One Helluva Trip

“Hey, I wanna show you something later. I think you’d be interested in it. What time works best for you?” Jasper silently texted Jack before turning around to stare at him with a careful gaze. Feeling his phone buzz, Jack looked up to meet Jasper’s stares. There was something about the way Jasper was watching him that felt off, but he couldn’t tell what exactly it was.

Reluctantly pulling his phone out, Jack diverted his attention to it before swiping at the message. The phone and Jack punched in “After class. What is it as well?” in reply before staring back at Jasper.

“You’ll see,” came Jasper’s reply.

Jack dismissively shook his head and rolled his eyes before he silently slid his phone back into his pocket. The next half an hour slowly dragged on as Jasper kept staring at Jack; however, after what felt like an eternity, the bell finally rang dismissing them from their class. Quickly scooping up his things and hastily shoving them into his backpack, Jack started to make his way towards the door.

Before he could get very far he felt someone roughly grab his wrist. Jack’s focus immediately shifted towards to the flamboyant purple sleeve and brown hand of whoever grabbed him. It was Jasper. Jack met his cold gaze as Jasper flashed him a demented grin. “C’mon, there’s something I want to show you,” he exasperatedly explained, roughly tugging at Jack’s arm while waving his other hand around.

Without another word, Jack silently resigned to whatever Jasper had in mind as he sighed, flashing Jasper with a look of dissatisfaction. The silence didn’t last long; however, Jack softly inquired “What are you showing me?” a second later.

Instead his question fell on deaf ears; although, Jack was unsure if it was intentional or not. The duo remained silent for the rest of their journey as they went through door after door, heading down snaking pathways until they eventually ended up outside behind the school. Obscured by thick foliage on all sides, with an occasional break between the trees, it was a perfect spot for any activities someone wouldn’t want prying eyes to notice.

It was only then Jasper finally let go of Jack’s wrist. Turning around with a dramatic flourish he pulled his purple top hat off; quickly spinning it around so Jack could see into the black void of the hat, Jack noted there was nothing save a white orb inside. “The orb isn’t what I want to show you, if you were wondering,” Jasper curtly replied. “I just like being dramatic.”

“Then what did you want to show me?” Jack asked as he glanced up towards Jasper with a skeptical expression.

Ignoring the question, Jasper flipped his top hat back around, placing it back on his head as he shied slightly away from Jack. Both were oblivious to the fact the orb fell out and rested against Jack’s foot, much less the small traces of white gas the orb was emitting. After a brief pause, Jasper finally began talking as he noisily rummaged through his pockets. “Now then, I believe I have created something absolutely wonderful, and I need someone to test it on… and that someone just so happens to be you,” Jasper slyly remarked, suppressing a small smirk.

“No, I’m not that someone,” Jack incredulously replied as he turned around. Without waiting for a reply, he started to walk back towards the metal doors leading into the building. “I don’t care what you have to say as well, you aren’t roping me into this.”

“You are that someone,” Jasper instantly replied as he lifted his head up slightly, eyeing Jack with a curious intent. “You wouldn’t want the teachers to find out that you happened to buy and use some… things… last week, would you? Because it’s definitely not my problem if they find out, y’know?”

Jack immediately froze like a deer caught in the headlights before slowly turning around to face Jasper. He tilted his head ever so slightly as he stared directly at Jasper, his face somewhere between resentment and bewilderment. “Who told you that?” he finally blurted out, taking a step closer to Jasper.

Jasper simply innocently smiled. “If you’d care to know, you’ll do as I say,” he coolly instructed Jack as he produced a tiny plastic bag with a single, brown pill inside, along with a small bottle of water. He brandished both before tossing them to Jack, who caught it out of instinct. “You’re going to take that pill and put your bag down besides the wall.”

Softly growling, Jack glared daggers at Jasper as he begrudgingly took his backpack off, lobbing it away from either. “Fine, I’ll do it. But you’re no better than a rat,” he vehemently snarled as he opened the bag and bottle. With one swift motion, he popped the pill into his mouth and took a swig of water. The second the pill entered his throat Jack began uncontrollably shuddering, like a sudden wave of cold had overtaken him.

Jasper’s mouth slowly turned into a maniacal grin as he stared at Jack with rapt interest. Before he could do anything else, Jack suddenly took a step forwards, forcing his entire weight onto the glass orb. It shattered immediately as giant plumes of thick, white smoke engulfed them, accompanying a loud hissing sound. “No! This wasn’t… suppose… to happen!” Jack could hear Jasper crying out in anguish as they both began violently coughing.

Trying to force himself to get out of the fog, Jack found himself unable to move, like his foot was rooted to the spot as he felt his black hair suddenly sticking to him. Out of the corner of his eye, he stared in horror as he watched his hair change from black to brown as it flattened against his entire head. Mechanically jerking his hands upwards, he brushed past his hair. It felt smoother and more refined—like fur. Figure trembling, he instantly lowered his hands, mouth agape as he felt the fur sticking to his ears, muffling the sound around him.

Frantically glancing around through the gaps in his hair, Jack slowly noticed all traces of sound disappearing, leaving him in stifling silence as the gravity of the situation finally dawned on him. Jasper had drugged him with something, and the fog around him was only making it worse. Knees weak, Jack started to feel dizzy and lightheaded as he swayed on the spot. The air around him seemed to only grow thicker as he quietly felt the furry hair cover his eyes, plunging him into a deep darkness. And it was only then did it finally dawn on Jack that he was being transformed into something.

The thought hit him like a truck as he began hyperventilating. It was a chill that iced him down to the bone as the faint hissing sound finally returned. Although he couldn’t see his new ears, he somehow knew that they were small semi-circles that were loosely pressed against his fur. His hyperventilation was cut short as the fur forced his mouth shut and plugged up his nose. Muffled, Jack started to grunt and groan as he unconsciously brought his hands up towards his face.

He traced out his short, blocky snout as he suddenly forced his fingers together. It was like his body wasn’t his own anymore as Jack slowly managed to open his eyes once again. To his horror, he saw rows of white whiskers start sprouting from his cheeks as his fingernails sharpen into small black claws. He tried yelling out loud, but instead only muffled sounds emanated from him. His lungs started to burn as he watched the fur rapidly descend his fingers and down his hands, before disappearing underneath his red and blue striped sleeves.

Right when it fully disappeared under his shirt, he finally managed to yank his maw open, gasping for breath. With each breath he took, he could feel the fur picking up speed along his arms and down his neck as it seemingly soaked up the warmth from his bare skin. He shivered uncontrollably as he rubbed his arms. He could feel the smooth fur underneath the sleeves as he managed to break his fingers apart. Jack felt his breath get caught in his throat as he stared at the translucent, brown webbing strung between the bases of his digits.

Rapidly turning his hands over and over again, Jack started to hyperventilate once more. He fell to his knees, unable to support his own weight as the fur descended his entire chest in one swift motion. Jack yelled out in pain as he pulled down his pants past his tailbone to allow the furry stub forming there to grow out. The entire time he uncontrollably winced as the tail grew longer and longer ultimately curling around him as the fur quickly started consuming his legs.

As if pushed by some unseen force, Jack fell onto his paws as the fur started to reach his feet. Choking back whimpered sobs, he slowly tried to force himself up off the ground. Instead, he found himself rooted to the spot with each attempt suddenly causing the fur to engulf more and more of his foot. Unlike his hands however, when the fur reached his feet, he didn’t feel his feet getting forced together. Instead, in one swift motion he felt his feet shift into paws complete with the translucent webbing.

At the same time of Jack’s transformation, Jasper was simultaneously undergoing one too. The thick plumes of fog clung tightly to Jasper like latex as he whimpered softly, muttering ‘no’ to himself over and over through his hacking coughs. His eyes frantically scanned around himself as he noticed white goo start pooling onto his uncovered hands and face. In a hysterical frenzy, he fiercely tried to tear the coating away to no avail.

Instead, the sludge surreptitiously started slathering slimy web-like tendrils along Jasper’s uncovered flesh. Within moments, he found his hands and face completely coated in the white goop as it sealed his mouth and nose shut, filling his eardrums, and plunging him into total silence and darkness. He tried to force his mouth open to scream, instead finding it cemented shut as the goo took hold at his neck.

The only thing Jasper could do was silently sit and wait as he felt the slime spreading underneath his suit and sticking to his shoulders. Slowly, but surely, he could feel the sludge around his lower face taking shape just as his lungs started to burn. With every fiber of his being, Jasper tried to force his mouth open, only managing to open the corners of his forming muzzle for split-seconds at a time. Right before he thought he’d pass out, Jasper finally managed to yank his newly formed maw open; the slime sealing it shut loudly squelching in protest.

Doubling over, goo loudly splattering on his pants, Jasper gasped for breath. The burning sensation in his lungs slowly subsided, instead replaced by a sudden heaviness as he sucked down the fog. At the same time, he could hear the hissing of the smoke around him growing louder as two rotund ovals started to form out of the top of his head. Whimpering to himself, Jasper soon felt his upper body grow warmer, lulling himself into a sense of calm.

He suddenly relaxed straightening his entire posture as his eyes slowly opened. He drowsily looked down at his cone-like muzzle before slowly bringing up his hands. Both had been changed into thin, pink, wiry paws. Then, without giving it a second though, he suddenly looked over his shoulder to the pink, slimy nub coming out of his tailbone. He gave it a half-smile and a coy chuckle as he watched the slime slowly start forming into a long, thin tail, while the rest of his legs were slowly coated.

Gingerly picking up the tail with one hand and running his hand along it, Jasper felt the slime descending his legs and pooling up in his shoes. It didn’t take very long for his feet to be fully encased by the slime, quickly morphing them into paws like his hands. As he finally let go of his tail, he watched as all the slime left on his body quickly disappear before the fog around them slowly dissipated.

As soon as he realized the fog was no longer there, Jack immediately forced himself off the ground and effortlessly lifted Jasper up. Staring directly into Jasper’s fearful beady eyes, he looked at Jasper’s new figure. Jasper was now a rat, and he himself was an otter. With malice lingering in his eyes, Jack harshly slammed Jasper against the brick wall.

“What did you do to me?”  Jack angrily demanded, violently shaking Jasper.

“I turned you into an otter,” Jasper yelled through panicked whimpers and pained grunts.

“Why?”

“I was told to!”

“By who?”

“I don’t know! I wasn’t given a name!”

Unbeknownst to them, as Jack angrily threw Jasper down onto the ground, two people silently watched them through a break in the trees, safely tucked inside their black van. Both were wearing black cloaks with a sniper rifle with silencers attached to their backs. One of the figures—the burlier of the two—suddenly took off the sniper rifle. With one quick motion, they rolled down the window to the van and perched the bipod on the edge of the window.

Flicking on a small attachment under the bottom of the muzzle, a faint red dot appeared on Jack’s chest, who instantly noticed it and stared through the gap. “Clear shot. Target spotted, both directions. Taking shot,” they coolly said in a deep, gruff voice as they squeezed the trigger. A small dart landed directly on his heart, causing him to faint.

“One down. Second up. Same conditions. Taking shot,” they simply replied as Jasper stood up to inspect the dart. The only sounds emanated was the faint whoosh of the dart and a soft groan as Jasper fell to the ground, unconscious.

“Good aim. Let’s bag them, then we have an apartment to go visit,” the second figure finally said in an effeminate tone, pulling two metal cages out from a secret compartment before motioning to the rear doors.

“Weapons?”

“Don’t worry about it. This won’t take long.”

The first figure nodded, taking one of the cages as they slung their sniper rifle back over their back. Before anyone could notice—much less react—the two figures stealthily snuck out from the van, delicately scooping both Jack and Jasper into metal cages and returning to their vehicle. With both Jack and Jasper deposited into the back of the van, they closed the rear doors before driving down the road, with none the wiser to what occurred, save Jack’s backpack laying abandoned besides the wall.

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