Stitches in Time
[Editor’s note: The following are excerpts from a blog started in 2006 and an electronic journal begun in 2005. Additional biographical evidence comes from a series of 2013 interviews, after the Change went public. Both the blog and journal have continued to the time of this writing and as such contain a rich history of the Change from a personal perspective. This compilation contains those entries relevant to the Change and much more personal testimony from the interviews. More blog entries can be found at www.****************.****.net. Credit to original author and biography subject ***** *******, alias TimeStrike.]
Stitches in Time – Intro and Overview – Thursday, January 27, 2006 @3:11 PM
Hello, world! This blog isn’t anything particularly special. It’s mostly going to be a place where I put up my thoughts and musings about anything I find interesting, and maybe experiences about interesting things. But I’ll cross that second bridge when I come to it. For now, I finished my mid-terms earlier (homeschoolers just get done when they get done, no set completion date most of the time) and I need to go look for anything that piques my intrigue.
Signed by way of pseudonym, - TimeStrike
Stitches in Time – Second Post – Thursday, January 27, 2006 @8:36 PM
This afternoon I located a paw-print near a friend’s house. That may not sound like anything special, but knowing a fair amount about paw-prints I definitely found it interesting. Why? It was larger than most...and honestly, it just seemed a bit off. I haven’t nailed down what it belongs to yet, but I’ll carefully examine the casts I went back and made. Maybe I’ll even write a story about it once I get the chance.
Signed by way of pseudonym, - TimeStrike
Date: Thursday, January 27, 2006
Happy first birthday to you (more or less) and happy sixteenth birthday to me. I took time today to start writing ideas and experiences online as well. That way I’ll have them stored here and there. I’m not particularly like those people who want to be remembered forever, but backup copies are nice. I also visited John earlier today for a while. He’s still recovering from that cancer…it didn’t really help that shortly before it was discovered he got sick from a relative (I think it was called sleeping sickness?) last August, though it’s going better on all counts. While I was there I found a paw-print in the snow and made a cast of it. Funny thing was, John got really edgy when I pointed it out. Hope he’s okay. I think that’s about it for today. I’ll write in some more later if I think of it.
Stitches in Time – Vestigia – Saturday, January 29, 2006@12:14 PM
You know that paw-print I mentioned Thursday? I’ve matched it to a type of wolf native to the region. Here’s the problem: the print is way too big to be a normal one. And it’s out of proportion. Looks almost like the creature that made it was planigrade and not digitigrade. Mysterious stuff. Oh, and the title is Latin for ‘paws’. I’m gonna look further into it and post more later unless I get distracted (which is pretty dang likely, actually).
By way of pseudonym,
Date: Monday, May 29, 2006
…so here’s the thing. I was wandering around on forums today. Now, I normally avoid the ‘post a picture of yourself’ threads – don’t even look at others’ pictures. But today I figured, why not, and so before I was entirely awake and aware I went looking. And I didn’t know that this one forum had so many fursuiters. Those people who wear anthro costumes. There are several of them there. At least, I think so. When I went back and checked later, it seemed like there were less. Perception, maybe? But the ones that were still there seemed less vivid than I remembered. Well, I’ll probably let it go, costumes aren’t really my thing…
Stitches in Time – Notice – Monday, August 14, 2006@3:00 AM
…hey all…I feel absolutely terrible. Worst flu I’ve ever had. So my demi-daily updates will have to stop for now. Catch you on the flip side.
Date: Monday, August 14, 2006
Sick today…not like fall allergies or the occasional cold. Sick like influenza except three times worse. Honestly…ugh. Don’t know if I have the strength to write much longer. Probably won’t. ‘Cya tomorrow, journal.
Date: Wednesday, August 16, 2006
…John called today. He seemed interested in my illness. No, not normal, friendly interested…I don’t even know. Maybe he thinks I got what he did year before last? I guess it’s not unheard of. Hope it’s ending soon…I feel a bit better, that’s why I got on the computer to write this entry in the first place, but…still not really great. I’ll ask him next time. I should probably head back to bed; think that the worse part of the sickness is coming back.
Stitches in Time – Delay and Request – Thursday, August 17, 2006@7:17 PM
Hey, everyone…well, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that I have to stop updating for now. Something came up in my life, but I did want to give warning here. As for what happened…well, this being the internet I won’t go into much detail about reality. Let’s just say there are lots of changes going on. There’s a decent reader base by now, I know, so if you’re a religious type – and maybe even if you aren’t – please send your thoughts and prayers with me. As for the good news? Well, there’s a lot of hardship in my life right now. But I think it’s something I can use to get a new outlook on life and it’s a chance to start a new adventure. So for now, this is it. If you’ve subscribed, you’ll know when I return to this blog. Feel free to e-mail me, I should still have that. I wish nothing less than peace to all of you. Fare well.
- TimeStrike (TS)
...and with that, the anthro arctic vixen sat back from the desk. She reread the message once after posting it, then closed the browser and buried her face in her paws. “…what am I supposed to do…?” Her parents weren’t home – a vast, vast relief to her – but reality still sucked when it came down to it.
When she stood, after a while, this vixen reached a height of about five and a half feet. Her fur wasn’t quite white or grey, more of a silvery color. She didn’t look quite comfortable in her stance – or, for that matter, in her clothing. Neither her t-shirt not her shorts didn’t fit particularly well – too wide or too narrow, too tight or too loose. Though she self-consciously glanced at herself often, she shuddered when she did and tried not to think about her situation.
Then, the phone rang. Indeed it could be said that she jumped at the noise. Warily, still doubting herself, she picked up the phone. “…hello?”
“Jaye! How are you doing?” John’s voice came over the phone, for the first time since yesterday when he called and asked almost the same thing.
“Nah, just…tired, and recovering…that kind of stuff.” Did he know, or maybe was he even Changed? From here, it was impossible to tell.
“Anything…unusual come up?”
“Like a rapid recovery, and maybe rapid acceleration in hair growth, that sort of thing…”
“…John…what would you know about hair growth?”
“Jaye. Jaye! Focus, stay with me. Was there a major Change of some kind?” Even from this end, the capital ‘C’ was unmistakable.
“…yes. And I got a bare-bones briefing from a random internet person who follows my blog. So I assume you’ve been Changed for a year or more?”
“I’m what we call ‘Known’, actually. Still human, but in on the secret. As you maybe heard, ‘sleeping sickness’ is an outright fabrication to make sure that Changed anatomies don’t get messed up by well-meaning medical professionals. As for me…it’s just said that I have it to make the story with my cousin more plausible.”
“…oh. Is your cousin…you know, when I found that paw print back in January…”
“Yeah, it’s hers.”
“Okay. Well…I’m…I’m coping, I guess.”
“At least you don’t have illusions about how the world is any more. What all was in that briefing?”
“Not much…being told that real anthros exist, that humans are becoming them every year around this time, that regular humans can’t tell that it’s happening, and that it’s a global secret expanding exponentially to encompass the globe anyway.”
“That covers the basics. What are you now?”
“A, um, vi-err, fox. I mean...Arctic fox...I think...” Jaye already had enough to deal with. Despite her unusual hesitation in speaking, if the Veil held and John couldn’t see her as ‘her’, so much the better. For now, anyway.
“Jaye…is something up? As in, ‘JG’ up?”
The vixen sighed. Couldn’t get anything past John. “...yeah, John. Yeah, it is. I’m a vixen, okay?! Happy now?”
“Woah, woah! Calm down! I can help. I’m getting my cousin’s contact info for you right now. Her name’s SN.” He emphasized the pronoun, and the initials...but that would mean…
“Yes, JG. Like you. ...gah, that seems too weird. I’m still going to call you Jaye, not like anyone will notice a difference. And...for what they’re worth, you have my condolences, though Sam said that after learning to cope she was fine with the change. Just hope I’m not losing her...or you, for that matter. Anyway...can you write yet?”
“I can type.” For the moment, Jaye left out the numerous scratches on her keyboard.
“Good enough. In fact, from what I’ve heard, better than good; apparently it usually takes a few days to start typing with claws. Here’s her contact information for the new-Changed station she helps run in her area.” John relayed the details. “She does live in Missouri, a few states over [Review note by JG: This was in southern Ohio], but she’s going to be here a couple hours Saturday on the way to Pennsylvania to meet with friends.”
“All right...I’ll see about getting in contact with her now, if that’s okay.”
“Sure you’re all right?”
“...” The vixen hesitated for a moment. Sighed. “Yeah, I’m okay. But I should talk to her.”
“All right. It should be fine, only around 7 her time. Take care of yourself. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
“Okay, okay. Talk to you tomorrow, John.” After a quick ‘bye’ her best friend hung up.
Then Jaye looked over the contact information he gave her. She sighed again, then picked the phone back up and started dialing.
“Sam’s Changing Service, how can I help you?” The female voice on the other end sounded somewhat tired; perhaps even exhausted.
“Hey…SN, right? I just got your number from your cousin, John, up here in Ohio. He said you’d be around in a couple days but it’s a bit more urgent.”
“Oh? Well, hey, he finally did something helpful for the Changed, got someone in on our radar. But...urgent? What’s the nature of the Change?”
“Fox? That doesn’t sound so bad.”
With a dangerously low amount of inflection in her voice, Jaye replied, “My name as of today is JG. That sound ‘so bad’?”
On the other end of the line came a dull ‘thud’. The voice returned momentarily. “Woah! Okay, okay. That explains a lot of things. All right, calm down, girl. You’re on the hotline with someone who has two years practical experience. What do you need to know?”
An hour later, Jaye put down the phone. She had some answers, a lot more questions, a plan for part of Saturday, and perhaps most importantly had, for now, come to peace..no, not to peace, but at least to terms with her Change.
Not too shabby a beginning for the first day of the rest of her life.
Date: Thursday, August 17, 2006
Dear Journal (or is it Diary now? I have no idea),
Life...Changed today. Since I have no simple means of keeping this document to my paws only, I’ll leave it at that. Being part of the furry community before had nothing on today. Anyway...I’ll be meeting with John’s cousin, SN (Sam would seem to work neutrally, but initials it is) the day after tomorrow. Hopefully after talking with her I can get settled. Hopefully...
Though Jaye wrote swiftly, at this point the words stopped coming as easily. However, a more concrete substance than words did start coming more easily...specifically a clear liquid, dripping down from her muzzle and marking damp blots on her clothing. “...dang it...not again...” Despite the she-fox’s quivering and attempts to calm herself...the tears not only continued, but strengthened. Pushing away from the desk, she weakly flopped onto her bed and broke down completely for the second time that day.
The next morning brought the vixen back to consciousness, after crying herself to sleep the night before. She sniffled. “...first day of the rest of my life...ugh...” The worst part, she suspected, would be facing her parents, who would have arrived back from their four-day trip sometime last night. With her father being a ranking military aircraft designer and her mother taking the role of his secretary, long trips weren’t that uncommon...though she really wished that she had a bit longer to plan. But...the Veil was supposed to help, right?
Jaye checked the computer. The unfinished journal entry brought her back to the verge of tears, but she hastily blinked them away. “...no...got to be strong...for myself and everybody in on the secret...wait...what if they know what’s going on?” Thinking about the statistics she’d learned, she did some quick calculations. A 1 in 12,500 chance that either of them was Changed and had experience wasn’t great, but it was something. And that went up to 1:6,250 for newly-Changed. Her ears and tail – really, her whole posture – lifted at the slight hope.
Then the vixen heard a knock at the bedroom door. Her mother’s voice sounded. “Jaye...you okay? You did say you weren’t feeling so well...”
- Oh, heck...must have heard me crying and came...* “Erm, yeah. Feeling better.” Well, the Veil should keep her new voice secret. There was whispering on the other side of the door. It wasn’t anything distinct, but in all honesty she probably would have missed it entirely were not her new ears so much more sensitive.
Finally the voice sounded again. “All right. Come down for breakfast soon; it’s almost ten. We stop serving at 10:30!” A laugh. Jaye also managed a brief laugh before she could think about it. Then footsteps sounded, leaving the door; two sets, not just one. Both of her parents were definitely there.
Finding the right clothing wasn’t as much a matter of instinct - it may have played a small role – as it was a matter of comfort and practicality. Even when Jaye came to the kitchen from her bedroom, some new physical requirements just couldn’t be satisfied with the clothes she had. As she rounded the wall’s corner to the kitchen, she saw her father sitting at the table, with the sound of sizzling bacon in the background. He gave her a look – though did he look focused, or just tired? She couldn’t tell for sure. The two hugged each other, and Jaye gave her mother a hug afterwards too, careful to keep her tail out of the way...
Over a breakfast of pancakes and bacon, and over some idle conversation, the vixen slowly eased, though she remained vigilant too. When asked about not feeling well, she brushed it off by saying that it must have just been passing. After helping clear up the table, she was about to leave…but before she got back to her room, her father stopped her. “You sure you’re okay?”
The vixen, although a little tense, nodded to him. After a moment, he nodded back and let her go. Jaye returned to her room, still thinking...one lie, probably the first of many, for a cause she didn't even know existed before yesterday.
Date: Friday, August 18, 2006
My parents don't seem to know...but should I really be keeping this from them? Can I even keep it from them? According to Sam, perceptive people start to notice signs no matter how carefully I'll clean up, mask odors, or keep mindful of my tail. They're certainly fairly well aware. I guess I'll talk to her more about it and try to keep quiet until then. Can tell them I'm working on the latest school paper, I guess. Speaking of which...I should probably actually do that. 'Cya, journal.
[This story is a work in progress. Please let me know how I could improve as I continue it!]