I was naked on the city streets, but thanks to my particular skills at camouflage, no one gave me a second look—or even a first one. The Transformation takes us all differently; I've seen some people who grew horns or fangs or turned awesome colors, but while those things may be useful in their own way, they don't help with blending in. And in the Midwest, where bigotry and fear rule the day, blending in with the normals is usually a matter of life or death.
That's what makes me a perfect agent of the Underground Railroad—I can blend in anywhere. I slid down the sidewalk slowly, hugging the walls to avoid being touched or bumped as I moved invisibly through the city. I have never been able to figure out if my skin refracts light or changes colors or something else I haven't even thought of, but what I do know is that when I want to hide, no one can see me unless I move too quickly.
When I got to the fire escape on the back of the building I wanted, I let myself pick up the pace. Even when I'm moving at normal speed like this, I'm just a blur, and even if someone happened to be looking at the fire escape as I was going up, they weren't going to do anything about a little blur in their vision across the street.
Once I was on the roof, I grabbed my waterproof backpack from where it had been stashed on top of a maintenance shed, chinning myself up on the edge to reach it and scraping my elbow on the way down. I thought of how Riley would have scolded me for the way I take chances, but Riley was long gone, retired to Canada three years ago, and I'd taken up the job he'd left behind.
I hurried into my clothes and reappeared as I carried my backpack with me down the stairs and into the building.