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Leo gulped a second pill. By the time he reached Amy's classroom, the shadowy shapes faded away. Amy's teacher turned and smiled at him as he entered the room.

"Oh you're looking well these days!" She handed Leo a couple of books and a sheaf of papers. "This is Amy's assignment for this week. And please remind her that the midterm essay is due a week from Monday. I'm sure you can help her with that, being a professional writer. I understand that you write for magazines·"

She stopped, turning her head slightly. "Mr. Preston, are you listening to me? Are you all right?"

Leo was absorbed in a string of glowing yellow shapes snaking along the top of the whiteboard. They reminded him of Christmas lights, but they didn't fill him with cheer. He turned back to the teacher. She knew about his accident with the lightning and stared like he was nuts.

He stammered. "Uhhhh -- Amy misses you too. Thanks for the homework." As he rushed out the door the teacher watched him, her face clouded with concern.

Leo hurried across the schoolyard, heading for his car. He passed the custodian mowing the lawn. A glowing shape was barely visible behind the man, following him closely. Occasionally the thing appeared to nip him.

Leo felt his chest tighten as a piece of something was torn away from the custodian's back, disappearing down the thing's throat. The workman stopped pushing the mower and rubbed his back as though it were sprained.

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