The last story in the collection titled Coming to Terms is “Snow and Ashes.” It takes place in the same house that was the setting for my novel Secretocracy. The real house, where I lived during my penury, is on Holly Street, NW, in Washington, D.C.
The story is about a young man who is dying of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS—Lou Gehrig’s disease. He inherited the house from his father and eventually leaves it to one of his renters, a man who is taking care of him and has earned his trust. The one proviso is that the new owner must continue to make rooms available to men in need.
I stopped writing short stories when novels became the dominant form in my output. But the stories often formed the basis for the longer works. So often a story idea first expressed briefly demands a fuller investigation. So often the foundation tale becomes the full structure.