He made it to the seventh day of skunkhood. His face was inescapable, his name on every breath. Jared the skunk man had solidified his legend after just a week of interviews and internet posting. The small city he lived in was now being marked as a possible tourist destination. A-list celebrities were inviting him to parties, as were world leaders to dinners. Production companies were drafting up offers for the movie rights. Biographers sent emails. Skeptics were mocking the believers. Scientists begged for more examination. A GoFundMe was set up to pay for his hospital bills, even though he was fully insured. Everyone across a greater part of the world wanted a piece of Jared the skunk man.
And all he did was put on a onesie.
Alas, it all came crashing down, not with a bang or even a whimper. All Jared did was wake up one morning and discover that he was no longer a skunk. The pale human skin that had been swallowed had been spit back up. The onesie was back too, draped over him loosely. On top of that, there was a zipper on the front of it, clear as day. He spent an hour in front of the same mirror he had transformed in front of trying to trigger another one. He couldn’t. He gave up with tears in his eyes, ones more bitter than what he would’ve shed the day he first became a skunk. His great disappointment was shared by the millions of people who considered themselves fans. The same interviewers he sat so proudly in front of had to sit with him again and listen to him woefully explain what had happened. Whatever invitations he had received were canceled. Scientists cursed their late response. The GoFundMe was struck down. While offers were still made for movies and books, the payments were far less substantial. The skeptics cheered their triumph. They had been vindicated.
Like an urn set on an upper shelf, Jared placed the folded onesie on the floor of his closet. He was pestered for the next few days by the news and internet, but like anything that captured widespread attention in the modern era, interest died away fast. Jared the skunk man was a fun memory, one that sparked a childlike fascination in an animal most people never would have suspected. For Jared, it was fun while it lasted, but also something he had to let go of. His love of skunks remained, but it had dulled somewhat after having his life saturated with the sight and mention of them in such a brief span of time. He tried to forget about everything, from Leland to the transformation. He pushed as much as he could out of his mind, swearing that he wouldn’t let his short lived fame go any further to his head.
But that didn’t stop him, every once in a while, from pulling the onesie from his closet and sleeping in it, all in the hope of waking up the next morning a different man.
Written by TheGreatJaceyGee on 15 December 2022
The end (for now)