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I woke up. I was lying on the ground and Pete, who had apparently arrived while I was unconscious, was stroking my face. I opened my eyes. Was he happy then!

It was dark by now. The column was busy growing something again. I stood up and took a better look. I'll be darned if there wasn't a little girl sleeping in the middle of that pillar of light! And, right before Pete's and my eyes, the resting girl grew. For a while, she looked just like Annie. Then she went through a miraculous instant puberty and became a fully-developed woman who looked like me.

Then she began to move. She stretched and opened her eyes. She sat up, slowly, testing out her new limbs. She looked around herself, wide-eyed. All of a sudden she seemed to have an insight. She got up, knowingly now, and began walking toward -- guess who?

She walked confidently right up to Pete and me. She smiled calmly at me and said in a voice too resonant and musical ever to be mine, "Hello. I am pleased to meet you."

"Nice to, uh, meet you," I mumbled.

"So you would like me to stop?"

"You -- you're it -- its --?"

"I am a form of life with which you may not be familiar. This shape that I am wearing is a manifestation which I have chosen to use to communicate with you. Would you like me to maintain the shape which I am currently holding?"


I am in a house in the woods with wood floors and washed wood walls. A young boy, about three, comes into the room and literally grows up before my eyes. He reaches the age of eighteen and has jeans, a sleeveless black t-shirt and square-toed biker boots on. He writes down a phone number for me to remember. The number is (706)-754-****. I don't know anyone in this area code or with a number like that. I can't remember the rest of the number. As I stare as him, I realize that he looks like me. He has high cheekbones and could be my relative. He leaves me and tells me to hold on to that number. It will be important to me one day. (I had this dream two nights ago.) -Sheila

In 1900 a magician waved his wand over a 2-foot ball, and it rolled uphill on a ramp. No magnets, no electricity.

In the ball, it seems, rode a contortionist who kept its weight off-center. The skill needed to do that was enough to make the exposed trick more remarkable than the secret trick.

A lot of the old stage trickery was like that. One man gained such control over his joints and muscles that he could make himself shrink or grow six inches in seconds. Now that was a frightening thing to see.

Acting on a mad insomniacal impulse, the girl walked quietly across the room to her wardrobe. She held up a remarkably short-skirted outfit, beribboned and bowed, carefully smoothing out the ruffled short sleeves. A dress she'd worn to a party when she was eleven and never given away afterwards. She pulled the nightgown over her head and tugged the too-tight child's outfit on. Constricted, but cute. Her favorite color. She frowned. It needed something. She rummaged around the floor of the wardrobe, hoping she wouldn't pop a seam on her old dress. After some effort, Frances hauled out a pair of high heels she'd found recently. She slipped them on, giggling, feeling like a little girl playing dress-up in her mother's clothes. Teetering slightly, she gazed at her reflection in the wardrobe's full-length mirror. Astonished eyes stared back at her. The reflection didn't just show a fifteen year-old in an outgrown dress. Someone older stood in the mirror, her face revealing authority and hard-won control. Frances raised her hand, and the other woman copied the gesture, as though summoning or repelling. Her? Or something else? Frances kicked off the heels and pulled the dress off over her head, ignoring the rips made in the overstressed seams. She stuffed them both back in the closet, not bothering to hang the dress properly. Naked, she looked at herself once more. The ambient light faded as a cloud drifted over the moon. She crossed her arms over her breasts, hugging herself. She felt as though another were in the room with her, invisible in the mirror, standing just behind her, close enough to feel the warm breath in her ear. Strangely, it wasn't a frightening sensation. Warm, protective, rather. Loving.

A growing woman

A woman lived just down the way
and she grew bigger everyday.
She sat in bed, all sore and raw,
eating more and more and more.
Jerry Springer popped by one day
and looked concerned and went away.
They brought a crane to move her out.
To lock her up and thin her out.
But she was proud of all her flesh.
She owned it and it cost her less
to sit there in her bed and eat
than leave the room and break the street.
She grew and grew and everyday
her family took her trays away
and then she broke out through the walls,
she'd stretched her legs and grown so tall.
Her head it touched the ceiling now.
She belched and bellowed like a cow.
and then on Sunday after lunch
there came a loud resounding crunch
and through the ceiling poked her head
which smashed the roof and broke the bed.
Her family stood out in the road
because like Topsy she just growed
she wore the house just like a dress
Alice like I must confess.
She stood up then and shook right off
stuff in her hair from out the loft
and having wiggled free of bricks
she pounded off at forty licks.
She ran along the motorway
and waved at gawkers on the way
a Picasso goddess, off she run
to the land of the midnight sun.

A Milner

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