New Friends and Old Enemies

“I still don’t even know your name,” Adrien mumbled nervously but mostly uncaring as the nurse led him through the halls. She smiled, and ran his fingers across her mouth so he knew it.

“Does it really matter?” she said. She yanked him away.

He stammered, confused, as he felt the air change. It smelled of bleach and chlorine. A janitorial closet, apparently.

Suddenly, he felt something quite different from the bristly fibers of the mops and brooms. Her hair, the thing he loved most about her, was draped across his shoulders. She was close. The soft skin of her cheek brushed his as she leaned down close to his ear.

Strangely, he felt the hair recede, almost as if she wasn’t moving but it was shrinking into her scalp. The air changed to a colder, sharper feel. Through the blackness he saw two pale, red dots.

“Goodbye, Grasshopper,” the Caretaker said, his voice fading as he left Adrien tumbled against the brooms and cleaning supplies.

The door clicked.

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