The child rocked back and forth silently, gingerly placing her hands in her lap, then on the arms of the chair, then back in her lap.

Irene wondered what the child had been offered to spend the afternoon basking in the dull glow of the nursing home.
    Ice cream?
    Probably ice cream.

Since the illness became official, when the doctor delivered the news to Irene’s eldest son, who, in turn, relayed it to his three siblings, visits had become more frequent. Gone were the days when her children and grandchildren could claim plausible deniability to Irene’s decaying state ...


Maggie Johnson is a Toronto student with a lifelong love for literature. “Pray to St Anthony” is her first published work.

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