Bro & Puffzilla Prefer YA

The guys at school told him it was the best place to take a girl.

Bro slid on his sunglasses and hopped off the walkway, landing in front of her. “Hey Puff’. You want to hang out at the park later?” 

Puffzilla’s nose pointed up as she looked him over. She didn’t care for the big stupid sunglasses, but she loved the effort he put into making his hooves shine. Her nose angled up a little more. “Fine. But we’re taking my car. No way am I getting on the back of your stupid, greasy little motorbike.”

“You don’t like motorcycles?” His entire plan centered on impressing her with a zoom around the park roads. 

“Get on the back and, like, totally Twizzler my spine when you crash us? Never in a million years.” 

She waved it off and Bro thought her wrist fur was so gorgeous. The way her hair was styled…  like rock star cotton candy, he thought. He tried not to stare. “Uh, I’ll meet you at your car after school, then?”

“Whatever.” Knowing he would watch her walk away, she flicked her tail at him. 

He jumped back onto the walkway and his sunglasses clattered against his hooves. She started laughing at him, but he considered it progress. “Glad you think it’s funny.” 

He trotted away before he was late for class. 

***

Her car is like a motorized version of her… with wheels instead of fluffy pink paws, he thought. The little purple car zipped up a hill and she made a noise that gave him a smile that didn’t fit his face. He lost the feeling when he saw they were at the park already. What the heck would they do when they stopped? What would he say? 

Puffzilla wasted no time looking for the perfect spot, turning into the first parking area. They got out and looked at each other as they walked around the car, one fluffy eyebrow raised on her face. Bro looked around at the park. 

No mountains to climb. He looked up at the oak trees that darkened the ground with shade from massive branches. I’m not climbing those, no way. His mouth turned down as he glanced at the road and thought about how much fun they would’ve had on his Yamaha, rock music jamming under the shiny new helmets.

His hooves caught a shaft of sun and the shiny reflection felt like it was mocking him.

“Stupid idea.” He took out his phone. 

“Figures,” Puffzilla said. 

“Huh?”

“You asked me here just to get on your phone? So lame.”

The short hair on Bro’s face felt like it was burning. He turned on some music. “Do you like metal?”

“No.”

“TikTok?”

“I’ve seen your TikTok. No.”

“Sure you don’t want to go back and get my bike?”

“There’s no hope for you.”

“Uh…” He looked at his phone. “Minecraft?”

Puffzilla’s tail flicked at him and she turned away to sniff at something. 

Bro started to get back into the car and fumbled his phone. The death metal song turned off and something else came on. A person reading a story. An audiobook. 

“What’s that?” 

Bro looked at her. One ear was lifted, and 

her full attention was pointed at him. “It’s an audiobook,” he said and showed her the book cover on the screen. 

Her eyes glistened and her voice hushed. “That’s a fantasy story. I know that one…”

“Young Adult story about a girl that became a thief, then a queen.”

“That’s my favorite audiobook! My favorite story.”

The long hairs twisted in the center of Bro’s chest relaxed. He walked over and sat next to Puffzilla and turned up the volume. The trees and deep woods, the feel of the grass on their legs, the birds and clouds overhead — all of it became part of the story artfully told from what she called her favorite audiobook… and what he thought of as his life saver. 

The soft, bright fur on her long ear brushed against his horn and he could smell it. I’m selling the Yamaha, he thought. And buying a lot more YA books. 

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