Emily woke up frightened and crying out for mommy. The nightmares had been bad again. With monsters that had claws and teeth and that bled so much. Like mommy had bled when the pipes had burst. Emily shivered and hugged her teddy bear Nemo while staring at her nightlight in order to get back into the waking world.
It’s not real it’s not real it’s not it’s not!
Emily breathed in deep like Walter had told her to do if she got scared. Rain was drumming the roof above her, a sound she found somehow ominous in the dark. She hugged her bear even tighter. She knew she wouldn’t be able to sleep again. Not if she was alone. She wondered if Walter and Yvette would let her sleep next to them. They weren’t mommy, but they were safe.
Emily got up from her bed and made it to the upstairs hallway. There she heard a sound that made her freeze. The rustle of cloth followed by a small, distressed noise. After a while Emily realised that it was coming from Miha’s room. Maybe Miha was having nightmares too. He had them often. Maybe Emily could wake him up so he wouldn’t have to see his monsters.
Emily cracked Miha’s door open and saw him tossing and turning in his bed. Emily walked to Miha’s bed and poked him in the shoulder until he sat up with a small cry. He stared at Emily and then rubbed his eyes.
“Emily?” he asked, “You havin’ nightmares?”
Emily nodded. Miha smiled.
“Me too. We could go to mum and dad, but that’s for little kids, you know?”
Emily nodded again, even though she didn’t mind being a little kid in this regard.
“Hey, I got an idea,” Miha whispered, “When I wake up from a nightmare, I usually read something nice. I can read for you. Cool, right?”
Emily smiled and nodded. Miha dug out a book and he and Emily settled onto the bed.
“Okay, so this is a nice story. It’s not scary at all, but it’s got some big words and it’s smart. Just like we’re smart.”
Emily curled up and listened with a smile still on her face. Maybe this night wouldn’t be so bad after all.
Amelia felt hollow. Sort of like back in that cemetery in Sunset Valley, but this time the hollowness had gone on for hours. The night had been horrible in every possible way, and the morning hadn’t dawned much better. Sure, they weren’t being chased anymore, and no one was shooting guns or trying to maul anyone with claws, but now they had an aftermath to deal with. And horrible uncertainty and fear that went along with it.
The police had arrived to the scene quickly, but the damage had already been done. Amelia didn’t remember much about it. If she tried to think about last night, she could only think about the fear, the people on the ground, and the blood coming from mum’s mouth. She remembered sirens as first the police and then the ambulance arrived. She also faintly remembered talking to someone with glowing eyes, who had arrived later. Apparently he was the magical police or whatever Brigitte had called. Amelia had almost had a panic attack when the man had arrived and turned out to be a vampire. Thankfully he had been friendly and told her that he and his colleagues would take the hostile vampires away to be properly contained. Now the man was probably at Ley Line Nexus, along with a couple of healers, who were tending Basil.
Basil had been bitten. Amelia had asked if it was bad, and Brigitte had tried to smile optimistically.
“Sometimes, but he didn’t lose that much blood, and we can counteract the venom if we’re quick.”
But Amelia hadn’t heard of them after they had been gone. She really hoped Basil and the others would be okay.
Amelia sat in the hospital waiting room, where she had been ever since the paramedics had checked that she was okay. The whole incident had been labelled as a gang attack, and the police was looking into it. The incident was probably already on the papers. The people of Riverview would have fuel for gossip for at least months. After they had got over the fear caused by a gang in their idyllic little town. The police had – probably with some manipulation from the magic police – apparently told the press that the gang was from out of town and there was no reason to think they would strike again. They still encouraged everyone to report any suspicious activity in town. Amelia had to agree that the people didn’t need to know what had really happened.
She wished she could be one of those people and bathe in blissful ignorance. But it was impossible, as her mum had been in the operation theatre for hours now, and there was no guarantee she would survive. Riverview’s hospital wasn’t big or well-equipped enough to deal with mum’s injuries that well, but they couldn’t move her into a bigger hospital either without doing some emergency surgery first. Mum had crashed against the tree so hard that she had broken her spine and got some internal bleeding. It was awful, too awful to really think about. Amelia squeezed her eyes shut. Mum had to make it. She had to. Mum couldn’t die now! She shouldn’t even have been there. This had nothing to do with her, and now she was paying the price. And Amelia couldn’t lose another parent when the loss of dad still felt raw.
It wasn’t fair. Things had to turn out okay. They had to!
Amelia looked up from the chair she had sat in for who knows how many hours. The woman in behind one of the reception desks looked up from her computer and asked if Amelia needed anything, but Amelia shook her head and asked how mum was doing. They still didn’t know for sure, but the woman gave Amelia an encouraging smile that had to have been practised. Normally it would have helped, but right now Amelia couldn’t really draw any strength from a smile.
The waiting room was mostly empty at this hour, but Amelia could hear that there were a few people with mostly non-threatening problems in the bigger waiting hall nearby. And then there was what was left of the sorry group that had got attacked last night: Amelia, Tad, Philippe, and Dewey. Everyone else was either back at the Nexus or being treated. Novak had been shot in the head, but he had been lucky, as the shot had only grazed him. Apparently they were all lucky; so many guns and hostile people, and no one had died. Yet. Well, aside from one of the criminals, the one that Novak had shot in the leg. He had bled out before he could have been saved. Amelia shuddered at the thought, but felt too numb and too scared to feel worse about it now.
Dewey looked up at Amelia, but Amelia shook her head and didn’t say anything. Dewey was the only one from the Nexus who had stayed at the hospital. He called Brigitte frequently to ask about the others. Dewey had explained that someone needed to be there in case Amelia or the others needed help, and Dewey was the logical choice. He was almost human and didn’t need to be scared of the sun. And he also didn’t have a son in possibly critical condition. Right now Dewey was slouching in his seat and staring into space. He had tried to make small talk with Amelia on several occasions, take her mind off things or even ask her how she was doing. He had once even tried to clumsily say that it was going to be okay. But he had become quiet once he had realised Amelia needed space.
Or did she? Maybe she needed someone instead? Most of all, she needed mum. But mum was not here. She was being treated, probably dying. Probably…
No. Don’t think about that.
Amelia glanced up when Philippe shifted in his chair. He looked almost as worried and shaken as Amelia. He was constantly asking the nurses what was going on, how Julia Sprigg was doing. He was so out of his element. He should have never got involved in this.
Then again, should Amelia have either? Should she have ever agreed to stick her nose in the matters of cosmic and supernatural beings? Should she even have rented out her room in the first place?
Yes. Otherwise I wouldn’t have met Tad.
She looked at Tad, who sat in one of the spare chairs like a statue, still and lifeless. He was probably elsewhere again, doing his job. The coldness of it all made Amelia shudder again. Had he known this would happen? That question had kept nagging at Amelia ever since it had sprung into her mind. Her exhausted, fearful thoughts always came back to that. That and mum.
Did he know?
She had many times thought about asking him. She needed to know. But worry about mum had always overwritten that. What if something happened while she was talking to Tad? Then again, the nurses and the doctors had said that the surgery could still take hours. And Philippe would definitely be there, right? To make sure things were going well. And maybe it would even do some good for Amelia, trying not to think about mum for a few minutes. She felt like she was going crazy with her mind conjuring up all sorts of horror about what would happen.
Robotically, Amelia got up. Her limbs felt stiff and weak, but she walked somewhat steadily over to Philippe, who tiredly looked up at her.
“Hey,” Amelia said quietly, “I need to go and take care of a thing. You’ll be here in case something comes up, right?”
“Of course. There’s nowhere else for me to be now.”
“Yeah. I hate to leave, but I’ll only be away for a few minutes. How are you holding up?”
“Not well,” Philippe frowned, “But I think you are not so well either.”
“No. It’s awful.”
“She’ll be fine,” Amelia said more to herself than anyone else, “She has to be.”
Philippe nodded quietly.
“I’m glad police got those people… it was… who would do such a thing?”
Amelia sighed. She almost wished she could have told Philippe. But it was best he didn’t know.
“Sometimes even places like this are hit with the harsh world,” she said, and the words felt empty and meaningless, “I’ll be right back.”
She walked over to Tad, who didn’t show any signs of having noticed her. Dewey looked questioningly at Amelia, and, after a moment of thinking, Amelia walked over to Dewey and asked him to talk. They stepped aside from the chairs to be slightly more in private. Somehow it felt more appropriate. At least they could whisper about potentially supernatural things that way. Amelia tried to smile.
“I need to talk with Tad for a bit. You can make sure Philippe will be okay, right?”
“Sure,” Dewey said, “Hey, you know… it wasn’t your fault, okay? Any of this.”
“I mean it,” Dewey went on, “Those people were scum. And everything happened so fast. I think you may have saved your mum by just slowing her down a bit when she was thrown.”
“I… hope so.”
“Many would have lost their cool, but you managed to deal with the situation really well,” Dewey smiled gruffly, “You were awesome.”
Despite the situation, Amelia had to blush a bit.
“Oh… I didn’t do much. You were the one who was awesome. You and… everyone else, really.”
“Don’t underestimate yourself.”
For a while, they looked at each other in an almost comforting silence. Then Tad’s voice returned Amelia quite abruptly into the situation.
Amelia saw Tad blinking owlishly at her. She excused herself and walked up to him.
“Oh, you’re… awake. Good,” she said, “I want to talk to you. In private.”
“I guessed as much. What do you mean private? I can make it so that no one hears us even here.”
Amelia shook her head and pointed towards the door.
It came out more clipped and stern than she had intended. Tad stood up and followed her outside like a meek kitten. The morning air was cold and wet, and Amelia regretted not grabbing her jacket. The hoodie the hospital had given her after checking her for injuries and telling her to rest for a few hours did nothing against the cold nor the rain that had started some time during the night. But right now that wasn’t important. Amelia wrapped her arms around herself and stopped.
“Did you know?” she asked.
Tad blinked slowly. He didn’t need to ask what Amelia was talking about. Amelia turned to look at him in the eyes, fighting not to look away.
“Yes,” Tad said.
Amelia tried to swallow down the hurt and the tears, but it didn’t work.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” she whispered, “You could have warned us! And…”
“Saved you?” Tad said without any emotion in his voice, “I… I had hoped you remembered; I do not save people.”
Amelia felt the tears falling.
“But we’re… we’re friends, right?”
“Yes. Of course we are.”
“Then why didn’t you help us?!” Amelia raised her voice, “My mum could die! She had nothing to do with this, and now she’s hurt badly! And Basil… Brigitte… all of them, they were also hurt! We could have all… and you knew?”
Tad was silent for a long while. Amelia shivered and tried to wipe away her tears. They just kept coming.
“I am sorry,” Tad finally said, “I… Things should not have come to this. I should not have got you into a chain of events like that. I should have just looked for the gemstone, taken it back, and left things at that. I…”
He shook his head.
“I let things go too far. I was selfish. And now I have broken rules by nudging events like this. It is not… like me.”
Amelia stared at Tad.
“What are you… talking about? Nudging events?”
“All the little things I did to help you,” Tad said as if it should have been obvious, “Of course, you did the most important things, but I… was not as passive as I should have. Had things gone according to the most probable outcomes, I would assume the criminals would have gone to your house, taken you unawares and shot you all after interrogating you. But you were not at home. Neither were your mother nor Monsieur Bouchard. But you happened to get in the criminals’ way once they were leaving Miss Leifsdóttir’s house.”
“Wait, what happened to Vanja? Is she okay?”
“She is at this hospital as well. But that is not the point.”
“Not the point? She could be dying too!”
“I know,” Tad said calmly, “People die all the time. And I am always there. I should always just let that happen. But now I almost broke the rules. Because I did not want to lose you. I… care about you, Amelia. I believe you may have been right about me friend-loving you. But we have known each other for less than a year. A year of friendship is bound to lose against eons of Purpose.”
Another silence. A shocked one, maybe. Amelia didn’t even know anymore.
“So… you’re sorry that you helped us even a little bit?” she asked.
“Yes. But for what it is worth, I am also sorry that you got into that situation. And I also hope that your mother and Miss Leifsdóttir and everyone else involved in this will survive. If they do not, however, I will be there. And no one will be able to stop me from taking them.”
His voice had got more melancholic again, more emotional. But there was still a detached coldness that made Amelia take a step back. She didn’t miss the spark of sadness in Tad’s eyes.
“I have made many mistakes lately,” Tad said, “I think my first one was thinking I could be something I am not. Simply because I was lonely and wished to understand the world a bit more. To have a different point of view. But almost human eyes do not make me any more human, nor do they make me see more clearly. And I understand now that Fate really was right all along.”
“What do you mean?”
“I will go find the gemstone. And I will get it back. Then I… I should probably go back to normal.”
“So… you’re leaving? For good?”
“If that is what you wish. I know you feel I have done wrong… that I should have helped. I have said this before, and I will say it again: all you have to do is say the word, and I will be gone and never bother you again. Well, until the final moments of your life, of course.”
Amelia’s breath hitched, and she began to cry harder. The emotions were spilling over now, after all those hours of emptiness. She heard Tad shift, look at her helplessly for a while before hesitantly putting his arms around her. He was definitely not very good with hugs, but at the moment Amelia didn’t mind. Amelia hugged him tightly, even though his coldness made her shiver.
“I… I need to be alone for a while,” Amelia managed to say, “I need to know mum will be okay. And I need to try to understand this… and you. But I… I don’t want you to go for good.”
Tad was quiet and still like a statue again.
“Thank you,” he finally said, “You are extraordinarily forgiving, Amelia.”
Amelia couldn’t say anything to that. She was too busy crying.
It was a good day for Emily. A kindergarten day. That was always nice, if scary. Emily had woken up refreshed after finally falling asleep again. The nightmares and the monsters didn’t seem so bad when some of her new family members were near her. And Miha’s stories had made her dreams a bit less dark and more colourful. In the morning, Yvette had made some really delicious French toast and had told Emily that Walter would be picking her up today from kindergarten. Then Miha, Laurel, and Harper had gone to school – the place where Emily would too be going in a couple of years already! There she could learn many cool new things. Hopefully the place would be as nice as the kindergarten. Emily hoped Malika would go to school with her. Emily had packed up her communication folder that had all the pictures she could point at when the words wouldn’t come and signing felt difficult, and got in the car with Yvette. Yvette had hummed along with the car radio, and for a moment she reminded Emily of mum. Mum loved to sing too. She had a pretty voice. Prettier than Yvette had. But Yvette’s singing was okay too.
They got to the kindergarten, and Mrs. and Mr. Williams were there waiting. They were the kindergarten teachers in a couple of groups, and they were also Malika’s parents. Mrs. Williams was in their group, and sometimes kids complained that Malika got special treatment because her parents were teachers. But Malika said that she didn’t. She said that this was a small town and didn’t have that many kindergartens, so she had to be in her mum’s group. And she liked it because she could be around mum. Emily wished her mum could be teaching too so she wouldn’t have to leave Emily for the day. Then again, mum was still missing and hadn’t come back, so now just seeing her every once in a while would have been good enough.
But she wasn’t coming back. Emily still didn’t get it.
Malika was waiting for Emily in their group’s room. She waved at Emily, and Emily smiled back. The other kids looked at her and greeted her, and Emily tried not to freeze. She waved her hand. Good. She had managed to do that at least. Talking at kindergarten was still really difficult, but gesturing was usually easier. Malika hurried to Emily, dressed like a princess. With a pretty skirt and a paper crown. Emily brought her hand to her face and then away from it, and then made the outline of a skirt with her hands.
Malika squinted at her for a while, and then Emily pointed at the skirt and smiled. Malika nodded.
“Right! It’s pretty, right?”
“I know!” Malika said loudly, “We play princess today, ‘kay? I’m Princess Simderella. You can be some other princess. Or something else too. We got many skirts. You haven’t even seen them all yet, right?”
Emily shook her head. She had already been in the kindergarten for months, but the place still had new things to find almost every day. Malika grabbed her hand.
“Come on! I show you clothes. And then mommy can show you how to make a crown. Mommy! We’ll go play princess!”
“That’s great. But remember that we’ll go outside when the big clock hand is at nine and the small at ten.”
“’kay! Come on, Emily!”
Emily followed Malika and smiled. It was going to be a good day.
And it was. Emily and Malika played all day, and a girl named Susie joined them sometimes. At one point Mrs. Williams called them to do some art – something called collages. She told them it meant gluing things on paper to make pictures. It was fun too. And then they went outside even though it was raining.
Emily could wear her new rain clothes that she really liked, and she and Malika flew in the swingset and ran around the playground and were adventurous princesses and sometimes tigers and astronauts.
Malika was so good at coming up with ideas. She knew so much about the world and about things like space and stars and castles. It was always great to play with her. Emily wished she’d know more about the world too. Then she would have ideas too. And maybe more dreams instead of nightmares.
The only slightly annoying thing that happened was that Walter came to pick Emily up almost an hour earlier than normal. Emily was smart enough to tell the time already, and Walter said that he got out of work earlier. Mrs. Williams smiled at Walter and told him that Emily had had a very good day while Emily said goodbyes to Malika.
“Right. I’m sure Emily has been good,” Walter was saying, “Well, Emily, shall we go now?”
It was a bit weird that Walter didn’t stop to ask more about Emily’s day. Usually he talked with Mrs. Williams for long enough for Emily to get bored of waiting. Emily nodded and waved at Malika one more time and walked over to Walter, who led her out of the kindergarten’s playground.
They didn’t seem to be taking the car this time. That was a bit odd too, and Emily looked up at Walter questioningly. Walter didn’t seem to notice it.
Suddenly Emily started to feel worried. Was something wrong? She hoped not. She didn’t want anything to happen to her new family. She started running so she wouldn’t get left behind.
Amelia had at some point fallen asleep in the hospital’s waiting room. One of the nurses had asked her if she wanted a ride home, but she had said no. And soon after that she had passed out. Perhaps her mind was too tired to deal with things now. Tad could understand that. After she had cried herself out in his arms, she had looked ready to collapse. Tad had felt useless while escorting her back indoors and then sitting back to a chair to get his mind sorted out. To plan things.
He knew he needed to stop playing around. Finally. He hoped he could have admitted it sooner than now when he had almost slipped and had already caused so much needless grief.
What had he been thinking? That he could stop being so alone? To matter to someone as a person? And do all that without messing things up? He must have had a moment of delusional self-confidence.
He got up and walked away from the others, taking care not to cause needless worry. Mr. Kaarne and Monsieur Bouchard didn’t seem to even care that he was gone. Because why should they?
He put a hand to his face. He was so tired. The universe didn’t feel so wild or unsteady at the moment, but something was still wrong. These things didn’t fix themselves in mere moments, after all.
Tad spared a thought for Mrs. Sprigg. Her heart was still beating, and the mark of death on her was not so clear. She still had a chance. Hopefully she would heal, and Amelia would heal as well. Miss Leifsdóttir was doing quite well too. She was too stubborn to die to this.
Tad should leave, he knew. He would locate the Deacons and kindly ask them to give the gemstone back. And if kindness wouldn’t be enough, he would take the gemstone by force. Nothing too harmful, of course, but he would not take no for an answer either. And then he would have to stop pretending to be anything but himself. Death.
Perhaps he could still visit Amelia, though. She had still wanted him around, after all. Tad still had a hard time wrapping his head around that. Amelia was so kind, so forgiving. So bright that looking at her soul almost hurt. Tad wanted to be worth all that kindness, to do his part in making her life a happy one. And yet… because of him, she and her family were in shambles.
Tad thought about his options. He would have to ask Fate or someone else to help. He still couldn’t see the Deacons at all unless he brought this almost human form very close to them. Fate would help him, right? She wanted this whole farce to end even more than Tad did. And if she was working for Time now, she would probably be more than happy to be the one to report him that she had got Death back in line. Yes, that was probably…
Tad was distracted when his phone rang. Or, well, he didn’t really have a phone, but he had given a phone number to some people, and they now thought they were calling him whenever they used it. And convincing reality to transport his thoughts to a phone wasn’t difficult at all.
Yes? he asked.
The voice on the other end belonged to Walter Grisby, and it was clear that he tried very hard to sound calm without much success.
“Tad? Hi. It’s Walter.”
Yes, I know. How are you?
“I’m fine… except… is Emily with you? I went to pick her up at the kindergarten, but she wasn’t there. Her teacher claimed I had already picked her up, but I didn’t. So I figured that maybe there was some mix-up, or that maybe she went to see you or…”
Tad frowned. Emily being picked up by someone the people at the kindergarten thought was Mr. Grisby? It sounded like sorcery. But why…? Well, he just had to locate Emily and find out. After all, he was everywhere, so he could just focus on Emily Sato and…
Tad suddenly felt very cold. He tried to find Emily again, but the result was the same: nothing. It was as if she had disappeared from the universe altogether. That could only mean that she had died and moved on – which was not possible without him knowing – or that she…
Tad let out a quiet, almost feral growl that made air molecules around him retreat in fear.
Um… nothing. Be calm, Mr. Grisby. Emily is not with me, but I will try to find her as well.
“Thank you! I just… how could this happen? Emily wouldn’t just go with some stranger! She’s way too careful for that. So how can she be gone?”
You will find her, Tad thought and tried to sound convincing even when his mind was screaming in rage, I will get back to you if I find her.
“I… okay. Thanks. I’ve already called the police, but they’re busy with some other case. They said they’d start asking around, though.”
Good. Keep looking. I hope Emily will be found soon. Good bye.
Mr. Grisby hung up, and a beeping echoed in Tad’s mind until he shook it off. He clenched his hands into fists. The Deacons had Emily. There was no other explanation. That or they had somehow thrown away a piece of gemstone and Emily had somehow found it and somehow decided to take it. That was too many somehows, and wouldn’t explain a Walter Grisby -lookalike appearing at the kindergarten.
They have been watching us and Emily. And now they took Emily… but why? To get me there?
Not that the why mattered. Tad was furious. He turned towards the hospital doors that crashed open so hard that the nearby people yelped in shock. Mr. Kaarne, who had been purchasing something from a vending machine, jumped back, hyper-alert and ready to fight. Monsieur Bouchard let out a startled shout in French. Only Amelia was so tired that she didn’t even stir. Tad marched out of the hospital and the molecules in the doorway pressed closer together to get away from him. The trees outside bent away from him and small pebbles tried not to get under his feet. The raindrops collided with each other while trying to avoid falling on him.
This time there were no rules. The Deacons had surely known what they were doing. The Deacon family had conducted all sorts of experiments in order to fight or conquer Death for generations. Some of them had even managed to hurt him in the past. The gemstone theft had probably been just the beginning. This had to be another part of whatever the Deacons had been planning when or after stealing the gemstone. So he was more than allowed to act.
Tad was reluctant to stop, but he still resisted the urge to walk right through Fate, who now stood in front of him on the street. She was tense and didn’t feel like her usual smug self. She was almost… worried?
“I hope this is important.”
“Yes. You are about to walk into a trap.”
“Well, that would not surprise me. It is fairly obvious. Was there something else you wish to discuss? I am busy.”
“You cannot go there. They have been preparing. I think they have set up one of those ancient spells.”
“Again, not surprising.”
Tad was about to start walking again, but Fate blocked his way. A completely symbolic move, but Tad still stopped out of basic courtesy. Even though he wasn’t really in the mood for courtesy, and stopping again just made him angrier. Trap or not, they had taken Emily. What was he supposed to do? Send more people to get their lives ruined? His current champion was hospitalised, and it wasn’t like he kept hordes of people on his payroll.
“I think this is what the universe was so worried about,” Fate said, “I tried to warn young Miss Sato, but it seems the Deacons were clever enough to pose as someone the girl knew.”
“Yes. Her foster father.”
“Oh. That is quite clever.”
“I am going to get her back,” Tad said, “They could hurt her. They probably will, just to get me to show up.”
“No,” Fate said sternly, “You cannot. That is exactly what they want, and according to my premonitions, they will very likely succeed.”
“I do not care!” Tad snapped, “Emily trusts me! And now she is taken because of me! I will fix at least some of the things that have gone wrong because of me.”
“Really? This is where you admit you were wrong to come here?”
Tad’s patience was running out. This was not the time for Fate’s attitude.
“I am going.”
Fate grabbed his arm.
And that was it.
Fate was thrown to the street with the force of Tad’s anger. She looked up at him, surprised and maybe even a little shocked.
“If you are so worried about me,” Tad said in a dangerously quiet voice, “Then help me. Or stay out of my way. But you are not going to stop me.”
Fate stared at him, and then, with a sigh, she stood back up.
“Fine. I will go with you. But we have to be on our guard.”
Riverview seemed to let out a sigh of relief when they disappeared from its streets. Though it was perhaps celebrating too soon, as it would shortly have to worry about much more than just an angry Grim Reaper.
Author’s Note: Early update for those who follow this on Reader! 🙂 Or just randomly clicked on my blog. I’ll announce this on the forums later. I just felt like updating it already.
Yay, I got to make a hospital set with cutesy colours! And set up the story arc’s climax. And take pics of happy kindergarten moments featuring adorable raincoats.
So remember when I kept insisting that this story would take a turn for the dark like… forever ago? Well, here’s finally some slightly darker stuff. But even now I’m trying to keep this somewhat fun adventure-ish. Kind of.
Feedback is very much appreciated. I hope you guys enjoyed this and have a lovely time.