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A boy, a girl, parents, school -- it's like a universe that expands by bangs, both big and small.

November 3rd -- three days before a "big" election, Woodstone's writing down just how voting works.

Tall, lean, and often called "a drink of water too long for a glass," Woodstone Hanson Etheridge Thomson Gould, III, is anything but liquid. He has all the emotional responsiveness of geology in action. His friends refer to this a "rock solid," or more often "stonely," and usually call the boy by his universal nickname "Third."

Third likes the nickname much better than his full, five-word-one-number name. He's not impressed by the length of anything. Which might seem like a walking contradiction for someone who is six-four and still growing. At 18 years eight-months, he's pretty sure that contradiction won't get much taller. Which is fine with him, since he's grown quite attached to his latest pair of Avias.

His phone begins to dildo in the right-front pocket of his jeans. Third's sitting on the stone wall behind the student union, knapsack on the wall beside him, a 5x7 notebook open on a thigh, Pilot ballpoint in his left hand, and looking at the lake for inspiration.

He pulls the phone out and flips it open, glancing at the screen. "Yes, sweet mother dearest. What brings your hot yet winsome voice into my wanton ear?" Mother Gould is not surprised. She's used to having conversations with her son that sound like they are both lusty, Elizabethan courtiers.

"Oh, you're writing," she replies. "I'm glad I'm not interrupting your bed athletics with Vixen 27."

"It's 29. And this obsession with your son's bedmates might be something you could talk about with Dr. Strangelove," Third says.

"It's Dr. Feelgood. You know Strangelove lost his psycho-babble license a year ago."

"Right. I'm sure one day I'll keep better track of all your head lice."

The End

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