by Peregrine Dobhran
After scritching the downstairs neighbor's Shar-Pei, I knocked
the snow off of my shoes and walked up to my apartment. I keyed
in silently as I always do -- I'm never one for the "I'M HOME!!!"
DOOR SLAMMING entrances -- and listen. Silence. I check the coat
rack, check out the window overlooking the parking lot, and finally,
inspect the rooms. I'm all alone. This elicits a smile.
I turn on my CD player and skip to the fifth disc having already heard the first four. Danny Elfman-composed music wafts through the apartment as I open the fridge for my lunch hour meal. Hrmm, I can take a tortilla shell, and make a turkey, tomato and swiss wrap, maybe with some lettuce, or, I can have half a tube of cookie dough.
Taking the cookie dough out of the fridge I then deposit it into a bowl and grab a spoon. Dinner is served.
Wait, forgot the Pepsi.
As I sit down and pick up my copy of The Matter Myth: New Insights Into Chaos, Quantum Mechanics, and Superstring Theories, I have to admit, I'm happiest with such simplicities as these.
Somewhere around track twelve on the disc, I feel the cookie dough starting to get to me. Mental note: Improve diet. I blink my eyes owlishly as I feel a wave of dizziness rush over me, followed by a tickling, tingling sensation spreading over my body, and a tightness in my face like insanely extreme sinus pressure. Oh Gods! I double over in pain, whimpering as some invisible force shoves its hand up my ass, grabs onto my tailbone with a firm grip, and pulls hard. The pain eventually throbs down to tolerable levels and I dash for the bathroom. No! I'm only twenty-five! I don't want to die like Elvis! I put my hand on the door handle and stop. Correction: I put my paw on the door handle and stop. It still retained its human shape and dimensions, except now I have black claws instead of opaque fingernails. A good covering of sable fur instead of a few, sparse hairs, and webbing between each of the fingers and the thumb (which has considerably more, to allow it to still be fully opposable). I wait for my heart to stop grabbing my lungs and strangling them demanding an explanation. I close one eye, then the other. That is definitely not my profile. Another wave of pain wracks my body and this time I have to be in the bathroom as I lose the cookie dough. After I rinse and spit and cough out the bitter, acrid taste in my throat, I take a good look at myself in the mirror. I still have my sharp chin, high cheekbones, and deepset eyes, but the profile, if I do say so myself, is more... regal. I strip to get the full effect. Then, just to double check, I take a pair of tweezers out of the medicine cabinet and pluck a hair out from my upper lip.
"Oh geez, shit, ow!" I wince as I rub the site that once held the strand.
This was real.
This was cool.
I looked a bit like one of Eugene Arenhaus's Lutrai paintings, except without the topknot, or the body paint. I run my hand -- Paw, paw, can't call them hands anymore now can we? -- through my fur.
"I could get used to this." The phone rang, and my little bluebird of optimistic reverie slammed into the cold steel cliff of truth. If anyone saw me like this I'd be a phonecall or two away from vivisection. I ignored the phone, letting the answering machine take it. One of my two roommates had made the message.
#"You've reached 555-1213. We're obviously not here. Leave, name, message, and means of contact."#
My employer said, "This is Dick. Your lunch hour ended five minutes ago, just wondering where you were." Well I sure as hell wasn't going to work anymore, not unless the Wherever, River Otters team needed a new mascot, and I wasn't about to demean myself that much! Okay, calm down, calm down, gotta think gotta think gotta think gotta think... Okay, I'm a 6'3" bipedal river otter, okay, step one step one... There is no step one! It's not like there's a manual for shit like this!! "Okay, calm, calm, easy, easy." On each of these last four words I took deep, relaxing breaths. I'm relaxed now. The downstairs door slammed open and shut and I dove into my room hard and fast enough to slam my head against the far wall. It was the downstairs neighbor coming home.
First off, I may want to get ahold of my few camping/survival/tribal living books that I have, in case I have to live my life out in the woods for the rest of my life. That brings to mind, now that I'm no longer human, how long do I have to live? I check again in the bathroom mirror. My skin wasn't sagging and my muzzle wasn't showing signs of white, so I assumed I had some life span left in me. However, most otters at 25 are, at best, desiccated strands of skin and tendons stretched tautly over a loose jumble of bones. I pace about nervously, turning off the music so I can think clearer. In one of my turn-abouts I knock off my Pepsi can and catch it. This at least lets me know my reactions -- and possibly my metabolism -- are quicker. That still doesn't help me much. How will I be seen? How will I be treated? What sort of rights, if any, do I have? How will my wife react?
I need someone to talk to. First, I check in the bathroom mirror again. Yep, I'm still an anthropomorphical River Otter, and I haven't aged any since the last time I checked. I picked up the phone and dialed.
"Hello?" It was Jesse, and she sounded angry. My phone call had interrupted something.
"Yes?" She replies with exasperated, decreasing patience.
"This is Perry, who all is there?"
"Meta's asleep, so's Laura, Imzodi's in the other room, otherwise it's me and Matt, why?" She clipped each word.
"I need someone to talk to. Now. Something's come up." She could tell that I wasn't lonely and requesting a social tea-and-cakes visit. This was something serious. She softened considerably.
"What is it?" I heard Matt ask in the background.
"Something's up with Per."
"I don't know." She brings the phone back to her head. "What's wrong Perry?"
"Look, I'm not sure what, something happened to me. I -- I'd rather not talk about this over the phone, can you guys get here?"
"Can you give us five minutes?"
"Uhh, I think yeah."
"Good, we'll see you in five." I have a feeling what they wanted the five extra minutes for, but I wasn't about to complain. It gave me time to figure out how to best present myself.
I figure I can trust these friends. We've dealt with possessions, poltergeists, hauntings, and all sorts of weird paranormal phenomenae, and they were far more experienced than I.
There was a knock at the door and I silently slipped over to the twin peepholes. I can't look out both at the same time due to my muzzle, but I'm used to using only one anyways. It was Imzodi, Jesse, Matt and Meta. I remove the chain and bolt, then step away.
"Door's open." My voice was a bit higher than normal, but not falsetto or feminine. Jesse opened the door first, screamed, and ran off.
Matt managed an, "Oh fuck," then took off after Jesse at the same time as Imzodi advised him to.
Meta managed a, "Whoa." They handled it rather nicely if you ask me. Imzodi and Meta both lit up, Imzodi with Marlboros and Meta with Djarum. I closed my nose shut. Actually, I just wrinkled it, it closed shut due to my new physiognomy.
"Do you guys mind? My sense of smell is sharper now."
"Oh, sorry," Imzodi replied as they waved the smoke out the door. I handed them a small bowl intended for dipping sauces to use as an ashtray. They extinguished their cigarettes.
"White-blue, with green and yellow?" Imzodi ventured, as he looked over the room.
"There's solid yellow over in that room there," Meta pointed out. They weren't referring to interior decorating schemes, they were referring to protective auras my wife and I had set up around the apartment.
"There's nothing in that room over here," Meta nodded towards my roommate's bedroom.
"Yes, by her request, we didn't shield her bedroom."
"Mind if I enter?"
"I doubt she'd appreciate it, but so long as it doesn't look like you ever set foot in there..."
"Did you sense anything, Perry?" Imzodi asked me.
"No, aside from the shifting which hurt like a motherfuck."
"How're you feeling now?"
"Bit of a headache, I hit my head on the wall earlier. Also, a bit, disjointed with reality."
"I'm not, fully ready to accept that this has happened to me." I did my best to stop my voice from cracking and my eyes from tearing up. Imzodi offered a shoulder and I accepted.
"Let it go Per, let it go." To all those men out there nauseated at the sight of another man having an emotional breakdown: Fuck Off.
I hadn't cried this hard since early November of 1993 when my first familiar died. My sobs subsided and Imzodi patted me on the back. "Are we okay now?"
I sniffed. "Yeah."
I hit him hard on the shoulder. "Dammit why?! Why the fuck did this have to happen to me?! Lord! Lady! Why? Huh? Why the fuck did this have to happen to me?! What did I do to deserve to be such a Gods rotted freak?! Answer me!!" Meta came out to assist, but Imzodi stayed him. I kicked a table, which caused it to rock back, then forward, spilling it's contents onto the floor. Dizzy, I fell to my knees, exhausted. There was an awkward pause of silence.
"Are we settled down now?" Imzodi ventured cautiously.
"Yeah, just a little pissed off at life now, is all."
"Empathically speaking, I can understand."
"Well," Meta started with a smile, "You did say your totem animal was the river otter." I had to smile, he was right about that.
"True, true, but Matt's expressed interest in hawks and dragons, and he's still human."
"What were you doing the moment this happened?" Imzodi asked.
"Listening to Elfman, eating cookie dough, and reading this book."
"Wow, that must have one incredible chapter on alternate realities," Imzodi replied.
"Cute, real cute."
"Meta, did you sense anything in that room?"
"Nope." Meta walked over to the kitchen window and looked out across the street to the four-story H.H. Richardsonian Romanesque monstrosity. "This have anything to do with the little girl?"
"No, I checked that too. Do you get anything?"
"No." The 'little girl' is a ghost that lives (pardon the expression) in the fourth floor corner room on the southeast side.
"Guys, I doubt she has this kind of influence," I interjected.
"Yeah, I suppose you're right." Meta turned to Imzodi. "Should we check the astral side?"
"Good idea, I was thinking the same thing too, but we should wait for Matt so we can have an anchor."
"I'll go check on him." Meta turned, just as Matt came in with a shaken, but composed Jesse.
"Perry?" she asked, looking at me, as if she just might be able to find the fastenings to some elaborate costume.
"Yeah, its me."
"Look, I'm sorry I ran off like that. I really was not expecting this. I'm so sorry."
I gave a small, zen-master smile, with half lidded eyes. "I understand, and I forgive you. 'Sides, who'd expect a thing like this?"
"You do? Good, I was so worried... How are you feeling?"
"Not bad, considering. Phantom limbs I've felt before are considerably more real now."
"I've always felt I had a tail, but it was only a phantom tail, not existing in the physical realm." Meta, Matt and Imzodi exchanged significant glances.
"Do you have a candle handy?" Imzodi asked.
"Any specific color?"
"Not really, but let's stick with white."
"Tea candles work?"
"That'll do fine." Tea candles set up, Imzodi defined the protective area and then he and Meta stared into the candle. Their breaths shuddered, then, for all appearances they were either asleep, or dead.
"Tell me everything you feel Perry, no matter how insignificant you feel it is," Matt informed me.
"Nothing as of yet, just the usual refreshing safety and comfort I'd expect with a circle."
Matt used a calm, gentle voice as he guided the two travellers with his voice throughout the astral side of the apartment building, and even outside. He occasionally looked up at me for interjection. I had no input.
"Perry?" he asked. "I'm going to open up the circle and I want you to enter, but if anything happens, I'm pulling you out, okay?" I nodded, and he cut a doorway with his finger. I stepped inside. I felt more refreshed, safer and comfortable, which was expected, save for my tail which stuck outside the circle. There was no reaction from Meta or Imzodi either. They came back.
"How're you feeling?" Meta asked.
"Fine. A little hungry, now that you mention it."
"Mind if I grab a Mountain Dew?" Jesse asked.
"Uh, that's my roommate's. You'd have to take it up with her. You can have all the Pepsi, water, tea or coffee you want, though." Jessa grabbed a Pepsi out of the fridge, then closed the door, I caught it midswing, the momentum knocking out a jar of mayonnaise, which I caught and put back.
"Damn. Impressive," Matt said with raised eyebrows. I took out the turkey, cheese, tomato, and lettuce, then some bread. All natural, fully organic, cracked wheat berry, baked and sliced on site. No cheap white or wheat for this former human! I took tentative bites of each food item.
Matt was confused. "What are you doing? I thought you were going to make a sandwich."
"Seeing if my diet's changed any."
"Ah," he nodded. "So I see."
"I'm sorry Perry, this is weirder than what experiences I can draw from. It's all been a dead end." Imzodi was shaking his head in apology. "We could try scientists?"
"No," I reply emphatically. "No scientists! Do you know what they do to animals?"
"Okay." He held up his hands.
"There's some coffee and filters in that cupboard up there, the one on the left above the refrigerator. Could you make me a pot?"
"Because if I can't drink coffee anymore, I'm really going to be pissed." The phone rang and we all stared at it like the RCA dog. The answering maching picked it up.
"Perry, this is Isabeau, come pick me up in the lobby." Great, my wife was off work. As she didn't have a license, she depended on me to shuttle her everywhere.
"I can't go out looking like this."
"We can pick her up," Matt offered.
"Thank you, you are a life saver, but, it'd be best if we called first."
"You know the number?" I fliped through the tri-city phonebook till I found the number, then dialed and handed the phone to Matt.
"Hello. Ramada Inn, how may I help you?"
"Hold on, she's right here. Isabeau? Phonecall."
"Yes, this is Isabeau?"
"Isabeau, this is Matt."
"Matt, hi! How're you doing?"
"I'm doing fine. Look, we're at your place now, and we'll be picking you up shortly."
"I'd really like to go home and change first. I shouldn't have to assume that Perry will be coming with?"
"Well, he's, he's, uh," Matt looked at me. I made an ill, haggard face. "Melting." Appearently, anthro-otter facial muscles don't translate well with human expressions. Or Matt was lousy at charades. I wrote SICK on the dry-erase board above the answering machine. "Sick, sick and melting, he's burning up with fever."
"Can I talk to him?"
Matt handed me the phone with a questioning look on his face.
"Hi honey," I slurred my speech as much as possible.
"Are you feeling okay? You poor thing."
"T'be hones', no."
"Howsoon can you be 'ere?"
"That depends on Matt."
"Oh yeah, tha's true. I love you, see you soon."
"I love you too, bye." I hung up.
"She is going to be pissed when she finds out I lied to her. Then again, couldn't exactly tell the truth now, could I?"
"No, I suppose you couldn't," Imzodi had to agree. Meta fished out his keys.
"We'll see you in a bit. Matt, are you coming?" Matt looked at me, I gave him a 'go ahead' nod. Jesse left as well, leaving me with Imzodi. I stood there in a silent, rapid prayer-mantra to the God and Goddess that my wife would not freak out and remove me from her life.
"Breathe," Imzodi reminded me.
"Yeah, thanks, so, now what?"
"Well, I was thinking, if you can't stay here, there's always our place. Though it is a bit crowded as it is, and you would be expected to supplement an income of some sort, even if it's just stocking the fridge with trout."
"Ha, ha." I paused, then said, "I might want to call the zoo in Omaha and ask about any River Otter caretaking needs I might need to know about."
"Hey, I said you could live with us."
I threw a pillow at him. "Smartass." He deflected it.
"Anyways, that's is a good idea." I walked into my room, rather, my wife and I's room. "Aren't you going to call?"
"Don't have long distance." I reply as I look out the bedroom window, waiting for the return of Meta's old, grey Taurus.
- + = - = + = - = + = -
"No, you're supposed to be a Coyote! You retard." This was my
wife's reflexive reaction when she first saw me.
I shouldn't have to point out that this isn't the reaction I had expected, but, it was better than I had planned for.
"No, I am a River Otter." This was the first time I had said this out loud. In a way, it was a test to see how well I had accepted this new reality. Even with the evidence literally in front of my eyes, it sounded hollow, disbelieved. I felt nothing. Perhaps because I didn't know what to feel, or I refused, for sanity's sake, to feel what I should have felt. "Isabeau, look at me." She stared dead on into my eyes.
"And? Look at me."
"What am I supposed to be looking at?" Her voice was on the edge of snapping. She just wasn't seeing the picture... just like I wasn't hearing, what, I, was, saying.
I shook my head.
"Alright, basic facts. This isn't a costume or a hallucination from some fumes from some weird chemical you used at work. This is what I am." I really hated giving her ultimatums,but... "Now you can either accept it, or I can walk out that door because the Perry you first saw and fell in love with isn't here anymore, and I'm having a damned hard time dealing with it!"
"What am I supposed to do?!" Her eyes were brimmed with tears and her voice warped and cracked with emotions. "Cheerfully go on? I can't just go on like nothing happened, Peregrine."
"Then don't, I'm not asking you to!"
"I don't know!" There was a moment of uncertainty as our tempers simmered down. "I just want to know if you still love me?"
"I honestly don't know how to deal with this. This is going to take some getting used to." I breathed a tentative sigh of relief. At least she said she'd try to get used to it, which meant she wasn't leaving. Not yet anyways. "Will we have to attend support group meetings?"
"I don't know, far as I'm aware I'm a unique case. It's not like AIDS or homosexuality. 'Mom, dad, sit down, I have something to tell you, I'm a six-three River Otter.' 'My God son, we didn't realize!'."
She smiled and glowered at the same time then jabbed me in the ribs. "Alright, smartass. So now what?"
"I don't know. As late for work as I am, I doubt I have a job anymore."
"You're not helping any."
"What about these people, would they be able to help?" She held up a pamphlet from P.E.T.A.
"No. They'd mean well but I fear I would become a political piece, a lobbyist's puppet at best. I don't want that."
"Well, I'm sure you could take a night job, I can't pay for this apartment with just me and Vicki."
"Support group... huh..."
"Earlier you asked about support groups, right?"
"Yes," she replied warily.
"What if there are others like me?"
"It is plausible," Matt interjected.
"We'd have a snowball's chance in hell, pardon the cliche, of surviving by ourselves out there, but, if we had a community where we could all be together then... They could take all of us out easier, nevermind, it's a stupid idea."
"No, no, it has merit, it's a good idea, just a little impractical monetary-wise to pull it off," Chris replied.
I shot up with a yelp of pain. "What the hell was that for?!"
Isabeau sprinkled a tuft of my fur down in front of my eyes. "That's for threatening to leave me!" All right, I supposed I deserved that.
"Maybe Warren Buffett was affected as well?" I offered with pathetically plasticine hope.
"Does your T.V. work?" Matt asked.
"Sometimes we get the public television station, otherwise it's for tapes only."
"We'd have to use your guys's television."
"It'll have to wait until dark, if anyone sees you." He gave an apologetic shake of his head. I was stuck in the apartment. This made my desire to be out, increase tenfold....
"Will you please stop fidgeting?" my wife commanded. "You're acting like a --"
"Like a what? Like a caged animal?"
"Oh, shut up." Now that the storm of my wife's first reaction with me had been weathered, I could ask Matt a question that had been bugging me ever since they had come back.
"Where's Jesse and Meta?"
"They went back home to break the news to Laura. Do you want them to come back, or do you want to go over there?" I first considered going over there in my car, but, seeing as I now have a big-assed tail behind me, there'd be no way I could sit in a seat designed for humans, and drive. Unless Matt or Chris drove my car down there, then one of them brought it back, while the other followed so he could get a ride back. I sagged into a seemingly irreversible state of dark despair.
I was an automotive junkie of the worst sort. Had been since the second grade. I knew the fastest way around a corner, I knew how to get out of a spin using the 'Power-Reverse' method Geoff Gordon used so beatifully in Talledege a couple years back. I knew how to get a car from its side onto its wheels without getting out and tipping it over. I knew the best places to hit another car to run it off the road, or to disable it. I knew about J-turns, three point turns, bootleg turns, powerslides, sling-shot passes, drafting, how to set up a car's chassis based on tire temperatures and wear. Now, I'd just been cut cold turkey. I'd be on a street corner by tomorrow going 'Hey buddy, can you spare me a set of car keys?' when the jingle-jangle morning comes calling me.
"Take my car there, we'll go over , but when you bring my car back be sure you have a ride back home. Now if you'll escuse me, I'd like to lay down now." I retired to our room and laid down, biting my pillow in anger as I sobbed silently. With my new form I had just lost my job, and I doubt anybody'd hire me in my present state, so there goes shelter or food as soon as my money runs out. I can't get food anyways because now I've lost the privilege of basic human social interaction, and now 1/3 of my dreams and hopes was gone. At least I still had my history and my writing... big fucking solace that is. Oh wait, I won't be able to be a historian or archaeologist, I'd have to get a job! Can't do that now can we? That leaves my writing which I barely feel is good enough for the Gods rotted TSA! I sure as hell wasn't going to impress any editors with my work.
- + = - = + = - = + = -
When I looked up it was dark out, then I heard a knock at our
bedroom door. My jaw was painfully cramped from biting the pillow.
River Otters aren't built like Bulldogs. The knocking came again.
"Perry, you awake? It's dark out." It was Matt.
"Forget it, just go."
"What the fuck do you think is wrong?" Matt turned to converse with the others.
"I don't think he wants to come."
"Here, let me try." Isabeau opened the door.
"I said stay the fuck out!!!" I leapt up and pushed her out, literally snapping at her. She hit the wall with enough force to knock one of her framed paintings off the wall and cracked the glass. I slammed the door shut with a sonic boom. My vision was narrow and I was seeing red, and my temperature seethed with heat. She flung the door open and whipped my otter calander into my face.
"Here, you can masturbate to this!!!" She slammed the door shut exactly as hard as I had. "Come on, let's just go," she told the others. Chris opened the door to offer me counseling, but changed his mind when he saw I clearly was not in the mood for comfort.
When I heard the downstairs door close, I dropped into shock. I just laid there, catatonic. Well, what else can I lose today? Aside from my material things, all that I had left was my sanity, and that felt like feathers in front of a turbine engine.
When they came back around one-thirty A.M. I wasn't any better. My wife left, gathered up a few things and went to their house. I stubbornly refused to believe them saying that there was a news broadcast which proved that I was not alone in this and there were indeed others like me out there. I eyed one of my tapes laying on the dresser, specifically a song entitled Barber's Adagio for Strings. I snorted.
"I am not a human being, I am an animal!!!" The only reason I didn't go feral off into the countryside was that I was too damned tired.
- + = - = + = - = + = -
The second Isabeau entered the house, she regretted it. She
was the type that, when angry, did not like to have other people
around her, and at Laura, Matt and Jesse's place, there was more
than plenty of people.
"Hi Is, what's wrong with Per?" Laura asked with a smile and a ready hug. Isabeau accepted the hug then parted.
"Cu's a complete fucking asshole, that's what's wrong with him!" Her voice was almost a shriek. It was an accepted fact to see the fiery Jesse scream, then stomp away and slam doors, but to see Isabeau do it was something that just did not happen. Until now.
"He's had a severe physical alteration, and he's taking it out on everybody," Jesse said by way of explanation.
"Was he in an accident? Was he burned? Was his face cut up?"
"Uh, well, aaah!" She stormed out of the room.
"He's a huge River Otter." Meta said with quiet matter-of-factness. Laura's countenance went dark.
"Meta, I didn't ask for some bullshit answer."
Matt backed up Meta with, "He's not bullshitting you Laura."
"Are you in on this too?" she accused.
"I assure you we are speaking to you with utmost seriousness." She had to sit down, pale of face.
"Oh my god."
- + = - = + = - = + = -
Laying there, I was marinating in a malaise of bitter, regretful
not-quite-acceptance, and it was making me hungry. However I was
in no mood to cook, or shop for food.
A quick scan of the staples and I pulled out a quarter bag of tortilla chips, then I switched the music in my CD Player from Elfman to 'Monsters of Goth' and 'A Century of Recorded Poetry', with Sylvia Plath primed and ready to read. Probably not the best choices, given my current state of mood, but under the circumstances, it was what I felt like.
As much as I wanted to, I couldn't do a junk food and music meditation. After three chips I put the bag back as I found it and layed back down on the ground. Okay, lets review. I have a problem -- That's an understatement! -- I have turned into a anthro-River Otter and have lashed out at someone who cares about me, causing her harm. Solution: Apologize to her first... right. How? Okay, I'm no longer a human -- Do I have rights? Am I still a citizen?-- I shook my head. I couldn't afford to go off on tangents like that. I can no longer drive my car, that also means I can't get Isabeau to work anymore, which means thanks to me, she'll lose her job as well! Alright I said stop it!
- + = - = + = - = + = -
Mike knocked on the door as he entered Laura, Matt and Jesse's
"Hey, what's up," he asked with unusually good natured cheer before he saw anyone. When he did look it gave him a sharp pause of concern. "Er, what?" Meta was busy making smoke rings by sharply moving his vertically held cigarette up and down with tiny flicks of his wrist.
He replied without breaking concentration, "Perry and Isabeau had a fight, she's in the bedroom."
"What for?" Meta and Matt again exchaned significant glances.
"Perry's changed," Matt replied, not sure how to put it.
"Changed how? How has he changed?"
"Imzodi, I'm pinned here with Jesse on my lap. Is the tape we put in earlier rewound?" Imzodi extracted himself from his blankets and crossed the room to the VCR. He ejected the tape, looked at it, put it back in and rewound it. Stopped. Pressed play. Then fast forward.
"What am I supposed to be looking at?" Imzodi let go of the fast forward button.
"Just watch." The tape was of the 10:00 news.
#Wow Bob, three more days of below freezing weather with a seventy percent chance of snow. Not a good outlook.#
#No it is not, but it will get better, I promise you that.#
#I hope it does.# The plasticine blonde turned to face the center camera. #Heading off the national news today, are mascots considered insulting? Is Mickey Mouse out of a job? The answer to these questions may be... yes.#
(Insert news broadcasts here of other LTFee's)
Imzodi stopped the tape and shut it off.
"Wow." Mike had a strong urge for a cigarette.
"Alright, is he still home?"
"I'd assume so, we haven't called him since we got back though," Matt informed him. Mike crossed over to the kitchen to use the phone... he hung up.
"He's either not there or not picking up."
"Think we should go over and check on him?" Matt asked.
Meta was wary. "Think that's safe?"
"Is it safe leaving him like that?" Imzodi replied.
"You're right, good point. Let's go."
- + = - = + = - = + = -
Laura knocked on the door to apartment 1D as Isabeau fished
out her keys. Opening the door they could see both of Peregrine's
coats were still there but he didn't answer her summons. She then
called Laura, Matt, and Jesse's place in case he had gone over
there while they were going over here. No such luck.
"Well, I'm going to use the bathroom, then leave a note. Maybe he'll see it when he comes back, if he isn't his usual blind self." While she was in the bathroom, Mike went into Isabeau and Perry's bedroom. Rifling through a pile of papers, he found one that looked like a list of internet sites and Hotmail addresses and passwords, The top of which was headed: 'Peregrine Quinn Dobhran's Frequently Visited Sites and Addresses' It was chicken scratch, all caps -- some letters were underlined thrice to indicate they actually were capitalized -- it had to be Perry's handwriting. He pocketed the note.
- + = - = + = - = + = -
In the bathroom, she found the air was humid and the mirror
was fogged over, indicating that someone had used the bathtub.
However the towels were still dry. So, turning around she flung
open the shower curtains, a look of righteous fury on her face.
I lay under the water with eyes and nose shut, hoping she wouldn't intrude on my watery oblivion. Even as she flung open the curtains, for a half-second I hoped it was random poltergeist activity or some weird flaw that suddenly developed caused by the aging of the red vinyl curtains, but I knew it was not to be. My eyes burned with a low burning fire and a growl/hiss was held low in the depth of my throat as I slowly slid out of the water. I guess I wasn't ready to be in a talking mood just yet. She reached for me and I swatted her hand away with excessive force.
"Fine! We were here when you needed help and you turned us down! If I needed help, I'll expect you to treat me the same as you have treated us!" She walked purposefully from the bathroom.