Regrets And Forgiveness

An Invitation For A Sleepover

Friday morning came with a gray, gloomy sky but still high temperatures. Edna was glad when the week was over; it meant one step closer to summer vacation. Six whole weeks to enjoy with no worries about tests, homework and without getting up early in the morning. She could finally find the time to do so many things she barely had time for, like swimming or exploring the nearby woods. She had no time to do so yet since she was always so exhausted after work. She could also invite the Key Master to go with her; he could need the variety and they might find something mysterious and exciting, like a portal to another dimension. Edna also reckoned they should take their time to think of something to keep the cottage warm during winter. The only idea she had so far was to collect lots and lots of firewood, which was kind of difficult without an ax. She knew he had to think ahead for when the cold seasons arrived. She wondered how he managed to get through fall and particularly winter in the last few years. Another question to ask that could be added to the list, Edna thought while taking a bite of the rolls with sausage she was having for breakfast.

“Tina?“, she tried to get her housemate’s attention after swallowing her bite. The chubby blond looked over to her, saying “yes?”

“There’s something I need to get from my old hideout”, Edna told her. “Would it be possible for you to give me a lift tomorrow?”

She looked expectantly at Tina, who made an uncomfortable face. Tina avoided looking at Edna and answering her question by fixing her eyes on her cereals and taking a few bites until...

“Do you need your stuff urgently?“, she inquired.

“Not really”, Edna replied. “Why?”

“I’m visiting an old friend of mine who’s celebrating their birthday tomorrow”, Tina explained. “I’m actually leaving this afternoon. I’ll be back Sunday around midday, early afternoon at the latest.”

Edna gave a nod in response. She was a little saddened that she could not get her stuff this weekend as she was hoping to visit her parents’ graves. However, Tina did not say anything about never giving her a lift – even if she did, this would not have prevented Edna from taking the train. It was just more convenient if Tina would drive her. If Edna was lucky, it was just a delay of a few days, a week at most, which was nothing to cry about.

“Do you have time next week?“, Edna asked, taking a sip from her coffee while waiting for a response.

“Yes, I could give you a lift next Saturday”, Tina replied with a nod. Edna grinned at her and finished her breakfast.

Left and right of Edna, people were complaining about the humid weather. They sweated and the hairs of some were curly in the heat. She knew she did not look better herself and she actually did not really mind this kind of weather but the thunderstorm that was going to inevitably happen was what she hated. If it were just hot, she would not complain but like this? Hopefully it would be better the following day.

“Edna! Wait for me!”

The dark haired adult stopped walking and turned around to see Bianca running up to her. They greeted each other once she caught up to Edna and walked the rest of the way together. Both were talking about the upcoming test later this day; Bianca made no secret that she was nervous; this topic was not her strength. Edna actually felt confident; thanks to the hours she spent studying with the Key Master. He had a great interest in Faust before he ended up in the asylum and, although he was a little rusty, he had been a great help. She thought about inviting him somewhere if the test goes well. But first, she had to wait and see.

Both girls were greeted by Sebastian the moment they arrived at school. As they made their way to their classroom, several of Edna’s classmates – those who inexplicably got along with Heike – hissed insults like “loony”, “weirdo” or “go back to the loony bin where you belong” to her. She hated it when they did this but did not show it outwardly; she always put on a poker face when she heard those words. Still, it would be grand if they stopped. They did not know anything about her past; they had no right to insult her like this. She was crazy and she would always proudly admit it but the way her classmates talked to her always gave her the feeling she should have never broken out of the mental institution.

“Edna, I asked my parents if you could come with us to France”, Sebastian told her joyfully. Bianca stared alternately at him and Edna in confusion.

“France? Did I miss something?”

“He offered I could join him and his family when they take a vacation in France”, Edna explained to Bianca, who only said “ah, I see” in response. Bianca did not look at either of them until they reached their classroom. Maybe it was Edna’s imagination, but she would have sworn Bianca sounded a little jealous.

“Sebastian”, Edna said his name for his attention as Bianca sat down on her seat. “Have you made the same offer you made to me to her?”

“Um no”, he admitted, sounding and looking a little dumbfounded. Edna held back a sigh she felt was about to escape her mouth and decided to just take her seat. She would talk to Bianca during break as the bell rang at that moment to signal the start of the first lesson.

While Edna was feeling like she was in a rainforest because of the humid air, the weather at Doctor Marcel’s institution and the surrounding areas was different. It was a fine summer day, not unlike the last few days they had enjoyed, so no description of that. It did not even matter what kind of weather it was, a person with ice powers could set off an eternal winter and none of the loonies in the asylum would know – except maybe one or two. They were all confined in this building with no way out unless Doctor Marcel declared them as mentally stable, which had not happened to anyone since shortly after Edna’s escape. There were attempts to break out on a daily basis, with an average of three patients per day. None of them were successful; it did not stop them from trying, nonetheless. Even Doctor Marcel’s punishments, which were quite severe, did nothing to dampen the desire of freedom many patients felt and this was something that gave the doctor as well as his employees a headache.

“And stay there”, Anes snapped as he rudely pushed a patient, who had been running around freely, to the recreation room. Said patient as a young man who only communicated in a fictional language, which was the reason he ended up here. His name was Maximilian, or Max for short. He was bald, not very tall but no dwarf either and perhaps a little skinny. Max had slipped away when Babbitt escorted him to the recreation room but ran into Anes. No matter how often this happened, it always annoyed him that patients kept trying to escape, which was the reason why Anes spent years developing a new and rather strong type of anesthetic. He was on his way to Doctor Marcel to present it to him. Hopefully it would make life much easier then.

Anes arrived at the door leading into Doctor Marcel’s office. Without wasting any time hesitating, unlike everyone else working here, he pounded on the door. He got the permission to enter a moment later and opened the door, stepping in. The doctor sat at his desk and, judging from all the documents on it, was in the middle of doing paperwork. A ballpoint pen he held in his hand hovered a centimeter over a piece of paper he looked up from.

“Yes? What is it, Anes?“, he questioned.

“Doctor Marcel, I might just have the thing to make our life easier”, the guard started, aware he sounded like a used car dealer but it did not matter because he seemed to have gained Doctor Marcel’s attention. He put his pen down and focused his single eye on Anes with the utmost interest. Anes cleared his throat and continued: “I worked on an anesthetic that would show its effect about seventy percent faster than any other anesthetic. I imagined we use it as tranquilizer dart and shoot any patient who’s trying to escape.”

“Hm”, Doctor Marcel hummed, still staring at Anes but not making any more sounds. “Can you show the effect? Perhaps on Hulgor or any other of my employees?”

“Of course I can. I’ll go fetch Hulgor and demonstrate my new anesthetic immediately”, Anes replied and was about to leave when somebody knocked on the door.

“Who is it?“, the older man in the wheelchair asked.

“It’s me, Hulgor”, came from the other side. How very convenient, Anes thought while Doctor Marcel permitted the large, blond man to enter his office. “You wanted to see me?“, Hulgor asked his boss, without so much as sparing a glance at Anes.

“Yes, I did”, Doctor Marcel replied, rolling from behind his desk towards his employees. “For one, I need you to get something for me in the village – there’s a note on my desk”, he indicated at the aforementioned note, “and two, Anes needs your help to demonstrate something for me.”

Before Hulgor had the chance to ask what exactly Anes needed him for, the latter had already injected his anesthetic in his neck. A second later, Hulgor was out like a light. Doctor Marcel smirked sinisterly; he steepled his fingers while leaning back and saying “excellent.”

While Doctor Marcel and Anes were busy working on a method to subdue patients, the Key Master used his time to read the book Edna had bought. It was Grimm’s fairytales and the story he read was Rapunzel. There was some similarity he saw between Rapunzel and Edna, at least regarding their situations. Both were kept locked up for a good part of their lives, but for different reasons, and were rather naïve about the real world out there. He knew, however, that Edna made who knows how many attempts to escape while Rapunzel did not start planning her escape until the prince had convinced her. Both were also quick to trust the first person who had a proper plan to flee from their respective prisons. Well, at least Edna was not pregnant during her escape, unlike Rapunzel. It would have made it for her more difficult she had been with a child, especially after she would have given birth. It would have been easier for the authorities to find her and who knew what would have happened to her child.

The Key Master shook his head. Why was he even thinking about something like this? He spent too much time with Edna but she was the only one he could trust and, admittedly, he enjoyed her company. The urge to indiscriminately kill innocent people diminished more and more ever since he found her, although it had already started long ago. If he thought about it, he only killed those who could have been a danger to his freedom. Anyway, at first, he had only stopped because he killed his victims using the same method – hanging them from somewhere high up – and he was wary because of this that the police could see a pattern and perhaps plan a strategy to capture him. The Key Master did not think much about the police but even he knew they were not completely stupid. One way or another, they would have caught him if he had kept it up. Thus, he only focused his energy on finding Edna, which he succeeded in. His urge to murder somebody returned now and then but he did his best to hold it back.

At the moment, he was busy enough making the house he was living in more comfortable. The stuff Edna brought was helpful, yet there were still things that needed to be constructed, like shelves and drawers. He made a mental note to ask Edna for the needed materials when she comes over for a daily visit or he could wait until he would get her friends’ furniture. Putting the book down, he viewed out of the window to the overcast sky.

“Wonder if she’s already writing her test or if it’s over?“, he mumbled to himself, thinking of how nervous she appeared when she left the day before.

It was the final break before German class and therefore the test. During the day, Edna had made several attempts to talk to Bianca but was unsuccessful. She could try it again now but Bianca was so busy looking through her notes, she decided to let it be. There was always time later. Instead, Edna skimmed through her own notes while snacking on a Kinder Bueno.

The bell rang to signal the start of the lesson; Missus Rosefield appeared not even a second later. She called for her students to put their books and notes away while she walked to her desk.“Take out your pen and at least one sheet of paper. We’ll start when everyone has the questions”, the elderly teacher said, taking out the aforementioned questions out of her briefcase. Every student quickly put their books and notes away and got out a pen and paper. Edna took four sheets of papers; some, like Sebastian or Gabrielle, took out a notebook. During all this, Missus Rosefield walked along the rows, putting a sheet of paper with the questions with its unwritten side up on each desk. Once everyone received them, she walked back to her desk and announced:

“You know what to do. Begin.”

Everyone simultaneously turned their papers around. Edna skimmed through the questions, thinking to herself that she could do this. She noticed Missus Rosefield was once again walking around; this time, their teacher checked the notebooks for any cheat sheet. Edna turned her attention back to the test, this time reading the questions slowly and thinking what to write for an answer.

1. How does the “Gretchen question” go?

2. Describe the wager Mephistopheles and God made in the prologue.

3. Give an explanation as to why Faust is feeling depressive at the beginning of the tragedy.

4. How did Gretchen’s mother die?

5. Give a short interpretation to the final scene of Faust I!

6. Give differences and similarities between Goethe’s Faust and the historical Faust!

7. Explain society’s view on intimate relationships at the time of Faust!

Edna’s gawked slack-jawed at the last question. She had not expected anything like this; she did not even go through this when she studied with the Key Master, except for the brief mention that intimate relations outside of marriage was frowned upon. But they did not thoroughly discuss this topic, in her opinion, and, in fact, this topic made Edna blush. Still, maybe what they discussed about it was enough to suffice. She shook her head to clear her mind and turned her attention to the first question:

How does the “Gretchen question” go?

I know the answer, Edna thought and started writing her name on her sheet of paper before writing down the answer:

“Now tell me, how do you take religion?”

Edna decided to skip the second question for the moment and went straight over to the third. She thought about her answer for a minute or two and then wrote how Faust was a highly educated man, having studied numerous things throughout his life, and yet knew nothing, leaving him dissatisfied.

4. How did Gretchen’s mother die?

The young woman thought about what the Key Master told her. Gretchen wanted to invite Faust in her room but feared her mother, thus Faust gave her a sleeping potion. The mother died from the lethal potion – either because it was an overdose or it was actually poison, it was never mentioned. Smirking to herself, Edna wrote the answer down.

The test went on; nothing was heard but the scratching of the pens when the answers were written down. Occasionally, Missus Rosefield would go through the room and look over the students’ shoulder. However, she never made any indication whether the answer was correct or not.

“Put down your pens!“, the teacher demanded towards the end of the lesson. “That goes for you too, Lisa. I will collect the questions and your answers.”

Edna leaned back in her chair while Missus Rosefield was collecting numerous pieces of potential spitting ammunition. Not long until classes were over and not long until summer vacation started. Edna could hardly wait.

The rest of the school day passed without any noticeable incidents, except perhaps when a boy farted during the final lesson. Anyhow, school was over and Edna just arrived home. Tina was already gone but a note on the coffee table told her she had made spaghetti for her. Deciding to eat it for dinner, as she was not feeling hungry, Edna went to her room.

“Hey, Harv”, she greeted her lagomorph rag doll joyfully. “Ready to see the Key Master?”

“No”, Harvey retorted defiantly. “But you seem to be tremendously happy about visiting him.”

“Are you insinuating something? Whatever, let’s go.”

She was about to grab Harvey and leave the apartment when the doorbell rang. Silently asking herself who this could be, she answered the door to find Bianca on the other side.

“Hi, Edna. Can I speak with you?“, she asked, averting her eyes and playing with a strand of her black hair.

“Uh sure”, Edna replied feeling a little flabbergasted. Bianca had gone straight home, without even saying good bye to her or Sebastian, so Edna had kind of given up to talk to her for the day. But seeing her on her doorstep was an unexpected circumstance. She stepped aside to permit Bianca entrance into her apartment. Bianca walked past Edna, still not looking at her.

“Can I offer you something? A glass water perhaps?“, the older one of the two ladies in this apartment asked while closing the door.

“Water would be nice”, her classmate replied.“Okay. Take a seat while I get you one”, Edna said before walking to the kitchen. She took out a glass from a cupboard, which she filled with mineral water. When she returned to the living room, she found Bianca on the couch, playing with a little ribbon that decorated her shirt. Edna placed the glass on the coffee table, right in front of Bianca, and sat down next to her, so that a big gap was between them. Neither of them said anything for a while, except Bianca to thank her for the water, but other than that, it was completely silent. Edna glanced at her several times to see if she was about to speak. Unfortunately, Bianca seemed to be busier playing with her shirt than to talk.

“What is it you wanted to talk about?“, Edna finally asked. This was getting a little uncomfortable for her with Bianca just sitting there and not saying anything, only occasionally sipping her water. She stopped playing with her ribbon and finally looked at Edna, albeit a little hesitatingly.

“I’m sorry about my behavior today”, she apologized. “It’s just... I’m feeling a little jealous. I was hoping Sebastian would ask me to join him and his family on their vacation.”

“It’s okay, no hard feelings. But, um, do you have a crush on him?“, Edna inquired. Unfortunately, her question caused Bianca to avert her eyes again. However, she replied a moment later in a small voice:

“Yes, for some time now. He doesn’t know it, though.”

“Why didn’t you ever tell him?”

Bianca stared at Edna as if she had suddenly grown a second head.

“Did you never have a crush on anyone? No one just goes up to the person they have feelings for and admit them... unless they gathered up all their courage or they know what the other’s feeling.”

“Sounds unnecessarily complicated...“, Edna commented, suddenly thinking about someone with an unusual skin color for some reason.

“That’s the way it is. But I think Sebastian has a crush on you...“, Bianca sighed and stood up. “I should better go now. See you on Monday.”

She left the apartment. Edna stayed where she was until she heard the door closing. Sighing to herself, she brought the empty glass to the kitchen and placed it in the sink. Her mind was on what Harvey said before Bianca came for a visit and what she asked. Harvey was of the opinion she was enormously happy to see the Key Master and she had to think about him at Bianca’s question. Was Harvey suggesting she had a crush on the Key Master? Edna shook her head, this was ludicrous. She merely enjoyed his company and would like to learn more about him, not to mention she found him fascinating. But crushing on him? Yeah right, and Doctor Marcel was the kindest person on the world. Deciding not to think about this anymore, she made her way to the Key Master’s place for her daily visit, but not before getting Harvey from her room.

Edna arrived at the Key Master’s place soon after. As she became more familiar with the path to the house, she was able to walk it faster and faster with each day. She could even walk this path with her eyes closed, but she had not tried it yet. Maybe someday. For now, she would just keep him company and see what they would be doing. She knocked on the door, which the Key Master answered a second later.

“Ah, Edna. Do come in”, he greeted her, stepping aside to let her enter. Edna entered the house while saying “hi”. She heard him closing the door and then approaching her. As he stood before her, she suddenly realized how much taller he was compared to her. It was actually not that much but from her own point of view, she felt like a midget. Perhaps the thought that Harvey insinuated she was crushing on the Key Master clouded her mind. Yes, that had to be it. She gave herself a mental slap just in time to hear the Key Master’s question:

“How did it go?”

“How did wh- Oh! The test! It went pretty well actually”, Edna replied, smiling brightly at the Key Master. “Thanks for helping me.”

“Don’t mention it”, the Key Master waved his hand once, though a slight smile appeared on his face. Edna decided to take a moment to study his appearance. He wore a navy blue shirt and a pair of jeans, both of which belonged to her father, alongside black boots. She noticed Mattis’s clothes only barely fitted the Key Master. Perhaps she should buy him actual new clothes and shoes, although she would have to ask him to come along with her.

“So, what did you do today?“, Edna asked, deciding to break the silence.

“Oh, nothing except reading”, the Key Master shrugged. “It gets a little boring all alone out here.”

“I can relate to that... I’ll be alone at home this weekend. Maybe you could come over for a sleepover?”

The Key Master stared at her in surprise, as did Harvey. Edna could not blame them for their reaction. After all, when the Key Master suggested he could sleep at her place, she was completely against it. This time, however, she did not mind and she could use some company.

“Edna! What are you doing!?“, a panicked Harvey exclaimed. She patted his head to calm him down, looking expectantly at the Key Master.

“I thought you didn’t want me to sleep at your place”, he stated bluntly. “At least that’s how I interpreted your reaction last week.”

“Well, this time, Tina won’t be there”, Edna shrugged. “And really? It’s only been a week? It feels like much more time has passed...”

“Time can be a funny thing. It’s always constant but we feel it passes faster than a cheetah can run a certain distance or slower than-”

“Than Bladder on the toilet”, Edna interrupted with a grin. The Key Master chuckled. “I didn’t know you could be so philosophical. Then again, I hardly know anything about you.”

It was true, there was only little Edna knew about this man. There was a lot she would like to know about him, his actual name, his age, how he ended up in the asylum and more. Her attempt to ask for his name had been in vain and since then, she had not dared to ask anything else about his past.

“You could ask me while I’m at your place. Whether I can or will answer your questions is another matter entirely”, the Key Master replied. Edna stared at him with a dumbfounded expression.

“So, you’re going to come?”

The response she received was a simple nod before the Key Master turned away to gather his stuff, even if it was not much. Edna decided to sit down on the bed and studied the room. It was hard to tell when this house was built; it could have been anywhere between a hundred years to a couple of years ago. The only certain thing was the lack of electricity and central heating, apart from the fireplace. But perhaps whoever built this house wanted neither or did not have the chance to include them. Every piece of furniture looked ancient and in a bad shape. No wonder the Key Master wished for a new interior. This one looked like everything was about to collapse. Only the bed and the bean bag chair did not need to be replaced. These were as good as new... well, almost. Feeling it was unusually dark for this time of the day Edna turned her upper body around and looked out the window. The clouds had visibly darkened. Treetops swayed in the wind and it seemed it was getting stronger.

“It looks like a storm is coming... Maybe we should wait it out before going to your place”, the Key Master’s voice said right next to Edna. She gave a start; she had not noticed him suddenly appearing right next to her.


“Aw, come on, Edna! We can make it home and a little rainwater would not kill us!“, Harvey commented.

“Alright, if you say so”, the dark haired woman muttered to her rag doll rabbit. Then she addressed the Key Master: “If we hurry, we could make it to my apartment. We might get a little wet but no big deal.”

“Well, I’m going to trust your judgment”, the man next to her responded. “But we should better go now.”

Edna nodded in agreement and jumped off the bed, silently asking the Key Master if he was ready to leave. He nodded to her unspoken question and together, they started their trek to Edna’s apartment.

The Key Master and Edna were wet to the bone by the time they arrived inside the latter’s apartment. A downpour had started when they were almost at the complexion and, while they ran as fast as they could, they still ended up looking like they jumped in a swimming pool in their everyday clothes.

“Y-you call that a... a little w-wet?“, the Key Master asked incredulously, teeth chattering and shivering.

“I-I was wr-wrong about t-that. I th-thought we could make it i-in time”, a freezing Edna replied. She rushed to the bathroom, coming back with two towels a minute later. She gave one to the Key Master, who took it silently.

“I go get changed in my room, you can do the same here”, she suggested while drying herself off. The Key Master nodded in agreement, waiting until she was in her room before he started to get changed. First, he took off his shoes, socks and pants since the wet jeans material was the most uncomfortable feeling he could think of at the moment. He replaced his pants with a pair of sweatpants. Then he took off his shirt, throwing it onto the pile with the other wet clothes. Just as he was about to pick a new shirt, he heard a door open and close and Edna, carrying her wet clothes, coming closer.

“Are you done changing y – Oh!“, she blushed upon seeing the Key Master shirtless. Determinedly, she looked everywhere except at him, only glancing once or twice at him, her blush becoming a deeper shade of red each time. Admittedly, he could not quite understand her reaction; she had seen him like this before and, though surprised, had not blushed. There was no reason for her to react like this, in his opinion. He had, after all, not the appearance of a bodybuilder who strayed too far from his gym.

“Halfway”, the Key Master responded curtly. “But if you’re planning to hang our clothes for drying, you’re free to take these.” He indicated at the pile of clothes on the floor. “I’m almost done.”

Edna quietly nodded, apparently unable to say anything. He heard her picking up the wet clothes and leaving the living room while he picked out a pale yellow shirt. Not knowing what to do, he placed his bag next to the couch and sat down, being joined by Edna, whose blush was gone, a few minutes later. He noticed she kept glancing at him, like she wanted to say something but it did not dare to. At first, he did not do anything to show he noticed, he just waited for her to talk. Once in a while, she would make “uh” with her mouth but when he gazed at her, she looked in another direction and said nothing. After what the Key Master felt was the tenth time this happened, he was about to speak up if Edna had not decided to turn on the television. She zapped through several channels before stopping at one where an animated show about two boys building stuff, their older sister attempting to bust them and their pet platypus fighting an evil scientist was running. Perhaps she was willing to talk when it was over. It was worth a try at the very least, and it would not be so unbearably quiet. The Key Master did not really pay attention while watching the show; he just wanted to talk to Edna once the episode was over. Still, he had to chuckle at the scene when the older sister screamed at cheese in a supermarket and people stared at her.

“Is every episode like this?“, the Key Master asked when the episode was over and commercial break started.

“I’ve only seen a handful of episodes, but as far as I can judge it, this is what basically every episode is about. Only it’s usually not like a musical, this one was the exception. But there’s still lots of singing”, Edna explained, finally facing him.

“I see... But I wonder, was there something you wanted to tell me?“, he looked inquiringly at her. When she did not answer, he added: “Now come on, I noticed you kept looking at me.”

“Well, there was something I wanted to ask but I didn’t know how”, Edna answered, nervously playing with her shirt. The Key Master looked at her for a moment, feeling there was no need for her to be so nervous. Had they not come closer over the last few days? Was it possibly a question that would cross an invisible line that nevertheless still existed? The line that prevented them from asking or answering certain questions? Judging from Edna’s behavior, this might as well be the case. He had to show her there was no need for her to be afraid; he was not going to kill her.

“Just ask”, he simply said, placing a hand on her arm in reassurance. Edna gave a tiny smile and stopped fidgeting, sitting up straight and taking a deep breathe.

“Well, I wanted to ask you... ask you...“, the Key Master noticed her hesitation in her voice immediately. She looked everywhere as she spoke except at him. Suddenly, her eyes had some sort of gleam in them, as if she just had an idea. Taking another deep breath, she looked at him: “I wanted to ask you if you could assist me with my Arts homework.”

This was not what she wanted to ask him. The Key Master did not know how or why, but he somehow knew she had another question on her mind. Sure, he could scare her into revealing her actual question if he wanted to. It was just that he did not want to; she would be asking her question sooner or later.

“If you tell me what it is, I could try to”, he responded with a simple shrug. Thus, Edna began to explain her homework.

“Okay, from what I understand, you can’t really decide which one you should choose?“, the Key Master recapped after Edna’s explanation, to which she shook her head to answer in the negative. “Then tell me, what was your problem again? I can’t really remember you mentioning it.”

“Well, I just wanted to hear some suggestions”, Edna responded with a shrug. “I already know what I’m going to choose.”

“Which you still haven’t told me. Now tell me what are you going to choose?”

“Oh, I haven’t told you yet?“, she played with a strand of hair, nervously laughing. Her eyes darted around the room until they settled on the only man in the room. “It’s CD cover I chose.”

“I see”, he replied, slowly nodding. “And for what kind of music are you thinking about?”

"Jesus Zombie Massacre or God Sucks Inc“, the purple haired woman replied immediately. Well, those were not exactly the kind of music the Key Master liked listening to. He had a dislike for really loud music, although he did not mind it a long time ago. But it was just hard for him to hear loud music and not feel like his ears would fall off after having been immersed into silence for so long. Besides, everything that was louder than a whisper was less than convenient while on the run.

“But I really wish Heike would just shut her trap”, he heard Edna mumble to herself.

“Who’s Heike?“, the Key Master asked in confusion.

“Well, do you remember when I told you I pushed a person into a pond?“, Edna asked, continuing after he nodded in affirmation: “That was her. There isn’t one day she doesn’t belittle or insult me in any way. It’s getting sickening after having to endure this for a couple of years.”

Now the Key Master understood why Edna pushed a girl into a pond. He would have reacted like this too if a person would treat him like this, except he would have made sure they were dead or at least severely hurt. No, he reconsidered; his former self – the lunatic murderer – would have done the latter part but not his current, attempting to reform self. Still, he could not blame her for doing this. Admittedly, he felt a little rage towards this Heike who kept bullying Edna.

“I see what you mean but back to your homework... Have you talked to Harvey about this yet? Maybe he could help you too”, the Key Master suggested, despite feeling weird to refer to a toy like it was an actual person.

“I tried to but he suggested I should design a flaming necklace and with ‘flaming’ he meant actual fire”, Edna responded emotionlessly. “He’s not much of a help when it’s about school. He hates school.”

The Key Master gave a slight nod of comprehension. He stood up, slowly walking around the room in deep thought. He heard of the bands Edna was thinking about but he was not completely sure what kind of music they played – except that it was some kind of metal. If he knew more, he could be of better help but Edna was such a creative woman, she was sure to think of something by herself. For instance, she could listen to the bands, which could inspire her to the creation of a CD cover. She could also look at actual covers or, alternatively, she could look through music magazines. The Key Master gave the living room a once-over with his dark green eyes. He spotted no magazines, except for the television programs, a cooking magazine and a Captain Useless comic. No music magazine whatsoever. Well, this would make it more difficult if there was not a little thing called the Internet. He was glad he remembered Edna mentioning how one could find information about everything on the Internet. The Key Master had not thought about it at first since he had had no access to it for most of the Two Thousand’s and when he came into the asylum, the Internet was a relatively new thing back then. In fact, he had used the Internet only a handful times. Often, he wondered how much it had improved over the years. There was a lot of time that had passed; maybe it was much faster than it was before.

“You could look at your own CDs or in the Internet and draw something based on it”, the Key Master suggested. “Or you could also simply listen to the bands –”

“Which could inspire me to create a CD cover?“, Edna interrupted knowingly. “I guess I have an idea what you’re getting at. On to the Internet!”

She grinned goofily as she exclaimed her last sentence and skipped over to her room. The Key Master calmly followed her, finding her already sitting at her desk when he entered her room. He watched her booting up her laptop, soon seeing a desktop wallpaper depicting an ominous, gothic castle with a dragon flying in the sky. There were not many icons on the desktop, only four or five folders, two Internet icons, the wastebasket and the My Computer icon. He placed his hands on the desk and leaned a little closer when he noticed his hand was touching a small object. Taking it in his hands, he inspected the whatever it was. It was quite slim and long; it had a shape that would make it easy to transport.

“That’s a USB flash drive. You can save files and other stuff on it and copy it on another computer. Great for sharing certain things”, Edna explained, watching him with interest.

“Interesting”, the Key Master commented. He gave Edna the flash drive. “Do you know what’s on there?”

“Hm, no, I don’t think so”, she replied while examining the object. A second later, her eyes widened in realization. “Oh wait a minute; I think I do know what’s on there! There are probably the pictures from my and Tina’s day at the beach a few weeks ago on it!”

“We could look at those after your research”, the Key Master suggested. Edna ogled at him, causing him to ask: “What?”

“‘We’?“, she repeated with a single raised eyebrow. “Do you really want to see just a couple of pictures of two young women?”

“You know, if you don’t want me to see them, you could just say so”, the Key Master pointed out. “It’s not like I would slaughter you.”

“Well, you certainly don’t come off as mad as you did in the church all those years ago...“, he heard Edna mumble, more to herself than to him. A split second later, she addressed him: “I would like to look at them by myself at first. I could show them to you afterwards.”

“Acceptable”, the Key Master responded. Edna gave him a small but pleased smile before turning back to her laptop. He watched her double-clicking a blue and orange icon and, a moment later, an Internet window popped open. She typed in the name God Sucks Inc in the search bar of Google and then clicked on the option “images”. They found more than enough results, which, judging from Edna’s expressions, she was very fond of. Still, she had a look of disapproval for a few, which were mostly fan made, results. Admittedly, some of these fan made ones did look horrible but the Key Master was confident she could do better. He had faith in her.

“Now let’s see the results for the other band”, Edna announced after a couple of minutes. “I think I have a couple of ideas in my mind. Guess I’ll be drawing a lot later.”

The Key Master nodded in agreement. It was better, in his opinion, to do more than one was asked for.

“Oh shut up, Harvey!“, Edna suddenly told her lagomorph toy with a hint of a grin on her face. The Key Master’s eyes shifted from her to Harvey and back again, while he pondered what she imagined Harvey had said.

“And what are your ideas?”

Edna hummed and tapped her chin while simultaneously spinning her chair like it was a carousel. Her eyes kept glancing to her small CD collection on the shelf above the desk. The Key Master glimpsed at her music collection, too. From what he could see, she had preference for rock and metal, like God Sucks Inc, Even Blacker Sabbath or Jesus Zombie Massacre. No surprise there, considering she wanted to design a cover for this type of music and not something like Beethoven or Verdi. He wondered if she became a fan of those bands on her shelf after her escape; he seriously doubted she had access to any kinds of music during her confinement. Unless the current guard at her door listened to music and sang along, and for some reason, the Key Master imagined every one of Doctor Marcel’s minions had a horrible singing voice.

“This is my little secret”, Edna replied to his question with a mischievous grin while closing the Internet window and turning her laptop off the same moment lightning flashed and thunder growled not even a split second later. She stood up from her chair and walked towards her bed, sitting down on it to get a better view out of the window. “Somehow, I knew there was going to be a thunderstorm.”

She said this in such a matter-of-factly voice that the Key Master thought for a moment nothing could surprise her. The moment was over soon enough because he was sure there were quite a lot of things Edna could hardly expect.

“Hey Key Master, how old are you?”

She sat in tailor-fashion on her bed, facing him. Her head was slightly tilted as she considered him with big, curious eyes. The Key Master was a little taken aback by her question; he should have known she would ask something like this sooner or later but the suddenness and her straightforwardness were rather unexpected. He answered her question regardless:

“I’m thirty-two years old.”

“So, you’re eight years older than me...“, Edna muttered, her eyes averted. The Key Master gave her a questioning look:

“And that matters because...?”

She looked up and shook her head.

“Oh, no reason at all.”

A part of him was not entirely convinced by her response. There had to be more, he knew it. Yet, he had a feeling she would not reveal anything, no matter how much he asked or how gruesome his threats would be. She could be as persistent, if not more so, than he. Moments like these always reminded him with what kind of person he was talking to. He knew from the moment he first saw her she was different than all the other inmates – her will for freedom was strong, so much she was even willing to free a dangerous man. However, there was no denial she was crazy, though this part of her personality was kind of funny now and then – not that he would ever admit of thinking that. At other times, it could be dangerous because from what he could gather, Harvey apparently made hazardous suggestions and her talking to him when she was supposed to be as silent as a grave was really bad.

“Why don’t you just sit down?“, Edna suggested, patting the empty space next to her. Shrugging, the Key Master sat on the edge of her bed. The mattress groaned as Edna moved closer to him until she was right next to him.

“Can you tell me about yourself?“, her voice was full of interest and curiosity.

“Well, what do you want to know? There’s not much I remember from my past.”

“Just tell me whatever floats your boat... or we could ask questions about each other.”

The Key Master suddenly started to chuckle loudly, earning a confused stare from Edna. Through his laughter, he could hear her asking what was so funny and if she had said something wrong. He inhaled and exhaled deeply a few times to calm himself down.

“Don’t worry, you didn’t say anything wrong. It’s just... a few days ago, I was thinking we would be playing a game of twenty questions and now, you essentially suggested this”, he replied, managing to keep his voice calm but he could not stop himself from grinning.

“Well, it is an amusing coincidence but I don’t think it’s so funny”, Edna replied slowly and uncertain.

“There’s not much one can laugh about when you’re isolated.”

The dark purple haired female next to him nodded in understanding.

“So, who’s going to ask first?”

“Lady’s first”, the Key Master responded, indicating with his hand towards Edna. Her question was asked almost immediately, like she already knew what she wanted to ask:

“Do you want to go out and be among other people?”

“I admit, I wouldn’t mind it but there are several reasons I don’t go out”, the Key Master replied. He could practically see and hear the wheels turning in Edna’s head, forming her next question. However, first he was asking his: “What happened with you after you pushed me down the railing in the church?”

“I went back to my father’s house and started to remember a couple of things from my past little by little. I found out what really happened shortly before I ended up in Doctor Marcel’s asylum, but I’m not ready to talk about this yet. Anyway, I fled from the police as they were already at my house. During my escape, I lost Harvey and hid in a cave for the night. I snuck back to the village the next day and to my house and got my parents’ clothes. Then I hid in said cave for a couple of days before seeking shelter in the nearby convent school”, Edna described her side of the story. “Now then, why don’t you go among other people?”

“I’m just too used to being alone. Besides, some people could recognize me as the escaped convicted murderer”, he hesitated before stating his third reason: “And... there might be a chance I could have a relapse and kill somebody again. Believe me, I haven’t done anybody in for a long time and I don’t want to start it again.”

“I see...”

There was something sad about the look Edna gave him, like she felt sympathy towards him. Well, the Key Master had no right to tell her how to feel about him; he did not think he deserved this kind of reaction from anyone. But who was he to demand of people what they should or should not feel?

“Why did you agree to go along with my plan, including freeing me?”

He had wondered about this for quite some time now. Despite telling her he was dangerous, she nevertheless freed him while anybody else would have left him to rot in his cell. Edna’s cheek gained a light red, almost pink color, and she played with her dark purple hair.

“Well, you... you were the first person to have an actual plan. One that... that could actually work. And, well, you were different than the others”, Edna stammered. The Key Master was surprised at the last part for he basically thought the same thing about her. If that would keep up, he should perhaps start to worry about this. He opted to not say anything and wordlessly nodded at her to ask her next question:

“Do you... do you regularly get the urge to kill people?”

“I wouldn’t say regularly, no. It happens randomly, I think”, the Key Master replied, shaking his head as he said the first sentence. “Now then my question: you said you lost Harvey. How did you get him back?”

Edna reached for stuffed rabbit and took it in her arms before answering the question:

“Well, Doctor Marcel found him and replaced his eyes with red ones. He used them to hypnotize my friend from the convent school, Lilli, but she sewed his old eyes back on after she found them. This is why he has a scar now.” She pointed at said scar over the one eye. “Mother Superior had him for a short while until she kindly gave him back to me after I asked her.”

“I’ve been wondering where Harvey got the scar from”, the Key Master commented.

“Now you know. Okay then, how do you suppress the urge to kill?”

“I try to think of something else and avoid going anywhere. So far, it had worked but I can’t guarantee it always will.”

He did not know why he revealed this to her. He just could not stop himself from doing so. All he knew was that it was easy to talk to Edna about this. At least easier than to talk to a psychologist, who would probably not help him. He had conversations with a few in the asylum during his first two or three years there but they were no help at all. Eventually, they stopped coming and he was left alone in his cell, with only the occasional guard to bring him food and drink and to escort him to the washrooms. Sometimes, however, it was neither but try as he might he just could not remember where they took him at those times. Whenever he tried to recall the circumstances, he was only met with an unpleasant sight of a wicked smiling Doctor Marcel in his mind. But then, his memory was exceptionally foggy until he was back in his cell, staring at the padded walls.

“Tell me, why did you agree to let me hide somewhere closer to your home?“, the Key Master asked, not wanting to think about the blank spaces in his memories.

“One reason was I somehow knew you would not give up pestering me about it and I didn’t have a good day that day, so I wanted to spare me the headaches. Another reason was that I think everyone deserves a second chance, including you”, Edna replied. “And, well, I was kinda glad you didn’t die because of me. I felt guilty about this, you know...”

The Key Master felt shocked and also a little touched by her confession. He saw the surprise in her eyes when they met in her house after so many years but never once in a thousand years would he have imagined she was that relieved. It actually made him feel good to know someone cared about him.

“What did you do during the intervening years?“, Edna questioned, slightly tilting her head.

“Looking for you”, the words shot right out of his mouth like a bullet from a pistol that was being fired. He registered the dumbfounded face she made and could guess what her next question would be.

“What do you plan to do after you finish school?”

“I’m embarrassed to say this but I don’t really know...“, Edna replied in a half-whisper. “I tried to plan my future but I just could never think of anything, except maybe...” She sighed, looking straight at the wall. “Well, I thought I could become a locksmith, since the duplication of the master key and the key to my house were perfect. But I’m not really sure if I should do this...”

She turned her head back to her companion next to her:

“Why were you looking for me?”

“At first, to kill you”, the Key Master replied, noting the fear in Edna’s eyes and her sliding away from him. “I lost the will over the years and I guess I just wanted to see how you were doing out there in the real world. You don’t have to worry about dying prematurely through my hands.”

“Well, I’m gonna believe you. But if I wake up dead because of you, I’m gonna kill you”, she threatened, while moving back to her previous spot. The Key Master chuckled at her response.

“Fine with me. You know, I think you should do something that involves forging. I can actually imagine you being excellent at it.”

“Well, it sounds more enticing than office work, admittedly... But what about you? What do you plan to do? Will this little house be your permanent residence? Or are you planning to do something else in your future?”

“Actually, I’m not sure but I think I will leave the country sooner or later”, he replied. He saw sadness appearing in Edna’s purple eyes. Did she not want him to leave? He knew he would miss her but he could not spend the rest of his life hiding. There was at least a chance he could live in freedom abroad.

“Do you already know where you will go to?“, Edna asked, absentmindedly caressing Harvey’s ears.

“No, not yet. Why are you asking? Do you want to come with me?”

“I...“, Edna’s attempt to reply was interrupted by a song suddenly playing. She excused herself for a moment and went over to her desk, picking up a small object. The music stopped and she talked into this thing. He could not hear what she was saying for it was incoherent but he noticed her shuffling her feet and nervously tucking a strand of her hair behind her ear. Now and then, she would nod and say something until, a few minutes later, she removed the device from her ear and pressed a button.

“That was Tina, asking me how I’m doing and if I’m with anyone right now. I told her I was alone at home. And now, I have to go to work”, she announced, first glancing at the screen and then putting it down. She looked at the Key Master: “If you want to, you can watch a movie or TV while I’m gone. I’ll show how the movie player works.”

Edna took the Key Master’s hand and led him to the living room and pointed at the black box underneath the television set. She explained to him how to turn it on or off and which button he should press to insert a movie, on both the device as well as the respective remote. The Key Master, despite being astonished that people watch their movies on plastic discs nowadays, understood it fairly quickly.

“Kinda wish I could stay here instead of going out in the rain...“, Edna commented just as the doorbell rang. She left him alone to answer, coming back a minute later, commenting: “My colleague’s waiting in her car for me. How convenient.”

Edna quickly gathered some stuff the Key Master was sure she would need and left with the words “I’ll back in a few hours. See ya!”

“Bye”, he replied and then she was gone. Alone in this apartment, he sat on the couch after turning on the television and took the remote, zapping through various channels. He was not familiar with anything that was shown and, frankly, most of it seemed to be crap. For example, there was a scripted reality show about a married couple going through a divorce after the wife found out her husband cheated on her with several young girls, all of whom are half as old as the husband and wife. He watched only a few minutes of it but he could already feel the loss of brain cells, thus he switched to another channel. Eventually, he found a documentary about Vikings, which he decided to watch.

Miles away, in an establishment on a hill were two men in a dark surveillance room, looking at the array of monitors now and then. Neither of them paid much attention to what the inmates were doing; it would only make them go crazy anyway. One of them, Bladder, sat on a chair, leaning back with his hands folded over his stomach and looking at René, who was talking about a video he found on the Internet. It involved a waiter carrying a plate of spaghetti, which fell on his head after slipping. Bladder listened with interest; everything was better than watching some loonies. Besides, nothing of particular interest happened since the mass breakout a few years ago, with the exception of a handful of nutcases trying to escape. But they never got far, so, as long as Bladder did not leave his post, it did not matter if he actually paid attention to the monitors or not.

“How about I show it to you?“, René suggested, holding up his cell phone. Bladder shrugged, not really caring, which his colleague seemed to take as a yes. René approached him, so that he stood next to him and held his phone in front of them, starting the video. It reminded Bladder of the old cartoons, like Goofy or Daffy Duck, he used to watch when he was a child. Neither of the men noticed the door opening and closing and a young man, whose face was hidden by a paper bag, entering the room. He hid in the shadows, listening intently to the men commenting the video.

“Wait, can you pause the video?“, Bladder asked upon noticing something. René did what he was asked, questioning why he should do it. The bald man pointed at a dark haired person in the background. “This person there looks familiar but I can’t recognize them.”

His slim colleague stared at the person Bladder meant, nodding in agreement after a few minutes.

“Reminds me of Edna but I think we need to see this video on a bigger screen to be sure...”

Could it be they actually found her at last, all thanks to some random video on the Internet? Yes, they still did not know the location but it was a start. Doctor Marcel would be pleased to know they had something to go on in their search for Edna. But, none of them knew why Doctor Marcel was so adamant about catching Edna. She was not their only escapee running around free, so why did the doctor have such a particular interest in her? This was something they never understood and probably never will until he would explain it to them. They doubted he ever would tell them. Oh well, as long as they got paid for their jobs, they would not complain.

“Let’s wait until we’re even sure it’s really Edna before we report to Doctor Marcel”, Bladder suggested.

“Agreed”, René nodded, looking up at the monitors. “Hey, are the patients supposed to run around freely on the third floor?”

Bladder looked up at the monitors, seeing two inmates, who should actually be in the recreation room, in the visitor area of a solitary cell on the third floor. Without any hesitation, he sounded the alarm...

The thunderstorm was over by the time Edna returned from work. It was only raining and she did not really feel like walking through the rain, which was why she was glad Anika drove her to work and back home again. Edna got out of the car after it stopped in front of the apartment complex.

“Thanks for giving me a lift.”

“No problem. And don’t forget, me ’n Gregor will bring you the furniture tomorrow around one in the afternoon”, Anika replied. Edna nodded in acknowledgement and waved her good bye before entering the building. She used the elevator to get up to her floor and entered her apartment about five minutes later. She could hear sounds coming from the living room; it sounded like one of the movies Tina owned. Edna was pretty sure it was one of her friend’s since she heard singing coming from the living room and her movies included no songs. Wondering what the Key Master was watching, she went to the living room, where she found him watching Mulan. Currently he was at the scene and song where the soldier were wandering and singing about their perfect girls.

“I didn’t know you like Mulan“, Edna commented, putting her bag to her feet and resting her folded arms on the backrest of the couch and looking at the Key Master in mild surprise. He turned his head, his green eyes meeting her purple ocular body part.

“I remember seeing it back then, when it was released in theaters”, he replied. “I think I watched it with my sister...”

The last part was almost inaudible and he said it in a way that suggested he was talking more to himself than to her. Edna still heard this and raised her eyebrows in astonishment.

“You have a sister?”

“Had”, he corrected her. “She died a long time ago.”

“How did she die?“, Edna asked inquisitively. Somehow, she had a feeling the circumstance of her death was the reason the Key Master ended up in the asylum. He gave no answer for an awfully long time. He simply stared ahead to the movie playing and yet, his eyes were unfocused.

“I can’t remember...“, he eventually responded almost as if in a daze.

“Do you think it’s got something to do with why you were in Doctor Marcel’s asylum?“, Edna inquired. She leaned forward, so that she was close to fall over head first on the couch.

“There could be a possibility”, he replied, still not looking at her. Moments passed without either of them saying anything and just watching the movie in silence. Edna wanted to say more about this but did not know what or how to say it. There were several ways the Key Master’s sister’s death could be linked with his confinement in a mental institution.

“You don’t think I killed her, do you?“, he suddenly asked, rather aggressively. Edna was taken aback by his accusation and removed herself from the couch.

“N-no”, she stammered in fear, taking a further step back. The angry glint in the Key Master’s eyes increased her heart rate. It was a miracle she could stand or even walk since her knees felt like rubber. Fortunately, he remained where he was, otherwise she would drop dead if he would menacingly approach her.

“I better leave you alone”, she squeaked and picked up her bag while rushing to her room, slamming the door behind her.

The moment the door was shut Edna leaned against it, sighing in relief. She placed a hand over her pounding heart in an attempt to calm herself down. This little incident that just transpired reminded her of how the Key Master behaved after his murder of the reverend. He had been like almost exactly he was a moment ago – terrifying and mad, the only difference was that he did not blame her for killing anyone. Maybe it was a mistake to ask about his sister...

“Well now, had a fight with your boyfriend?”

Edna jumped at the voice only to realize it was just Harvey. However, the way he worded his question made her frown. There was so much venom in every single syllable, especially in the last word, which he also pronounced with more disgust than with everything related to order and tidiness.

“Harvey, what’s the matter? And who are you referring to as my boyfriend?“, Edna questioned with a frown, slowly approaching her bed, where she left Harvey. He scoffed at her.

“As if you didn’t know. How many guys are you having in the living room, huh?”

“You mean the Key Master? But why would you call him my boyfriend? You do know he’s not my boyfriend.”

“But you wish he were”, the rag doll rabbit retorted. When Edna only further furrowed her eyebrows, he added: “Oh come on! You’d have to be blind to not see it! Who was oh so sad when he said he would probably leave the country? Who sat so close to him that they almost sat on his lap? It sure wasn’t me!”

“Harvey, don’t tell me you’re jealous because he and I get along so well!“, Edna replied in a raised voice. “What’s the matter with you? What do you have against anyone who’s friends with me? Wait...” Comprehension dawned on her face. Harvey actually never displayed any disgust or hatred towards any of her friends, with two exceptions and those were Alfred and the Key Master. “You only hate Alfred and the Key Master. In fact, Alfred wouldn’t even be dead if you hadn’t animated me into pushing him down the stairs! What have they done to you that you hate them so much!?”

“You’re seriously asking me this? They’re bad for you, that’s why! They would have corrupted you sooner or later!”

“So, you mean I should do the Key Master in too!?”

“It’s only in your best interest.”

Edna felt rage surging through her body. How could her closest and oldest friend animate her to kill innocent people? And he was supposed to come from her own subconscious? It was hard for her to believe it. No, she could not remain in the same room as Harvey any longer, so she unceremoniously threw her bag on the bed and ran out of her room and the apartment. She kept running down the stairs and out of the building. She ran through the rain, not caring she was getting wetter and wetter by the minute. All she wanted was to get away from Harvey. How could she have known her best friend could be so dangerous? Edna slowed down, eventually halting completely when she had an epiphany. Harvey had always been like that. She was just too blind to see it. It was always him who animated her to do hazardous things, like playing with fire when she was a child or defiling memorabilia. Fortunately, she always refused to do the latter since she was of the opinion that no one has the right to destroy memories, no matter what. Edna sighed and looked around for the first time since running out of the apartment. She had run all the way to the park, to the area with the duck pond – only there were no quacking, waddling fowls at the moment. Realizing her exhaustion from work and from running all the way here, she plopped down on the wet grass. The raindrops kept falling on her to the point that one could assume she jumped in the pond with all her clothes on. It did not matter to her. She was alone after all... or at least she thought she was.

“’ello, darling. What’s a cute girl like you doing here all alone at this time of the night?”

Edna gave a start upon hearing the voice of a much older man. She stood up and turned around to see a man, old enough to be her father, approaching her. He had a lustful expression on his face, which he tried unsuccessfully to conceal. Edna felt uncomfortable at his stare.

“Why don’t you come with me to my place to warm up?“, the man offered to her. She certainly did not like the way he said the last two words. He said them like he had something different in mind. The thought made Edna shudder.

“No thank you”, she replied curtly, starting to leave. However, the man of having none of that. He followed her, grabbing her wrist brusquely.

“Let me go!“, Edna yelled and gave him a good kick in the groin. While he was still wincing in pain, she dashed away from him. All that mattered to her was to get away from him as fast as possible, which was why she did not look where she was going. Thus, she slipped on a puddle and fell forward, giving the man enough time to catch up with her.

“Come on, you will like it”, he pestered her, once again grabbing her wrist.

“I said no!”

She tried to get away from him but she was so exhausted from her day she had no strength left. But it did not stop her from fighting, even if it was in vain. There was no way she would go with this old, lecherous man. Over her dead body!

“Excuse me, but if she doesn’t want to go with you, you should leave her alone”, a male voice suddenly rang out in the rain. A relieved smile spread out on Edna’s face; she recognized the Key Master’s voice. A second later, she could see him coming closer and she had never been happier to see him. All her previous fears were forgotten.

“What do you care?“, the old man snapped. The Key Master came closer to him, staring menacingly in his eyes. It was enough for the old man to loosen his grip and to frightfully stare back. Edna seized her chance to wriggle herself out of the man’s grip and hid behind her savior.

“If you don’t leave her alone now, I will make sure you will regret it”, the Key Master threatened in a low whisper. The old man gulped, stuttering some incoherent words in a high-pitched voice. Then, faster than one could say “Captain Useless”, he dashed away. Edna sighed in relief.

“Thank you.”

The Key Master took off his jacket and put them over Edna’s shoulder and then offered her his hand. She took it with an appreciative look on her face.

“Let’s go home, shall we?“, the Key Master suggested.


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