The handsome young man nervously smoothed his silk tie again. He stood outside the 52nd-floor office of an international trading company, peeking through the door’s small window and waiting until his quarry was in position.

Then he opened the door and strode in quietly. The receptionist barely had time to look up before the man crept behind Gundersen, who was in a conversation with the company president. The intruder smacked Gunderson’s back, firmly but not to hurt.

“Tag! You’re it!” the young man shouted before fleeing the office.

It took Gundersen a moment to extricate himself from his boss, his coffee mug, and the office to chase after his assailant. “I’ll get you!” he yelled down the corridor. “You can’t escape!”

Indeed, there was the young man, standing before a closed elevator door. He was prying the door open.

“No!” Gundersen yelled. “You won’t get away from me!”

The other man summoned every erg of energy he possessed into the muscles of his arms and forced the doors open. He flung himself into the dark, dirty abyss and his laugh echoed down after him. Forty-six floors later, it abruptly stopped.

“Damn you!” Gunderson shrieked. “Damn you!” His howls of outrage now filled the tall space the laughter had vacated.

The young man, William Snyder Craftt IV, left behind a burgeoning law practice and his grief-stricken mother and father, who could not possibly have known that their son was one of a handful of endlessly reincarnated souls who had played tag through the ages and preferred dying and being reborn to being “it.”

But then, children are often unthinkingly cruel to their parents.