Daniel sat through the English class. He wouldn't be able to test this new body until the class was over – the school-day, rather; there would be too many people around during the break. He wasn't afraid of anyone finding out. It was a more irrational fear, as if the suit would stop working the moment he had witnesses.
While the teacher's voice droned, he gazed out the window where he could only see a snippet of cloudy sky, and tried to focus on the sensations from his body. It didn't look different at all, under the unusual clothes, but even at rest it felt more agile, more alert. Perhaps this was his body if he'd spent an hour jogging every day from age twelve. Even his senses felt sharper: the crispness of the cloth against his skin, the slick chill of the varnished desk surface, the mingled smells of sweat and perfume and fresh pencil-wood and a thread of summer air seeping in.
The clock ground its way to 10. The class bustled out of their seats and milled toward the door. Daniel made his way through the tightest of the press, hoping that his coat was hiding the tail.
Jake touched his shoulder and grinned. Daniel was certain he would make some sort of furry reference – it wasn't actually that bad, at least Jake would be sympathetic, unlike some brats who would just make fun of him. But all Jake said was:
“Pretty slick shirt. New?”
“Mm-hm.” Could it be Jake who had mailed the suit to him, and this was his way of testing the waters? It didn't seem like his style, but it was random enough not to feel like anyone's style. “I got it for a present. I like it.”
If Jake knew more about the suit, nothing showed on his face. He grinned again and started talking about other things.
The day went by, and Daniel had started to get the sensation that nobody was going to notice the tail.
The test at least took his mind off the suit, or as much as it could when he was still wearing it. He came away not remembering many questions and not knowing how well he'd done. Perhaps he could have done better if he'd been more focused – but did that matter now, in a world that contained things like this?
P.E. was next. That meant he didn't have to worry about the tail for fifty minutes, but the moment he changed into his gym tee and shorts in the locker room, it felt like his body had slumped into a thicker, heavier state. Of course, there was no visible difference.
Today's class was basketball. Daniel stayed at the back, didn't flub it the few times he got the ball, and then it was over. His classmates split up toward the locker room doors, and the teacher, Mr. Peterson, headed off, leaving the hall unlocked for the next class.
Daniel gazed down the long, varnish-shiny floor. If he'd been able to wear the suit in here, everyone would have been able to tell that something was not ordinary, but he could have outplayed everyone else.
As soon as he'd thought that, there was a disorientation that blinded him for a second. Daniel tottered, one arm stretched out for support. The air had gone out of his lungs. He blinked and the hall returned, but his body still felt odd. He looked down and saw that he was wearing the white suit, even the shoes. His gym clothes and sneakers had vanished.
Daniel ran down the end of the hall, feeling the air filling his lungs, building up more speed than he ever had before. The basketball hoop was ahead. He pushed off with one foot and felt himself fly through the air. His eyes flinched shut, but then he was sitting crouched on the hoop, clutching the backplate. The hoop held his weight. He must have leapt several times higher than his old constitution would have managed, even higher than the world record.
As he adjusted his feet, a voice came from below:
Written by on 08 April 2019