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Strangers in the Park

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Scott was watching a squirrel climb up one of the large oak trees in the park when he felt a tug on the rolled up sleeve of his red flannel. He looked down to see a small luminescent girl looking up at him expectantly.

“Mr. Scott, I have a question,” the 5 year old samovila asked seriously, while floating several feet in the air. Her blonde ringlets reached to her small waist, and it seems like they made her skin glow just a little bit.

“Before you ask your question, Irina, you know we’re in public,” Scott admonished. “You need to be on the ground. We don’t want any humans to see you using your powers.”

The little girl wrinkled her nose at him, and he laughed. Sulking, she lowered herself to the ground.

“But now I can’t reach your sleeve! How can I get your attention if I can’t reach your sleeve?”
“How about you use my name?”

The little girl thought about that as she descended to the grassy ground of the park he had taken the daycare class to. It was pretty secluded, so he wasn’t really worried about being seen by any humans, but as Coach always liked to remind him, it was better to be safe than hungry. Wait, that wasn’t quite right. He was always hungry. It was one of the “perks” of being a werewolf, or so the Pack had told him.

He quit musing about the phrase when a sudden gust of wind hit him in the face. Specifically the face. He had apparently quit paying attention to his charge. Irina had focused her scarlet eyes on his face and was using her powers to flick little puffs of air from each of her fingers with a wicked smile.

“Or how about I do that? Can you carry me?”

He smiled tiredly at her.

“My name would have worked just as well. But didn’t you have a question?”

Her eyes lit up at the reminder.

“Right! Do you have a girlfriend, Mr. Scott?

“Nope!”

“Do you have a boyfriend, Mr. Scott?”

“No, I don’t have one of those either.”

“How about an enbyfriend?”

“Not in the romantic sense. I do have several friends who are nonbinary, though.”

“But who do you spend all of your time with?”

“My pack, mostly. We played football and cookouts and we like to get together and howl at the
moon whenever it’s full. It’s a lot of fun!”

“But… but you can’t smooch your pack! They’re like your family and that’s gross!”

“Ugh, tell me about it,” Scott grimaced. “That’s definitely gross.”

“But who do you smooch?”

“Nobody, right now. I haven’t found anybody that wants to smooch me and I want to smooch back right now. It’s complicated.”

Irena wrinkled her nose at him again and stuck her tongue out.

“Bleh. I don’t like complicated.”

“Me, either, kiddo. Me either.”

Scott looked around the park and realized that he had lost track of the other four kids he was in charge of.

“Irina, where are the others?”

As if on cue, he heard four high pitched voices pierce the air.

“Son of a new moon!” he cursed.

He rolled his dropped down onto all fours, threw Irina onto his back and told her to hold on tight to his hair, and ran towards the sounds of their shrieks.