Wraith

In Wraith, set in a pub (a table and two chairs) in London in 1946, John Keir Cross and Stephen T. MacFarlane, both thin, pale, fair men in their mid-thirties, talk about Cross’ wife sleeping with both of them.  Cross says he has dedicated his latest book of stories to Mac, as a joke that no one will get.  He admits to plagiarizing the stories about ghosts, puppets, and wraiths from Mac, and Mac asks if Cross has seen his wraith, a Scotch doppelganger who appears just before one dies.  Cross says that his wife is with Montgomery, and Mac says that she is lonely and that it must be difficult living with someone like Cross.  Cross says that a large rat once attacked his child after he had tried to summon the Devil on his BBC radio program.  Mac says the only way to get rid of one’s wraith is to die.  Cross says he plans to drink himself to death and wonders if anyone would notice if he strangled Mac.  Mac says he will die when Cross dies and leaves for the lavatory.  Audrey, Cross’ wife, enters, saying she has been nowhere for a long time but she is back and has read his book and liked parts of it very much.  She says she is glad that he signed his own name rather than hiding behind the name MacFarlane.  Cross says he can’t leave until his friend returns but Audrey says the bartender told her he has been sitting alone drinking and talking to himself.  After Cross and Audrey leave, Mac returns, says that he has been left to pay the tab, and finishes the drink Cross left for him.

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