Around midnight one night, an eight year old boy mysteriously comes through the locked door of the shop of a locksmith named Ulysses Smith, who is working late. After a short conversation, the boy vanishes without a trace. The locksmith, having lost his memory in a train wreck long ago, has no recollection of ever being a child. He is fascinated by the strange boy. He reflects on what his own childhood might have been like.
Ulysses' fascination with the boy quickly reaches the point of obsession. When they meet again, the boy comes to control the man -- encouraging Ulysses to do things that are against his conscience. Ulysses, weak and insecure, offers little resistance to the boy's suggestions. Soon, Smith finds his life plunged into turmoil.
This episode is done in the typical style of the series, with Chappell relating his character's past in first person narrative. Enough hints are given that the main revelation of the story is obvious to the listener early on, but there are a variety of surprises along the way. Even if the ending is obvious, it is still powerful because of the unique way in which the story arrives there.
I dreamed lots of things, but mostly about a small boy in old-fashioned clothes -- who taught me how to be a thief.
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