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"That's good," Astrid replied behind a back already turned, "since you get to set the table back there."
"So this is your dad's home?"
"Sure is." Laura snapped out the first of three well-starched napkins she had received from an indoor cupboard, and made the first of three folds. "The one I grew up in."
Both table-setters listened silently for a moment as the voice of the six o'clock news anchor wafted through an open window, from the kitchen where Astrid was putting the final touches on dinner. "Must be nice to be home. Even under the circumstances."
"It always is, isn't it?"
"I wouldn't know: I haven't been home in a while."
Before Laura could respond, a shrill scream from the kitchen and a smashing dish ended the peaceful interlude. "Aust Astrid?" Laura darted for the back door, leaving its screen to bang against a jamb but for the hand of Myers, who was right behind her.
"Aunt Astrid!" Now it was Laura's turn to scream in the kitchen, and she was on her knees beside the crumpled form on the floor when Myers entered behind her.
"Call Nine-One-One now!" Myers pushed the victim's niece aside, rolled the elderly woman over into the lasagna she had dropped, and began CPR after checking her vital signs.
"Tell them it's a myocardial infarction!" Myers shouted up, at the Laura on the kitchen phone.
"A what?" Laura asked after requesting an ambulance.