only there.
A story told with other stories in a shed that was really a garage in a cul de sac.
By Driscoe, a man in the oddly-sad leisure shoes of the aged.
And he there to listen by some accident of dirty association.
From somewhere the final—the only real question—came: where had the money come from?
There were attempts at answers.
Multiple created dependents in an elaborate scam to defraud the government aligned to related medical, data, and real estate scams.
Details hidden behind details.
Driscoe’s collapse sudden and quick death left in the quiet, paved-over, region forlorn of FOR SALE signs.
Seemed like a dream of ancient times—Cooboo, that misunderstood, fantasy-based figure not yet fully-evolved to cartoon, and Gratz, for Christ’s sake, like what—the grackle he might be named for, and Driscoe’s kingdom, beneath all of which, the development rested on better not to ask what chemicals.
As though demolished it would have no presence.
Garage as idea.
Gone as though a plague swept through.
And he left alienated in this place that made him.
In foolish revolt still—against what?
Greg Mulcahy is the author of Out of Work, Constellation, Carbine, and O’Hearn.