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6.

You see from what innocent beginnings it grew. We none of us meant for anyone to be hurt, and yet there is a hard place in the center of me that remembers implacably and with perfect precision. My mother knew the dangers before any of us did. I was sweaty and unstable as dynamite. She knew it, and in her strange way she tried to protect me by keeping me close, even when she would have preferred otherwise. She understood more than I imagined.

Not that I cared-I had a plan of my own, a plan as intricate and carefully laid as my pike traps on the river. I once thought Paul might have guessed, but if he did, he never spoke a word. Small beginnings, leading to lies, deceit and worse.

It began with a fruit stall, one Saturday market day. July 4 it was, the day after my ninth birthday.

It began with an orange.


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