The Deal

The Deal
by Aline Carriere

I saw him from the living room window the morning Grandma took a turn for the worse. He was walking in the sun on the other side of the street toward our house, humming. The window was open to let in the warm June air. There were roses and peonies below, still in bud, wrapped in promise.

On that summer morning when I was 11, Death was coming to my house for my Grandma, and I could hear him humming. It was the only sound I heard. The birds and crickets were silent. Even the wind didn’t stir.

Ma had sent me downstairs to watch for the priest. She’d called him early in the morning, when Grandma coughed up blood and her breathing got heavy.

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