Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Leopards and Stranger Things

(Warning: slightly risque content follows. Slightly. After that, there are turtlenecks.)

Michael and Jeannie were engaged in sexual intercourse. Jeannie was rather pleased with this, a state which ended exactly when Michael turned into a leopard.

"Ahh!" Jeannie yelled, rather startled. "Ahh! What the hell? What the hell!" She pushed the leopard off herself and off the bed; it sprawled on the floor and turned back into a rather unhappy-looking Michael.

"Dammit!" Jeannie shouted, still quite upset. She pulled the covers up to her neck. "What the heck, dude? Why were you a leopard?"

Michael lied on the floor. His face contorted in thought.

"I know," Jeannie said with sudden decision, pointing a finger at Michael. "I know. You're a furry, aren't you? That was your true form? Sicko!"

This brought an immediate response. "I am not a furry!" Michael said. His expression was one of defiance, which might have been more impressive if he wasn't still sprawled on the floor, naked. Perhaps realizing this, he began making his way to his feet.

Jeannie was disbelieving. "Not a furry, eh?" she asked. "Then how do you explain that? I knew this was going too well for a second date," she mentioned as an aside.

Michael, now fully risen, attempted to explain. "It's - I'm - when I get really stressed or emotional, I - well - probably easier to show you than to tell. Punch me, would you?" he asked.

"With pleasure!" Jeannie said, and swung at Michael.

Michael's head rocked back with the impact of the emphatic blow. A bruise began to form. Also, he turned into a large, feline creature with white fur and black spots. (Briefly.)

"See?" Jeannie said, triumphant. "Leopard. Furry!"

"Look - no," Michael said, human again. "That was - unfortunate. Usually it doesn't do that. Try again?"

Perhaps under the impression that she had been insufficiently firm the previous time - or still upset about the leopard-intercourse thing - Jeannie swung even harder on her second attempt. Michael's nose made an unpleasant noise; blood began to trickle down his face, which had, remarkably, become the monitor of an Apple ][c.

Jeannie drew back her hand, surprised. She looked at it. She looked at the Apple. She wiped her hand off on the sheets, absentmindedly. She watched the Apple turn back into Michael.

"...what?" she asked.

"See, I'm of the Logos-kin," he explained. "We're kind-of - linked - with brands, ideas, in the popular consciousness. There are a few of us, here and there. We've got a community, online - "

"Just like the furries," Jeannie said darkly.

"One, don't be ridiculous," Michael said, regaining somewhat of his poise. (He'd gotten his pants back on by this point.) "Two, what's with you and furries, anyway? Did one kill your dog? Or - "

"My last date was a furry," Jeannie said. "He didn't tell me beforehand, either."

"Bad memories, huh?" Michael said apologetically. "Look, I didn't think it'd be a big deal, the Logos-kin thing. I mean, I didn't think we'd end up - here..."

"And when we did?" Jeannie asked. "You didn't think to tell me then?"

"...my judgement becomes very poor when I am around pretty ladies," Michael mumbled, looking at his feet.

Jeannie looked at him. Then she sighed and went to put her clothes on. "Look, it was a crummy decision," she said, "but there are worse, and at least you apologized. I'll get my clothes on, we can call it a night, and then we can just be friends - "

But she stopped, looking at Michael. He was stock still, except for his eyes, which were flashing around the room wildly. "Do you hear that?" he asked. "He's here."

"Who?" Jeannie asked, somewhat concerned. "You brought a friend?"

"Not - intentionally," Michael said, his breath beginning to come ragged. "I've heard about him. On the forums. They say he's one of us, gone wrong - absorbed by his inner nature. People just go missing, sometimes - we're never sure. But he's here - now - "

"Who?" Jeannie asked, her brow furrowing. "Some kind of stalker? I've got Mace in my purse - let me look - "

"The Hunter," Michael gasped, his form shimmering. "There's no time - goodbye - "

A hammering came upon the door.

"Michael - " Jeannie said, picking up her purse and turning towards him.

But Michael was gone - where he stood was another man, calm and strong, wearing jeans and a black turtleneck. He strode to the door, opened it, bowed; and was gone.

When Jeannie finally worked up the nerve to look outside, there was no-one there.