Alistair caught Matheus at the bottom of the stairs. Without saying a word, he grabbed Matheus’ wrist, dragging him through the living room. Matheus’ bundle of dirty clothes went flying as he struggled to free himself.
“Ow!” said Matheus. “You’re crushing my wrist.” His heels dug furrows into the dirt floor.
“Good,” said Alistair, starting to run. He whipped down the hallway, Matheus in tow. Freddie and Lenya flattened to the walls as they flew past.
“Alistair!” Matheus yelled. “Stop!”
They took the corner. Alistair skidded to a halt, but momentum propelled Matheus past him, through the open door to Quin’s room. He slipped on something wet and chunky, pinwheeling his arms before catching his balance.
“This is your mess,” said Alistair. “You deal with it.”
He slammed the door.
The smell hit Matheus like the unabridged Oxford English Dictionary. He doubledover, gagging, sour saliva filling his mouth. He spat, then wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. Straightening, he held his breath. Quin sat huddled in the fetal position, covered in every fluid the human body produced. Matheus picked his way over to him, beginning to understand why Milo had supposed a mop.