The next day, Marta was comfortably settled in the yellow house. She noticed there were a few spare bedrooms. Thus, she began to wonder how long it would be until anyone else in the family died.

Grandpa had told her he lived alone because his parents were in heaven, and Grandma hadn't died yet. And now she began to think about her own lover. No, surely he'd go to heaven, she thought. Too much of a prude.

She stood in the kitchen, as the microwave tray spun with her bag of popcorn. And one by one, the kernels began to pop. The bag jostled and jumped with every pop, and the smell of melting butter filled the kitchen.


"Can you get it, Gramps?" Marta hollered down the hall.

"Sure thing," he said. And he got up from in front of the TV and went down to the door. Today, he'd woken up young. Yesterday, however, he had looked as old as when he had died - but in much better health.

The microwave had a minute left. Her stomach grumbled, audibly.

"It's for you, Marta."

Standing in the doorway, was her boyfriend. Flowers in his arms.

Darn! She tried to curse, but could not. Marta had to settle on euphemisms. Geez, of all the... argh! He's killed himself to be with me! Ahhhck!

His brown hair was matted in a greasy, disorganized way. And he had a new T-shirt on, probably from one of the castle's vendors she'd passed on her morning walk. It looked exactly like the 'I Heart New York' shirts, but the 'NY' were replaced by 'HELL'.

Marta remained speechless.

Her grandfather silently walked back to the couch, knowing he was in the middle of a potentially awkward conversation. However, without tact, he lowered the volume on the television so that he could hear them.

"I'm s-sorry," he blurted. "And I don't know anyone else down here."

Marta was like a statue, frozen in deliberation. She wanted to scowl at him, snarling his at his unwelcome presence. And she wanted to forgive him, and wrap her arms around him.

And she wanted to kill him. And that was impossible. Oh no, what if came here for me? What if he left that tramp, realizing he'd broken my heart? And then, realization struck, Did he kill himself over me?!

No greeting, just, "How did you die, Matt?"

The End

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