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checking parking stickers on cars along the drive. I ducked my head down beneath the dashboard and sped past him. I could still catch a glimpse of him, and he looked very puzzled to see a car without a driver. He was freaked out enough that he didn't think to take down my license plate number.

Once out on the road, I still couldn't see out the back window, but there was enough to pay attention to in front of me. My eyes were darting all around, trying to take in the fabulous scenery: even on a gray winter day it was colorful. The signs of the strip malls, the traffic lights, the cars, everything, all the colors were glowing and vibrant, streaking by in trails. The pavement was luminous from the rain. I began to relax, to enjoy the show. After a while I turned off the highway and drove around slowly down some deserted country lanes. I lit a cigarette and smoked.

They would get me for missing those classes, I knew, and I would turn out to be right. It wasn't public school, after all. But even so, all they would do was make me stay after school for a few hours and copy out the relevant sections of the rule book.

As for Abbot, I realized now that Alex had been right. If he had suspected me of being on acid, he would have nailed my ass right then and there. And even if he had known, he couldn't prove anything now.

It still troubled me that I had freaked out like that. Well, that was the last time I was doing acid in school.

Then I thought about the van. I didn't have anything against Billy Ray Decker, and probably he would have acted reasonably if I had just stayed there and told him I would pay for the damage. So I felt kind of bad about the incident. But since I had gotten away with it, I wasn't going to own up now. Fuck Billy Ray Decker, I thought, anybody with leprechaun stickers on his van deserves to have it destroyed.

Ed Hamilton was born in Atlanta, Georgia in January 1961. He has a MA in Philosophy and has taught college level courses in Logic and Ethics. His short stories have appeared in Exquisite Corpse, The Lumpen, Southern Ocean Review, and Gazebo, among others, as well as on-line in TimeOut:Netbooks, Pif, Pink Cadillac, Eclectica, Assorted Realities, Zorn, Roar, and Anthem. He currently lives in New York City and when he isn't writing, he plays foosball.

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