At 11:11 a.m. on the morning of her eighty-first birthday, Alice Bowry folded her papery hands around a lukewarm cup of tea and shut her eyes against the sight of the clock.
One lucky wish now, she thought to God. Yes. A birthday wish. The only one I have now is I wish that I can live one more year.
Around her, the kitchen waited noiselessly. She nearly opened her eyes, then squeezed her hands to her face and added: A happy year! A good, happy year.
She looked up, neck ratcheting, and saw that the clock already read 11:12.