The Devil moves in next door. He asks to borrow a cup of sugar. What’s the catch? He looks sad. I’m the one asking, he says.

Every morning the Devil sweeps his sidewalk. He holds excellent backyard barbecues, returns balls and frisbees. Everyone still avoids him.

The Devil likes my evening company, offers me exquisite brandy on his porch. He smiles at the stars. You don’t know what you have, he says.

Months pass. The Devil as neighbor becomes normal. One summer dusk I ask if we are friends, and he looks long into the distance.

Spring comes and we enjoy its evening. I ask the Devil if the past was better. The stars emerge. I wish I could forget like you do, he says.

One summer morning, the Devil’s house is empty, sidewalk unswept. I think of sugar and try to smile at the morning star.

Derek Dexheimer feels much better. He provides a daily story @dex3703 and blogs about the strange wonder of being alive.