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Phone Call
by Oren the Otter
Oren the Otter -- all rights reserved
 

Hello, Phil.

Yes, it's me. How ya doin'?

To be honest, I have a problem.

Well...

Yes, I know you can't help me if I don't tell you what it is. But... Oh, man, Rabbit. I don't even know where to begin.

I'd like to, but I don't know if there IS a clear beginning, unless you refer to the night I came down with SCABS.

(Sigh) You heard from Blueknight that I had gone feral, right?

Oh. I'm sorry. I thought you knew, Phil.

Yes, I did.

Believe it or not, an eviction notice.

Yep. I've been kicked out of my burrow. I'm staying with Blue for the time being.

Not your fault.

Phil, you remember when I first moved out there, right? Would you say I was stressed out then?

So would I, and yet I never went feral, even when I tried. Just a couple of days ago, I got worked up over this note, and my mind just slipped away.

Thank you.

Yes. That's not all there is, though.

No. It's getting harder and harder to turn human.

I can try to. You know that it's semi-involuntary, right?

Yeah. By thinking hard.

I used to be able to make myself change so easy. You remember that surprise party when I came back from the hospital?

Uh-huh. Just that instant of trying to figure out what was going on got me about halfway there, but lately, it's been so difficult! I can't make it happen when... I just can't! It's so HARD!

I'm sorry. I don't mean to be crying, but...

Thank you, Phil. My emotions are just so... What's the word? I'm either really happy or I'm so sad I want to die.

Bipolar. I guess that's it.

Anger? Sure, this notice makes me angry, and yet...

I think I know what you must feel. Phil, I trust you as a councilor not to spread this around.

Thank you. Phil, I was one of the vigilantes.

Yep! Little ol' me. Do you remember that night when Jack kicked that scumbag in the jaw with his hooves?

I thought you were. I was at the Blind Pig that night. I was the low-degree electric eel with those gimungous fins.

Heh... That was the handiwork of... well, I shouldn't tell you who it was. The point is, I used to be a fighter. I used to go out every night and take out scumwads.

Now? Did I tell you what happened when Mr. Batran took me to the water park?

We passed through a bad neighborhood, and there was a gang fight going on. I cringed down below the window... and I... hid. I've gone from being... this brave hero to being a... timid little an-ani...mal!

I'm so sorry!

Sorry.

Yes. I'm under control, now. Gosh, Phil! How do you deal with it? You live with this fear every day of your life. How do you deal with it?

I'd love to try that, but I doubt that Blueknight would be happy cleaning up after Shortcake and General Patton. Heh heh!

Yes, but...

But Phil, that's one of the things I'm worried about. You just can't keep a full otter in a house. What happens if I DO end up going feral for a long time?

Phil, I'm scared.

I know. It's getting hard to hear you, too. I need to charge the phone.

I can, but I... Phil?

Yes? See who? Phil? Hello? Hello?

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