Roger Prince was freezing. He had never been this cold in all his life. In fact, he was cold as a block of ice. Why was Roger Prince so cold? Because he was dead … stone-cold, dead-as-a-doornail D.E.A.D. You see, Roger had a big problem … he could never say “no” … and now because of that he was dead. 

Roger Prince was the nicest guy you’d ever meet … the type of guy who’d let you go ahead of him in line. The type of guy who’d help change your flat tire. The type of guy who’d loan you $10. Roger Prince was … well, a prince. 

But poor Roger Prince … as nice as he was … was also kind of a sap because he just couldn’t say “no”. If there was such a thing as being too nice, that was Roger … that was his Achilles heel, his weak spot, his fatal flaw. 

Temporarily unemployed, Roger tried saving money by moving into the upstairs bedroom of old Mrs. Willoughby’s house in the outskirts of town.  A housebound widow with no family, Mrs. Willoughby let Roger stay for practically nothing. Having no tv or phone, her expenses were minimal. Roger helped pay for utilities, maintained the house and brought in what little mail was delivered. He also went to the grocery store to buy Mrs. Willoughby’s staples: peanut butter, bread, instant coffee and a few toiletries. 

This particular December morning, a heavy snow started around 2:00. When Roger woke up at 8:00, it was still coming down and showed no sign of stopping. Going into the kitchen for his morning coffee, Roger found none … also no bread. 

“Roger, dear” came a feeble voice from the parlor. “Can you run into town for coffee and bread? I forgot to ask you last night.” 

“Mrs. Willoughby, have you looked outside? There’s three feet of snow out there!” Seeing her confused and distressed look, Roger couldn’t say no. “Don’t worry. I’ll head into town right now.” 

Roger mumbled “Why do we live in the middle of nowhere?!” 

Wind-swept snow whirled around Roger’s face as he slowly trudged into town. Suddenly he lost his footing and tumbled down a steep hill, his eyes widening as he slammed head first into a tree. How ironic that his final startled word would be “NOOO!!” 

Roger Prince died instantly, the falling snow enveloping his body. 

And Mrs. Willoughby waited. 

NAR © 2017