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Firewood When Joseph opened his mouth it made a strange crackling sound, as if parts of his tongue were cracking. The wood stove had been left on overnight, and now the house was an almost uninhabitable desert, the corners of his eyes and crevices of his skin all bone dry and aching. He glanced at the end table beside his recliner and saw a large, very old, glass of water. Small white particles floated near the bottom of the glass. He couldn’t wait; it would have to do. He slowly leaned as far as he could to the side, aiming his mouth for the large metal straw resting against the side of the cup. Joseph realized that his urostomy bag was full to the point of bursting, an uncomfortable sensation as he leaned over. Still, he needed the drink. When his lips met the straw he sucked and the sudden moisture at the back of his throat made him cough.