by Husky Raznaspoenik
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chapter 4: hiding
"Husky, are you there? Sorry we are so early... Open the door
son! We want to see you."
They want to see me? Ah... I think that they're not quite prepared for this.
I walked to the door and opened the letter-box: "Mom, Dad, could you come in the house via the back door, with the front door open everyone can see me."
I heard a short conversation between my mother and my father before she answered me: "Sure, son. We will get in via the back door."
I waited and looked trough the closed curtains of my living room until I saw the familiar shapes of my parents and my little brother. They did decide to take him with them, which managed to shape a small smile on my muzzle. I saw them approaching the house and heard a short knock on the door: "Husky, we are here son. Open the door so we can see you."
"Mom, are you really sure of this?"
"Yes son, we saw you on television so we already are prepared."
I breathed in deeply through my nostrils, turned the key and opened the door.
"Come in, folks."
"God, Husky. You look quite... how should I put this. Handsome, more handsome than on the telly anyway."
"So you aren't afraid of me?"
"No, of course we aren't, son. You're still our son, nothing will change that."
I was relieved, my parents still accepted me as their son. Somewhere back in my mind I always knew that, even with the depression I had... I moved forward and hugged my mom.
My little brother was next, I could see he enjoyed me hugging him, something he never enjoyed before. I was trying to see my father, but he somehow managed to stay behind a little, I wonder what he was thinking, it wasn't very normal of him to stay this quiet.
"Mom! I guess we don't need a dog now anymore eh? Husky's fur is soft enough for me."
I hit my brother slightly at the ears: "Don't think you can put a lead on me you little brat. Or I'll use these..." I showed my pointy teeth, which scared the hell out of my brother. He had a look on his face that I had only seen before when had been attacked by a young goat a few years ago. He started crying and ran to his mother.
"Uhm... Eric... Sorry about that. I didn't mean to scare you off."
Then, suddenly, my father awakened from his silence: "How do you dare to scare your little brother so much... you... you freak!"
My mother looked at my father with a furious look in her face: "Herman! It's your own son for god's sake!" But the damage had already been done.
"Well, look at him! To call your son a freak is... is... the truth," he stammered.
"No, it's not!" my mother shouted. "Look at Husky yourself! He's not a fucking freak!" I couldn't remember the last time my mother cursed, so I knew she meant it.
My father started to stammer : "Husky... I'm so sorry. I was never supposed to..."
I looked at my father with a look of forgiveness: "It's all right dad." We walked to each other and gave each other a warm hug, tears coming from our eyes.
* * *
It was a few hours later, I had updated my parents and my brother
on what had happened the past two days, finishing with the sudden
leave of Elizabeth.
I was just ready to make some more coffee when the phone rang, I had turned on the answering machine because I didn't really want to answer the phone. My little brother decided he needed to be against the grain and he picked up the phone.
"Hi, Eric speaking!" He had a natural look on his face, so this probably meant it was someone he didn't know. "Husky! It's for you! Someone from TV."
I grabbed the phone: "Hi, this is Husky." A familiar raspy voice came trough the phone:
"Susan Parker here. Hi Husky."
Goddamnit, I had told her that she would not call me, one interview was enough for now: "Hi Susan. Why did you call me? I told you not to call me for the next week or so."
I sounded a little bit angry, so she sounded a bit scared: "Sorry Husky. I know I wasn't supposed to call you, but I just had to. It's amazing. After we aired the interview we got over 500 calls from all over the country, and even from other countries. I just had to let you know that you are certainly not a stranger anymore."
Fuck me! I had always been someone who managed to make these kind of dumb decisions. What came into me that I would be interviewed while I was only transformed for one day? Well, it had already happened, the damage had already been done, I can moan about it now, but it won't help me.
I sighed before re-entering the conversation again: "So... what did all those 500 people say?"
"Well, they had a lot of different reactions. The majority was positive, but there were some, how shall I put this, 'opposing' reactions."
I scratched my ears slightly: "What do you exactly mean by 'opposing' Susan?"
I heard Susan sighing on the other end: "Well. It seems that we are not as tolerant as we all think we are. There were some threats, and some people even talked about..hmm...'physical actions'."
"Physical actions?!" I yelled trough the phone. "You mean they are gonna..."
"Well, I don't think so" Susan responded. "There were lots of positive reactions too. There were some people who were very interested in you. We even got some offers for commercials."
"For what? Dog food? Well, and what should I do now? Did you gave any of them my address?" I asked nervously.
"No, of course not Husky," she assured me: "I would never give out your address. Of course not."
"Well, thanks for the information, Susan. I have a feeling we will talk again very soon."
"See you soon, Husky."
I hung up and turned on the answering machine again.
I directed my attention to my brother: "Eric... Could you please just let the phone ring the next time? I don't want to be disturbed by that thing again."
"But why Husky? Don't you want to be called by anyone?"
I sighed a little: "Well, I don't."
Suddenly my father joined in the conservation, interrupting me: "Husky, listen son. You have to get over this. Lots of your friends probably called you and are worried about you. You should at least let them know that you're all right.
I knew my father was right, and that I should let all my friends know. But how? I wasn't looking forward to phoning all my friends and having the same 'Oh my god, you turned into a monster!' conversation every time.
I was thinking how I should solve this problem when my mother came up with a good suggestion, something that she was very good in: "Husky, why don't you just send all your friends a letter, let them know you're still alive? Maybe you could attach a picture of yourself so they won't be so shocked when they see you alive for the first time."
"Great idea, Mom. I'll do that."
I was ready to get a camera to get a picture of myself taken when my mother called me: "Husky... I think there's something else we have to talk about."
I turned around, my ears lying flat against my skull. I knew there was something that was bothering her.
"Husky, maybe we should talk about you going into hiding. The prospect of you being beaten up by someone looks very real to me..."
I knew she was going to say something like this, and I knew she was right. But somewhere else in my mind, I couldn't even think of the possibility that I could be beaten up by someone for the simple reason that I looked different. I was brought up by my parents to be tolerant to every human, no matter how they looked or what their beliefs are.
"Mom, you can't be serious. I mean... we live in a tolerant country, don't we? I mean... the Netherlands are the most tolerant country in the world, or at least, that's what I used to think..."
My father joined again in the conversation: "You don't know how they will react son. This... 'state' you have is something quite... unique. And don't forget that getting killed for nothing is something that still happens in this country. Don't make the illusion that just because we live in a tolerant country things like that don't happen anymore. Please, do us a favour Husky. Come home, live for a while with us. Only for a few weeks so that everything is calm again. And that people have started thinking about the transformations. Then, you can show yourself to the world again..."
I thought about this, and it made sense. It would be better for me if I just withdraw from public for a while. It would be a lot safer, and I didn't have to worry that my parents would ring me up every day to see how I was doing.
"Alright dad, I'll guess that's the best for everyone."
We started making preparations for the trip back to my parents' house. I put on a long raincoat, which would hide my tail and most of my furry body. I put on a baseball cap, hoping the shadow would hide my muzzle a bit.
We waited until it was dark outside and walked slowly to the car.
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