Back to Leland
“I don’t know! But we should do one thing first.” He clenched his fists. “We gotta pay Leland a visit.”
Jared explained who Leland was while the two of them searched for something he could wear to disguise himself. Regular pants weren’t an option, neither were t-shirts. He was forced to wear some old gray sweatpants and a hoodie that would help hide his head and paws. He had to tuck his tail into the back of the hoodie and fold the tip of it against the back of his head. Thanks to his new claws, none of his shoes fit. He had to put on thick socks and some sandals. All of that together couldn’t hide his face or the snout that jutted from it. They were lucky that he had a camo scarf he wrapped around his head, leaving only his eyes uncovered. A pair of sunglasses helped fix that. He had become the invisible man, swaddled in thick, warm clothing from head to toe. If only it wasn’t July.
The two of them made their way out of the apartment building as inconspicuously as they could. Jared shuffled along the way, sweating like a pig in his clothes. The huge claws on his toes made his feet heavy. His tail being jammed up against his back was uncomfortable. It was when they made it to the elevator that he realized that he should’ve put on gloves. He couldn’t pull his big black skunk paws out of the hoodie pocket and press the button to go down. They made it to the lobby where they passed a few of Jared’s neighbors. They shot him some queer looks, unable to recognize who it was behind so many odd layers of clothes in the middle of 80 degree weather. He felt their stares like knives in the back, praying that he would come back looking normal.
Maria drove him to the street where Get it Here was. He was greatly dismayed, but not quite surprised, to see nothing but a big fat empty building with a sign saying FOR LEASE hanging from the front window. That cruel wizard ran off as soon as he made that sale, probably. It all but confirmed that he knew what would happen to Jared when he put it on. Their only hope now was to go to the emergency room and hope for some kind of treatment. From what little Jared knew about the medical field, there were very few cures in the way of skunk transformation.
They rolled into the parking lot of the hospital. Maria guided him into the emergency room by his arm. Mercifully, the place wasn’t busy. A doctor strode up to them and asked what was wrong, looking at the bundled up Jared and preparing for the worst. “My brother…” Maria said. “He… he has a condition. It kinda flared up. We don’t know what to do.”
“Can we take off his clothes? Is it a skin condition?”
“Kind of?” she said. “I really don’t know how to explain it.”
Jared knew it was better to just rip the bandaid off. He pulled his paws out of his pocket and removed the sunglasses. In a single movement he pulled the hoodie and the scarf down, revealing his skunkified visage. “Hey, doc. I put on a suit that turned me into a skunk. Think you can help me out?”
This doctor in particular had seen some of the most horrific injuries throughout his career. He had been rendered numb to whatever cruelties fate could inflict on the innocent people he shared earth with. None of that quite prepared him for what had just landed in front of him. “Wow. Um…” He pointed to the beds by the wall next to them. “Right this way, sir.”
Jared sat down at one of the beds He was made to remove his clothes, revealing the rest of his furry, oreo-themed body. A few prods and pinches from the doctor confirmed that yes, this was real. This man had magically been transformed into a skunk. He called more doctors to come look. They thought it was a joke. Their own quick examination proved that it wasn’t. They held his jaw open and peered down his gullet. They lifted his skunk tail, poked his paw beans, sifted through his hair, and peeled his eyelids back. Those passing by saw the commotion and huddled in for a closer look. Gasps were had. Exclamations were muttered. Jared was forced to sit there and suffer a battery of prods and pokes, all before a small crowd of onlookers that grew by the minute.
Written by TheGreatJaceyGee on 10 December 2022