It seemed a good idea to tell the kids to hide behind the bars when the boy went berserk. Glue sniffing was the first suspicion but when we found the numbers appearing all over his skin, a priest was summoned. 666 isn't the kind of thing you normally expect to see on young skin, measles, chicken pox, blackheads, sunburn is a yes. But numbers? That was plain weird.

The exorcist prayed, sprinkled holy water and blessed the boy by putting his hand on his forehead. 666 kept appearing until there wasn't a millimetre of untouched skin.

Then, just to confuse...

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It’s like each of our lives is played out alone, obedient to the rules of a separate game board, the ladders, the squares, following the thread of a unique tale, a tail that curls around until it meets up with its maker, its head, forming a neat ball (transparent, weightless), floating effortlessly on the wind, drifting along alongside billions and trillions of other small balls, all caught up in their own complex narratives.

Yet interestingly, while it is easy enough to peer inside each of these other balls as we pass by them, (noting, as we do so, what its...

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Kids cuddle everything and aren't afraid of anything. One time, I fell asleep, and woke up in the arms of a toad. Another time, I was dreaming and thought I had received a personal relationship with non-Euclidian geometry, but in reality, I had been eaten by an alligator. Oh well, third time's the charm, right? How many snuggle-happy toads and princess-devouring alligators can there really be in the world? The odds against ever encountering such a thing are astronomically low, even in the soft, cottony arms of a drug-induced stupor.

They say that dreams are messages from God, and I...

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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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He'd sat patiently on the threshold of the kitchen all afternoon. She'd dropped countless morsels of crust, of walnuts, chunks of apple and even some of her own snacks, the clumsy klutz. Yet he'd abstained, withheld, conquered himself.

Now she was taunting him -- he felt it deep in his soul. She'd left the pies to cool -- small round pies, aromatic sweet pies -- at eye level. His eyes. She'd gone from the house (where? did it matter?) and left him to conquer himself.

Taunting his resolve. He thought to his mother who'd trained him in her ascetic ways....

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