Anny walked over towards Joey Parker’s bungalow with Grandma behind him.
“Anny, that Mr. Parker is going to have to learn not to be so proud.”
“Joey says his dad doesn’t want charity.”
Grandma nodded. “Exactly. Maybe, it’s because we’re Catholic and they’re Protestants.”
“They let you build the bungalow.”
“Very hesitantly, and only after Mr. Parker insisted on doing work for it. There’s not enough work to keep him busy, and he’s a refugee.”
“You could leave food on his door step.”
“Anny, you’re a sweet boy, but Mr. Parker’s no fool.”
“Well, if he doesn’t want it, why do you keep trying to make him?”
“Son, everything we’re given is from above. God didn’t make us rich so we could have a big house. He gave to us so we would help others, including those too stubborn to take it.”
“You could have him build something.”
“I think I might be able to get him work in Idaho City. If he’s even still here.”
Anny nodded. That had him worried. The Parkers hadn’t been around in days.
Grandma knocked on the door. “Mr. Parker? Mr. Parker?”
Anny turned up his nose and waved his hand. “Ew. Something stinks.”
Grandma sniffed. “You’re right.”
“I wonder what it is.” Anny moved past his grandma and reached for the door.
“No, Anny, don’t.”
Anny Snyder opened the door. Joey Parker’s body fell in front of him.
Anny began to cry. Grandma pulled him to her in a tight embrace. “It’s okay, boy, it’s okay.”
Snyder awoke in a cold sweat. “No, Grandma, it isn’t okay.”
He grabbed a sports bottle from beside his bed and took a sip of water. His best friend had died along with his entire family. True to form, Grandma never told him why. One of her friends came by that night, and they shooed him to bed while they talked.
Behind the door, Snyder couldn’t hear much. He did hear one word, though.
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