It was a truth universally acknowledged that kids got obsessed with their special interests. Like how Madeleine had been really into being a detective for a while there, or Kit’s kinship with Stitch, or how Eugene Hardie would not stop talking about ghosts if he turned into one. There was something very creepy about the utter glee with which Paige was teaching Drew how to kill people, but like, it wasn’t beyond the bounds of normal kid weirdness.
Even if it did make him feel like he should tell someone. Maybe not his dad (being fascinated by poison didn’t mean a kid needed counseling), but like, Professor McCloud so she could keep an eye on the poison greenhouse, or Rob so he could give the beginner’s class a lesson on antidotes just in case. He hadn’t been worried about Nathan’s article like this, but that had definitely been satire, and there was nothing satirical about Paige’s delighted prattling on about slow-acting poisons. In a way they sounded nastier than cyanide, which just killed you outright without the puking and hallucinations and coma and decline and…
Something about that tugged at the corner of his mind. He was trying to chase down the golden glint of that idea when Paige stopped playing patty-cake with herself and accused him of stealing… the concept of poisoning? “What?” Drew said, startled out of his thoughts. “No, of course not.”
But that feeling still pulled at him, like the pieces of leads he could almost connect into a story, like the moment before the newspaper’s full layout clicked into place. Drew was a journalist. He knew when you had to follow a hunch.
“Hey,” he said carefully, “is there anything you can think of that would make someone tired and lose their appetite, and just kind of like they have the flu or something?” Drew didn’t think he was eating toxic amounts of nutmeg but, you know, it was possible.