"Alright, looks like everyone's here. Stay out of trouble, mind the wildlife, and don't do anything we can't cover up later."
Tryg leaned precipitously over the rock wall, grinning ear to ear as he drank in the view from the cliff. "Brad. I said, come look at this view."
Brad grumbled as he walked over. "Fine, geez. Scenic overlooks aren't really my thing, you know?" He folded his arms, inspecting the view for a moment before returning his attention to his phone. "Who are you, the nature police?"
"Something like that," said Tryg as he refocused his attention on the sunny canyon below. With a lazy flick of his hand, the path on which they stood bubbled. It flowed up to Brad's knees and solidified. "Your phone does not qualify as a view." He held out his hand. "Who were you texting?"
After confirming that he was not, indeed, capable of moving, Brad closed his phone and handed it to Tryg. "My girlfriend. You met Ansia, right?"
"The half-succubus girl?" Tryg took the phone and dropped it in his pocket. "Good luck with that. Not really my type."
"Yeah, we both know what your type is." Brad made a face. "And what do you mean by good luck?"
Tryg turned to Brad, raising an eyebrow. "Come on, dude. She could get with ninety percent of the student body if she wanted, and probably half of the teachers if she was willing to risk it. You really think she's gonna stick with you for that long?"
Brad smirked and made a 'psh' noise. "Course she will. You know what they say about chimeras, man: you get a little bit of everything. She doesn't need aaaanyone else."
Tryg nodded, then went back to staring into space. A few minutes later, he turned to face Brad. "You know, if you don't stop hip thrusting, I might just leave you there. You'd make an excellent statue."
Brad laughed. "Hell yeah I would. I'm already rock h- wait, dammit, come back here…"
Dr. Cross carefully stepped over the entrails and kneeled down next to his colleague. "Satyana… what on earth are you doing?"
She looked up from her work, brushing some hair out of her eyes and inadvertently caking it with blood and bile. "Haruspicy. I've never tried it with bison before." She stared at him like this was the most obvious thing in the world.
"Normally I wouldn't mind, but there are tourists watching. And shouldn't you be paying attention to the students?"
"…" Satyana looked around at the carefully positioned offal around her, then sighed. "Fine." She stood up, brushing dirt and fur off of her dress. "It's going to rain, by the way. And my niece is going to get pneumonia soon."
"Duly noted. Do I even want to know how you managed to find, kill, and gut a bison in the five minutes I left you alone?" Cross stood up as well, and began to lead her away from the bison's corpse.
"Not really. If your head were cut off, would it grow back?"
"My body would, yes."
"Can I try it?"
"First of all, Gabriel," said Kyle, apparently to the ground in front of him as he grunted and wheezed his way up the trail, "it feels like an unfair advantage. Like, I'm not really that interesting, or funny, or smart, or… you get the idea. If I let you mind-read and shapeshift me into getting girls, then the guys who have all that important stuff get left in the dust."
"Second, you would be watching the entire time. Even when we'd be doing it. You can't really have alone time with a girl when you've got something living in your head and doing things to your perception, y'know?"
"And third, you're a trickster demon, so forgive me if I don't trust you as far as I could throw your hypothetical body. You'd probably cock shit up just to mess with me."
"So yeah. I don't need any of your help 'getting mad pussy', thank you very much."
I'm guessing you don't want my help on your Comparative Mythology final either, then?
"I never said that."
Mr. Vang took a tissue out of his pocket and turned on the faucet in the public restroom. After washing his hands for a bit longer than he needed to, he checked that the room was empty, and then flicked the light switch off. He squinted, focusing his eyes on the dim outline in the mirror.
"Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, you missed your check-in with your chaperone."
Bright orange eyes flicked open next to his reflection, followed by a misshapen, toothy grin full of sparkling teeth. Shiny, claw-like fingers clutched his real shoulders. "Hiya."
Mr. Vang smiled a little as he turned on the lights to reveal a dizzyingly tall, willowy girl apparently made of polished black glass. "You need to follow the same field trip rules as everyone else, Mary. Every two hours in the lodge lobby."
Mary laughed a high-pitched, reverberating laugh before jumping up and gracefully landing on top of the door to the restroom's lone stall. "But there's too much to do! Nobody here expects me or knows what I am! These tourists are the best!"
"I know you love giving people heart attacks, but rules are rules. I'm sure you can spare five minutes to let us know that nobody shattered you."
"Okey-dokey Mister Headmaster!" Mary leaped down and picked up the much smaller man in a bear hug, put him back down, then hurdled the sink and slid back into the mirror. Her reflection waved an enthusiastic goodbye as it waltzed out the door.
Mr. Vang brushed himself off, then waited a minute before turning off the lights again. "Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, I'd like my wallet back."
"Get down from there, moron!"
"Fuck your shit, prick!" Miles roared. "These are my people!"
Miranda rolled her eyes. "Those are bears!"
"Well I'm channeling Ursa, aren't I?" Miles blurred a bit, then growled. "I'll start my goddamn kingdom right here, and you can't do a fucking thing about it!"
"You're standing on an active geyser!"
"Your face is an active geyser!"
Mr. Vang scribbled a bit on his clipboard as students filed back onto the bus. He looked down. "Seems that we have everyone back. So… how much damage, overall?"
A mixed-breed dog looked up at him, communicating its thoughts directly. Brad Krevinghaus had to be chiseled out of the sidewalk, Miles Jacobs got third-degree burns from a geyser, Ms. Sanmugasunderam will probably need both ritual and hygienic cleansing, and Bloody Mary almost got snapped in half by an angry drunk. Also, I ate a butterfly.
Mr. Vang nodded, apparently satisfied. "Sounds like a pretty quiet day. I was honestly expecting something more like the incident in Paris."
The dog woofed. Don't remind me. It hopped into the bus and sat in one of the front seats. Mr. Vang followed soon afterwards, motioning for the driver to close the doors and start driving. He sat next to the dog.
Hey, wanna talk about computer science?
"Maybe another time."
Computer Science Dog whined.