Sandy was impressed. Her son, John, had never thrown a ball back like that before - so hard and fast that it bypassed her completely and flew over the wall at the bottom of the small garden they shared. "Nice one, Johnny!" she yelled. "Let me go and get it, I'll be right back!"

She yanked open the wooden gate recessed into the red brick wall and entered the narrow alleyway at the back of her house - and all the other houses like it. She looked left and right and spotted the ball rolling away from her, towards the...

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He'd spent hours in the living room, with a stack of tapes and the home theatre system, recording, rerecording, and generally keeping the neighbors awake. "It's sort of loud in here," I said to him.

He spent hours scrambling around the house searching for the sharpie to label his mixtape. "This will be perfect, if I can only finish it," he said to himself.

Unable to find a sharpie, he ran out the back door, grabbed his bike and churned off into the night.

I hopped in the car and followed behind at a safe distance. He stopped off at...

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