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There was no sign of Rahne.

She knew that any number of things could be occupying his flighty attentions but she still felt annoyed that he was nowhere to be found. Her teachers called her “more mature than most third-graders,” but she still got bored when things didn’t go as planned. Rahne wasn't there when she wanted him to be.

She stalked back towards the playground as recess approached its end. Deciding that if she couldn't play with her One True Friend she wouldn't play at all, she sat by herself near the far edge of the school by the sixth-grader's classrooms. She kicked at a few white dandelions and sent their seeds soaring.

"Antonia!"

The hissed whisper startled her. She looked around for a few moments before spying the well-camouflaged speaker. Peering from around the edge of her brick schoolhouse was the mouse-like face of her missing friend.

"Rahne!" she cried. She caught herself and glanced towards the crowd of playing kids and watching teachers.

Rahne winced, looking around as she did, but no one seemed to have noticed.

She would have to remind herself to be more careful. Crawling over, getting grass stains on her blue jeans, she sat against the edge of the school building, letting Rahne hide around the corner, just out of sight from her classmates.

"Where were you?" she asked. Her voice was both annoyed and relieved. “I looked everywhere!"

"Things have gotten … complicated," he said, quietly. He reached around the corner and put his small, mouse-like hand in hers. His long tail twitched in the grass. “I’m afraid … I'm afraid something bad is coming.”

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