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boys will be bugs

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Bryan Anderson sits alone in his room, staring at the wall. This is nothing new. He doesn’t say anything, no matter how much the young woman grasping his hand  pleads him to.

 

In a way, Bryan Anderson died at 16, on that summer night. It had been colder than most nights that summer, Molly Weaver rememberers vividly, just as vividly as she remembers smashing a bottle over her best friend’s head.

 

Molly chats to him absentmindedly, just like they’re those kids again, her prattling on about whatever grand project she had planned, and him zoning out and playing some video game, half listening.

 

A beetle crawls across Bryan’s limp hand.

 

Molly looks at the slack expression on her friend’s face. His cheeks are gaunt and his mouth hangs open slightly. Reminded of Nathan’s grandfather, Molly tries to look away, but Bryan’s gaze locks with hers.

 

A beetle scuttles across the floor, making clacking noises as it goes.

 

There’s something in those eyes that resonates with Molly as the old Bryan. A light behind them, unlike anything she’d seen since he’d been infected with that awful venom. Another couple of beetles skittered across the floor, and across Molly’s shoes.

 

Bryan’s bony hands grasp the arms of his chair, and he shakily gets to his feet. Molly stifles a gasp. Something is wrong. There are more beetles now, amassing at the base of the chair and making their way up the leg of Bryan’s pants. Out of instinct, Molly stands too, and steps back.

 

“Bryan?”

 

Terminator meets The Fly , she remembers

 

He breaks his gaze with her, and blinks. A beetle crawls across his nose.

 

The Blackwood Bugman opens his eyes.