A Good deal: selected short stories from The Massachusetts by Mary Heath

By Mary Heath

Chosen tales from the Massachusetts overview.

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I think I was stuck somewhere between laughter and a huge chest-clearing shout, a massive bleating beyond good or bad taste, beyond a son's discretion. " I wanted to yell. " like Archie's father in the comic strip. "Once we almostpeople were asking a lot of questions. " "Pop," I said from where I sat. I wanted to touch him, comfort both of us, but he was very calm, very distant from this tumult in my chest. "Were you glad? Did it" I looked down, embarrassed. " "Happy? " He hadn't mentioned her name once.

Come in," he moaned, pausing with a handful of papers in midair. A woman, perhaps forty-five, dressed in a navy-blue skirt and jacket over a white blouse, walked in and stood in front of the desk, waiting to be asked to sit down. As Billy looked at her he worried that she might be from the parole board. "I read your statement in the paper," she said. Billy was suddenly rattled. " He wondered what Trouple would think. She was slim, about five-and-a-half feet tall and looked like a librarian, a graceful, pretty librarian.

He looked like any of the local young farmers, almost normal. "Just write your number on that pad," Billy said. " "Sure will," he answered, standing up and sidling toward the door, all his power stripped with his sunglasses. He wrote on the pad as he moved. " he asked as an afterthought. " "Yes. A suit. " The cowboy thought for a while and handed back the pad. " Billy let out a long sigh. " "Then why . " "Thank you. " The next man he interviewed was Horace Clemmons, a bank officer at the local savings and loan.

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