By Ben H. Winters

FOR hire: most sensible flooring of fantastically renovated brownstone, 1300 sq. ft., 2BR 2BA, eat-in kitchen, one block to parks and playgrounds. No broker’s fee.

Susan and Alex Wendt have came upon their dream apartment.

Sure, the landlady is a bit eccentric. And the aged handyman drops a few cryptic comments in regards to the basement. however the hire is so low, it’s too sturdy to cross up.

Big mistake. Susan quickly discovers that her new house is crawling with bedbugs . . . or is it? She awakens each morning with clean bites, yet neither Alex nor their daughter Emma has a unmarried welt. An exterminator searches the valuables and turns up not anything. The landlady insists her development is fresh. Susan fears she’s going mad—until a extra sinister clarification offers itself: she may well actually be confronting the bedbug challenge from Hell.

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Finished with the exterior, one of the guards knocked on the side door and went inside. He reappeared five minutes later. Presumably, he had checked the inside as assiduously as he had checked the outside. More than one hundred reporters watched the guards do their job, though exactly what that job was, the reporters didn't understand. To whom did the van belong? What were the guards looking for? Would the van ultimately be allowed inside the high gray walls of the institution? The last question was answered soon.

I can't make it at five. ' 'Hey, babe, remember me? I'm the original workaholic. ' She punched back to Kate. ' 'That's all right. I wanted to read that novel anyway. ' 'That jerk. ' 'Maybe he's changed,' Jill said. ' 'But he's making it very difficult for me. ' 'I mean, I've held him off for a long time now. ' Jill smiled. 'God, Kate, thanks for being my friend. ' 'I will. ' They hung up. Jill went to the darkroom. She needed to do some printing and enlarging of the photos she wanted to show Marcy Browne.

To make up for her great sinto wash, as it were, David's blood from her handsshe decided to devote every single waking moment to her children. They would never be out of her sight for more time than was absolutely necessary. They would never have secrets, for secrets meant that they could get into trouble without her knowing it, and they would live lives inextricably bound up with her own so that they could become a family such as the world had never seen before. Never again would she trouble herself with her own selfish pleasures.

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