It's lunch time and the father in his office, after much self-argument, has finished writing a poem. He prints it out, reads the text on paper and wants to feel happy with it but knows there are still two or three words that he will have to find to make it perfect. Then, simultaneously, he thinks of lunch; thinks of doing some more writing and wonders what is playing on his playlist.

At that exact moment he taps the volume control on his laptop, which has been playing, but with the volume off. A deep, sarcastic voice is in conversation with a small and timid voice.

Sarcastic voice: 'We very much want to make Christianity believed in as a means to an end… even social justice … for the good of society.'

Timid Voice: 'Surely not!'

'I don't mean as a reality but to value it as a thing the enemy wants … The enemy will not be used as a means to an end. Do you see?'


'Aaah! “Believe this, not because it is true, but because it serves a purpose!” '

'Ah …'

'Yes, that's the game. Now! Round up the other tempters.'

The track finishes and is immediately followed by the shrieking metallic of a Rage Against the Machine song: 'Wake Up!'

The father in his office turns off the playlist and wants to eat, but that previous thought is now 'tapping more loudly on the window of his mind'. He is not sure what the thought wants but it seems to be saying: 'We thoughts are delicate, like dandelion flowers that get blown away and lost forever. Remember that library and the panic felt by the Assigned Spirit when it saw a dangerous thought approaching the subject's mind and then the spirit's deviously suggested counter thought? “Yes,' it said, 'it is time for lunch and a thought such as that is far too important to be tackled on an empty stomach.” The subject fell for it and was on the street in moments where a shout from a paper boy and the roar of a noisy bus made it easy for another thought to assert itself: 'This is the real world.'

The father doubts that this moment here and now would be on the same level as that, but, out of a deep bloody-mindedness towards hell—filled with recollections of painstaking struggles for freedom from his own sins; the lies, wrecked families and suicides of others; and a hundred joyful faces expressing gratitude—he decides to heed the thought just in case, and to stay and to write, despite his appetite for XXXX Gold and fresh bread, anchovies and chilli.