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    Ray Bradbury

    28. Ma Perkins Comes to Stay

    By Ray Bradbury

    Joe Tiller entered the apartment and was removing his hat when he saw the middle-aged, plump woman facing him, shelling peas.

    “Come in,” she said to his startled face. “Annie’s out fetchin’ supper. Set down.”

    “But who—” He looked at her.

    “I’m Ma Perkins.” She laughed, rocking. It was not a rocking chair, but somehow she imparted the sense of rocking to it. Tiller felt giddy. “Just call me Ma,” she said airily.

    “The name is familiar, but—”

    “Never you mind, son. You’ll get to know me. I’m staying on a year or so, just visitin’.” And here she laughed comfortably and shelled a green pea.

    Tiller rushed out to the kitchen and confronted his wife.

    “Who in the hell is she, that nasty nice old woman?!” he cried.

    “On the radio.” His wife smiled. “You know. Ma Perkins.”

    “Well, what’s she doing here?” he shouted.

    “Shh. She’s come to help.”

    “Help what?” He glared toward the other room.

    “Things,” said his wife indefinitely.

    “Where’ll we put her, damn it? She has to sleep, doesn’t she?”

    “Oh yes,” said Anna, his wife, sweetly. “But the radio’s right there. At night she just sort of—well—‘goes back.’ ” . . . Read More.


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