by Sly Squirrel

  I'm tired. I'm sick and tired of trying so hard only to fail.
  Phil had the desired effect; when I tried to talk to Jubatus the second time, I took things one step at a time. Instead of flying into the conversation, I eased into the chat, introducing myself at a safe distance before moving closer. He was amazingly patient; last time he came off impatient and indignant.
  Ten to one odds say Phil had something to do with that...
  But I had things under control! We were at opposite ends of the table; I was outside of his reach, a feeling of confidence gradually overcoming the twitchy flight response. We were chatting, believe it or not; communication without the urge to run!
  One sudden flick of his wrist and I took off, scared for my petty life. Back to square one... Too embarrassed to apologize, I immediately sprinted for the bathroom, a tear touching the corner of my eye.
  Why me? I'm supposed to be the ever-successful young flair of a man, always going off in the sunset with whatever he wanted. Never have I failed at anything so important as my own life, never have I been so dejected.
  Never have I been so alone.
  And what did the damned Martian Flu leave me? A squirrel body that jumps at anything. I can get back to my dream, but it won't ever be the same.
  The tears started falling as I came to the realization. I'm stuck here with that man in the mirror, a hollow shell of what it used to be. With a scream, I wrap my arms around my muzzle, trying to squeeze the pain out of my life, to push away all the humiliation and suffering I had incurred.
  Nothing happened.
  I pushed my paws into my eyes, rubbing hard in hope that this was all a dream.
  The same cute face stared back at me.
  I can't live like this! I have get back to where I was before...
  No, I've tried that road. Death isn't the answer.
  But what is...? I pounded against the mirror, the tears flowing freely now. An inhuman wail came from my gullet, but I was beyond embarrassment. God damn them all, for what I cared. The face staring back at me only transcended into a more cute being with every tear, mocking every attempt of reconciliation.
  I pulled away from the mirror, too disgusted by the squirrel body to look anymore. I was tired of being small, of being a twitchy squirrel SCAB, of a living hell I swam in everyday. Why couldn't it all just go away?
  As much as I wanted to clam up and wallow in self-pity, a small portion of my mind brought me back to reason. There was no running and hiding from this; that face in the mirror was mine, whether I liked it or not. Sometime I had to accept it...
  With a heavy sigh I turned back to the glassy wall and took in every detail of my body. I'm starting with that man in the mirror; I'm asking him to change his ways. I may not like the situation, but it was my baby to deal with. It's about time that I realize that.
  Toweling off my face, I put on my best ear-smile and went back out into The Pig, filled with a warm sense of purpose, a will to triumph.
  A will to make that change.