An entrancing tale, that I thoroughly enjoyed. I even took my nook to work today, to read over lunch rather than delay the telling.
This is one of those stories that will pop up in memory years later, when something reminds one of a trace.
My pick in this category so far was 'Feed', but it just became a horse race... and a tight one. Both are well worth reading. THTK may win by virtue of being worth a re-read, and soon.