Maria watched as her sister stared at the convenience store quietly. “You OK?” she asked.
Jasmine sighed. “Yeah, yeah I’m good. Sorry for dragging you out here.” She sat back in her seat. “My dealer’s not here. Sorry.”
“Oh. Don’t worry about it.”
Jasmine tried not to, but that would prove hard.
Maria drove her back to her apartment. After double-checking that everything was OK, she left her sister alone. Now that she was past the amusement period, Jasmine had to sit down and really adjust herself. Sitting down and watching the rest of Troy was fun, but by the end of it the skunkiness had pretty much lost all its novelty. She put on some other movies, laughed at how the actors looked, then turned them off. A look through the gallery on her phone revealed multiple
pictures of herself and her family the exact way Jared had taken them, but in their places were what Jasmine the skunkette had taken, not Jared.
She perused her apartment for other changes. All her clothes were built to contain tails and other skunk features like fluffy fur and claws. She had no winter clothes, probably not necessary given her fur. More time was spent in front of the mirror gawking at her tail. A period of literal self-reflection had her repeating to herself what became a morbid chant: I’m a skunk. I’m a skunk. I’m a skunk. Holy shit. I’m a skunk. And there wasn’t a thing she could do about it.
Memories of the human Jared remained intact, making her question how in tune they were with what happened to Jasmine. Were her interests the same? Were all the people she had met still around? Dread seized her. Are the human people I grew up with still in existence? She had no way of finding out. There she was, stuck in this new universe, a perverse copy of what she was familiar with yet totally alien too.
She had to distract herself from an impending episode of existential horror. She ran to her bedroom where her computer awaited her. The chair wasn’t done recoiling from the impact of her landing on it by the time she was logged on. Her desktop picture was the same: a pretty screenshot she had captured while playing Red Dead Redemption 2. Looks like my interests are pretty much intact. She opened up her browser and clicked the search bar. Where to start? Evolution? Society? Where did things go different?
She was in the middle of typing “human history” when she quickly backspaced it and replaced it with “skunk history.” The results that came up included a few images of cavemen and pre-historic people, but of course they were all skunks. Among them was the famous image depicting the procession of human evolution, the one that started with a basic primate and then gradually moved up into the human. Not only did this one end on an anthropomorphic skunk but it started on what was a completely normal skunk in the human universe. “Woah…” Jasmine thought aloud.
Wikipedia offered a definition: Skunk history, also called world history, is the narrative of skunkity’s past. Jasmine got a chuckle out of the word “skunkity”. Browsing the wiki page as well as other informative websites unveiled a motherlode of information too burdensome for her to drink in at once. It was rife with scientific names of skunk’s ancestors, but instead of Australopithecus afarensis, it was Australopalianthropus afarensis. Other scientific names followed the same theme, replacing the human origin of the word and replacing it with the skunk version, usually “mephitis” or “palianthropus”. A translation of the former revealed that it meant smelly in latin. It was funny to her that even in a world where everyone stank, it didn’t mean nobody stank.
Written by TheGreatJaceyGee on 01 February 2023