A Countdown to Death by Dierdre Verne
by Barb Goffman
From the anthology Murder New York Style: Fresh Slices (L & L Dreamspell 2011)
An elderly man is in the hospital, but he’s determined to come home before the new year. He asks his friend to tell everyone about his goal. It seems a simple enough request, but sometimes things aren’t what they seem.
I had to read this story twice to get it. First time, as I read it, I thought the author was all over the place, things didn’t make sense, the character wasn’t acting realistically, etc. Then I got to the end and thought, Oh. Then I read it again, knowing the twist, and it really worked. An interesting read.