My Ranking Points
I’m sorry, this is awful, but at least they’re in the right place now.
The school did, thankfully, have a fairly sizeable collection of instruments from Cadence’s time. The only downside was that, according to some wolf, it currently resided in a cobwebbed, stagnant, splintered cupboard on another floor, heaped in chains and melded shut by some ungodly paste of grime, dust, and general unidentified stickiness.
Ida had offered to help him search for a caretaker (or whatever they called themselves in this place). Very kind of him, it was good to explore the School with a fellow human.
“Excuse me,” chirped Cadence, whipping his head around the door of another random room. “Would you happen to have seen a caretaker?”
The boy inside looked a few years younger than Cadence and was clad in a hat that did not look like a hat, nor did it look like he was wearing it the right way round. “Bro,” he marvelled (Cadence assumed he was marvelling), storming towards the door. “Your hair is GAY.”
Cadence wasn’t sure exactly why this child thought his hair was so happy, but he smiled anyway. “Why, thank you, Sir!”
The door slammed. Ida shifted uncomfortably.
Cadence frowned. “I don’t get it,” he said.
“Maybe he was…having a bad day.”
“We’ll ask someone else. Oh well!” Cadence grabbed Ida’s hand and trundled along the corridor. “HAS ANYONE SEEN A CARETAK—“
There was a crash, several yelps, and a few nicely-shaped flailing limbs. Cadence was rather surprised to find himself sprawled across the door of yet another room. He rolled to the right and crumpled into Ida and some other boy that appeared to be shirtless. He wasn’t sure exactly who said “ow” first.
“Heterochromia. How exotic. And 1920s, I believe? Seems like you and I have a lot in common.”
Cadence glanced up into eyes very much like his own, except they were rich and dark and would probably look great in oil pastels. He took the hand that was offered to him and scrambled to his feet. He observed that the hand stayed for about two seconds after he found his balance.
“Can I draw you sometime?” Cadence blurted.
The stranger raised a well-groomed eyebrow that Cadence was already mentally sketching shadows into.
“Also, I need the music. Like, jazzy ones. Instruments. 1900s. You know what I’m talking about.”
The boy cocked his head for a moment, fished around inside his pockets, and pressed a charred key into Cadence’s palm.
“The cupboard is behind a panel at the back of this room, funnily enough,” he gestured. “Keep it, it’s not like anyone else has ever asked for it.” The stranger looked like he wanted to say (or do) something else, but his eyes flickered along the corridor. Then he shrugged, dusted himself down, and stepped out.
“I’ll see you boys around,” he winked. “Don’t have too much fun without me!” And then he was gone.