General

From the fog came a figure so bundled in a thick jacket that Fred couldn't tell if it was a man or a woman. As things turned out he was wrong on both counts. The face peeking out of the parker was a girl of about fifteen, practically a babe in arms. Her cheeks were blanched from the cold and her eyes partially obscured with caramel hair. She smiled in the way girls do when they're masking nervousness, and despite the cold day Fred couldn't help but feel warmed. In a way she reminded him of his daughter, though she had long since left home. He extended his hand, “Fred Watson, head ranger.” She returned the gesture and shook his hand with the gentlest squeeze. She spoke with the voice of one who's been out in the cold too long, her teeth almost chattering.

“Candice Martin, pleased to meet you, Sir.”

General

Ivor was used to seeing his applicants appear ill-at-ease in their interview suits, but this young woman wore it like a second skin. Before each question she paused, head tilted to one side just a smidge, and then she delivered an articulate answer. A few years ago she must have been a girl, the apple of her fathers eye and giving her mother a hard time. Her long dark hair was swept into an up-do and her make-up was well applied. Even in twenty years she'd look much the same save for a few fine smile lines and crows-feet as she approached middle-age. Her skin had a honeyed glow and her lips were still full. Doubtless she'd been waiting a while to step out as her own person, to be the boss of herself. She didn't know it yet, but she was hired. The other interviews were just a formality now.