The Whitechapel Fiend

The Whitechapel Fiend by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson

Book: The Whitechapel Fiend by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson
Tags: Fantasy, Young Adult
“I spy,” George said, “with my little eye, something that begins with S .”
    “It’s slime, isn’t it?” Simon said. He was lying on his back on the cot in his dorm room. His roommate, George, was lying on the opposite cot. Both of them were staring up thoughtfully into the darkness, which involved staring at the ceiling, which was unfortunate because the ceiling was gross. “It’s always slime.”
    “Not so,” George said. “One time it was mold.”
    “I’m not sure we can really make the distinction between slime and mold, and I hate that I have to care about that.”
    “It wasn’t ‘slime,’ anyway.”
    Simon considered for a moment.
    “Is it . . . a snake? Please tell me it’s not a snake.”
    Simon curled up his legs involuntarily.
    “It’s not a snake, but now that’s all I will be able to think about. Are there snakes in Idris? It seems like the kind of place where they’d drive the snakes out.”
    “Isn’t that Ireland?” Simon said.
    “I don’t think there are limitations on snake driving. Surely they got rid of the snakes. Must have done. Oh God, this place has to have snakes. . . .”
    There was a faint tremor to George’s soft Scottish brogue now.
    “Are there raccoons here in Idris?” Simon said, trying to change the subject. He adjusted himself on the hard, narrow bed. There was no point in adjusting. Every position was just as uncomfortable as the last. “We have raccoons in New York. They can get in anywhere. They can open doors. I read online that they even know how to use keys.”
    “I don’t like snakes. Snakes don’t need keys.”
    Simon paused for a moment to recognize the fact that “Snakes don’t need keys” was a good album name: It sounded deep for a second, but then completely shallow and obvious, which made you go back to the first thought and think it might be deep.
    “So what was it?” Simon asked.
    “What was what?”
    “What did you spy that begins with S ?”
    “Simon.”
    This was the kind of game you played when you lived in a sparsely decorated room located in the basement of the Shadowhunter Academy—or, as they had started to refer to it—the floor of ultimate moisture. George had commented many times how it was a shame they weren’t slugs, because it was perfectly set up for the slug lifestyle. They had come to an uneasy acceptance of the fact that many creatures had made the Academy their home after it was closed down. They no longer panicked when they heard skittering noises in the wall or under the bed. If the noises were in the bed, they allowed themselves some panic. This had happened more than once.
    In theory, the mundanes (or dregs, as they were often called) were down in the basement because it was the most secure floor. Simon was sure there was probably some truth to that. But there was probably a lot more truth to the fact that Shadowhunters tended to have a natural snobbery that ran in the blood. But Simon had asked to be here, both with the dregs and in Shadowhunter Academy itself, so there was no point in complaining. With no Wi-Fi, no phones, no television—nights could be long. Once the lights went out, Simon and George often talked to each other across the darkness like this. Sometimes they lay in their respective beds in a companionable silence, each knowing the other was there. It was something. It was everything, really, just to have George in the room. Simon wasn’t sure if he would be able to bear it otherwise. And it wasn’t just the cold or the rats or anything else about the place physically—it was what was in his head, the ever-increasing noises, slices of memories. They came to him like bits of forgotten songs, tunes he couldn’t place. There were remembrances of tremendous joys and fears, but he often couldn’t connect them to events or people. They were just feelings, batting him around in the dark.
    “Do you ever notice,” George said, “how even the blankets feel wet, when you know they’re

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