It felt like an eternity but it was only a minute or two to make the transformation. When it was done Thomas lay still confused and scared. He curled up his new furry form under the tree where he had landed, his new fur coat keeping him warm and he fell asleep.
The next morning it all felt like a dream as he stretched out on the grass. Fear struck first when he realized he had stayed out all night. He was up running back to his foster home with the speed from yesterday making his hope that it was all a dream vanish. He was struggling with the thoughts of what could have changed in him when he saw the outdated moderate price sedan of the social worker outside the front of his foster house. Thomas sulked around the house to the back sliding glass door, silently opening it letting the conversation drift from the front room to him.
'I don't care if you find him or not he is not coming back here, that boy is more trouble then he is worth.' the shriek of his foster mother echoed back through the kitchen
'He still needs to be found, then he can be placed in a group home.' the bored voice of his social worker drummed on as Thomas sneaked to his room. He grabbed his school bag, it wasn't really his. Some other foster kid had left it behind and he used it, but it was the only kind of luggage he could claim as even remotely his. Grabbing handfuls of clothes, a thin blanket off his bed, and his only jacket he shoved them all into the backpack. Quietly sneaking into the kitchen grabbed the bag of opened bread off the counter and a jar of unopened peanut butter and strawberry jam from the cupboard.
It was the greed of the jam that almost got him caught. His foster mother never let the foster kids have the strawberry jam only the grape jelly on the mandatory PB&J's for weekend food when they weren't getting the free lunches from school. Thomas tried to be silent but the old cupboard hung at a slight angle and when he let go of it, the sound of a soft bang resonated around him. He didn't wait to see who came after him but heard the foot steps running after him as he made his get away out the back door.
He hadn't really thought this through. He had heard group home and had panicked running back to the shelter of the park trees he had slept under last night. He didn't even get close to the trees for the day had brought the park to life with small children and their guardians. At first lost at what to do with no where to go he trudge into the city out of the suburbs.
After about 2 miles he considered heading to his school it wasn't far from him now but the thought was pushed away in an instant knowing they would look for him there. The public library was a short distance from his school and he ducked in there. The librarian gave him a dirty look as if she knew he was ditching school and her opinion was no child should be in her library when they should be in school, thank you very much.
Thomas just ducked behind a shelf of books and avoided her eyes. The books around him always seemed to mock him when he came to the library for a school field trip for this special event or another. He couldn't read above a beginning level and his teacher would constantly tell him to apply himself better and his foster parents would remind him how stupid he was. It being well documented that he couldn't read well and so he knew no one would come looking for him here.
Slipping through the racks of book Thomas found a few soft over stuffed chairs in a back corner of the library. When he sat down he noticed another kid sleeping in one of the chairs that was angled so you didn't see him until you were right next to him. At first Thomas considered finding another place but then claimed the other chair, dropping his stuff beside it.
Sam opened one eye and took in the sight of the other kid. He could see the backpack bulging with soft items not the tell tale edges pushing out of school books. The kid himself was little, way to little be on the streets like him but his clothes were dirty, hair messed up and it looked like he hadn't had a bath in a day or so.
'Go home kid, running away isn't worth it.' Sam grumbled sleepily as he rolled to his side on the large chair never opening his eyes completely.
'I have no home.' Thomas snapped back feeling dejected as he snatched up his backpack from the spot on the floor he had just dropped it too. Slouching it onto his shoulder he turned to leave the mean bigger kid.
'Why not?' the question made Thomas stop and turn to look at the boy who still looked disinterested and mostly asleep.
'I am a foster kid.'
'Join the club.' Sam's foot struck out and nudged the empty chair and Thomas quickly took the seat grinning at his luck in finding someone even if he was on the cranky side.
'I am Thomas Heart and you are?'
'Sam. Now get some sleep while we can. Nights are not nice to boys like us.'