A Little Summer Fiction

   The weather turned hot in the late spring. A cold, winter had lapsed into a dry, warm spring, broken by a wall cloud with attendant funnels three or four times. One of the funnels hit dirt near his hometown but hit so hard it bounced back into the wall cloud and did little damage.

   The little damage the funnel did do was to shock Grannie Maw into Heaven. She was ready to go, anyway, as she told her preacher at the Church of Christ so many times he took to calling her "Go-Go Granny Maw," but only to his wife, Patrice, and only in private, since Granny Maw's six sons all sat on his Deacon Board.

   "I suspect, Howard," his wife told him, "that they are as ready for her to go as she claims to be."

   Anyway, Grannie Maw was in her backyard, raking limbs and trying to hear the phone conversation the teenage girl next door was having with her boyfriend, the one with the purple-dyed, reverse Mohawk and the nose ring. The boy looked even worse than the girl, with his garish tattoos and his skinny beard. He had taken to wearing spacers in his ear lobes, so it looked like someone had recently fired a .22 through both lobes, which Granny had thought of doing. She could not shoot at him with her .22 because the boys had taken it from her and her car after she crashed into the cart return stall in the Wal-Mart parking lot and then threatened the Special Friend Cart Retriever when he tried to rescue his carts. 

   She had used her three-pronged cane to menace the boy, not her .22, but her sons took the .22 along with the car, as part of the settlement with the Wal-Mart people. Granny Maw really did not mind losing the .22 but the car she mourned. Now she called her six daughters-in-law, one after another, even the two she did not like much, since the one was a baptist and the other a methodist, and she just knew they were both going to Hell, for sure the Methodist, who had only been sprinkled, for goodness sake, and only took Communion three or four times a year and called it communion, instead of the Lord's Supper.

   Granny Maw had raked the backyard down to bedrock trying to hear the sleazy things the girl said to her boyfriend. She never saw the clouds darken the sky until the first rain drops hit the ground around her. She was surprised, jerked around to look up and fell hard, dying on the way. She did not know it until she saw Saint Peter, who seemed somewhat surprised to see her.

   "I am here," she cried, looking at the pearly gates and beyond to streets of gold. "I was ready."

   "Well, sort of ready," Saint Peter told her. "You will have to be sprinkled to actually get in and take communion."

   Granny Maw fainted dead away.

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