Andrew watched Sarah begin George’s treatment before heading into the kitchen to finish getting the squash and snacks. When he returned, he placed the tray on the table and sat down near his parents.
“I’m surprised you trusted me just like that,” Alan said. “After all, I could be lying.”
“You could,” Matthias said. “But we do have ways of checking that, if you don’t object. We’ll have to take you to the school to do it though.”
“That’s fine,” Alan said. “There’s nothing to hold us here with Carrie dead. Would you like us to come with you after the meeting?”
“We’ll need you to anyway,” Sarah said from where she was sitting. “Tell me, have you been having headaches as well?”
Alan frowned. “I have,” he said. “I put them down to stress and grief.”
“I was afraid of that, given that you’d said you were trying to help George.” She bit her lip and looked and Matthias and Sonia. “The kid’s infected with that damned bug and I’m guessing Alan is as well.” She shoved a plastic cup of the antidote under Alan’s nose. George was already drinking one. “Drink this.”
“Bug?” Alan took the cup and sipped it cautiously. “Pleasant – what is it?”
Matthias sighed and gave a terse explanation of the situation with the neurotoxin bug.
“Damn!” Alan said when Matthias finished. “That’s horrible. Thank goodness you can treat it.” He finished the drink. “You know I doubt it’s a coincidence we’ve been targeted. Someone is trying to get you through your children’s friends.”
“I think he’s right,” Sarah said. â€œWhich means we need to check on Lydia and Daniel–â€ She broke off as the doorbell went again. â€œWe’ll discuss this later, since our guests are arriving.â€
The rest of the paranormal club trailed in over the next few minutes. About half had brought one or both parents with them, but Alan was the only one to turn out to be a wild. However, Andrew couldn’t help noticing that his best friend Keith’s mother looked sick and he could hear her thinking about painkillers. When it looked like she might fall over before reaching her seat, he moved over and helped her.
â€œAre you okay, Mrs Johnson?â€ he asked.
She shook her head. â€œI nearly died during the pulse. I was unconscious for five days and I haven’t been right since. I was hoping you could help.â€
Andrew threw a questioning look at Sarah who nodded at him.
â€œI think we can,â€ he said. â€œWe’ll have a look after the meeting.â€
â€œThank you,â€ she said quietly. â€œDo you have any painkill–â€ She looked up in surprise as a glass of fizzing water was held in front of her by Sonia.
â€œParacetamol and Codeine,â€ Sonia said. â€œI used to get headaches a lot.â€
â€œOh! Thank you!â€ Mrs Johnson said. â€œHow did you kno– Oh because you’re psychic? You were reading my mind?â€
â€œNo, I wasn’t invading your privacy, I promise,â€ Sonia said. â€œI’m afraid your condition is making you leak. You were thinking you forgot your painkillers.â€ She squeezed Mrs Johnson’s hand. â€œWe’ll be able to fix this. Do you feel up to staying for the meeting or would you like to lie down?â€
â€œI think I’d like to stay but I should probably lie down. Keith can catch me up later.â€
Sonia smiled sympathetically. â€œI know that feeling all to well. Let me take you upstairs.â€ She looked around at Matthias. â€œI’ll be right back, then we can start.â€