Koby and his broom had made their way up to the third floor of the art building, and was now humming a cheerful tune as he swept the dust from the doorways of the professors' offices. When he got to one particular doorway, however, he froze. Alvida Mace, the sign on the door below the flowered mirror declared.
"Well, it's a different last name," Koby reasoned. "There's bound to be more than one Alvida out there!"
Still, he couldn't help setting his broom aside and peering into the tiny window to be sure.
Completely oblivious to everything but herself as usual, Alvida bustled about her office, tossing makeup and other random objects into her purse, raven curls swinging with each move. She was late for a nail appointment, the cosmetology professor had forgotten she taught a class that ran right up to when she'd scheduled to get her nails done.
Unfortunately for Koby, Alvida didn't notice the boy's presence in the hallway, until she'd slammed the door open and flung him - rather painfully - into the opposite wall. The thudding of a small, malnourished body seemed to trigger something maternal in the woman's mind, and she dropped to the floor beside the pinkhaired boy, pink lips in an apologetic pout. "Ohhh, honey, are you oka--" Heavy lashes fluttered in surprise, earrings swinging with a tilt of her head. "KOBY?!"
It took Koby a moment for this to register, as he was still cringing in pain. He squinted at the blurry figure in front of him. Once the figure in question finally came into focus, his eyes instantly shot open in terror. "I... I...."
Well, he thought frantically, She doesn't LOOK like Alvida. Maybe she just knows me from my work here on campus.
"Do I... know you?" he asked with an innocent and fearful smile.
Nail appointment completely forgotten, Alvida flung her arms around Koby and drew him into her ample bosom with a happy shriek. "Ohhh, Kobyyy! I thought you were kidnapped or something! I was sooooo worried about you! Where did you go?! You scared Mama to DEATH!!"
".....Wh... what?!" Koby eventually got out, dumbstruck.
Somewhat like some sort of perfumed, half-plastic animal intent on devouring its prey, Alvida kept a tight, acrylic grip on Koby's shoulders. "How could you forget me, your foster mama, Koby?" She simpered, rubbing the tips of their noses together. "We were together nearly every day for two years!"
"Except for the times when you went on vacation and left me locked in the house," Koby said with a cautiously confused frown. "I wasn't uh, exactly expecting... I mean, last time I saw you, you were coming after me with a frying pan."
"It builds character, sweetie!" She said in a tone dripping in honey, squeezing his shoulders again. After a quick glance around the hallway, she bent forward, lips brushing Koby's ear. "You better not have told anybody about that, Koby dear," She murmured in a dark hiss. "Or I may have to find that frying pan again."
"Y-yeah?" Koby retorted, trying his best to sound defiant despite the occasional quiver in his voice. "I outran your fat ass last time, what do you think's going to stop me from doing it again?!"
"Oh, honey," She hummed, smirking against the boy's cheek. Pouting a little, Alvida pulled away to look at Koby, an almost disappointed expression on her face. "You know what happens when you curse at Mama." Perfect brows furrowed as she smacked the janitor once across the cheek, leaving a bright, hand-shaped mark.
Koby yelped in pain as his hand flew instinctively to his cheek, rubbing the stinging red mark and wondering why no one else was in the hall to witness this. Well, he thought, since no one was there... He glanced around hesitatingly for a few seconds, then returned the slap with as much strength as he could muster. "Well, too bad, Mama, I've grown up a little since I moved out of your house." He paused for a moment, surprised by how impressively brave and deliciously snarky he'd just sounded. He kind of liked it.
Infuriated, Alvida glanced around for the nearest thing she could swat Koby with - she couldn't use her purse, what if it got scratched when it hit the boy's glasses? - and settled on the broom he'd dropped when he was slammed into the wall. "How dare you!" She shrieked angrily, teetering to her feet and smacking him with the broom. "I'll teach you, you ungrateful little brat!"
The force of the broom sent Koby flying back now into the other wall. He winced in pain; he'd gotten out of practice with the whole being-hit-and-slammed-against-walls thing since he'd run away. He looked around for anything he could use for defense, but the only things remaining in the hallway were the rolling janitor's trash can and the dustpan. Well, that would have to do. He grabbed the dustpan, jumped back up, and threw it at Alvida's face, a puff of dirt, fuzz, hair, and old bandaids flying from it as it hit her. "You can TRY, you fat, plastic hag!" he shouted, then took off running down the hall while he had the chance.
Kicking her Italian pumps off, the cosmetology professor bolted after Koby, swinging the broom with a battle cry rivaling that of a valkyrie's. She felt almost nostalgic as she thundered down the hallway, swiping at the pink hair everytime she got close.
Koby always managed to keep one step ahead, ducking and jumping at exactly the right moments, weaving behind staircases... Running for your life, it turned out, was just like riding a bike.