Velma never babysat. Her girlfriends from work, in her bookclub, her building and her other friends were urban singles like her. The library’s outreach coordinator had that lingering flu that was going around, and all the details of who worked where shifted to accommodate that omnipresent illness. Velma was assigned to the playground, to her chagrin. She’d never had children, of course, and never felt that as a loss, more a relief. So being abruptly put out to manage the imps from town was a profound bewilderment. Previous interactions with town children had amounted to namecalling and averted eyes. Velma felt like she might have inhaled deeply of paint or fallen into a dream state. She couldn’t quite tell which way was up or what she was to do them, with herself, with her new troubling authority.
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