|The heart on her t-shirt has the formula for estimating|
the length of a relationship (aka the formula for finding true love)
I love math and science so I tend to have characters who do as well.
I figured I'd have a math geek who was cute and fun.
The tiny fox growled, warning the boys standing over him that he would bite them if they dared take a step closer. Far from keeping them away, however, this egged them on. Laughing at the threat one of them kicked the little fox with a heavy boot. The fox felt his ribs heave with agony. His body crashed against the wall.
Winded he gasped for breath. His lungs burned. Tears formed in his little golden eyes.
With a snarl he managed to lunge on one of the boy’s heavy boots, but his teeth bounced off the rubber. He gnawed, trying to get some purchase but there was none to be had.
Another boy kicked him, sending him sprawling along the dirt.
He wanted to run, but he was caught in a corner, a wall on either side and a pair of bullies in front of him.
Leave him alone, he heard a girl yell.
The boys laughed.
The girl shoved her way through them so violently she sent one of them sprawling into the muddy grass.
A pair of bright pink boots appeared between him and the bullies. The fox looked up at the girl who stood facing the boys. Pink and blond hair glistening in the evening sun, making her seem to glow like an angel. A dozen cute dangles hanging from her bright blue backpack.
The fox felt his heart racing as he watched her standing there for all the world like an angelic knight come from heaven to save him.
It’s not worth it, one of the bullies grumbled at last. A moment later they were gone.
The little fox rubbed himself gratefully against the girl’s boot and gave a playful yip.
She looked down at him and smiled, her cheeks bright from the chill, her lips as pink as her hair.
You seem really friendly, she noted as he gave a playful puppy yip, then rubbed against her boot again. Ever so carefully she reached down.
The fox pulled back, still not certain if he should trust a human. She paused her hand hovering a few inches from him. At last he gave in to the temptation to play with his savior and pushed his face against it. She stroked him along the back and he felt his skin tingling with pleasure.
He gave another playful yip and pressed against her hand again.
She crouched down beside him and gave him a few more pets, but it didn’t last nearly long enough before she stood back up.
Well, I have to go, she told the fox. A moment later she’d started walking home.
The little fox limped painfully along behind her.
You can’t follow me, she told the fox. I’m pretty sure it’s illegal for me to take in a wild animal, she told him after a moment
He cocked his head at her curious refusal. She hadn’t said she didn’t want him. So he continued to limp after her.
Fine, she sighed after they’d gone a few dozen more feet.
She pulled off her coat and scooped him up in it. Despite the pain he was in the little fox felt euphoric, that is until she put him down and shut a door between her and him. He looked up at the intimidating house she’d entered for a moment then ducked into the bushes by the door.
A littlelater she peeked out the door again, and he bounced out of the bushes with a playful yip.
I really shouldn’t be doing this, she said. But you’ve had a hard day, so here.
She set down a bit of pork fried tofu. The fox devoured it gratefully as she gave him a few more pets. Then as before she disappeared behind the door.
The fox watched her house for days after that. As near as he could tell they never let any animals into the house at all. But they let any human who knocked in. So if he wanted to be near the girl who’d saved him the solution was simple. The process was another matter entirely.
Transforming into a human for the first time is a painful and difficult ordeal, which is why most foxes never learn how. But the little fox was determined.
He climbed high into the mountains and plunged himself beneath a freezing cold water fall. Then, still shivering he climbed up to where the snow had already started falling. There he stayed without eating for days, starving himself until at last he started to see the strange world around him.
From the spirits of the mountains and the trees he learned out to change into a human or any other animal at will. Finally after months of practice he began observing humans to understand how people met new friends.
Finally, just two weeks before summer vacation he took the form of a human boy and approached the girl who’d saved him while she was waiting for the school bus.
Hello, he greeted her.
Hello, she returned with a smile.