One of my all time favorite short stories is “The Cage” by Ray Russell so when I came across this story I just dived in. Like “The Cage”, “The Bell” also deals with adultery. When our narrator’s father falls ill he makes a deal with God to stop sleeping with the woman he’s seeing if he’ll make his father better. And for three years everything is fine until his father becomes ill again and asks his son, “Why can’t I die?” Remembering his deal with God, he calls up his lady friend and invites her over for a romp in hay. When they’re finished the hospital calls to tell him his father is dead. Things go downhill from there.
From the anthology “Cutting Edge” edited by Dennis Etchison