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The Fifth Person Eddie Meets in Heaven


1. Change the following sentences into the Passive Voice.


A Using the Indefinite Tenses (pay attention to prepositions).


E x a m p l e: She looks after him well. – He is well looked after (by her).


1. We sent for the police. 2. They speak much about this book. 3. They often laugh at him. 4. They listened to our conversation very attentively. 5. I thing they will wait to for us only in a week. 6. Nobody took notice of his late arrival. 7. We looked through all the advertisements very attentively. 8. He was a brilliant speaker, and whenever he spoke, the audience listened to him with great attention. 9. They will look after him in hospital much better. 10. Everybody looked at her new dress with interest.



B using the Continuous Tenses.


E x a m p l e: They are solving a difficult problem now. – The problem is being solved now.


1.Don’t come in! The Professor is examining students. 2. Can I read the article? – No, the secretary is students. 3. We had to hurry. They were waiting for us. 4.It was noisy. Nobody was listening to him. 5. Does he realize that they are laughing at him? 6. Look at this man. I think he is following us. 7. Listen carefully! He is giving a very interesting talk. 8. The waiter is serving us rather fast. 9. The secretary was looking through morning mail. 10. The interpreter is translating their conversation rather well.


C using the Perfect Tenses.


E x a m p l e: They have already brought the medicine. – The medicine has already been brought.


1. We have repaired our house lately. 2. When the fire brigade came, the fire had destroyed the building. 3. The athlete has shown much better results since this coach trains him. 4. I will have answered all the business letters by noon. 5. The president of the board has signed the document. 6. Is she washing the floor? – No, she has already washed it. 7. By his arrival they had repaired his car. 8. He has booked the tickets and the clerk will have brought them by 2 o’clock. 9. They had painted the house by his arrival. 10. The police haven’t found the reason for the accident yet.


D using modal verbs.


E x a m p l e: He can do this work. – The work can be done ( by him).


1, She can find a job easily. 2. The matter is urgent. They should phone her immediately. 3. The boss wants Mr. Black. You must find him. 4. I can make an interesting offer to you. 5. He’s got a pay rise and now they can buy a new house. 6. You must send the document as quickly as possible. 7. The weather is warm. She may plant the flower. 8. The document is of great importance. He must show it to us. 9. He must give back the book on Sunday. 10. Their kitchen is large and they can use it as a dining room.



3. Open the brackets and use the verb in the appropriate form of the Passive Voice.


1. The first draft resolution (not discuss) yesterday; it (withdraw) long before the beginning of the meeting. 2. He is not in town; he (send) on a special mission. 3. Don’t come into the compartment; the berth (fix) now. 4. A new underground line (construct) now. They say one of its stations (build) in my street. 5. He wants to know when the final decision (take). The activities of the committee and their delays already much (speak) about. 6. It was three o’clock. We (tell) to hurry up because we (wait). 7. Do you believe that such a problem can (solve)? 8. It must (do) without delays. 9. On September 9, 1850, California (admit) to the Union as the thirty-first state. 10. Don’t speak in a loud voice: we (listen) to. 11. The plan (approve)? – No, it (discuss) now. – How long it (discuss)? 12. By the time he arrives everything (settle). 13. Not all the necessary things (buy) for our trip that’s why the departure (postpone). 14. The money (lend) to him two months ago, but it (not give) back yet. 15. The business day was in high gear: the mail (look) through, documents (type), letters (answer), talks (hold). 16. Wait a minute. The table (lay). 17. Dynamite (invent) by Alfred Bernhard Nobel. 18. This exercise may (write) with a pencil. 19. This work (do) before you went to Moscow? 20. If you (ask) about it, will you be able to answer?

The Fifth Person Eddie Meets in Heaven

WHITE. THERE WAS ONLY WHITE NOW. NO earth, no sky, no horizon between the two. Only a pure and silent white, as noiseless as the deepest snowfall at the quietest sunrise.

White was all Eddie saw. All he heard was his own labored breathing, followed by an echo of that breathing. He inhaled and heard a louder inhale. He exhaled, and it ex­haled, too.

Eddie squeezed his eyes shut. Silence is worse when you know it won't be broken, and Eddie knew. His wife was gone. He wanted her desperately, one more minute, half a minute, five more seconds, but there was no way to reach or call or wave or even look at her picture. He felt as if he'd tumbled down steps and was crumpled at the bottom. His soul was vacant. He had no impulse. He hung limp and lifeless in the void, as if on a hook, as if all the flu­ids had been gored out of him. He might have hung there a day or a month. It might have been a century.

Only at the arrival of a small but haunting noise did he stir, his eyelids lifting heavily. He had already been to four pockets of heaven, met four people, and while each had been mystifying upon arrival, he sensed that this was some­thing altogether different.

The tremor of noise came again, louder now, and Ed­die, in a lifelong defense instinct, clenched his fists, only to find his right hand squeezing a cane. His forearms were pocked with liver spots. His fingernails were small and yel­lowish. His bare legs carried the reddish rash—shingles— that had come during his final weeks on earth. He looked away from his hastening decay. In human accounting, his body was near its end.

Now came the sound again, a high-pitched rolling of irregular shrieks and lulls. In life, Eddie had heard this sound in his nightmares, and he shuddered with the memory: the village, the fire, Smitty and this noise, this squealing cackle that, in the end, emerged from his own throat when he tried to speak.

He clenched his teeth, as if that might make it stop, but it continued on, like an unheeded alarm, until Eddie yelled into the choking whiteness: "What is it? What do you want?"

With that, the high-pitched noise moved to the background, layered atop a second noise, a loose, relentless rumble—the sound of a running river—and the whiteness shrank to a sun spot reflecting off shimmering waters. Ground appeared beneath Eddie's feet. His cane touched something solid. He was high up on an embankment, where a breeze blew across his face and a mist brought his skin to a moist glaze. He looked down and saw, in the river, the source of those haunting screeches, and he was flushed with the relief of a man who finds, while gripping the baseball bat, that there is no intruder in his house. The sound, this screaming, whistling, thrumming screak, was merely the ca­cophony of children's voices, thousands of them at play, splashing in the river and shrieking with innocent laughter.

Was this what I'd been dreaming? he thought. All this time? Why? He studied the small bodies, some jumping, some wading, some carrying buckets while others rolled in the high grass. He noticed a certain calmness to it all, no rough-housing, which you usually saw with kids. He noticed some­thing else. There were no adults. Not even teenagers. These were all small children, with skin the color of dark wood, seemingly monitoring themselves.

And then Eddie's eyes were drawn to a white boulder. A slender young girl stood upon it, apart from the others, facing his direction. She motioned with both her hands, waving him in. He hesitated. She smiled. She waved again and nodded, as if to say, Yes, you.

Eddie lowered his cane to navigate the downward slope. He slipped, his bad knee buckling, his legs giving way. But before he hit the earth, he felt a sudden blast of wind at his back and he was whipped forward and straightened on his feet, and there he was, standing before the little girl as if he'd been there all the time.


Date: 2014-12-28; view: 1708

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