Hairy kind of day
Jay let out a small sigh of boredom as he looked at the clock hanging over the classroom door. There was still a good fifteen minutes left to go before this boring history lesson came to an end. Usually he didn't mind history, but today was such a nice sunny day that the last thing he wanted to do was be stuck inside a classroom listening to a teacher blab about the past. Try as he might, he did his best to not look at the window that kept showing him the day he was missing outside. And to make things worse, his best friend Andrew was home sick today so he had to suffer this day of boredom all alone. Twice during the last forty-five minutes he wondered if Andrew was faking it, as he seemed to be okay when he left him yesterday evening. First thing Jay was going to do after school was go check up on him and if he found out he was faking, he'd make him pay. At least sitting here in the back of the class the teacher would leave him alone and that, in Jay's book, was a major plus. The last thing he wanted was to concentrate and answer stupid questions.
Jay started drawing some doodles in his notebook to help take his mind away from the clock and window. It helped a little bit, but how much time was left was still in the back of his mind. While he was badly drawing a guy doing some skateboarding, an intense itch could be felt behind his right ear. He gently put down the pen and scratched the itch without paying much attention to it. While scratching, he noticed that Dan Weeder, the class clown, was looking at him with a smile. Jay brought both his hands down to his legs to scratch the itching he was now feeling while looking back at Dan. His whole body was slowly itching and he was having a hard time keeping up with the scratching.
Dan pointed to his cheeks indicating to Jay that something was on his own face and then turned around as the teacher called his name. Jay raised his hand to his face and was quite surprised to touch what felt like a beard growing on his face. He was not old enough to have this much hair on his face, he was barely sixteen years old. What was even weirder was the fact that he could feel it push out under his fingers. He knew that this was not normal and he had to get in front of a mirror to get a better look at what was going on with him.
As Jay raised his hand to ask permission to leave the classroom, he saw gray like hair grow on the back of his hand. Jay put his hand down real fast and gently bowed down his head to get a closer look to what was happening. Both the backs of his hands were growing grayish like hair that could only be described as fur and his nails had grown longer and much sharper. His head was reeling from the impossible changes happening to him; this was like one of those bad dreams you have like showing up in class naked, but this was actually happening. He turned his hands around and saw leathery pads form on the palms of his hands. Jay raised his sleeves and saw that the fur was growing on his arms too. It was growing everywhere on his body and there was nothing he could do about it. If someone took a look at him right now, he would be screwed.
He could not leave his seat as that would bring too much attention and that's the last thing he needed. His shoes felt more loose than usual and so did the rest of his clothing. He put down his sleeves and he saw that they were covering more than usual. Jay let out a small gasp as he realized that he had gotten smaller. As if this growing fur nightmare was not enough, he was shrinking too.
As jay was thinking for a way to get out of the classroom before it was too late, he felt more and more uncomfortable sitting in his chair. There was something pushing out behind him and he had a bad feeling about what it could be. He put his right hand down the back of his pants and confirmed what was now his greatest fear -- a tail was growing out of his back. If all the other changes were not enough proof for him, the tail growing at the bottom of his back pretty much confirmed to him that he was turning into some sort of animal. He turned his head around to try and get a look at the tail and at least get an idea into what he was becoming. As he got a somewhat look at it -- thanks to his now two sizes too big for him pants -- fur was just starting to cover the emerging tail. The fur pattern that grew on his tail was very familiar to him. It was a mix of gray and black fur all done in stripes. This was the tail that belonged on a raccoon, which pretty much meant that he was turning into one.
As he was staring at his tail, his shoes fell to the floor because his feet were now too small for them. His socks were still hanging on, but it was pretty obvious just by looking at them that the feet inside those socks were no longer human. His clothing was getting much too baggy around him but he didn't want to take any of it off. Even with all the fur that he had grown, he would feel very naked without some piece of clothing. While his whole body was compressing on itself, his face felt weird, so he decided to bring up his hands again to at least to get some sort of idea on what he now looked like. His nose and mouth were more pronounced and his ears had grown longer and were slowly moving on top of his shrinking forehead. Just as he brought his hands back down, he saw his now dark nose push out in front of his eyes. Jay now had a muzzle and with his tongue, he could feel all the changes happening to his teeth. At least he felt lucky for one thing, he thought to himself, the changing of his body made no noise so nobody looked at him once during his loss of humanity. In the matter of a few minutes he was reduced to the shape of a raccoon sitting on a chair with a pile of clothes around him.
The first thing Jay needed to do was get out of this class before someone noticed him and after that he could try and figure out what happened. The whole room was so big that when he looked at the door, he seemed to be a mile away. He glanced at the other students sitting at their desks and he felt like he was in a room surrounded by giants. His little heart was beating hard against his chest, as fear was slowly taking over and paralyzing him on the spot. Just when he thought his mind was about to snap, a loud familiar noise echoed through his ears. That was the sound he was impatiently awaiting for before this transformation took place, it was the final bell of the day indicating that school was over.
Almost everybody got up at the same time and headed out towards the door. Maybe his luck would hold out and nobody would notice him. Jay didn't move a muscle and tried his best not to get noticed, but his luck didn't hold out as Dan glanced in his direction and saw him. Dan yelled out to everybody to check the raccoon out and everybody that hadn't left the room yet just stopped and stared down at Jay. Everybody was so big that Jay had a hard time recognizing any of them. He was paralyzed with fear and just didn't know what to do. And then, all of a sudden, some sort of primal instinct kicked in and took over his frozen body. It kicked in at the same moment that he heard the teacher asking for everybody to leave the room so that he could lock Jay inside.
With speed unknown to Jay, he bolted out of the classroom while Jenny Addaway was still holding the door open for others to leave, and arrived in a corridor full of people. As Jay passed Jenny, she let out an ear-piecing scream that made everybody in the corridor stop and look. Things had just gone from bad to worse in the matter of a few seconds and it was now obvious to Jay that he had to get out of school in the next few minutes or he would end up in a cage. Without a moment of hesitation, Jay ran as fast as his little furry body could towards the first door that would bring him outside. Some of the students got out of the way while others were just frozen in place watching the raccoon run. Jay avoided the people that stood in his way with a dexterity he didn't even know he had. This raccoon body could move and it felt very natural, it was like this had been is normal body all his life. Jay was in luck for the second time today, the door that led outside was wide open and cleared of people. He would be able to make a clean getaway after all.
About ten feet from the door, a big shadow loomed over Jay and caught his attention. While still running, Jay turned his head and saw that the shadow belonged to Todd Marchant, one of the school's best football players. Todd was trying to snare Jay with his football jacket. At the last possible moment, Jay turned abruptly to the right and Todd, because of his momentum, just went flying by, smashing face first into the door. Seeing Todd smash himself on the door brought a little bit of joy back to Jay. Todd had been a pain in the ass thinking just because he was a football player he could do pretty much do anything he wanted, and now he was getting back some of the pain he had given others. Jay passed over Todd and finally made it outside where he saw two guys in uniforms running toward him. His new eyes were not as good as his old human eyes, but he knew that these uniform people were no good for him.
Jay took off in the opposite direction and headed for what he knew should be the safest place for him; it was a wooded area just two square blocks from the school where the train tracks passed. The uniform humans were slowly gaining on him in this open area and Jay knew that he would never make it to the woods. Since he had nothing to lose and he didn't want to end in a cage, he continued running until he reached the street. Without a moment hesitation, he crossed the street as fast as his little legs would permit. Halfway through, a car came out of nowhere and almost it him, but luckily, at the last second, the driver had seen him and had turned the wheel so not to hit the raccoon that was crossing the street. Jay thought that this was it and he was going to die as an animal. His parents would never know what happened to their son. Then, his luck changed again as the car missed him and went flying towards the people who were pursuing him. Jay didn't want to push his luck even farther just by standing in the middle of the street, so he took advantage of his lucky break and continued his journey towards the tracks.
He was able to reach the tracks in the matter of a few minutes and for the first time since this whole ordeal started, he felt safe hiding in a bush. He was panting hard from all the running and excitement but at least he was now safe to think about what had happened to him. Try as he might, he didn't have the first clue as to why he would change into a raccoon in the middle of the day. He didn't even know where to start looking for answers to the many questions flooding his mind. He knew for sure that he needed help and the only person that might be able to help him, if he was able to convince him, was his best pal Andrew. Luckily, he knew that Andrew was at home sick and that he only lived two houses away from him. And with the help of these tracks, he could get home easily without drawing too much attention to himself. He only lived five minutes away from the tracks.
Jay got out of the bush and started walking towards the spots that would lead him to his house. He stayed close to the vegetation that surrounded the railroad tracks just in case he met up with anybody else. While on his way home, he thought about his parents. He didn't know how long he would remain in this form or even worse, if he might stay in it forever, but he knew that he had to at least get some sort of message to his parents so that they should not worry. If he was able to convince Andrew to help, maybe he could try sending some sort of email to his parents. His raccoon paws were pretty close to normal human hands, he was pretty sure he could use the keyboard. As he was thinking of ways to convince Andrew that his best friend was now a raccoon, a noise that came from behind startled Jay.
He stopped walking right away and looked to see what the noise could be. He was relieved to see that it was just another raccoon. Jay thought it best not to stay staring at the raccoon, as he seemed to be pissed off for invading his territory. The raccoon followed Jay for a few minutes and then disappeared in a near by bush. That little incident made Jay realized for the first time that his senses were more acute that they normally would be. His eyes were not all that great but his sense of hearing and smell more than made up for it. His raccoon body told him that this place he was now was very comfortable, but the human fear he felt of staying one for the rest of his life made sure not to stick around too long.
After a while, he finally made it to the spot that would bring him to Andrew's house. He thought about waiting for the darkness to arrive so that he might be able to get his friend's house in the most safe way, but something told him that time might be a factor and the longer he waited, the less he might not want to be turned back. He was starting to feel quite comfortable in this raccoon body and living here in the wilderness didn't seem too bad after all. He shook those thoughts away and started moving carefully towards Andrew's house. He stayed close to anything that would hide him, making sure that before moving from one hiding place to another, no one would see him. It took much longer than he anticipated getting to his destination, but at least he was safe from any unexpected danger. From where he was, to get to Andrew's house, he would have to cross his own house. From behind two garbage cans that belonged to his neighbor, he looked at his house checking to see if his parents had gotten home yet. From what he saw, the house looked empty and he was almost tempted to try and make his way inside, but decided that would be a stupid move and he should just stick to his plan. Just as he was about to move, a noise was heard and Jay just froze, staying behind the shadows of the garbage cans.
It was Liz McGuire, his neighbor's daughter. She was about the same age as him and he liked her a lot. It's not like he was in love with her or anything but they had lived next to each other for six years and he always had a good relationship with her. Now the last thing he wanted to do was scare the living hell out of her. He closed his eyes and made himself as small as he could, hoping that she would not notice him and just walk by.
"Oooooooh, what a nice raccoon," Jay heard.
He opened his eyes and there was Liz, staring down at him with a big smile on her face. He then saw why he had been found out, she was bringing some garbage out to the cans. His animal instinct told him to run away but he knew that he was in no danger with her. She loved animals and if it were up to her and not her parents, the house would be full of pets. Jay decided not to stay any longer that he should and moved over to his own yard. It was weird seeing his house with this raccoon perspective, the thing looked like a gigantic castle. He saw that Liz was following him so he ducked into the neighbor's bush and moved towards Andrew's house. Now he had to be extra careful, as Andrew's family owned a German Sheppard. The fear of getting caught by the dog made Jay think twice about his next move. Maybe he should just turn back, head to his own house, break into his room and email Andrew to come over and help him. Just as he was about to turn around to try his new plan, a voice came out of nowhere and said, "Jay, is that you?"
Jay's heart skipped a beat as he heard his name called out by a voice he knew all too well. He got out of the bush and faced his friend Andrew.
"So it is you." Andrew let out a laugh and followed it by, "I knew you'd try to either get to my place or your home. I can't believe that it worked."
Jay was floored by what he just heard; Andrew had to be responsible for his transformation. How dare he do something like that to him and during class to boot. His first reaction was to jump on him and bite the hell out of him, but this was the guy who had changed him so he probably knew how to turn him back. Andrew waved Jay to follow him and told him not to worry, he had locked the dog in the kitchen. Not having much choice, Jay followed his friend in the house. They went directly down in the basement where Andrew had his bedroom. Once inside, Andrew closed and locked the door to make sure nobody would walk in by accident. Jay climbed up onto Andrew's bed and sat there just staring at his friend, waiting for answers.
Andrew sat on his chair near the desk that hold his computer and told Jay, "Okay, first let me put your mind at ease and tell you that you should be back in your normal human form real soon. The spell is only temporary. Second, I had no idea the spell had worked until Dan phone me up and told me that a raccoon had cause quite a commotion in school today. I didn't do it on purpose, I was just trying a couple of things. Ah, there, you see, you're becoming human again."
Jay looked at himself and saw that Andrew was right, he was growing bigger and his fur was slowly receding. "As I was saying," continued his friend while the transformation reversed itself, "I was just testing some stuff to see if the book was right."
"What book?" Jay said as soon as his voice came back.
"The book I ordered last week on the net to help me decipher that strange stone we found near the tracks about a month ago. It came yesterday and I just couldn't wait till the weekend to read it, that's why I called in sick this morning."
"AAAAAAH-HA! I knew you were faking it!" Yelled Jay as the transformation finished. "By the way, think I could borrow some clothes while I'm here?"
"Sure thing, help yourself in the closest. Just remember to wash them before you bring them back."
"Oh shut up! Because of you I might have lost the clothing I had on myself today."
"Ah really? I wasn't sure what happened to the clothes while the transformation takes place"
"You lose them, that's what happens."
As Jay got dressed, Andrew opened a drawer on his desk and took out a small, flat, circular stone. "Remember when we found this thing, well, last week I finally found a book that could help with it and I have to tell you, I was quite surprised by what it said it could do. At first I had to decipher how the time frame works on this baby and then comes the right words for the right change."
"Sorry, I'm jumping the gun. This stone has the power to turn anybody into an animal."
"I'd say you're kidding me, but after today I don't have a problem believing it. So it's that thing that changed me?"
"Kinda, the stone is just a tool, you need to pronounce the right words for it to work. That's what the book I got is helping me do."
"So you can become any animal you want? Man, I have to try to be a bird, always wondered how it felt to be flying free like they do."
"Err...no, I'm afraid you can't"
"Why not?" Asked Jay all disappointed.
"According to the book, this stone can only transform you into any mammals. That means no birds, reptiles or insects."
"Insects? Bleh! Who would want to try that?"
"The hardest part was figuring out how much time you stay in the form of the animal you choose. I've been working on that most of the day and from what I saw with you, I think I have most of it figured out."
"So why didn't you try it on yourself? Why me as a guinea pig?"
"Yeah, once again, sorry about that but I learned too late that you can't put the spell on your own self. I can transform anybody but me. If I want to change, then it would have to be somebody like you holding the stone and saying the magic words."
"It's okay, I survived and I'm back to my normal self. No harm done I guess, and besides, it was kinda cool being a raccoon for a while." Jay let out a laugh showing Andrew he was not mad anymore. "Now, you're telling me that we can become any mammal we want for a limited time?"
"Yep," confirmed Andrew.
"And you're going to show me how?"
"I was hoping you'd ask that. Yeah, I'll show you how. I know that the first thing I want to try is a fox."
"Alright, when do we do this?"
"Well, first I want to finish reading this book to make sure that there's no big surprises. After that, I have to show you how this things work. And we can't try this in the house so we should go somewhere, like the tracks, to try out our forms. I also want to have plenty of time trying out the animal forms, so I would say this weekend."
"Aw dude, you mean I have to wait three days?"
"Fine. I'm going back home to eat and I'll be back after to begin learning those spells you're talking about."
"Good idea, I think I'll do the same. Meet me in my room in about an hour. Does that sound good to you?"
"An hour? Yeah, that should be enough time." Jay headed towards the door but before crossing to the other side he turned around and told Andrew, "We are going to have quite some fun with that thing, won't we."
"Andrew smiled back and responded, "oh yeah, big time."