There are five boys at Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. Three of them went to Fairylands. One visited a Mirror. Christopher Flores’s home is a Netherworld. He was an outsider even before he became a murder suspect.
It’s been a week since Jack and Jill returned to the Moors, one dead and one with her sister’s blood on her hands. It’s taken that long to make the basement livable for someone who didn’t grow up as a mad scientist’s apprentice or a vampire’s chosen daughter. Jack had far more different kinds of acid than one person has any right to own and Jill’s collection of pastel dresses was almost as creepy given the context.
Christopher is helping Nancy move in even though she hasn’t amassed enough belongings to really need the help. He should be the one getting the basement room since he has seniority, but it’s cruel to expect Nancy to keep living in Sumi’s room without Sumi. Part of the reason he’s helping her move is to show there’s no hard feelings. The other part is to avoid his roommate and the rest of their fellow students.
Nancy carries a basket of clothes in shades of white, black and grey. Christopher carries a cardboard box of school supplies. Neither of them needs to turn on the light to make it safely down the stairs but Eleanor will worry less if they do, not that she’s likely to find out either way. The option that won’t make Eleanor worried is always preferred. She has too much she’s been worrying about lately without them adding to it.
The basement is pleasantly cool and dark. Jack’s autopsy table, which is bolted to the floor and too difficult for them to remove, is covered with a white sheet. Jill’s bed has been stripped down to a simple quilt and two pillows rather than the excess of lace-trimmed feather pillows and impractically fluffy comforter that Jill favoured. If Nancy has any misgivings about sleeping in the bed of the girl who’d killed her roommate she hasn’t mentioned them.
Christopher places the box on the autopsy table. “Any idea where you want to put your stuff?”
Nancy eyes the empty wardrobe where Jill’s dresses had been. “The table’s fine for now.” She puts her clothing down next to her school supplies. “Did you ever...look for Narnia in the back of your closet? You know, before.”
Before his door of bones and butterflies and marigolds had opened for him. Before he’d been welcomed home.
“Once or twice,” Christopher says. “Why do you ask?”
Nancy gestures towards the wardrobe. “That reminds me of it. Do you think Jill saw it that way too?”
The wardrobe is made of dark, old wood. There are monstrous faces and flowers carved into the doors. It does look like something that would manifest a door to a place like the Moors.
“I have no idea how Jill’s brain worked,” Christopher says.
That’s a lie. They both know what Jill was thinking: Do anything you can to get home.
“Wasn’t their door an old trunk anyway?” Christopher asks.
Nancy nods and they move on from the wardrobe. It’s the longest conversation they’ve had about Jill since the murders. Most people tiptoe around the names of both twins like they’ve been to a world where words have more power than physics and “speak of the devil and he shall appear” can be taken literally. (One girl had been to a world like that. She jumps whenever anyone starts saying anything that begins with J.)
It’s Saturday, so they don’t have any classes. Before the murders Christopher would probably have been on his own, playing his flute somewhere on the grounds where no one would see his skeleton dancers and act weird about dead squirrels. Being around the rainbows and sunshine kids all the time was exhausting. Nancy’s company isn’t like that. Her stillness and his silent music complement each other instead of clashing. It’s nice.
“Nancy, Christopher, are you still down there?” Kade calls from the top of the stairs.
Standing at the end of the bed, Nancy unfreezes to reply. “We’re here. I’ll turn the lights on for you.”
“That would be appreciated,” Kade says.
The soft orange lights are another thing in the basement that hasn’t been removed. They’re bright enough to do delicate work by, but not so bright that they hurt darkness-adjusted eyes. Nancy flicks them on and Kade takes the stairs down practically at a run.
“Is something happening?” Christopher asks. Kade is usually so careful. He wouldn’t be rushing like that unless there was some disaster on the horizon.
“Loriel’s parents are here,” Kade says grimly. “I thought it would be better if we stayed together, away from the other students, considering.”
The three of them had been the ones to rescue Seraphina before she could be killed, which had bought them the forgiveness of their peers. However, they still share the sin of disposing of Loriel’s body. Best not to leave themselves open to a thoughtless comment drawing Loriel’s parents’ attention to them.
Christopher frowns. “Didn’t Eleanor tell them that Loriel ran away?”
“She did,” Kade says. “They came for her stuff, and to yell at Eleanor. I don’t think they expected so many of us to be on her side. Angela and Nadya were yelling at them when I left.”
“Shouldn’t we...do something?” Nancy asks.
Kade shakes his head. “Eleanor will smooth things over. She always does. She, uh, also might have wanted me gone so I don’t make things worse.”
Christopher and Nancy exchange a look. Kade doesn’t tend to make bad situations worse. That Eleanor thought he might doesn’t paint Loriel’s parents in the most positive light.
“So, we’re grounded until they leave,” Christopher says. “Great. Maybe we’ve got some mouse skeletons in the walls.”
Coming from anyone else, that would be morbid. From Christopher, it’s hopeful. It’s been too long since he’s been to a proper dance, but a bevy of skeleton mice tumbling around could capture some of the same energy.
Nancy looks interested. She hadn’t been there when Christopher piped Loriel’s skeleton free from the acid Jack had used to dissolve her flesh. Skeleton mice would be close to her world too.
Christopher runs his fingers along his bone flute and turns to Kade, questioning. Kade is a child of a Fairyland. He doesn’t judge them for their worlds, but if skeletons will make any of the three of them uncomfortable, it’ll be Kade.
“Go for it,” Kade says. “I don’t think you’ll find much, but I don’t mind.”
That’s more than enough permission. Christopher raises his flute to his lips and begins to play. There’s no sound, not for the living, but the absent notes in the air are bright and jaunty. This is dancing music.
Nancy and Kade sit down next to Christopher. After a few moments, soft clicking noises begin making their way towards them and the first of the dancers emerges. The tiny skeletons are pearlescent white with delicate claws that tap on the concrete floor when they move. One mouse steps out of the wall without disturbing it, as if the solid in its way doesn’t exist. Another skeleton drops through the ceiling, a small bird rather than a mouse. It flies around the room on invisible wings before landing on Nancy’s shoulder.
“They’re beautiful,” Nancy says. She pets the bird’s skull with a fingertip. It remains silent as the grave but its beak opens to let out the idea of a chirp.
The skeletons aren’t dancing so much as they’re playing. The five mice chase each other around the floor, hopping and darting this way and that. The bird seems to like Nancy. Whenever it stops flying it always comes to rest on her shoulder or knee.
“They are kind of pretty,” Kade says after a while.
Christopher smiles and keeps playing.
When Eleanor, having finally soothed the wounds in the hearts of Loriel’s mother and father, comes downstairs looking for some of her most out of place children, she finds Christopher perched on the edge of the bed playing his flute while Nancy attempts to teach Kade a dance from the Halls of the Dead. They are being very careful not to crush the mouse skeletons scampering underfoot. Eleanor smiles.
Kade is the first to notice his aunt’s presence. “Aunt Eleanor! Is everything alright?”
Eleanor nods. “The strangers are all gone, my dears. Have you been dancing this whole time?”
“Not quite,” Kade says. “Christopher hasn’t danced.”
Christopher raises the end of his flute slightly in answer. If he stops playing the skeletons will fall apart.
“Thank you for the music, Christopher,” Nancy says.
The skeletons disappear back into the wall and Christopher lowers his flute. “No problem. I’ll take them somewhere else later.” He gestures towards the wall where the mice and bird are now entombed.
“They can stay here. I don’t mind,” Nancy says.
Kade sighs. “You two.” He smiles as he speaks, turning what could have been exasperation into something fond.
“You love us.” Christopher grins.
“Exactly as you are,” Eleanor says. “Now, will you accompany an old woman to lunch?”
Christopher dreams of Sumi alive. She’s a rainbow tornado of a girl, just as Christopher knew her. Never still, never quiet.
Then Christopher takes his eyes off her for a second. When he looks back, Sumi’s flesh is melting off her bones and her hands are disappearing. Her skull gaps open in a scream. Her hands are gone and her skeleton is incomplete and she will never rest because what’s most important about her has been stolen.
Christopher wakes with a start. His roommate is snoring in the next bed and moonlight is streaming through the curtains. He lies still until his heart stops racing.
What Christopher wants to do is head down to the basement. He’ll be able to get back to sleep there, underground and in the dark with skeletons nearby. His room is a compromise with his sunshine Fairyland roommate and is still too bright for his comfort, even at night. The problem is that even though Nancy is asexual everyone except for Kade and Eleanor will get the wrong idea if Christopher gets caught sharing her room. So, he does the opposite of his first impulse and heads up to the attic.
Kade is awake to let Christopher in when he knocks softly on the door. There are dark bags beginning to show under his eyes.
“Hey,” Kade says. “Can’t sleep either?”
“Nightmares,” Christopher says. “Okay if I hang out here?”
“Make yourself at home.” Kade walks back to the mountain of books that may have a chair somewhere underneath it to provide structure and picks up the multi-coloured scraps of fabric he’s sewing together. Christopher recognizes the project as what Kade says is going to be a skirt for Eleanor but is really more of a way for him to occupy himself without having to think too much.
Christopher curls up in the one chair that doesn’t have any books on it. He traces simple songs out on his flute but doesn’t actually play anything. Kade re-threads his needle and continues to piece together the clashing fabrics. Neither of them feels the need to fill the silence with talk.
Kade is first to nod off, somehow falling asleep with perfect posture save for his chin bobbing towards his chest. Christopher gets his brain to process that maybe he should get up and take Kade’s sewing needle away before he impales himself but doesn’t make it to the actual getting out of his chair part before he also falls asleep. It’s fine. Kade’s unlikely to stab himself in the jugular. He’s slept with his sword in hand more times than he can count.
Nightmares don’t wake either of the boys up for the rest of the night, but they both regret falling asleep sitting up.
“I’m getting too old for this,” Kade groans as he rubs the back of his neck.
“Just because we can fall asleep anywhere doesn’t mean that we should,” Christopher agrees. “My bones hurt and I hate it.”
The two of them slowly make their way downstairs. Christopher’s roommate has left by the time he gets back to his room, so Christopher can quickly change out of his pajamas without getting roped into a ‘discussion’ of where he’s been. He doesn’t feel like dealing with the grave robbing ‘jokes’ when it’s too early in the morning to punch his roommate in the face.
Nancy is at breakfast already, sitting at a table in the corner of the ballroom. She has nothing in front of her but a glass of fruit juice. The bags under her eyes look like bruises against her pale skin.
“Is the insomnia going around?” Christopher asks.
Nancy shrugs. “I had nightmares.”
That’s the same thing, really.
Christopher and Kade eat their own breakfasts, which are made up of much more than orange juice. They aren’t capable of thriving on nearly no food like Nancy is and they’ll need the energy for classes. Nancy and Christopher discuss their English essays over the meal. The books they’re writing about are by the same author, which means they can share some of their research as long as their teacher isn’t around to notice.
Classes are less tense than they were two weeks ago. The students aren’t huddled together in closed groups and starting at every movement like they might be murdered in the middle of English. Most of them even look like they’re able to sleep at night. The ones with shadows under their eyes that rival those under Kade’s and Nancy’s are mostly from high Nonsense, high Virtue worlds. It’s like their brains can’t process the real, violent, permanent deaths.
One girl falls asleep in Christopher’s science class and wakes up screaming.
Christopher escapes to the outdoors during the lunch break. He’s not the only one. It’s getting colder now. Winter is very quickly coming upon them and girls from summer worlds are squeezing out every second they have left to search for their doors before the last leaves fall. Christopher envies them. Día de Muertos has come and gone. He won’t have another chance until next year.
He avoids the clearing where Lundy is buried with Loriel’s eyes and Sumi’s hands. It doesn’t seem like a good idea to sit there when he knows he’ll be tempted to pipe Lundy free of her skin and give her the funeral they never got to have for her. Eleanor doesn’t need to see that. Instead, he eats his sandwich sitting on the root of a tree a hundred yards away, squinting at the sunlight that filters through the bronzing leaves. When he’s finished eating he goes around the back way to leave his plate in the kitchen with the rest of the lunch dishes. Though they’re allowed to take their lunches wherever they’d like, they’re supposed to return their dishes so no one has to go searching for plates all over the grounds.
Nancy is in the kitchen when Christopher arrives there, glaring at a mug on the butcher-block counter in front of her like she intends to set it on fire with her eyes.
“Is something wrong?” Christopher asks.
“Not really,” Nancy says. “I made hot chocolate but it doesn’t taste right.”
Christopher picks up the mug and takes a sip when Nancy indicates that it’s okay. He makes a face at the taste. “Why is it sour?”
“I have no idea,” Nancy says.
“Fair.” Christopher takes another sip of the hot chocolate. It doesn’t actually taste that bad, but it is very strange. “I don’t think it’s the milk. Are you going to finish this?”
Nancy shakes her head. Christopher drinks the rest of the hot chocolate and puts the mug in the sink.
“You’re probably going to regret that,” Nancy says.
“Probably,” Christopher agrees. “Maybe it’ll get me out of math class.”
Christopher is in the same math class as Seraphina, which means that ninety percent of the time they don’t actually get anything done. Maybe he can save his failing grade if he studies on his own instead of trying to learn from a teacher who gets distracted by Seraphina’s face every few seconds.
Yes, it’s not their teacher’s fault. Christopher is still failing math.
Unfortunately, Christopher doesn’t get an excuse to leave class early, so he ends up in the library after classes are over trying to figure out the difference between sine and cosine. It’s not going well.
This is the kind of thing Jack would be good at. Every science was her playground. Without a mad scientist to ask for help, Christopher goes for the next best thing, a tailor.
Kade is adding something to one of the student records when Christopher gets to the attic.
“Do you ever stop working?” Christopher asks.
“Only when I’m doing something I don’t want to do anymore,” Kade says. “Or if I’ve finished the job. Did you need something or are you just visiting?”
Christopher holds up the textbook he’s carrying. “Math help, please?”
“Again?” Kade sounds incredulous but he doesn’t hesitate to start clearing the table to give them room to work.
“Seraphina’s in my class,” Christopher says.
Kade can’t argue with that.
It takes almost an hour for Kade to explain everything Christopher’s teacher didn’t get to that he hadn’t figured out by himself. Christopher takes a lot of notes.
“You’re a lifesaver,” Christopher says. “Thanks.”
“You’re welcome,” Kade says. “Do you want to move into a different math class?”
Christopher’s eyes widened. “You can do that?”
Kade shrugs. “I can try. You’re going to fail horribly at this rate.”
“I know.” Christopher sighs and puts his head on the table. “I know.”
Kade pats his back and asks if he wants hot chocolate.
The leaves begin to fall over the next few weeks. They drop from the trees in ones and twos at first, then in rains of red, orange, yellow and brown that cover the grounds in a blanket of warm colours. Summer girls take to their rooms and weep. Winter girls from worlds of ice and snow rejoice.
The encroaching cold weather leads to Christopher and Nancy spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Nancy’s sour hot chocolate was not going to cut it when winter hit and “creating the perfect hot chocolate”, as Christopher calls it, is something for them to do other than schoolwork. So far they’ve solved the sour problem (too much pomegranate molasses) and are now trying to upgrade from the packaged hot chocolate mix. Nearly an hour of YouTube videos has been sacrificed to the cause, but they may have gotten a little off track.
“We don’t have to temper chocolate, do we?” Christopher asks with wide eyes.
“I don’t think so,” Nancy says. “We’re not going to be cooling anything.”
Christopher takes a deep breath, inhaling the scent of the gingersnaps one of the winter world girls had put in the oven. “Okay, let’s try...something.”
Something ends up being milk chocolate grated into warm cream, which both of them find to be far too sweet. A Nonsense girl takes it off their hands and they try again. Cocoa powder and sugar in cream turns lumpy and they take a break to repurpose it into a chocolate cake.
“Maybe we should go back to milk?” Nancy suggests while they’re waiting for the cake to finish baking.
“That might be a good idea,” Christopher says. “We have more milk than cream.”
Eleanor will be miffed if they run through a grocery order’s worth of cream in one day. Amused, but miffed.
The cake goes over well with their peers. It makes group therapy less awkward. It’s difficult to be sad when there’s cake.
Eleanor has been trying to run group therapy herself with Lundy gone. The first night was something of a disaster and will never be spoken of again. The second night was less of a disaster but still ended in tears. Now they’re all slowly getting used to therapy without Lundy, very slowly.
“Thank you for the treat, Nancy and Christopher,” Eleanor says once everyone has a slice of cake. “Now, tonight we will be hearing the stories of those whose worlds fall along minor directions, such as Whimsy and Reason, but as always everyone is welcome to speak. Who would like to start us off?”
Eleanor looks around the circle of students. Several of them avoid her gaze. Forks tap against plates.
“I’ll start,” Christopher’s roommate says. “Sylphid is Logic and Wild.”
“Please continue, Noah,” Eleanor says when the boy’s pause draws out for a bit too long. The other students are getting restless.
“I was climbing the bell tower,” Noah says. “Like, from the outside because my brother dared me to and our parents didn’t notice because they were worried about being late for church. And there was a gold door in the middle of the bricks that was covered in jewels. And I grabbed the handle because I...I wanted to see if it was real.”
There are buildings with doors on the outside of towers, the results of changing floor plans and construction mistakes. But a bejeweled door on the outside of a church tower? Of course Noah had to see if it was real.
“When I touched the door I felt light,” Noah says. His voice has a far-away quality to it, like he’s back there on the church tower with his door. “It was like I was floating. So I opened the door and went through. It just made sense.”
On the other side, he’d entered a land of faeries where people walk among clouds and travel by air currents. He tells them about dances hosted by the Court of Feathers and his adventures with the Winter Prince. He tells them about how he nearly died fighting a storm dragon. When he woke up in the healer’s hall, the Winter Prince was at his side and didn’t leave the entire time he was recovering.
“He’s a stupid, sappy idiot and I miss him so much,” Noah says. He chokes on the last words as he starts crying. Angela, who’s sitting next to him, pats his back awkwardly.
“Thank you for sharing, Noah,” Eleanor says gently. “Would you like to take a moment outside?”
Noah sniffs and shakes his head. “I’m okay.”
It would be poetic for Christopher to speak next. He’s Noah’s roommate, Mariposa is Logic and Rhyme. It all fits.
Christopher isn’t going next unless Eleanor makes him, and Eleanor is kinder than that.
Three other students share a little about their worlds. Nonsense and Linearity, Reason and Wild, Wicked and Whimsy. They’re all different. They’re all the same.
“That will be all for tonight,” Eleanor says. “Sweet dreams, my dears.”
As if they could be so lucky.
Kade and Nancy are both there when Christopher makes his way up to the attic after waking from another nightmare of Sumi restless and lost. Kade answers Christopher’s knock on the door.
“You know, if we’re not careful this could become a habit,” Kade jokes.
“Pretty sure it’s already a habit,” Christopher says. “What’re you working on?”
Kade’s patchwork fabric is noticeably absent.
“English homework,” Nancy says. She laughs once. “We’re both tired enough that everything makes total sense.”
That makes sense.
“Well, count me in,” Christopher says. “That poem we talked about today, er, yesterday was bizarre.”
“I think it was an essay, actually,” Nancy says.
Kade shakes his head. “You two are hopeless.”
“So are you,” Christopher says. “You failed English last year.”
Nancy is awake enough to look at Kade with surprise.
“I like stories,” Kade says. “I don’t like tearing them apart and analyzing the life out of them. It takes all the fun out of it.”
“We’re going to wake up in the morning and discover that this was a terrible idea,” Nancy predicts.
“Probably,” Kade agrees.
“It’s already morning,” Christopher says, “but I don’t think you’re wrong.”
They all turn out to be wrong. Their teacher loves whatever it is they come up with for the homework. Christopher is still half-asleep, but when asked where his analysis came from he rattles off a few sentences about colours and emotions that he thinks might have been something Kade was ranting about around two in the morning. Nancy says something about metaphors and similes. Their teacher smiles and they both get their homework back with an A.
“Do you remember anything that just happened?” Christopher asks Nancy when they leave class.
“I remember taking notes,” Nancy says.
At least one of them is actually trying to work through the sleep deprivation. Though, Nancy did spend years awake as a living statue in the Halls of the Dead. Lack of sleep probably doesn’t bother her as much as it does Christopher. Living skeletons still need sleep.
“Can I copy your notes after school?” Christopher asks. “Please?”
“Only if you bring coffee,” Nancy says.
They meet up in the library but they don’t stay there for very long. Angela is giving them looks from the next table and it quickly gets oppressive. She never did apologize to Kade and she doesn’t like Nancy or Christopher much either. It sucks that they’re letting her chase them away, but neither of them has the bandwidth to put up with being told they’re not wanted. The basement is much more comfortable.
“Are you sure these are notes?” Christopher asks a few minutes after they’ve relocated.
“Maybe,” Nancy says. “No. Why?”
Christopher turns the notebook he’s trying to read so she can see the sketches that cover the pages. They’re very pretty but he can’t get any information out of them.
Nancy blushes. “Oh. Those are notes.”
“Are they?” Christopher asks. “Are they really?”
Nancy’s lips quirk into a smile and she inches closer to translate her sketches into words. They make perfect sense once she’s explained them and they look a lot nicer than Christopher’s quickly scrawled notes. Christopher’s kind of jealous.
“Thank you so much,” Christopher says. “I really didn’t want to start failing English too.”
“You’ll probably be fine if we keep doing our homework at midnight,” Nancy says.
Christopher groans. “I like being able to sleep normally.”
Then again, normal sleep patterns haven’t been a reality since Sumi was killed. Christopher isn’t really sure what he’s missing.
Despite Nancy’s comment, the two of them start working on their homework. They still have a few hours before dinner, may as well get as much of it out of the way now as possible.
They work in silence that’s occasionally broken when one of them asks a question. The house above them is just as quiet. There aren’t enough students to fill Eleanor’s massive family home. Most of them flee to the grounds or sequester themselves in their rooms rather than rattle around the building’s empty spaces. Of course, when someone gets it into their head to go searching for their door they’ll go everywhere, even the house’s most haunted corners.
Nancy finishes her work before Christopher does, which is a perk of not running purely on caffeine. She puts away her papers, notebooks and pens, and then enjoys a few moments of stillness while Christopher catches up to her. They head up to dinner together, brainstorming ideas for their continued hot chocolate making endeavours.
Noah and the other two boys who aren’t Kade are sharing a table by the door. A month ago, Noah would have waved Christopher over to join them. Now, his roommate smirks in his and Nancy’s direction and calls, “When’s the wedding, ghost boy?”
Christopher sighs. “One, skeletons, not ghosts. Two, Jack came up with that before you and that’s the only reason why I’m not punching you right now.”
Then Christopher smiles, all teeth like a skeleton. Noah pales.
“Don’t start something you can’t finish, Noah,” one of the other boys says. He nods to Christopher slightly but doesn’t act any more familiar. His world is high Logic, high Wicked and not all sunshine and rainbows. He’s at risk of social exile if he’s not careful.
The Moors is high Logic, high Wicked too.
The table in the corner is free, so that’s where they go once they’ve gotten their food. Kade is nowhere to be seen. It’s not the first time he’s missed dinner lately. Christopher’s willing to bet that he’s lost track of time going over the grocery budget or textbook orders again, the things Lundy used to handle that he talked Eleanor out of taking back on herself. Hopefully he remembers that he has to eat eventually.
“We should have another dance,” Christopher says. “Only Kade and Eleanor are invited.”
“That would be nice,” Nancy says. “I’m starting to miss the dances.”
Christopher smiles sadly. “I always have.”
Mouse skeletons and a Goblin Prince-in-waiting aren’t the same kind of guests either of them dreams about, but they’ll do for now. Besides, dances are always more fun with friends.
“Friday night,” Nancy says. “You bring the music.”
“Do you want something you can actually hear this time?” Christopher asks.
“Kade might,” Nancy says. “I can hear what you play perfectly.”
Christopher nearly drops his fork. “You what?”
“Well, maybe not perfectly. It’s quiet, but there,” Nancy says.
Even Christopher can’t hear the music he plays on the flute made from his own bone, not in this world. That Nancy can hear anything at all is amazing, and probably an indication of how thoroughly the Halls of the Dead have claimed her.
“Not going to lie, I’m kind of jealous,” Christopher says. “Too bad a recording would be pointless.”
“Kade mentioned something about a music room the other day,” Nancy says. “Would any other type of flute work?”
“Maybe,” Christopher says. He hopes they will. It would be nice to hear Mariposa’s music again.
When Christopher wakes up from his now recurring nightmare of Sumi’s incomplete, forever wandering skeleton, it’s snowing. The flakes passing across the window are large and bright white against the darkness of cloud cover. Christopher watches them for a few minutes before the cold starts getting to him and he curls back up under his blankets. It’s dark enough that he’ll be able to get back to sleep in his own bed for once. If Sumi will come back to continue haunting him or not...
This is only the first snow of the season. The ground won’t be frozen yet.
Jack’s specimen jars were one of the things they couldn’t get rid of while cleaning out the basement since everyone involved didn’t know how to safely dispose of them, or if it was even possible to do so. She had some empty ones that they put in the closet with the rest of them.
Christopher’s going to need to find a shovel.
Art by @sevenchild-art