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Dec 03, 2021 2:19 AM
Vampires arrive in Apotasy
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Most of the vampires chorus "skin," but Eliza looks conflicted. "Pockets are nice," she says hesitantly, then firms: "But you could have, like, a belt or something, with pouches, and not have to wear all that."

"Obviously I don't wear this to swim," the girl says, rolling her eyes. "I have a swimsuit." 

"Swimsuits are still annoying," Justin asserts. 

"You're a boy, boys have a different kind," she says dismissively, then pauses. "You are a boy, right?"

"--How can you not tell?" he asks, outraged. "I'm not wearing any clothes!"

She gives him a pitying look. "Just because you have boy parts doesn't mean you're definitely a boy," she tells him loftily. "My mommy has boy parts and girl parts but he's definitely a boy. And Theresa has just boy parts but she's a girl, and Tommy has girl parts but he's a boy." 

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"Girl swimsuits are evil!" Zeke crows. "They make them cover their top parts! For no reason."

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"It's not for no reason! Girls aren't supposed to show their chests!" she squeals. 

"That's true in most cultures today," Edoni interjects firmly, "but it's just a cultural thing, not a universal. There isn't anything wrong with being different."

"--Okay, but it's still not no reason! Anyway, I don't wanna wear swim trunks."

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"Show we show these kids what we can do?" Zeke asks the rest.

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The children cheer!

"Show them like how," Eliza says cautiously, "I'm pretty sure beating them up counts as mean." 

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Zeke proceeds to leap over the human girl's head, landing in a handstand behind her.

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She turns to look at him, not particularly impressed. 

"So you can jump, big deal." 

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And then he lifts her over his head, one handed. 

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She shrieks in outrage. 

Vines grow from her hands and feet, burrowing into the floor and pulling her back to the ground. 

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"Don't manhandle other children without their consent," Edoni says sternly. "I realize this was not obvious so I'm not mad, but you need to not do that." 

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Zeke's eyes dart from the girl to Edoni. "Ah, who did that?"

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"I did!" the girl exclaims. She makes an abortive gesture as though to kick him in the shin, but she glances at Edoni and stomps her foot instead. 

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Zeke smiles crookedly. "It wouldn't have hurt. That's neat, though." Again, he addresses his flock. "Anyone feel like they can do something special now?"

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"I think so," Justin says slowly, "but I think I'd have to touch someone to do it." He glances at Edoni. 

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"You can do it to me. I'm consenting," Eliza says, staring straight at Edoni.

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Edoni nods approvingly, which is not the reaction Eliza was going for, judging by her scowl. 

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Justin takes Eliza's hand. 

Her skin turns blue, and then back, and then her arm splits at the elbow into two forearms and hands. 

"...Okay, that's pretty cool," the little girl admits reluctantly. "You have to be naked for that?"

"I don't think so," Justin admits. "But I think I have to be touching someone to do that. Them, not their clothes or my clothes." 

She wrinkles her nose. "I don't want you touching me anywhere I'd be wearing clothes."

"You hate elbows?"

"You could wear a t-shirt!"

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Zeke squeals and hugs Justin from behind. "Witch boy!"

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He giggles and hugs Zeke back. It's awkward, at first, and then he figures out how to reverse his own joints.

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Zeke is even more impressed. "I can make stuff cold!" he reports.

The room is briefly as frigid as the inside of a meat locker.

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There are a lot of yelps from the other children in the room, who come to see what the commotion is about. 

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Zeke relaxes, and the heat rushes back into the air. He grabs Justin's hand and hoists it into the air. "Witch boys for life!"

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"Witch boys for life!" he exclaims gleefully. 

"Hey, no fair," one of the boys who came over says, "how come I have to wear clothes and I don't?"

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"You will have to take that up with your parents," Edoni informs him. 

"My parents aren't here!"

"Well, it's their rule, not a here rule."

"So I can take my clothes off and you won't stop me?" he asks. 

"Please put them in your cubby if you do," she says. 

He whoops and yanks all his clothes off. The original little girl gives him a judgmental look. 

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"You're magic too, right?" Zeke asks the boy.

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