Harold looked from the lid of the biscuit tin to Dill's impassive face to Ada's open-mouthed horrified one.
“You killed him,” she said, her chair scraping across the formica tiles as she stood. “Do you know how long it took me to make him?”
Dill shrugged. “Ten minutes? He wasn't exactly a work of art, was he? Just rolled-out plasticine. You hadn't even given him a neck or a pelvis.”
“Or ears.” Harold chuckled until his mother glared at him.
“I spent as much time as I needed to spend. What right had you got to kill him? He had a life too.”
“He was a crude plasticine figure animated by the necromantic arts.” Harold tilted his head, trying to see beneath the tin lid. “Don't try to take the moral high ground with me. You killed a spider to animate it in the first place.”
“That's not the point.” Ada set her mouth in a hard line. “I shall have to start again now.”
Dill lifted up the lid and put it to one side. The homunculus had been flattened against the table like a rolled-out gingerbread man. As they watched, an eye opened in the orange skin and tendrils of plasticine rose from the torso, thickening and segmenting into multiple legs.”
Ada made shooing motions at it and looked at Dill, her mouth an O of horror. “Make it go away.”