TITLE: Mark of the Muse
GENRE: MG fantasy/light scifi
The boys looked real enough. They were all unremarkable, average-looking teenagers, just shadows of the men they had already become.
In fact, they looked so real that the grey-haired woman walking by held her purse just a little bit more tightly to her chest, and added a little bit of bounce to her step as she walked by. The next passerby put his hand in his back pocket to cover his wallet. You could never be too careful with teenagers these days. He ought to know after all. He raised one. He looked over at the wild haired young man. Hadn’t he ever heard of a brush?
A short, elfish looking one with fiery red hair seemed unsettled by the man’s gaze. He threw a small ball at his back, and then watched it bounce off into the gutter nearby. The man stopped, shifting his freezing look towards elfish one, who just stared defiantly back. It was an unfortunate, and wasted response. The boy wouldn’t remember the encounter the next day.
The boys turned, greeting another with curly brown hair that had just arrived. At first glance he looked a lot like one of the other boys. In fact, they looked almost identical. Only upon closer inspection could someone make out the difference: the extra wrinkles around the newly arrived boy’s eyes, the few extra pounds he wore like a belt, and even a grey hair or two.