She could not have been more than ten. She was curled up at the base of an old worn-down fountain, clad in a filthy oversized t-shirt. It was so torn along the bottom that he would have mistaken it for a rag. Men’s shorts swallowed her up from the waist down. Her feet were bare, dirty, and covered in scratches and cuts. The wounds seemed to travel up the child’s legs.
She’s been running.
The young human continued to watch the spirit, peering at him through a mess of umber locks. She shook fervently as a gust of fall passed through the heart of the park, forcing the child to hug herself more tightly. In her shifting, he noticed a large black spot through the rips in her top, an uneven splattering against her side.
His expression hardened at the sight. Damn humans… Who the hell would hurt a little kid?
He took a step forward.
She scrambled to her feet, her russet eyes wide with fear. “S-stay back! I’m not alone!” she squeaked.
Monty was taken aback by the sound of her voice. She looks younger than she sounds.
She was climbing into the fountain as he shouted, “Hey! Take it easy, kid. I’m not going to hurt you–”
“I said stay back!” she shrieked. The girl lifted a stone the size of her hand from within the structure and chucked it at the angel. She then jumped out of the fountain and took off to the east.
The stone she had cast barely made it within two yards of the royal advisor. Seriously? She doesn’t even have the strength to defend herself. He took off after her, utilizing his supernatural speed to cut her off just beyond the path.
“Hey, wait!” he insisted, his hands raised in a halting motion. She hesitated a yard away, staring daggers at the strange young man. Her piercing eyes glowed crimson in the bright moonlight.
“I’m sorry for scaring you,” he began. “Are you okay? You look hurt.”
She did not answer.
Okay… Let’s try something else. “I’m Monty. What’s your name?”
“I want my brother.”
He nodded. “Okay! Okay, I will do whatever I can to help you find your brother. What’s his name? Is he inside the colony?”
She shook her head. “No colony.”
“Uh, okay. Your family? Where are they?”
The human squinted through tears and opened her mouth to speak. Only a sob came out.
“Whoa! Hey, it’s gonna be okay. Alright?” He used her distracted state to reach out mentally to his subordinate. Alexa?
Her presence filled his mind within seconds. Monty, where are you? Your dad’s been looking everywhere for you–
I’m a little busy here, he growled inwardly. I found a human in the park. She’s injured and scared, but I don’t think it’s a good idea for me to drag her into the colony.
What do you need?
Wake my sister and have Chris drop her nearby. We’re by the fountain.
On it. The psychic’s presence retreated as she worked to complete her task, leaving Monty to focus on the human.
Now I just got to keep her here until Mona can help her.
“I’m sorry about your family,” he consoled her, taking a small step forward. She did not notice. “You said you were looking for your brother, right?”
“What’s his name? We can help you look for him.”
She sniffled. “C-Clint.”
Monty frowned at the name and began to press for more information when lightning suddenly struck the ground a half a mile behind the human. She let out a scream and covered her ears, her eyes shut tight.
“It’s okay!” The angel closed the distance between them and wrapped his arms around her, holding her face to his chest. “It’s okay, kid. There’s nothing to be scared of.”
“I want m-my brother!” she hollered. Her fingers dug into his jacket as she cried out, “Clint! CLINT!”
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