Lester's Tales 2: Unforseen Reactions
September 7th, 2005
“Ak… essshTODAY IS” *click* “Blasted alarm…”
Grumbling, my hand sliding off the alarm clock and looking at the time, I sat up and rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, yawning widely. Glancing down at myself, I got up, climbed down the ladder of my bed, and headed into the bathroom with my clothes to freshen up, my tail flicking about behind me.
It had been three weeks since Change Day, when I and about a hundred thousand other people around the world had changed into strange hybrids of human and animal. And yet despite that, nobody who hadn’t changed was any wiser thanks to the Veil, as it was informally known, that disguised how we felt, looked, and sounded to those that had not changed. It had been two weeks since I had learned about the rest of the Changed in the Network, and in that time I had been learning as much as I could.
As I relieved myself, I glanced down at my now-female body and again thanked ROB (As I heard some people refer to whatever was controlling the change) for granting me a female body. I wasn’t a transsexual, mind you, but the stories I’d heard about the “gymnastics” others had to perform after changing made me glad I could just sit down and avoid all those problems. A silly reason, perhaps, but I’d take it where I could get it before the Visitor in Red came sometime in the future. And I was NOT looking forward to that.
I then proceeded to tug on my clothes, briefs under jeans, neither pulled up all the way in the back due to my tail. I’d read up on the various tips and instructions for how to modify pants for the various kinds of tails out there, from short to long, fluffy to bare, thin to fat, but I couldn’t use any of them. I was still in high school and living with my parents, and they got on my case for the smallest hole in my knee. As such, I just dealt with leaving it a bit low.
The shirt went on next, and as was common, I shivered a bit as the fabric rubbed over the front of my chest. I had been a guy before the change and the rest of the world still saw me as a guy despite my assets, so I ended up having ill-fitting clothes. And despite what other TG on the boards would say, there was no way in heaven or hell I was going to wear a bra and panties while I still appeared a guy. I may have been taking the change better than most other TG, but I still had some masculinity. And wearing my men’s clothes helped me feel better inwardly. Plus, again, it solved a laundry issue.
After dressing up I walked into the kitchen and put a pop-tart in the toaster oven while I started feeding the cat, again thankful we had him. While the Veil hid how I looked, it didn’t hide what I left behind, and shed fur and odd smells WOULD be difficult to explain were it not for the fact that we had a grey and white cat (close enough to two out of three of my fur colors to let some of them slide) and the fact that my parents have been telling me my room smelled for years now. (Hey, it didn’t smell to me. I just kept it closed up whenever it wasn’t summer and overheating. I’ll just keep saying it doesn’t smell and nobody’s the wiser.). There were some other things I still had to watch out for, like my reddish fur if it fell anywhere or the fact I was taking shorter showers now, along with possible claw marks or other things, but again, I’d take what relief I could where I could find it. So far nobody had suspected anything.
Eventually, an hour later, the bus arrived, and I spent the next two hours on the bus with my mind wandering, tail curled into my lap as I was wont to do while sitting. I lived on the south coast of Long Island, but I went to an alternative school on the north coast for personal reasons and loved it there, the closeness of the students and faculty feeling like another family… which meant more difficulties trying to do the same things I always did. I couldn’t gallop through the halls anymore for example (I had odd habits, but I loved my strangeness) but I hoped they’d be too distracted by the silence to say anything.
I sighed as I thought of that, glancing down at my paws. Despite the years of changes, nobody had even tried to make shoes for furs. They saw no need when a majority of the Changed preferred to go barepaw or barehoof anyway, and the shoe field stopped any questions of why they were walking through the snow without worry of frostbite. Me, however, I just wanted to protect my paws from getting dirty or gum getting in my fur. I had seen a hopeful post from someone saying “We are looking into it”, but I had heard nothing more from them since.
Finally we arrived at the school and I stepped off the bus, looking over the small building. I had hopes that maybe one of the teachers or students had changed, and my mind went crazy with what I would do if one of them was changed. I walked in to the loungish area to wait for first period, sitting down and looking around. I was one of the earliest, as usual, and others would be in soon. I wondered if-
“OH MY GOD!”
My head whirled around at the voice. My first thought was “Did someone change?” but when I saw Jessie, another student and still human, I realized that wasn’t it. She was staring at me with pure shock and disbelief on her face. I blinked, feeling a little nervous. She couldn’t see me, could she? I’m wearing the same clothes, nothing is showing, I’m wearing my shoes, what could it be?
My answer came when she lifted an arm, pointed a finger directly at me, and cried out, “You got a NEW HAT!”
I exhaled and chuckled. Ah yes, that. My old hat I had been wearing for 11 years straight without fail, but due to extenuating circumstances had to retire it over the summer and get a new one. Considering how that hat sometimes seemed as much a part of me as feathers on a duck, the reaction made sense. “Yeah, new hat. Had to retire the old one,” I said, as my mind started thinking, This is going to be a fun year.
The rest of the day proceeded as a day at school would usually go, barring the occasional shocked exclamation that I had changed my hat. Each time it happened, I rubbed my hat and inwardly grumbled about my ears folded up underneath it. Someday they’ll make hats for us furs, I thought, and when that day comes I’ll be… oh, maybe third in line. The hat thing, thankfully, added as a sort of distraction and nobody even noticed that some of my other oddities had let up.
Around lunch and after I got my daily pizza I took my laptop (Which the school thoughtfully provided us while we were there) and went online to check up on the two Changed forums I had joined. I sat with my back against a wall to make sure nobody looked, but nonetheless I kept a wary ear out for anyone coming up. The main site for the overall Changed Network was hopping with activity as usual, and we’d even found another couple changed in the last couple days with the start of school.
The NYChanged forum, however, remained silent and dead. Though NYC was one of the largest cities in the US, there didn’t seem to be enough Changed to really make it that active. Only myself, Eli the rabbit, and about a dozen others counted ourselves as changed in NYC and Long Island and posted on the boards, but considering the way the Change seemed to be spreading it made sense. There was only a little over 250 thousand of us at current estimation, and most seemed to be concentrated in the northern central US. Ah well, we’d get more in the coming years.
The rest of the day went uneventfully. I went to my classes, rode the bus home, had dinner, tucked some red hairs behind the couch, went on the IRC, and went to bed. A fairly dull day for one of the only furred people on Long Island, but it went well all things considered. I’m sure I’d have plenty of other problems in the future.
October 19th, 2005
Today was not going to be a fun day. Damn this change!
The school I was in never had a gym class, but instead went on physical trips once a month. I even enjoyed some of them, and at first didn’t think there would be any problems. Until they announced this trip: A brunch at Ihop, followed by bowling.
Normally I’d enjoy this, as I like bowling, but there was just one problem. The Shoe Field. Shoes just disappeared off my feet when I put them on, and despite keeping my claws trimmed they occasionally tapped on the ground or caught on carpets. This was going to be a challenge.
And deciding to be a bit more cruel, the Red Visitor had decided to stop by today and I was not in a good mood. And apparently I wasn’t doing a very good job of hiding it.
“Les, you alright?” I looked up and across the table at Stan, a bit of bacon hanging out of my mouth. “You’ve been acting kinda weird lately.”
I pulled the bacon in and nodded as I chewed, giving a smirk. “What, you mean I’m not normally weird?” I said with a chuckle, trying to play it off.
“Nah man,” Stan replied. “I mean you haven’t even been talking to anyone lately. Something eating you up?”
I shook my head. “No no, I’m fine. Been feeling a bit cruddy lately but it’s nothing. I’ll be fine, though I’ll probably suck once we start playing.”
Stan chuckled. “Not as badly as I will.” I smirked as I continued to eat my food. Oh Stan, you have no idea…
…and I have no idea how I’m going to bowl, I thought as we walked into the bowling alley. My ears pushed against my hat as they tried to flatten, both in nervous anticipation and in reaction to the constant echoing crashes of the other bowlers. After picking our lanes and a brief discussion of how many games we’d play and how we’d be doing everything from the teachers I headed up to get my shoes (fairly pointlessly for me I thought at first) only to get a very pleasant surprise.
As I approached the counter where two workers were handing out the shoes, I saw one had stopped and was staring at me with a shocked look on his muzzle. Yes muzzle, as he was a changed raccoon! A new one it seemed, considering the stare. Planting a smile on my face I got into the line for him and tried to motion for him to stop staring. It didn’t work too well however as he kept staring at me when he wasn’t helping someone else. When I finally got up to him I muttered, “Stop staring, people will think you’re hitting on me or something.”
His ears folded back as he looked at me. “I… I’m sorry miss I just… oh man, I thought I was going crazy! But you’re actually a-”
I waved my hands at him quickly. “Shshshshsh! Not so loud, alright? Everyone still sees us as guys. Men’s nine and a half please,” I said, a little louder on the last part.
His head tilted as he gave me an odd look, glancing down at my chest. “Men’s?”
I sighed and crossed my arms over my chest, closing my eyes. “Yes, Men’s. Just roll with it, alright? Some of us had a much more drastic change than others. And don’t worry, I’m going to try not to scuff up the lanes with my claws.”
The raccoon nodded and got the shoes, coming back and handing them to me. “Here you are, uh, sir. Oh and,” he leaned in towards me. “pick a ball with slightly larger finger holes. Otherwise you’ll break a claw and be in pain the rest of the day.” He showed be his hand, one of his claws on his fingers showing that he learned that the hard way.
I nodded back and decided to ask another question. “And the paws? Any suggestions there to reduce damage, since these shoes are just going to disappear?”
He gestured at a vending machine nearby. “Use the socks from the vending machine there and try not to get your claws caught. It’ll help a bit.” My reply was to glance down at my own fabric-covered paws, nod in thanks, take the shoes and walk off.
As I was looking through the bowling balls for one that seemed right, Stan came up behind me. “Dude, what were you talking with that guy about?” I winced, remembering Stan had been right behind me.
“Oh I ah, I was asking him some, er… tips for bowling.” God that was a lame excuse, even I didn’t believe it. Stan didn’t either and he tried to get more information out of me, but I brushed him off with the same excuse before grabbing a ball and heading down to the lanes.
The bowling itself went about as well as could be expected. Several times my claws felt like they might have scratched the flooring, a few times the ball arced up as it caught on a claw and slammed on the floor with a resounding and embarrassing BANG, and those problems along with my own inexperience combined to give me a whopping score of 14. Embarrassed, I quickly walked back to the raccoon while the others finished their game, beckoning him to an end of the counter.
“Alright, let me give you the short version,” I said to him. “Yes we’re really animal-people. There’s about 250 thousand of us worldwide about now, some of us are the wrong gender, it’s more or less permanent, we don’t know who or what’s causing it, and everyone else sees us as we were before we changed.”
“But what are we supposed to do?” he asked. “I mean I can’t live like this forever! What do I tell my wife?”
“Tell her what you want, some of us have been living this way for close to 20 years. Look, here’s some sites that should help,” I said, handing him a piece of paper with links to the main Network site and the NYChanged site, explaining them to him. “Listen, we’re all in this together, and there’s more of us every year. I’m sorry I can’t help you more, but it’s the best I can do right now.”
He sighed, his ears splaying out as he looked at the paper. “Right. Thanks for that anyway, I guess. At least now I know I’m not crazy, hmm?” He shook his head. “What’s your name anyway?”
“Lester, but call me LC,” I replied. “We use the initials to let other Changed know that we look like the opposite gender to the UnChanged.”
“So you were really a guy before this happened?” He looked down over me, eyes lingering on my chest. “And those are real?”
I placed a pair of fingers to my temple and sighed. “Yes I was a guy, yes I switched genders, and I’m only 17 so quit staring before your boss sees and gets REALLY wrong ideas, ok?” His eyes snapped back up and he nodded, the faint hint of a blush under his fur. “I gotta get back to the group, ok? Take care, and visit those sites. I mean it, it’ll help you cope a lot.” I waved back at him as I walked back to the group.
The rest of the trip went uneventfully, and I felt relieved that I didn’t have the lowest score of everyone there. Two others got lower scores than me, one at 9 and one got nothing but gutterballs, and that made me feel a bit better. After I got home and ate dinner that evening I logged on to the forums to find that the raccoon (whose name was Steven, it turned out) had already introduced himself and thanked me for finding him. After replying to his posts and giving what extra information I could I logged off and went to bed. Despite my anticipation over how badly the day could have gone, overall it went fairly well. Hopefully the coming days would go even better.