Moonlight Stroll


by Alicia (aisumitsukai at home.com)
5/27/04

General Disclaimer

WARNING: really-quite-odd-spur-of-the-moment-Alicia's-been-reading-too-much-fantasy sort of thing. Enjoy!

Jaycee waved as the shuttle train doors close behind her. Wiggins waved back as he starts towards the exit. The night had been bogglingly perfect. The only downside, to remind him that he hadnít died yet, was that Jaycee was leaving for Spain the next day. Sure it was only for a week, but still....

Basking in Jayceeís afterglow, he meandered about town, taking the long route home and cutting through Braefoot Park. The park was mostly forest and meadow, a small nature sanctuary preserved due to numerous, sometimes violent, protests the year before last. Wiggins hadnít really been a part of all that but Deidre had, surprisingly, so he knew exactly what it took to save the park. As he walked, though his gait bordered on skipping, he swore he wouldnít get impatient with her the next she talked about the park. He hadnít noticed how gorgeous it was until now.

It was a full moon, heíd chosen tonight on purpose, and the gravel path was silver under his feet. Unable to contain himself, he did a little jig along the path. As he returned, smiling, to a walk, he noticed someone watching him.

It was a huge dog. No, wolf. Thin and lithe but still massive, with shaggy brown fur and sharp blue eyes. Wiggins felt a prick of fear sticking in his lower back.

"Hey." He whispered. "Sorry, I didnít mean to barge in on you...." He felt vaguely ridiculous, standing in the middle of New London talking to a wolf. He almost laughed at that, a wolf on a full moon. Heíd like to get those odds in Vegas....

With a grin, long red tongue lolling, the wolf stared at him, almost as if it understood the ridiculousness of the situation. It -- he? she? -- loped towards him, coming so close he could have pet it. He wouldnít even of had to bend down. On the other hand all it needed to do was jump and he was dead. It looked up at him, blue eyes showing more intelligence then most of his friends, and knowing full well its capabilities. It shook its head, wagged its tail once and ran away into the forest, without a second glance.

"Well...bye, then...I guess." Wiggins shook his head. That was too weird. Realizing that he was staring rather stupidly at the woods, he shrugged and continued on his way down the path.

A few minutes later a girl darted out of the woods, skidding to a halt about five feet in front of him when she saw him. Her face was darkened by her hair, whose colour was impossible to discern in the moonlight. There were plants, flowers and vines, wrapped around her arms and legs, trailing out behind her like wings and shining blue to match her hair. Her clothes were vaguely reminiscent of something Deidre would wear for fancy occasions.

"Hi. Are you lost?" Wiggins smiled.

The girl stared at him for a second longer before leaping off the path and disappearing into the trees on the other side.

Wiggins grimaced. She probably thought he was some child molester or something. Kinda strange that she had all those plants wrapped around her, though....

He shook his head and kept walking, replaying the date in his head. He was so caught up in his thoughts that he almost missed the man.

When he did realize what he was looking at he stopped dead.

There was a man standing in the meadow to his left. Tall and thin, he was probably blonde, Wiggins couldnít say for sure; the oddest part was how the man looked as if he was covered in fur. Wiggins could only see his torso above the grasses, but it shimmered, covered in light-coloured fur. Suddenly the man collapsed, disappearing from view. Alarmed, Wiggins ran forward, calling out. As he reached the trampled grass were the man had stood he saw nothing but brown trousers and a shredded white dress shirt.

"Hey! Mister? Are you alright? Where are you? Hey --" Wiggins stopped yelling as the brown wolf from earlier appeared through the grass -- beside it, another wolf. Blondish, and maybe a tad bigger, this new wolf grinned in the same way, long red tongue lolling and pearly teeth shining.

"Um." Wiggins blinked.

The wolves vanished back into the grasses.

"Good God. Iím never taking the long way home again...." Utterly confused, Wiggins returned to the path and continued on his way.

It didnít take long before something else strange appeared. Wiggins had just reentered the forest when to his right he saw a young boy, no more then Tennysonís age, sitting on a large rock. The boyís face was obscured by a scarf, and his hair dangled over his eyes. Wiggins decided not to say anything and just keep walking. There were squirrels sitting on the boyís shoulders, a raccoon on the rock beside him, a robin on his head and a fawn lying with its head on his lap.

Try as he might, Wiggins couldnít help but stare. "Hello..?"

The boy looked up for a brief second, smiled, at least, the corners of his eyes crinkle, then tumbled off the rock, melting back into the forest like the startled animals. As he did so, Wiggins caught sight of the fluffy tail attached to his lower back.

Wiggins rubbed his temples. This was the weirdest night ever. The park was coming to an end, however, and he picked up his pace.

At the edge of the park he met Watson sitting on a bench, reading.

"Watson!" Wiggins ran up to him, plopping down on the bench as well.

"Wiggins! What a coincidence. How nice to see you!" Watson smiled. "I thought you had a date with Jaycee?"

"Yeah, but she had to get home before one, so I came home through the park....." Wiggins faltered.

"Ah. Yes, the park." Watson looked at him out of the corner of his eye.

Wiggins stared at his feet for a minute before replying. "What -- who -- are they?"

"Who? Who do you think they are?" Watson smiled.

"Well...but Iíve known Deidre and Tennyson for ages...Iíd know... and Mr. Holmes...."

"Theyíre very good at keeping secrets." Watson replied. "But donít be too angry, itís not something that they take lightly."

"No. No, Iíd never...just...itís so weird...do they do this often?"

Watson shook his head. "No. Just on the full moon. And theyíre always so excited. But itíll be nice to have someone else who knows about them. I wonít feel so left out." Watson gave Wiggins a quick grin.

"You were one too, whatever they are, werenít you? Back when you...."

Watsonís smile grew sad. "Yes, yes I was.... I was more like Tennyson, though, with a tail, talking to animals. Not like Holmes and Lestrade. And Deidre.... none of us are really sure what she is. Faery, sprite, goblin? Who knows?"

"Who cares." Wiggins finished. "So long as she likes it."

Watson smiled again. "Youíre taking it very well."

"Yeah, well, I always knew I had good taste in friends...." Wiggins smiled back. "Anyways, care to read out loud? I donít think Iíve read The Hobbit."

THE END

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