When I got home, I went back into my bedroom and changed into a pair of sweat shorts and a tank top. At least somewhat properly attired, I proceeded to plop down on my couch in front of the TV. Most of the channels were static, and the ones that were working were mostly news. I watched as the anchorwoman, an ostrich... morph, I think the nurse called them, reviewed what they knew about the Change, as it was called. Apparently, that happened to be not much, because this was all they had:
1) It’s happened to everyone.
2) Except prepubescent children.
3) And no one has any clue why.
“Great,” I said, as I hit the off button on the TV remote. I started to get up, but I paused as a thought entered my head. Why was I bummed that no one knew the cause? I mean, I was certainly surprised that I had changed, but now that I had thought about it, I was in no way saddened by it. In fact, now that I was over the initial shock, I found out that I thought the whole thing was actually pretty cool.
I headed into the kitchen, looking for a snack. Opening up the fridge, I saw a small piece of steak that I had left over from when I had gone out a few days earlier. Popping it in my mouth, I knelt down and opened up the produce drawer. I took out two pieces of celery, washed them, and started to eat them. I must’ve been a sight, a prehistoric carnivore nibbling on a stick of celery.
I suddenly remembered what I had gotten up to do, before I had let my mind wander like that. I picked up the phone, and dialed my parents.
“Hello?” My father’s voice, which now made James Earl Jones sound like Richard Simmons, called into the other end.
“Dad? Is that you?”
“Ryan? Oh, thank God! I was so worried about you! Are you all right?”
“Compared to what, Dad? I’m a Saber-toothed tiger!” He laughed.
“Well, as long as you’re OK...”
“Well, what are you? Your voice sounds like it’s coming out of a tuba.”
“Me? I’m a grizzly, actually. A very large one, at that.”
Uh-Oh. “Exactly how large?”
“I have to duck through doors, for starters...”
“Oh, Geez, dad... How’s mom?”
“She’s great, actually. Her arthritis seems to have been cured by the change, and she’s outside right now.” I could sense the humorous edge in his voice.
“Where outside, dad?”
“About a hundred feet up, to be exact.” He chuckled. “Your mother is now has a bit of bird in her. Looks like a dove, in fact.” I rubbed my temples with two of my fingers, then pulled my hand down my face and muzzle.
“Only you, dad. Hey, any word from Nathan?”
“Not yet. Knowing him, though, he’ll probably be a bull or something.” I laughed.
“Probably. Well, as long as everyone’s OK down there...”
“Right. Bye, son. I love you.”
“Love you too, dad. Bye.”
I hung up the phone, and turned to my computer. Maybe if the server wasn’t too packed...
I logged on, after getting two busy signals. I had only a few pieces of mail, one from my best friend, and two from addresses I didn’t recognize. I opened the first one.
Subject: Take A Wild Guess...
Ryan, I’m an eagle. I guess that just about covers “how are you doing?”, so here goes...
Amidst all the chaos this morning, I managed to find time to sit down and write you. I’ll put it to you straight: I think I’m going crazy. I mean, my sister is cold-blooded, my dad’s a seal, and I can fly. I think that would make just about anyone question their sanity, so please write me back and tell me I’m not crazy.
Subject: Re: Take A Wild Guess...
James, my friend, you’ve always been crazy. As for you imagining this, you’re not. I’m typing this letter using claws, saber-toothed tiger ones at that. I’m probably gonna have to replace the backspace key pretty soon, either that or learn how to type better with claws....
The second one turned out to be a chain letter, which I promptly printed out. I flicked the “Chain Letter” switch on my printer, making it print directly into my shredder. I took a kind of strange joy in destroying chain letters, just to spite those who sent it. In fact, I often wrote back to the original senders, telling them how I destroyed them in great detail.
The third one turned out to be an old friend of mine from high school:
I rolled my eyes. Maura was constantly making up words, many of them without actual meanings. “Mrp” was pretty much a warning that there was something silly ahead. I braced myself, and read on:
Hi Ryan! Long time no see! Guess what? I’m a hummingbird! Isn’t that neat? Well bye talk to you later!
I shook my head, laughing. Only Maura...
Subject: Re: Mrp
I figured as much, Maura. Jeez, and I thought you were hyper before all this happened... Oh, well, all’s well that ends well, I guess. Hope to see you around soon! Oh, yeah, one last litle thing... I’m a saber-toothed tiger. Grrr....
I clicked the “send” button, and sat back. It had been a strange day...
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