The lake was calm, except for the screaming of the kitten. It sailed in a corkscrew spiral of spit and indignation, finally landing, shattering the smooth skin of the quiet water.

A wake of helpless but determined fury followed it to shore, where I waited with calm fascination. I remember admiring the feline for its single minded will to reach land, even though its eyes were aware of me waiting to throw it back in for the third time.

It wasn't out of pleasure or power that I was doing this-it was something more primal, something removed from any moral model I had assembled at that point in my psyche.

As I reached down for the cat that was just gaining ground, I suddenly felt impossibly strong and angry hands jerk me upright. The next instant, I was airborne, vaguely noting the cat exiting the water and streaking away.

I hit the water head first, going under, tasting burning silt and fish-the promise of inky oblivion. Instinct kicked in, and I rose back up to the surface, my toes still recoiling from the touch of the moldering leaves that coated the lakes bottom.

My head broke the water, where I drew in a great breath. Through the rivulets of brown water that stung my eyes, I saw the cause of my plight- my father, standing as I had on the shore.

I made my way back, wordlessly, and as I came within hands reach, he just as wordlessly snatched me up again and mercilessly tossed me back into the clutches of the now rippling lake.


Again I made torwards shore.

Again the scene was repeated.

Like the cat, I too still had hope.

Mundus vult decipi.

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