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BELLINGHAM – Calling the series of short stories written by his eleven-year-old daughter featuring Overwatch characters “extremely alarming” and paralyzed with uncertainty about what to do in response, local father Tom Greenfield clutched the offending pages tightly in his hands and shook them frantically at his wife.

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“This is my nightmare, Lori!” declared Mr. Greenfield, pacing anxiously around the dining table where his partner of fifteen years – the mother of his child – was seated and eating breakfast. “Oh god, what are we gonna do? Ground her? Send her to a counselor?”

“Tom,” answered his spouse, swallowing a gulp of coffee and then calmly dipping a corner of her toast in an egg yolk. “Don’t you think you’re overreacting a bit?”

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“Overreacting? OVERREACTING?! Are you screwing with me, or have you gone completely insane?”

The stories, or scenes more accurately due to the lack of any identifiable plots, graphically detail romantic interactions between Overwatch heroes Genji (a Japanese cyborg) and Mercy (a Swiss medic).

“I just don’t see what the big deal is,” added Mrs. Greenfield.

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“Oh really? Let me read to you the words - the mind! - of our pre-teen daughter then,” snapped Mr. Greenfield, emphatically clearing his throat. “And I quote…”

Suddenly the unmistakable pop of a revolver pierced the air followed quickly by the sickening thud of body armor. “GENJI!” she cried out. Mercy raced as fast as she could toward the sound. Her heart ached through her breast. When she found him he lay crumpled, functional but just barely. Mercy threw herself onto his cybernetic body and set to work reviving him, gently stroking his chest. Genji’s body spasmed with coughs. He moaned softly.

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“Angela?” he whispered almost inaudibly. “My guardian angel.”

“I’m here, Genji. You’re badly hurt. I can heal you, but you mustn’t speak.”

Mercy felt his strong metal hand caress her back and pull her body even closer to him. She throbbed at his familiar touch, shifting her hips against him.

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“But then how can I tell you that I love you?” he asked.

Mercy pressed her lips firmly against her fallen hero’s mask.

“Without words,” she answered.

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Mrs. Greenfield grimaced, twisting up her nose. “It’s awfully cliché, isn’t it?”

“Why can’t you take this seriously, Lori?! What kind of a mother are you?” her husband accused.

“Don’t wag your finger at me! It’s your damn video game!” she snapped back. “So if you’re looking for someone to blame, how about yourself?”

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Mr. Greenfield stiffened at the rebuke but then sank down deflated into a chair next to his wife.

“I know,” he replied, exasperated. “And I do.” Mr. Greenfield put his head in his hands and sighed deeply.

“It’s just, there are pages and pages of this stuff, Lori. I don’t know what to do. She’s only eleven for god’s sake. What the hell is wrong with her?”

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Mrs. Greenfield smiled knowingly and placed a hand dotingly on the back of her husband’s neck.

“You dear, sweet, ridiculous man. There’s nothing wrong with her. Girls mature a little faster than boys... that’s all.”

“Our little girl is just growing up.”


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