Chapter Seventeen

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AN: So the other day it was thundering like crazy, and I was trying to read. So-JOKINGLY, I swear-I'm like, 'Thor, shut up!'

About three seconds after the words left my lips, there was this really big BOOM and it knocked the power out for like, three hours.

Still not sure if that was the best or worst timing ever.

Sorry this late, (and not my best...sorry) by the way-I had a publishing deadline to meet-fifty spellchecks, summary do-over, you know. Worth it, but life's been scary busy.

* * *

He didn't realise the time until Mrs Richardson rapped on the doorframe.

"Jonathan?"

"I've almost got it." It wasn't so complicated, really-that blue flower had caused far more trouble.

"You're nearly asleep...shouldn't you be wearing safety goggles?"

Not even Kitty gave him lectures on lab safety. But that might have been caused by an underlying desire for superpowers.

"Probably..."

Kitty yawned and mumbled, "Don't nag 'im, Mum, he could be the next Spiderman or somethin'."

"What are you doing down here?"

"Sleeping."

"I think I've got it."

In an ideal world, he would test it for two months, but this wasn't an ideal world.

What happened over there?

"Don' like needles."

He looked to Mrs. Richardson for help.

"Kitty, you hold still and be quiet or else."

"Mu-um..." She started to cough again. "M'fine."

She scowled but sat still and stared at her water glass.

Hopefully this wasn't poison. Great, something else to worry about.

He sent her up to bed and she went, rubbing her arm and grumbling.

"You can clean this up tomorrow." He shrugged. "Jonathan...what was that?"

"Complicated." He sighed and stood up, feeling things crack. "I'll watch her. If there's side effects or...anything..."

She went back upstairs and he figured she was making sure Kitty had actually gone to bed like she was supposed to. He'd go in there in a minute, but there was something he had to do first.

He went upstairs and got the ratty diary from his room. Such an innocuous little thing, really-who would have thought it would cause this much trouble?

He took it outside, cleared a patch in the yard, and lit it on fire. It was the smoke, of course, but he was almost certain he saw a man in the fields a little ways away, with one eye hanging out of his socket and a thick rope in his hand.

Then he blinked and the man was gone.

He went back upstairs to get cleaned up. He was expecting there to be bruises on his throat, but when he looked there were none. There was no sign of the ordeal this afternoon-not even a stray feather.

Had he imagined it? Surely...but Granny...

He left the room and went to go find Kitty. She was asleep and he didn't wake her.

God, he was tired...but Kitty...

It was going to be a long night.

* * *

He became aware of someone combing his hair out of his face.

Need a haircut...

Mrs. Richardson-probably trying to chase him off to bed.

M'awake, s'fine...

"You're going to get a crick."

"M'okay, Kitty." he murmured. "S'fine..."

Hang on.

"Kitty?"

She still looked like death, but she was awake, she was...maybe lucid...

"Uh-huh. What are you doing?"

His glasses had fallen off his face and he put them back on, straightened up. He was definitely awake now, if a bit stiff.

"You...you were sick, I..."

"I told you it was just a cold. You worry too much."

Didn't she remember?

"But...that diary, and..."

"Are you sure you're not sick?"

Had he imagined everything?

"M'fine...hold still, let me look you over."

She sighed but sat still while he took her pulse and checked her eyes and asked her a handful of questions to make sure she hadn't suffered any kind of brain-frying or anything.

"You're fine."

"Just a cold." she insisted. "I told you that, you didn't listen."

"You don't remember...we were at my house, the crows..." She shook her head. "Probably for the best."

She blinked at him.

"You look a fright." Wait for it... "I'm slightly gratified."

A wave of relief washed over him. She was okay. Everything was okay. He'd wake her parents in the morning, first thing, but...it was four AM. They needed to sleep.

Imagined or not, he thought, glancing at the shadowy form of Keeney Manor, he was not going back over there. Whatever lived there-ghosts

Nonsense, there's no such thing no such THING

or memories

Granny no please I'm sorry

could keep it.

THE END

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