“Miss Giovanni doesn’t seem like the type to come to the zoo.” Lucky whispered. “What if we loose her?” Lucky mumbled.
“It’ll be fine.” Raymundo pat Lucky’s shoulder.
When they finally got their tickets and were able to enter the park Lucky opened the map and started asking Raymundo where they should go.
“Penguins? Big cats?” But Lucky’s eyes weren’t on the map, they were peeking over it, scanning the people milling around.
“If we take the path towards the penguins we’ll loop around the whole zoo easy. And we’ll probably find Miss Giovanni.”
“Penguins then.” Lucky tried to fold the map. The paper rustled as they attempted to fold along the creases, but apparently never the right ones. Eventually Lucky just shoved the paper into Raymundo’s chest and started walking. The direction posts had no words, only carved and painted pictures of the animals, so Lucky followed those.
Raymundo spent time looking at the animals and the signs while Lucky barely even paid attention to them. Their eyes constantly scanning the people milling about, looking for the one they were following, their second strongest lead to Skylar’s location.
This parent looking for their child was the predator on a mission and no matter what Ray tried to distract them with, fun facts about the animals, or calls to look at them hoisting toys into trees, or babies wrestling, Lucky wasn’t interested.
It was outside the petting zoo Lucky finally spotted Miss Giovanni. The woman, in jeans and a t-shirt with a panda on it, was crouching next to a young boy holding a cup of the animal food pellets. Lucky grabbed Raymundo’s arm and dragged him to the entrance.
“Having fun?” Miss Giovanni said to the boy while shaking the cup of pellets. The little boy with brown curls nodded and held out his hand.
Raymundo found some change and bought pellets. “Feed and pet the animals.” With those instructions, Lucky took the cup and walked over towards Miss Giovanni. The boy was petting a goat while the animal ate the pellets from his hand.
And then while Lucky crouched and started petting a goat the boy toddled off towards the edge of the petting zoo. A cow was sticking their head over the fence.
“Auntie lookie a cow!” The little boy pointed and then reached for the cow’s udder. “Milk!”
“Nate, no!” Auntie Giovanni stood, but Nate’s little hands were already reaching between the fence. Lucky popped back up, and caught the boy’s elbow, pulling him back as the cow mooed in protest.
“Thanks!” The woman picked up Nate and smiled at Lucky. “My sister would have my hide if anything happened to her little boy.”
“Yes.” Lucky spoke slowly, fingers tightening around the paper cup. “A parent’s wrath is best avoided.”
Raymundo’s heart leaped to his throat, but he reminded himself Lucky promised to harm no one as long as Skylar was alright. Even if that crushed paper cup in Lucky’s hand had a different story.
Word count: 499