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A child soldier leads Father Angelo to speak with the devil in the African bush

By Damon Galgut  

The knock came in the small hours, as Father Angelo knew it would. But it wasn’t the sort of knock he had expected. He had been waiting for a blow, a prelude to the breaking of wood, the violent inrushing of feet. This was a soft sound, interrogative, gentle. The knock of a timid neighbour. The face outside was a boy’s face. Fifteen or sixteen, eyes downcast. He looked like one of the congregation, arriving for confession. But he was one of them. “Somebody wants to speak to you,” he said, whispering. Father Angelo hesitated. The boy was alone. This…

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